Who Is a Jew?
Posts : 233
Join date : 2009-08-01
|Subject: Who Is a Jew? Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:37 pm|| |
WHO IS A JEW?
Dr. W. Findley
WE WILL be dealing with a subject which notwithstanding what the bible has to say is one of persistent controversy. It is subject which I have entitled 'Who is the Jew?' This subject is, of course, a fundamental one and deals with an issue of identity - the identity of the people who today are known as Jews. Now, who are these people who wield a power throughout the world totally disproportionate to their numbers? What is the real identity of these people who make extravagant claims concerning their origins and yet whose provable origins are totally enshrouded in mystery. There are of course many who will say that this is an exercise in futility for if, for no other reason than that 'the whole world knows who the Jews are: they are the chosen people of God to whom we Christians owe so much as the originators of "our" religion'. This, of course, is the popular belief which has persisted right down the Christian dispensation, and whenever the subject of God and the things of God have cropped up, whether in private or national assemblies, the Jews have always been accorded the identity of Israel - God's Covenant People.
This historical claim should, if the student is really honest with himself, place him on the horns of a dilemma, because this awareness of identity, and the world's acceptance of it as such puts both God and his servants, the prophets, in a very, very ernbarassing position indeed, for He, through the prophets, had declared that his people Israel would become oblivious to their identity and would not be known by the world as 'God's Covenant People'. As this is a vital point, I feel that we should spend a few moments on the subject to establish whether or not we are on safe scriptural grounds when we say that God's Covenant People would be unaware of their identity. We could, at this stage, quote many, many scriptures which state emphatically that as a nation God's people would be blind to their origins. But as it has become quite common to hear people contend that you can make the Bible say anything you like, I would rather that we look at the covenant from which we take the name The People of God's Covenant - or simply, God's Covenant People.
This covenant, which in theological circles is known as the Abrahamic Covenant, is the all-comprehensive purpose and plan of the Lord for the accomplishment of his intention in the earth which he committed to the covenanted progeny of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If you look at this covenant, from Genesis twelve onwards, the first thing that you will notice is that it is entirely unconditional. It depends entirely upon the integrity of God who said, 'I will', (you will note that he did not say perhaps or maybe, or sometime or anything like that, he said 'I will' and 'you shall'). It does not state 'if you harken' or 'if you worship me'; it is a bald statement of intent behind which lies the vast power which created this universe in which we live.
If you examine the blueprint of this covenant - that is if you consider each of its clauses - you will find that each of these has to do with the development of a mighty, multi-national - now wait a bit I did not say multi-racial - I said multi-national entity working together along prescribed lines. I emphasise this because today there's quite a bit of talk about multi-national entities within the framework of the South African economy, which entities comprise the Asian, the White, the Black nations. Let me state that the multi-national aspect of God's covenant is restricted to the nation and the company of nations who owe their descent to one man, that one man being Jacob. You can read this, of course, in Genesis 35:11, and note that God was speaking to one man, to Jacob, and not to a wide variety of people. To emphasise the point let us quote the scripture:
'I am God Almighty Be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins.' - (Genesis 35:11)
You see the point here is that the nation and the company of nations would be descended from one man; they wouldn't have a multiplicity of origins. They would come from one man. And this is the point that I would like to make: it is within this framework of this nation and the company of nations that God's purpose was indeed centred. The most significant thing about the covenant as a whole is that each of its clauses has to do with one political aspect or another and has absolutely nothing to do with the creation or the formation of a church or a religion.
This is an important thing, and I ask you again, check it for yourselves, verify it for yourselves, study and re-study the covenant and ascertain for your own conviction whether or not there is any provision for either a church or a religion in the Abrahamic Covenant. You will not find it there because it just does not exist. The integrity of the whole Bible depends on this, and I feel that everyone should be clear in their own minds about it. The simple fact of the Abrahamic Covenant is that God covenanted, irrespective of the people of the covenant, to accomplish each and every one of the clauses which he wrote into that covenant and to which he appended his honour and his oath. Now what I would like you to do here is to search the covenant again and to establish once again to your own satisfaction that this covenant has nothing to do with religion or the church. That's the first point. And secondly to see if you can find any mention of the name Jew. The reason why I am asking you to do this will become obvious as we pass through this article.
The first point therefore to be established is whether or not God made any promises to the Jews. And, unless the Bible is totally unreliable, the Jews do not figure in the Abrahamic Covenant, and are therefore without any mark of covenant identity. Are they indeed a nation and a company of nations, as God promised? The answer is in the negative. Oh I know that in nineteen hundred and forty-eight they tried to establish nationhood by the creation of the Israeli State, but such a single State cannot and does not meet with the requirements of Genesis 35:11.
Let's leave the Abrahamic Covenant, which serves, at this stage anyhow, to negate any claim by the Jews to identity with the people of God's Covenant, and pass on to consider the Law, the Law which God gave at Sinai, to give substance and meaning to his people. It is at this stage that the people would say 'Well, the Jews come into the picture, for do they not today keep the Law?' Again I ask you, examine the scriptures and see if there is any mention of the Jews when Moses transmitted God's Law to Israel. Again, the Bible is completely silent about any people known as 'the Jews', and to me, at any rate, it is rather strange that having endowed his people with covenant promises, which have nothing to do with religion as such, he should suddenly provide a national constitution for a religious and not a national group. THE JEWS CLAIM - THE WORLD CLAIMS - THAT THEY ARE THE COVENANT PEOPLE OF GOD'S OATH - AND THIS, THEY SAY, IS ON SOUND HISTORICAL GROUNDS.
Having said that, I want to draw your attention to this Law. This Law which was given at Sinai as the machinery for God's Covenant People. In Leviticus 26 we are told of the blessings which would follow obedience to the Law, and we are also told of the curses or the consequences which would follow disobedience.
Let us leave Leviticus and pass on to Deuteronomy - Deuteronomy 28. There we have exactly the same situation: blessing for obedience; cursing for disobedience. And if you study this chapter you will notice that among the curses for transgression is blindness.
I'd like to spend a bit of time on this, and I would like to draw your attention to verse 15 of Deuteronomy 28, and this is what we find recorded there:
'But it shall come to pass, if thou will not harken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall come upon thee and overtake thee.'
Pass on to verse 23, and remember we are dealing with Deuteronomy 28. Verse 23 reads:
'And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be as brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be as iron.'
Before proceeding I am sure that we will all agree that we have a national message here since the heaven and the earth in this context, as with Leviticus 26:19, has to do with government and those ruling over the people. Having said that, let's proceed to verse 28, which reads:
'And the Lord shall smite thee with madness and blindness, and astonishment of heart, and thou shalt grope at noonday as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways, and thou shall be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.'
Within this blindness, if you pass to verse 43, and remember we are dealing with Deuteronomy 28, you will note that it says,
'the stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high, and thou shalt come down very low'.
My friends, has this happened within Jewry?
If we go a little further in the punitive clauses of the Law of the Lord we note that God states that he would scatter Israel among the nations and they would find no rest and indeed be wanderers in the earth until, as is stated in Leviticus 26:44:
'And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, 1 will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them, for 1 am the Lord their God. But 1 will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom 1 brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that 1 might be their God.. 1 am the Lord.'
My friends, go back and read in the word of God and see. Were the Jews ever in Egypt? Read the scriptures. Don't take what people have to say about this; read the scriptures and see if the scriptures do state that the Jews were in Egypt.
We should note that in the punitive clauses of the Law of the Lord, that comment is made on the reaction of the nations who would be used by God to accomplish his punishment for Law transgression, and this reaction is one of astonishment, for if we turn again to Deuteronomy 29:25 we read:
'Then shall men say, because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt'
[now note here it is not the Abrahamic Covenant that we have to deal with here that was broken - that of course depends entirely upon the integrity of God - but the covenant that he made when he brought them out of the land which is the law covenant]. Now, to continue:
'For they went and they served other gods and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not and whom he had not given unto them; and the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book. And the Lord rooted them out of their land in anger and in wrath, and in great indignation and cast them into another land as it is this day.'
Before continuing, I would like to summarise what has been said thus far. Now firstly, we note that in pursuit of his intention in the earth the Lord God declared his sovereignty over a people who would spring from the loins of the patriarch, a sovereignty which ascended in 'I will' and 'you shall', and which contained absolutely no preconditions whatsoever. Within this prerogative of God we see the framework of a mighty national nucleus developing which had nothing to do with religion as it is understood today, and which had exclusive political overtones in the earth. Now I know people do not like to speak of political overtones in terms of the word of God, but my friends get rid of all the theological debris which is now clouding issues; get back and read what the word of God has to say - go back and read what God has to say - and you will note there that he made a nation to bless all the nations of the earth, and this was not to be done through a church or through religion. It was to be done through a system - a political system - in the earth because the people were politically mad and depraved. Now to reinforce this, we find that having developed into national proportions the people were given the political machinery - the law by which to operate, obedience to which would bring untold blessings and security, while disobedience on the other hand would bring curses, insecurity, removal from the land and a national blindness. This is the point, to me, of course, it is a purely logical development if we think about it. The name Israel of course literally rneans 'ruled by God'. And if the nation rejected the means by which it was so ruled, the name Israel became redundant, and identity would be lost. Thus, when national blindness is stated as being one of the consequences of law transgression, we see that it is not merely the anger of the Lord but a natural sequel to the national act of repudiating the constitution which gave content and meaning to their name.
Again, before continuing, I would like to restate the reason why we have considered the Abrahamic Covenant, although so very briefly, and the Law. It is quite common today to hear people say that the Jews are the only people in the world who keep God's Law, therefore they must be God's chosen people, if for no other reason than that they have always kept the Law which was given to Israel alone. This contention is, of course, the bi-product of the strong delusion which has, captivated people for so long. In the first instance, the Jews do not keep God's Holy Law. The Lord Jesus Christ made this very, very plain during his first advent when he rebuked the scribes and the Pharisees for making the commandment of God of none effect. How? By their traditions. This you will of course find in Matthew 15:6, while in verse 9 of the same chapter he charged that they had made the commandments of men of paramount importance. It is the traditions and the commandments of the scribes and the Pharisees which are observed by the Jews today, and certainly not God's Holy Law.
Posts : 233
Join date : 2009-08-01
|Subject: Re: Who Is a Jew? Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:37 pm|| |
Another feature which has been missed by so many arising out of the scriptures which I have just mentioned, namely Matthew 15, is that as the Lord had stated that they had made the commandrnent of God of none effect, surely the consequences of this, namely national blindness, should become operative. The Pharisees however despite the blindness clause of the Law of the Lord, continue to claim to be Israel, which either makes the Law or the Pharisees wrong. Which? The choice is yours. Todays Jewish faith is Phariseeism, and Phariseeism is the traditions of men. It's small wonder, you know, that people today trace the Jews per se to the New Testament times, for the Law wasn't given to them and the clauses of Law transgression had no effect upon them, therefore they could remember; Israel could not.
This, however, is getting a bit ahead of ourselves. Let us follow the story through very carefully, and note the developments which took place, and which gave rise to a counterfeit Israel which capitalised on the blindness of the true Israel of the Bible. It is, of course, a matter of simple Bible history that God's Covenant People needed something more than the Levitical priesthood and the tablets of stone to keep them in line with the machinery of God's holy constitution. Time and again they turned away from the Law, only to be brought back again, not only through the punitive clauses which began to operate, but also by the men whom God appointed as judges over them. However, as the Bible makes abundantly clear, Israel's rebellion against God took a very serious turn when they rejected not only God but the divine constitution which he had given them. From this moment the writing was on the wall for Israel. They were soon divided into two kingdoms. If ever the proverb 'United we stand, divided we fall' had a need of demonstration this was it. Within forty years the northern and certainly the most populous portion of the Israel family had discarded God's Law entirely, and had embraced what the scriptures referred to as the statutes of Omri - Omri was one of their kings - the statutes of Omri. Now you can read of this in First Kings, Chapter 16:23-25; and also in Micah 6:16.
I've said previously that as the covenant people were governed by the Law of the Lord, their national name carried the status of being ruled by God, or simply 'Israel'. Now, in rescinding the Law of the Lord, and adopting the statutes of their king Omri, if we are correct in analysing the name 'lsrael' as meaning 'ruled by God', we should then find the people now governed by the statutes of Omri called by another name which embodied the king's name. Do we indeed find this? We certainly do. The Assyrians who invaded the northern kingdom and deported the people recorded the history of their campaigns, and in none of the monuments preserved to this day do we find any mention of the name 'Israel'. We do however find them mentioning the Bithumri, or the people of the House of Omri, as being taken captive, but no, no people of Israel. Thus governed by the statutes of Omri, the vast majority of God's Covenant People, true to the punitive clause of the Law of the Lord, began to lose their identity and were smitten with national blindness.
If we turn to the writing of Isaiah, we find we have a year-by-year account of the deterioration which set in following the institution of the statutes of Omri. And at the very outset we know that strangers, or rather aliens, were permitted within the economy of the nation, just as we have today, and that they, the aliens, were responsible for the total disintegration of the whole Israel policy. Now you can read of this in Isaiah 1:7-10, and of course, if you wish, in Hosea 4:1-11. Slowly and inexorably the law took its toll until only a very small remnant was left in the land, living in the north-eastern regions of the Sea of Galilee. In the southern kingdom that is now the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, we find that they too suffered under the Assyrian invasions during which large numbers were also taken into captivity, where they mingled with the captives of the northern kingdom. At this stage I would like to draw your attention to Jeremiah. Jeremiah, who wrote during the last stages of the southern kingdom's existence, that is, who wrote during the period as the southern kingdom of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were in the process of disintegration. Now they, that is the two tribes who were left there, had the example of their northern brethren to warn them, but they would not heed the warnings of impending punitive measures of the Law of the Lord. Jeremiah wrote of this, and I would like here to quote the relevant text. It is found in Jeremiah 3:6-8:
'The Lord said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? She is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. And 1 said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And 1 saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery l had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.'
Israel here was the northern kingdom, while Judah was that in the south. Israel was given a bill of divorce - you may read of this in Deuteronomy 24:1-4, that is the bill of divorce while Judah is nowhere mentioned as coming under the same clause. What this in fact meant was that the vast majority of the Covenant People could not in terms of that bill of divorce return to the land and could not enjoy covenant relationship with God until redeemed. Judah, on the other hand, was not encumbered with a bill of divorce and could therefore, if she wished, or if God wished it, return.
It is at this point that I would like to draw your attention to another of the writings of Jeremiah concerning God's dealing with both Israel and, of course, with Judah. In the first instance we have a clear and concise indication of the continuity of Israel which, you will recall, was given the bill of divorce which prohibited a return to the land from captivity. In Jeremiah 18:1-6, we have the following illuminating statements. Here we will read it:
'The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying, Arise and go down to the potter's house and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then 1 went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 0 house of Israel: cannot 1 do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, 0 house of Israel.'
You know there are two very important points to be noted here, and they are (1) the fact that the vessel made of clay became marred and (2) the same clay was used to make another vessel. Thus, in the plainest of language, as this analogy of the potter and his work has to do with national Israel, we see that despite the marring of the vessel God assures that the same people would be used in creating a new vessel.
Conversely, I would like us to consider Jeremiah 19:1, which too has the potter, indirectly anyhow, as its context. This is what we read:
'Thus, saith the Lord, Go and get a potter's earthen bottle and take of the ancients of the people and of the ancients of the priests',
Verse 10 continues:
'Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee and shalt say unto them, 'Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Even so will 1 break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again; and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury. Thus will I do unto this place,' saith the Lord, ' and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet.'
If you examine the context here you will find that the story of the potter's earthen bottle which was to be broken was symbolic of Judah and Jerusalem, and you will note that the Lord said that it cannot be made whole again. This, if you think about it, is a tremendous indictment against Judah, for the categorical statement of the Lord is that Judah would be broken and in such a way that it, to quote the scripture, cannot be made whole again. To me this refers to the kingdom of Judah which had become separated from the major bulk of Israel during the reign of Solomon's son Rehoboam and which would not rise again as a separate kingdom to Israel.
Passing on to Jeremiah 24, we have the story of the two baskets of figs, one which was good, and the other bad. There can be absolutely no doubt that the symbolism of the fig-tree and the fig had its beginning with this chapter, and equally there can be no doubt that it related not to Judah as such, but to the sequence of events which would transpire from that point in time onwards. The reason for this statement is to be found in the symbolism of Judah. If you go back and read particularly in Genesis 49 you will find that the symbolism of Judah was to be a lion, and certainly not the fig-tree, which feature of course is conveniently ignored by so many people today. The fig-tree is different from most other fruit trees in that its fruit is green and inconspicuous until it nears the time of ripening. If the promise of abundant fruit which is projected from a distance by the green foliage is not fulfilled, then when one gets near, the tree falls into the category of a hypocrite, which is precisely what is found in Mark 11:13.
If we look at the situation as obtained when the northern kingdom together with a portion of the southern kingdom had passed into the Assyrian captivity, and the official captivity of the southern kingdom by Babylon, we see that whereas God had assured that he would remake Israel into another vessel, Judah faced an ignominious future which was characterised by the broken bottle and the symbolism of the fig-tree. After seventy years in the Babylonian captivity we know that a remnant of Judah and Benjamin returned to the land under the edict of Cyrus. This you will find in Ezra 1:2, and 2:64. It was from this point in time that a new name appears on the scene, and for the first time too, and this name was Judaea. Now there is a tremendous amount of vagueness about this name, and whilst in Christian commentaries theologians hazard guesses about its origin, the Jewish Encyclopaedia attributes it to the Greeks. In the days of Herodotus, the whole land of Canaan was known as Pelishtim, which was a derivative of Philistines who occupied the coastal regions south of Phoenicia. In Herodotus's writing it would appear that Pelishtim had been broadened to incorporate the interior as far as the Arabian Desert and within the general term 'Judaea' makes its appearance. The territory covered by this name was roughly the same boundaries which had marked the land given to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, although precisely who gave the name remains a mystery today. What we do know is that the two boundaries between the two tribes were fused into one, and no distinction was made between Judah and Benjamin. While I may have mentioned this before in a previous talk, would you examine Ezra 1:2 and 3, again, and note in the decree by Cyrus that the error of placing Jerusalem within Judah is made twice, whereas the city was, of course, in the territory of Benjamin. It could have been that arising out of this universal decree, men came to call the whole land 'Judah', or, as in the writing of Herodotus, 'Judaea'. The point is that we do not know who coined that name exactly. There is a lot of vagueness about the history of that time again enshrouded, as it were, in mystery.
At this point it would serve to turn our attention from the name given to the land and to consider the people who became the citizens of it. We should remember that we are not dealing with the territory formerly occupied by the greater mass of the Israel family - that is the land to the north which had housed the kingdom of the house of Israel. This land, as is stated in the 2 Kings 17:24, was repopulated by the king of Assyria who brought in men from Babylon, Cuthah, from Ava, from Hamath, from Sepharvaim, who then made up the population of the former northern kingdom of the house of Israel. Due to the close proximity of these people to the ravished land of the kingdom of Judah, there appears to be absolutely no reason why some of these could not have moved southward and made their homes in what subsequently became known as Judaea. We should bear in mind that the captivity of Judah and Benjamin in Babylon lasted for seventy years. And to me, the picture of the land laying waste for that period without anyone making it their home is simply not logical. If one thinks of the wandering nomads who characterized the Middle East scene in those days, it is more than likely that many people were drawn to the land and made their homes there. Now while this is looking at the situation purely from the logical point of view, or the practical point of view, we do have a considerable amount of information provided in the scriptures which point to a very mixed population making their home in that land. For instance, we have in Ezekiel 33:24, the statement [and here we will quote]:
'Son of man, they that inhabit these wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land, but we are many. The land is given us for an inheritance.'
If you read the remainder of this account you will see something of the nature of these people who laid claim to the land, and from Young's literal translation, they were a bloodthirsty, immoral, and generally decadent people. Thus, at the very outset, we have a people in the land who were the very antithesis to everything which God demanded of his people.
Posts : 233
Join date : 2009-08-01
|Subject: Re: Who Is a Jew? Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:38 pm|| |
If we return to Ezra, and in his fourth chapter which deals with the beginning of the rebuilding of the temple, we note that when the remnant of Judah and Benjamin began this work, certain adversaries were already present in Jerusalem, for they advocated a total integration with this remnant. The identity of these adversaries is provided in verses seven through ten, which certainly supports what I have said earlier concerning those who repopulated the territory of the former northern kingdom. A further seventy years were to pass before the temple was finally restored, and during this period there is evidence which shows that Canaanites, Hittites, Berusites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites had become part and parcel of the population of the land. If you read Ezra nine, for instance, you will find that the returned remnant had intermarried with these people, and it is perfectly logical to assume that if intermarriage had taken place these various peoples must have been in the land. And notwithstanding the divorces which followed, while the offenders put away their strange wives, nothing is said about deporting the strangers, which implies that they remained in the land.
You may have been wondering why I have spent so much time in dealing with the events which took place when the small remnant of Judah and Benjamin returned from the Babylonian captivity. The reason for this is to show that the 42,360 who returned - now we should remember that this number could fit into a football stadium with ease - these people were a minority in the land with a majority who were not of the family of Israel. They were all known by the geographical term 'Judaean' - that is they were part and parcel of the population of the land of Judaea. From this it is more than a little apparent that just as Israel, through law transgression, had lost its national identity, so too this returned remnant would lose its identity, as it certainly did when the patronymic names of Judah and Benjamin were swamped by the majority and the general designation of 'Judaean'.
We have no means of knowing what other additions were made to the Judaean population during the following four centuries. But we do know the Edomites had gained prominence, so much so that the temple, as it existed at the time of the first advent, owed its splendour and magnificence to Herod, the Idumean son of the Edomite Antipita. With the temple renovated and enlarged, and under the sponsorship of the Edomite Herod, it does not take much to appreciate the nature of the doctrines which emerged from it, for Edom, you will recall, were the people against whom the Lord said he would have indignation for ever - a people descended from Esau, whom the Lord said he hated. And you will read of this in the first chapter of the book of Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, verses one and two.
If we go back to Ezekiel 11:14, which, as the context shows, deals with the time when the glory of the Lord did pass from Jerusalem, we note that the whole structure of that city then was geared to the exclusion of true Israel from it. Listen to the words which are recorded concerning this, and again it's by Ezekiel:
'Son of man,'(this is the Lord speaking), 'Son of man: thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred and all the house of Israel wholly are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said Get you far from the Lord - unto us is this land given in possession.'
Did you know the significance of this statement relative to the situation which I have just mentioned, in which the Edomite had assumed control not only of Jerusalem but of the whole land? You will note that, quote, 'the inhabitants of Jerusalem' are contrasted with the whole house of Israel, which surely denies them Israel status? The point to be established here is the time when, within the framework of Biblical history, Jerusalem was dominated by people other than Israel. It was only after the remnant had returned from the Babylonian captivity that the slow process of metamorphosis took place, and eventually at the time of the first advent, the term 'the inhabitants of Jerusalem' had a very real meaning when contrasted with Israel. While they were a heterogeneous people they were dominated by Esau Edom, and if we think of how our Lord Jesus Christ accused them of distorting the law and the scriptures, we see the Esau Edomite revenge on Jacob for having received the birthright blessing. You can read of this in Genesis 27, verse 40. It is from this point in time right down to the present that we can see the Edomite usurper at work, for do we not hear of people today speaking of our Judaeo-Christian heritage, implying that the Christian faith had its roots in Judaisrn? The Jewish Encyclopaedia adds its voice by stating categorically that Judaism is Phariseeism, and if we think of what our Lord had to say about this faith, I am sure that many people would squirm when they hear the term Judaeo-Christianity. It is part and parcel of the usurped dominion which Esau took and which was evident at the time of the first advent. It is not without significance that in Second Esdras, and this is of course in the Apocrypha, in 2 Esdras 6:9, we read, and listen to these words:
'Esau is the end of this age, and Jacob the beginning of the age that follows.'
We have been caught up, we have been deluded by the Edomite Phariseeism and nothing my friends, nothing but the, return of the Lord will shake us out of the anaesthesia which today grips us concerning this incredible subject.
However, to return to the main theme of this article, 'Who is the Jew?', it must be very apparent that we are not dealing with a specific race of people but rather with a population of a specific country which gave its name to both a people and a religion which they formulated. The name of the country was Judaea, and the religion by being known as Phariseeisrn was referred by other people at that time as the religion of the Judaeans. Today, of course, the English word Jew has replaced the original Aramaic, Latin and Greek word which simply indicated the territory of Judaea and its inhabitants. If we look at the 1946 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and under the heading of 'Jews', we find that the contributor to that section was certainly having second thoughts on the subject, and that he or she was bold enough to buck the generally accepted interpretation of the name. It states in here, and I would like to quote it:
'The name (that is Jew) came to mean the followers of Judaisrn including inborn and proselytes, the racial significance diminishing as the religious increased.'
Now Rabbi D.Mattock of the Liberal Jewish monthly of January, 1943, wrote, - and I'm quoting again:
'There can be no Judaism without Jews - that is a truism. It is equally true that there can be no Jews without Judaism.'
Judaism, my friends, is a religion perpetuating Phariseeism which was developed in Judaea after the small remnant of Judah and Benjamin had returned and which was swamped by foreigners. Anyone today can become proselytized to Judaism, and thereby becoming known as a Jew. It is not a racial term, it is not a tribal term, and certainly not a patriarchal one. How then can the promises made by God to Abraham and his covenanted seed be applicable to a proselytized, heterogeneous community? It simply cannot work that way, for the promises were not negotiable and certainly not transferable. The Judaean population, as secular history supported entirely by the scriptures makes abundantly clear, was a very mixed one, dominated by the Edomites, whose name, as with those of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, was lost under the general geographic name of Judaean.
Josephus, who provided such graphic history of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and who wrote of the dispersion of the population, made a very interesting observation when he noted that the refugees from Judaea, that is after the downfall, after the city had been destroyed, fled into Armenia and Southern Russia. The reason behind this move northward was that there was, apparently, an affinity between the refugees and the people living in that region, the Herodian royal house in Judaea being related to the rulers in Armenia. Now this is the authority of our friend Josephus.
However, if we continue to look northward and somewhat later in time we are directed to a people who, in the Jewish Encyclopaedia anyhow, are called Khazars. I would like to quote from this source, as it supports what I have just said, namely that the adherents to Judaism - or Phariseeism have no moral, legal or scriptural grounds for claiming the Abrahamic Covenant or the Law of the Lord as their inheritance. This is what is quoted in the Jewish Encyclopaedia - I'm quoting now:
KHAZARS: a people of Turkish origin whose life and history are interwoven with the very beginnings of the history of the Jews of Russia. Driven on by nomadic tribes of the Steppes, and by their own desire for plunder and revenge, the kingdom of the Khazars was firmly established in most of South Russia long before the foundation of the Russian monarchy by the Verandrians. At the end of the eighth century the king of the Khazars and his grandees, together with a large number of heathen people, embraced the Jewish religion. The quote then goes on to speak about the numbers. The quote is:
'The population in the entire domain of the Khazars between the seventh and the tenth centuries must have been considerable.'
That is the quote by the Jewish Encyclopaedia. And then reverting again:
'About the ninth century it appears as is all Khazars were Jews, and that they had been converted to Judaism only a short time before.'
Here a whole nation became Jews through conversion. Did that make them the covenant heirs? Surely not. If we think over the history of the Jews, whether under the name of Judaean, or its modern English meaning, one feature dominates the scene which categorically denies their claim to Israel identity. They claim to retain a knowledge of their origins, which in terms of God's Holy Law places them outside of the pale of Israel. If the inhabitants of Jerusalem at the time of the first advent were Israelites they would have soon forgotten this for they had, as the Lord said, made the commandment of God of none effect by their tradition; or, in other words, they were living under traditional interpretations of the Law which meant, in fact, that they were breaking the original. Blindness was one of the punishments for this, and as we know, whatever else they may be accused of, the Jews have always claimed to be 'the chosen people'. This, in itself, proves that the Jew is not Israel.
Conversely, if we look at the Anglo-Celto-Saxon and kindred people today, do we not find them groping for a political place in the sun? Are they not being forced to do things against which their very nature rebels, but which, due to economic pressures exerted against them, compels them along deteriorating lines? We are indeed in the position as was described by Isaiah when he wrote:
'We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes. We stumble at noonday as in the night. We are in desolate places as dead men.'
This you will find in Isaiah 59:10. If you go back to Deuteronomy 28:29, you find that this is precisely what the law states would happen to Israel for law transgression. It's amazing, isn't it?
The Jews claim, and have always claimed, to be aware of their identity, and yet they live under a perverted form of the law, and yet the punitive clauses have no effect on them. Anglo-Saxondom, on the other hand, totally ignorant of the law and violating just about every clause of it, suffers from its punitive clauses. It certainly makes you think, doesn't it?
In closing, I would like to quote the words of Isaiah 65, which begins:
'1 am sought of them that asked not for me; 1 am found of them that sought me not; 1 said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.'
If we turn now to verse 15 of the same chapter we have the startling statement - startling and very illuminating when we think of the Jews and the claim of the Jews which says:
'And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen; for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name.'
The Jews are very jealous of their name, which they contend is synonymous with the chosen covenant people of God. To the world which currently suffers under the manipulation of the Jews, that name is fast becoming anathema, which is precisely what God says would happen. However, while the judgment of God is to be meted out to them, true Israel is to be reformed, and if we continue with Isaiah 65 we see the end of Esau, the end of this age, and the beginning of a new age in which Jacob, revitalised and re-energized by the knowledge of identity of the Law, performs its covenant task in the service of the King.
At this moment in time, as we watch the world events unfold before our very eyes, as we see our own people, our company of nations, reeling under the impact of the raging of the nations today, let us take this hope to heart: God is above and beyond the manipulations of Esau, Edom and Jewry. God is above and beyond the manipulations of our financiers. God would not allow his honour to be tarnished by the spawn of the Devil. Let us take this to heart. God meant what he said, and he has said that he is going to remake us, just as that potter remade that marred vessel - we are the marred vessel today - just as the potter remade that marred vessel, so God has promised that he will remake us to his honour and to his glory. Amen.
Posts : 233
Join date : 2009-08-01
|Subject: Hebrew, Israelite or Jew? Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:57 am|| |
HEBREW ISRAELITE, OR JEW?
A Study by Frank W. Dowsett
IT will no doubt come as something of a surprise to most Christians to find that the literal word ‘JEW’ does not appear in the entire original text of the Bible, neither the Old nor the New Testaments. The onginal Hebrew of the Old Testament uses the word ‘Yehudim’, meaning ‘Judahite’. The original Greek of the New Testament uses the word ‘Ioudaios’, meaning ‘Judean’.
These original words were used in the earlier translations of our Bible, and only seem to have been replaced by the word ‘Jew’ in fairly relatively recent times.
Dr Young, in his ‘Analytical Concordance of the Bible’ says of the word ‘Jew’;
“A descendant of Judah. Strictly speaking, the name is only appropriate to the subjects of the kingdom of the two tribes after the separation of the ten tribes.”
I cannot too strongly emphasise that point. The word ‘Jew’, even as it is presently used in the Bible, was only ever applicable to the southern House of Judah, and in fact, only to a small portion of even that section of the overall people of Israel. The Northern House of Israel was NEVER referred to as ‘Jews.’ In fact, the major portion of the House of Judah was also NEVER referred to as ‘Jews.’
The word ‘Jew’ was only ever used in the Bible, and then only by modern translators, in regard to the descendants of the portion of the Southern House of Judah who returned from the Babylonian captivity under Ezra and Nehemiah. The word could not have been applied to the balance of the House of Judah, nor to the Northern House of Israel, for the simple reason that they were not there! These people, who formed the major part of Israel, were in captivity to the north-west of Palestine, and included the whole of the northern ten tribes which had been previously taken into captivity, together with the major section of the southern two tribes who had subsequently been taken captive into the same regions long before the Babylonian captivity. The Apostle James was fully aware of this fact, because he addressed his epistle to, “The TWELVE tribes scattered abroad.”
It is absolutely essential for a correct understanding of the Bible that we acknowledge the difference between “The Hebrews” “The House of Israel,” “The House of Judah,” and “The Jews.”
God never ever confused these terms in the Bible. And if God considered it so necessary to make such careful distinction between them, THEN THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE FOR US NOT TO DO LIKEWISE. The ‘House of Israel’ is NOT synonymous with the ‘House of Judah’. What is more important is that the terms ‘The House of Israel’ and ‘The House of Judah’ are NOT synonymous with the term ‘Jew.’ The House of Judah and some of the Jews are OF Israel, that is, descended from Jacob. But the distinction which we wish to emphasise is that whilst some Jews may be Israelites, ALL ISRAELITES ARE NOT JEWS. In a similar way, for example, all Scots are British, but all British are not Scots.
When the general blessings were apportioned by Jacob to his twelve sons just prior to his death, the dominion which was to come from the promise of the development into a Nation and Company of Nations, was given to Joseph. But the kingship over this dominion or nation, including the Great King Himself, our Lord Jesus Christ, was to come from and through Judah. Thus, the northern House of Israel, which came from Joseph, and the southern House of Judah, which came from Judah, each had their GOD-APPOINTED tasks and destinies to fulfil.
The prophets displayed meticulous care in their address to “The House of Israel”, “The House of Judah”, and “The inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Jews.”
To apply to one House a prophecy which refers to the other, only confuses both the message and its understanding.
But in regard to the “Jews”, it is essential to note that this name is used in the New Testament of those who resided in the portion of Palestine called Idumea. Thus they were, in the main, the Idumeans. It is also interesting to note that not once did our Lord ever have a good word for these people. On the contrary, He constantly referred to them as His greatest enemies.
Thus we have two distinct sections within the people of Christ’s day referred to as ‘Jews.’ There were the Galileans, who were mainly from the tribe of Benjamin (The ‘Light-bearing’ Tribe). It was from this section of people from whom came all of the disciples except Judas. These were the GOOD FIGS referred to in the 24th. chapter of Jeremiah. Most of the true descendants of Israel of the Babylonian captivity were to be found in this group. But there were also the Idumeans, comprising the ‘mixed multitude’ who came back with the others from Babylon. These also mixed with the people of the land who were NOT Israelites, and constituted the BAD figs of Jeremiah’s prophecy. It was these people who were claiming to be God’s people, and whom our Lord Jesus Christ accused of being ‘Children of their father the devil.’ The good section of these people, that is, the Galilean section, later escaped and joined up with their brethren of the twelve tribes already migrating westward.
The balance of them, the BAD FIGS, were destroyed in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman General Titus in A.D. 70, or dispersed among the nations of Europe, where they became a “Proverb and a taunt and a curse,” just as the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah. We read in Jeremiah, 24:9,10:
"And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers."
Our Lord Himself warned us in Revelation 2:9, and 3:9 about “those that call themselves Jews, (original “Judeans”) but who are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan.” He knew who His enemies were even if we don’t. This automatically presumes that there were those who called themselves “Jews” (original “Judeans”) who were descendant from Judah.
A few centuries after this final dispersion, a nation called the Khazars took over in Palestine, after officially adopting the Jewish religion of Judaism. The descendants of these people and those who escaped the final destruction of Jerusalem have become the present day Zionist Jew. These people do NOT constitute a nation. They are held together purely by, and as, a religion. They are made up of people from every nationality under the sun. THERE IS NOT AN OUNCE OF ISRAELITISH BLOOD IN THEIR VEINS.
There is absolutely no relationship between the present-day Zionist/Jew and the true Judahite of our Lord’s day. To refer to our Blessed Lord as a ‘Jew’, in the modern context and usage of the term, is an insult of the greatest magnitude to our Saviour. Most Christians believe that the occupation of the land of Palestine in 1948 by the Jews was the fulfilment of prophecy wherein Israel was prophesied to return to the land which God had promised them. Nothing could be further from the truth! Israel, that is, TRUE ISRAEL, returned to its rightful inheritance in 1917, just as the Word of God said they would. Edom/Esau, the modem Zionist/Jew and the sworn enemy of God, posing as Israel, threw them out in 1948, JUST AS THE WORD OF GOD SAID THEY WOULD. Referring to this enemy as ‘the inhabitants of Jerusalem’, (Note, NOT as Judah), the prophet Ezekiel has this to say, (Ezekiel 11:1, 5):
"Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL WHOLLY, are they unto whom the Inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Get you far from the Lord: unto US is this land given in possession."
As Christians, we are enjoined to ‘rightly divide, or understand, the Word of God.’ We will NEVER be able to do this whilst we confuse the terminology of the Bible and apply the promises of God to the wrong people.
So to summarize the position we find that neither Abraham, Isaac, nor Jacob were “Jews”. They were not even “Israelites”. They were “Hebrews”, a word derived from Abraham’s forefather “Eber”. To illustrate, it would be just as foolish to refer to my own grandfather, who was of Swedish descent, as now being an Australian, based on the fact that his grandson was born as an Australian.
The word “Israel” was not even used prior to Jacob being renamed “Israel” in Genesis 32:28. His descendants were thereafter referred to as Israelites. They were not referred to as “Jews”. This word was first used in 2 Kings 16:6. As previously stated, this word in the original manuscripts was “Judahite”, or a descendant of Judah.
There are many thousands of these TRUE “Jews” now living, mostly within the borders of the Christian/Israel nations, who, whilst accepting the religion of Judaism, are nevertheless of Israel. Most of these people are still blind to their heritage through true Israel.
The relationship between Israel and Judah is clearly set forth in Psalm 114:25:
"Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion."
Israel were to inherit the dominion of God’s Kingdom, whilst Judah, as the Lord’s sanctuary, was to provide the King over that dominion.
To misuse and wrongly apply their names and titles confounds the clearly expressed plans and purposes of God and His Kingdom, and causes a total misunderstanding of His Word.
|Subject: Re: Who Is a Jew? || |
Who Is a Jew?