"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Israel and Palestine: A Brief Summary of the Issues

If you are a person who is constantly bewildered by the animosity between Arabs and Jews, and if you scratch your head trying to understand the centuries-long conflict between Palestinians and Israelis – a bitter fight over a claim both make on a piece of land called Israel (if you are an Israeli) and Palestine (if you are an Arab), then I would encourage you to read this short summary of the Arab/Israeli conflict. The next 10 minutes might save yourself a lifetime of confusion.

In 2000 B.C., a young man named Abram was “called by God” out of the land of Ur (Babylon) to a land that God promised to give “to your descendants, from the Egypt to the Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18-21). This land, called the Promised Land, was already inhabited by the Canaanite people, but God promised Abraham that He would give him this land. Over 500 years later, under the leadership of Joshua, the descendants of Abraham drove the Canaanites from their land and established the new nation called Israel.

What Happened to the Canaanites?

The Canaanites got into ships and left the land of Israel. The evidence is clear that the Canaanites left Israel for north Africa.  

Close to the Pillars of Hercules (e.g. Gibraltar), on the south side or African side of the Mediterranean, the vanquished Canaanite refugees built two cities:

"They [the Canaanites] built THE CITY OF TINGE AND TANGER IN NUMIDIA, where were two pillars of white stone, placed near to a great fountain, in which, in the Phoenician tongue, was engraven: WE ARE CANAANITES, WHOM JOSHUA THE THIEF CHASED AWAY" (Relations of the World and the Religions Observed in All Ages, Samuel Purchas, Book I, chapter XVIII, p.85)

In The Complete Works of Josephus, translated by William Whiston, there is a footnote on page 110 that corroborates the Canaanites went to North Africa:

"Moses Chorenensis sets down the FAMOUS INSCRIPTION AT TANGIER [TANGER] concerning the old CANAANITES driven out of Palestine by Joshua thus:

"We are those exiles that were governors of the Canaanites, but have been driven away by Joshua the robber, AND ARE COME TO INHABIT HERE'" (Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids. 1988).

In time these inhabitants of Northern Africa became known as Berbers and Moors.

From the city of Numidia the Canaanites eventually made it across the Straits of Gibraltar and reached as far north as Scandinavia and the British Isles. In these countries, and in Europe in general, the Canannites have left evidence of their existence over large areas of land, and are known to the anthropologists as the "Beaker People."

Meanwhile, Back in Israel

After a period of 400 years, the nation of Israel united under kings. First Saul, then David, then Solomon.

The nation of Israel split in 931 B.C. over a dispute concerning taxes. There were 10 tribes of Israel who composed “the northern Kingdom of Israel” with their capital in the city of Samaria, and there were two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) who made up “the southern Kingdom called Judah.”

In 722 B.C. the northern Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians, and the wicked Assyrians (capital of Nineveh) took captive the men of the 10 tribes of the north (thereafter known as “The 10 Lost Tribes”), and forced pagans to move to northern Israel and intermarry with the remaining Israeli women. The “half-breed’ descendants of Israeli women and pagan men came to be known as “The Samaritans.”

The southern kingdom of Judah had help from God and successfully resisted the Assyrians. It is only AFTER 722 B.C. that the name “Jew” comes into existence, an abbreviation of “Judah” or “Judeans” (e.g. people from Judah). Also, since the northern kingdom of Israel was wiped out after Assyrian invasion, after 722 B.C., the kingdom of Judah also would often go by the ancient name Israel.

The Jews stayed in the land God had given them until 586 B.C. when a new world empire – Babylon – conquered the Jews and took them into Babylonian captivity. When the Persian Empire defeated the Babylonians, and conquered the city of Babylon in 539 B.C., the Jews were allowed to return to their land of Israel.

The Jews rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, the Temple, and re-instituted the sacrificial system. During their Babylonian captivity they had learned how to built synagogues since they had no access to the Temple, and they had learned Aramaic, the business language of the known world. For the next five centuries, until the coming of Jesus Christ, the Jews remained in their land, building a nation and seeing the rise of various Jewish religious sects, including the Pharisees and the Sadducees. These years are the years “between the Testaments” (e.g. between the Old Testament and the new Testament). During this time, Persia was conquered by the Grecian Empire, and then the Greeks were conquered by the Roman empire.

Rome Rules the World

Around the time Jesus walked the earth two thousand years ago, Rome ruled the world. The Romans began having trouble with that portion of the empire called Israel. The natives of Israel, a people called “Jews” (e.g. short for “Judeans” or people who descended from the family or tribe of Judah) were expecting a coming Messiah who would lead their little country to global prominence. The Jews were often resisted Roman rule, and they were in the habit of assembling unlawfully, protesting regularly, and arguing forcefully against Roman rule.
  
The Roman emperor raised a wary eye against the Jews and their seditious ways. Jewish religious leaders, knowing that Rome was threatened by any claim of a Jewish Messiah, used Rome’s fears for their own advantage to thwart the influence of a young Jewish carpenter from Nazareth. Jewish religious leaders brought Jesus before the Roman governor Pilate and claimed that “This man says he is the Messiah, the King of the Jews!” Pilate acquiesced to the Jewish demand that Rome crucify him who had the audacity to claim himself “King of the Jews.”

Around four decades after Jesus of Nazareth died on a cross, a new Roman emperor could no longer ignore the ever-increasing Jewish rebellion against Rome. More Roman soldiers were tied up in Israel fighting sedition than anywhere else in the world, and the Roman emperor’s patience ran out. He needed his troops elsewhere, so he decided to handle the Jews once and for all. Nobody knows why the Roman emperor didn’t just kill the Jews, possibly because he was too superstitious to utterly obliterate them, fearing an offense against the gods.

Instead of killing the Jews, the Roman emperor decided to forcibly remove the Jews from their land using Roman legionnaires and relocating them to the far-flung corners of the Roman empire. In America during the 1820’s, the American empire did the same thing to the native Americans, in a forced relocation to “Indian Land” (Oklahoma) that we call “The Trail of Tears.” The Romans forcibly relocated the Jews in a long, sad journey that Jewish history calls the diaspora. The word diaspora comes from the Greek and means “scattering.” We get our English word dispersion from this Greek word. The diaspora begins in A.D. 70.

Judea Becomes Philistia (Palestine)

Judea (Iudaea) was the Roman name for the Land of Israel during the heyday of the Roman Empire. This meant not only the area called Judea in Israel today; (West Bank) it included the whole area ruled and/or chiefly inhabited by Jews. We can see this usage in various writers in Latin and Greek of that period. Consider Pliny, Suetonius, and Tacitus in Latin, and Plutarch as well as the geographers Strabo and Ptolemy in Greek. Judea stretched along both sides of the Jordan and included, besides Judea proper, most of the coastal plain, Samaria, most of the Galilee, the Golan Heights of today and considerable land to the east of there. The Romans called this land Iudaea, a translation of the Hebrew Judah.  

However, to spite the Jews, after the Diaspora, the Romans changed the land of the Jews to Palestinia (Palestine), in honor of the Philistia people (Canaanites) that were the mortal enemies of the Jews prior to Abraham. Palestine was a word Romans used to spite the Jews.

In the Jews’ absence from their former homeland beginning in A.D. 70, a now-empty patch of beachfront real estate on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea begins to fill up with people from Arabia. The Arabs migrate slowly to the former land called Israel. It was never their land in the beginning.  And there is no such thing as Palestinian people. It’s Arab people in the land of Israel, a land that the Romans began calling Palestine.

After the diaspora in A.D. 70, the Jews lived in little communities all over the world, but especially in Europe. The Romans had scattered these Jewish people to all over the Roman empire, and Europe is where most of the Roman Empire was located at the beginning of the diaspora.
Rather than Jewish culture and religion coming to an end through the diaspora, this forced exile from their homeland became a defining event in Jewish history

The diaspora became a crucial part of the Jewish heritage and tradition, a permanent fixture of their rituals and soon became prominent within their holy commentary on Scriptures, a book called the Talmud. For the past two thousand years, in a thousands of  little communities all over the world, Jewish fathers have passed to their sons,  and rabbis have passed to their synagogue congregations, the importance of remembering the diaspora.

There is no better example of the permanence of Israel culture than the contemporary existence of the Hebrew language, the same language Moses, David, Solomon and all the Jewish people have spoken for over 5,000 years. Latin, the language of the Romans, is the basis for French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. But nobody speaks Latin anymore. Only the Roman Catholic Church uses it in church services. People don’t speak it. Groups of medical students worldwide study it for their medical classes, but Latin is not a language of conversation.

Language Represents a Culture.

After being scattered by the Romans, the Jews learned the local languages and became a part of the local population. However, the rabbis kept the Hebrew language alive and the Jews used the language in their worship. Just as Christian monks kept knowledge and literacy alive through the Dark Ages, the rabbis used Hebrew in synagogue services and required all Jews to learn at least enough to actively participate in worship.

From the mid-1500's until well into the current century the dominant pattern in the world was European colonialism. First the Spanish, then Dutch and finally the British were the preeminent powers in the world -- challenged with varying degrees of success by likes of the French, Germans and Italians. The Jews stayed in the background, minding their own business.

No matter where the Jews settled, they were seen as just a little bit on the outside by virtue of their religion, their "secret" language of Hebrew and even their ethnicity.

Since the Jews were mostly prevented from holding public office, becoming military leaders or even entering institutions of higher learning. As a result, they'd entered the only field left open to them: business.

As it turned out, they'd seemed to have a knack for it, too: by the late nineteenth century Jews in Europe were widely perceived as being rich, mostly because many of them had entered jewelry and banking, being forced out of politics and government.

About this time a pro-Jewish political movement called Zionism arose in Europe. Its purpose was "to return the Jews to their rightful historical homeland.”

Here’s Where It Gets Complicated

For the past two thousand years, over 75 generations of Arabs have lived and died on that Eastern Mediterranean soil that the Arabs now called Palestine. These Arabs figured that they had a bit more right to determine who was going to live on what was now their homeland than a bunch of European nations which had still been a bunch of wild barbarian tribes when the Romans had booted the Jews out in the first place (the following is an excellent summary from an anonymous writer at http://www.wwco.com/religion/israel.php).

Why the Arabs Hate the Jews

One of those wild barbarian tribes, now calling itself the British, was perhaps a bit influenced in its thinking by Zionist arguments and by the idea that European Jewry was a rich and influential group one would do well to have one one's side. Besides, the British Empire was at the height of its power and glory: India was the jewel in its crown about which books by Rudyard Kipling were being written, Sherlock Holmes was stalking the streets of London, Stanley and Livingston were making their way around Africa and Queen Victoria was on the throne.

The sun never set upon the British Empire, she had the largest and most powerful navy in the world and by George, she'd do whatever the heck she bloody wanted to -- and without any guff from any bleeding Arab beggars! Besides, the whole point was academic: Palestine had been under the control of the Ottoman Empire (Turkish Muslims) for centuries, so the Arabs living along the Eastern Mediterranean had no say about anything anyway.

What harm would it do, then, to issue a meaningless policy statement in order to win the favour, support and financial attention of the European Jews? So it was that British Foreign Minister Lord Balfour issued the appropriately-named Balfour Declaration in support of an independent Jewish homeland to be located in Palestine.

The Jews loved it, of course, but it remained just that -- a meaningless policy statement. It was certainly forgotten a couple of decades later in 1914 when Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by an anarchist in the city of Sarajevo. The French, Germans and Russians mobilised their troops and, before anyone knew what had happened, a million mothers' sons were charging out of their trenches only to cough their lungs up from the mustard gas or be mown down by machine-gun fire. The Great War, the War to End All Wars, had begun.

Trench warfare held the war at a stalemate in Europe for the better part of four years. British General George Allenby, in charge of the "Southern Front", was under pressure from his superiours at the War Office in London for some progress against the Ottoman Empire, a British enemy in the war and the power that controlled the Middle East as it had for centuries. By manipulating Arab tribesmen into fighting the Turks in exchange for tentative implications of Arab independence, Allenby ensured that by the end of the war the Middle East was British-held territory.

The League of Nations

Immediately after the war, the newly-created League of Nations, really just an old-boys' club of the same old European colonialist powers, legitimised continued occupation of territory captured by the victors in the war by ceding areas to their occupying victorious forces as "mandates". The idea was that the "big brother" nation would prepare the mandated area for eventual independence, but in practise it was colonialism by any other name... which still smelled just as bad.

Britain got the League of Nations mandate for the Middle East, which included Palestine. Zionist groups and Jews worldwide immediately began pressuring the British to live up to the promises they'd made decades earlier in the Balfour Declaration. If they did nothing the Jews would accuse them of going back on their word, but if they started airlifting massive numbers of Jews into Palestine the local Arabs would riot. They tried to go the middle ground and brought in a slow trickle by sea.

This went on for nearly thirty years while the British controlled the area, and the Arabs certainly did riot, more than a few times. The population of Jewish immigrants slowly swelled, living in an uneasy peace with the Arabs. Then one day a man with a severe little moustache started raving about how the Jews had ruined his country, the rest of Europe and the world besides. The joke was on him, of course; Adolf didn't realize that he himself had Jewish blood, but his countrymen bought it hook, line and sinker, and the Second World War was on.

During the war Palestine remained under British control, never seriously threatened by the massive tank battles in the North African desert between British General Bernard Montgomery and German Field Marshal Erwin 'The Desert Fox' Rommel. At war's end, though, the world was a very different place. All the 'great powers' of Europe were totally tapped out, shattered and economically devastated. Even England, which had resisted invasion, had taken a beating from German bombs.

Suddenly only one country had a healthy economy. Suddenly only one country had no domestic damage at all from the war. Suddenly only one country had the largest and most powerful navy in the world, and it wasn't England anymore. Suddenly only one country had the atomic bomb. Suddenly only one country had the undivided attention of every other country in the world, was calling the shots, could do whatever it wanted to and had the force to back up its foreign policy initiatives.

The United States started pressuring all former colonial powers to grant independence to their colonies. Her moral high ground for doing this was that she herself had been a colony and had had to fight for her independence, so she sympathized with other colonies that wanted independence. 

A more likely reason for doing this is that since colonies trade exclusively with their host countries, excluding other nations, the U.S. wanted to get those host countries out of those colonies as quickly as possible so that she could get access and start selling Coca-Cola and other fine American products.

They grumbled, but Britain and the other former colonial powers of Europe started vacating their colonies rapidly, not only because the United States was pressuring them to but also because they could no longer spare the troops, funds or resources to maintain those colonies when so much reconstruction needed to take place back in their home countries. Amongst others, Britain was making plans to vacate its League of Nations mandates in the Middle East -- including Palestine.

Modern Zionism

The world had been shocked, sickened and horrified beyond description when it had seen photographs and newsreels of the ghastly 'final solution' of the Nazis. Concentration camps liberated by the Americans had yielded mass graves, poison-gas showers, non-stop crematoria and living skeletons with haunted eyes. The carnage was so far beyond anything ever seen before that even conventional language did not have a word for it. A new word was created to describe it: genocide.

No one could conceive of anything that anyone could ever have done to deserve such a fate. The hearts of everyone on Earth went out to the Jews. Everyone felt guilty for not having stopped Hitler sooner, before six million Jews had gone to their deaths. Filled with shock, compassion, guilt, shame, remorse and regret, the world of 1945 could deny the Jews nothing.

The British were rapidly vacating the land of Palestine, the Jewish homeland of two thousand years ago. Many Jews had emigrated there during the last thirty years. Many European Jews were wandering around the continent as "Displaced Persons", sole survivors of their families or villages with nowhere to go. The world felt shamed and wanted to "do something for the Jews" to "make up" for what had happened. Some Jews themselves and other Zionists were clamouring about the Balfour Declaration, made by the British in a very different world over fifty years and two world wars ago.

Almost before the British were out of Palestine, the United States stepped in and declared that the area would once again be the Jewish homeland. The Americans were trying not only to make up for the Second World War, but to correct an ancient historical wrong. Huge waves of Jewish immigrants flocked to their ancient ancestral homeland.

As these European "displaced persons" found a home once again, they created a whole new flood of "displaced persons" -- Arabs whose umpteenth great-grandfather had farmed the same land 75 generatons ago, forced to leave because a newly-arrived European Jew had become the new owner. These Arabs, today called the Palestinians, left in droves.

It took two years from wars' end for the British to finish vacating and for the brief period of American assistance with Jewish immigration to conclude. Jews all over the world had been delighted with the idea; those who didn't emigrate to live there were quite generous financially. The United States gave much financial and military assistance so that in 1947 the area which had been known as Palestine for two thousand years declared itself the state of Israel.

The brand-new state was promptly attacked at the same time by several of its outraged Arab neighbours. They themselves had been under the boot of the Ottomans for centuries, then had had to endure the British, but now that the entire Middle East had looked as though it were finally going to be free and self-determining, here had come the meddling Americans to eject the Palestinians —brother Arabs— and move Jews in in their place!

Aside from this strange, offensive new outpost there were no Jews for thousands of miles around — only Arabs. For the Arabs it was like surgically transplanting a tuft of blond hair onto a head full of black. They saw these Jews sitting proudly on land that had been Arab land for two thousand years, while the 'rightful' Palestinian-Arab owners sat shivering in refugee camps just outside the borders of the new state. Outraged and offended, they attacked with their combined military force.

Unfortunately for the Arab states that attacked in 1947, U.S. weapons and training that had been provided to the Israeli military allowed Israel to trounce them. In other Arab-Israeli conflicts (1956, 1967 and 1973), almost always started by the Arabs, the same has been the result: one was called the Six-Day War because that's all the time it took the Israelis to win, while another was called the Yom Kippur War because the Arabs tried to win by surprise-attacking on the holiest Jewish day.

The previous Palestinian inhabitants haven't been sitting idly in their refugee camps on Israel's borders for fifty years while fellow Arabs from other Arab countries have been fighting and dying in attempts to win back their land for them. The Palestinians formed the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), a terrorist group that has been bombing Israel and conducting other terrorist raids on her for decades.

For many years now Yasser Arafat has been the leader of the PLO, and thus Public Enemy Number One of the Israeli state. He was controversial in the 1980s for once wearing his customary pistol on a visit to the Pope and because the United States didn't want to grant him a visa to enter the U.S. so he could speak at the United Nations.

The first real progress in the Arab-Israeli situation was made by President Carter, who got Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to sign a peace treaty. We later found out what ordinary Arabs thought of that when some of Sadat's own people assassinated him as he stood on the reviewing stand during a parade.

The fact that Israel recently allowed the Gaza Strip to become an 'autonomous Arab zone' with its own police force and Yasser Arafat (Israel's Public Enemy Number One), of all people, as its leader, is probably the most encouraging move towards peace since the Americans started the whole mess in the 1940s. Of course, we found out what ordinary Israelis thought of that when a former member of his own security forces assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the guy who made the Gaza Strip thing possible, as he moved through a crowded public square a few months ago.

The Oslo Agreement

Since historic agreements signed in Oslo, Norway in September of 1993 between the Israelis and the PLO set the Gaza Strip aside for the Palestinians, the PLO and its leader have been kept busy with the headaches of self-rule. Those Palestinians and other Arabs who felt that this arrangement was not good enough and that there was still more for which Israel must answer felt that the PLO had gone soft and sold out; they became dissatisfied with the PLO as the representative of their interests.

These extreme anti-Israelis formed a group called Hezbollah, a fundamentalist Islamic force composed of Palestinians and other sympathetic Arabs. Backed by the sympathetic Islamic countries of Iran and Syria, since the 1993 Oslo accords Hezbollah has set up shop in Israel's chaotic bordering neighbour to the North, Lebanon, which has been paralysed for decades by civil war.

The situation in Lebanon is so fractious and its government so weak that Hezbollah has actually taken over the running of schools and hospitals in some areas, gaining it popular support amongst some Lebanese. Its primary purpose for existence being to inflict harm upon Israel, however, in April 1996 Hezbollah began raining fire down upon its hated enemy in the form of Katoushka rockets.

Surrounded as it is by hostile neighbours who would prefer to see the blood of all its citizens running through the sands, Israel has perhaps understandably developed a 'massive retaliation' policy over the years. To guerrilla attacks by the Egyptian-backed Palestinian terrorist group fedayeen ("self-sacrificers", the predecessor of the PLO and Hezbollah) in the 1950s, Israel invaded Egyptian army posts in the dead of night, shooting hundreds of Egyptian troops as they slept, and on 29 October 1956 actually invaded Egypt herself, taking the entire Sinai Peninsula from her.

In Israel's belief that she must show a tough face in order to deter aggression, she has not hesitated even to operate far outside her home region. On 3 July 1976 she reacted to the hijacking of an airplane containing her Olympic team by storming the plane with a massive assault force as it sat on an airport runway in Entebbe, Uganda, a country well into Africa and decidedly not in Israel's home region, the Middle East. Israel had refused to negotiate or even talk to the hijackers, it attacked without regard to casualties and it took no prisoners. The message was clear: don't mess with us.

When terrorists attacked Israel from bases in Southern Lebanon in March of 1978, Israel responded by invading Lebanon. When Mossad, Israel's secret intelligence service, learned in 1981 that its neighbouring country of Iraq (with its new leader Saddam Hussein) had an atomic reactor near its capital city of Baghdad that would enable it to manufacture nuclear weapons, Israeli jets invaded Iraqi airspace, flew on over to Baghdad one fine day and blew the atomic reactor to Kingdom Come.

When Israel's ambassador to Great Britain was wounded in a PLO terrorist attack on the streets of London —just one man, mind you— Israel responded by launching a massive, all-out, coordinated land, sea and air attack against PLO bases in Lebanon on 6 June 1982. By 14 June they had the PLO trapped and surrounded in Lebanon's capital city of Beirut and were pummeling them into oblivion with round-the-clock bombing.

If Ronnie Ray-gun hadn't yanked on the leash of his Israeli pit bull and forced him to wait while the United States Navy evacuated what was left of the PLO from Beirut, the Israelis almost certainly would've done there and then to the Palestinians what the Romans hadn't done to the Jews almost two thousand years earlier. In any case, the message "don't mess with us" was once again clear.

Israel's Right to Exist

With the election of Yitzhak Rabin as Israeli prime minister in 1992 on a campaign of peace and reconciliation with Israel's Arab neighbours, it looked as though perhaps such stiff reprisals might no longer be necessary. In the historic Oslo accords of 1993 the PLO recognized Israel's right to exist and Israel acknowledged the PLO as the representative of the Palestinians. The Gaza Strip and the West bank of the Jordan river were designated as Palestinian homelands, and Israel and Jordan (the country) signed a treaty ending their 46-year state of war in 1994. Things were really looking up.

A few months ago, however, we found out what at least some ordinary Israelis thought of all this 'peace with the Arabs' stuff when a former member of his own security forces assassinated Rabin as he moved through a crowded public square. Shimon Peres became Israel's new prime minister and tried to continue as best he could his predecessor's policies of peace and reconciliation with Arabs.

When the extreme Palestinian-Arab Islamic fundamentalist terrorist group Hezbollah started firing salvos of deadly Katoushka rockets at Israel from its guerrilla bases in Lebanon in April of 1996, frightened, disappointed Israelis began to cry loudly to their government that perhaps those ingrate Arabs would only take advantage of peace and reconciliation, would only understand the language of force. Perhaps, some said, the only sure policy for security was the old 'massive retaliation'.

Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, facing an upcoming election and terrorist rockets raining fire down on those who would be deciding whether or not to vote him into office again, didn't take long to decide. On Thursday, 11 April 1996, Israeli ground-based planes and helicopter gunships operating from navy vessels in the Mediterranean launched a massive, non-stop bombing assault on Lebanon.

As of Wednesday, 24 April 1996 the Israeli bombing is still going full-force... but Hezbollah rocket attacks from Israel against Lebanon continue unabated. The Israelis, who have code-named their bombing campaign "Operation Grapes of Wrath", pledge to continue it until Hezbollah's rocket attacks cease. In years to come it may be Israel who will taste the sour grapes, since its military offensive in the first six short days already produced 800,000 homeless refugees in Lebanon -- many of whom will probably become embittered towards Israel and provide excellent new recruits for Hezbollah.

On Monday, 15 April 1996 the United Nations Security Council in New York spent the entire day debating the situation but in the end could reach no decisions. United States Ambassador to the United Nations Madeline Albright made it clear that the U.S. position was that Israel's actions were appropriate and justifiable, and implied rather obviously that the U.S. would use its veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council to block any punitive measures the council might attempt.

The reactions of Syria and Iran, the two Islamic Arab countries which helped establish Hezbollah in the first place and continue to fund and supply her, have been no surprise: they have loudly decried that Israel is committing a monstrous crime against humanity and must be stopped. Israel, for its part, has pointed out that both Hitler and Hezbollah launched attacks trying to kill Jews, and reminds the international community what the countries of the world felt was necessary to do about Hitler. With all this rhetoric, the average confused bystander surely must be wondering what to believe.

Summary

Two thousand years ago the Romans committed a great wrong against the Jewish people. One hundred years ago the British made a promise that that wrong would be made right. Fifty years ago, after the Germans committed another great wrong against the Jewish people, the Americans tried to make up for it by honouring England's promise. In the process, they committed a great wrong against the Palestinians, who even today still sit shivering in their refugee camps.

The Palestinian Arabs hate the Jews for taking away their homes. The rest of the Arabs hate the Jews for taking away the homes of their brethren. All the Arabs hate the Americans for what they did to the Palestinians. So now today, in a region consisting of dozens of Muslim countries twice as wide as the United States, stretching from Morocco on the West coast of North Africa to Pakistan on the Indian Subcontinent, everyone speaks a form of Arabic, obeys Islamic law and worships a single god most recently revealed to him by Muhammad the last Prophet...

...everyone, that is, except for those living on one tiny little strip of land, forty-seven miles long. For two thousand years the people there also spoke Arabic, obeyed Islamic law and worshipped the god most recently revealed by Muhammad. Now, however, those people are shivering in camps on the borders of what used to be their land. Today the people on that strip of land speak Hebrew, follow Talmudic law and worship the god of Abraham, Isaac, Rebecca and Sarah.

It has been suggested that there are historical parallels between the Arab-Israeli situation and the plight of the native inhabitants of North America (Native Americans / American Indians). Very few people are suggesting today that everyone whose ancestors came to North America after A.D. 1500 should go back where they came from so that the Native Americans can have their lands back. Why, then, was Palestine "returned" to the Jews? We were all taught as children that two wrongs don't make a right, so why did the U.S. try to right a two-thousand-year-old historical wrong by wronging the Palestinians?

Such speculation, however, is merely crying over historically spilled milk: wouldn't removing the Israelis yet again, or blasting them out of existence as the Arabs tried so many times to do, simply be more of the same? Viewing the Middle East as it is today, should we not seek to learn from the mistakes of the past? Shouldn't we seek to learn not only from the mistakes of the Romans and the Nazis, but also from the mistakes we ourselves as Americans made a mere half-century ago when we sought to offer a quick fix to someone else's problems? Good intentions are not enough; surely only listening to and understanding the problems of those who must LIVE there, and then giving help IF it is requested, will finally bring peace. 

40 comments:

Pege' said...

Wade, WHEW..I will have to read this again for all its amazing content!! Whew, a ton of research. As you said, Isreal was dispersed from Israel. Isreal judged for the rejection of Christ in A.D. 70? God used the Romans to bring it about. They no longer are " God's chosen people". God judged them. The church replaced them. They have no eternal or religious rights to the land. They have to come to God through Jesus Christ like anyone else. The fight over the land is just a fight over land.

Anonymous said...

The modern day Jews are mostly descendants of the ancient (gentile) Kazars. See Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe and especially Sand's The Invention the Jewish People. Can you list a source for your statement about Roman deportation? You did not mention Islam's forced conversion of the Jews and Christians. You also did not mention the Israeli's horrendous (and criminal) treatment of the Arabs living in Israel. For this see Blumenthal's Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.

Israel's claim that the land is theirs because God gave it to them is suspect. The claim also fails the records test. Who has held title to the land since ancient times? Each Jew would have to demonstrate that a specific piece of land was his by right of conquest under Joshua. This would require 3000+ years of unbroken chain of title. What modern Jew knows his tribe? Are "Cohens" really priests? Neh. 7:64

Jerry Schultz said...

This is a great read with some very interesting and valuable information, though the religion of Islam was not invented until around 600 A.D., so no one has been worshipping according to that religion for 2000 years. Also, the majority of Islamic countries were once Christian nations who were conquered and forcibly converted to Islam---like modern day Turkey, where Paul had established many churches.

RRR said...

In my estimation, no way that Israel is not eternally a chosen nation and the Jewish people a chosen people if for no other purpose, the purpose of providing the venue for the Messiah's entry. But He will reign from Jerusalem upon His return as well. God obviously created this nation for His purpose and I believe looks upon it in a very special way. Of course, no one entering eternity without a saving faith in Jesus Christ will be truly "Jewish" as defined by Scripture, but God will always use Israel and favor it. No other nation will come close to it as being strategically used for the King's purposes. The totally miraculous re-establishment of Israel in 1948 was not a happenstance. God continues to use the nation of Israel in His prophetic fulfillment of His promises and always will.

Tom Kelley said...

The modern state of Israel was formed and supported by the United Nations, not just the United States.

GMurray said...

Wade.
An excellent article...Well worth the time and read!
One part as an expat Englishman I couldn't follow.
to quote
'So it was that British Foreign Minister Lord Balfour issued the appropriately-named Balfour Declaration in support of an independent Jewish homeland to be located in Palestine.

The Jews loved it, of course, but it remained just that -- a meaningless policy statement. It was certainly forgotten a couple of decades later in 1914 when Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by an anarchist in the city of Sarajevo'

As i believe the Balfour Declaration was not till 1917 am I misunderstanding something here?

Martin Gilbert [Churchills biographer] said that 'the Balfour Declaration took the form of a letter from A.J.Balfour to Lord Rothschild in 1917' .

Thanks as always

George Murray

Wade Burleson said...

George,

I believe you are correct. The anonymous writer whom I credit (see website) for that portion of my article got it wrong. I appreciate your comment and hopefully people will read it and understand the discrepancy.

George Murray said...


No problem Wade..

Incidentally, the afore-mentioned Martin Gilbert has an excellent book.

'Churchill and the Jews' A lifelong friendship

If you haven't read it.. I am sure you would love it.

George

Unknown said...

Wade, a quick question....twice you mention "the god most recently revealed by Mohammed". What do you mean by this (to me) odd phrase?

RRR said...

Great job, Wade! I sure do appreciate it. You bring to light so many historical details regarding the post-Roman Israel which are helpful to me in having a more correct understanding of what happened to the Canaanites and identifying the "Palestinians". I may not totally agree with some of your conclusions on aspects of events but still am able to glean so much information that is helpful.

You said, " We were all taught as children that two wrongs don't make a right, so why did the U.S. try to right a two-thousand-year-old historical wrong by wronging the Palestinians?"

I believe this entire issue is made more complex by the transcendent involvement of God. Truly, this very small piece of real estate has players in the spiritual realm beyond our physical planet, both Godly and Satanic, who impact all of the events taking place and which has happened historically. I believe that this world's governments and nations are often players used by both of these sides to achieve the agenda of both realms, although the providence of God will certainly prevail in the end. One cannot base events strictly on the premises that earthly nations/peoples have determined the current status or past episodes.

An aspect that I believe also makes this issue more complex is the conflict between the Muslim factions of Shiite and Sunni. As mentioned, the involvement of "Iran and Syria", both Shiite players, exhibits the significance of these warring Islamic enemies. The war raging between these two factions is as intense as any between Muslim and the "infidel"-non-Muslim or Israelis. The undeniable fact of the Islamic push for forced globalization of their perspective ideologies and sects make this much more than a simple matter of who deserves ownership of the holy land, "Palestinians" or "Jews".

Anyway, thanks again. I understand the scope of your research and presentation was not intended to address all of these perspectives but thought I would mention them. Still, this was a great blog and I sure appreciate all of the time and work you invested on our behalf. I am going to file this in my library for future reference!

Christiane said...

Hello Wade,
you wrote, this:

"We were all taught as children that two wrongs don't make a right, so why did the U.S. try to right a two-thousand-year-old historical wrong by wronging the Palestinians?"

I have no answer for you. But was done. We have sown the wind. And we have reaped the whirlwind. Like concentric circles in a pond, we set something into motion that still reverberates into our own time, even more strongly. Why were the Palestinian people treated so? There had to be a better way forward after the time of the Holocaust, but we failed to find it then.

It's not called the 'Holy Land' for no reason. But it is 'holy' to three faiths. And we have not respected that or even thought about the dignity and worth of the Palestinian people who lived on that land for many generations. Hubris? I don't know. Maybe. Or prejudice against 'those ragheads'? I don't doubt that.

I will always love the idea of 'Israel', of the nation of 'Israel'. But all who treated the Palestinian people as so much refuse to be cleared away from a 'homeland' for Holocaust survivors, all of us collectively, we OWE a debt to the Palestinian people to work for peace and for a resolution of this wrong that was done to them.
But how is this to be worked out? By whom? And when? How indeed when there is so little good will on either the Israeli side or the Palestinian side? And is OUR country still fit to act as peace-brokers now that the world knows we have a leader who is willing to wipe the entire population of North Korea off of the face of Earth?

?

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

I believe our leader is letting the world know if any Atomic bomb is sent our way the country that believes their leader is God will go up in smoke. It’s called “Walk softly but carry a big stick”.

Our former leader carried nothing but a toothpick.

Anonymous said...

Great article Wade.

I should also add some additional history.

Millions of Jews were also expelled from Arab Countries during the creation of the State of Israel. Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Turkey, Syria, Egypt all had significant Jewish Populations that were expelled because of pogroms. Most of these Jewish communities are considered Sephardic Jews.

The Ashkenazi (European) Jewish community is now a minority in Isreal. The vast majority of jews now living in Isreal are in fact from Arab and North African lands.

Most of those Jewish communities were forcibly expelled by Islamic governments.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Your eloquent post on the issues of Israel and Palestine took ten pages to print. I believe my off topic subject of two pages on the roots of Catholic and non-Catholic is more important to all Christians. I write 432 words and quote Scripture of 807 words

. Roots of Catholic and non-Catholic start in Acts 15

Acts 15 is a record of the first Church Council in deciding how Gentiles were saved. These roots were ‘Jesus plus works’ and ‘Jesus plus nothing’.

Christian Pharisees expressed ‘Jesus plus works’.
“Some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the Law of Moses.” (Verse 5)

Peter expressed ‘Jesus plus nothing’.
“Why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke…We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” (Verse 10-11) After Peter spoke there was no more arguing as the next verse states: “Everyone listened quietly as Barabbas and Paul told about the…wonders God had done…” The debate is over, case closed, all are saved without ANY rules, laws, or burdens. But look what happened.


James expressed ‘Jesus plus works’.
“When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me…my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles…we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood. For these laws of Moses have been preached...for many generations.” (Verse 13-21) “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements.” (Verse 28)

Horrors! Did the Holy Spirit disagree with God since Peter said they would be “challenging God by burdening the Gentiles? James said: “…if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.” “We are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.” (James 2:13, 24) “…we teachers of religion…” (James 3:1) James didn’t know the teaching of Jesus. Jesus said: “The teachers of religious law…everything they do is for show.” (Matthew 23:2, 5) I believe James did not understand that the definition of “faith” includes “works”. How much did James preach the Gospel when in the Living Translation he referenced God 76 times, and Jesus only 9?
Paul agrees with Peter
“This is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the good news share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.” “…Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. (Ephesians 3:6, 17)
Notice Paul did not mention the ‘burden’ of requirements James put on Gentiles. When he said, “Your roots will…keep you strong”, I believe he was referring to Ephesians and not Jews. I believe the descendants of “…thousands of Jews…are all “zealous” of the law.” (Acts 21:20 KJ) were those that started baptizing babies for salvation around 251 AD. This was the first major split in the church, and those Christians were named “Catholic” in 312 AD. The ones that would not join them became know as Anabaptists. Anabaptist eventually became known as Baptist.

Rex Ray said...

Scriptures that show Christian Jews were “zealous” of the Law of Moses.
1. “Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law. (Acts 21:20 KJ)
2. “…when some friends of James came. Peter wouldn’t eat with Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision.” (Galatians 2:12)
3. “When Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him. “You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!” they said.” (Acts 11:2-3)
4. Paul condemned teachers preaching the Law to be saved: “Let God’s curse fall on anyone…who preaches a different kind of Good News…” (Galatians 1:8)
5. “…they think that obeying the Ten Commandments is the way to be saved.” (2 Corinthians 3:15)
6. “…They sneaked in to spy on us and take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations.” (Galatians 2:4)
7. “…those false teachers of yours who…bring long letters of recommendation … [from Jerusalem Church?] We do not tell them that they must obey every law of God or die…” (2 Corinthians 3:1, 6)
8. “I know false teachers, like wolves, will come in among you…distort the truth when I am gone…” (Acts 20:29-30)
9. “You’re being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law…” (Galatians 5:29)
10. “…If I were still preaching [before he believed in Jesus] that you must be circumcised as some say I do---why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended. I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.” (Galatians 5:11-12)

Did James and elders lead Paul to believe his life was in danger?
“You see, brother, how many thousands [25 to 50 thousand] of Jews there are which believe, and they are all zealous of the law.” “…the Jewish believers have been told that you are teaching all the Jews…to turn their backs on the laws of Moses…you teach them not to circumcise their children or follow other Jewish customs…What should we do? They will certainly hear that you have come. Here’s what WE want you to do. WE have four men here …Go with them to the Temple…Then everyone will know…you observe the Jewish laws.” (Acts 21:20-24)
WHAT? That’s like a man spray painting vulgar words on church walls, then attending church like nothing was wrong. Jewish leaders hated Paul. “Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes.” (2 Corinthians 11:24) “A group of Jews [40] …bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.” (Acts 23:12)
They sent Paul to the Temple where Jewish leaders were! Did they know the Holy Spirit said Jewish leaders would turn Paul over to Gentiles in Acts 21:11?

If Jewish leaders could not recognize Paul with his head shaved for six days, how did men from Asia (Acts 21:27) recognized Paul on the last day unless someone told them? Was someone told to identify Paul to men from Asia so they wouldn’t be recognized and traced back to “WE”?

“…Paul was dragged out of the Temple…As they were killing him…all Jerusalem was in an uproar.” (Acts 21:30-31) Wonder how many from the Jerusalem Church were in the crowd that shouted: “Away with such a fellow! He isn’t fit to live!” (Acts 22:22)

“…Ananias, the high priest…and lawyer, Tertullus, presented their case against Paul to the governor…he was trying to desecrate the Temple when we arrested him.” (Acts 24:1-7)

Rex Ray said...

Just as the husband of Bathsheba was murdered by no support, James and the elders did not support Paul at his trial. I’m sure Paul wondered why they were not there, but after his ’brothers’ had not visited him for years, he knew. “At my first answer no man stood with me…I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” (2 Timothy 4:16) I believe Paul repeated the prayer that Stephen prayed because the same crime had been done. “…The time of my death is near.” (2 Timothy 4:6) Paul died in a Roman prison, but the guilt of his death was on those who put him there.

Tom Ross said...

Some 4,000 years after the birth of Isaac, some of Abraham’s descendants returned to the land in their own strength as was prophesied in Genesis 15:16 in 1948 with, as Daniel 11:34 tells us, a little help from people who joined themselves with them with flatteries. God was not in the re-establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948, although, when this re-established nation was attacked, He did not allow the nations around them to decimate the Israelites then in the land.

God at the beginning of the third age of the Israelites’ existence allowed the temple to be destroyed and had the Israelites scattered to the four corners of the earth because of their continual idolatrous worship as described in Hosea 14. Hosea 6:2 tells us that after two Days of the Lord, that He will revive them so that they may live in His sight during the third day of the Lord. Paul in Roman 11:25-27 also tells us that, after the fullness in time of the heathen gentiles trampling the sanctuary in Jerusalem is complete, all of Israel will be save/redeemed.

Luke 14:31-33 paints a picture of the events leading up to the time of Israel being redeemed. Then God will make like new again the Nation of Priests Covenant with the nation of Israel, which they had rebelled against around 3,500 years ago.

Genesis 15:16 also tells us that when Abraham’s descendants return to the land that the iniquities of the Amorites will not yet be complete at that time, but there is a hint that shortly afterwards it will be.

At present, there is an open Satanic battle going on for the minds of the people of the earth, but within a few years, the Satanic influence will be judged and removed for a time to await their punishment, but before they are punished, God will allow them to be released for a little while but they will again be defeated, and dispatched into their everlasting punishment.

What we are witnessing at this present time is a demonstration of the Satanic “powers” against the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and that the Satanic powers are supposedly far greater. But Christ also told us: -

""Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! Therefore, do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

"Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:21-31

Shalom

Christiane said...

Hey REX RAY,
It's me, checking in again.

I think your quote "“Walk softly but carry a big stick”." is off by one word . . .
change the 'walk' to 'speak' and you will have the correct saying by Theodore Roosevelt who developed the 'Big Stick' doctrine. :)

"Speak softly and carry a big stick" was the original saying. I guess Trump is using your version and the world responded with amazement at the change, yes. But then, Trump seems inclined now to use sanctions rather than weapons, a least for a while.

In the meantime, the silly little fat kid over in N. Korea is racheting up HIS words to an even higher level. I think he is also talking 'to his base'. Unfortunately, Trump who is a master at talking to his own base doesn't get this, so the game of barbs and threats continues. The crazy talk needs to stop and the only one who can help now is General Kelly or so I hope. General Kelly seems to be a healthy influence and he gives me hope for some more stability and good sense to prevail among all the bluster. Does this make sense?

Muff Potter said...

As always Wade, I really enjoy your historical articles.
Keep em' comin'!

Rex Ray said...

Tom Ross,

I see you’ve spent a lot of time on your post. You quoted Jesus in Matthew 10:21-31, but did not quote the other seven Scriptures. If you had quoted Hosea 14, you would have seen it was Hosea 13 that tells about the idolatrous worship.

You said: “4,000 years after the birth of Isaac, some of Abraham’s descendants returned to the land…as prophesied in Genesis 15:16 in 1948.”

That Scripture states: “After four generations your descendants will return here to this land.”

Since a generation is about 20 to 30 years, that would be a maximum of 120 years and not 4,000.

You said (Luke 14:31-33) paints a picture of the events leading up to the time of Israel being redeemed.”

That Scripture states:”What king would go to war…with his army of 10,000 [against] 20,000…”

It’s OK to say what you think a Scripture means AFTER the Scripture has been stated. Not doing so may be like saying the world is square because of John 3:16.

Tom Ross said...

Rex

Hosea 14:3: -
Assyria shall not save us,
We will not ride on horses,
Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, 'You are our gods.'
For in You the fatherless finds mercy."

Hosea 13:1-3

When Ephraim spoke, trembling,
He exalted himself in Israel;
But when he offended through Baal worship, he died.
Now they sin more and more,
And have made for themselves molded images,
Idols of their silver, according to their skill;
All of it is the work of craftsmen.
They say of them,
"Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves!"

Therefore, they shall be like the morning cloud
And like the early dew that passes away,
Like chaff blown off from a threshing floor
And like smoke from a chimney.

Both Hosea 13 and 14 speak of idolatrous worship as the reason why God scattered the nation of Israel to the four corners of the earth. God did not scatter them because they had rejected Christ during His First Advent as some in the comments have claimed.

Now your understanding of Genesis 15:16 is the same as many other commenters, but I would humbly suggest to you that they, like you, have not understood the prophetical meaning of this verse at all. The word in question, which is based on the Hebrew root word H:1755, is better understood to have the meaning of an Age as per Strong,s definition give in http://biblehub.com/hebrew/1755.htm

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
age,
evermore, generation, never, posterity
Or (shortened) dor {dore}; from duwr; properly, a revolution of time, i.e. An age or generation; also a dwelling -- age, X evermore, generation, (n-)ever, posterity.

Since aAn age is a little longer than 1,000 years and since the “traditional” translation of this verse uses “generation” as the English equivalent for H:1755, then your understanding of the meaning of this verse is understandable, given the usual English meaning of the word “Generation,” as a “descendant” generation. However, that was not the intended meaning of this one verse prophecy. History has confirmed my understanding

Rex, you found fault with my not quoting Luke 14:21-33 but you have not justified your own criticism of what I wrote with any evidence to show my error in understanding of that passage. Sadly, you have used a false argument technique, as a put down.

Now, with regards to Wade’s “eloquent” posted blog, as you stated, there was no need for me to comment as he acknowledged the main source of the material that he included in his blog. Early written history of recent events is often fraught with error because of the “political intrigue” of the writer concerned. I need say no more.

Shalom

Gerry Milligan said...

Wade,
Interesting reading, even with the inaccuracies of modern times. In 1947 Menachen Began and the Irgun destroyed and murdered all of the Arab inhabitants of Dier Yasiin. This was one of the precursors of what Israel still calls the war for independence, The Arabs did not start the 1947, the 1956 or the 1967 wars. They were all started with pre-emptive strikes by the Israelis. The October war of 1973 led to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel and the Arabs did attack first. As I said, interesting reading, even though it is rather one sided.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

You are right; it is “Speak softly but carry a big stick” by Theodore Roosevelt.

I should add to our former President’s psychology to be: ‘Apologize softly and carry a toothpick.’

His bowing to a Muslim king showed his submission and reverence to a religion he thought to be more Holy than the Christian religion. He even said, “The Holy Quran teaches…”

Christian, would you speak of any book that states “Kill the Infidel” as being Holy?

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/violence.aspx

“The Quran contains at least 109 verses that speak of war with nonbelievers… with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels.”

Rex Ray said...

Tom Ross,

I believe the New Living Translation portrays the best true meaning of Scripture. For example, compare the difference in the translation you used for (Hosea 14: 3) and I’ll use Italic for the NLT.
“Assyria shall not save us, We will not ride on horses, nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods.’ For in You the fatherless finds mercy.”

“Assyria cannot save us, nor can our war horses. Never again will we say to the idols we have made, ‘You are our gods.’ No, in you alone do the orphans find mercy.”

Tom, you question my understanding of Geneses 15:16, but the NLT is very clear: “After four generations your descendants will return here to this land…”

Would your study of that verse compare to this?

http://christopherscottblog.com/reasons-use-new-living-translation-nlt-study-bible/
“There are two types of translations: literal and dynamic. Literal translations are a word-for-word translation within reason of the English language.
Dynamic translation is more of a though-for-thought translation of the Bible into contemporary English.
Because it’s impossible to translate languages used more than 2,000 years ago in a word-for-word way, it is important to focus on the thoughts and ideas of what is being communicated in the Bible rather than words.
The New Living Translation (NLT) uses a thought-for-thought translation that conveys contemporary English what the original text meant.
Almost 100 people from various denominations, evangelical schools, and theological backgrounds participated in the translation. Several people were assigned to each book to ensure no theological or personal preference found its way into the text.”

It took eight years for the NLT to be what it is today.

You said I found fault with you for not quoting (Luke 14:21-33).

No, your reference was (Luke 14:31-33).which says:

“Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him?”


In verses 21-33 Jesus told the story of guest giving excuses why they couldn’t come to a banquet and the cost of being a disciple.

You said: “paints a picture of the events leading up to the time of Israel being redeemed. Then God will make like new again the nation of Priests Covenant with the nation of Israel, which they had rebelled against around 3,500 years ago.”

You cannot find one word of this in the above Scripture can you?

Tom Ross said...

Rex,

I apologise for not proof reading my recent comment thoroughly enough to pick up a minor mistake. However, in my previous post I had correctly showed the right reference.

Luke 14:31-33

"Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can't, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

Based on the complete quote above, I still stand by what I had previously posted. Luke 14:31-33 describes the event(s) leading up to the redeeming of All of Israel.

Then after they are redeemed, the Jeremiah 31:31ff passage kicks in where God makes like new again the Nation of Priest Covenant with the Nation of Israel which they rebelled against. This is God’s terms of their redemption. God’s terms of peace with the nation, which they receive from the other king which has 20,000 soldiers, after they conclude that they cannot overcome him with their soldiers.

Jeremiah 31;31ff refers to the Exodus 19 3-8 Covenant.

Exodus 19:3-8: -

Then Moses climbed the mountain to appear before God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and said, "Give these instructions to the family of Jacob; announce it to the descendants of Israel: 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.' This is the message you must give to the people of Israel."

So Moses returned from the mountain and called together the elders of the people and told them everything the Lord had commanded him. And all the people responded together, "We will do everything the Lord has commanded." So, Moses brought the people's answer back to the Lord.


This is the covenant that the nation of Israel rebelled against while Moses was up on the mountain for 40 days, by getting Aaron to make the two Golden Calf idols to worship.

Now with regards to generation/age in Genesis 15:16 these “terms” are interchangeable for the Hebrew word that has H:1755 embedded in it.

If as you are suggesting it is describing a period of time associated with a descendant generation, then the Hebrew root, H:8435 should be found embedded in the Hebrew word that is translated as “generation/age.” Since it is not found in Genesis 15:16, I can only assume that your understanding is suspect.

Now with regards to every translation of the original texts of the bible, every translation is fallible because of the errors introduced into them by the translators, often unintentionally. The NLT also suffers this fate as well.

Shalom
E&OA.

Bob Cleveland said...

There's an absolutely fascinating fact, and to me a prediction, contained in Habakkuk.

You stated "The Jews stayed in the land God had given them until 586 B.C. when a new world empire – Babylon – conquered the Jews and took them into Babylonian captivity." Well, I'm not up on all the dates, but I think this pertains to that. From Habakkuk 1:

“5 Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. 6 I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own. 7 They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor."

So it seems to me that God was behind that overthrow and the resulting Diaspora, and if He was, then I see Him as behind all that's gone on. Including today and tomorrow.

And it's a REAL HOOT, watching it all unfold. And, come to think of it, a source of joy.

Rex Ray said...

Tom,

It’s nice of you to apologize for not using the reference, (Luke 14:31-33) but you said you used the correct reference (Luke 14:21-31) in your previous post.

Oops; your previous post had (Luke 14:31-33).

I think your obsession with (Luke 14 anything) is like beating a dead horse to death in claiming it leads to the redeeming of Israel.

I believe you would agree the only event that redeems Israel is CALVARY.

You said, “…I can only assume that your understanding is suspect.”

I don’t know what you mean by that but I’d advise when doing ‘battle of the wits’ don’t come half prepared. :)

Rex Ray said...

Tom,

Our exchange of ideas is more of a complement than my two page comment of being ignored.

I thought you might make a whack at it but I guess not.

Tom Ross said...

Rex,

So your exchange with me is because of your feelings of being ignored. A poor excuse for your behaviour.

Good day.

Rex Ray said...

Tom,

No, my exchange with you was because you were wrong; just like your conclusion is now.

You don’t seem to like my behavior. Hum…I think it was Bob Cleveland that came out with the famous statement: “It’s the bit dog that hollers.” Have a good night because you’ve made my day.

Tom Ross said...

Rex,

Provide the evidence to show where my error is and I will gladly change my understanding of the scripture in question.

So far you have only stood on your traditional understanding, and IMHO, it is faulty and flawed.

I would lay bets on the fact that you consider that Jesus spoke about himself in the two parables about Satan give by Christ in the week before He was crucified, because that has become the accepted tradition of understanding of the "church" today. Fortunately, both parables contain the evidence that prove that Satan is the main character in these two parables.

Good Day

PS: - When you made the statement, "I believe you would agree the only event that redeems Israel is CALVARY." have you not limited God in His interactions with Israel?

Rex Ray said...

Tom,

You asked me to provide evidence to show where my error is and I will gladly change my understanding of the scripture in question.

I will not attempt to do that because I believe you would fit the category of: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

You said: “When you made the statement, "I believe you would agree the only event that redeems Israel is CALVARY." have you not limited God in His interactions with Israel?”

HUH? Do you think Israel can skip Calvary because of “His interactions with Israel”?

The “interactions with Israel” is told by Jesus in Luke 14:15-24 in his parable of the Great Feast. The guest was Israel that made excuses not to attend.
Verse 24: “For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.”

“He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:11-12 NLT)

RRR said...

Thanks, Rex Ray and Tom for an invigorating dialogue. I have not been able to invest the time necessary to keep up with your conversation but do appreciate your passion!

Anonymous said...

RRR

Thanks for the comment. It was like oil on troubled waters.

Rex

Tom Ross said...

Thanks, RRR for your affirmation. Your words are like a healing balm for the soul.

Shalom

Anonymous said...

RRR

I believe I know why Tom Ross believes as he does. He is the only person on Wade's Blog that ends his comments with "Shalom".

"Shalom" is a Jewish word that means goodbye with blessings.

Why would he use the word unless he is a Jew?

It wouldn't surprise me if he was a Bible teacher in some college.

He would not agree the only event that redeems Israel is Calvary because he said that limited God in His interactions with Israel.

What do you think about that?

Anonymous said...

I forgot to sign my name of Rex Ray

RRR said...

Wade,

I think we have a problem here. Hope you are monitoring.

Scott Shaver said...

Christianne, your obsession with Trump is glaring. This guy has really taken up residence in your head huh?

Rex Ray said...

RRR,

My computer is working, but I’m getting jealous. Tom Ross tells me “Good Day” and “Shalom” to you. :)