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Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Birthright - Part 6


Some background information for those who have not read Part 1.  This series deals with the 10 northern tribes called Israel who were deported into northeastern Assyria around 740-733 BC depending on the source.  This Biblical nation named Israel is not the current nation of so-called Jews who call themselves Israel.

Israel and Judah (Jews)
The next topic may not need to be repeated but for those who are unaware, here goes the story.  During the reigns of David and Solomon the entire nation consisting of twelve tribes of Hebrew people were named and referred to as Israel due to the birthright promise (the land of Canaan) as given to Joseph and then to Ephraim and Manasseh.  God told Solomon that his son and successor would undergo the punishment that God was to give to Solomon for possessing foreign wives and practicing idolatry and iniquity that was inspired by his foreign wives.  The punishment would be that all the tribes with the exception of Judah and Benjamin would be separated from Judah to implement another nation.  Solomon’s son and successor, named Rohoboam, would be permitted to maintain two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, so that God’s covenant to David that he would always have a descendant on the throne as king would continue.

When Solomon died and his son, Rohoboam, ascended the throne, the tribes, under the leadership of the Ephraimite, Jeroboam, approached the king asking that the burdensome taxes imposed by Solomon to build the temple could be lessened or removed.  Rohoboam’s answer was, “my father chastened you with whips, but I will chasten you with scorpions”.  This comment led to a rebellion resulting in the northern ten tribes instituting their own separate kingdom with the capital in Samaria and Jeroboam, the Ephraimite, as the first king.  The new kingdom immediately began worshipping golden calves and most of the Levites departed back to the temple in the south. 

The southern nation now consisting of Judah, Benjamin, and the majority of the Levites named themselves Judah.  The new northern kingdom maintained the name of Israel because they were now the birthright nation due to the residence of the birthright tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.  Any prophetic or historical work from this point onward using the term or name “Israel” is referring to the ten tribes of the northern nation of Israel.  Therefore, any reference to the southern tribe will use the name Judah.  Israel is never Judah and Judah is never Israel.

When Pekah, king of Israel, was allied with Syria in a war with Ahab, king of Judah, the scripture uses the word “Jews” for the first time in 2Kings 16:6.  The word or term “Jews” is always referring to people of Judah and never to anyone of the northern kingdom of Israel.

2 Kings 16:6 KJV  At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drove the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.

In the four gospels and the book of Acts the word “Israel” is often used by Jesus and others.  It appears to refer to individuals as a descendent of Jacob (named Israel) in a collective sense and not in a national sense such as a citizen of the nation of Israel because there was not a nation of Israel at this time.  The actual residents of the northern kingdom of Israel had already been deported almost 750 years prior to the New Testament.

After the nation of Israel was deported by the Assyrians, the military of Assyrian brought in people of several ethnic cultures in live in the area of Samaria.  These people were called the Samaritans during the days of Jesus and the disciples.  These Samaritans were not related to the Jews or Israelites and were not a cultural mixture.

2 Kings 17:24 KJV  And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.

The Assyrian king had placed a priest of Israel (they worshipped golden calves) within the foreign mixture of Samaria for the purpose of teaching them the manner of the “god” of the northern Israel people. 

2 Kings 17:27-28 KJV  Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.  (28)  Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.

Recall that the woman at the well vaguely referred to the religion of the Jews and was curious concerning Jesus asking for a drink of water since Jews did not use or share anything with the Samaitans.  Perhaps due to the ancestral teachings of her people, she referred to herself as an ancestor of Jacob or perhaps she actually was related but not as an Israelite or Judahite.

John 4:12 NET  Surely you're not greater than our ancestor Jacob, are you? For he gave us this well and drank from it himself, along with his sons and his livestock."

Cut Off
All Davidic Israel was prophesied to be dispersed and scattered around the world.
Deuteronomy 32:26 KJV  I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:

The first group or nation of 10 tribes was the northern birthright nation of Israel.  They were called the wife of God but due to their continued idolatry God divorced them.  They began their nationhood with two golden calves as a center of worship.  No amount of pleading by God or prophets could make them change.  A prophecy in Isaiah hints (some say it states plainly) they will all speak a language other than Hebrew. 

Isaiah 28:10-11 KJV  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:  (11)  For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

Isaiah 28:10-11 NET  Indeed, they will hear meaningless gibberish, senseless babbling, a syllable here, a syllable there.  (11)  For with mocking lips and a foreign tongue he will speak to these people.

I included two versions of Isaiah 28:8-10 to display the difference between the translations of verse 10.  Many times an exegete will use the KJV of verse 10 to prove that messages and truths in the scripture cannot be found together in one place but must be sectioned together from several places in the Bible.  This may well be true but the correct understanding of this verse in its context appears to be otherwise.

The nation of Israel were cut off from the presence of God for several hundred years until the disciples of Christ and various missionaries afterward brought the unique teaching of salvation of God by faith through Jesus Christ.

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