[The picture to the left is only a partial representative
of the beautiful cover of the original magazine.
This material is used here by permission, granted to the
editor & founder of mtCOGsm, (now tcogmso) by Eve McNair.
It is intended for free downloading. What is written below
was taken from the inside cover.]
In memory of Raymond F. McNair
All scriptural references are from the New King
James Version (© 1982, Thomas Nelson inc.
Publisher) unless otherwise noted. Copyright ©
2010 Church of God 21st Century. Printed in the
U.S.A. all rights reserved.
Author: Raymond F. McNair—Editor: Eve McNair
(www.cog21.org-- has been shut down for several years.)
(Permission from Eve McNair was also granted for this modification in format for use on the web and for the educational purposes of all who visit this site. It is Mrs. McNair’s and my desire to continue to make this material available, that whom ever reads may come to understand and benefit from this work, done by a dedicated and long time evangelist in the COG. Mr. R. F. McNair served God under HWA in the COG for many years and in several offices. He now rests in peace awaiting his change in the resurrection.)
& Britain in Prophecy:
The Vital Key to End-Time Prophecy
erhaps most of us remember reading the biblical story of Joseph. It is one of the most touching and meaningful stories in all the Bible. Joseph's jealous brothers had sold him into slavery. For more than 20 long years, it had been assumed by his father Jacob and the rest of his family that Joseph was dead or lost for good. But the God of Abraham had orchestrated a series of remarkable events to make Joseph the ruler, under Pharaoh, over all of Egypt. In this capacity, he had stored up grain during seven plentiful years. And, while he was sharing that grain with starving multitudes during the seven years of famine which followed, Joseph's brothers came to Egypt to buy some.
Finally, Joseph revealed himself to them and a joyous reunion followed! When his brothers went back and told their father, the old patriarch just couldn't believe it. But, after they recounted the details of how Joseph revealed himself to them--and he saw the wagons Joseph had sent him--Jacob said, "It is enough. Joseph my son is alive. I will go and see him before I die" (Gen. 45:28).
Where is Joseph today? While it is true that the Jewish people were given the "scepter" promise of kingship and the lineage of the Messiah, the Bible makes it very plain that the tribe of Joseph was to inherit the promised blessings of national greatness and power--"the BIRTHRIGHT was Joseph's" (1 Chron. 5:2). Where are these people who were to become a great "nation AND a company of nations" (Gen. 35:11), who were to inherit the "gates" of their enemies (Gen. 24:60), and which were to be physically BLESSED above all nations? Did they end up among the so-called "Ten Lost Tribes" of Israel who seemingly disappeared from the world scene after being taken into captivity by Assyria around 734-721 B.C.?
The story of the discovery of modern-day "Joseph" is moving and powerful in its implications. It presents to us the vital KEY that unlocks the real understanding of scores of end-time Bible prophecies! But is it really important that we understand such prophecies?
Jesus Himself prophesied of the last days of this world's present civilization, "For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be" (Mark 13:19). These are powerful words coming directly from the Son of God. After describing a number of specific events to occur at the end of this age, Jesus stated in this same prophecy, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away" (v. 31). We all need to wake up, look at what is happening all around us and realize that we are truly living in the prophesied "last days." Things are not going to continue as they have been. Many of the major countries we live in or are familiar with will literally cease to exist within the lifetimes of many of you reading this!
Knowing this, and knowing that God's true servants have always spoken out to warn His people about major future catastrophes, we who publish this material do not want to let you down. We feel inspired and impelled by the Spirit of God to let you know the real meaning of today's news and what prophecy indicates is soon to occur. As the Prophet Amos wrote, "If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the LORD have done it? Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?" (Amos 3:6-8).
So as you read this brochure about what is prophesied to happen to America, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand--and, to a lesser extent, all the other peoples descended from the nations of Northwest Europe--recognize that this is exactly what the true servants of God ought to be talking about at such a time as this.
There have been times in the past when centuries went by with very little in the way of prophesied events taking place. Perhaps even God's true ministers need not have spent too much time on prophecy back then. But not now! For now it is all beginning to come together--and you need to be informed. You need to understand. God warns us, "Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation'" (2 Pet. 3:3-4).
Let's be sure that we are not found among those who scoff at or belittle prophecy. Let us rather be alert to prophecy and to the meaning of present world events. Let us obey Jesus' inspired command, "WATCH therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36). And let's also be sure that we fully grasp the importance of understanding who the American and British-descended peoples of the earth are in Bible prophecy--as most end-time prophecies directly concern US (and our Jewish brothers). For, truly--as this brochure proves--Joseph has been found!
America & Britain
The Identity Question
hat, or WHO, was really behind the rise of Britain and America to the very pinnacle of national wealth and power? Many world leaders have stood in awe of the economic and military power which the Anglo-Americans have wielded during the 19th and 20th centuries.
How did U.S. President Ronald Reagan view America? He said, "I have always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this continent here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom" (Newsweek, Dec. 27, 1982, p. 44).
U.S. President Ronald Reagan
"I have always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this continent here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom."
And President Harry S. Truman once said, "I do not think that anyone can study the history of this nation of ours without becoming convinced that divine providence has played a part in it. I have the feeling that God has created us and brought us to our present position of power and strength for some great purpose!"
Other national leaders have been recognized America's special role. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India said, "Today the U.S. is the top country, with a high opinion of its global responsibilities. There is no part of the world that does not sense American influence. Even societies built on other ideals wish to emulate American standards in material consumption" (Time, Nov. 1, 1976). Mrs. Gandhi also spoke about America's sheer vastness and natural endowment, the vitality and friendliness of its people, and its immense achievements as a civilization.
Admittedly, America has become much greater than Britain during this 20th century. Nonetheless, Britain was already a great nation for centuries before America gained her independence. Furthermore, Britain and the British-descended members of the Commonwealth (Canada, Australia, New Zealand) are, together, much larger in geographic size than the United States. Australia alone is nearly as large as America.
In this eye-opening brochure, we will examine the Bible prophecies, given long ago, which clearly reveal that the Anglo-American peoples were to become the greatest national powers on earth.
Would the Bible Ignore the Greatest Nations?
Stop and think for a moment. Is it reasonable to believe God would not even mention influential nations like America and Britain in Bible prophecy? Bible prophecy mentions all of the mighty empires which arose in ancient times: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome--and even smaller nations like Arabia, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Malta and Spain. Would the Word of God utterly neglect to mention the greatest empire in human history--the mighty British Empire of modern times which dominated the world for over two centuries?
Also, one might ask, is it rational to believe God would totally ignore mentioning in His Word the richest, most powerful nation this earth has ever seen--the United States?
As we will see, God Almighty does not ignore mentioning our great nations. In fact, the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic-descended peoples are mentioned more often in the Bible than any others. Of course, they are not referred to there by the modern names of America and Britain. To know who they are, we must come to understand their ancient origins. What are the ancestral roots of the peoples of America and Britain? Why have they played such a dominant role in the affairs of this world in modern times?
In his famous work, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill wrote, "Vast numbers of people [Americans and Britons] on both sides of the Atlantic and throughout the British Commonwealth of Nations have felt a sense of brotherhood" (vol. 1, p. vii).
And Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher later commented, "I think there was... a bit of anti-Americanism [in Britain]. But the moment you remind people that the world is not likely to be free or safe unless we [Britons] and the U.S. stick together, and of the fantastic generosity of the U.S. to Europe, putting it on its feet with the Marshall Plan [following World War II], immediately they get their things in perspective. People [in Britain] are not anti-American really. It is really like being members of the same family" (Time, June 20, 1988).
Who ARE these people? French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing said this of the Americans: "You have begun to question your identity... you have ceased to believe in your destiny" (Time, May 24, 1976). Just what is the identity and destiny of these peoples?
Searching the Scriptures for National Identity
The British people have traditionally looked to the Holy Bible in an attempt to define their role in the world. Winston Churchill, arguing against the idea that Moses and the Exodus were merely legendary, remarked, "We may be sure that all these things happened just as they are set out according to Holy Writ; we may believe that they happened to people not so very different from ourselves" (Thoughts and Adventures).
However, national identification with the Old and New Testaments has nowhere been stronger than among the American people. A 1982 Newsweek article, "How the Bible Made America," stated, "Now historians are discovering that the Bible, perhaps even more than the Constitution, is our founding document: the source of the [belief in]... the United States as a special, sacred nation, a people called by God to establish a model society, a beacon to the world" (Kenneth Woodward and David Gates, Dec. 27, p. 44).
Why would modern English-speaking peoples base their culture on the ancient book of a Middle Eastern people? The same article explains, "Only one other nation has ever looked to the Bible to find a warrant for its very existence: Israel, whose early history is actually written in it. The foundation of this [belief]... was laid by the New England Puritans who literally 'discovered America in the Bible'" (p. 46).
Conrad Cherry, in his 1971 book, God's New Israel: Religious Interpretations of American Destiny, states, "They [the Puritans] believed that, like Israel of old, they had been singled out by God to be an example for the nations (especially for England)" (p. 27).
Seeing the rise of the United States as a replay of the story of ancient Israel became a major theme in Colonial America: "In 1776 Benjamin Franklin proposed to the Continental Congress that the great seal of the United States bear the image of Moses leading the Israelites across the Red Sea. Thomas Jefferson also urged an Exodus image: he wanted the new nation represented by an Israel led through the wilderness by the Biblical pillar of cloud and fire" (Woodward and Gates, p. 47).
In assuming the U.S. presidency for the second time, Jefferson employed similar imagery: "I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessities and comforts of life" (Second Inaugural Address, Mar. 4, 1805).
British P.M. Margaret Thatcher
"The moment you remind people that the world is not likely to be free or safe unless we [Britons] and the U.S. stick together...immediately they get their things in perspective.... It is really like being members of the same family."
In 1783, Connecticut Governor Trumbull asked Ezra Stiles, President of Yale University, to preach the state's election sermon. Stiles began with the Old Testament narrative of the Sinai covenant "as introductory to a discourse upon the political welfare of God's American Israel, and as allusively prophetic of the future prosperity and splendor of the United States.... This America Joseph (now separated from his brethren)... has already risen to an acknowledged sovereignty among the republics and kingdoms of the world" ("The United States Elevated to Glory and Honor," reprinted in God's New Israel, p. 83).
President Stiles posed this significant question: "May we not see that WE [Americans] are the object which the Holy Ghost had in view four thousand years ago when He inspired the venerable Patriarch [Jacob, later renamed Israel] with the vision respecting his posterity?" Isn't that amazing?
There is just one nation whose biblically prophesied greatness remotely resembles what has been actually experienced by only the English-speaking peoples. That nation is, as you might have guessed, none other than Israel! Yet the modern state of Israel is a far cry from the fabulously wealthy and prestigious superpower nations that God prophesied end-time Israel to become. How can it be that the British and American peoples seem to have inherited the blessings of national greatness promised only to Israel? This publication will reveal the astonishing answer!
Does It Really Matter?
Does it even matter who "Israel" is today? Yes! The knowledge of Israel's modern identity is proof that the Bible is true--that it is, in fact, the inspired, infallible Word of God--and that God can be trusted completely.
Additionally, this wonderful understanding will bring the panorama of end-time prophecy into focus, as the vast majority of Bible prophecy revolves around "Israel" in the end time. So knowing who Israel is today is the major key to unlocking most of the prophecies given in God's Word. Thus, the identity question really IS important!
God Is Not Racist!
Countless millions have been tainted by attitudes of racial prejudice. Who is the author of racial bigotry? Is there any way to rid the earth of this curse? "Racism... [is] a belief that... racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race...[or is defined as] racial prejudice or discrimination" (Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed.). Who is the real author of racial prejudice? The Bible reveals that God Almighty is not the author of racial bigotry. Rather, Satan the Devil is the author of hatred, murder, lies, bigotry and racism (cf. John 8:44). He wants all peoples to be divided by racial bigotry, and would like to get all races fighting one another. Conversely, the Great God loves all mankind and wants all men to be treated with consideration, respect and Christian love.
In 1976, Alex Haley published his book, ROOTS: The Saga of an American Family, giving the background of blacks in America. "ROOTS was adapted as a multi-episode television program, which, when broadcast in 1977, became one of the most popular shows in the history of American television.... ROOTS spurred much interest in family trees [among blacks], and Haley created the Kinte Foundation to store records that aid in tracing back genealogy" ("Haley, Alex," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1993 ed.). When ROOTS was televised, tens of millions of Americans (black and white) viewed it with great interest. Likewise, many white Americans also have a desire to know more about their ancient Anglo-Saxon-Celtic roots! It is perfectly natural and normal for people of whatever race to want to know more about their racial heritage.
Even the Apostle Paul stated, "For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin" (Rom. 11:1). Was it wrong for Paul to want to know about his racial heritage? Didn't Jesus think it important to preserve His own genealogy, all the way back to Adam (Matt. 1:1-14; Luke 3:23-38)? On the other hand, knowing about one's physical descent is of much less importance than knowing about his spiritual lineage!
Individually, God does not judge us by the color of our skin or by physical appearances (John 7:24). "For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7). The really important thing is to know that you are a true son or daughter of God (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13), being filled with, and led by, God's Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14)! Christians must always put the major stress on our spiritual lineage directly to our Father in heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ!
The Bible nowhere says that God's people, the Israelites, were superior. But He did choose them to fulfill a unique role among the nations of this earth (Deut. 7:6-8)! They were divinely chosen to serve as an example for the rest of humanity of what happens to those who obey or disobey the Creator God. As one Jewish man painfully remarked in the aftermath of World War II, "Why doesn't He choose someone else for a while?" The Israelites were to be the recipients of the covenant blessings which God Almighty promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but they've also been severely punished whenever they've flagrantly transgressed His covenant!
No true Christian should believe in or teach racism in any form, including "white supremacy" or "anti-Semitism." God calls Christians out of "all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues" (Rev. 7:9)! The Bible teaches that peoples of all races are "offspring of God" (Acts 17:29)--with the potential to become glorified sons and daughters in the great FAMILY OF GOD (2 Cor. 6:17-18)! The Apostle Peter explained God's attitude toward racism this way: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him" (Acts 10:34-35). The golden verse of the Bible assures us that God sacrificed His Son, Jesus Christ, for the benefit of all mankind: "For God so loved the world [every single human being] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16)!
Scripture reveals that racial harmony will be achieved in the soon-coming Kingdom of God (Zech. 8:20-23)! Real peace between the races of this earth will only come when all races follow the "Prince of Peace" and His law of love (Is. 9:6; 11:1-9; Rom. 13:10)! God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ, are NOT racists! We must make sure that we aren't either.
Furthermore, just as God foretold national "prosperity and splendor" for Israel, He also prophesied what would happen to that nation as punishment for continued disobedience. The erosion of its moral base and the promotion of godless values would result in unprecedented calamity!
God addressed many prophecies of divine punishment specifically to Israel--His direct chastisement upon them for flagrantly disobeying His commands. For this reason, it is absolutely vital that whomever God means by "Israel" in His Word must be made aware of their identity--and WARNED of coming destruction!
In this regard, we are like the Prophet Ezekiel, who was told by God, "I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall surely die!' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul" (Ezek. 33:7-9).
We who know that God's punishment will soon fall on the people of modern "Israel" have a duty to warn them in brotherly love. This "watchman" responsibility has been called the "Ezekiel Warning." You will hear that warning sounded with greater clarity near the end of this brochure. However, in order to convince today's "Israelites" that God's prophecies in this regard concern them, we must first PROVE to them who they are!
But some might wonder, "What on earth does Israel have to do with America and Britain in prophecy?" Simply this: To understand what the Bible reveals about our Anglo-American nations, it is vital to understand what the Bible reveals about the people of Israel. Suffice it to say for now that God has been working out a plan through the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the democracies of Northwest Europe that dovetails quite remarkably with His plan for Israel. In fact, by the time you reach the conclusion of this brochure, you will, no doubt, marvel at what a huge understatement that is!
America & Britain in
The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel
o truly understand the subject of America and Britain in prophecy, it is first imperative that we understand what God reveals about His chosen people of Israel. Have the modern Israelites experienced the fulfillment of prophecies regarding them?
To learn who the modern people of Israel are, we must examine the fascinating facts concerning the history of the ancient people of Israel. In doing so, we need to realize that, of all nations on earth, God Almighty plainly says He has only "known" one nation--Israel! "Hear this word that the LORD has spoken [concerning]... the whole family [of Israel] which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, 'You only have I known of all the families of the earth'" (Amos 3:1-2).
This does not mean that God does not love all peoples of all nations (John 3:16), but there is only one people, on the national level, with whom God has ever had a close, hands-on, engaged relationship. God told Israel, "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth" (Deut. 7:6).
But notice what He says next: "The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers" (vv. 7-8). Who were these "fathers"? What was so special about them?
Mankind has basically rejected God and His way since the Garden of Eden. Almost 2,000 years from that time, only three men had accepted God's way of life, according to the biblical record--Abel, Enoch and Noah (Heb. 11). The rest of mankind lived in rebellion against God. His solution was to bring a Great Flood upon the earth and start over with just eight people--Noah, his wife and their three sons with their wives (Gen. 6).
Noah's three sons became the fathers of the three great families or "races" of mankind. After the Deluge, God instructed these three families to disperse into those regions of the earth to which He had previously assigned them (Gen. 10-11). Yet, within a few generations, men were once again not looking to God, but to their own devices--striving against God to build the huge Tower of Babel (Babylon) and a world-class city to prevent themselves from being scattered abroad over the face of the earth (Gen. 11:1-9).
For that rebellion at the Tower of Babel, the Almighty rebuked them sharply and confused their languages, forcing the peoples to separate and migrate out into the areas which He had assigned each of them as their inheritance (Deut. 32:8; Jer. 27:5; Acts 17:26).
The Family of Abraham
In the course of time, God Almighty would choose a unique man named Abram (later renamed "Abraham" by God) and his "seed" to form a new nation by which He would preserve the true religion and carry out certain aspects of His divine plan upon this earth.
Abraham's illustrious ancestors are listed in Genesis 11:10-32. Nine generations before Abraham was Noah's son Shem, who, generally speaking, was father of the white or Caucasian race. Thus Abraham's descendants are predominantly white. The term "Semite" is derived from Shem's name. The Hebrew language is classified as "Semitic," and racial hatred of Jews is called "anti-Semitism."
Next in this lineage was Shem's son, Arphaxad. He was father of the Chaldeans--which makes Abraham and his descendants part of them. This makes sense since Abraham came from "Ur of the Chaldeans" (v. 31). Next in line was Salah and then Eber (or Heber), whose descendants are called Hebrews. So Abraham was a "Hebrew." But, because all of Eber's descendants didn't come through Abraham, there are more "Hebrews" than just his family!
Next in Abraham's lineage was Eber's son Peleg. It was in his lifetime that the Tower of Babel incident occurred--when God assigned portions of the earth (Gen. 10:25). After Peleg was Reu and then Abraham's great-grandfather Serug. Next came his grandfather Nahor and, finally, his father Terah.
And "Terah begot Abram [later named Abraham], Nahor, and Haran" (11:27). "And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai [later named Sarah], his son Abram's wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans [in Lower Mesopotamia] to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there.... and Terah died in Haran" (vv. 31-32). The city of Haran was located between the Tigris and Euphrates in Upper Mesopotamia.
Why were Terah, his son Abram and their clan trekking their way to the "land of Canaan"? Genesis 12 explains: "Now the LORD had said to Abram [while his family was still in Ur]: 'Get out of your country, from your kindred and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation....and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (vv. 1-3).
Here was a tremendous promise of God--conditional upon Abram's obedience. This was a real test! Ur was a prosperous city. Abram was asked by God to leave it and go to a backward land far, far from civilization. Could his descendants really become a "great nation" there?
Moreover, by this time, the world had again strayed a long way from God. Society was so deeply entrenched in paganism that the true religion was almost unheard of anymore. Yet what was Abram's response to God's command? "So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him" (v. 4). There was no grumbling or arguing. Abram simply obeyed God. That's the unique character he had.
Promises of Ethnic Lineage and Grace
It is fascinating to realize the nature of the promises God made to Abraham. Many have missed the fact that God's promises were dual. To reconcile the fact that the Jews have never become a "great nation" in the world, some claim that this reference is to the Church only. It is true that to inherit the spiritual promises of God, everyone must become a descendant of Abraham spiritually (Gal. 3:29).
It is also true that the Church is called a "royal priesthood, a holy nation" (1 Pet. 2:9). However, as we will see, this promise of a "great nation" was later expanded to include "many nations." That certainly cannot refer to the Church. This is speaking of Abraham's physical descendants--ETHNIC LINEAGE!
Many have recognized that when God said, "In you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed," this was primarily a spiritual promise (although there is a physical application even to this, as succeeding chapters will reveal). God later told Abraham: "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 22:18). The singular "seed" here refers to Jesus Christ--the Son of God who would come in the flesh as a descendant of Abraham to offer spiritual salvation to the entire world--GRACE!
Through Abram's descendants would come these tremendous dual blessings. God told Abram, "'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.' And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness" (vv. 5-6).
At Sarai's prompting, Abram soon had a son, Ishmael, by Sarai's Egyptian handmaid Hagar. But this is not how God intended to bless Abram. When Abram was 99 years old, God appeared to him and said, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.... and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram [Heb. "Exalted Father"], but your name shall be Abraham [Heb. "Father of a Multitude"]; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you" (Gen. 17:1-2, 4-6).
Numerous prophecies reveal that Abraham's descendants would become "many nations"! Those prophecies could never have been fulfilled in the Church or in the two small kingdoms of Israel and Judah, which we will examine later. "Many" can't possibly be interpreted to mean only two! So was all of this to be through Ishmael then? Notice what God did next. He changed Sarai's name to Sarah (Heb. "Princess") and said, "And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples [plural!] shall be from her" (v. 16).
The main promises of their descendants becoming many nations were not to go through Ishmael. Abraham was happy about Sarah, but he still hoped that his firstborn son Ishmael--now 13 years old--would be his heir: "And Abraham said to God, 'Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!'" (v. 18). But God answered, "No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation [see box: "Isaac and Ishmael"]. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year" (vv. 19-21).
The tremendous promises of national blessings to Abraham were, at first, conditioned upon his complete obedience to God. Would Abraham persevere in obeying God's commands? When Abraham later proved his total obedience to God, the Lord rewarded him by making the conditional promises to him UNconditional! "By Myself I HAVE SWORN, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants ["race" Fenton translation] shall possess the gate of their enemies [promise of ETHNIC LINEAGE]. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed [promise of GRACE], because you have obeyed My voice" (Gen. 22:16-18).
Isaac and Ishmael
The Arabs readily acknowledge Abraham's son Ishmael to be their father-as any one of them will tell you! God promised to make them "a great nation" (Gen. 17:20; 21:18). People might look at the Arab countries today and balk at this because--even though some of them are quite rich from oil exports--they are not a "great nation" now. They are fragmented. This isn't what God meant when He made this promise to Abraham. So is God unreliable? No! Arab greatness has already passed. But in its heyday, it was truly remarkable to behold.
Louis L'Amour, the famous American author, described this period well. In his number one bestseller, The Walking Drum, set in 12th century Eurasia, he wrote, "In the space of one hundred years following the death of Muhammad in 632, the Arabs had carried the sword of Islam from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, holding at one time most of Spain, part of southern France, the isle of Sicily, all of North Africa and Egypt, all of Arabia, the Holy Land, Armenia, Persia, Afghanistan, and almost a third of India. The empire of the Arabs was larger than that of Alexander the Great or of Rome.... Under the FLUSH OF GREATNESS... for more than five hundred years the Arabs carried the torch of civilization" (Bantam Books, 1984, pp. 171-172).
Now consider what this means for Isaac! If this is what God meant by Ishmael becoming a GREAT NATION--a vast empire, larger than Rome's, which preserved civilization through Europe's Dark Ages--then just think what must have been in store for Isaac's descendants, who were to inherit FAR GREATER blessings and become MANY NATIONS! Certainly, no one can argue that this has been fulfilled by the Jewish people-ever! Nor was it fulfilled anciently by Israel in the Holy Land. It's hard to even imagine that. So, then, was it ever fulfilled? The truth will astound you!
God had now SWORN--it would happen no matter what! Abraham's physical descendants would be innumerable--compared to counting stars in the sky or grains of sand on the seashore. And the singular "seed," Jesus Christ, would come through his lineage. What is a "gate"? Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th ed.) defines a gate as "a means of entrance or exit" or as a strategic "gateway."
The word "gate" in the national blessing means a strategic geographic passageway which controls the movement of trade and military forces for a certain region--such as an important mountain pass or sea passage. Modern examples of land and sea gates would be the Khyber Pass, the Panama Canal and the Strait of Gibraltar.
Promises to Isaac's Seed
After Abraham's death, the unconditional promises of his descendants becoming "many nations" passed to his son Isaac. These incredible promises would devolve upon Isaac's descendants--not Ishmael's. Isaac later married Rebekah. Notice the blessing her family gave her as she left her homeland to go and marry Isaac: "Our sister, may you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands ["many millions!" Living Bible]; and may your descendants possess the gates of those who hate them" (Gen. 24:60).
Here, again, this was prophetic. Isaac's descendants would become many millions and possess the strategic gateways of their enemies. The Jews have NEVER fulfilled this--and it certainly can't refer to the Church. Neither can these verses refer to the Jews in the coming Millennium of Christ's rule--because, after their regathering in the Promised Land, it would take until well into that future age for them to overspread the world and take possession of such gates. And, by that time, there will be NO enemy nations (Is. 2:2-4). So this prophecy can ONLY be fulfilled in this present evil age of strife and war which will soon come to an end. Therefore, we must look for a group of nations--all descended from Abraham--that has possessed the vital land and sea gates of the world. We must do this or reject the Bible as fraudulent. There is simply no way around it.
The Birthright for a Bowl of Stew!
Let's look again at the dual nature of the promises to Abraham. The promises of ethnic lineage and the future availability of God's grace were unconditional. However, as the New Testament makes clear, actually receiving God's grace by an individual was conditional upon repentance--turning away from breaking God's law. The promise of ethnic lineage, however, required nothing from Abraham's descendants. Their behavior might have affected the TIMING that God chose for giving them the promised national blessings--but God had bound Himself to give those blessings no matter what. Thus, the promises of lineage now belonged to the descendants of Isaac by RIGHT. Such a right is termed a birthright.
The 1992 American Heritage Dictionary defines birthright as "a right, possession, or privilege that is one's due by birth." It can also mean "a special privilege accorded a first-born." Notice this note in The New Open Bible (NKJV) from Thomas Nelson Publishers: "The term birthright appears several times in the Bible. The word refers to the inheritance rights of the firstborn son in a Hebrew family in Old Testament times. The property of a father was normally divided among his sons at his death. But a larger amount, usually a double portion, went to the oldest son (Deut. 21:17), who assumed care of his mother and unmarried sisters" (p. 35).
Normally, the birthright was continued through the firstborn son. But there are instances where God intervened and dictated otherwise. This happened with Isaac. Ishmael had been Abraham's firstborn son. Yet God saw this son as the product of a lack of faith--an attempt to bring about God's promises through human effort. Abraham's firstborn lawful son, in God's eyes, was Isaac. "And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac" (Gen. 25:5).
God later told Isaac, "I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands ["countries" KJV--not just Canaan!]; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws" (Gen. 26:3-5). We must always bear in mind that Abraham's descendants were NOT blessed because of racial superiority, but because of Abraham's obedience.
The birthright blessings were to be passed on to the descendants of Isaac. He and Rebekah had twin boys. At their birth, "the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau [Heb. "Hairy"]. Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau's heel; so his name was called Jacob [Heb. "Supplanter" or "Heel-Grabber"]" (Gen. 25:25-26). God had prophesied that the birthright wouldn't go to the firstborn, Esau, in this case--but to the younger son Jacob (v. 23).
But Jacob would live up to his name by trying to supplant Esau prematurely. One day Esau came in tired and hungry, desiring some stew Jacob was eating. Jacob sold him the stew in exchange for Esau's birthright (vv. 27-34).
God's Promises to Jacob
Years later, Jacob even deceived his own father, Isaac, to get the blessings that accompanied the birthright. So Isaac mistakenly blessed Jacob: "See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed. So God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fat places ["rich soil" Moffatt translation] of the earth, and plenty of corn ["grain" NKJV] and wine. Let peoples serve thee, and nations bow down to thee. Be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee. Cursed be everyone that curseth thee, and blessed be everyone that blesseth thee" (Gen. 27:27-29 Holy Scriptures, Jewish Publication Society).
These are purely physical promises of national prosperity. Nothing stated here concerns spiritual salvation. Yet what incredible promises these are: ideal rainfall on the choicest agricultural lands on earth to yield an overabundance of produce; administrating over the affairs of other nations; enemies brought low and allies prospering. Jacob was promised all this for his descendants!
Jacob, despite his character problems, prized and valued the awesome divine blessings promised to Abraham. Esau did not (25:34; Heb. 12:16-17).
God later confirmed the birthright promises to Jacob in a dream: "I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie [Canaan] I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad [colonize] to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 28:13-14). Jacob's descendants would be great colonizers--spreading themselves around the whole world!
Jacob married two sisters, Leah and Rachel, and by them and their two handmaids, fathered 12 sons and a daughter. And, after he repented of his deceit, God changed his name: "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but ISRAEL [Heb. "Prevailer with God"]; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed" (Gen. 32:28).
So here is the origin of the name "Israel"! Through Israel's 12 sons, God would build His chosen nation. Each of Israel's sons would be the progenitor of an individual tribe of people. For instance, Jacob's son Judah was the father of the tribe of Judah. His descendants, as we will see in more detail later, were called "Jews." You need to make sure you understand this because many are confused about it. Ethnic Jews are only one tribe of Israel. And there are 11 other tribes of Israel besides them. This, then, is the origin of the TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL.
Later, God confirmed Jacob's new name and the fantastic promises: "And God said to him, 'Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.' So He called his name Israel. Also God said to him: 'I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body'" (Gen. 35:10-11). Here again is the promise of a line of "kings," but there is something else here we haven't seen before--the promise of "a [single] nation and a company ["group" Moffatt] of nations"!
The Ferrar Fenton translation says, "a Nation and an Assembly of Nations." The New International Version renders it, "a nation and a community of nations." A "company," "group," "assembly" or "community" of nations. This could not be something like the United Nations because its member nations are not all of the same family. No, this would have to be something similar to the Arab League or the British-descended Commonwealth nations. When did such a "company of nations" ever form in ancient Israel? Never. When has it happened among the Jewish people? It has not. We must, then, look elsewhere.
"The Birthright Belonged to Joseph"
The birthright would next have gone to Jacob's firstborn son by Leah--Reuben. But Reuben committed incest with Bilhah, his own father's concubine (Gen. 35:22; 49:3-4). Therefore, the birthright fell to the firstborn of Rachel--Jacob's 11th son, Joseph. First Chronicles 5:1-2 explains: "The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel. (He was the firstborn, but because he defiled his father's bed his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel, so that he [Reuben] is not enrolled in the genealogy according to the birthright; though Judah became prominent among his brothers and a ruler ["the chief ruler" KJV] came from him, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph)" (NRSV).
Something remarkable happened here! God decided to split the promises of ethnic lineage and grace between two different tribes. Judah would receive the kingly line, referred to as "the SCEPTER" (Gen. 49:10). A scepter is defined as "a staff held by a sovereign as an emblem of authority" or "ruling power or authority; sovereignty" (American Heritage Dictionary). King David would come from this line and from him would descend the "one seed," Jesus Christ, offering salvation to the world.
*Each son fathered one
No wonder Jesus later said, "Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22), and Paul wrote of "salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek" (Rom. 1:16). The promise of GRACE was to come down through JUDAH. But the birthright promises of national blessings--ETHNICLINEAGE--would come through JOSEPH! Get this fixed in your mind. It is an extremely important key to understanding your Bible!
Joseph was Jacob's favorite son. Joseph's brothers saw this favoritism--displayed in such ways as the famous "coat of many colours" (Gen. 37:3 KJV)--and hated him. One day Joseph told them of a powerful dream he had: "'There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.' And his brothers said to him, 'Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?' So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words" (vv. 7-8).
He then had a second dream: "'This time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.' So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, 'What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?' And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind" (vv. 9-11). As time would prove, these dreams were prophetic--not only foretelling what would happen to Joseph himself, but also what would happen to his descendants far into the future.
What did happen to Joseph himself is amazing. His brothers sold him into slavery and convinced their father Jacob that he'd been killed and eaten by a wild animal. Jacob, of course, was devastated. Joseph was sold into Egypt and spent years in slavery and then in prison. Yet God miraculously worked it out so that the Egyptian Pharaoh made Joseph the prime minister of all Egypt! "You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you" (Gen. 41:40).
Joseph, a gifted administrator over this great Gentile nation--as his future descendants would also be--directed the project of storing food through "seven years of great plenty" (v. 29) to make it through "seven years of famine" (v. 30). During this famine, Joseph's brothers came to Egypt to buy food but did not recognize him. However, after Joseph put them through a test, he finally revealed his identity. Then there was weeping with tears of joy.
How prophetic! The identity of the descendants of Joseph is generally hidden right now. But it will not be that way for long! Also, notice what Joseph told his brothers: "But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.... to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance" (Gen. 45:5, 7). How true this would be, also, of Joseph's descendants in the dark days of Nazi Germany--as we will later see!
Joseph asked his brothers to go and get their father and bring him down to Egypt. The Pharaoh was going to give them the choicest lands to dwell in. So the other sons of Israel returned to Canaan to get him. "'Joseph is alive,' they shouted to him. 'And he is ruler over all the land of Egypt!' But Jacob's heart was like a stone; he couldn't take it in. But when they had given him Joseph's messages, and when he saw the wagons filled with food that Joseph had sent him, his spirit revived. And he said, 'It must be true! Joseph my son is alive! I will go and see him before I die'" (vv. 26-28 Living Bible). When Jacob and Joseph at last met, "they fell into each other's arms and wept a long while" (46:29 Living Bible). What a deeply emotional experience this was for the family of Israel--just as it will be again in the very near future when the identity of Joseph's descendants is revealed!
Why Jacob Crossed His Arms
Pharaoh had given an Egyptian woman, Asenath--daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On--as a wife to Joseph (Gen. 41:45). She had borne him two sons, Manasseh (Heb. "Forgetting" his previous troubles) and Ephraim (Heb. "Fruitful"). Thus the two boys were half-Egyptian.
When Joseph heard that Jacob was sick, he took his two sons and hurried to his dying father's bedside. Jacob managed to sit up to receive them. He told Joseph, "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, 'Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people, and give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession" (Gen. 48:3‑4). Notice that Jacob is speaking to Joseph of only the birthright promises of national greatness here. The promise of kings and of the one "seed," Christ, were for Judah. "And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt , are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. Your offspring whom you beget after them shall be yours" (vv. 5‑6). So Jacob adopted these two boys as his own sons in order to pass on the birthright to them. So, instead of being only their uncle, Judah was now also their brother! And notice this: Jacob switched the order of the boys' names. In verse 1, the order was "Manasseh and Ephraim" — Manasseh being the firstborn. But here was another instance of divine intervention. Because Jacob's sight had grown dim with age, he asked Joseph to bring the two boys right up to him. "And Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel's left hand [the lesser position], and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel's right hand the greater position]" (v. 13).
But look at what happened next: "Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn" (v. 14). To do this, Jacob had to have actually crossed his arms. This was clearly intentional! "And he blessed Joseph, and said: 'God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked... bless the lads [both of them — it was a joint blessing]; let my name be named upon them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth" (vv. 15‑16).
The name "Israel," then was to be stamped on Ephraim and Manasseh together. That is why most Bible prophecies about "Israel " — and even "Isaac" mentioned here — do not primarily refer to the Jews or any other tribe for that matter. In end‑time prophecy, " Israel" refers mainly to the descendants of Joseph through Ephraim and Manasseh! This is an incredible fact that few are aware of. Ephraim and Manasseh would jointly become the promised multitude — the nation and company of nations (Gen. 35:11). Some might try to argue that Judah would be the single nation and the other tribes would form the company of nations. But that just can't be. This birthright blessing was simply not meant for any tribes other than Ephraim and Manasseh.
At this point, Joseph noticed that Jacob had his arms crossed and wanted his father to switch them. "And Joseph said to his father, 'Not so, my father, for this one [Manasseh] is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.' But his father refused and said, 'I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people [a nation], and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude ["group" NIV] of nations.' "So he blessed them that day, saying, 'By you Israel will bless, saying, "May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!" And thus he set Ephraim before Mannsseh" (Gen. 48:18‑20). This blessing was NOT a joint one like before. It was broken down individually. Now we see that Manasseh would be the great nation and that out of Ephraim would come the company of nations! Israel told Joseph, "I have given to you one portion above your brothers" (v. 22). Indeed. The double portion belonged to Joseph.
Prophecies for "The Last Days"
Then Jacob called all of his sons to him: "Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days" (Gen. 49:1). This, certainly, is not some stuffy, outdated scriptural passage. This chapter is about "the last days"! Space prevents us from explaining the prophecies about each tribe —we will look only at Joseph and one detail of Judah. "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh [a reference to the Messiah] comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people" (v. 10). Again, the kingly line and the Savior would come through Judah.
But look at the descendants of Joseph, through Ephraim and Manasseh: "Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; His branches run over the wall [their national boundaries]" (v. 22). In other words, they would grow so numerous as to become great colonizers and expansionists. "The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him. But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob" (vv. 23‑24). Ephraim and Manasseh would have great military strength and would be victorious through miraculous divine intervention. Continuing, "the Almighty... will bless you with blessings of heaven above [perfect climates], blessings of the deep that lies beneath [such as great petroleum wealth], blessings of the breasts and of the womb [great population growth]. The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers" (vv. 25-26). What an incredible prophecy!
Let's take one more glimpse at the birthright that Joseph would receive. Deuteronomy 33 affords us an awesome preview of what was to come upon Israel. The Prophet Moses blessed the various tribes of Israel before his death. Look at what he revealed about Joseph: "Blessed of the LORD is his land, with the precious things of heaven, with the dew, and the deep lying beneath" (v. 13). What nation and company of nations are blessed with the best climates and possess vast fossil fuel resources? "...with the precious fruits of the sun... the precious produce of the months" (v. 14).
What nations consistently reap the most bountiful agricultural harvests? "...with the best things of the ancient mountains, with the precious things of the everlasting hills, with the precious things of the earth and its fullness" (vv. 15‑16). What peoples have mined the greatest wealth in precious metals and minerals? "...and the favor of Him who dwelt in the [burning] bush" — God (v. 16). Which nations have seen definite instances of divine intervention in their undertakings? "Let the blessing come 'on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.' His glory is like a firstborn bull, and his horns [symbolic of military power] like the horns of the wild ox; together with them he shall push the peoples ["he will conquer nations" Fenton] to the ends of the earth; they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh" (vv. 16‑17).
So if we want to find the birthright nations of " Israel " today, we must look for the modern descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh. They will have become a great single nation in a special brotherhood with a great company (or community) of nations. They will possess vast natural resources and the choicest agricultural regions on earth. They will have overrun their national boundaries and colonized abroad — over much of the world. They will have been a global military superpower alliance. They will have been exceedingly rich and affluent above all other nations. They will have ruled over the affairs of many other nations. And they will have been far greater and larger than the Arab empire at its dizzying height. Have there been such nations in the world? Many will argue that these promises were fulfilled in the ancient Kingdom of Israel. But is that so?
From Mount Sinai to the United Kingdom
The story of Moses and Israel 's deliverance from cruel Egyptian bondage is well known. After the Eternal led the Israelites through the Red Sea (c. 1446 B.C.), He took them to the foot of Mount Sinai and gave them His Ten Commandments along with His statutes and judgments. Israel then entered into a COVENANT with God to keep His laws and became His national "wife." But Israel repeatedly rebelled against her "Husband" and, as a result, had to wait 40 years to enter the Promised Land. Once in the Promised Land, the tribes of Israel received their territorial inheritances — except for Levi which, instead, served as the nation's priesthood (Num. 18:20‑32). Then, for several hundred years, God gave His covenant people a long line of judges to serve as righteous leaders to the nation and to teach them His ways. The Lord worked directly through these divinely appointed judges. That being so, during this period, Israel was a theocracy with God as Ruler. But, still, Israel constantly rebelled and finally wanted a human king — like other nations — to replace Samuel, the last of the judges. This was really a rejection of God as Israel's "King" (1 Sam. 8:7; 11:11).
The first divinely anointed king to rule over all Israel (c. 1050‑1010 B.C. — all dates of kings are reigns throughout) was Saul (Heb. "Asked For" — Israel had "asked for" a human king). A young man from the tribe of Benjamin (1 Sam. 11), Saul at first had a self‑effacing, humble attitude. But that soon gave way to pride, self will and lack of faith! Samuel finally told Saul, "Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king" ( 15:23). God then chose David (Heb. "Beloved") to become Israel's next king (c. 1010‑970 B.C.) and, because of his God-fearing attitude, the Lord promised him an everlasting dynasty (2 Sam. 7:11‑16)! What was God's overall opinion of David as king? "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will" (Acts 13:22 ). Even though David made serious mistakes, he was, on the whole, a man after God's own heart — that is, he thought like God.
David's deep reverence and love for God enabled him to serve the Lord with all his might (2 Sam. 6:14 )! As a result of David wholeheartedly following God, the Eternal made an unconditional promise that his descendants would forever sit upon his throne somewhere on this earth — ruling over Israel (1 Chron. 28:1‑10; Ps. 89:3‑37). When King David died, Israel lost her greatest, most righteous human king. "So he died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor; and Solomon [Heb. "Peaceable"] his son reigned in his place [c. 970‑930 B.C.]" (1 Chron. 29:28). Like Saul, Solomon began his reign in humility. Initially, he proved to be a wise and understanding ruler. He built God's Temple in Jerusalem — perhaps the most magnificent building ever erected. Unfortunately, later in his reign, King Solomon initiated Israel 's downward slide into idolatry and debauchery. He took to himself "700 wives... and 300 concubines" (1 Kings 11:3). But worst of all, Solomon's harem included a number of foreign women, whom he had married for political purposes (v. 1). These women clung to their idolatrous worship, creating quite a problem. "For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David" (v. 4).
For Solomon's betrayal, God informed him, "Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; but I will tear it out of the hand of your son [Rehoboam]. However I will not tear away the whole kingdom, but I will give one tribe [of Israel in addition to Judah — i.e. Benjamin] to your son for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen" (vv. 11‑13). Shortly before King Solomon's death, God sent the Prophet Ahijah, the Shilonite, to meet an Ephraimite named Jeroboam. "Then Ahijah took hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it into twelve pieces" (v. 30). God showed Jeroboam that, of all Twelve Tribes of Israel , "ten tribes" (v. 35) represented by ten of the twelve strips of clothing‑would be ruled by him as king (vv. 31‑33).
A Kingdom Divided!
Israel had grown weary of Solomon's burdensome taxes. In the time of Samuel, God had warned the Israelites that if they chose human kings, they would surely be oppressed by them: "And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day" (1 Sam. 8:18). Shortly after King Solomon's death, his son, Rehoboam, "went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king" (1 Kings 11:1). The clan chiefs of Israel had sent a message to King Rehoboam, asking him to lighten their taxes, and then they would gladly serve him (vv. 3‑5).
Unfortunately, the young, arrogant king rejected the counsel of the "old men" in favor of the advice of the "young men" (vv. 6‑15). Rehoboam haughtily told Israel's clan chieftains assembled at Shechem, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!" (v. 14). "Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying, 'What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Now, see to your own house, O David!' So Israel [the northern Ten Tribes] departed to their tents" (v. 16). Some have mistakenly thought that King Rehoboam and the Jews seceded from Israel. But that is not so. Rather the Ten Tribes seceded from the dynasty of David, determined to establish their own dynasty of kings: "So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day" (v. 19).
Rehoboam's hard-nosed reply stirred the Ten Tribes to install Jeroboam as their king (v. 20). From that day onward, the Northern Kingdom would be called the "house of Israel," while the Southern Kingdom would be known as the "house of Judah," which included the tribes of Judah and Benjamin as well as some of the Levites (v. 21).
"Modern Jews thus consider themselves to be descendants of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin or are classed as Levites" ("Benjamin," Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 2, 1991). This is a vital point that many fail to grasp today! Jews and Israelites are not necessarily synonymous terms. As time went on, there would be intermittent, bitter rivalry and outright warfare between the two rival kingdoms of Judah and Israel: "And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days" (2 Chron. 12:15).
An Apostate Nation
The Prophet Ahijah had explained that Solomon's blatant idolatry was the reason Jeroboam was now ruling over the northern Ten Tribes. Ahijah told Jeroboam that God would build him an everlasting dynasty if he would obey the Lord's laws and follow in His ways (1 Kings 11:38). God's promise was remarkably similar to what He had said to David. But despite Jeroboam's knowledge of the dire consequences of Solomon's apostasy, as soon as he was made king over the Ten Tribes of Israel, he immediately set up two golden calves, one in Dan and another in Bethel (12:28-29).
He instituted this system of false worship to prevent the Israelites from going to Jerusalem to worship--where they might realign with Judah and the Davidic line (vv. 26-27). The Kingdom of Israel would never recover from the infectious idolatry which Jeroboam started.
The Northern Kingdom of Israel lasted only 209 years, from around 930 B.C. to 721 B.C. During that 209-year period, the Ten Tribes were ruled by 19 kings representing nine different dynasties! The kings of the Ten Tribes reigned, on average, just 11 years! Of the Northern Kingdom's 19 kings--none of whom returned to truly worship God--eight were assassinated, usually by the next king. One even committed suicide.
A later king, Omri, proved to be one of the Northern Kingdom of Israel's most capable kings. Though he reigned only 12 years (c. 885-873 B.C.), Omri exercised political savvy. He moved Israel's capital from Tirzah to a far more defensible position, the "hill of Samaria," where he proceeded to build his new capital. (Samaria would remain Israel's proud, unconquered capital city until its utter destruction by the Assyrians in 72l B.C.)
Omri became widely known throughout the ancient Near East during his lifetime. Numerous cuneiform inscriptions reveal that the Assyrians were well acquainted with him and his dynasty, and called the Kingdom of Israel "mat-bit-Humria" (the land of the house of Omri). Israel was still referred to as such by the Assyrians in their cuneiform inscriptions more than 100 years after he reigned. The famous Moabite Stone mentions that "Omri, king of Israel" oppressed the Moabites during his reign.
After Omri's death, his son Ahab reigned in his place (c. 873-853 B.C.) along with his wicked queen Jezebel. This evil couple promoted even greater idolatry in Israel. During their reign, the menacing cloud of Assyria's rising power began to appear on the horizon. Unfortunately for Israel and Judah, they were situated on the strategic land bridge of the Middle East's Fertile Crescent, separating rival powers located in Mesopotamia and in Egypt.
King Ahab was destined to do battle with the Assyrians. One of the well-known inscriptions of Assyria's King Shalmaneser III (c. 859-824 B.C.) describes the famous battle of Qarqar--which occurred in 853 B.C. between his army and a coalition of western nations allied against him, led by Israel's King Ahab. Shalmaneser's inscription says, "I crossed the Euphrates; at Qarqar I destroyed... 100,000 men of Ahab, the Israelite." Contrary to the Assyrian's boasting, that crucial battle was Ahab's greatest military achievement and it momentarily checked the power of the "Colossus of the North." However, the Assyrians would come back again and again during the next 150 years until the fall of their empire in 612 B.C.
Jehu's Bloody Revolution
King Jehu, who had been anointed by God to overthrow the house of Omri, was a revolutionary firebrand who reigned over Israel for 28 years (c. 841-813 B.C.). During Jehu's reign, Israel began to pay tribute to Assyria in a partly successful effort to buy Assyrian protection (as a vassal state) from the Aramaeans (Syrians). Another famous inscription of Shalmaneser III recorded, "The tribute of Jehu, son [royal successor] of Omri, silver, gold, bowls of gold, chalices of gold, cups of gold, vases of gold, lead, scepter for the king, and spear shafts, I have received."
Jeroboam II (c. 793-753 B.C.), the fourth king of the Jehu dynasty, was one of Israel's most illustrious kings because He enlarged the Northern Kingdom of Israel to its greatest territorial extent! But "Israelite society, in spite of its healthy appearance, was in an advanced state of decay, socially, morally and religiously" (Bright, p. 256).
Prophetic Warnings and Assyrian Inroads
Through the voices of the prophets Amos and Hosea, Jeroboam's contemporaries, we can still feel the intensity of God's abhorrence at these backsliding, apostate people. The wealthy gained their money at the expense of the poor and deprived the needy of justice. "'Therefore I will send you into captivity beyond Damascus,' says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts" (Amos 5:27).
Though the Israelites maintained a form of religion and gave lip service to God, they had forsaken all of His teachings and would reap bitter fruit: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you... because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children" (Hos. 4:6). God foretold their society's collapse. As a result of its social, moral and religious decay, it would be too weak to resist invading armies and ultimate captivity.
During King Menahem's reign (c. 752-741 B.C.), the Assyrians, under Tiglath-Pileser (Pul), began to seriously menace the nation. The Assyrians issued a demand that Menahem ("Menihummu of Samerina" in Assyrian annals) pay them tribute--to which the Israelite king quickly acceded. Menahem's reign was overlapped by that of Israel's next-to-last king, Pekah (c. 752-732 B.C.), who would experience the heavy yoke of the rapidly rising Assyrian Empire. He was a shrewd military officer who ruled for 20 years (2 Kings 15:27-31).
During King Pekah's reign, he allied the Kingdom of Israel with Aram (Syria), and they together attacked Judah (2 Kings 16:5-6). NOTE: Here is the first use of the term "Jews" in the King James Bible and they are at war against "Israel"! Ahaz, king of Judah, sent an urgent appeal to the Assyrians for immediate assistance against his foes--Israel and Syria (v. 7) along with a large present. "So the king of Assyria heeded him" (v. 9).
Israel's Two Assyrian Captivities
Time had run out for Israel! God's patience with this part of His "covenant people" was at an end. God had warned them repeatedly of the consequences their sins would bring. Through Amos, He had threatened, "Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth" (Amos 9:8). But they ignored God. They simply would not heed. So He delivered them over to the cruelty of Assyrian captivity: "In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser [III] king of Assyria [745-727 B.C.] came and took Ijon, Abel Beth Maachah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them [the Israelites] captive to Assyria" (2 Kings 15:29)!
The Israelites were deported in two separate captivities. The one just mentioned was the first (c. 734-732 B.C.). Based on the locations just given, this first deportation was also known as the "Galilean Captivity." It included all the Israelites living throughout Galilee and the Plain of Sharon, plus the territories east of the Jordan (Reuben, Gad and the eastern half-tribe of Manasseh--cf. 1 Chron. 5:26).
Yet some have subscribed to the notion that the Assyrians took only a few thousand Israelites into captivity, leaving the bulk of them still living in the land of Israel. One author even tries to convince his readers that only about two percent of the Israelites were actually removed to the land of Assyria. This is plainly wrong. The areas just mentioned represented about three-fourths of all the territory of the Kingdom of Israel!
After the Galilean Captivity, only a rather small "rump state" situated around Samaria, Israel's capital city, remained intact. Regarding this same captivity, Tiglath-Pileser III himself said, "Bet Omri [House of Omri = Israel] all of whose cities I had added to my territories on my former campaigns, and had left out only the city of Samaria.... The whole of Naphtali I took for Assyria. I put my officials over them as governors. The land of Bet Omri, all its people and their possessions I took away to Assyria" (Western Campaign and Gala/Damascus Campaign). Obviously, the vast majority of Israel's population was carried away.
After becoming a vassal to the Assyrians, Israel's new king, Hoshea, tried to enlist Egyptian aid to free Israel from that yoke (2 Kings 17:1-4). This rebellion by Samaria's last monarch, and the stubborn resistance of a small portion of the Israelites, convinced the Assyrians they would have to completely break both the power and will of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Their answer? Israel's second Assyrian captivity!
The inspired biblical historian says, "Now the king of Assyria [Shalmaneser V] went throughout all the land [of Israel], and went up to Samaria and besieged it for three years [c. 724-721 B.C.]. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria [a new king, Sargon II, as Shalmaneser had died] took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes" (vv. 5-6).
Did the Assyrians take all the people of Israel out of their land? Or did they only deport a few of them? The inspired Word of God unequivocally answers, "There was none left but the tribe [Heb. sebet] of Judah alone" (v. 18)! Sebet can mean an entire nation with more than one tribe (cf. Jer. 51:19 NRSV, NIV). So only the peoples of the Southern Kingdom of JUDAH were left!
Notice this too: "Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria INSTEAD of the children of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities" (v. 24). These Gentile peoples from Babylonia, who totally displaced the Israelites, became known as the Samaritans--as they were still called in Christ's day.
Both the Bible and the Assyrian state records agree: all the inhabitants of the Ten Tribes were removed from the land of Israel! Apparently, some stragglers were left behind, and a few even moved south to Judah. This explains all biblical references to people from the northern Ten Tribes in the Holy Land following the Assyrian captivity (Hezekiah's Passover of 2 Chronicles 30 was undoubtedly before Samaria's fall--cf. 2 Kings 18:9-10). So all the Ten Tribes, as tribes, were removed--not one single tribe remained!
Finally, after 200 years of rank idolatry and debased morality, God's patience had worn thin. Israel's day of reckoning came at the hands of the cruelest of all the heathen conquerors--the Assyrian Empire, the rod of God's anger (Is. 10:5-6). The ancient Kingdom of Israel was destroyed--without ever realizing the tremendous blessings God had promised!
In all the days from Joseph until the Assyrian captivity, the Israelites never colonized around the entire globe, inheriting its best agricultural regions. They never came into possession of the most important land and sea gates of the world. They never became a "multitude of nations"--much less the prophesied "nation and a company of nations." And by no stretch of the imagination did they ever become the greatest military superpower nations on the planet!
So these blessings had to wait until the Israelites returned to the Promised Land from captivity--right? NO! For--and here's the astonishing part--the Ten Tribes of Israel never came back, even to this day! To many historians, they simply disappeared from history and are now known as the "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel." What happened to them? Does anyone know? Were they destroyed from the face of the earth? If they were, then what about all of God's promises?
We can't answer this apparent dilemma by looking at what happened to the people of Judah and their modern descendants, the Jews. The Southern Kingdom of Judah, the TWO TRIBES of Benjamin and Judah, continued as a viable kingdom from 930 B.C. until its downfall in 586 B.C. (a period of 344 years), at which time the Babylonians took the peoples of Judah captive to Babylon.
Shortly after the fall of Babylon, in 539 B.C., some of the Jews returned to their former land of Judah and, under Ezra and Nehemiah, reestablished themselves as the nation of Judah. However, only a small portion of the Jews returned to the Promised Land at that time--and not one of the TEN TRIBES returned with those Jews who did!
For the most part, the Jews remained a subject people of the great empires of the Middle East except for a very brief period of independence under the Hasmonean dynasty of the Maccabees. At the time of Christ, the kingdom of Judea had become directly subject to Rome (from 47 B.C.). And, almost 40 years after Christ's death, the Romans, in putting down Jewish insurrection, razed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. After putting down a later revolt (132-135) led by Simon Bar Kokhba, the Romans wiped out the Jewish state completely, changing the name of the province to Syria Palaestina (after Israel's ancient enemy, the Philistines)—out of spite.
In following centuries, the Jews were always scattered and persecuted yet, amazingly, their identity was somehow preserved. They never had any real homeland up until the creation of the modern Jewish state of "Israel" in 1948. Yet even it contains only a small fraction of the world's ethnic Jews. And it is a far cry from the national greatness promised Israel's descendants. IS there an answer to this quandary? There certainly is—as following chapters will reveal—and it is one of the most astounding revelations in your Bible!
America & Britain in
A Great Mystery of History
or their terrible sins, "the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight.... For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria" (2 Kings 17:20, 22-23)!
They had been amply warned--over centuries of time! In fact, shortly before his death, Moses had given the Israelites a stern warning regarding what would happen to them if they departed from their God and His covenant: "And it shall be, that just as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess. Then the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other" (Deut. 28:63-64)! "I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you" (Lev. 26:33).
Throughout the entire history of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, God sent many of His prophets to warn the people to reform their ways or else lose their God-given heritage. For example, after the North's very first king, Jeroboam, instituted idolatrous worship in the kingdom, God sent the Prophet Ahijah with a chilling message: "For the LORD will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the [Euphrates] River" (1 Kings 14:15).
In this and the next few chapters, we examine one of the greatest mysteries of the Bible: What happened to the northern Ten Tribes of Israel after they were taken into captivity beyond the Euphrates?
Which Tribes Returned to the Promised Land?
Some historians have held the view that the northern Ten Tribes returned to the Promised Land from the areas of their Assyrian captivity at the same time the Jews returned from their later Babylonian captivity--and that the northern Israelites subsequently intermingled with the Jews, losing their separate national identity. But this just isn't so! The Bible makes it very clear that the overwhelming majority of those who returned to the Holy Land from Babylonian captivity were from the tribes of JUDAH and BENJAMIN, plus part of LEVI.
Many today harbor a common misconception that ALL Twelve Tribes returned to the Promised Land ("Judah" or "Judea") in the late 500s and early 400s B.C. But this can be disproven by two valuable sources: Scripture (especially, the books of Ezra and Nehemiah) and the brilliant Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus (c. 37-100 A.D.).
Were Millions Just Assimilated?
Most historians assert that the Ten Tribes in captivity intermarried with other peoples with whom they came into contact, thereby being "swallowed up" by those peoples. To support this opinion, many argue that the population of the Northern Kingdom of Israel was not large enough to maintain its separate identity in captivity-that its population was rather small and subject to easy assimilation. But what was the actual number of people deported to Assyria? How many people are we really talking about?
At the time of the Exodus (c. 1446 B.C.), there were about three million Israelites. Clarke's Commentary and numerous others both offer this estimate based upon the biblical figure of "about six hundred thousand men on foot [who could fight], besides children" (Ex. 12:37). So it is possible, from able-bodied "men of war" figures, to accurately estimate total population-including women, children and elderly men.
About 456 years later (c. 990 B.C.), King David took a military census. Halley's Bible Handbook says, "The census showed a population of about a million and a half of fighting men, exclusive of Levi and Benjamin (1 Chr. 21:5); or a total population of, probably, about SIX TO EIGHT MILLION" (23rd ed., p. 188). In fact, Israel and Judah may have had a combined population of about eight to fifteen million at the time of David's census--the early part of the tenth century B.C. The Ten Tribes alone must have contained at least five to ten million people! Israel's final captivity occurred approximately 270 years afterward, in 721 B.C. Is it logical to suggest that they had decreased to less than 100,000 by that time? No, that's ludicrous! There must still have been millions of Israelites at the time of their deportation, probably close to the same figures given for David's time.
All historical accounts are unanimous in showing that the Northern Kingdom of Israel was far more populous than the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Yet, there are some who would foolishly conclude that the Assyrians took far more captives from Judah than from Israel. Assyrian Emperor Sennacherib invaded Judah in 701 B.C., 20 years after the northern Ten Tribes of Israel were taken into captivity. Despite his failed attempt to destroy the Kingdom of Judah and deport all the Jews, he nevertheless reports taking 200,150 Jewish captives.
"Though the figure of 200,150 captives and the razing of 46 walled cities [in Judah] has been contested... later scholarship has increasingly accepted the possible authenticity of the numbers.... Sennacherib successfully captured the fortified towns of Judah (2 Kgs 18:13; 2 Chr 32:1), exacted spectacular tribute (2 Kgs 18:14-16), and failed to capture Jerusalem though he walled up Hezekiah 'like a caged bird'" ("Hezekiah," Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 3, p. 192). "Hezekiah's revolt in 705 BC, crushed by Sennacherib 4 years later, reduced Judah to a shadow of its former self, at least two-thirds of the population perishing or being carried away captive, and a large portion of its territory being lost" ("Judah," Illustrated Bible Dictionary, pt. 2, p. 825). If about 200,000 men constituted two-thirds of Judah, Judah must have had over 300,000 men-meaning there were a few million Jews. And Israel would have been even bigger!
Professor Salo Baron, acclaimed by the London Daily Express as the world's greatest authority on Jewish history, says that, prior to Israel's Assyrian captivity, "there were not less than FOUR HUNDRED SETTLEMENTS classified as towns" (Social and Religious History of the Jews, vol. 1, p. 72). Interestingly, "Tiglath-pileser boasts that he destroyed at this time five hundred and ninety-one cities [!], whose inhabitants were carried away with all their possessions to Assyria" ("Tiglath-pileser," Unger's Bible Dictionary, p. 1,094). We must remember that those nearly 600 cities were all located in the northern part of the Northern Kingdom and in the region across the Jordan-away from the main concentration of the northern tribes! Thus, Israel, in the eighth century B.C., was an extremely populous nation!
When we put all the facts together, it is clear that the population of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, at the time of its captivity, was probably at least five to ten million! What happened to those teeming millions after they went into captivity? Were they assimilated by other peoples? Flavius Josephus said the Ten Tribes of the first century A.D. were "an IMMENSE MULTITUDE, and not to be estimated by numbers." It is unlikely in the extreme that such a multitude just disappeared as an identifiable people from the face of the earth.
Testimony of Ezra: God "stirred up the spirit" of King Cyrus the Great so he would permit the Jews to "build Him [God] a house at Jerusalem which is in JUDAH" (Ezra 1:1-2). But which tribes of Israel returned at that time to help build the Temple at Jerusalem? "Then the heads of the fathers' houses of JUDAH and BENJAMIN, and the priests and the LEVITES... arose to go up and build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem" (v. 5). A careful study of the rest of this book clearly reveals that those Israelites who were mentioned were only from the tribes of JUDAH, BENJAMIN and LEVI.
Testimony of Nehemiah: "So I called a great assembly.... And I said to them [the Jews], 'According to our ability we have redeemed our JEWISH BRETHREN'.... Moreover there were at my table one hundred and fifty JEWS and rulers" (Neh. 5:7-8, 17). He also says, "And I found a register of the genealogy of those who had come up in the first return [from Babylonian captivity], and found written in it: 'These are the people who came back from the captivity, of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away captive [to Babylon--NOT whom Shalmaneser or Sargon had carried to Assyria!], and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah [NOT Samaria and northern Israel], everyone to his own city" (7:5-6). Thus the Bible makes it very plain that those who returned were NOT descendants of the northern Ten Tribes who went into Assyrian captivity in the late 700s B.C. Rather, they were descendants of those Jews taken captive eastward to Babylonia in 586 B.C.
Why, then, does verse 73 say, "So the priests, the Levites... and ALL ISRAEL dwelt in their cities"? Some biblical scholars assume that "all Israel" here refers to all Twelve Tribes. But all of the Jews had not even returned--much less all of the ISRAELITES! So is there a different way to look at this? Yes--EVERY descendant of Israel (Jacob) is an ISRAELITE in the broad sense of the word! The JEWS who returned to the land of JUDAH traced their lineage back to the tribes of JUDAH, BENJAMIN and LEVI; therefore they all would have been "ISRAELITES." Clearly, when Nehemiah spoke of "all Israel," he meant all the descendants of Israel that were there at the time--living in the land. And which "Israelites" would they have been? Almost exclusively those of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi!
Testimony of Flavius Josephus: Writing his history near the end of the first century A.D., Josephus explains, "The entire body of the people [the Ten Tribes] of ISRAEL remained in that country, wherefore there are but Two Tribes [Judah and Benjamin] in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the TEN TRIBES are beyond Euphrates till now [c. 100 A.D.], and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers" (Antiquities of the Jews, bk. 11, chap. 5, sec. 2). That should settle the matter! More than 600 years after the return of the Jews to the Promised Land from Babylonian exile, the Ten Tribes had STILL not returned from the lands beyond the Euphrates River to which the Assyrians had deported them!
"The Ten Tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense
multitude." Flavius Josephus
No, they hadn't returned by then and they still haven't returned to this very day! Notice this from the Jewish Quarterly Review: "The captives of [the Ten Tribes of] Israel exiled beyond the Euphrates did not return as a whole to Palestine along with their brethren the captives of Judah; at least there is no mention made of this event in [any of] the documents at our disposal" (vol. 1, p. 15). The exiled northern Ten Tribes did NOT return to their former homeland, nor were they later assimilated, as a group, by their relatives, the Jews. Neither were they assimilated by other peoples (see box: "Were Millions Just Assimilated?"). What, then, became of them?
Israel's Identity Lost
A Jewish historian, Alfred Edersheim, says, "No notice has been taken of those wanderers of the Ten Tribes, whose trackless footsteps seem as mysterious as their after-fate.... Josephus [cited above] describes them as an innumerable multitude, and vaguely locates them beyond the Euphrates.... Still the great mass of the Ten Tribes was in the days of Christ, as in our own, lost to the Hebrew nation" (Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, pp. 14-16).
Another prominent Jewish historian says, "The kingdom of the Ten Tribes of Israel, had in one day disappeared, leaving no trace behind. The country vomited out the Ten Tribes, as it had vomited out the Canaanitish tribes. What has become of them? They have been looked for and believed to have been discovered in the distant East as well as in the far West.... But there can be no doubt that the Ten Tribes have been irretrievably lost among the nations" (Graetz, History of the Jews, vol. 1, p. 265).
Graetz, though, was only partially correct. Unlike the Jews, the Israelites had lost the laws of God that identified them as His people (such as the Sabbath--Ex. 31:13-17). So when they were put away (Jer. 3:8), cast from God's sight and scattered, the Ten Tribes of Israel, over the course of time, forgot their identity and became the LOST Ten Tribes. As we will later see, Jesus Christ referred to them as the "LOST sheep of the House of Israel" (Matt. 15:24). So they were indeed "lost." But, it is a serious mistake to assume, as did Graetz, that the Ten Tribes have become "irretrievably lost."
Why? Because God's Word tells us otherwise! Before Israel's captivity, the Prophet Amos quoted God as saying, "Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are on the sinful kingdom [Israel], and I will destroy it from the face of the earth" (Amos 9:8). The political entity of the Kingdom of Israel was indeed destroyed. But the prophecy did not end here. The same verse continues, "...yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob." Though God would completely destroy their kingdom, He would not wipe out the people of Israel.
Notice what God says He would do next: "For surely I will command, and will SIFT the house of Israel among all nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve" (v. 9). We have already seen this in other prophecies. The people of the Ten Tribes would be scattered and dispersed abroad. So would this be the end of Israel? Would the Israelites be assimilated into other nations and disappear as a people? The rest of the verse answers, "...yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground." God would SIFT the Israelites through other nations. But, in doing so, He would preserve them intact as a people. They would NOT be amalgamated with other people. Not one of them would be "irretrievably lost."
This is further borne out by the fact that Bible prophecy identifies Israel as a key player in end-time events. Israel must exist today as "many nations." If we accept the Bible, then we must also accept all of its promises and prophecies regarding the national greatness of Israel, in addition to what it says about Israel's return from a yet future captivity. If, however, the Israelites have become so lost that they can never be found, then the Bible must be completely rejected as untrustworthy!
"For surely I will command, and will sift the house of Israel among all nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve; yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground." --Amos 9:9
The Jewish Quarterly Review cited above says that "the return of the Ten Tribes was one of the great promises of the Prophets, and the advent of the Messiah is therefore necessarily identified with the epic of their redemption.... The hope of the return of the Ten Tribes has never ceased among the Jews in Exile.... This hope has been connected with every Messianic rising" (pp. 17, 21).
The Jewish Encyclopaedia says, "As a large number of prophecies relate to the return of 'Israel' to the Holy Land, believers in the literal inspiration of the Scriptures have always labored under a difficulty in regard to the continued existence of the tribes of Israel, with the exception of those of Judah and Levi (or Benjamin), which returned with Ezra and Nehemiah. If the Ten Tribes have disappeared, the literal fulfillment of the prophecies would be impossible: if they have not disappeared, obviously they must exist under a different name" ("Tribes, Lost Ten," vol. 12, p. 249).
The Jewish Chronicle of May 2, 1897, says, "The Scriptures speak of a future restoration of Israel, which is clearly to include both Judah and Ephraim (or Israel). [See Ezekiel 37:16-22.] The problem, then, is reduced to its simplest form. The Ten Tribes are certainly in existence. All that has to be done is to discover which people represent them"!
To do this, we must understand WHEN, according to the Bible, the prophecies we have seen of "a nation and a company of nations" with awesome national wealth would be fulfilled and WHERE God said they would be!
Where Does God's Word Locate Modern Israel?
The when is the late 1700s (see box: "Birthright Blessings Delayed 2,520 Years!"). But where does God's Word locate the birthright holders of Israel in end-time prophecy? In the book of Jeremiah, God gives instructions to those bearing His message in the end time: "Backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD" (3:11-12 KJV).
Israel is clearly differentiated from Judah (the Jews) here and was to be found to the NORTH. As such directions in the Bible are always given from the vantage point of Jerusalem, that was certainly true during the time of the ancient Northern Kingdom. But this prophecy was recorded more than 130 years after Israel's Assyrian deportation.
Notice a few verses later, obviously referring to a yet future time: "In those days the house of Judah shall walk with [KJV margin "to"] the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the NORTH to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers" (v. 18). As we have seen, this prophesied return has never happened. Israel, then, would be to the north of the Holy Land in the last days.
But some will argue that the areas of northern Mesopotamian and Media to which Israel was anciently deported, although not due north, were, nevertheless, north of the Holy Land. And so they were. They were northeast of the Holy Land. But notice that Hosea 12:1 says, "Ephraim... pursues the east wind." An east wind comes from the east and blows WEST! Hosea also recorded God asking, "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel?" (11:8). He then states, "I will not again destroy Ephraim.... They shall walk after the LORD.... Then His sons shall come trembling from the WEST" (vv. 9-10). This cannot, then, refer to the ancient Assyrian captivity of Israel.
Where, to the north and west, would Israel be? In a forthcoming publication, we will examine the fascinating promises God made to King David about perpetuating his throne. Jeremiah was commissioned "to root out" the Davidic throne from Jerusalem and "plant" it elsewhere (Jer. 1:10). As our future brochure will reveal, the line of David would continue to reign over those of the House of Israel--even in their new land! God said regarding the dynasty of "David my servant.... I will SET [plant] his hand [authority] also IN THE SEA" (Ps. 89:20, 25 KJV). So Israel, under the Davidic line, would have authority over maritime trade and travel.
Where is this leading us? Look at another prophecy Jeremiah recorded for "the latter days" (Jer. 30:24; 31:1). God says, "You shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel!... You shall yet plant vines on the mountains of Samaria.... For there shall be a day when the watchmen will cry on Mount Ephraim, 'Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God'" (vv. 4-6). So this is clearly referring to end-time Israel. God refers to Israel as "Jacob... the chief of the nations" (31:7). Which modern nations have fulfilled such a role?
God then says, "Behold, I will bring them [the Israelites] from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth.... for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn" (vv. 8-9 KJV). The colonization of the earth's coasts pictured here gives further support to Israel's dominance at sea. Then, in the next verse, God makes it even clearer: "Hear the word of the LORD, O nations [Ephraim and Manasseh], and declare it in the isles afar off" (v. 10). Isles? Our search is becoming even more intriguing.
This fascinating prophecy is corroborated in the book of Isaiah. God says, "Keep silence before Me, O coastlands ["islands" KJV].... You, Israel, are My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend. You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions ["chief men" KJV]" (Is. 41:1, 8-9). He further confirms this a few chapters later: "Listen, O coastlands ["isles" KJV], to Me, and take heed, you peoples from afar!... You are My servant, O Israel" (Is. 49:1, 3). In verse 12, He states, "Surely these shall come from afar; Look! Those from the north and the west, and these from the land of Sinim."
In the ancient Hebrew language, from which this verse was translated, there was no specific word for "northwest," but that is what was actually meant by "the north and the west." The Latin Vulgate translation gives the word "Sinim" as Australi ("south"). So, not only are the modern Israelite nations specifically NORTHWEST of Jerusalem, they are also spread all over the globe!
Birthright Blessings delayed 2,520 Years!
When would the birthright promises be fulfilled? Remember that God had made them UNCONDITIONAL to Abraham's descendants. Thus, God would HAVE to bestow the promised blessings-no matter what. But He would decide the proper time frame. Would God have given the blessings to the newly formed nation of Israel that was headed toward the Promised Land? Yes--IF Israel had met the condition of continued obedience to Him as outlined in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. (Remember that the blessings themselves were UNconditional--but God was free to attach conditions as to WHEN He would give them.)
But for disobedience, God promised terrible punishments. Sadly, this is what happened repeatedly. Notice what God said to these people who refused to live by His law: "And after all this, IF you do NOT obey Me, then I will punish you SEVEN TIMES MORE for your sins" (Lev. 26:18). The phrase "seven times more" is translated from the Hebrew words, sheba', simply meaning "seven," and yacaph, meaning "to add, increase, do again" (Enhanced Strong's Lexicon, 1992). The sense conveyed is that of "multiplied times seven" or "sevenfold"-here meaning seven times greater intensity of punishment. God then lists some of these increased punishments (which, as we will later see, are dual-applying to both ancient and end-time Israel). And what if they still wouldn't obey? "Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you SEVEN TIMES MORE PLAGUES, according to your sins" (v. 21). The plagues upon them would be increased seven times yet again!
Yet, despite the terrible punishment God brought on the Israelites, they still failed to heed and obey Him. What did the Eternal say would happen in this case? "And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet SEVEN TIMES for your sins" (vv. 23-24). There is something very important to notice here! The word "more" does not occur after "seven times" as it did above. This is not, then, talking about a sevenfold increase in intensity as before.
The word sheba' ("seven") can also refer to duration, continuation or repetition of an action over some period of time. In Psalm 119:164 and Proverbs 24:16, "seven times" (Heb. sheba') refers to something being repeated seven times. The same is true of the "seven times" of Leviticus 26:24. It is talking about a specific punishment repeated seven times. As it is a repeated punishment, each episode must be of equal duration. Thus, we are talking about seven successive time periods making up one long period of punishment.
Has God ever used "seven times" to correctively punish someone else? In fact, He has-King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon! God, wanting to humble this arrogant world ruler, said that the king would be reduced to eating grass with the cattle for a period of time: "And SEVEN TIMES shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men" (Dan. 4:32). For seven literal years, Nebuchadnezzar was out of his mind, grazing with the oxen. So a biblical "time" equals a year.
We must be careful here though. A "time" is not a 365-day solar year. In the ancient past, a year was considered to be 360 days, based on twelve 30-day months. To demonstrate, the Great Flood of Noah's era was exactly five months--equal to 150 days (Gen. 7:11, 24; 8:4). Thus, each month was exactly 30 days-and 12 months would have been 360 days!
Do we see biblical "times" specifically referring to 360-day years in the Bible? Yes! Revelation 12:14 mentions "a time and times and half a time." A "time" would be a 360-day year. "Times" implies the smallest plural, since it is unspecified. Therefore it refers to TWO years of 360 days each. "Half a time," then, is 180 days. Adding these figures together, we get 360 + (2 x 360) + 180 = 1,260 days (3.5 years, corresponding to 42 months of 30 days each in Revelation 13:5).
A well-known principle among students of Bible prophecy is that "days" can sometimes represent years! That is certainly the case when referring to the Israelites' punishment. This "day-for-a-year principle" was established with them early on.
For their disobedience and lack of faith in failing to enter the Promised Land when God first told them to, He punished them by DELAYING or WITHHOLDING their possession of the land for a definite period of time. Notice: "According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection" (Num. 14:34).
Centuries later, the Prophet Ezekiel was told by God to act out an imaginary siege against Israel by lying on his left side for 390 days-and against Judah, by lying on his other side for 40 days. God told Ezekiel, "I have laid on you a day for each year" (Ezek. 4:6). Thus, a day for an individual here represents an entire year for a nation.
With this principle clearly in mind, we can now return to Leviticus 26 and discover what the "seven times" in verse 24 refer to. God was speaking here of seven prophetic "times" or years with 360 days each. Therefore, 7 x 360 days = 2,520 days. Using the day-for-a-year principle, each DAY here represents a YEAR of national punishment-a DELAY in the promised blessings (as in Numbers 14:34). This gives us 2,520 YEARS that the birthright blessings would be WITHHELD!
At the END of 2,520 years, the blessings would finally be bestowed upon Ephraim and Manasseh. How do we know that? The very fact of withholding something for a specific time means that it will no longer be withheld after that time. Does that mean that the Israelites would be righteous or somehow deserving of the birthright at the end of the 2,520 years? No! They would NOT be. In fact, they would still be without the important laws of God, like the Sabbath, which would identify them as God's people if obeyed. Still ignorant of these laws, the Israelites would not know their own identity and, thus, the true reason WHY they were being so greatly blessed.
Why, then, would these blessings come at that time? Because they HAD to in order to fulfill God's promises and prophecies regarding Israel. Since He had nowhere obliged Himself to give the blessings to any particular generation except "in the last days" (Gen. 49:1), He did not violate His promise by offering them conditionally to ancient Israel. However, since ancient Israel did not meet God's conditions, the blessings would have to wait 2,520 years to be given unconditionally.
When would the 2,520 years start? We see that in the next verse of Leviticus 26: "And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of My covenant... and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy" (v. 25). This terrible consequence came to pass with the Assyrian captivity of Israel in the late 700s B.C.
As we will see in a later chapter, if we count 2,520 years from almost any significant starting point around the time of Israel's captivity, we arrive at a corresponding, significant event in the late 1700s A.D. That should certainly help us to identify modern Israel!
Remember that God had told Jacob this long before: "You shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south" (Gen. 28:14). And of Joseph's descendants, Jacob had prophesied, "His branches run over the wall" (49:22)--i.e. they would colonize beyond their national boundaries. This colonial spirit is explained later in Isaiah 49. God, speaking of the future reign of Jesus Christ over all nations, says to Israel, "The children you will have, AFTER you have lost the others [in global catastrophes soon to strike at the end of this age], will say AGAIN in your ears, 'The place is TOO SMALL for me; give me a place where I may dwell'" (v. 20).
Notice this! Some time after being regathered to the Promised Land, Israel's burgeoning populace in the World Ahead will express a need for new territories in which to expand. Yet this event is described as happening AGAIN--i.e. it is the repeat of a prior episode. When did the Israelites say this the first time? Certainly not while they still lived in the Holy Land. It must have been later--when their settlement in the "Isles" became too cramped.
We now have all the information we need to identify modern "Israel." Which "nation and a company of nations" began their rise to prominence in the late 1700s, later sitting as "chief of the nations" and possessing greater national wealth than any other political entities in human history? Which peoples have come from the "islands" which are "in the sea" far to the northwest of Jerusalem--who, finding these islands "too small," had to branch out and colonize all over the world? Who has possessed the vital sea gates of the world and, for centuries now, has "ruled the waves"? Is the answer not right here before us? Surely there can be NO mistaking this description!
Notice the map below. If we extend a line due northwest of Jerusalem, it crosses the European continent, comes to the sea and then reaches "the isles afar off." Which isles are these? The British Isles! As we will see more closely later, the great single nation that emerged from there--Manasseh--is the United States of America. And the "company of nations"--Ephraim--is clearly the United Kingdom of Great Britain along with the other British-descended nations of the Commonwealth, e.g. Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Amazing! The Puritan founders of America were more right than they knew! There can be no question, now, that when God's holy Word refers to Ephraim and Manasseh in prophecy, it means the English-speaking peoples. There are, however, some questions remaining. Has God simply transferred the names and blessings of His covenant people to different peoples--our peoples? Or, as incredible as it sounds, are our Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples the true physical descendants of the actual tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh that were lost with the other northern tribes of Israel? For that to be so, the footsteps of the Lost Ten Tribes must lead to northwestern Europe. But do they? And if so, can we trace them?
Early Israelite Migrations
Before we try to find where the lost Israelites went after their captivity, we should examine where some of the early Israelites were going long before the Assyrian Empire was even in existence--much less a threat.
The historian C.W. Muller noted that, "Hecataeus [of Abdera, Greek historian, 4th century B.C.]... tells us that the Egyptians, formerly being troubled by calamities [the Ten Plagues at the time of the Exodus] in order that the divine wrath might be averted, expelled all the [Israelite] aliens gathered together in Egypt. Of these, some, under their leaders Danuss and Cadmus, migrated into Greece; others into other regions, the greater part into Syria [Canaan]. Their leader is said to have been Moses, a man renowned for wisdom and courage, founder and legislator of the state" (Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, vol. 2, p. 385).
Diodorus of Sicily (Greek historian, 1st century B.C.) writes, "They say also that those who set forth with Danaus, likewise from Egypt, settled what is practically the oldest city of Greece, Argos, and that the nations of the Colchi in Pontus and that of the Jews, which lies between Arabia and Syria, were founded as COLONIES by certain emigrants from their country; and this is the reason why it is a long-established institution among these two peoples to circumcise their male children... the custom having been brought over from Egypt" (bk. 1, sec. 23, 1-5). Circumcision was the sign of the Abrahamic covenant that God made in Genesis 17.
In recent times, the well-known historical linguist, Dr. Cyrus H. Gordon, has also shown connections between the early Greeks and the Hebrews (Common Background of Greek and Hebrew Civilizations, New York, Norton, 1966). So, too, has Professor Allen H. Jones (Bronze Age Civilization--The Philistines and the Danites). He traces the Danaans, a name that the famed Greek poet Homer often used for all Greeks, back to the Israelite tribe of Dan ("Danaans and Danites--Were the Hebrews Greek?," Biblical Archaeology Review, June 1976).
Other historians have drawn the same conclusion--that the Danites of Israel and the Danaans or Danoi, an ancient people of southern Greece, were one and the same. A well-known 19th century ethnologist, Dr. Robert G. Latham, definitely believed the Greek Danaans were descendants of the tribe of Dan: "Neither do I think that the eponymous [ancestral name] of the [Greek] Danai was other than that of the Israelite tribe of Dan; only we are so used to confining ourselves to the soil of Palestine in our consideration of the history of the Israelites" (Ethnology of Europe, p. 137). "Yet," Dr. Latham concludes, "with Danai [of Greece] and the tribe of Dan this is the case, and no one connects them." He then mentions that the Danites of Palestine must have had close connections with the peoples of southern Greece.
A book entitled Hellenosemitica (1965) goes to great lengths to show that the Greek "Hellenes" and the Israelite "Semites" were closely related. This book mentions two branches of the Danites ("Danunians" and "Danaans"), and shows that these people once occupied the island of Cyprus. It also mentions the Cyprian "tradition of the Danaan migration from the eastern Mediterranean" (pp. 14, 79). That was the very same area which was assigned to the tribe of Dan when Joshua led the 12 tribes of Israel into the Promised Land!
"And already Hecataeus of Abdera represented both the Jewish Exodus and the Greek migration of Danaos and Cadmus as episodes of one and the same event.... Thence the assertion... that the Spartans (whose kings... claimed descent from Danaos) are brothers of the Jews and descend from Abraham's kindred" (p. 98).
This may be surprising. Nevertheless, it is borne out in one historical source after another. According to Josephus, the Lacedemonians (Spartans of southern Greece) were Danites and, therefore, closely related to the Jews. He relates the incredible contents of a letter from Sparta to Judah: "Areus king of the Lacedemonians, to Onias [Jewish High Priest], sendeth greeting; we have met with a certain writing, whereby we have discovered that both the Jews and the Lacedemonians are of one stock, and are derived from the kindred of Abraham.
"It is but just, therefore, that you, who are our brethren, should send to us about any of your concerns as you please. We will also do the same thing, and esteem your concerns as our own: and will look upon our concerns as in common with yours. Demoteles, who brings you this letter, will bring your answer back to us. This letter is foursquare: and the seal is an eagle, with a dragon [snake or serpent] in its claws" (bk. 12, chap. 4, sec. 10, pp. 296-297).
This seal is revealing because the tribal emblem or ensign of the people of Dan included the image of a "snake" ("Flag," The Jewish Encyclopaedia, p. 405). This symbolism was derived from what Jacob had foretold: "Dan shall be a serpent by the way, a viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels so that its rider shall fall backward" (Gen. 49:17). Thus the emblem traditionally associated with Dan is an "adder biting horse heels" (Thomas Fuller, Pisgah Sight of Palestine). However, Aben Ezra, a learned Jewish scholar of the 1600s, said that the emblem of Dan was an "eagle with a dragon in its claws."
Another Jewish High Priest, Jonathan--somewhat later than Onias--wrote the Spartans "concerning the kindred that was between US and YOU... because we were well satisfied about it from the sacred writings.... It is a long time since this relation of ours to you hath been renewed, and when we, upon holy and festival days, offer sacrifices to God, we pray to Him for your preservation and victory" (Josephus, bk. 13, chap. 5, sec. 1, p. 318).
This kinship seems pretty well established. Stephanus Byzantium also wrote that historians Alexander Polyhistor and Claudius Jolaus both affirmed a direct kinship between the ancient Spartans and the Jews (Bryant, Ancient Mythology, vol. 5, pp. 51-52, 60).
And, for biblical support to all of this, the Prophet Ezekiel mentions "Dan also and Javan going to and fro [as mariners] occupied in thy fairs" (Ezek. 27:19 KJV). So we see a close relationship between Dan and Javan (or Yavan)--mentioned in the Table of Nations (Gen. 10) as a son of Japheth. It is common knowledge among biblical historians that "Javan was regarded as the representative of the Greek race" (Smith's Bible Dictionary). NOTE: Though they were in close proximity, we must be careful not to confuse the Danites with the true Greeks descended from Javan. So we see that both the Bible and secular history show that some of the Danites settled among the Greeks.
In a future publication, we will show that some of Judah's descendants, through his grandson "Darda" (1 Chron. 2:6; 1 Kings 4:31), established themselves in Dardania, the region of ancient Troy (northwestern Asia Minor). In fact, the Dardanelles were named after them!
The Danaans of Greece, along with many more from the Promised Land, were not content to settle down for long. Many would emigrate overland while many others would travel in ships. According to the Bible, some of the people of Dan early took to the sea. They were the first tribe mentioned as becoming mariners. How did this come about?
When the Twelve Tribes of Israel actually took possession of the Promised Land (c. 1406 B.C.), the tribe of Dan was allotted its tribal inheritance in the southwestern area of that land. Dan was situated west-northwest of the tribe of Judah; its territory extended westward to the Mediterranean Sea, and included the busy port city of Joppa, next to modern Tel Aviv (Josh. 19:40-48).
The Bible here notes an important characteristic of the Danites when they occupied a place: "The children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem and took it; and they struck it with the edge of the sword, took possession of it, and dwelt in it. They called Leshem, DAN, after the name of Dan their father" (v. 47).
But the geographic location of the Danites' inheritance made it vulnerable to pressure from invading armies whose chariots were effective, lethal weapons against the Israelite infantry on the flat, coastal plain (cf. Judges 1:34). So the Danites decided to look north for new territory: "Then they went up and encamped in Kirjath Jearim in Judah. Therefore they call that place Mahaneh DAN to this day" (Judges 18:12). This is the second instance where we learn that the people of the tribe of Dan had a regular habit of naming places after their ancestral father, Dan.
"So they [the Danites]... went to Laish, to a people quiet and secure; and they struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire.... So they rebuilt the city and dwelt there. And they called the name of the city DAN, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel" (vv. 27-29).
This northern city of Dan (formerly Laish) was less than 30 miles inland from the ancient Canaanite port city of Tyre. Thus, the Danites must have had frequent contact with its inhabitants--the Phoenicians, a people famed for trade and navigation (Ezek. 27). They built the great cities of Tyre and Sidon (on the modern Lebanese coast) and, as they spread abroad, far-flung outposts like Carthage (in what is now Tunisia in North Africa).
In the early 1200s B.C., in a song commemorating a great Israelite military victory, the Judge Deborah lamented that, during the battle, the men of "Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan [River], and [asked] why did Dan remain on ships?" (Judges 5:17). The Danites were so preoccupied with sea trade that they chose to remain in their ships rather than fight alongside their brethren. So, even before that time, some of the Danites were already engaged in seafaring activities.
"The Ships of Tarshish"
Later, King David and Hiram, the king of Tyre, established a national friendship between Israel and Phoenicia. Then, under Solomon, the relationship grew even more. Notice what happened in those days: "King Solomon also built a fleet of ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom. Then Hiram sent ["him ships by the hand of his servants"--2 Chron. 8:18--and] his servants with the fleet, seamen who knew the sea, to work with the servants of Solomon. And they went to Ophir [possibly India, South Africa or America], and acquired four hundred and twenty talents of gold from there, and brought it to King Solomon" (1 Kings 9:26-28).
During the reign of Solomon and subsequent kings, it is more than likely that a number of Israelite colonists left Israel for other coastlands--just as Phoenician colonists emigrated from their homeland. Where did the Phoenicians colonize? We have already mentioned Carthage in North Africa. They also settled a number of Mediterranean islands, the Ionian coast of southern Italy and also southern Spain. These were places the descendants of Javan--the Greeks--were already settling. So why did the Phoenicians go to these places? Principally for trade, of course.
The name of Javan's son, Tarshish (Gen. 10:4), can be found in the famous ancient port of southern Spain, Tartessus--the "Tarshish" of Solomon's day. Yet the great "ships of Tarshish," mentioned numerous times in the Old Testament, primarily referred to huge, oceangoing Phoenician and Israelite vessels that would come to Palestine from that far western port. According to 1 Kings 10:22, Solomon "had a fleet of ships of Tarshish at sea with the fleet of Hiram. Once every three years the fleet of ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks" (NRSV, cf. 2 Chron. 9:21).
Undoubtedly, the Danites were foremost among the Israelites sailing these vessels. Not only had the coastal Danites been sailing for some time, but even the inland Danites in the north--by virtue of their close contact with Tyre--had probably been sailing with the Phoenicians and their coastal Danite kinsmen who docked there.
Moses had prophesied, "Dan is a lion's whelp; he shall leap from Bashan" (Deut. 33:22). Bashan was the location of the inland Danites! Therefore, a great many of them must have "leapt" from inland Palestine--as probably the majority would later, at the time of the Assyrian invasions of Israel--following their southern Danite brothers to the far-off Mediterranean colonies of the Greeks and Phoenicians.
But was that the extent of their journeys? By no means! The Phoenicians traveled through the Pillars of Hercules (Strait of Gibraltar) and into the Atlantic Ocean. Herodotus, the Greek "father of history," also attributes the circumnavigation of Africa to them. Furthermore, peacocks, which were brought back by the ships of Tarshish, are native only to Southeast Asia and the East Indies. And it is a widely accepted fact that Phoenician traders sailed north from Spain, establishing commerce links with Ireland and Britain. It should be no surprise, then, to realize that the Danites and other Israelites probably did the same thing--even settling in those beautiful islands.
"Lost Tribes... in Ireland"?
All early histories of Ireland mention a people coming there from Greece called the Tuatha de Danaan. From The Annals of Ireland, we read, "The Dan'ans were a highly civilized people, well skilled in architecture and other arts from their long residence in Greece, and their intercourse with the Phoenicians. Their first appearance in Ireland was 1200 B.C., or 85 years after the great victory of Deborah." It seems pretty clear who we're talking about here.
Irish historian Thomas Moore says that one of the earliest resident peoples of Ireland--the Firbolgs--were dispossessed by the Tuatha de Danaan, "who after sojourning for some time in Greece... proceeded from thence to Denmark and Norway" (History of Ireland, vol. 1, p. 59).
Who were the Tuatha de Danaan who migrated up from Greece into Denmark and Norway and then over to Ireland? The word tuath simply means "tribe"--"Tuath... Irish history... A 'TRIBE' or 'people' in Ireland" (New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, vol. 10, pt. 1, p. 441). So they were the tribe of Danaan from Greece. When we consider that the Danaans or Danoi of Greece were Danites of Israel, it is simple logic to conclude that the Tuatha de Danaan was none other than the Israelite tribe of Dan!
Another Irish historian, Geoffrey Keating, mentions that "the Danaans were a people of great learning and wealth; they left Greece after a battle with the Assyrians and went to Ireland; and also to Danmark, and called it 'DAN-mares,' Dan's country" (History of Ireland, vol. 1, pp. 195-199). Evidently, when the Assyrians began to invade Israel in the eighth century B.C., the Danites--not only of the Promised Land, but from Greece as well--must have struck out in their ships to find and dwell with the vanguard of those Israelites who had already been settling Ireland for some time.
Do we have further evidence of the tribe of Dan settling in Northwest Europe and the British Isles? We certainly do! Remember that the Danites had a regular habit of naming places after their ancient ancestor, Dan. Notice this interesting fact: "According to late Danish tradition... Jutland [the mainland of Denmark] was acquired by DAN, the... ancestor of the DANES" from whom their name derives ("Denmark," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., vol. 8). As the Danites migrated in hopes of finding a secure homeland, they continued their habit of naming places after their ancestral father, Dan!
J.P. Green's Literal Translation of the Bible, which accompanies his Interlinear Bible, renders Genesis 49:17 as, "Let Dan be a serpent on the way." The word "way" can also be "road," "path," "journey" or "direction" (Logos Software, Enhanced Strong's Lexicon). As a snake leaves a visible trail or path behind it, so would the tribe of Dan leave a trail across those lands they journeyed through--by simply following their old habit of naming places after their ancestor. Since Hebrew was written with only consonants and no vowels, Dan would be spelled "Dn"--and any or no vowel could occur between the two consonants (e.g. Dn, Dan, Deen, Din, Don, Dun, etc.).
By Dan's "serpent trail," we can follow the Danites' ancient travels. In addition to their Mediterranean and Atlantic voyages, Danite mariners almost certainly sailed into the Black Sea and up the major rivers of Europe. Moving east to west along the north shore of the Black Sea, we pass by the mouths of the following rivers: Don, Donets, Dnieper, Dniester and Danube. If we follow the Danube River upstream, it takes us into the very heart of Europe, where we find the Rhine and Rhone Rivers--known in Roman times respectively as the Eridanus and Rhodanus Rivers.
Across northern Europe we find: Danzig in Poland; Sweden (Svea-Dan); Odense in Denmark (Dan's Land); Dunkirk and Dinan in France. If you then cross the English Channel to the British Isles, you will find many dozens of cities, towns or rivers containing the name "Dan"--for example in Scotland we notice Dundee, Dunraven, Aberdeen, Duncansby Head and the Don River. But it is in Ireland where such place names are most prominent: Dun Laoghaire, the Dunkellin River, Dundalk, Dans-Laugh, Dan-Sower, Dungarvan, Dundrum, Dunglow, Dingle Bay, Donegal Bay and Dunmore Head. (It is certainly no coincidence that the Irish Gaelic word Dun or Dunn means "Judge," just as Dan does in Hebrew!)
Dan's migrations, then, can be traced. But that doesn't help us in locating the other Israelite tribes does it? After all, hadn't most of the Danites escaped the Assyrian conquest and deportations (migrating into Europe) while the rest of the northern tribes of Israel were dragged away captive to northern Mesopotamia and the Medo-Persian area? Yes, but Jacob prophesied of the last days, "Dan [Heb. "Judge"] shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel" (v. 16). Dan's descendants could not do this very well if they were not located among the other tribes.
So, though the Danites may have parted company with the rest of Israel at the time of the Assyrian captivity, they would all rejoin each other later. Therefore, the proclivity of the Danites to name places by the Hebrew word for "Judge," after their father, was a remarkable CLUE which God planted within their very tribal nature to help us today in searching out ALL of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel which would later follow the Danite migrations. What incredibly detailed planning the Almighty God has done!
Once we understand the racial connection between the Tuatha de Danaan of Ireland and the ancient tribe of Dan, it is easy to see why the song, "O, Danny Boy" is so popular in southern Ireland! With this biblical and historical background, we can also understand why former New York City Mayor Ed Koch made a particular comment. "It was St. Patrick's Day in America," reported a 1987 U.S. News & World Report about the March 17 holiday commonly celebrated by Irish-Americans. "For one day everyone was Irish. Cardinal John O'Connor [of Irish descent] had a warm embrace for [Jewish] Mayor Ed Koch, who explained his presence at the head of the grand parade, 'It's part of my roots. The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel we [Jews] believe ended up in Ireland'" (Mar. 30, p. 7)!
As we've seen, history reveals that at least some early Israelites did end up in the Emerald Isle! But what about the rest of the tribes? Just where did they go after their Assyrian captivity ended? Can we find out anything from Christ and the commission He gave to His apostles?
"The Lost Sheep of the House of Israel"
Christ mentioned "OTHER sheep I have which are not of this fold [of Jews living in Judea]; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be ONE flock and one Shepherd" (John 10:16). The "house of Israel" is repeatedly referred to in the Old Testament as God's SHEEP, the sheep of His pasture (Jer. 23:1-8; Ezek. 34:1-31).
So Christ was clearly referring to the other tribes of Israel. He commissioned His twelve apostles to preach the Gospel to them: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans [who sometimes claimed, falsely, to be Israelites]. But go rather to the LOST SHEEP of the HOUSE OF ISRAEL" (Matt. 10:5-6; cf. 15:24)!
Obviously, Christ knew the whereabouts of the Ten Lost Tribes and would have made certain His apostles also knew. Why do we hear absolutely nothing about Peter and the other apostles still being in Jerusalem and Judea during the years immediately preceding the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.?
The twelve apostles knew the Jews had not been totally "lost." So after taking the Gospel to the Jews in Judea, and after preaching to the Jewish communities in the big cities of the Near East, Greece and North Africa, Peter and the apostles then took Christ's Gospel to the dispersed "lost sheep of the house of Israel." Some of these dispersed Israelites were then living around the Black Sea (see box: "The 'Diaspora'"). But by the first century A.D., many of the Ten Lost Tribes had already left Western Asia and had migrated elsewhere. But to where?
Scotland's most treasured document, the Declaration of Arbroath (also called the Scottish Declaration of Independence), was drawn up in 1320 A.D. In it, King Robert the Bruce (1306-1329)--recently popularized in the 1995 box-office hit movie, Braveheart--and his Scottish nobles solemnly appealed to Pope John XXII to persuade the King of England (Edward II) to allow the Scots to live in peace, unmolested by their English tormentors.
The declaration states that the Scots "journeyed from Greater Scythia [present-day southern Russia] by way of the Pillars of Hercules [Gibraltar], and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain.... Thence they came [c. 250 B.C.], twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today" (para. 2). Why did the Scots solemnly preserve, as an important milestone in their nation's history, this reference to the crossing of the Red Sea?
The declaration reminds the pope how the Scots received Christianity: "Nor would He [Christ] have them confirmed in that faith by merely anyone but by the most gentle Saint ANDREW, the Blessed Peter's brother" (para. 4). So the Apostle Andrew obeyed Christ's command to go "to the lost sheep of the house of Israel"--some of whom then lived in Scotland!
The Story of Joseph of Arimathea
Many Britons believe that Joseph of Arimathea--the important rich man in Judea who buried Christ and had secretly been His disciple (Matt. 27:57; Mark 15:43; John 19:38)--once lived in what is now Glastonbury, England, using that village as his home base from which to preach the Gospel to many of the British people. "Joseph, Saint, Of Arimathea (fl. c. A.D. 30), a Jew who undertook the burial of Jesus and whom later legend connected with the Holy Grail of Glastonbury.... A mid-thirteenth century interpolation... by William of Malmesbury relates that Joseph went to Glastonbury in England as head of 12 missionaries sent thither by the Apostle Philip" ("Joseph, Saint," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1970).
Notice how James, the Lord's half-brother, addressed his epistle around A.D. 60: "James, a servant of God and of... Jesus Christ, to the TWELVE TRIBES [not just the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin] which are scattered abroad [Gk. diaspora, "dispersed"]" (1:1). James did not address his epistle to just the Jews. Rather, he addressed his inspired letter to ALL the Israelites-"to the TWELVE TRIBES in the Dispersion" (same verse, NRSV and Moffatt). The English translation of the original Aramaic text is as follows: "James... to the twelve tribes which are scattered among the Gentiles." The Goodspeed Bible renders this verse in a similar way: "James... to the twelve tribes that are scattered over the world."
The dispersed Jews are only part of the diaspora-only a small portion of the Israelite peoples whom God said He would disperse throughout all nations. Of course the diaspora would not be of the same nature for the Jews as for the other Israelites. The Jews were widely dispersed but never "lost," whereas the Ten Tribes of Israel were both dispersed and later "lost" to the world in general!
Where were these Israelites of all Twelve Tribes--including the Ten Lost Tribes--living in New Testament times? The Apostle Peter gives us part of the answer to that question: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims ["strangers" KJV] of the Dispersion [which were then] in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father" (1 Pet. 1:1-2). These areas of dispersed Jews and Israelites were in what is today northern Turkey-showing a westward migration. As we will see in the next chapter, there is abundant historical evidence to prove that many of the Ten Lost Tribes migrated even beyond this point in the centuries preceding Christ; but some of them still lingered here on the southern shores of the Black Sea in the days of Christ and His apostles. This area was immediately west of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea--along the land route from western Asia into Europe.
Tradition maintains that Joseph's oldest brother was the father of Mary, Jesus' mother. If true, that would make him Christ's great uncle. And a common saying in the English countryside is that "Joseph was a tin man." Tin mining was big in early Britain. In fact, the British Isles were known in ancient times as the Cassiterides ("tin islands").
And, through Phoenician-established commerce links, the tin trade between Britain and the Eastern Mediterranean world was quite substantial. Thus, Joseph was probably involved in tin trade between the British Isles and the Near East. In going to Glastonbury in Somerset, he may have been returning to a familiar place, where he could effectively preach the Gospel.
Collier's Encyclopedia says, "Glastonbury Abbey, a ruined abbey in Somersetshire, about 6 miles south of Wells, England. Tradition has it that it was here that Joseph of Arimathea established the first Christian Church in England" (vol. 9, 1959, p. 120). "According to the legends... the first church of Glastonbury was a little wattled building erected by Joseph of Arimathea as the leader of the twelve apostles [i.e. the 12 "missionaries" mentioned above] sent over to Britain from Gaul by St. Philip" ("Glastonbury," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., vol. 12).
Notice that Philip preached the Gospel to the lost Israelites then living in Gaul (modern France and Belgium)! Some Britons also believe that Peter himself took the Gospel to England.
Can these "legends" be believed? Nearly every English-language encyclopedia contains at least one article attesting to these strong British traditions. There are often kernels of truth in many legends; of course, not every detail of a persistent legend is necessarily true.
But consider this: Britain was an integrated part of the Roman Empire in the first century A.D. To move from Judea, an eastern province of the Empire, to a western location would be just as feasible as moving from New York to California in the 1800s! "Mediterranean traders had been visiting the country from at least as early as the fourth century B.C.... There was a good deal of cross-channel trade and migration in the centuries before the Roman conquest" (T.W. Potter, Roman Britain, British Museum Publications Ltd., 1983, p. 5).
So it seems clear that at least some of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel in the days of Christ and His apostles were in Europe--some having gone even as far as the British Isles. How did they get there? The most widespread people in Europe at this time were the Celts. In fact, the areas of Britain, Ireland, Gaul and even the southern Black Sea region--the areas in which we just located some people from the Ten Tribes--were ALL Celtic at the time.
But surely there couldn't have been very many Israelites among the Celts, could there? After all, the Celts were a European, not Middle Eastern, people, right? Besides that, most of the Celts were later overrun by Germans. Hasn't history pretty well established that Britain and the other Northwest European countries are Germanic nations? English is even a Germanic language! Surely someone couldn't seriously think that some scattered Israelites lost amid the great mass of Celtic and Germanic peoples could possibly constitute the greater part of the Ten Lost Tribes.
America seems an even more unlikely candidate. After all, isn't it just one big "melting pot" of many peoples? In the next chapter, we will examine the roots of the major ethnic groups which make up America and Britain showing where they came from. And you may be very surprised at what you learn!
America & Britain in Prophecy:
Anglo-American Ethnic Roots
hat are the ancestral roots of the British and American peoples? Is America just a blend of all manner of ethnicities--a "mongrel nation" as Adolph Hitler labeled it? And what about the Britons? Aren't they primarily a Germanic people?
Who are these peoples really? These are some of the fascinating questions we
will be tackling in this chapter.
Is America a "Melting Pot"?
In his 1976 book, Destination America, Maldwyn A. Jones says that most Americans have preferred to mix culturally, socially and religiously with those of their own ethnic background: "They seldom intermarried and it was soon clear that intermingling, far from producing social unity, generated ethnic discord which could erupt into open violence. Insofar as the melting pot functioned at all, it did so slowly and imperfectly" ("Myth of the Melting Pot," p. 145). In an interesting Los Angeles Times article, Ernest W. Lefever (a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.) reported, "Most Americans seem to have given up the dream of a serene melting pot--as both unrealistic and perhaps a bit un-American. Many of us have settled for a less demanding metaphor of America as a bountiful and variegated salad bowl" ("America Is Being Ripped Apart," Aug. 8, 1993).
Of what ethnicity are most
Americans? A July 7, 1986, article in U.S. News & World Report
revealed that, based on 1980 census figures, nearly 80 percent of Americans
polled claimed descent from Northwest Europe: "The government found
out that there were 134 different ethnicities living in the United States. The
largest number--nearly 50 million, or 22 percent of the population [at the
time]--claimed English lineage. Americans of German ancestry are
almost as numerous. Just behind them are people with Irish ancestors."
According to that article, here are the actual figures given in the 1980 census: English, 49.6 million; German, 49.2 million; Irish, 40.2 million; French, 12.9 million; Scottish, 10 million; Dutch, 6.3 million; Swedish, 4.3 million; Norwegian, 3.5 million; Welsh, 1.7 million; Danish, 1.5 million. This adds up to a total of 179.2 million U.S. citizens who claimed descent from the peoples of Northwest Europe.
Americans who are not of Northwest European ancestry make up only about one quarter of the total U.S. population. Latest population figures reveal that blacks constitute only 11.9 percent of the American populace while Hispanics make up only 9.5 percent (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1995 Book of the Year, p. 741).
A Whole Nation "Sifted"
Remember from chapter two that God said He would "SIFT the house of ISRAEL among all nations, as grain is sifted in a SIEVE; yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground" (Amos 9:9). An interesting "parallel" has occurred in American history.
For years, immigrants to the U.S. were greeted by the Statue of Liberty on their way to America's chief port of entry, Ellis Island. Notice what Maldwin Jones says: "Ellis Island was a gigantic SIEVE, whose sole function was to keep out undesirables.... [and serve as a gateway] to America for sixteen million immigrants" (pp. 54, 64).
It is interesting to note that U.S. immigration laws and policies--during much of America's critical, formative years and up until the middle of the 20th century--deliberately favored the peoples of Northwest Europe while, at the same time, limiting white peoples from southern or eastern Europe. This idea of a "sieve" has circulated since the early American settlements--and God was seen as the One doing the sifting: "The Puritan founders of New England never doubted that they were, in a quite special way, God's chosen people. One of their leaders spoke of God's having 'SIFTED a whole nation' in order to find the instruments which were to work out His purposes in the new world" (p. 18).
American President Calvin Coolidge echoed this sentiment in 1923: "It has often been said God sifted the nations that He might send choice grain into the wilderness [of America]. Who can fail to see in it the hand of destiny? Who can doubt that it [the U.S.] has been guided by the hand of God?"
John Hay, the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, made this incisive statement in 1787: "Providence [had] been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people--a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs." Yes, the peoples who formed the 13 original British colonies were overwhelmingly of British stock and spoke the "mother tongue," English.
As we learned in the last chapter, the British Isles--and most of continental Europe--were populated in ancient times by the Celts. However, Great Britain was eventually overrun by peoples from the east known as the Angles and Saxons. In time, the Anglo-Saxons would come to dominate all the countries which made up the British Isles--the Angles even giving their name to England (Angland). The Celts were pushed west. Yet, even today, a substantial portion of the British population remains Celtic.
Who Were the Celts?
Who were the Celtic peoples? The Britannica states, "Celt... the generic name of an ancient people, the bulk of whom inhabited the central and western parts of Europe" ("Celt," 11th ed., vol. 5). World Book Encyclopedia says, "The first Celts were a mixed people. They tended to be fair-haired and light-skinned, but some had darker-colored hair and complexion [brunets]. They were taller than many of their neighbors, but not so tall as the Norsemen" ("Celts," vol. 3).
The same entry continues, "Little is known of the Celts until about 500 B.C. Then they were found mainly in southwestern Germany, but later, the Celts ranged east, west, and south. They soon spread over most of western Europe. In the British Isles, they were divided into two branches. One branch, which included the Irish, the Manx, and the Highland Scots, spoke Goidelic [Gaelic]. The other branch to which the Welsh [Cymry], the Cornish [of Cornwall, England], and the Bretons [of Brittany, France] belonged, spoke Brythonic. The Celts in Europe developed the Gaulish language."
History clearly shows that, eventually, few of the Celts remained east of the Rhine River. In the days of Julius Caesar (1st century B.C.), the Celtic lands included northern Italy, northeastern Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, western Germany and Switzerland. Also, a small group of Gauls (Celts or "Galatians") settled in central Asia Minor and was still there in the first century A.D. As a wide-ranging, on-the-move people, the Celts were united in their languages, dress and culture--and in their pagan religion (druidism). Caesar wrote about the Celts in his Gallic Wars. But his is not the definitive history to which we will look for the ancient origins of these peoples. For that, we must turn elsewhere.
Of the many thousands of books dealing with ancient history, none has presented ancient British origins in as clear and accurate a light as the monumental, multi-volume work, The History of the Anglo-Saxons from the Earliest Period to the Norman Conquest by the well-respected English historiographer, Sharon Turner (1768-1842). He says, "Europe... has been peopled by three great streams of population from the East, which have followed each other, at intervals so distinct, as to possess languages clearly separable from each other. The earliest of these... comprised the Cimmerian and Celtic race. The second consisted of the Scythian, Gothic, and German tribes; from whom most of the modern nations of continental Europe have descended" (vol. 1, p. 3). According to Turner, the "third and most recent" ethnic group to migrate into Europe was the "Slavonian and Sarmatian nations... who have now established themselves in Poland, Bohemia, Russia, and their vicinities. It is from the first two generations of the European population [Celts and Scythians] that the ancient inhabitants of England successively descended.... The earliest of these that reached the northern and western confines of Europe, the Cimmerians and Celts, may be regarded as our first ancestors; and from the German or Gothic nations who formed, with the Scythians, the second great flood of population into Europe, our Anglo-Saxon and Norman ancestors proceeded" (pp. 4, 21).
Samuel Lysons wrote about "the Cimmerians seeming to be the same people [as] the Gauls or Celts under a different name; and it is observable that the Welsh, who are descended from the Gauls, still call themselves Cymri or Kymry" (Our British Ancestors, 1865, pp. 23, 27).
Turner mentions that the ancient Celtic and Cimmerian languages were the same. He also says "that the Kimmerioi of the Greeks were the Kimbroi of the Greeks, and the Cimbri of the Latin writers.... Diodorus Siculus expressly says, that to those who were called Kimmerioi, the appellation of Kimbron was applied in the process of time.... Plutarch, in his Life of Marius, also identifies the Kimbri with the Kimmerioi" (footnote, p. 28). Turner also noted that the Keltoi (Celts) were the same people as the Galatai, and that they, in turn, were the same as the Galli (the Gauls), and that the Keltoi were "one of the branches of the Cimmerian stock" (p. 36).
Who Were the Anglo-Saxons
According to the 1980 U.S.
Census figures previously cited, "Germans" were the second-largest
ethnic group in America after the English. Of course, if we count all peoples
of British stock (English, Scots, Irish and Welsh), we find them more than
twice as numerous as the Germans. Still, the "Germans" represent a
sizable portion of America's ethnic background. Moreover, even the English have
descended from early "Germanic" invaders of Britain. Exactly who were
Who Were the Germans?
many are confused regarding the word "German" as commonly used in
history books. Modern Germans have never referred to themselves as
"Germans." They call themselves Deutsch-and their country, Deutschland.
Spanish-speaking peoples today call Germany by the name Alemania.
There are two French words for "German." One is Allemand,
which, according to the authoritative French dictionary, Le Petit Robert,
is derived from the Latin word Alamanni, a people who were part of the
confederation of German peoples (p. 50). The other word is Germain,
from the Latin word Germanus. The French dictionary offers a possible
etymological sense (descriptive, literal meaning from root word origins) of
"born of the same father and mother" or "of the same
blood" (p. 862). When the Norman French conquered England in 1066 A.D.,
a whole host of French words entered into Anglo-Saxon-Celtic usage, which in
this case is easily seen.
Teutons or "Germans" migrated to England as Angles,
Saxons and Jutes in the decades immediately following the departure
of the Roman legionnaires from Britain around 410 A.D. In The Story of
English, a 1986 companion book to the PBS television series of the same
name, authors McCrum, Cran and MacNeil say, "The tribes which now
threatened the Celtic chiefs of Britain were essentially Germanic....
There are, Tacitus [famed Roman historian, c. 55-120 A.D.] writes, seven
tribes.... One of these seven barbarous tribes was the Angli, known to history
as the Angles, who probably inhabited the area that is now known as
Schleswig-Holstein [immediately south of Denmark on the Jutland Peninsula].... The speech of the Angli belonged to the Germanic family
of languages" (pp. 56-58).
According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Angli (Angles) definitely had a close affinity with the Saxons ("Saxons," 11th ed., vol. 24). The Story of English continues, "To this day the [cultural] gap between the English on the one hand and the Welsh, the Scots and the Irish on the other, is often huge.... To the Celts, their German conquerors (Angles, Jutes and Saxons) were all Saxons" (p. 61).
So historians are generally agreed in referring to all the major peoples who followed the Celts into Britain as "Germans." But, as we will examine shortly, they were quite different from other tribes, whose descendants today inhabit Germany. Still later, some of those so-called "Germans" who had settled in Britain migrated to America as British colonists. After the British North American colonies were founded, numerous other "Germans" left Germany and began flooding into those British colonies.
Who were the "Germanic" Saxons? Sharon Turner says, "The Saxons were a... Scythian tribe; and of the various Scythian nations which have been recorded, the Sakai, or Sacae, are the people from whom the descent of the Saxons may be inferred with the least violation of probability. Sakai-Suna or the Sons of Sakai, abbreviated into Saksun, which is the same sound as Saxon, seems a reasonable etymology of the word 'Saxon.' The Sakai, who in Latin are called Sacae, were an important branch of the Scythian nation. They were so celebrated, that the Persians called all the Scythians by the name of Sacae; and Pliny [the Elder, Roman historian, A.D. 23-79]... speaks of them as among the most distinguished people of Scythia (Pliny, lib. vi. c. 19). Strabo [Greek historian, c. 63 B.C.- 24 A.D.] places them eastward of the Caspian [Sea]" (p. 87)!
According to historian William Camden, the Saxons and the Getae (Goths) were related Scythian peoples. He writes, "But that [opinion] of the most learned German seems most probable and worthy to be embraced, which makes the Saxons descend from the Sacae, the most considerable people of Asia, and to be so called quasi Sacasones, or Sons of the Sacae, and to have gradually overspread Europe from Scythia or Sarmatia Asiatica, with the Getae, Suevi, Daci, and others. Nor is their opinion ill-founded, which brings the Saxons out of Asia" (Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 1, p. 151). Herodotus says, "For the Persians call all the Scythians Sacae" (Polymnia, bk. 7, para. 64).
English poet and historian, John Milton--author of the classic work, Paradise
Lost--wrote, "They [the Saxons] were a people thought by good writers
to be descendants of the Sacae, a kind of Scythians in the north of Asia, who
with a flood of other northern nations came into Europe, toward the declining
of the Roman Empire [c. 400s A.D.]" (History of
England, 1835, bk. 3, pp. 406-407). Scythian artifacts from many
thousands of tombs have been found all across southern Russia and as far west
Anciently, the vast, sparsely inhabited land stretching from eastern Europe far into Asia was known as "Scythia." In fact, at one time or another, the Scythian people were scattered from the Carpathian Mountains, eastward across the Steppes of southern Russia,
helpful to note that anyone who lived in the vast region of Scythia (beyond
the limits of the Greco-Roman world) was looked upon as a
"Scythian"-a term which incorrectly came to be synonymous with
"barbarian" from the perspective of Greek and Roman writers.
Actually, the Scythian tribes had a well-developed, though nomadic,
way of life. These nomads dwelled mainly in tents or wagons. They raised some
crops, but their main talent was in tending livestock: cattle, sheep, goats
and especially horses!
all the way to the Great Wall of
China! The area north of the Black Sea, however, was their main center from
about the fifth century B.C. until they migrated westward from that
region during the first centuries of the Christian Era.
The westward migration of the Scythians into Europe greatly diminished their
numbers in their Asian homeland. This enabled them to be pushed completely out
of Asia and eastern Europe by the Sarmatians--the
ancestors of the Slavs. Many modern nations of Europe can claim descent from
the Scythians: "This second stock of the European population [the
Scythians] is peculiarly interesting to us [Anglo-Saxons], because from its
branches not only our own immediate ancestors, but also those of the most
celebrated nations of modern Europe, have unquestionably descended.
"The Anglo-Saxons, lowland Scots, Normans, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, Germans, Dutch, Belgians, Lombards and Franks have all sprung from that great fountain of the human race, which we have distinguished by the terms SCYTHIAN, German, or Gothic" (Turner, pp. 82-83)! For his unparalleled work in ancient historiography, Turner is certainly to be highly respected. But is his identification of the Scythians with the Germans accurate?
Are the Anglo-Saxons True Germans?
Most true Germans are characterized by "Alpine" round skulls (see box: "Who Were the Germans?"). Yet ethnologist Madison Grant writes, "In the study of European populations the great and fundamental fact about the British Isles is the almost total absence there today of true Alpine round skulls" (p. 137).
Ripley, in The Races of Europe, says, "The most remarkable trait of the population of the British Isles is its head form; and especially the uniformity in this respect which is everywhere manifested. The prevailing type is that of the long and narrow cranium, accompanied by an oval rather than broad or round face" (p. 303). Remember that this is the same as the northern Celtic type. It is also the same as the Teutonic, Scandinavian type--the Scythian type!
In a 1915 article "Are We Cousins to the Germans?" Sir Arthur Keith wrote that "the Briton and German represent contrasted and opposite types of humanity" (The Graphic, Dec. 4, p. 720). He explained, "The radical difference in the two forms leaps to the eye. In the majority of the Briton--English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish--the hinder part of the head, the occiput, projects prominently backwards behind the line of the neck; the British head is long in comparison with its width" (p. 720).
Keith then pointed out that "in the vast majority of Germans," the back of the head is "flattened"--indicating "a profound racial difference. Even in the sixteenth century, Vesalius, who is universally recognized as the 'father of Anatomy,' regarded the flat occiput as a German characteristic.... He came, rather unwillingly, to the conclusion that the vast majority of modern German people differed from the British, Dutch, Dane and Scandinavian in head form.
"The explanation," according to Keith, "is easy. With the exodus of the Franks to France and the Anglo-Saxons to Britain in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth centuries of our era, Germany was almost denuded of her long-headed elements in her population." So the land of Germany seems to have been operating as a massive SIEVE--while the round-headed population elements were retained, the long-headed elements passed through. This is rather astounding! Could something like this have happened by chance alone? Surely there was something more at work here!
Did any more of the Scandinavian long-headed type leave? Yes--to America! Look at the entry on "Germany" in the Britannica: "There have been great oscillations in the actual emigration by sea. It first exceeded 100,000 soon after the Franco-German War (1872, 126,000), and this occurred again in the years 1880 to 1892. Germany lost during these thirteen years more than 1,700,000 inhabitants by emigration. The total number of those who sailed for the United States from 1820 to 1900 may be estimated at more than 4,500,000....
"The greater number of the more recent emigrants [to the U.S.] was from the agricultural provinces of northern Germany--West Prussia, Posen, Pomerania, Mecklenburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Hanover, and sometimes the emigration reached 1% of the total population of these provinces. In subsequent years the emigration of native Germans greatly decreased" (11th ed., vol. 11).
What is so special about northern Germany? Notice this reference from Ripley's Races of Europe: "Northwestern Germany--Hanover, Schleswig-Holstein, Westphalia--is distinctly allied to the physical type of the Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes. All the remainder of the Empire--no, not even excluding Prussia, east of the Elbe--is less Teutonic in type; until finally in the essentially Alpine broadheaded populations of Baden, Wurttemburg, and Bavaria in the south, the Teutonic race passes from view" (p. 214).
It is generally known that the northern "Low Germans" differ from the southern "High Germans." But there were differences even among the Low Germans.
Another source comments, "A separate study, in the case of Germany at least would seem to indicate that those [immigrants] who went to the U.S.A. in the 1800s were somehow different from those who stayed behind and German officials themselves remarked on such a difference. The claim for such a distinction is based on consideration of physical types, areas-of-origin within Germany, religious orientation and social outlook" (Yair Davidy, The Tribes, Russell-Davis Publishers, p. 430). It seems America's Puritan founders were indeed right in believing that God was sifting a whole nation!
It is clear, then, that the Anglo-Saxon peoples are not Germanic--at least in the modern sense of that term. Neither are the Teutonic peoples of Scandinavia and the rest of Northwest Europe who sprang from the Scythians.
These people who overran the British Isles were in many respects the same as the Celts who were already living there. Notice what Professor Huxley's Racial Origins says: "The invasion of the Saxons, the Goths, the Danes and the Normans changed the language of Britain, but added no new physical element. Therefore we should not talk anymore of Celts and Saxons, for THEY ARE ALL ONE. I never lose an opportunity of rooting up the false idea that the Celts and Saxons are different races." Winston Churchill was of the same opinion (History of the English-Speaking Peoples, vol. 1, preface).
The Celtic people are certainly not German either. The modern Germans (Deutch) represent an altogether different group of people located today in Greater Germany--i.e. Germany, Austria, western Poland, the western Czech Republic and the Rhineland of eastern France. We will learn the true identity of these people later in this brochure.
From Where Did the Celts Arise?
When did the Celts or Cimmerians begin migrating into Europe? And from where did they come? Though they have since moved on, a large Celtic populace spent a considerable amount of time in Spain. There they were known as the Celtiberri or Celtiberians--thus Spain and Portugal are located on the "Iberian Peninsula." This is quite interesting since Iberia was the name of a region between the Black and Caspian Seas, just south of the Caucasus Mountains and north of Armenia! Notice this from the multimedia encyclopedia, Microsoft Encarta '95: "Iberia, ancient name for both the Iberian Peninsula and the country lying between the Greater Caucasus and Armenia, approximately coextensive with present-day Georgia [south of Russia]" ("Iberia," Microsoft Corp. and Funk and Wagnall's Corp., 1994).
This word is also the probable origin of the name, Ireland! The name Ireland comes from Eire-land ("Eire" being what the Irish call it). Traditionally, this name came from "Erin." The Romans called it Hibernia or Ivernia. It sometimes appears as Iberon. But where did these names come from?
The late Harvard professor Barry Fell wrote, "One of the ancient names of Ireland is Ibheriu, pronounced as Iveriu, a fact that suggests that the word is derived from a still-earlier pronunciation, Iberiu. Now this is very interesting, for the Gaelic histories assert that the ancestors of the Gaels came to Ireland from Iberia, the old name of Spain. Could Iberiu be the same as Iberia, the name of the older homeland having been transferred to the younger? Many people, including some linguists, think this may well be the case" (America B.C.: Ancient Settlers in the New World, 1976, p. 43).
Could such Irish forebears in Spain have come from the area of Iberia just south of the Caucasus Mountains? The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (c. 891 A.D.), the primary source for the early history of England, says Southwest Asia was at one time the home of the Celts: "The first inhabitants [of England] were Britons [Welsh or Kymry], who came from ARMENIA, and first peopled Britain southward" (p. 21, translated by James Ingram).
Some people argue that the compilers of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle used the word "Armenia" by mistake. They cite the fact that A History of the English Church and People by Bede (673-735 A.D.), which was used as one of the sources for the Chronicle, has a similar sentence using the word "Armorica" instead--i.e. modern Brittany in northwestern France. However, those who argue in favor of this should consider that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was a monumental work overseen by MANY people. Bede was just ONE person. More than likely, it was he who made the slip by using the word "Armorica"! Samuel Lyson's history also traces the "Cimbri" to Armenia. And remember that Armenia was just south of Iberia and the Caucasus!
Observe this from the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Cimmerii... Herodotus (iv., 11-13), in his account of Scythia, regards them as the early inhabitants of South Russia (after whom the Bosporus Cimmerius q.v. and other places were named), driven by the Scyths along by the Caucasus into Asia Minor, where they maintained themselves for a century....
"Certainly it is that in the middle of the seventh century [650s] B.C., Asia Minor was ravaged by northern nomads (Herodotus iv., 12), one body of whom is called in Assyrian sources Gimirrai and is represented as coming through the Caucasus. To the north of the Euxine [Black Sea] their main body was merged in the invading Scyths. Later writers identified them with the Cimbri of Jutland [present-day Denmark], who were probably Teutonized Celts" ("Cimmerii," vol. 6, p. 368).
This is quite strange. Around the 650s B.C., 70 years after Israel's second deportation in 721, a group of Scythians--evidently southeast of the Cimmerians--were pushing some Cimmerians north through the Caucasus and some west through Asia Minor. Yet, the Cimmerians who went north through the Caucasus encountered more Scythians coming from the east! How was this possible? The answer will become clear when we later learn who the Scythians actually were.
Dr. Robert Owen says, "In leaving the Far East, they [the Cimmerians, Cimbri or Kymri] must have occupied a country south of the Caucasus, extending from the river Araxes [between the Caspian and Black Seas], to the... Sea of Azov [north of the Black Sea], where Herodotus remarks on the many places yet bearing the name of Kimmerian in his time" (The Kymry, p. 11). Owen discovered "in the nomenclature of rivers and mountains some grounds for inferring the occupation of the country east of the Euxine Sea [Black Sea] by Celts or traces of their presence, which any temporary irruption [forcible entry] in later times will never suffice to explain" (p. 12).
So we see a great deal of historical evidence that the Celtic people traveled north through the Caucasus region into eastern Europe. Dr. Owen continues, "It is not impossible that some of the Kimmerioi, who retired from their Asiatic home before the onset of the Scythians, took a northern course, which the pursuers afterwards followed... from the Sea of Azov to the shores of the Baltic" (pp. 26-27).
Thus the Cimmerians moved north, along the eastern side of the Black Sea, and were then forced westward by the advancing Scythians--who were coming around the north side of the Caspian Sea from the east.
When did this merger and struggle between the Cimmerians and Scythians occur? Dr. Edwin Guest says, "Our most trustworthy authorities agree in fixing these events in the latter part of the sixth century B.C." (Origines Celtica, vol. 1, 1883, p. 17). He thinks that historic event occurred in the late 500s B.C.--two centuries after the Israelites had been taken captive, and about a century after the Assyrian Empire was destroyed (612 B.C.).
This time frame makes sense. Remember that World Book says little was known of the Celts until the 500s B.C. Notice also: "The Celts [began] to emerge from the anonymous mass of the non-literate peoples of Europe during the late sixth century B.C." (Vencelais Kruta, Celts of the West, pp. 10-11).
As the Cimmerians came up around the Black Sea, they migrated to the Crimea, north of that sea: "Crimea [called by the Russians by the Tartar name Krym or Crim]... a peninsula on the north side of the Black Sea.... The earliest inhabitants... were the Celtic Cimmerians, who were expelled by the Scythians during the seventh century B.C." ("Crimea," Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 7). Under Scythian pressure, these "Celtic Cimmerians" were forced into Europe and on around the Black Sea to its southwestern shores. There they converged with other Celts (Cimmerians), who had been pushed westward across Asia Minor by a different group of Scythians, and had crossed the Bosporus Strait into Thrace -- present-day European Turkey. Sharon Turner wrote, "The Kymry came from the eastern parts of Europe, or the regions where Constantinople [Istanbul, Turkey] now stands" (p. 32).
"The first inhabitabts [of England] were Britons, who
came from Armenia."
The Danube River formed the northern border
of Thrace. The migrating Celtic Cimmerians followed the Danube westward,
then--as we've seen--fanned out over Europe into France, Belgium, Switzerland,
northern Italy and northern Spain. Some of them settled in the "Cimbric
Chersonosus," the Jutland Peninsula of modern Denmark (though some writers
have also used this name for the Crimea). Others moved northward into
Scandinavia, while a considerable number of them migrated further westward into
Britain and Ireland.
Lysons's history summarizes these facts quite well: "The chain of evidence seems to be complete. Appian [of Alexandria, Greek historian, 2nd century A.D.]... says the Cimbri were Celts. Diodorus [of Sicily] says that the Cimbri were Gauls or Celts; Gauls were Galatae... Geltae or Keltae. The names are synonymous.... The Cymric Celts [migrated] from Armenia to Britain... it confirms all the traditions of the Welsh, the views of Nennius [9th century British monk and historian] and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and all our earliest histories, and to anyone who has studied the question, seems most convincing" (p. 27).
How and when did the Scythian fathers of the Anglo-Saxon and other Northwest European peoples come into Europe? Madison Grant wrote, "The Nordics [Scythians]... migrated around the northern and eastern sides of the Caspian-Aral Sea" (p. 214). Sharon Turner says, "Herodotus, besides the main Scythia, which he places in Europe, mentions also an Eastern or Asiatic Scythia, beyond [east of] the Caspian [Sea] and Iaxartes [River]" (p. 82).
But where did the Scythians come from? Remember that the name Saxon was from "Saksun" which came from "Sakai-Suna." This branch of the Sacae is actually mentioned in ancient history: "They seized Bactriana, and the most fertile part of Armenia, which, from them, derived the name Sakasina; they defeated Cyrus; and they reached the Cappodoces on the Euxine.
"This important fact of a part of Armenia having been named Sakasina, is mentioned by Strabo... and seems to give a geographical locality to our primeval ancestors, and to account for the Persian words that occur in the Saxon language, as they [the Saxons] must have come into Armenia from the northern regions of Persia" (Turner, p. 87)! So at this point the Scythian Saxons were in the same region as the Cimmerians! What's going on here?
The Master Key Linking Two Great Peoples
The real master key to unlocking the mystery of why the Cimmerians and Scythians were both coming from the same places--around the south Caspian Sea region--is to be found in the well-known BEHISTUN ROCK INSCRIPTIONS (also called Bisutun Inscriptions).
While exploring Persia in 1835, a British army officer, Sir Henry Rawlinson, noticed a great rock rising about 1,700 feet above the main road from Babylon to Media. On the face of that perpendicular rock cliff, 400 feet above the road, Rawlinson noticed a smoothed surface with cuneiform (wedge-shaped) engravings. Upon further investigation, Sir Henry noticed that those inscriptions were written in three languages: Persian, Susian (Elamite or Median) and Babylonian. These inscriptions had been engraved around 520 B.C. at the command of Persian Emperor Darius I--or "Darius the Great" (ruled 521-486 B.C.)--to commemorate his reign and military successes.
Rawlinson performed a great service for historical scholarship when he made squeezes (clay impressions) of the inscriptions. For modern historians, those trilingual cuneiform inscriptions proved to be a master key to understanding the ancient languages of the Near East, thereby unlocking to the world the vast treasures of Assyrian and Babylonian literature: "In 1835 the difficult and almost inaccessible cliff was first climbed by Sir Henry Rawlinson, who copied and deciphered the inscriptions (1835-1845), and thus completed the reading of the old cuneiform text and laid the foundation of the science of Assyriology" ("Behistun," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., vol. 3).
Do the Behistun Rock Inscriptions help us in understanding our Celtic (Cimmerian) and Anglo-Saxon (Scythian) heritage? Yes! They list 23 provinces which then constituted the Persian Empire (c. 520 B.C.). According to the translation by L.W. King and R.C. Thompson (Inscriptions of Darius the Great at Behistun, British Museum, 1907), the 19th province listed, in the Persian language, is called "Scythia" (phonetic: Saka--Rawlinson has Sacae). It is also named "Scythia" (phonetic: Sakka) in the Susian (Median) language. But, in the Babylonian language, that same province is called "the land of the Cimmerians" (phonetic: Gimiri)! The Cimmerians and Scythians must have been of the SAME PEOPLE!
Notice the following extract from The History of Herodotus: "The ethnic name of Gimiri first occurs in the cuneiform records of the time of Darius Hystapses [Darius I], as the Semitic equivalent of the Arian name Saka [Sacae = Scythians = Saxons].... The nation spoken of contained at this time two divisions, the eastern branch, named Humurga... and the [western branch] Tigrakkuda or 'archers,' who [shared a common border]... with the Assyrians" (translated by G. Rawlinson, H. Rawlinson and J.G. Wilkinson).
Here is more about these eastern and western branches of the Scythians: "A group of Amyrgian Scythians in the time of Darius, king of Persia, were reported as then dwelling on the Tigris [River] banks. They were led by a chief Saku'ka and revolted against the Persian rulers. In a bilingual inscription these Amyrgians are called Saka Humuvashka in Persian and Gimirri Umurgah in Babylonian. Gimirri [in the Babylonian version] means either 'Tribes' or Cimmerians or perhaps both since the Scyths and Cimmerians were originally ONE ENTITY" (Davidy, p. 360).
Sir Henry Rawlinson was also of this opinion: "The identification of the Persian Sacae or Scythians with the people named by the Greeks Kimmerioi [Cimbri = Celts]... would seem highly probable" (Proceedings of the Royal Asiatic Society, May 12, 1849, p. xxi). How about that! Incredibly, history reveals that the Celts (Cimmerians) were merely the western branch of the wide-ranging Scythians!
Madison Grant concurred with this conclusion, writing that the Cimmerians, the Sacae (Saxons) and the Massagetae all sprang from the Scythians (p. 194). So these great peoples, seemingly originating in northern Mesopotamia and in Persia, were basically the same. The Cimmerians (to the west) and the Scythians (to the east--yet always advancing westward upon the Cimmerians) were actually branches of the same great family!
Fascinating Racial Roots!
All peoples on earth today have descended
from Noah's three sons-Shem, Ham and Japheth-as recorded in Genesis 10. (NOTE:
By comparing the known geographic origins of the major racial groups with the
ancient locations of the biblically listed descendants of Noah's sons, it is
possible to determine which son of Noah fathered which major race.) Ham
is the father of the Negroids-the dark-skinned peoples who inhabited
Africa, India, and, anciently, certain eastern Mediterranean countries like
Canaan. Japheth is the father of the Mongoloids-the yellow and brown
peoples of Asia and the native Indian tribes of North, Central and South
America. Many of the olive-skinned peoples who inhabited the countries of the
northern rim of the Mediterranean Sea (e.g. Greeks) are also
descendants of Japheth and his sons. Shem is the father of the Caucasoids-the
fair-skinned blonds, red-heads and brunets who are often called the
"white" peoples. So the Anglo-Saxon-Celts must have descended from
Shem. This makes absolutely perfect sense when you realize that the very
name of the Caucasian race is derived from the CAUCASUS MOUNTAINS-the
area we've been reading so much about!
Emergence of the Celto-Scythians
When did the Scythian people first come on the scene? "The term 'Scythians' [Gk. Skythes] is used both to describe specific tribes which inhabited the north and east of the Black Sea beginning in the seventh century B.C. and as a generic word for horse-riding pastoralists [shepherds]" ("Scythians," Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 5). Turner confirms this: "The emigrating Scythians crossed the Araxes [in Armenia], passed out of Asia, and invading the Cimmerians, suddenly appeared in Europe, in the seventh century before the Christian Era [600s B.C.]" (p. 85).
Chambers Encyclopedia says, "Scythians: Greek Skuthai, Latin Scythae, Assyrian Ashguzai... the Persians called all people like them Saka, were the first nomadic people of which we have any real knowledge.... Herodotus said that the Scyths came out of upper Asia crossing the Araxes... somewhere about 700 B.C., and fell upon the Cimmerians... so that part [of the Cimmerians] were destroyed... and part driven through the Caucasus into regions about Armenia and Media" ("Scythians," vol. 12).
Many have tried to argue that the Cimmerians were north of the Caucasus first and then migrated south through the Caucasus--later going back north again (by this reasoning, the only way to explain the northward migration that we definitely know transpired). Yet we see nothing of the Celtic Cimmerians north of the Caucasus until around 500 B.C. However, historical evidence clearly places them south of the Caucasus, in Armenia, when the Scythians met them in about 700 B.C. And they must have been there for at least a short while before that. So when the Cimmerians did go north through the Caucasus, that was almost certainly their first time being there.
What else can we learn of this time? Chambers continues, "For the whole seventh century [600s B.C.] Scythians and Cimmerians played their part in the confusion that reigned in western Asia during the last days of the Assyrian empire and the resurgence of Babylon. The Scythians were mentioned in Assyrian records first under Esarhaddon (681-669 B.C.); whereas the Cimmerians were hostile to the Assyrians, the Scythians [at this time] seem to have been friendly.... [The Scythians] are said to have ruled Asia 28 years, penetrating as far as the borders of Egypt, and taking a part in the siege of Nineveh, 612 B.C. No one has satisfactorily fitted this 28 years into the chronology of Media and Babylonia. Herodotus represented the Scyths as returning after it into south Russia and reestablishing their dominion there. Here we may regard them as continuously dominant from 700 B.C. till the last century B.C."
The Anchor Bible Dictionary entry on "Scythians" also mentions Esarhaddon's reign: "The Scythians... apparently first appear in written history in the annals of Esarhaddon, and seem to be centered at that time in what is today Northwest Iran. According to Herodotus (1.103-6) the Scythians ruled over all of the Near East for 28 years after entering the area from the north; traditionally this period of rule is assigned to the seventh or sixth century B.C.... By the third century B.C., the Scythian presence in the Near East is restricted to the Crimea and the shores of the Black Sea. Ovid [famous Latin poet, banished to the Black Sea for unknown reasons in 8 A.D.] records Scythian life in the first century A.D., by which time their power is spent; the Scythians shortly after fade from history."
The same article reveals that Scythian "grave goods [artifacts recovered by archaeologists from tombs] demonstrate economic interaction with the local settled populations, in the seventh and sixth centuries with Urartians [people of Ararat = Armenians] and other northeast groups and in the fifth and fourth centuries with Greeks.... Although the Scythians primarily lived in tents [as wanderers among the nations!], there is some evidence in the North Steppe of settlements dating to the seventh or sixth century B.C."
Many scholars have believed that the Scythians originated in the Russian Steppes and LATER moved south around both sides of the Caspian Sea. In fact, the very opposite is true! Archaeologists have examined a great number of graves in the Steppes and have confirmed that Scythian culture in that area didn't begin until the end of the seventh century B.C. (From the Lands of the Scythians: Ancient Treasures from the Museums of the U.S.S.R. 3000 B.C.-100 B.C., Metropolitan Museum of Art and Los Angeles Museum of Art, p. 99).
There is NO archaeological evidence showing that Scythians were in south Russia prior to the late 600s B.C.--certainly not thousands of years prior, as some modern scholars have claimed! Yet there is much evidence of Scythians around the southern Caspian area well before 600--and even back to 700 when they clashed with the Cimmerians in Armenia!
Herodotus realized that these people weren't originally from there. So he picked another place of origin--to the north. Yet, as we've just seen, that can't be! Where did they come from then? Earlier, we read Sharon Turner's conclusion that these fathers of the Saxons must have come from southeast of Armenia--from PERSIA. Thus the Scythians must have been in Persia, south of the Caspian, even shortly before 700 B.C. And, in fact, Turner informs us that Homer dated the rise of these people to that time.
Language Says It All!
Can we derive any clues about the origins of the Celts or Scythians based on their languages or traditions? It may come as a surprise to learn that Encyclopaedia Britannica reports, "For many centuries the affinities of the Celtic languages were the subject of great dispute. The languages were in turn regarded as descended from Hebrew, Teutonic and Scythian" ("Celt," 11th ed., vol. 5). "Hebrew"? How could that be possible?
Samuel Lysons says, "Thus I propose to show in the course of these pages, when we come to the relics of British worship remaining in this country... the remarkable similarity between those names and the Hebrew and Chaldee languages. The same theory holds good in the names of some of our old British families" (p. 21). Continuing, he writes, "Now whatever may be the historical value of the Welsh poems, it is undoubted that Taliesin [renowned 6th century Welsh poet] in his Angar Cyfyndawd, says that his lore had been 'declared in Hebrew, in Hebraic'" (p. 22).
Thus, Lysons argued that the Celtici tongue was closely related to the Hebrew language. "Yet this we gather from the names attaching to the British monuments... that there is a strong affinity between these British names and that language of which Hebrew is either the original or one of its earliest off-shoots; and that therefore Hebrew, Chaldee, or some other very near cognate, must have been the language of the first inhabitants [the Celts or Kymry] of this island" (p. 83). Isn't that amazing?
But Lysons isn't the only one who sees a kinship between the ancient Celtic tongue spoken by the Kymry and the Hebrew language. Robert Owen writes, "Most Welsh scholars have employed their time on the production of grammars and dictionaries. The Hebrew learning of Dr. John Davies of Mallwyd seems to have influenced his countrymen to accept the Puritan atavism [resemblance to remote ancestors] of referring Welsh to the language of Moses [Hebrew] as its fountain" (p. vi).
What about the Scythians? Is their language also related somehow? The Scyths spoke Scythiac, which is classified thus: "Scythiac... Scythian [language]... There is a strong similarity between the Hebrew and the Scythian languages" ("Scythiac," New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 1971, vol. 8). Then why isn't English--our language through the Anglo-Saxons--like Hebrew? Undoubtedly, as the Scythians were "sifted through" the true German peoples, they must have adopted much of the early Germanic language--from which modern English is descended. Still, it is truly remarkable that the Celtic and Scythian languages were both tied to Hebrew! Isn't it becoming more and more clear who these people were?
In his authoritative 1913 work, Scythians
and Greeks, Ellis H. Minns wrote of the "Scythians.... Next in
importance to their horses came the cattle used for drawing their great
waggons.... They had sheep as well, for mutton bones are found in cauldrons in
the tombs, as for example at Kul Oba. They made no use of pigs either in
sacrifice or any other way.... [and] regarded swine as
tabu" (p. 49). Where did this prohibition against eating pork
originate? Could it have been from the Hebrew Bible? Leviticus 11:7-8 says,
"And the swine... is unclean to you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch" (cf.
Deut. 14:8). As is commonly known, the Orthodox Jews of today still strictly
observe this dietary principle.
Robert Owen relates another interesting detail: "Some of their Celtic traditions resemble Semitic records of antediluvian patriarchs" (p. 33). This historian then shows that, like the Israelites of old (2 Kings 21:1-5), the ancient Britons worshipped "Baal, the sun, and the hosts of heaven.... Our British ancestors were devoted to that kind of worship which they brought with them from the East, whence they came at a very early period, even close upon the Patriarchal times of Holy Writ" (pp. 93-94).
Sharon Turner noted the following remarkable practice of the ancient Britons: "The Kimbri swore by a brazen bull, which they carried with them" (p. 34). This fact is a grim reminder of the idolatrous "calf worship" which Jeroboam (first king of the Ten Tribes of Israel) introduced into the Northern Kingdom. Where, then, is all of this leading us?
An Inescapable Conclusion!
Remember from chapter one that the northern Ten Tribes of Israel had been carried away in two separate captivities. The first one, which took place around 734-732 B.C., was the huge "Galilean Captivity," in which about three-fourths of the Northern Kingdom was carried away, including the Israelite tribes dwelling on the EAST side of the Jordan River.
This latter aspect of the first deportation is described in 1 Chronicles 5:26: "So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, that is, Tiglath-Pileser.... He carried the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh into captivity. He took them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river of Gozan to this day." These places, according to The Macmillan Bible Atlas, were located in Assyria in northern Mesopotamia (Yohanan Aharoni and Michael Avi-Yonah, pp. 96-97). These locations were in the immediate vicinity of Armenia!
The second deportation of Israel occurred with the fall of Samaria, following a three-year siege. This captivity of the rest of the Northern Kingdom--the small "rump state" left around the capital city--is described in 2 Kings 17:5-6: "Now the king of Assyria went throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria and besieged it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea [c. 721 B.C.], the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes."
How are we to understand this verse? Were those of the second captivity taken to the same places as those in the first captivity--the only additional destination being the "the cities of the Medes," i.e. ancient Media, the territory south of the Caspian Sea? Notice this important missing detail provided by the Jewish historian, Josephus: "The king of Assyria... besieged Samaria three years and quite demolished the government of the Israelites, and transplanted all the people into Media and Persia" (Antiquities, bk. 9, chap. 14, sec. 1). So the vast majority of the people in the second captivity were taken to the lands south of the Caspian Sea!
What is the significance of these locations and the time frame of Israel's Assyrian captivities? If you have kept in mind the important note mentioned earlier in this chapter, you may have reached a startling, yet inescapable, conclusion by this point!
The closely-related Cimmerians (Celts) and Scythians came from two different areas, of Armenia and Persia, which weren't their original homelands. These are the very same places that the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel were taken to as captives in two different deportations! The Celto-Scythian people came on the scene at the exact same time the Israelites were taken into captivity! Who cannot now help but see? This is simple logic: SAME TIME + SAME PLACES = SAME PEOPLE!
To see this even more clearly, did you know that the word "Scythian" is in your Bible? It IS--but only once. It occurs in Colossians 3:11, in which the Apostle Paul says that, within God's Church, physical status does not matter: "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian [nor] Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all." The missing "nor" here was provided in the same way that the New King James Version and other Bible translations provide the missing "nor" between "slave" and "free."
Each of the four pairs mentioned here contain two contrasted types of people. The first two clearly contrast Gentiles and Israelites. Undoubtedly the same is true for "barbarian" (Gentile) and "Scythian" (Israelite). In any case, they are viewed as opposites. Scythians are looked upon here as not being barbarians--i.e. not Gentiles. God's Word, then, supports this conclusion!
Israelite Migrations to New Lands!
· Some Israelites left the Holy Land very early. Soon after the Exodus, a group of Danites migrated to Greece and later left for Ireland. King Solomon had a fleet of "Ships of Tarshish" which sailed with the navy of the Phoenician king, Hiram of Tyre. It is a well-accepted fact that Phoenicians established far-flung outposts in North Africa, Spain and Ireland. Therefore, during and after Solomon's reign, it is probable that a number of Israelite colonists did the same--colonizing the British Isles and the coasts of Northwest Europe.
· In about 734-732 and 721 B.C., the Assyrians deported the Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel into northern Mesopotamia and the region south of the Caspian Sea. When the Assyrian Empire was later crushed by a Babylonian-Persian-Scythian alliance in 612 B.C., some of the Israelites began to break free from their captors' lands, migrating northwest into Europe. This was a centuries-long process.
· The first wave of Israelites into Europe migrated from northern Mesopotamia. Some traveled west along the southern Black Sea coast, crossing the Dardanelles. Others went north through the Caucasus Mountains and moved west along the northern Black Sea coast. These peoples became known to historians as the Cimmerians or Celts.
· The second wave of Israelites migrated north around the eastern side of the Caspian Sea before being pressed westward, centuries later, by the Sarmatians (Slavs). Known in history as the Scythians and Sacae, they moved across southern Russia and then northern Poland and Germany. Because of close proximity, the Scythians have at times been confused with the modern Germans, but they are completely different peoples. The Scythians spread out over most of Northwest Europe, becoming the Scandinavians, Franks, Normans, Lombards, Anglo-Saxons, etc.
· No one disputes the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic background of the British, by whom Colonial America was primarily settled. These peoples also migrated to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Now let's look at the apocryphal book of 2 Esdras--which claims to be a series of apocalyptic visions to Ezra the Scribe. Though it cannot be trusted as Scripture, it can nevertheless give us a historical perspective. Zondervan Publishers' New Revised Standard Version notes that the bulk of this book was probably written at the end of the first century A.D.
Notice the following passage: "And as for your seeing him gather to himself another multitude that was peaceable, these are the nine tribes [footnote: Other Latin manuscripts say "ten" and the Armenian says "nine and a half"] that were taken away from their own land into exile in the days of King Hoshea, whom Shalmaneser, king of the Assyrians, made captives; he took them across the river [Euphrates], and they were taken into another land" (13:39-40 NRSV). Perhaps the missing tribe here, if there was one, was Dan since, as we saw in chapter two, many Danites probably "leapt" west from the Promised Land (Deut. 33:22) before and during the Assyrian invasions. Though, undoubtedly, there were still a number of Danites who went into captivity with the rest of their brothers of the Northern Kingdom.
Look at what happened next to the Israelites in Assyrian captivity: "But they formed this plan for themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the nations and go to a more distant region, where no human beings had ever lived, so that there at least they might keep their statutes that they had not kept in their own land. And they went in by the narrow passages of the Euphrates river [undoubtedly the mountain passages north of Lake Van from the Euphrates to the Araxes Rivers].... Through that region there was a long way to go, a journey of a year and a half; and that country is called Arzareth" (2 Esdras 13:41-43, 45 NRSV).
The Euphrates-Araxes passages just mentioned would take them NORTH toward the Caucasus Mountains. What about Arzareth--or Arsareth, as it is often spelled? It has traditionally been identified with the region of the Sareth or Siret River--which flows south along the east side of the Carpathian Mountains in eastern Romania until it meets the Danube just before flowing east into the Black Sea. (Remember that it took a "year and a half" to get there from south of the Caucasus.) Incredible! This migration pattern from south of the Caucasus, moving northwest around the north side of the Black Sea until entering Eastern Europe was exactly the same path we have already established for the Cimmerians! Clearly, this is more than freak happenstance, isn't it?
Was it mere coincidence that the Celtic and Scythian languages both had strong linguistic roots in Hebrew? Was it through unrelated circumstances that the Scythians and Israelites both considered pork taboo? Was it insignificant that the Celts and Scythians were white (Caucasian) people who must have descended from Shem--just like the Israelites? The parallels are manifold. There can be NO DOUBT--WE HAVE FOUND THE LOST TEN TRIBES OF ISRAEL! They are the Northwest Europeans who have descended from the Celts and Scythians! Isn't this incredible? God performed a great miracle by preserving the Israelites as a people as He promised (Amos 9:9).
This is not a new idea. Notice what Encarta '95 says: "The so-called Anglo-Israelite theory, which gained considerable credence in the 17th century, is that the Ten Tribes were the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxon peoples; many Jews were admitted into England about that time based on the strength of the theory" ("Lost Tribes"). Yet it is more than just a theory! The historical proof is simply overwhelming that the Celto-Scythians were none other than the dispossessed Israelites. This is not to say that every Celt or Scythian was an Israelite. But the vast majority of them undoubtedly were!
Yet, the greatest and, by far, the strongest proof that our Northwest European heritage can be traced back to ancient Israel lies in the pages of the Holy Bible--in its record of prophecies and God's promises concerning national greatness. Only among the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples have the tremendous birthright blessings promised to Abraham's descendants been realized. And it is through the Bible that we are able to identify the sons of Joseph who have specifically received the birthright--America and the British-descended nations.
What about the rest of the Lost Tribes? Though not recipients of the birthright promise of dominance, nevertheless, as God's chosen people also, they have been greatly blessed with material prosperity. There is some debate about which of these tribes form which Northwest European nations today. And, for lack of space, we are not able here to explore all the possible reasons for thinking that a particular nation may represent a specific tribe. Still, it can be stated with a fair amount of certainty that these other tribes may be found in France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland.
God Almighty kept His promise! HE REALLY KEPT IT! What tremendous trust and faith in God this should inspire in us. Here is certain, living proof of a REAL GOD! And this God--the Lord OUR God, the God of OUR FATHERS, ABRAHAM, ISAAC, JACOB AND JOSEPH--is not disinterested, far removed or uninvolved. Our God is an intimately INVOLVED God--the God who keeps promises and who answers prayers! Our Father Abraham trusted in God completely. And, for that, we, his descendants as well as the non-Israelites who dwell in our lands have been lifted to the heights of the world, blessed as no other peoples have ever been. We should fall on our knees before God in continual thanks for what he has done for us--for these awesome blessings that we are so unworthy of!
In the next chapter, we will examine how God specifically fulfilled the birthright promises. It is truly an awe-inspiring story--filled with amazing evidence of miraculous, divine intervention!
Hard, Physical Evidence!
Is there any archaeological evidence of
Israelites migrating up through the Caucasus and around the northern side of the
Black Sea? Yes!
I Jehuda ben Mose ha-Nagolon of the East country, ben Jehuda ha-Gibbor of the tribe of Naphtali, of the generation Schillem, who went into the exile with the exiles, who were driven away with Hosea, the king of Israel, together with the tribes of Simeon and Dan and some of the generations of the other tribes of Israel, which (all) were led into exile by the enemy Shalmanesser from Schomron [Samaria] and their cities to Chalach [Halah], that is, Backack and to Chabar [Habor], that is, Chabul and to Hara, that is, Herat, and to Gosan [Gozan], the cities of the exiled tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half of Manasseh, which Pilneser [Tiglath-Pileser] drove into exile and settled there (and from there they scattered themselves over the whole land of the East as far as Sinim)--when I returned from wandering in the land of their exile and from journeying in the dwelling places of the descendants of their generations in their resting places of the Land of Krim [the Crimea].
ISRAEL'S POST- CAPTIVITY NAMES
How Did the Israelites Became Known as
The Land of the House of Omri
The Assyrians did not call the Israelites by any Hebrew names. They used a
different language and hence a different name: "The usual term for
the Kingdom of Israel in the Assyrian inscriptions is not this [Israel]....
The ordinary designation was rather... 'Land of the House Omri [mat
bit-Humri]'" (Eberhard Schrader, The Cuneiform Inscriptions
and the Old Testament, vol. 1, p. 177). Recall from chapter one that King
Omri of Israel reigned for 12 years. Yet, in that
time, he earned quite a name for himself--by moving Israel's capital to
Samaria, subduing the Moabites, etc.--enough to perpetuate his name through
Etymology in Celtic Names
The Cimmerians or Celts have also been known as the Keltae, Geltae, Galatae,
Galatians, Goidels, Gauls and Gaels. Where did these names come from? The
Cimmerians in Armenia were later joined from the southeast by
westward-advancing Scythians from Medo-Persia--i.e. Israelites from around
Samaria (taken in the second captivity). However, the Cimmerians
were first established as those people who had been carried away in
Israel's first Assyrian captivity, known as the "Galilean
Captivity," from the northern and eastern regions of the Northern
Kingdom--the lands of GALILEE and GILEAD! (There was a practice of
attaching "gilead" as a suffix to places, e.g. Jabesh-gilead and
Ramoth-gilead.) In the Trans-Jordan area was also the tribe of GAD.
"In Isaac Your Seed Shall Be Called"!
We saw back in chapter one that before Abraham's son, Isaac, was born, God
gave this solemn prophecy: "For in Isaac your seed shall be
called" (Gen. 21:12)! It is repeated twice in the New Testament
(Rom. 9:7; Heb. 11:18). But how would Almighty God fulfill that ancient
prophecy? How would Isaac's sons be called after the name of their ancestor?
America & Britain in Prophecy:
The Birthright Finally Realized!
ow did God at last fulfill the birthright promises of a GREAT NATION and a COMPANY OF NATIONS (Gen. 35:11; 48-49)? The answer is a story which should be quite familiar to most Americans and Britons-because it is simply the story of the modern history of our nations!
Of course, the vast majority of our people do not comprehend this most important aspect about our nations' history. Many of us fail to grasp the reason for the incredible rise of the English-speaking peoples to unparalleled greatness and prosperity. As Winston Churchill said before the U.S. Congress on December 26, 1941, "He must indeed have a blind soul who cannot see that some great purpose and design is being worked out here below." Let's now examine the last few centuries of American and British history from the awesome perspective of God's Word.
The World's Greatest Colonizers
By the early 1500s, Spain had become the most powerful nation in Europe--enjoying almost total naval supremacy. England, on the other hand, was only an average power. But then came England's victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588. Amazingly, the Armada was defeated-not so much by English might as by stormy weather! Winston Churchill later wrote that "the defeat of the Armada came as a MIRACLE.... One of the medals struck to commemorate the victory bears the inscription 'Afflavit Deus et dissipantur'-'God blew and they were scattered'" (History of the English-Speaking Peoples, vol. 2).
From that day forward, English sailors confidently believed they could more than hold their own against their Spanish counterparts. It was England's naval confidence on the high seas which gave her the courage to make permanent settlements around the world.
Chief among the world's colonizing nations were the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples from the British Isles. Only Bible prophecy explains why, beginning in the early 1600s, the colonizing instinct became so strong in these peoples. God, remember, had promised Jacob, "Your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south" (Gen. 28:14). So Jacob's descendants were destined to become the world's foremost colonizers!
"So God give thee of
Remember, also, that Joseph's descendants would become the chief colonizers of Israel: "Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall" (Gen. 49:22). But where would they "run over the wall" (colonize)? Verse 26: "Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills." Genesis 27:28 says they would be given the "fat places of the earth" (JPS). Fulfillment of some of these blessings can be seen in the words of the song, "America the Beautiful," by Katherine Lee Bates: "O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain!"
By itself, the cozy island of Britain is an incredibly beautiful and productive land. Yet remember that, according to prophecy, the people there would someday say, "The place is TOO SMALL for me; give me a place where I may dwell" (Is. 49:20). So, from this small homeland, Britons went forth and colonized nine-tenths of the North American continent, the whole continent of Australia, the beautiful, rich lands of New Zealand, parts of South Africa and numerous other islands and territories.
There is no other instance in the entire history of the world where such a small, seemingly insignificant people spread out around the globe, successfully colonizing such enormous, rich tracts of land--thereby becoming many nations!
How did Britain become "too small"--creating the need to colonize? Historians reveal that various factors (war, famine, disease) kept the population of Britain from increasing very rapidly until the Industrial Revolution (1750-1850). Then, suddenly, a population explosion occurred. British historian, Colin Cross, observes that "one of the unexplained mysteries of social history is the explosion in the size of the population of Great Britain between 1750 and 1850. For generations the British population had been static, or rising only slightly. Then in the space of a century it almost trebled-from 7.7 million in 1750 to 20.7 million in 1850. Why it happened is unknown.... It must just be recorded that human reproduction and vitality follows unpredictable patterns.... Britain was a dynamic country and one of the marks of its dynamism was the population explosion" (Fall of the British Empire, p. 155).
Very striking here is the time element! As we saw earlier, Israel had to wait 2,520 years from the time of her Assyrian oppression and captivity before receiving the actual fulfillment of the birthright promises. This coincides exactly with Britain's population explosion, which gave the British the impetus to spread abroad.
Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, in 1907, expressed the belief that God had put in the Englishmen a divine impulse to establish colonies around the globe: "I would describe the [British] Empire... as the result, not of an accident or a series of accidents, but of an instinct-that ineradicable and divinely implanted impulse, which has sent the Englishman forth into the uttermost parts of the earth, and made him there the parent of new societies and the architect of unpremeditated creations" (The British Empire, BBC TV and Time-Life Books, p. 2,466).
A Nation and a Company of Nations
As Creator, Possessor and Ruler of this earth, it is within God's prerogative to give any nation or individual whatever portion of this earth He chooses (Gen. 14:19; Acts 17:23-26). The French assemblyman Alexis de Tocqueville made these incisive comments in his famous 1835 work, Democracy in America: "The Indians occupied but did not possess the land. It is by agriculture that man wins the soil, and the first inhabitants of North America lived by hunting.... Providence [God] when it placed them amid the riches of the New World, seems to have granted them a short lease only; they were there, in some sense, only waiting. Those coasts so well suited for trade and industry, those deep rivers, that inexhaustible valley of the Mississippi-in short, the whole continent-seemed the yet empty cradle of a GREAT NATION" (p. 24).
De Tocqueville further stated, "When the Creator handed the earth over to men, it was young and inexhaustible, but they were weak and ignorant; and by the time that they had learned to take advantage of the treasures it contained, they already covered its face, and soon they were having to fight for the right to an asylum where they could rest in freedom. It was then that North America was discovered, as if God had held it in reserve and it had only just arisen above the waters of the flood" (p. 258).
North America was indeed held "in reserve" by God for the descendants of Israel. As God had inspired Moses to write, "When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples [all other nations] according to the number of the children of Israel [whose population size He foresaw and planned for]" (Deut. 32:8)!
Great Britain established its first permanent colony in North America at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. In 1620, the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock with its Pilgrim settlers. The Puritans arrived soon afterward to establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony. By the early 1700s, a string of 13 thriving British colonies were firmly established along the eastern seaboard of North America. In the 1763 Treaty of Paris, France ceded to Britain her Canadian colonies, as well as all the Louisiana Territory east of the Mississippi River-excluding the city of New Orleans. Thus the die had been cast toward making the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples the dominant ethnic group in North America.
Remember, Joseph's descendants were to become a "great nation" and a "company of nations." Only 12 years after the first Treaty of Paris in 1763, the 13 British colonies in North America rebelled against the Mother Country. During their War of Independence (1775-1783), the upstart Americans threw off the Old World's yoke.
Subsequently, the second Treaty of Paris was signed on September 3, 1783-this time by British and American diplomats. In this treaty, Britain officially recognized the United States as a sovereign nation and ceded all of her North American territories south of the Great Lakes to the victorious rebels. Spain's Florida Territory then formed the southern boundary of the new Republic, and the Mississippi River formed its western boundary. Now it could rightly be said that America was assured of becoming the GREAT NATION God had promised.
Ephraim and Manasseh--Which Is Which?
Remember from chapter one what God Almighty inspired the Patriarch Jacob to prophesy of the descendants of Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh: "He [Manasseh] also shall be A NATION-and he also shall be GREAT [i.e. a GREAT NATION or GREAT PEOPLE]-but nevertheless his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be GREATER than he, and his race shall be a MULTITUDE OF NATIONS" (Gen. 48:19 Fenton). Millions have come to see the fulfillment of that divine promise in the emergence to nationhood of the United States (the GREAT NATION); and they have also come to believe that Britain and her British-descended Commonwealth nations constitute the MULTITUDE OF NATIONS-both of which Almighty God prophesied would rise to prominence "in the last days" (cf. Gen. 48-49; Deut. 33).
In recent years, however, some have concluded that the United States is modern Ephraim and that Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are Manasseh. This view is based, primarily, on three arguments: 1) America is the "multitude of nations" because it is composed of 50 states; 2) the U.S., at its height, was "greater" in wealth and power than Britain at its height; and 3) the U.S. is "younger" than Britain-just as Ephraim was younger than Manasseh. Do these points prove the case? Let's look at them one at a time.
First, could the 50 states of the Union be considered 50 "nations"? Could the U.S. now be, or ever have been, looked upon as a "multitude of nations" in any sense? Emphatically, no! America is "ONE nation under God, indivisible" (as stated in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance). The American Civil War was fought (1861-1865) to prevent the United States from being rent asunder into two nations-the Union and the Confederacy. Our nation's motto, E Pluribus Unum, means, "From many [people], ONE [nation]"! During the 1960s, when various state governors tried to prevent racial desegregation, U.S. presidents sent federal law enforcement officers into certain states (Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi) to prove that those states were not sovereign, or independent, but had to answer to a higher power-the U.S. Federal Government! Not one of the 50 states which presently make up the United States is a sovereign nation! The U.S. is definitely, as De Toqueville called it, "A GREAT NATION"-i.e. Manasseh!
By the same token, it would be wrong to call Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand "A great nation." They, in fact, form a plurality of independent, sovereign nations-each possessing its own parliament with complete authority over its own citizens, foreign policy, defense and finances. Canada, Australia and New Zealand each has a Governor General as a representative of the British Crown. However, this is a very loose tie, as these three countries look upon the British monarch as only a figurehead. Of course some will argue that the British Empire, which preceded the British Commonwealth, was the great single nation. Yet that too is false. Britain was the "Mother Country" which, through colonization, gave birth to several other British nations. Clearly, Britain is Ephraim!
Second, was the American zenith of greatness really higher than Britain's? Absolutely not! The British directly ruled a quarter of the earth's land and nearly a third of its population. Even today, Canada alone is territorially larger than the entire United States, and Australia is almost as big as the territory of America's 48 contiguous states. Britain directly possessed the wealth of all these regions too. It only seems that America has possessed a greater percentage of wealth than Britain did. Why? Because advances in technology have enabled so much greater things to be accomplished with money than could ever have been done before. For example, a million dollars in today's money will buy only a tiny fraction of what a million dollars would have bought in the 1800s--yet today it could buy much better things that did not even exist then!
What about military dominance? It is true that, since America was the only nation in possession of the atomic bomb after World War II, the ratio of power between the U.S. and the rest of the world was greater at that time than any other nation has ever enjoyed. (In fact, none have even come close.) However, this only lasted about four short years-during which time the U.S. was in an extremely tight alliance with Great Britain. The tremendous military supremacy Britain enjoyed during its heyday lasted far longer than America's. And Britain has possessed far more of the vital "sea gates" than America. Here, again, it is obvious that Britain is Ephraim and the U.S.A. is Manasseh.
Third, just because the United States of America is a younger state than the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, does that mean that the U.S. must be Ephraim, Joseph's younger son, and that the U.K. must be Manasseh? Definitely not! These two brother peoples lived together in Britain for centuries. Thus, both peoples are basically the same age! However, from a national perspective, consider that, with the separation of the two brothers through the War of Independence (1775-1783), the Americans were forming into a "great nation" well before the British expanded into a "multitude of nations." And the United States is much older than the British Commonwealth, which was not formally established until the Statute of Westminster in 1931.
But think about this, too. Joseph gave up his tribal status among the Twelve Tribes of Israel to his sons Ephraim and Manasseh. These then became two separate tribes--meaning there were now THIRTEEN Tribes of Israel in all (though the count normally stayed at 12 since the Levites didn't have a territorial allotment in the Promised Land). Benjamin, Jacob's 12th son, then moved into the 11th position vacated by Joseph. And the 12th and 13th positions, if we reckon their births chronologically, would be filled by Israel's adopted sons, Manasseh and Ephraim respectively. However, because Scripture makes it very clear that God, through Jacob, "set Ephraim before Manasseh" (Gen. 48:20), their two positions should be reversed-Ephraim being made 12th and Manasseh becoming 13th. (Note the recurrence of 13 in American heritage-13 colonies, 13 flag stripes, 13 everything on the Great Seal-see box: "Clues from Our National Heraldry.") Thus Ephraim would inherit the birthright first and Manasseh would follow. And that is exactly what happened--the 1800s were the "British Century" and the 1900s have been the "American Century."
It should now be crystal clear. Modern Ephraim is definitely the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, while Manasseh, without question, is the U.S.A.
Again, the time period for all of this is extremely significant, as we saw in chapter two. If we begin counting the seven prophetic times (2,520 years) of Leviticus 26 from the initial Assyrian incursions into Israel around the mid-740s to early 730s B.C., we would end our count around A.D. 1776 (the signing of the Declaration of Independence) or 1783 (the Treaty of Paris recognizing American independence). If we begin counting from Israel's first Assyrian deportation (c. 734-732 B.C.), we arrive at 1787-1789. The U.S. Constitution was signed in 1787, ratified in 1788 and put into force in 1789. Thus was established the long-prophesied great single nation of Manasseh (Gen. 48)!
What about counting from the three-year siege of Israel's capital city of Samaria (c. 724-721 B.C.)-the final end of the Kingdom of Israel at the time of its second deportation? That takes us to 1797-1800. As we will shortly see, it was in this time frame that, by defeating the French, unquestioned naval supremacy fell to the British-enabling modern Ephraim to become the prophesied "company of nations"!
It is also an astounding fact that exactly 2,520 years after the ancient capital of Samaria fell in 721 B.C., U.S. federal offices were moved in 1800 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a NEW capital city-Washington, D.C.! Truly, only the great, omnipotent God could have orchestrated such events to happen on such a precise time scale! Finally, after the passing of the seven times, there would be no more delay! The incredible birthright promises of "a nation and a company of nations" would be fulfilled. This required separating the two brothers, Ephraim and Manasseh. So, in the late 1700s, God did just that.
He certainly guided the outcome of the Revolution, or the Americans would have been crushed by the far-more-powerful British. Benjamin Franklin reminded the Constitutional Convention in 1787, "In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.
"Our prayers, sir, were answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity."
“To Joseph were born two sons...
This, however, does NOT mean that God favored the Americans (Manassites) over the British (Ephraimites). He was simply working out His purpose. God gave the Americans victory when they fought in their own land-but NOT when they advanced into British Canadian territory: "From the beginning, America's first campaign of territorial conquest [into Canada] seemed dogged with misfortune. Everything went wrong.... The annexation of Canada was clearly not in God's plan for the United States.... It was as if God had a different plan for Canada... a plan separate and distinct from His plan for America" (Peter Marshall and David Manuel, The Light and the Glory, pp. 292, 295-296). And so He did. God, we now know, had reserved that area for Ephraim! Thus, God divided the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh politically and began to bless them in their separate courses-yet not so separate, for these sons of Joseph are close brothers. The Declaration of Independence even mentions "the ties of our common kindred"!
America's "Manifest Destiny"
Following right on the heels of the end of the 2,520-year delay in bestowing the promised birthright blessings, Napoleon Bonaparte's war-weary French Empire made an incredible deal with U.S. President Thomas Jefferson in 1803. France sold the Louisiana Territory to America for about $15 million, a paltry five cents per acre! By the "Louisiana Purchase," the U.S. acquired more than 500 million acres of the richest, most fertile farmland on earth-the "Breadbasket of the World." And, by this awesome purchase, the size of the U.S.A. grew by about 140 percent!
Napoleon is said to have remarked, "This accession of territory affirms forever the power of the United States." Robert Livingstone (U.S. ambassador to France) is said to have commented, "From this day the United States take their place among the powers of the first rank." Never before in the history of mankind had any nation struck such a wonderful deal!
Massive territorial expansion continued, and many Americans came to believe in "Manifest Destiny--that God had foreordained the American people to possess the vast land between Mexico and Canada, "from sea to shining sea." During the 1840s, the idea of America's "Manifest Destiny" swept the nation like a religious revival.
In The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, John L. O'Sullivan wrote of "the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence [God] for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions." He argued that America's claim to the Oregon Territory was "the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and possess the whole continent which Providence has given us for the development of liberty and federative self-government."
In exactly 70 years, 1783-1853, the United States acquired all the territory of the original contiguous 48 states (see map on this page). Never before in the entire history of the world had any nation acquired so much land so cheaply! But that was not the end of U.S. territorial acquisitions!
America's hunger for new land was still not fully satisfied. So, in 1867, the U.S. purchased "Russian America" (Alaska) from Russia for the unbelievably low price of $7,200,000-only about two cents per acre! Despite the extremely low cost, the fantastic purchase of Alaska was ridiculed by some Americans as "Seward's Icebox" and "Seward's Folly" (William Seward was America's Secretary of State who negotiated the purchase). But those foolish Americans soon came to see their own folly when GOLD was discovered in the Klondike region in 1896.
Furthermore, the "Alaskan Pipeline" is now a major source of American OIL! And the sale of Alaskan fish, lumber, minerals, petroleum and other commercial products nets the U.S. tens of billions of dollars annually!
With the purchase of Alaska in 1867, America had acquired her final territorial acquisition in continental North America. Thus, during a period of a mere 84 years (1783-1867), the United States received legitimate titles to all of the contiguous 48 states, plus the mineral-rich land of Alaska! Later, America would receive titles to Hawaii, Puerto Rico and other beautiful and strategically important islands.
Prophesied Anglo-American Military Might
During Israel's 40-year sojourn in the desert, its enemies hired Balaam, a false prophet, to employ enchantments against the people of Israel-hoping to curse them. But, God forced Balaam, against his will, to prophesy good things regarding Israel (Num. 22-24).
Balaam asked, "How shall I curse [Israel] whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced?... How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel!... He has strength like a wild ox ["unicorn" KJV-symbolic here of a very powerful nation]; he shall consume the nations, his enemies; he shall break their bones and pierce them with his arrows. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who will rouse him? Blessed is he who blesses you [Israel], and cursed is he who curses you" (23:8; 24:5, 8-9).
The Prophet Micah also revealed that the modern descendants of Israel would be like the king of beasts among the nations of this earth. "And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, who, if he passes through, both treads down and tears in pieces, and none can deliver. Your hand shall be lifted against your adversaries, and all your enemies shall be cut off" (Mic. 5:8-9)!
Remember from chapter one that, of Israel's descendants, Joseph's offspring were prophesied to become the most powerful in military prowess. In fact, they would become the most powerful nations on earth! Of Joseph "in the last days," Jacob said, "The archers [his enemies] have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him. But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob... who will help you" (Gen. 49:1, 23-25). Clearly, Joseph's descendants would become MIGHTY in military power "in the last days.--
We also saw a similar picture of modern Joseph given to Moses: "His glory is like a firstborn bull, and his horns [weapons] are like the horns of a wild ox ["unicorns" KJV]; together with them he shall push the peoples [Gentile nations] to the ends of the earth; they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh" (Deut. 33:17). How did God fulfill His many promises regarding the people of Israel becoming as powerful as a lion or a wild bull among the nations of this world?
Clues from Our National Heraldry
In Numbers 2:2-34, God commanded the tribes of ancient Israel on their way to the Promised Land to divide into four brigades of three tribes each when they set up camp--with each brigade arranged on one side of the square camp. Each brigade would assemble behind the "standard" of its leading tribe on its side. The four leading tribes were Judah, Reuben, Ephraim and Dan. The Jewish Encyclopaedia ("Flag") and many other sources attest that the ancient heraldic symbol on the standard of Ephraim was a bull or ox. Dan's, as we saw in chapter two, was an eagle. Reuben's was a man. And the symbol of Judah was a lion.
The origin of these symbols can be traced to the prophecies God gave regarding particular tribes (Gen. 49; Deut. 33). Remember what God had said of Ephraim and Manasseh: "His glory is like a firstborn BULL, and his horns [weapons] are like the horns of a wild OX ["UNICORNS" KJV]" (Deut. 33:17). Notice that the New King James replaced the King James word "unicorns" with "a wild ox." This is certainly correct since the medieval unicorn idea is thought to have originated from the bovine oryx of the Sinai Peninsula and not from any horse-related animals!
In Genesis 49:9, God said, "Judah is a lion's whelp." The lion became the national symbol of Judah--and was later tied to the House of David. Jesus Christ, the Messiah who sprang from that line, is called "the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David" (Rev. 5:5). But we have also seen the lion used as a symbol of Joseph's military power (Mic. 5:8-9) along with the bull and wild ox (or unicorn).
Recall that, in later years, Jeroboam, the first king of northern Israel, would erect two golden BULLS--one each in the cities of Dan and Bethel--for the Israelites to worship (1 Kings 12:28-33). As Jeroboam was "an Ephraimite" (11:26) of the "house of Joseph" (v. 28), he may have used the fact that the bull was his own tribal symbol to introduce it into Israel's new pagan worship. The Angles (Angli) who immigrated to Britain in the 400s A.D. were people who once worshipped a bull or heifer. Is it any wonder that a well-known nickname for the English is "John Bull"?
Of course, we see these symbols elsewhere in Scripture too. For instance, Israel became associated with THE LION AND THE UNICORN (or wild ox) in Numbers 24:8-9 (KJV)--representing the scepter and birthright tribes of Judah and Joseph respectively. Incredibly, both these symbols appear on the British Coat of Arms, their Great Seal. Between the Lion and the Unicorn are the Old French words, Honi soit qui mal y pense, meaning "Evil to him who thinks evil"--of Britain, that is. This is very similar to the birthright promise: "Cursed be everyone who curses you" (Gen. 27:29; cf. Num. 24:9). At the bottom are words, Dieu et mon droit, meaning "God and my [birth] right." How remarkable! Ephraim was the leading tribe of the family of Joseph who long ago used the BULL as its tribal symbol. The Ephraimites have been the chief possessor of God's birthright blessings (1 Chron. 5:2; Gen. 48:19). As God declares, "Ephraim is My firstborn" (Jer. 31:9). Isn't it naturally fitting that those BIRTHRIGHT people should today have as one of their mottoes, "God and my [birth] right"?
What about the United States? The fact that America began with 13 colonies, and that America's Great Seal has numerous sets of 13 on it, has convinced some that there was a reason for this number 13 being used in connection with Manasseh--the 13th tribe of Israel. The reverse face of the Great Seal (seen on the back of a dollar bill) displays a pyramid with 13 steps; and atop the pyramid is an "all-seeing eye," representing the "eye of God." The obverse face shows an eagle holding in its right claws an olive branch (representing peace), having 13 leaves and 13 olive berries. In its left talons, the eagle is holding 13 arrows (representing its power to fight). Furthermore, on the eagle's breast is a shield, having 13 bars and 13 stripes, representing the 13 original British colonies. Above the eagle's head are 13 stars within a cloud of glory, and in his mouth is a scroll bearing 13 letters--E PLURIBUS UNUM! Thus the number 13 is stamped all over America's Great Seal. Did Almighty God have a hand in seeing to it that the United States of America began with 13 colonies, as a fit reminder that the core peoples of this new nation were, in fact, descendants of Manasseh, the 13th tribe of the ancient Kingdom of Israel?
Let's notice some of the particulars from the Great Seal in light of a few verses. Eagle: "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself" (Ex. 19:4). Remember, as mentioned previously, that Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin both wanted an Exodus theme on the seal. Olive branch: Israel's "branches shall spread; his beauty shall be as the olive tree" (Hos. 14:6); "Joseph is a fruitful bough... whose branches run over the wall" (Gen. 49:22). The olive branch "is particularly the heraldic device of the tribe of Manasseh" (E. Raymond Capt, Our Great Seal: The Symbols of Our Heritage and Our Destiny, 1979, p. 49). Arrows: "The archers have bitterly grieved [Joseph].... But his bow remained in strength... by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob" (Gen. 49:23-24). The golden radiance breaking from within a cloud represents the shekinah (Heb. "indwelling") glory of God--His presence--such as in the pillar of cloud and fire by which God led the ancient Israelites through the wilderness. Notice that the 13 stars in the glory are arranged in a "Star of David" formation!
When we remember that the mother of Ephraim and Manasseh was an Egyptian (Gen. 41:45), it is amazing to find the main symbol of ancient Egypt--the Great Pyramid--on the reverse side of America's seal. This becomes even more compelling when we learn that on the reverse side of the British seal is the other great symbol of ancient Egypt--the Sphynx!
As mentioned earlier in this chapter, a global power shift occurred in the last few years of the 1700s. Napoleon Bonaparte attempted to seize Egypt, fully intending to gain control of the Mideast and, eventually, to wrest India from the British as a prized imperial possession. But he was thwarted by the British navy. In 1798, Britain's Admiral Horatio Nelson tracked Napoleon's French fleet to Aboukir Bay, Egypt, and then almost destroyed it at the famous Battle of the Nile.
"Overnight, the Mediterranean became an English sea. Napoleon's army, although intact, was stranded in Egypt. Bonaparte could not march to India which was his plan-without a fleet behind to supply him. He tried to move up through the Levant [Eastern Mediterranean] but a British naval squadron stopped him at Acre. 'If it had not been for you English, I'd have been Emperor of the East,' he said later. 'But wherever there is water to float a ship we are sure to find you [English] in the way'" (British Empire, vol. 1, p. 274).
One of history's most significant naval engagements occurred in 1805, when British Admiral Lord Nelson virtually annihilated a combined French and Spanish fleet off Cape Trafalgar and captured 20 enemy ships. Although Lord Nelson died in battle, France, Spain and other nations were forced to acknowledge British supremacy over the high seas. British historian James Morris, in his Pax Britannica, writes, "The presence of the sea, at once insulating the Mother Country and linking it with the Empire, gave the British an imperial confidence" (p. 46).
Britain's pride in her supremacy over the seven seas was aptly illustrated by the words of British Admiral St. Vincent: "I do not say the French cannot come. I only say they cannot come by sea."
In the fateful years 1853-1854, American naval power, under Commodore Matthew C. Perry, persuaded the Japanese leaders to crawl out of their isolationist cocoon, thereby opening Japan to the outside world [and Perry's threat was that, if the Japanese did not negotiate with him, they would have to deal with the far more ferocious British, who had recently defeated the Chinese in the "Opium Wars"]. And American sea power later enabled the U.S. to achieve a quick victory over Spain in the Spanish-American War of 1898.
Anglo-American dominance of the high seas was crucial in their victory over the Central Powers in World War I and the Axis Powers in World War II. Even though Germany and Japan seriously challenged the U.S. and Britain on the high seas during World War II, Anglo-American naval strength-aided by Almighty God-finally won out!
A major reason for British-American supremacy on the high seas is something else that was prophesied thousands of years ago. Recall that God told Abraham, "Your descendants shall possess the GATE of their enemies" (Gen. 22:17)! This blessing was reiterated to Israel's mother: "May your offspring gain possession of the gates of their foes" (Gen. 24:60 NRSV). The Anglo-Americans have possessed, over a period of four centuries, most of the major "sea gates"--vital maritime choke points--of the world (see map on this page).
The Greatest Empire in All History!
"It is likely that if a public opinion poll had asked a representative cross-section of Englishmen in the late 1890s whether they would accept the following two propositions--that the British people had a divinely ordained calling to hold and rule an overseas empire, and that they ruled their Empire better than any other European power-the overwhelming majority would have answered 'yes' to both" (British Empire, p. 2,466).
Lord Archibald, British prime minister (1894-1895), made some revealing comments while speaking to students at Glasgow University in November 1900. Referring to the British Empire, he called its construction "human, and not wholly human, for the most heedless and the most cynical must see the finger of the divine... reaching with a ripple of a restless tide over tracts, and islands and continents, until our little Britain woke up to find herself the foster-mother of nations and the source of united empires. Do we not hail in this, less the energy and fortune of a race than the supreme direction of the Almighty?" (p. 2,466).
Just what did God direct Ephraim's descendants to inherit? In its heyday, the enormity of the British Empire was staggering to contemplate. As it was spread out around the entire globe, a popular saying of the time was, "The sun never sets on the British Empire." Just how big was it? "It was the largest empire in the history of the world, comprising nearly a quarter of the land mass of the earth, and a quarter of the population....
"In fact... it continued to grow until 1933, when its area was 13.9 million square miles and its population 493 million.... The Roman Empire in its prime comprised perhaps 120 million people in an area of 2 1/2 million square miles" (Morris, pp. 21, 27, 42). Thus we see that the British Empire was more than five times the size of the Roman Empire, and included within its jurisdiction more than four times the number of subjects!
Was the Empire the result of an intelligent, carefully-thought-out British plan, or was it something which the British stumbled onto-almost in spite of themselves-because they, unknowingly, were being used by God to fulfill His Word, written nearly 4,000 years ago? "It was [British historian] Sir John Seeley who remarked that the Empire had been acquired 'in a fit of absence of mind'" (p. 37).
Morris answers, "Their Empire, hitherto seen as a fairly haphazard accretion of possessions, now appeared to be setting into some gigantic pattern.... They felt their power was self-engendering, that they were riding a wave of DESTINY, sweeping them on to fulfillment.... The acquisition of it all had been a jerky process. Absence of mind it never was, but it had happened so obscurely that to the ordinary Briton the rise of the Empire must have seemed more like some organic movement than the conscious result of national policies. There seemed no deliberation to it. One thing simply led to another" (pp. 22, 42).
He further explains, "Wherever there was [vacant land with a temperate climate]... the British had seized and occupied it, filling in the empty spaces of the world, and setting up their own kind of society wherever they went. Such was, so the romantic idealists thought, the Manifest Destiny of the Empire" (p. 41).
"During Queen Victoria's remarkable reign [the longest in British history, 1837-1901] the empire had grown by more than ten times, from a scatter of disregarded possessions to a quarter of the land mass of the earth, and a third of its population. It had changed the face of the continents with its cities, its railways, its churches, its myriad cantonments, and it had changed the manner of life of entire peoples, stamping its own values upon civilizations from the Cree to the Burmese, besides creating several fully-fledged new nations of its own.
"The powers of the world, envious of the British Empire's splendor, reluctantly acknowledged its supremacy. Even the German Kaiser [Wilhelm II] congratulated his aunt [Queen Victoria] upon her glorious Diamond Jubilee in 1897" (James Morris, Heaven's Command, p. 539). The British Empire was the "forge" or the "crucible" by which the British-controlled territories were transformed into actual separate, completely sovereign "nations" of the Commonwealth.
"Chosen for Service"
James Morris also noted, "It was not merely the right of the British to rule a quarter of the world, so the imperialists thought, it was actually their duty. They were called. They would so distribute across the earth their own methods, principles and liberal traditions that the future of mankind would be reshaped. Justice would be established, miseries relieved, ignorant savages enlightened, all by the agency of British power and money" (Pax Britannica, p. 26).
Many Britons believed that the task of ruling their Empire was a divine assignment, and they took it very seriously. They felt an immense sense of pride in their imperial achievements. "Never since the world began... did any nation assume anything like so much responsibility.... The British had no doubts about the superiority of their civilization and its faith.... 'In the Empire we have found,' George Curzon once magnificently announced, 'not merely the key to glory and wealth, but the call to duty, and the means of service to mankind.'
"Even Joseph Chamberlain [colonial secretary, 1895-1903], who saw the Empire primarily as a profitable estate, declared that British imperial rule could be justified only if it added to the happiness, prosperity, security and peace of the subject peoples-'in carrying out this work of civilization we are fulfilling what I believe to be our national mission.' 'Take up the White Man's Burden!' cried [author Rudyard] Kipling, when the Americans were debating whether or not to acquire the Philippines'" (pp. 45, 122).
A Note About "Anglo-Israelism"
The biblical and historical facts presented in this publication do not support much of what has been known, generally, as "Anglo-Israelism."
1) "Anglo-Israelism," generally speaking, equates the Ten Lost Tribes with the English peoples. However, this brochure has consistently mentioned that the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples of Northwest Europe--not just the English (Anglos)--trace their ancestors' footsteps back to the lands of their captivity in Southwest Asia. Furthermore, this brochure has shown from history that, today, the "Anglos" (i.e. English peoples) only make up, in actual fact, a minority of those Northwest European peoples who now constitute the Ten Lost Tribes.
In North America the Celtic peoples (Scots, Irish, Welsh etc.) are more numerous than the English. Even in northwestern and southwestern England, many people are not descendants of either the Angles or the Saxons, but are of Celtic blood. It is also a fact that many of the British-descended peoples of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa trace their lineage back to Britain's first permanent inhabitants, the Celts (who immigrated to the British Isles centuries before the time of Christ), rather than tracing their lineage to the Anglo-Saxons, who poured into eastern England in the fifth century A.D.
2) Some who embrace "Anglo-Israelism" look upon many (if not most!) of the Jews as being "Gentiles"--the descendants of Esau, the Canaanites or other non-Israelites such as the Khazars of Russia. But that simply is not true.
In addition, some who believe in Anglo-Israelism wrongly teach that many of the people of southern Ireland are descendants of the ancient Canaanites, who descended from Noah's son Ham. But there is nothing, either in the Bible or in secular history, to indicate this!
3) Many adherents of "Anglo-Israelism" have also believed that the British Empire, in its heyday, constituted the fifth world-ruling kingdom mentioned in the book of Daniel--which is obviously the KINGDOM OF GOD (Dan. 2:31-45; 7:3-28)! However, the Word of God reveals that the British Empire was not God's Kingdom.
The Bible clearly teaches that the Kingdom of God will be made up of spirit-composed, immortal saints (glorified children of God, either by a "resurrection from the dead" or by instantaneous "change"--1 Thess. 4:13-17). The Bible plainly says that "flesh and blood [i.e. mortal humans] cannot inherit the KINGDOM OF GOD; nor does corruption inherit incorruption" (1 Cor. 15:50)!
4) And some who hold "Anglo-Israel" views teach that our Anglo-American peoples can never be conquered. Bible prophecy says otherwise!
Let it, therefore, be made quite clear that the ideas expressed in this brochure do not reflect such "Anglo-Israelite" views as those mentioned above!
Like our ancient father Joseph, the British and American peoples have served as able administrators over other nations (Gen. 27:29). But we Britons and Americans must never forget that God has blessed us, not because of our own innate intelligence, goodness or imagined superiority, but for His own high purpose! We have been chosen by God to fulfill a special purpose in His Great Master Plan (Ex. 19:4-6; Amos 3:2). Dr. Curzon said, "If we dare to use the [expression] 'a chosen people,' all boasting will be excluded if we remember that in the language of true religion 'chosen' means chosen for service, perhaps for suffering, never for favouritism" (Brian Williams, Judgment on Britain, 1966, p. 11)!
Even the military supremacy of Ephraim and Manasseh has been used for service (see box: "Divine Intervention During World War II"). The United States of America emerged from the Second World War as the greatest superpower nation the world has ever seen. Winston Churchill later reflected on the brotherhood his nation shared with its chief ally. Speaking before the House of Commons on October 28, 1947, he said, "I must turn to the United States, with whom our fortunes and interests are intertwined.... The Americans... have become today the greatest state and power in the world, speaking our own language, cherishing our common law, and pursuing... the same ideals."
Paul Kennedy, in The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, pointed out that, at the end of World War II, the U.S. was more powerful in relation to other nations than it has ever been: "America alone, he noted, held the secret to the atomic bomb. It also held two-thirds of the world's gold reserves, half its manufacturing production and half its ships and supplied one-third of the globe's exports" (Los Angeles Times, Aug. 27, 1989).
What incredible power in the hands of a single nation! But how did America use that enormous wealth and influence? To browbeat other nations into submission? No! America set out to rebuild the nations of Europe through the Marshall Plan-including Germany! The U.S. governed Japan for a few years, reconstructed the war-torn country and gave it a new constitution. Germany and Japan are global economic powers today, thanks, in part, to the great generosity of the American people-for which all credit really belongs to God!
Remember how God sent Joseph to Egypt before the rest of his family "to preserve life.... and to save [their] lives by a great deliverance" (Gen. 45:5, 7)? The descendants of Joseph were used in a similar way in the 20th century. When the other Israelite nations of Northwest Europe were oppressed by the Nazi jackboot, it was primarily America and Britain--the sons of modern "Joseph"--who freed them. Of course, no one was as sorely afflicted during World War II as the Jews, the children of Judah, who were enduring Hitler's "Final Solution"--the awful, genocidal Holocaust. After a hard, bitter struggle, Joseph's descendants at long last broke through the German lines and came to the rescue of their brother Judah and the other Northwest European nations of Israel. And, even amid the horror of what had happened, there was great weeping and rejoicing at this wonderful deliverance in 1945. At no time has it been more true that "the arms of [Joseph's] hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob" (Gen. 49:24) than during the Second World War. Were it not for the many instances of divine intervention in that conflict, the Axis Powers could have emerged victorious, plunging the entire world into a new "Dark Age."
In the "Miracle of Dunkirk" (May 26-June 4, 1940) the trapped Allies could easily have been destroyed by Hitler's army as they attempted to evacuate across the English Channel. But, inexplicably, unusual weather closed in. An extremely thick fog blanketed the area and the usually rough water of the Channel became so calm that even the smallest boats could sail on it without risk of capsizing. The fog grounded the Nazi airplanes which couldn't effectively see their targets to bomb them--and Hitler gave a strange order for his tanks to halt their advance. So a motley flotilla of about 1,000 boats of every size and description evacuated over 338,000 Allied troops from the beaches at Dunkirk. Hitler's strange order and the God-sent weather saved the day. Many among the Allies considered their escape from Dunkirk an instance of divine intervention! As Churchill later said, "Wars are not won by evacuations, but there was a victory inside this DELIVERANCE."
The Battle of Britain (June 20-Oct. 31), which soon followed, was decisive in saving Britain from Nazi invasion! Though severely pounded by German bombing, Britain rallied behind Churchill, and the British Royal Air Force eventually won the day against the German Luftwaffe. Britain's Chief Air Marshal, Sir Hugh Dowding, Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command, gave God the credit: "I say with absolute conviction that I can trace the INTERVENTION OF GOD, not only in the battle itself, but in the events which led up to it, and that if it had not been for this intervention, the battle would have been joined in conditions which, humanly speaking, would have rendered victory impossible!"
In the first battle of El Alamein in July 1942, more than 1,000 Germans surrendered to the Allies due to extreme thirst caused by drinking salt water out of a British-laid pipeline--which, remarkably, would have been empty the day before--or full of fresh water two days later. According to British Major Peter Rainier, "For 1,100 of them [the Germans] to surrender when escape lay open--that was nothing short of a MIRACLE!" ("A Drink That Made History," Reader's Digest). On October 31, 1942, during the final battle of El Alamein, a somber Churchill gave God full credit: "I have a feeling sometimes that some GUIDING HAND has interfered. I have a feeling that we [Britons] have a GUARDIAN."
On D-Day (June 6, 1944), the Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy. Years later, the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces, American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, revealed what an agonizing decision he had been called upon to make when giving the green light to the invasion. He also said, "If there were nothing else in my life to prove the existence of an Almighty and Merciful God, the events of the next twenty-four hours did it!" D-Day was a great success!
Later that same year, American forces in the Pacific fought the powerful Japanese fleet in what became the world's greatest sea battle--the Battle of Leyte Gulf--on October 23-25. "Sprague [the U.S. force's operational commander] was dumbfounded.... He had held his own against a fleet many times his superior.... His success was due, he wrote later, not simply to the tactics he had adopted but also to 'the definite partiality of ALMIGHTY GOD'" (The World at War, p. 375). But it would take far more than this victory to defeat the Japanese--who were resolved to hold out to the last man if need be.
The Anglo-Americans--with the help of Jewish scientists fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe--won the frenzied race to build the atomic bomb. And, to avert the possible deaths of millions in a conventional invasion of Japan, President Truman ordered the new super weapon to be used. Churchill said, "We [Anglo-Americans] seemed suddenly to have become possessed of a merciful abridgment of the slaughter in the East and of a far happier prospect in Europe. I have no doubt that these thoughts were present in the minds of my American friends. At any rate, there never was a moment's discussion as to whether the atomic bomb should be used or not! To avert a vast, indefinite butchery, to bring the war to an end, to give peace to the world, to lay healing hands upon its tortured peoples by a manifestation of overwhelming power at the cost of a few explosions, seemed, after all our toils and perils, A MIRACLE OF DELIVERANCE" (p. 553)!
In recent years, the Soviet Union has disintegrated as a superpower. American President George Bush explained in his January 28, 1992, "State of the Union" address, "A world once divided into two armed camps now recognizes one sole and preeminent power, the United States of America. And they regard this with no dread. For the world trusts us with power, and the world is right. They trust us to be fair, and restrained. They trust us to be on the side of decency. They trust us to do what's right." These words followed the Persian Gulf War in which the American-led coalition liberated Kuwait from Iraq.
Israel-a Blessing to Other Nations!
Here, then, is the fulfillment of the physical aspect of God's promise to Abraham that "in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 12:3). Not only would spiritual salvation come through Abraham's descendant, Jesus Christ, but also Abraham's modern descendants would be a great blessing to other nations.
The United States and Britain have spent multiple billions of dollars in providing foreign aid to other countries. Historically, our nations are the ones that have always raced to the rescue of those in need. Untold millions of tons of food and humanitarian supplies have been unloaded on foreign docks bearing such labels as, "From the people of the United States."
Notice the incredible parallel drawn by Royal Society member Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge (1851-1940), a British physics professor and university principal: "We [British], too, are a chosen people. It were blasphemy to deny our BIRTHRIGHT and responsibility. Our destiny in the world is no small one. We are peopling great tracts of the earth and carrying thither our language and our customs. The migration of that primitive tribe from Ur of the Chaldees under the leadership of that splendid old chief, Abram, into the Land of Promise, was an event fraught with stupendous results for the human race." If Lodge only knew how true his words were!
But there is a spiritual side even to this. A British minister, C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), once said, "I judge that God has blessed the two great nations of the Anglo-Saxon race--England and the United States--and given them preeminence [so that]... they may spread abroad the knowledge of the glory of God" (Treasury of the Old Testament, vol. 2, p. 145).
How true! The Anglo-American peoples have sent hundreds of millions of Bibles, in virtually every known tongue, into all nations! And it has been primarily through those same peoples that the true Gospel of the Kingdom of God has been preached WORLDWIDE-and must yet be preached and published GLOBALLY (Matt. 24:14; 28:19; Mark 16:15)! Americans and Britons have been chosen NOT for favoritism--but for SERVICE toward the other nations of the world!
Again, God fulfilled His promises in amazing detail. Ishmael's descendants, the Arabs, may have become an empire larger than Rome's, but that pales into insignificance when compared to what became of Isaac's descendants. Ephraim ALONE became the greatest empire in human experience-FIVE TIMES as big as that of the Romans-on which the sun never set! From it emerged a "multitude of nations"! Manasseh became the greatest single nation that has ever existed. Since World War II, it has been the undisputed leader of the free world.
The descendants of these two sons of Joseph came into possession of the most bountiful lands on earth. God gave them the vital sea gates of the world. They rose to military dominance and national prominence as no other nations ever have. They became industrial supergiants. And how did they use their new-found power? As a blessing to other peoples of the globe! And it all happened right on schedule--exactly as prophesied. Can you think of a more amazing proof of a living, intervening God?
Here, then, is Israel-not the tiny Jewish state in the Middle East, (which, incidentally, owes its very existence to the continued support of its Josephite brother, the U.S.A.), but superpower nations sitting astride the geopolitical landscape, controlling world affairs! Here, then, is Israel-not scratching in the dust to grow meager amounts of food to barely survive on, but helping to feed the entire planet from the superabundance of the richest soil imaginable! Here, then, is Israel-not looking elsewhere for new tools, but always leading the world in advancing the cutting edge of technology. And here, then, is Israel-not constantly defending her flag from stronger enemies, but planting her flag on the surface of the moon!
Can there be any doubt that the mighty hand of God has directed all of this? How thankful are we for what God has done? In the next chapter, we will see how well our American and British peoples have fared in living up to their divine calling and purpose-and what is prophesied to happen to them.
America & Britain in
What Is Now Prophesied?
hat does the future hold for our American and British peoples? Despite the tremendous, incredible blessings God has poured out on our peoples, not all is well with Britain and America. In fact, something terribly wrong has happened.
Following World War II, the sun finally set on the mighty British Empire as it quickly vanished from the global scene--almost overnight! Today, Britain's foreign holdings continue to dwindle. For example, Hong Kong reverts to China in 1997. The British Commonwealth is no more. (There is still a "Commonwealth," but its 50 member nations are no longer subject to the British Crown and are predominantly non-British in descent.)
The United States, once the greatest creditor nation in earth's history-even forgiving many other nations many billions of dollars of debt--has now become the greatest debtor nation the world has ever seen! Our society is plagued by persistent unemployment, broken homes and crime.
Instead of gleaming "alabaster cities," many of our urban centers are like festering scabs-just waiting to erupt in racial strife and uncontrollable violence. Our inner cities are breeding grounds for rioting, gang violence, murder, substance abuse, poverty, illiteracy, teenage pregnancy and increasing misery of every sort.
Tragically, Britain and America have mostly failed in God's purpose for them of being a blessing and good example to other nations. Moral debasement and a rejection of God by far too many have exacted a huge toll. In this chapter, we will see how this has happened to the English-speaking peoples and why God is going to have to violently SHAKE us out of our evil ways.
The American author, John Steinbeck (1902-1968), once said, "If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much and I would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy and sick." Compared with the one billion impoverished human beings lacking adequate food, many Americans, Britons, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders are overfed and overweight! Have we been so blessed that we have taken these God-given blessings for granted? Have we been too blessed for our own good?
Japan's late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka once said, "I often wonder why you [Americans] worry so much about domestic problems when you have such an abundance of resources. For example, look at American agricultural productivity. It's easy for the U.S. to expand its output whenever it chooses. We can't do that in Japan. When I compare the situation here in Japan with the situation in your country, I think that as a nation you are too privileged.... God has not been very fair in the distribution of resources.... Americans have the most stable economy, they have an abundance of resources available within their own country, and they have more investments abroad than any other country" (U.S. News & World Report, Nov. 26, 1973).
Have we, indeed, been "too privileged"? As we read in the previous chapter, it is God's prerogative, as the Creator and Possessor of Heaven and Earth, to distribute resources to whomever He wills-to fulfill His supreme purpose. But we, the recipients of the fabulous birthright blessings, need to always appreciate them, giving Almighty God thanks for everything we have, remembering that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights" (Jas. 1:17). Yet we Anglo-Americans have not always kept this important fact in mind.
"We Have Forgotten God"
President Abraham Lincoln eloquently summarized our forgetful attitude as the American Civil War raged: "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
"Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of [God's] redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!" (Proclamation, Mar. 30, 1863).
God even foresaw this mindset-and warned Israel against it: "Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest--when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied... your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God.... Then you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth'" (Deut. 8:11-14, 17).
How does God answer this? "And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers.... If you by any means forget the LORD your God... I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish" (vv. 18-19). But, frighteningly, this is exactly what most of our peoples HAVE done! Surely national destruction cannot be far behind.
God's prophecies reveal a broken and devastated Israel at the very end of this age--sorely punished for forgetting and rebelling against God. "Indeed all the nations will wonder, 'Why has the LORD done thus to this land? What caused this great display of anger?' They will conclude, 'It is because they abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their ancestors'" (Deut. 29:24-25 NRSV).
Frankly, then, we have only ourselves to blame. In President Lincoln's solemn words, "If danger ever reaches us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher." He was right. It is our grievous national sins that separate us from God (Is. 59:1-2)!
If Israel had continued to worship and obey God, it would have become a model nation for all the other nations to follow! Moses made this point clear: "Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live... for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us.... And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?" (Deut. 4:1, 6-8).
Yet notice what would happen if the Israelites betrayed their special relationship with God: "O children of Israel... 'You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities'" (Amos 3:1-2). God believes in accountability! "But they [the Israelites] rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them" (Is. 63:10). What a frightening thing it is when we make God-the most powerful Being in the universe-our enemy!
During the Korean War, on December 12, 1951, General Douglas MacArthur alerted his fellow Americans: "In this day of gathering storm, as the moral deterioration... spreads its infection... it is essential that every spiritual force be mobilized to defend and preserve the religious base upon which this nation was founded. For it is that base which has been the motivating impulse to our moral and national growth.
"History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual reawakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster" (A Soldier Speaks, pp. 285-286). As horrible as it is to contemplate, this is exactly where America and Britain are heading!
"I Will Break the Pride of Your Power!"
Remember from chapter two that Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 outline blessings for Israel's obedience to God and curses for disobedience. These were not for Old Testament times only!
U.S. President Abraham Lincoln
"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven...we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God."
Some believe that, because God divorced ancient Israel (Jer. 3:8) and because the Old Covenant marriage ended with Christ's death, God no longer deals with His physical people based on these principles. While the Husband/wife relationship based on the Sinai covenant HAS ended between God and physical Israel, the God/people relationship based on much earlier promises to Abraham
has certainly NOT ended! The conditional prophecies of blessings and curses was not the Old Covenant itself. Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 simply express how God would deal with His physical people-even today!
Through Moses, God solemnly promised the Israelites that if they obeyed Him, He would bless them and their descendants in their cities and countryside. They would be given peace, prosperity, overflowing happiness and every blessing imaginable! This included unquestioned military supremacy: "You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight" (Lev. 26:7-8).
But if they flagrantly broke God's covenant, His laws and statutes, then God Almighty said He would remove those blessings and punish them for their unfaithfulness. They would have drought, crop failures, famine and pestilence. The aliens in their land would rise up very high above them until they were destroyed as a nation (cf. Deut. 28:43).
Moreover, God warns: "But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments... but break my covenant, I will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever.... I will set my face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then.... I will break the pride of your power" (Lev. 26:14-19)! Not only did this apply to ancient Israel-it also applies to modern Israel-the Anglo-Saxon-Celts!
Have we witnessed warning signals that our power is already being broken? Many claim that Britain has been reduced to a "fourth-rate power." The U.S. has been called a "paper tiger" or described as "all bark and no bite." Has America lost the will to win? When we fought North Korea, along with our U.N. allies, we reached a stalemate. When we fought the Vietnamese, our soldiers never lost a major military engagement. But politics and public scorn forced us to shamefully crawl out of that war-torn country on our bellies. Of course, we Anglo-Americans have won a few police actions against such tiny countries as Grenada, the Falkland Islands and Panama.
More recently, we and our allies fought Iraq in the Persian Gulf War. Early in the conflict, U.S. President George Bush called on all Americans to pray to God for divine help and the safety of our men. It is striking that there were remarkably few losses! President Bush responded admirably to this outcome by again calling on Americans to pray-this time to thank God for answering the nation's prayers.
However, in general, our people have not truly turned to God in heartfelt repentance-rejecting their sinful ways and embracing God's commandments. Thus, the pride we had in our military power remains broken. In fact, even though we could have vanquished Iraq, totally eliminating the threat it posed to our national interests, we stopped short of marching in and deposing the "Butcher of Baghdad."
The Coming "Great Tribulation"
One of the most detailed prophecies in the Bible is found in Jeremiah 31-32. The Prophet Jeremiah wrote about 130 years after the northern Ten Tribes of Israel were taken captive in 721 B.C. Therefore his prophecies couldn't possibly refer to ancient Israel prior to that time. (That would be like a prophet today "foretelling" the American Civil War.) Jeremiah's prophecies can only refer to the end time-our day! They are addressed to both "Israel and Judah" (Jer. 30:4), meaning both the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples and our kinsmen, the Jews.
Jeremiah writes, "For thus says the LORD: 'We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of JACOB'S trouble, but [after going through it] he shall be saved out of it'" (vv. 5-7)!
The Prophet Daniel, who wrote his prophecies even later than Jeremiah-nearly 200 years after the ancient captivity of the Ten Tribes-also mentions a time of trouble for Israel "at the time of the end" (Dan. 11:40). "At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince ["the archangel" Moffatt] who stands watch over the sons of your people [Jacob's descendants]; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time [after enduring this horrible "trouble"], your people shall be delivered" (12:1).
In Matthew 24, Jesus Christ spoke of what could only be the same traumatic time of unprecedented worldwide human suffering: "For then there will be great tribulation [Gk. thlipsis megale, "mega-misery"], such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened [by God], no flesh would be saved ["alive" Moffatt]; but for the elect's sake [i.e. the sake of those who genuinely turn to God in repentant obedience and faith] those days will be shortened" (vv. 21-22; cf. Mark 13:19-20). Only in our modern age-with the proliferation of nuclear weaponry-has it been possible that if a great conflict were not halted, "no flesh would be saved alive."
Christ said, concerning this Great Tribulation, "For it will come as a SNARE on all those who dwell on the face of the WHOLE EARTH" (Luke 21:35). Yet Jesus has promised those who remain faithful to Him, "Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial [Tribulation] which is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth" (Rev. 3:10 NRSV)!
When we put these verses together, we see that ALL of them refer unmistakably to the SAME TIME. There cannot be more than one worst time ever! These passages describe a unique time in man's history-a time of great trouble so traumatic that no other period in the entire history of the earth will have ever been so bad. In all the bloodstained, awful history of humanity, never has any people experienced the intensity of horrors prophesied to come on a global scale.
The Prophet Ezekiel, writing between the times of Jeremiah and Daniel-about 150 years after the Ten Tribes went into Assyrian captivity-also mentioned this unparalleled time of Jacob's trouble. God, in Ezekiel 5, tells modern Israel, "Because you have multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you, and have not walked in My statutes, nor kept My judgments... I, even I, am against you and will execute judgments in your midst.... And I will do among you what I have never done, and the like of which I will never do again" (vv. 7-9).
But why would a loving God allow such a terrible calamity to befall His people? "A disaster, a singular disaster; behold, it has come!... Doom has come to you, you who dwell in the land; the time has come, a day of trouble [the Great Tribulation] is near, and not of rejoicing.... Now upon you I will soon pour out My fury, and spend My anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations.
"My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will repay you according to your ways, and your abominations will be in your midst. Then you will know that I am the LORD who strikes" (7:5, 7-9). Idolatry, sorcery, murder, rape, adultery, incest and homosexuality and numerous other loathsome acts are all "abominations" in the eyes of God (Lev. 20:1-27).
But in the eyes of our society, homosexuality is accepted as a "lifestyle choice"-even with signs held aloft at parades for "gay pride" with blasphemous slogans such as, "God is gay!" God will not let such wickedness go unpunished (cf. Gen. 19; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). Also, the murder of countless millions of innocent unborn children (i.e. "legalized" abortion) is a terrible blot on the Anglo-American national conscience (Num. 35:33; Ezek. 7:23; Is. 59:3). Rest assured--God is going to repay our peoples for such great evil!
Shamefully, the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples are flagrantly breaking God's laws--committing not only religious crimes such as idolatry and Sabbath breaking (cf. Ezek. 20:12-24; Is. 59:1-15), but also many heinous sins and perversions.
Horrifying World War III!
In Ezekiel 5, the Almighty describes future pestilence, famine and warfare on an almost unimaginable scale: "ONE-THIRD of you shall die of the pestilence [disease epidemics, such as cancer, AIDS, Ebola, etc.], and be consumed with famine in your midst; and ONE-THIRD shall fall by the sword [warfare] all around you; and I will scatter ANOTHER THIRD to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. Thus shall My anger be spent, and I will cause My fury to rest upon them, and I will be avenged; and they shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it in My zeal, when I have spent My fury upon them" (vv. 12-13)!
What a staggering death toll! If one-third of our people die of disease and famine, and one-third die by war, this would mean the deaths of approximately 200 million modern Israelites-since there are now about 300 million Anglo-Saxon-Celtic descendants of the ancient Patriarch Jacob living in Northwest Europe, North America and Australasia. Also, ONE-THIRD of all mankind in general will die during the terrible coming crises at the close of this age (Rev. 9:12-21)! Such awful, ni.htmlarish destruction could happen only by a horrifying World War III!
At the time when the Anglo-Americans have become, among other nations, "like a lion among the beasts of the forest" with all our enemies "cut off" (Mic. 5:8-9), God says that, because of our skyrocketing sins and crimes, He will bring sudden destruction upon us-giving us over to crushing defeat at the hands of a cruel enemy! The very next verses in Micah make this quite clear: "And it shall be in that day... that I will cut off your horses from your midst and destroy your chariots [tanks, artillery, armored cars].
"I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down all your strongholds [military installations]. I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no soothsayers [no more psychic phone hotlines!]. Your carved images [which fill our churches and religious shrines] I will also cut off.... You shall no more worship the work of your hands.... Thus I will destroy your cities" (vv. 10-14)!
How will this happen? Ezekiel 6:6-7 makes it even more plain: "In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste.... The slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the LORD." This never happened in the destruction of ancient Israel-it must refer to a time soon coming! What, then, is meant here? Think about it: cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, London, Glasgow, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland-ALL LAID WASTE!
Coupled with Christ's remark that "no flesh would be saved alive" if God didn't intervene (Matt. 24:22), this almost certainly indicates horrific nuclear warfare or some other advanced method of mass destruction. It is a terrifying fact that man has never invented a weapon he has not later used. Missiles packing multiple nuclear warheads will, more than likely, prove to be no exception.
In the aftermath of the coming conflagration, a lack of sustenance will produce ghastly consequences: "I will let loose the sword of war on you, in punishment for your breach of compact, and you shall huddle inside your towns; I will send pestilence among you, and you shall fall into the hands of an enemy. When I deprive you of the bread that sustains you, ten of your women will need but one oven for their baking, and your bread shall be doled out in rations, till you never have enough to eat. If all this will not make you listen to me, if you continue to defy me, then I will defy you in my fury.... You shall be forced to eat the flesh of your sons and of your daughters" (Lev. 26:25-29 Moffatt).
The starving, emaciated descendants of modern Israel (our Anglo-American people) will even stoop to CANNIBALISM! Ezekiel also prophesied this tragic condition: "Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers" (Ezek. 5:10). The Word of God relates the gory details of this vile episode in Deuteronomy 28:53-57 (cf. 2 Kings 6:25-29).
National Captivity Again?
Correction from God is absolutely necessary. Just as any loving parent will sometimes discipline his or her children for their ultimate good, so it is with God (Heb. 12:5-11). Our merciful God promises, "Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you [Israel's countries today], yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, and will not let you go altogether unpunished" (Jer. 30:11). The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand-all of these political entities will disappear from history. But, as with the ancient Kingdom of Israel, the citizenry of these countries will not be completely wiped out (Amos 9:8-9). What will happen to those who are not destroyed?
As we saw in Ezekiel, though two-thirds of modern Israelites will die by war, disease and famine, another third (about 100 million people) will be scattered. How will this be accomplished? God says, "Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries. Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are CARRIED CAPTIVE" (Ezek. 6:8-9).
"Carried captive"? Many contend that Ezekiel, himself a Jewish exile in Babylonian captivity, was writing here about the Jews. That is simply not so. God told him to direct his words to the "mountains [prophetic symbol for nations] of ISRAEL" (v. 3). When shown this, many then conclude that these words refer to ancient Israel's Assyrian captivity. But could that be so? No-for, as mentioned previously, Ezekiel wrote his prophecies a century and a half after that captivity. Thus God, through Ezekiel, was here referring to a yet future captivity and deportation IN OUR DAY!
The Almighty tells our peoples, "I will scatter you [as He did the Ten Tribes in the 700s B.C.] among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.... You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And those of you who are left shall waste away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands" (Lev. 26:33, 38-39). How very similar to the concentration camps of National-Socialist Germany!
In Jeremiah's prophecy, God explains the nature of the coming captivity which Israel and Judah will yet be led out of (something that has NEVER happened before): "For behold, the days are coming... that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah" (30:3). In ancient times, Israel's captivity (721 B.C.) occurred 135 years before Judah's captivity (586 B.C.). But, during "Jacob's Trouble," the captivity of Israel and Judah will occur simultaneously.
What will God be delivering them from? "For it shall come to pass in that day... that I will break his YOKE from your neck, and will burst your BONDS; foreigners shall no more enslave them'" (v. 8). When Britons sing "Rule Britannia," they boast that "Britons never will be slaves!" But, despite those lyrics, modern Britons, and Americans too, will be herded into slavery-scattered over the globe to work in their captors' mines, factories, fields, etc.
Prophecy reveals that, during the coming, horrendous World War III, both the Anglo-Americans and the Jews will suffer together at the hands of the coming "Beast" mentioned in Revelation 13, 17 and 19-a revival of sorts of the Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages in a ten-nation European power bloc. This system is also referred to as "Babylon" (Is. 47; Rev. 18). Even as you read these words, this coming political, economic and religious superpower is forming in Europe under the auspices of the European Union. Other prophecies show that Germany will provide its dynamic heart (see box: "Portrait of a Cruel Conqueror").
Israel's captivity will be a horrific time of unparalleled suffering, during which the vast majority of modern Israel will die. Isaiah wrote: "Then I said, 'Lord, how long will it be before they are ready to listen?' And he replied, 'Not until their cities are destroyed-without a person left-and the whole country is an utter wasteland, and they are all taken away as slaves to other countries far away, and all the land of Israel lies deserted! Yet a TENTH--a remnant--will survive; and though Israel is invaded again and again and destroyed, yet Israel will be like a tree cut down, whose stump still lives to grow again'" (Is. 6:11-13 Living Bible).
Think of it! Of the 100 million scattered Israelites taken into captivity, only a mere fraction will survive! How might this happen? Are you, the reader, aware that modern chemical weapons are far more lethal than the gas chambers and ovens of Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Treblinka, etc.- by which millions of Jews, Slavs and others were slaughtered during the Second World War. Some of those gas chambers still stand preserved right now as monuments of great human atrocities. They remind us of the capabilities of the evil and unscrupulous! All of this should shake us out of lethargy!
Who will Israel's main enemy in the end time be? Moses predicted, "The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the EAGLE flies, a nation whose language you will not understand" (Deut. 28:49). To fulfill this prophecy to Israel in ancient times, God used the Assyrians-with their symbol of the eagle. A number of prophecies show that, in the last days, God will use these same people to lead a ten-nation United States of Europe to capture and enslave modern Israel. In fact, modern Assyria will be the main land of our peoples' future captivity (Is. 11:16; 27:13; Zech. 10:10).
Just who were the Assyrians-and who are they today? Smith's Bible Dictionary says, "Assyria... derived its name apparently from Asshur, the son of Shem, Gen. 10:22, who in later times was worshipped by the Assyrians as their chief god" ("Assyria, Asshur--). What happened to these people when their empire fell at the destruction of their capital city of Nineveh in 612 B.C.? Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.) located the "Assyriani" of his day NORTH of the Crimea in Russia (Historia Naturalis, bk. 4, sec. 12).
So the Assyrians must have migrated north through the Caucasus Mountains just as the Cimmerians and some Scythians did! This would make them "Caucasian" too--which makes sense, considering their Shemite (white) ancestry. Where did they go from the Crimea? Jerome (Latin scholar, c. 340-420) later wrote, "Asshur also is joined with the tribes invading Western Europe ALONG THE RHINE" (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, ltr. 123, sec. 16). So their migratory route was similar to the Israelites-except the Assyrians stopped in Central Europe and settled "along the Rhine."
The names of some of Asshur's descendants also give some striking clues about the identity of the modern Assyrians. Though not listed in the Bible, they can be found in numerous ancient histories and Bible encyclopedias. They include: Khatti; Akkadians; Kassites (or Cossaei); and Almani (or Halmani). Now notice the names of early German tribes in Europe: Hessians (anciently named Khatti-"Germany," Encyclopaedia Britannica); Quadians (Latin for Akkadians); the Chauci (same as the Cossaei); and the Allemani (Latin for Almani). The French name for Germany is still Allemagne! Certainly we have identified the modern descendants of Asshur. They are the German-speaking peoples of Central Europe!
Now it is much easier to see how some of the Germans have been looked upon as Scythian-related by modern historians. They migrated from the same areas! Also we can better see how the language of the modern Scythians (Israelites) is Germanic (Assyrian)-they adopted the language of their captors! But wasn't Assyrian a Semitic language like Hebrew-totally different from modern German? The Oxford Companion to the Bible says that Assyrian Emperor "Ashurnasirpal II (884-859 B.C.E.)... brought large numbers of Arameans [descendants of Shem's son Aram-Syrians] into the heartland of Assyria, swelling the ranks of the court... and, by the early seventh century, replacing the Assyrian language with Aramaic [Semitic language like Hebrew] as the vernacular"-i.e. at court and as the language of writing (1993, p. 63). The unwritten language of the Assyrian people was undoubtedly the one from which the Germanic languages descend.
Notice what God says about the sons of Asshur: "Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation [Israel], and against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, to seize the spoil, to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Yet he does not mean so, nor does his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy, and cut off not a few nations" (Is. 10:5-7). God is saying that he uses Assyria as His instrument of punishment upon Israel, but the Assyrians have other motives. Their only concern is destroying other peoples in a continual rage of imperial conquest. Haven't we seen that in modern times too?
World Wars I and II were both primarily due to German imperialism! When the "Fuhrer" (leader) stood before the great German eagle and cried for lebensraum ("living space"), was that so very different from the ways of ancient Assyria? "Its imperialistic ethic was embodied in the Middle Assyrian coronation ritual, in which the officiating priest solemnly charged the king: 'Expand your land!'" (p. 63). There are many such parallels. The worship of their father Asshur is quite interesting. Perhaps it could explain why, instead of a "Mother Country," the Germans exalt the "Fatherland."
What kind of people were the ancient Assyrians? Their cruelty was renowned among the ancient conquering empires: "They were a proud, warlike, and cruel race. Although possessing genuine religious feeling, still the Assyrian monarchs often displayed in their treatment of prisoners the disposition of savages. The sculptured marbles taken from the palaces exhibit the cruel tortures inflicted upon prisoners; kings are being led before their conqueror with hooks thrust through their lips; other prisoners are being flayed alive; the eyes of some are being bored out with the point of a spear; and still others are having their tongues torn out" (Philip Meyers, Eastern Nations and Greece, 1904, pp. 69-70). These are the conquerors whom God gave the Israelites over to!
Historian Will Durant writes, "Most often the prisoners [the Assyrians took in war]... were dispatched after the battle; they knelt with their backs to their captors, who beat their heads in with clubs, or cut them off with cutlasses.... The king, if time permitted, presided at the slaughter. The nobles among the defeated were given more special treatment: their ears, noses, hands and feet were sliced off, or they were thrown from high towers, or they and their children were beheaded, or flayed alive, or roasted over a slow fire. No compunction seems to have been felt at this waste of human life" (Story of Civilization, vol. 1, p. 271). Assyrian annals even boast of such cruelties.
Perhaps this conjures up images of the horrible torture experienced by the Jews and others in the Holocaust. It should! These national character traits have not disappeared-and they won't until after Christ returns to earth and sets up His Kingdom over all nations. Then things WILL change: "In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, 'Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance'" (Is. 19:24). Then Assyrian nature will be changed through receiving God's Spirit and His government!
That time, however, has not yet come. Many Britons still remember the horrors of World War II. Many still shudder at the thought of a revived, dynamic, militaristic Germany. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher recently expressed this fear at the October 1995 Forum for International Policies in Colorado Springs. Speaking of Germany, she said, "Her national character is to dominate. There is something in the character of the German people that led to things that never should have happened. Why was it that the German people let Hitler do the things he did? This is something I still fear, even to this day"!
Yes, under the right circumstances, the cruel, warlike tendencies of these modern Assyrians can be coaxed to the surface again. And, you can be certain, they assuredly WILL BE! A "Fourth Reich" will soon appear on the world scene under a new "Fuhrer"-type dictator. This German-led European power bloc will conquer the Anglo-American descendants of Israel and make them slaves!
Please understand! The Holocaust of World War II was merely a forerunner-a small "foretaste"-of a much worse fate yet to befall the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples and, again, our fellow kinsmen, the Jews! Bear in mind, too, that as the Great Tribulation will be the worst time our peoples have ever experienced, the soon-coming Assyrian-led captivity will make Israel's ancient Assyrian captivity seem like a walk in the park. Who will heed this warning? Will YOU?
After Calamity--the "Good News"!
Will the Israelites finally heed God after suffering the Great Tribulation? God says, "If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me... and that I also have... brought them into the land of their enemies... if [they]... are humbled, and they accept their guilt-then I will remember my covenant with Jacob... with Isaac and... with Abraham.... [The Israelites] will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes.
"Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt, in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the LORD" (Lev. 26:40-45).
This will indeed happen! Our Anglo-American peoples will eventually come to their senses and bitterly cry out to God when He allows our plight to become desperate! Jeremiah quotes God as saying, "In those days and in that time... the children of ISRAEL shall come, they and the children of JUDAH together; with continual weeping they shall come, and seek the LORD their God. They shall ask the way to Zion... saying, 'Come and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that will not be forgotten'" (Jer. 50:4-5).
Our peoples will say, "Come, and let us return to the LORD; for He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days [speaking prophetically, each day equals one year-Num. 14:34; Ezek. 4:6] He will revive us; on the third day [year] He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight" (Hos. 6:1-2)! Ancient Israel's bondage lasted many years, but modern Israel's enslavement will apparently only last about two and a half years (yet, as we've seen, it will be far worse).
Following this, repentant Israelites will be spared the next year-"the day of the LORD," mentioned over and over in Scripture-in which God will discipline all nations! At the end of that year, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will at last return to earth in all power and glory to establish His peaceful Kingdom over all nations for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-4; Dan. 2:44). At that same time, Christ will destroy the "Beast" and "the false prophet" (Zech. 14; Rev. 19), who will have put a "yoke of bondage" on the neck of modern Israel (Is. 47:1-6).
Notice what Isaiah prophesied: "It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria [Greater Germany] and Egypt... and the islands of the sea [British Isles, New Zealand, etc.] He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" (Is. 11:11-12). Isaiah is describing a SECOND EXODUS! Also note that, at the time of the end, Israel and Judah will still be two separately identifiable peoples. The prophet continues, "For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land [the Promised Land]" (14:1).
Who will lead this return and restore the Twelve Tribes to God's favor? Through Isaiah, the Messiah states, "And now the LORD says, who formed Me [Christ] from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him.... 'It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth'" (49:5-7).
Israel's Family Reunion
In the wonderful World Ahead, when the Jews and continental Northwest Europeans have finally learned their own true identities, they will at last recognize the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples of America and Britain as their long lost brother Joseph. With great tears of joy, they will again shout, "Joseph is alive!"-just as the sons of Israel did almost 3,700 years ago. What a great and marvelous family reunion that will be!
Then, God Almighty will again unite the Anglo-Saxon-Celts with the Jews as one people (Ezek. 37:15-17). He says, "Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand....
"Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone [into captivity], and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land.... They shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again" (vv. 19, 21-22).
Ezekiel 48 reveals that all the Twelve Tribes will then be reassigned their own tribal allotments in the Promised Land-which will be much bigger in area than in biblical days. This will, at first, accommodate the millions of Israelites returning from captivity.
But remember what God told Israel would soon happen at that time: "The children you will have, after you have lost the others [in the Great Tribulation], will say again in your ears [as they did in Great Britain before], 'The place is too small for me; give me a place where I may dwell'" (Is. 49:20). So what will God do? "Those who come He shall cause to take root in Jacob; Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit" (Is. 27:6).
At the time when God gathers the remnant of Jacob, He will make a "perpetual covenant" with both Israel and Judah: "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah.... I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.... For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jer. 31:31, 33-34). After being converted by God's Spirit, Israel will finally stop rebelling against Him!
Some people think that God has abandoned His purpose for the physical descendants of Israel. That is totally false! God promises, "If those ordinances [of the sun and moon] depart from before Me... then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever" (v. 36). He also adds, "If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD" (v. 37)!
Through Jeremiah, God clearly prophesied, "If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob.... For I will cause their captives to return, and will have mercy on them" (33:25-26).
Look at what the Apostle Paul stated in the New Testament: "I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has NOT cast away His people whom He foreknew" (Rom. 11:1-2). Paul shows that God will yet save Israel's physical descendants. "And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written: 'The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins'" (vv. 26-27).
This is a prophecy for the future. Presently, God has ordained that He will call both physical Israelites as well as Gentiles into His Church: "I say then, have they [the Israelites] stumbled that they should fall ["beyond recovery" NIV]? Certainly not! But through their fall ["transgression" NIV], to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!" (vv. 11-12).
This is profound! Spiritual salvation has been opened to some Gentiles now to prod Israel to look at her own condition and start obeying God. In this way, Israel's failure has been a blessing to many Gentiles. Yet how much GREATER will the blessing for the Gentile nations be when Israel learns to finally set the example God intended from the beginning? Israel will yet be the wonderful model nation God meant her to be all along. This is truly incredible!
For Gentiles Too!
But God loves all peoples (John 3:16)not just Israelites! He is "no respecter of persons"--or nations (Acts 10:34-35). How, then, do the Gentiles co-inherit the vast riches and wealth, both physical and spiritual, which was promised to the ISRAELITES? Paul reveals more of this "mystery" by saying, "Those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed [of Abraham]" (Rom. 9:8).
Clearly, all of God's covenants and promises were given to Israel, and the only way Gentiles can partake of those promises is by them being grafted spiritually "into a good olive tree" (Israel), thereby becoming partakers of the fabulous riches which Almighty God promised the Israelites (Rom. 11:15, 17-21).
Paul also explained this mystery to the Christians at Ephesus, who were Gentiles: "Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh-who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands--that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:11-12)! But the apostle does not stop there. "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God" (v. 19).
He told the Gentile converts of Galatia, "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.... There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:26, 28-29).
"The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins." --Romans 11:26-27
God's Old Testament "Church" was a nation of physical, carnal-minded people who, as a group, never had God's Holy Spirit within them to empower them to do His will. But God's
New Testament Church--the "Israel of God" (Gal. 6:16)is composed of only those who repent of their sins, receive His Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) and "keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev. 12:17).
The New Testament "Church of God" includes people of all races! But it is a serious mistake to assume that true Christianity is a "Gentile" religion. Paul explained that this was not so (Rom. 9:3-4; 11:16-24). He told the Gentile saints at Rome, "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly" (Rom. 2:28-29). Everyone must become a spiritual Jew.
Paul told the Ephesians, "But now in Christ Jesus you [Gentiles] who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ" (Eph. 2:13). "For through Him we both [Jews and Gentiles] have access by one Spirit to the Father" (v. 18). With God's Spirit in us, we, as spiritual Israel can succeed where physical Israel has not.
The main lesson of Israel is one of utter failure without God's Holy Spirit! God gave the Israelites everything. Yet they just could not keep His law. By the New Covenant, Israel will finally be given the spiritual POWER to actually obey God and His law "in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). But if you, the reader, have begun to understand the importance of submitting your life to God and obeying Him totally, you don't have to wait until then! You can partake of the New Covenant's terms right now (Heb. 8:1-13).
But you need to realize that you can't do it alone. To truly obey God with all your being, it takes Jesus Christ, as your personal Savior, living in you through the power of the Spirit of God (Col. 1:27; Gal. 2:20). How do you receive that blessing? By deeply REPENTING before God of breaking His spiritual laws, accepting in FAITH the tremendous sacrifice of Jesus Christ as payment for your sins, being BAPTIZED and then receiving the priceless gift of God's HOLY SPIRIT (Acts 2:38-39).
This is how to become a spiritual Israelite (Gal. 6:16) and partake of the New Covenant's terms right now. It doesn't matter whether you are a physical Israelite or not. All humanity desperately NEEDS God's Holy Spirit-to obey Him and, thus, truly worship Him. This is what God desires from you-and, more importantly, FOR you!
t is easy to dismiss truth out of hand or even ridicule it. But, as has often been noted, "Facts are stubborn things!" The "Man of the Century," Winston Churchill, wisely observed that "TRUTH is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice may distort it; but THERE IT IS!"
He later said, "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened" (International Encyclopedia of Quotations). YOU have somehow stumbled across the irrefutable truth concerning what happened to the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Will you, like many, simply ignore it? As we've seen, our peoples will learn to live righteously after Jesus Christ returns. But, as we've also seen, a lot of horrible agony must precede that joyous time. Why? Because of the awful spiritual condition of our peoples.
God told Ezekiel to make an announcement to Israel--which must refer to the modern peoples of Israel since Ezekiel wrote long after Israel's ancient destruction. Here, then, by the authority of God Almighty, we announce His message to YOU. The wording in the Living Bible makes it easy to follow: "Tell Israel, Wherever you look--east, west, north or south--your land is finished. No hope remains, for I will loose my anger on you.... With one blow after another I will finish you. The end has come; your final doom is waiting.
"O Israel... the day of trouble nears. It is a day of shouts of anguish, not shouts of joy! Soon I will pour out my fury and let it finish its work of punishing you for all your evil deeds. I will not spare nor pity you, and you will know that I, the Lord, am doing it. The day of judgment has come... for your wickedness and pride have reached their climax.... All your boasting will die away, and no one will be left to bewail your fate" (Ezek. 7:2-11). Whatever your ethnic origin, if you have lived among the descendants of modern Israel, enjoying with them their God-given material and spiritual blessings, then--barring repentance--you will also suffer with them when their punishment for disobedience comes! God is NOT a respecter of persons.
Of course, if our nations would change their ways, God always stands ready to forgive: "The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it" (Jer. 18:6-8)! Which way will our people go? Will they continue in unspeakable sins and rampant crimes, plunging headlong into the impending abyss? Or will they repent of their waywardness, by turning back to our God and His way? He tells our peoples what to do to get straightened out: "Yet the Lord pleads with you still: Ask where the good road is, the godly paths you used to walk in, in the days of long ago. Travel there, and you will find rest for your souls" (6:16 Living Bible).
However, God knows what to expect from our peoples, as He relates immediately following: "But you reply, 'No, that is not the road we want!' I set watchmen over you who warned you: 'Listen for the sound of the trumpet! It will let you know when trouble comes.' But you said, 'No! We won't pay any attention!'" (vv. 16-17 Living Bible). Will this, dear reader, be YOUR response? The publishers of this material you are now reading have been set as "watchmen--! Knowing what we do, according to the Word of God, we are obeying God's command to sound this "trumpet" warning--through this brochure, our other free literature, and the Church of God-21st Century website. God tells us in Isaiah 58:1, "Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." You have now been warned!
Though our nations as a whole are not likely to repent of their evil ways until they are greatly humbled by the awful events ahead, Jesus Christ promises to provide a shelter from the coming storm of violence for individuals who believe, and live by, the Word of God-whether Israelite or Gentile! This protection for God's faithful children is promised in Revelation 3:10 and 12:13-17. Jesus also warns us, "Watch... and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things" (Luke 21:36)!
President Calvin Coolidge once said, "We [Americans] do not need more material development, we need more spiritual development. We do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character... we need more [true] religion... more of the things that are unseen."
And former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson, hit the nail on the head when he stated, "The greatest work in all the world is the building of men and women of character. Without character there is not much that's worthwhile, because character is the one thing we take with us from this world into the next" (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 299).
These men may not have truly understood God's plan, but they certainly got an important key correct-the need to build godly character. By your seeking God now, individually, He can begin developing His holy righteous character within you immediately-averting the need, if you remain faithful, for you to be SHAKEN out of your wrong ways through the horrible day of "Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7)!
The Jefferson Memorial stands on the south banks of the Tidal Basin in
Washington, D.C. Inscribed on its wall are these poignant words of Thomas
Jefferson that still serve as a solemn warning to our American and British
peoples: "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a
nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the
gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just,
that his justice cannot sleep forever!"