LECTURE 6

 

The Wandering Jew

A Valley of Dry Bones.    The Gates of Zion: Where?

Zionism and the British Mandate. 

“The Goodness and Severity of God”

 

Ho, land shadowed with wings,

That is beyond the rivers of Cush,

That is sending by sea ambassadors,

Even with implements of reed on the face of the waters,

-Go, ye light messengers,

Unto a nation drawn out and peeled,

Unto a people fearful from its beginning and onwards,

Whose land floods have spoiled.

 

For thus said Jehovah unto me, I rest, and I look on My settled place, As a clear heat on an herb.

 

At that time brought is a present to Jehovah of Hosts,

A nation drawn out and peeled.

Even of a people fearful from the beginning hitherto,

A nation meting out by line, and treading down,

Whose land floods have spoiled,

Unto the place of the name of Jehovah of Hosts- Mount Zion!

-Isa. 18. Dr. Young’s Translation,

 

As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and

passing over he will preserve it- Isa. 31:5.

 

THE oppressor hath cruelly persecuted; the scoffer hath scorned their claim; the nations have used for their own advantage when it hath pleased them, and abused when it seemed good to them, a people who once “wept by Babel’s stream,” because their shrines were desolate,” and “whose land a dream.” This people “of the wandering foot, and weary breast” knew not how, or where, to “flee away, and be at rest.” No place was found where “to lave her bleeding feet;” and songs of Zion, which once had been so “sweet,” could now no longer with consoling melody cause their “hearts to leap before its heavenly voice.”

WHO ARE THESE JEWS? Who, this people to be found in every land, in every clime- a people who for so many generations have “dwelt alone, and not found themselves reckoned with the nations”? These questions are answered well and truly in the following quotation from Milman’s History of the Jews.

 

“The Jews, without reference to their religious belief, are among the most remarkable people in the annals of mankind. Sprung from one stock, they pass the infancy of their nation in a state of servitude in a foreign country, where, nevertheless, they increase so rapidly, as to appear on a sudden the fierce and ir­resistible conquerors of their native valleys in Palestine. There they settle down under a form of government and code of laws totally unlike those of any other rude or civilized community. They sustain a long and doubtful conflict, some-times enslaved, sometimes victorious, with the neighboring tribes. At length, united under one monarchy, they gradually rise to the rank of a powerful, opu­lent, and commercial people. Subsequently, weakened by internal discord, they are overwhelmed by the vast monarchies, which arose on the bands of the Eu­phrates, and are transplanted into a foreign region. They are partially restored by the generosity, or policy, of the Eastern Sovereigns, to their native land. They are engaged in wars of the most romantic gallantry in assertion of their in-dependence, against the Syro-Grecian successors of Alexander. Under Herod, the rise to a second era of splendor, as a dependent kingdom of Rome; finally they make the last desperate resistance to the universal dominion of the Caesars. Scattered from that period over the face of the earth, bated, scorned and oppressed, they subsist, a numerous and often a thriving people; and in all the changes of manners and opinions, retain their ancient institutions, their na­tional character, and their indelible hope of restoration to grandeur and happi­ness in their native land. Thus the history of this, perhaps the only unmingled race, which can boast of high antiquity, leads us into contact with almost every nation which commands our interest in the ancient world; the migratory pastoral population of Asia; Egypt, the mysterious parent of arts, science, and legislation; the Arabian Desert: the Hebrew theocracy under the form of a federative agricultural republic; their kingdom powerful in war and splendid in peace; Babylon in its magnificence and downfall; Grecian arts and luxury en­deavoring to force an unnatural refinement within the pale of the rigid Mosaic institutions; Roman arms waging an exterminating war with the independence even of the smallest states; it descends, at length, to all the changes in the social state of the modern European and Asiatic nations.” -Henry Hart Milman, 1867.

 

From Evidence of the Truth of the Christian Religions, based upon the literal fulfillment of prophecy, by Alexander Keith, D.D., we have the following comment.

“While Moses, as a divine legislator, promised to the Israelites that their prosperity and happiness and peace would all keep pace with their obedience, he threatened them with gradation of punishments, rising in proportion to their impenitence and iniquity; and neither in blessings nor in chastisements hath the Ruler among the nations dealt in like manner with any people. Moses pro­fessed to look through the glass of ages; the revolution of many centuries has brought the object immediately before us; we may scrutinize the features of futurity, as they then appeared to his prophetic gaze: and we may determine be­tween the probabilities whether they were conjectures of a mortal who ‘knows not what a day may bring forth,’ or the revelation of that Being ‘in whose sight a thousand years are but as yesterday.’

 

About forty-five years ago the chief Rabbi in England wrote:

 

“The Wandering Jew is a very real character in the great drama of history. From Ur of the Chaldees to Palestine and Egypt; then back again to the Holy Land, and then to Assyria and Babylon and Egypt and the furthermost cities of the far-flung Roman Empire, he has traveled as nomad and settler, as fugitive and conqueror, as exile and colonist, as merchant and scholar, as mendicant and pilgrim, as collector and as ambassador.” -Dr. Adler.

 

No more pathetic and heart-burning picture ever fell from the tongue of man than that descriptive Oration delivered by Dr. Max Nordau, before the Zionist Con­gress, in which he depicted the plight of the Romanian exiles. These he likened to a flight of northern birds. He described the rigors and terrors of their wandering. Hustled and jostled out of the cities they came to other towns and villages, seeking rest for the soles of their feet, but to find none. And when they asked, Where shall we go? All they received was a shrug of the shoulders, and an imperious wave of the hand, telling them to go! Away, away, into the unknown! But away!

THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS is so closely associated with the Land, which was divinely appointed for their national home, that in speaking of “The Wandering Jew” we must frequently refer to The Land; for whilst the Jews were to be “scat­tered and peeled” amongst the nations (as part of their punishment for failing to keep the covenant God had made with them) their Land was to be trodden down and spoiled by the desolator. No more vivid description is needed than that presented by Jeremiah.

 

“How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the prov­inces, how is she become tributary! She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies. Judah is gone into captivity because of afflictions, and be­cause of great servitude; she findeth no rest: The ways of Zion do mourn, be­cause none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate; she is in bitter­ness. And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty departed: her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength be­fore the pursuer. Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old: Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remem­bereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no com­forter. The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant, or desir­able, things: for she hath seen the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command they should not enter into thy congregation. See, O Lord, and consider; for I am become vile. Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger” (Lam. 1).

“How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven into the earth the beauty of Israel, and re­membered not his footstool in the day of his anger! All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth? All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed her up: certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it. The Lord hath done that which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he had com­manded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries” (Lam. 2).

 

A brief outline of The History of Israel has already been presented (Lecture No. 3). Our present purpose is to look upon The Wandering Jew, as he is today; and to view the Land of Palestine, in the light of scripture and present-day developments.

OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM, in the last days of Judah’s com­monwealth, it is written; “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of ven­geance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe into them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21: 20-24).

No mere scathing condemnation could be penned than we have in the words of Jesus spoke against “The scribes and the Pharisees,” who sat “in Moses’ seat.” (Matt. 23: 2). In that position ‘twas theirs to unfold to the people such things as were written in THE LAW, and to exemplify the teaching of their scriptures by acts of righteousness. But this they had failed to do. Jesus therefore said, “Whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.” To these men- who loved to be “called of men, Rabbi!” who made “broad their phylacteries” to be seen and admired of men; and who did “bind heavy burdens, on men’s shoulders,” yet would not themselves “move them with one of their fingers”- Jesus openly denounced their hypocrisy. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” “Ye blind guides;” “fools and blind;” “which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” “Ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed ap­pear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all unclean­ness.” Ye who say, “If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them, which killed the prophets.” Jesus called upon them to fill up the measure of their fathers, and, addressing them as “serpents,” He asked, “Ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Jesus then declared what was immediately ahead of them, saying, “All these things shall come upon this generation.”

And then Jesus (to whom the multitudes cried, saying, “Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the high­est” Matt. 21: 9) contemplating the city which is truly “beautiful for situation,” continued His speech; “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children to­gether, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Be-hold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matt. 23).

Those were truly “days of vengeance” in the execution of Divine judgments upon the people of God for their sins, “that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:22). The world into which Jesus came, although composed of the people of God, was “a world of darkness” (John 12: 46); so far had this people departed from the way of the Lord. To them Jesus declared, “While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them. But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” (John 12: 36-40).

Whilst this was the general character of the people to whom Jesus spake, there were some who could not resist the force of the evidence before their eyes. To the extent of acknowledging the power manifested, “among the chief rulers many be­lieved on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (verses 42, 43).

Jesus doubtless saw all this, and made a further appeal unto them, saying, “He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.” His appeal, therefore, was that they should believe in God; for “he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.” This appeal was on the same principle as expressed in John 10:38. “Though ye believe not me, believe the works. At the same time Jesus hoped, for their sakes, that they would discern more, for He added; “that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” (12: 47). Continuing His appeal, in His work and endeavor “to save the world,” Jesus declared “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (John 12: 48).

The last days of Judah’s commonwealth were fast closing upon the nation; the climax would come when they filled up the cup of their iniquity, and few indeed would escape the day of vengeance. The Apostle to the Jews (as Paul was to the Gentiles) likewise wrote of the impending judgment. He testified that, “the end of all things is at hand.”(1 Pet. 4: 7). That was nineteen hundred years ago, and re­ferred not to the end of Gentile times, but to the last days of the Mosaic dispensa­tion, when- as the people would not hear the prophet like unto Moses- many souls were to be destroyed from among the people. In this time-of-the-end-judgment upon the House of Judah even the disciples of Jesus would feel the effect thereof; hence, says Peter, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if the righteous are scarcely saved (or “safe”), where shall the impious and the sinner (those who “be­lieved not”, but rejected the counsel of God against themselves) appear?” (verses 17, 18).

Oftentimes the scriptures “speak of things which are not as though they were.”  This spirit of prophecy, being of God, portrays events, destined to come to pass before they do so in language as definite as though the event had already taken place. We therefore find Paul referring to the out pouring of this judgment upon the Jews, as follows; “Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbid­ding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost” (1 Thess. 2: 15,16). This same thought was in the mind of John the Baptist when he said to “many of the Phari­sees and Sadducees who had come to his baptism”- “the axe is laid unto the root of the trees.” The context (in which this remark is found) is extremely interesting. John was preaching in the wilderness of Judea, calling upon the Jews to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Many went out to him, and confessing their sins, were baptized in Jordan. But when these Pharisees and Sadducees came before John, he styled them “O generation of vipers.” Should John have “baptized” them be­cause they came to his baptism? To have done so would have been to ignore a very essential factor in the ordinance of baptism.  To immerse such people would not be baptism into Christ. It would be no better than the shell without the egg.

For im­mersion to become “baptism into the death of Christ” more is needed. John there­fore demanded of the Pharisees and Sadducees “Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” He then placed before them the only plan for acceptance be­fore God. “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance;” or, “answerable to amendment of life.” He took from them their natural boast; “Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our Father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Their natural decent from Abraham, without true repentance shown by good works, was of little value. Con­sequently, “the axe is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” (Matt. 3: 1-10).

Jesus also confronted this “generation of vipers.” Did the Savior urge them to accept the gospel that they might escape the wrath to come? Nay, verily, He told them “Fill ye up then the measure of your Fathers.” Why? Because when their cup of iniquity was full, the due punishment would fall upon their guilty heads. “That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

 

WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTURES?

 

THE scriptures clearly and positively set forth, as a fundamental principle of the Gospel of the kingdom of God, that the Jews were scattered far and wide in the earth, and the Land in which they had been settled by divine favor should long enjoy her sabbaths, under the heel of the desolator. Even though we now repeat some of the scriptures already submitted, and dealt with, it seems well to consider a selection of Bible quotations, which support the claims concern­ing the appointment, scattering and restoration, of the people of Israel.

 

THE CHOSEN PEOPLE

 

“FOR thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, that the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” (Deut. 7: 6).

“For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.” (Psa. 135: 4).

 

Being chosen of God did not, however, guarantee continuance in His favor.

“Now, therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judg­ments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.”

“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves. Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God. For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” (Deut. 4: 1-24).

 

Such was the counsel and warning given to this chosen people. What if they disregarded the heaven-given message? Would they still possess the land?

“When ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall do evil in the sight of the Lord thy God, to provoke him to anger: I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you.” (Deut 4: 25-27).

“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God . . . that all these curses shall come upon thee, and over-take thee. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly. The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: and thou shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart; Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, swift as the eagle flieth: And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until the high and fenced walls come down. And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from one end of the earth even unto the other; And among these nations shalt thou find no ease; and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; thou shalt fear day and night and thou shalt have none assurance of thy life.” (Deut. 28).

 

This prophecy, given by Moses to Israel, carries us forward to the days of Jesus, for it was some seventy years after His birth when the prophecy received its terrible fulfillment. The Savior was acutely sensitive to all things concerning Zion. “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it saying. If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace? but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy chil­dren within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knowest not the time of thy visitation.” (Luke 19: 41-44). “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” (Luke 21: 20).

So impressed was He with the facts about to be unfolded that the Savior gave very definite instructions to those who had “ears to hear,” that they might escape the “things which are written;” which were about to be fulfilled, and to be spoken of for two thousand years to come. “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Consequently the wise, being forewarned, did as they were advised; “Let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.” (Verses 21-24).

 

 

THE JEWS TO BE SCATTERED

 

THAT the Jews, or children of Israel, were to be scattered has already been shown. Without necessarily being repetitious I now submit a citation from various Books of the Bible, which collectively show at a glance that this was to be the lot of the people whom God had chosen for His own.

 

“I will scatter you among the heathen.”  (Lev. 26: 33)

“The Lord shall scatter you among the nations.” (Deut. 4: 27)

“The Lord shall scatter thee among all people.” (Deut. 28: 64)

“Whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.” (Deut. 30: 3)

“I said, I would scatter them into corners.” (Deut. 32: 26)

“The Lord shall smite Israel, and shall scatter them beyond

the river.” (I Kings 14: 15)

“If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad.” (Neh. 1: 8)

“Thou hast scattered us among the heathen.” (Psa. 44: 11)

“Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers?

did not the Lord?” (Isa. 42: 24)

“I will scatter them also among the heathen.” (Jer. 9: 16)

“Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble.” (Jer. 13: 24)

“I will scatter them as with an east wind.” (Jer. 18: 17)

Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him

away.” (Jer: 50: 17)

“The whole remnant of thee will I scatter.” (Ezek. 5: 10)

“I will scatter toward every wind, and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall scatter them, and disperse them in the countries.” (Ezek. 12: 14,15)

“I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse

them.” (Ezek. 20: 23)

“I poured out my fury, and scattered and dispersed

them.” (Ezek. 36: 18,19)

“Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall he scattered.”

(Zech. 13: 7)

 

None can deny the reality of “the scattering,” and the fulfillment of the voice of prophecy in regard to the dispersion of Israel and Judah. Even though Israel “kept not the Covenant of God, and refused to walk in His law; And forgat his works,” and “believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation” (Psa. 78: 10. 11, 22); Nevertheless, the Lord said of, and unto, them “Ye are my witnesses.” (Isa. 43: 10,12). Down through the ages has this been true of them! They have borne witness to the truth of the Word of God. And today as we look upon their historic trail, seeing the hand of all nations turned against, and upon them, we cannot fail to see that “witness.” But when we see, do we appreciate it? Surely it tells us that as God has so literally and effectively fulfilled His Word in bringing to pass the evil, so surely will He do in the future what He has decreed and promised. For not only were the Jews to be scattered among the nations of the earth, but- the promise having been given- so must it come to pass; the Jews are to be restored to their own land.

ON SECTION 3 OF THE CHART we have a quotation from Isa. 18: “A nation scattered and peeled.” This was given as the introduction to the present address. It is peculiarly arresting. Its associations, as given in the prophecy, make it even more so. It is a decree from the Most High, commanding one people to go to another people. Instead of “Woe,” as given in the A. V., the opening word is preferably Ho! A challenge; a decree; a commission. In Lesser’s translation we have the phrase “from their beginning and forward.” Can there be any doubt as to which people “were scattered and peeled,” and which land has been “spoiled” by national “floods”? And what nation could be “presented” to Jehovah of Hosts other than His own people, whom He testified, “You only have I known of the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” (Amos 3: 2).

It may he asked, Would God so punish the Jews, and yet restore them? We ask also, Will the “veil of darkness” forever “hide their eyes from glorious light”? What makes the Jew, through all his wanderings, cling to the hope of his ancient progenitors? What makes him today turn his eyes from all lands to the land of his fathers? For what does he fight the elements, and scheme against “the powers that be” with a grim determination to enter Palestine legally or illegally?  Is it not because within his breast there is the pulsation, which tells him that, “the year of jubilee will come,” when the mandate will be heard throughout the world, “Return, O exiled Israel, Home”?

Note now another text on the chart. “Blindness in part is happened to Israel.” (Rom 11: 25). The context explains, and gives the true bearing of the matter. The Apostle is presenting two phases of Truth- the one showing God’s dealings with Natural Israel, and the other presenting the position of Gentiles who, by accepting the Grace of God in Christ, become part of Spiritual Israel. There was a danger then, as now, of people concluding that God is “through with Israel.” But Paul says No; “Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. God hath not cast away his people which he fore-knew.” (Rom. 11: 1, 2). The argument, which fol­lows is as interesting as it is logical. “Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid.” There is nothing so effective as taking away the blessings within reach to make a person, or nation, realize what they have failed to grasp. “Through their fall,” says Paul, “salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” Yet, if that be the effect of “their fall,” what will the end be? Or, as the apostle says, “How much more their fullness?” The analogy continues, “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”

Trite and true is the warning given to the Gentile believers. “Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.” How natural! How demonstrative of the human mind, not only then- but now. Not only “the believers in Rome” had need of such admonition, but to this day there is the same danger of misapplying facts as well as fancies. How definitely the Apostle answers them; no “beating about the bush.” “Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear.” Why, Paul, must we fear? “For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” Two characteristics of the Almighty are presented, which should always be kept in view. “God is love,” say some, and God would not hurt anyone! But Paul deals with facts, and wants us to appreciate the same. “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”

After giving some thoughts concerning “the olive tree wild by nature, and the good olive tree,” the matter is summed up by Paul in these words “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. What, Paul, will happen then? He answers, “All Israel shall be saved.” Then there must be a future for Israel, even though they are still “scattered and peeled.” Certainly there is, says Paul, “As it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away un­godliness from Jacob. When therefore the Deliverer appears in Zion, and un- godliness ceases to be the open feature of the “stony heart” of Israel, we may look for that restoration which has been the hope of a people, and the burden of the prophets. Without such “restoration” how can many of the promises, and the hope of salvation, ever be fulfilled?

 

 

EXILED ISRAEL WILL RETURN

 

“AND it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather to­gether the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.” (Isa.11: 11,12,16).

“For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land, and it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage where in thou wast made to serve.” (Isa. 14: 1, 3).

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.” (Isa. 27: 13).

“Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city; until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” (Isa. 32: 13, 18).

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isa. 35: 10).

“For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” (Isa. 43: 3, 6).

“Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.” (Isa. 49: 13).

“For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.” (Isa. 54: 7, 8).

“Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Thy sun shall no more go down, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.” (Isa. 60).

“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.” (Jer. 16: 14).

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jer. 30: 3, 10, 11).

“For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. Fear not, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether un­punished.” (Jer. 30: 3, 10, 11).

“Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the Lord.” (Jer. 31: 10, 12, 28).

“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger; and I will bring them again into this place; Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good. For thus saith the Lord; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.” (Jer. 32: 37, 42.

“Thus saith the Lord God; I will even gather you from the people, and as­semble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.” (Ezek. 11: 17).

“For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me; there will I accept them. I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel.” (Ezek. 20: 40, 42).

“So will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.” (Ezek. 34: 12, 13).

“I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God” (Ezek. 36: 22, 28).

“Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.” (Ezek. 37).

“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king. Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David (the Beloved) their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.” (Hosea 3: 4, 5).

“I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel; And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” (Amos 9: 14, 15).

“Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.” (Zeph. 3: 19).

 

 

THE LAND ALSO TO BE FREED FROM THE OPPRESSOR

 

“THE Lord of Hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” (Isa. 24: 23).

“In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.” (Isa. 25: 6, 7).

“Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities; thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.” (Isa. 33: 20).

“For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” (Isa. 51: 3).

“Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful gar­ments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem.” (Isa. 52: 1, 9).

“I will make the place of my feet glorious. The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.” (Isa. 60: 13, 18).

“Be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. The voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.” (Isa. 65: 18, 25).

“In those days Jerusalem shall dwell safely.” (Jer. 33: 16).

“And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. The heathen shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.” (Ezek. 36: 35, 36).

“The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” (Joel 3: l6, 17).

“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old.” (Amos 9: 11).

 

 

THEN SHALL THE GLORY OF GOD BE REVEALED

 

IN anticipation of this day, when “upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” (Obad. 17: 21), the prophet Isaiah gave us those beautiful words which, in song and story, have thrilled the hearts of both Jew and Gentile.

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” (Isa. 40: 1, 9).

 

 

A WANDERER- “UNTIL"

 

NOW although The Wandering Jew was sentenced

To roam this scorning world around,

Disown’d by God, by man opprest,

Outcasts from Zion’s hallow’d ground!

there was a time limit to the scattering and down-treading, at the conclusion of which the exile would cease his wandering. That time limit was given by the Savior, when He said, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

UNTIL! That is not the only scripture which gives this little, yet important, word. We read in Psalm 110: “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Showing the superiority of Jesus, in Hebrews 1: 13, we read, “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” Whilst in Matthew 22: 44, this same quotation is applied direct to Christ, when Jesus asked the Phar­isees, “What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he? And to that generation Jesus said. “Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Peter, when preaching the gospel, said, “He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken.” (Acts 3: 20, 21). “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Rom. 11: 25).

In each case the period is limited by “until.” When “the fullness of the Gentiles be come in,” the blindness of Israel will come to an end. When the time comes for “the restitution” to be accomplished, the heavens will no longer retain Jesus Christ. When the time arrives for “His enemies” to be dealt with, the Lord Jesus will no longer sit at the right hand of His Lord, the Father. All these scrip­tures will be fulfilled at one and the same time, even the end of Gentile times. And when they have run their course, the down-treading of Jerusalem, and the scattering of her people, will also cease. These two phases are intimately connected in the quotations given from Luke 21: 24, and Rom. 11: 25. Both are governed by the “until.” Why the “blindness” and the “trodden down”?  This has already been expounded; but, in passing, there is a brief comment given which is worthy of notice: “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard.” (Heb. 4: 1).

 

THIS IS MY REST FOREVER

 

ANOTHER feature to be noted, from the trail of The Wandering Jew, is the quotation from the Psalm: “The Lord loveth the gates of Zion.” Where is this Zion, which the Lord so loves? Certain present-day theories suggest it is else-where than Palestine, but it is only the fallacy of such theories which requires such a perversion of what is written in the Scriptures- God’s Zion is, and always will be, in the land appointed of old as His dwelling place in the earth, when He “chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.” (Psa. 78: 68). It is “the city of our God, the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” When, “according to thy name,” the praise of God is extended to “the ends of the earth”; then “Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.” Then the people “who know the joyful sound” will be invited to “Walk about Zion and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, and consider her palaces.” (Psa. 48). “The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.” Wherever Jacob might dwell, there is nothing to be compared with the gates of Zion! Throughout the long, hard trail of The Wandering Jew, when at even the cry has been “Would God it were morning,” it has been on record “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusa­lem, which shall never hold their peace day nor, night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (Isa. 62: 6, 7).

And these watchmen (anticipating the day when their “feet shall stand within thy gates O Jerusalem”) “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”: knowing full well that “they shall prosper that love thee.” (Psa. 122). These servant-watchmen “take pleasure in her stones, and favor the dust thereof.” (Psa. 102: 14). Consequently, in their prayer they cry, “Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.” They accept the word, “They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.” (Psa. 125: 1). “For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest forever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it, There will I make the horn of David to bud: His enemies will I clothe with shame; but upon himself shall his crown flourish.” (Psa. 132).

“The gate of a city was frequently a considerable structure, near which was a public place of assembly; the exchange, courthouse, and council-chamber of modern times. Hence the ‘gate of a city’ was so identified with the life of the community as to be synonymous with the city itself.” And yet “a gate” also sug­gests a means of entrance into the city. We may therefore perceive an underlying thought of the city of Zion, with the means of access thereto.”

To the Hebrews- who had passed from the shadow of The Law to the sub­stance in Christ- the apostle wrote: “But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn in heaven enrolled, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” (Heb. 12: 22, 23). Now the “heavenly Jerusalem” will be composed of the “church of the first-born”; and these are men and women “called out” by the gospel of salvation, and who, having been obedient thereto, are accordingly “enrolled for the new heavens, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” For John “saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21: 2). Into this “holy city” none can enter but by, and through, “Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.” Jesus is therefore “the gate,” even as He said, “I am the door.” They who desire to enter by Him will say, “Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord: This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter.” (Psa. 118: 19). “The gates of Zion” are therefore significant of both the natural and the spiritual, the literal and the figurative. “The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.”

And, in the now far-distant past, we saw the patriarch “lay down in that place to sleep,” having taken of the stones thereof for a pillow. In his dream he saw a ladder, from the earth to the heaven: he beheld the angels of God ascending and descending, and seeing the Lord above it- he heard the promise, “the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.” Awakening out of his sleep, vividly impressed by what he had seen and heard, Jacob sensed and confessed the Truth, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.” “Afraid” in the realization of the presence of the Lord, he said, “How dreadful is this place!” Contemplating the things revealed in the promises, which constitute the basic principle “of the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ,” Jacob said: “This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” Of the true believers we read, “Whose house are we if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” (Heb. 3: 6). The Truth believed, received and obeyed is “the gate” by which entrance into “the heaven” of Zion, the holy city can only be obtained.

 

 

A VALLEY FULL OF BONES

 

LOOKING at the chart again we see how “the trail” leads from “the wailing wall” for nearly two thousand years until it reaches a valley, the character­istic feature of which is depicted by dry bones, and the accompanying question:

 

CAN THESE BONES LIVE?

 

The long lane of Israel’s trail is destined to have a change so remarkable that its effect will be worldwide, and the outcome so tremendous that it can truly be said it will “turn the world upside down.” But it will be a turnover for the benefit of all who survive. For who will say the present world is not in need of a turnover? What is this present world? Is it not an “evil world” from which we need to be “delivered?” (Gal. 1:4). And after six thousand years of man’s rule is it not a fact that on every hand, in one form or another, we witness “man’s inhumanity to man?” The earth has been one long continuous blood-red battlefield. In our time we have seen a world war, and a global-war. Is there today any sound feeling that “war will be no more?” Is it not as true today as when the prophet wrote, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jer. 10: 23)? And the word of the Lord has not yet been abrogated; “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” (Isa. 48: 22).

Then why do you ask, should we believe that the Jews- who were cast away because of wickedness- will be restored to favor and given the occupancy of the land from which they were ejected? This question has already been answered; a further testimony will emphasize that a change must, of necessity, take place in the mind and heart of the people before Heaven’s mercy and blessings may be extended to them so that they may become “the head, and not the tail.” (Deut. 28: 13). In looking forward to this great accomplishment we must not think of the Jew, as he is and has been for so long, but, as he will be when God deals with the nation, as He has promised to do. First we must recognize why God will do this. “I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.” (Ezek. 36: 22). God’s name must be sanctified, honored, and glorified. Israel would accordingly be benefited thereby; but that they might receive the benefits, God says “I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: then shall you remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.” (Verses 29, 31).  Again, “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely.” (Hosea 14: 4).

To repeat: Passing down the long lane, which represents the Israel trail, we come to a Valley of Dry Bones, and are faced with the question, “Can these bones live?” The picture is not a fancy; the bones are not a fiction. The illustration is based upon the sure word of prophecy. The bones surely depict the plight, and the end of many- who have trod, faltered and fallen by the wayside- as they stag­gered down the trail of The Wandering Jew.

 

Tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast,

How shall ye flee away and be at rest?

The wild dove hath her nest, the fox his cave,

Mankind their country- Israel but the grave.

-Byron.

 

So it appeared to the poet; but that is not the answer to the question now before us. The hand of the Lord being upon the prophet, he was in spirit carried forth, and “set down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.” The prophet saw that “they were very dry.” Gazing in wonder upon them he was asked, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Of this he would not presume to speak, so answered: “O Lord God, thou knowest.” And from God only could reliable information he obtained. What then said the Lord to those bones? “Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” Being so commanded, Ezekiel says. “As I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came to­gether, bone to his bone.” And then “lo, the sinews and the flesh, and the skin” to cover them- but no breath.* He, however, who made man, and then “blew into his nostrils the breath of life,” can also breathe upon the dry bones of Israel; even as Hosea has said: “He will revive us; he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” Therefore, prophecy to the wind (breath) “and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” The result being “the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”

Before proceeding, call to mind what happened to the kingdom of Israel. We have seen how it became divided into two separate Houses. Then, first, the House of Israel was punished for their sin, and the ten tribes were led away into captivity. Later, judgment came upon the House of Judah, and from that day onward the twelve tribes have been scattered among the heathen, even unto this day. Going back to the prophecy, Ezekiel says, “Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts (have been cut off by ourselves, Dr. Young). Hence the dry bones of Israel continue as such of all the tribes, whether of the two or the ten. Consequently, there is no truth in the claim made by some people that the ten tribes have long ago been restored to favor, and that they are now enjoying prosperity because of the blessing of the Almighty being upon them.**

The whole house of Israel embraces the whole of the family of Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob. All were scattered because of disobedience, and all con­tinue together in the dry-bone state. All need to be saved from their backslidings, and the Holy One of Israel alone can, and will, bring about redemption in Israel. Obviously this has reference to a national redemption and restoration, not an in­dividual salvation. Individual Salvation, for both Jew and Gentile, can only be obtained by, and through, Jesus Christ, i.e., by direct and personal association with the covenants of promise, by faith, according to the requirements of the same, as made known in the development of the Plan and purpose of God, in the Way of the Lord.

So the message continues, “Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God. Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people and brought you up out of your graves. And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.”

To illustrate further that “the dry-bone whole house of Israel” depicts the lot of the twelve tribes, a demonstration is recorded.  Instruction was given as follows: “thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.” None should fail to grasp the significance of this, even were we not told the meaning thereof. But we are not left to guess, or make deductions. The solution was given to the prophet, so that when “the children of thy people” ask, What thou meanest by these? he could give them the divine answer.  “Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. And David (the beloved) my servant shall be king over them.”

Of this “righteous servant,” see the prophecy concerning Jesus in Isaiah 53 of whom we sing,

 

Behold my Servant, see Him rise

Exalted in My might:

Him have I chosen, and in Him

I place supreme delight

 

When David’s greater Son sits upon the throne of His father David, and the people “dwell in the land,” and “the beloved” is a “Prince for ever,” there is another promise of peace for them, “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.” And then, “the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel.”

Such is the remarkable testimony given in Ezekiel 37. Is there any

 

 

EVIDENCE OF ITS FULFILMENT?

 

MANY students of the Bible, alive fifty years ago*, were thrilled to see, and hear, the shaking of the dry bones of Israel in an endeavor to “stand upon their feet.” “That goodly cedar of the Lebanon,” humanly speaking, fell all too soon! Yet while he lived he brought a message to Jewry, and electrified the world by his plea, in behalf of his people, for “a legally assured home in Palestine.” Not all Jews, or Gentiles, favored his scheme, but so sincere and vigorous were his efforts that he commanded the attention of men, of both high and low estate, and for the first time since the dispersion he called together representative Jews from all parts of the world. In the year 1897 at Basle, Switzerland, there were assembled together two hundred delegates, representing 81 cities, in the first International Jewish Con­gress.

To the Congress, in his presidential address, Dr. Herzl said:

 

“Our common history has suffered a long break, and only in our own times has an understanding and a union between the separated sections of our people become possible. And in our own times still, which are otherwise so great, we see and feel ourselves surrounded by the old hatred . . . Zionism is the return home of Judaism even before the return to the land of the Jews. The Congress will, therefore, have to occupy itself with the means for en­suring and protecting the Jewish national existence. Must not a presentiment of great events come over us, if we think that at this moment the hopes and expectations of many hundreds of thousands of our people rest on our assembly.

 

Dr. Max Nordau, one of the most brilliant orators of his day, speaking to the Congress of “the present condition of the Jews among the various nations of the earth,” said:

 

“This picture can, on the whole, be painted only in one color. Jewish misery prevails. It is not the ordinary misery, which is probably the unalterable fate of mankind. It is a peculiar misery, which the Jews do not suffer as human beings, but as Jews, and from which they would be free were they not Jews,

 

After speaking of the distressing conditions of the Jews in many countries, and the uprise of anti-Semitism, Dr. Nordau concluded:

 

“This is the history of Israel at the end of the 19th century. To sum it up in a word: the majority of the Jews are a race of accursed beggars. This Jewish distress cries for help. To find that help will be the great work of this Congress.”

 

 

Do you, O reader, doubt that the Jew has been persecuted throughout his wanderings? Then, perhaps, this treatise will be more complete if a few statistics are given. In Milman’s History of the Jews, based upon the record of Josephus, we have a synopsis of the Persecutions of the Jews, with numbers of the killed and wounded; also of later persecutions. A brief summary is here presented, of numbers killed and taken.

 

Before the War- under Vespasian.  In eleven places, from

2,000 to 50,000………………………………………………...…129,500

During the War- in Galilee and Judea.  In ten places, 1,000

to 40,000 …………………………………………………………118,300

At Jerusalem…………………………………………………….1,100,000

After the fall of Jerusalem, four places……………………  8,660

                                                                                                       ________

 

                                                                           TOTAL………....1,356,460

 

That was the beginning. The city fell, and those who survived were “led away captive,” but their terrors did not cease. Whither they went the persecutor was there to receive them, as the following facts reveal.

 

AD. 2nd Century. 132-134. Insurrection in Judea. Dion Cassius (a trust-worthy authority) states that “during the whole war the enormous number of 580,000 fell by the sword, not including those who perished by famine, disease and fire.”

7th Century. Mohammed’s war against the Jews. 700 Jews dragged in chains to Medina- graves were dug; the unhappy wretches descended into them, the sword did its work and the earth was heaped over them.

 

In Spain: Laws were passed against the Jews, and persecutions followed.

 

1097: The Germans and French rose up against them. “Let us be revenged for our Messiah upon the Jews that are among us.” In TREVES, the Crusaders massacred every Jew they could find. 1/2 century later, the monk Rodolph preached through Germany against the enemies of God. Some Jews escaped, but there was frightful havoc in Cologne, Mayence, Worms, Spiers and Strasburg.

12th Century. Laws were passed in France for the confiscation of Jewish pro­perty. Jews attacked in London. Plundered, maltreated and slain at Norwich, Ed­mondsbury and Stamford. Atrocious massacre at York.

 

13th Century. More persecutions. Jews sold to Richard of Cornwall. Old men, and babes plucked from their mother’s breasts, were pitilessly slaughtered- Expul­sion of Jews from England.

14th  Century. Jews expelled from Spain. In Seville 4,000 perished. A year later in one day in Cordova, Valencia, Toledo and Burgos- “All the horrors of a town taken by storm were suffered by the Jewries; plunder, rape, massacre, con­flagration.” Expulsion of Jews from France.

15th Century. Jews expelled from Spain.

16th Century. Jews persecuted in Germany.

 

Passing over the horrors of fifty years ago, when the daily newspapers carried, as front-page headlines, with vivid accounts, the persecutions of the Jews in DARK­EST RUSSIA, we pause for a moment to recall some of the diabolical happenings of recent date. “The Jews have only one unity,” says a recent article, “that of the target.” And how the arrows have pierced that target from the Hitlerized shot-bows. A Major of the Red Army, before dying of his wounds in a hospital, said, “The Hitlerites should be annihilated, by dozens, by thousands, like rats; for the sake of the future we must cleanse the world of this black plague.”

The fiat of the Almighty is, “He who curseth thee will I curse;” and it will surely be carried out in His time.

The Germans certainly did not relieve the situation, when they gave “a larger pile of Jewish corpses” than hitherto had disgraced the world! How many, or few, of the 3,000,000 Jews who once lived in Poland, or the 900,000 in Rumania, or the same number in Germany, or 750,000 in Hungary, and others in France, Holland, Belgium and Czechoslovakia are left to tell the tale*? Two hundred were hanged in the Black Forest district, and left to see their rabbi flogged to death. To burn a synagogue was sport to their tormentors. The Germans turned out the Jews from their praying; set fire to them, turned the machine guns on them, and whipped the women- undressed- through the market place. In Warsaw, in twelve months, more than 72,000 died- shot, whipped and bayoneted. Many transported in freight cars died standing-without food, air and water. Thousands were crushed to death by military cars running over them. Three thousand, old and unarmed, were club­bed to death. These barbarities were a source of great celebration to the Germans. Will men forget? God will not!

You may say this is a long way round to answer the question, Is there any evidence of the fulfillment of the prophecies to which attention has been directed? Yet these by-paths help us to see and realize more fully the strength of testimonies. What people other than the Jews could have survived more than 2,000 years of persecution; retained their identity without a national home, and amidst it all persevered in hope and determination to at last, have a resting place in the land of their forefathers? “Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath for­gotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have com­passion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” (Isa. 49: 14,15). Therein lies the secret, and the solution. Let us then not forget the comforting prophecy of the end of the long trail. “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” (Isa. 40: 1, 2).

 

 

THE GROWTH OF ZIONISM

 

IS THERE then any indication that the “warfare” is nearing its end? Did the “Jewish distress” which cried “for help” find any response? And did the Con­gress find the help that Dr. Nordau called for; has any progress been made toward the freedom of the Land and the People?

This is not the place for an extended treatise on the aims and development of Zionism. For more than two hundred years before Dr. Herzl, efforts had been made to find relief for Jewry. In 1840 Moses Montefiore submitted to the Governor of Syria his plan of Jewish immigration into the Holy Land, but success did not fol­low his efforts. Other endeavors followed, being, as it were, but stepping-stones to a larger scheme to be submitted in due time. Colonization of Palestine was begun, and developed, on a small scale. In 1849 Dr. John Thomas wrote, “I believe there will be a preadventual limited colonization of the country by Jews.” This he based upon his interpretation of the Sure Word of prophecy. A few years later the Sultan of Turkey issued a decree lifting the ban which had, for a long time, rested upon the Jews; but by this decree they were permitted to return and settle in the Land of Promise as farmers, and husbandmen. The following Notes from Palestine and the Powers by Frank G. Jannaway (1918) are interesting:

 

In 1827- Not more than 500 Jews in the whole of Palestine.

In 1856- The Hadrian Edict annulled, and the Jews invited to return.

In 1875-"The Jewish Colonization Fund" founded.

In 1896-Dr. Theodor Herzl startled the whole of Jewry with his idea of a        “Jewish State.”

In 1915-One hundred thousand Jews settled in Palestine.

 

The first article of the Basle program states, “Zionism strives to create for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by legal guarantees.” Other schemes for the emancipation of The Wandering Jew were proposed, but failed. Zionism pro­gressed.

 

“The scandal of Dreyfus convinced Theodor Herzl that there was no refuge for the soul of Jewry, either from martyrdom or assimilation into nothing, save an individual land, state and name. What other land than Eretz Yisroel- the Land of Israel? The creative spirit of Judaism was of The Land, and ceased to create when The Land was taken from them. Therefore this Austrian Jew, Theodor Herzl, was able to stand before the Sultan of Turkey, empowered to buy back from him Palestine for the Jews. But that tremendous boon which the Sultan might have granted, the Caliph, fearing the anger of his Moslem Empire, refused; and once more hope seemed to die.”- Zionism and Palestine, by Sir Ronald Storrs.

 

After 1897 other Congresses were held; Jewry was awakening, and some prog­ress was made in the colonies, which were established in the Land. Then came the War of 1914- 18 with its setback; yet out of that War came great development. Two very remarkable events occurred in 1917- The British Mandate of November 2nd; and The Liberation of Jerusalem, December 9th, by General Allenby  The “Balfour Declaration,” conveyed to the Jews through Lord Rothschild, stated.

 

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of the national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best en­deavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly under­stood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” -Foreign Office, Nov. 2, 1917.

 

With the liberation of the Ancient City, in The Land, the power of the Turk to desolate- so long exercised- came to an end. Palestine moved forward, but not without trouble. Dr. Weizmann, President of the World Zionist Organization, speaking in Jerusalem, said;

 

“Jews had never renounced their rights to Palestine; they were brother Semites, not so much coming as returning to the country; there was room for both to work side by side; let his hearers beware of treacherous insinuations that Zionists were seeking political power- rather let both progress together until they were ready for a joint autonomy. Zionists were following with the deepest sympathy the struggles of Arabs and Armenians for that freedom which all three could mutually assist each other to regain.”

 

In 1921, Sir Herbert Samuel said, “The Jews, a people who are scattered throughout the world, but whose hearts always turned to Palestine, should be enabled to found here, their home, and that some among them, within the limits that are fixed by the numbers and interests of the present population, should come to Palestine in order to help by their resources and efforts to develop the country, to the advantage of all its inhabitants.”

 

 

“THE RESTORATION” STILL AHEAD

 

AS WE ALL know, conditions in Palestine are not satisfactory to either Jew or Arab. A young Jew said, “What I can’t understand is why we should be having so much trouble here in Palestine! We have come from other parts of the world expecting to find a haven of rest in this land. And now we have great trouble right here!” And yet, Palestine has gone ahead.

 

In 1941 Maurice Pearlman wrote,

Palestine today can play an important part in the war against Nazism as a key section of the Middle Eastern Front. The country figured prominently in the last war as the scene of Allenby’s triumph. Then it was a land of waste and swamp with a meager population of some 650,000 Arabs and 85,000 Jews. Today the population numbers more than one million and a half, of which more than half a million are Jews*; advanced, highly developed, industrialized, their agriculture based on the most intensive farming of any land in the Middle East, with vast numbers of skilled workers, and a corps of young able-bodied men who can match any in the field of battle.

In the laboratories of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, scientists are daily working on experiments.  .  . literally hundreds of noted Jewish chem­ists and engineers (cast out of their own countries) have here enriched the war potential of Palestine.  The Jews have introduced modern ploughs, reapers and combines, sunk artesian wells, drained malarial marshes, cleared swamps, planted forests . . . and in general turned Palestine into the most advanced agricultural center of the Middle East. Recent years have seen the growth of factories for various foodstuffs, and the clothing industry has been developed. In the cultural sphere, the Jews of Palestine have made that country a living center for the Jews of the world. They have revived the Hebrew tongue, so that today the language of the Bible is freely spoken by men, women and children in the land of the Bible.”

 

All this is extremely interesting and encouraging.  It shows that The Land is not forsaken, and that the former things are had in remembrance.  There is, however, a danger that even the believers in the Hope of Israel may misapply these developments. All that is being accomplished is done according to the will of man, both Jew and Gentile. Politically speaking they are looking after their own inter­ests, and although we may look with favor and satisfaction upon the great work, which has been done, we are not justified in concluding that this is “The Restora­tion.” Dr. Thomas wrote, in 1852.

 

“The colonization of Judea by Jews under the protection of a Gentile government, is neither restitution, restoration, nor regeneration.  Nothing short of a national establishment in the land, under Messiah and his brethren, constitutes either of them in the scriptural sense.  The settlement of a colony there has no more to do with restitution than Meshullams farming in Artor’s Valley. A hundred thousand Meshullams in Judea would be no restoration.

Restoration is not simply a return of the race, but the setting up again of institutions that once existed there- the restitution or restoration of the king­dom again to the Twelve Tribes; this is the re-institution, or restitution spoken of by all the prophets from Moses to the revealer of the Apocalypse to John. No Gentile powers can accomplish this, though aided by all the Jews on earth: for the Restored Kingdom exists under an amended Mosaic code, where amendation can only be defined, administered, and adapted to the exig­encies of the world, by the King of Israel himself, and his associate priests and kings.”

 

THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE IS NOT ENDED; “to take a spoil and to take a prey” is still the work of the latter-day Assyrian, when he comes into the land, as testified by the prophet.  It will be a “land brought back from the sword,” once “desolate places” but “now inhabited,” which arrests the interest of the Northern Power, and who, seeing the prosperity of a people “gathered out of the nations,” goes down upon them “to carry away silver and gold, cattle and goods, and great spoil.” (Ezek. 38).  Having dealt with this phase of the subject in the Lecture “The Image and the Stone,” we here pass over the details. The “spoil” will not be carried away by the invader; it is for his own destruction that he is brought into the land.  Man proposes, but God disposes!  The prophet asks, and gives the answer, “Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned?” (Isa. 42: 24).  Yet the fury of the nations has been hurled at The Jew, in all his wanderings, not to please the Almighty, but to vent their spleen upon the “race of accursed beggars.” They little knew that “He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” (Psa. 121: 4).  Or that He has said, “There is no peace to the wicked.” (Isa. 57: 21). Therefore, God issues a proclamation to the Gentiles; “Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up.” (Joel 3: 9).

IT IS GOD WHO SAYS, “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” (Joel 3:2). “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion.” (verse 16). Further more, “The Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” (Joel 2: 11). “For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.” (Isa. 66: 16).

The long, hard and bitter trail of THE WANDERING JEW must come to an end, for he hath received of the Lord’s hand “double for all his sins.” Now, therefore, let it be known, “Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.” (Isa. 62: 11). “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.” (Isa. 59: 20, 21).

 

 

                                      A NEW COVENANT

 

THE “NEW COVENANT,” on the chart, is introduced under the pleasing setting of “the vine and fig tree”; anticipating the condition of things to be established, when, “In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.” Very different will be the ways of men when they desire to know “the way of the God of Jacob, and to walk in his paths.” Confidence will then be placed in “the law which shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” So it will be in that day, that “they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid.” (Micah 4: 1, 4).

When “the dry bones” are “revived,” and the children of Israel “live again in his sight,” do they go backward or forward for their law? Of old time they were established in The Land under a Law which came by Moses- spoken of as The Mosaic Covenant. Will this covenant be operative when Israel is again established in their own land? This cannot be, for the validity of Moses’ Law came to an end when it had served its purpose. Paul tells us that “the Law was added (to the promises) till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” (Gal, 3: 19). THAT “SEED” WAS CHRIST. THE SUBSTANCE OF THE SHADOWS. Con­sequently, the types were to be withdrawn. “For,” says Paul, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Rom. 10: 4). The Jews, therefore, cannot go back under the old covenant; for “that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” (Heb. 8: 13).

In the same chapter, verse 7, we have this statement: “For if that first (covenant) had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” To show the necessity for “the second,” reference is made to the prophecy of Jeremiah. There we read, “at the same time, saith the Lord, will I be the God of the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.” For though “cast off and abhorred” as they have been, nevertheless, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” To this they will respond, and, “Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise thee, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.” So, “they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and their soul shall be as a watered garden.” And the Lord will watch over, and bless His people. “The days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.” Moreover, “the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.”  This is a new covenant; not the Mosaic. “Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake.” It is not ac­cording to the old, for as we have seen- had it been faultless there would have been “no need for a second.”

IF NOT ACCORDING TO THE OLD, what kind of a covenant will meet the needs of the people brought back, after having been plucked up, and thrown down? Hear now the answer. “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer. 31: 31, 34)  There is this further statement: “I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwelt safely: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.” (Jer. 32: 37, 41).

The “new covenant” calls for a regenerated heart, as well as a restored people. The terms of this new covenant call for

 

God’s law in their inward parts.

Written in their hearts.

God will be their God.

Israel shall be God’s people.

They shall all know the Lord.

Iniquity forgiven, and sin remembered no more.

 

THE BLESSINGS PROMISED to the house of Israel, under the terms of the New Covenant, are a direct contrast to the conditions which have for so long prevailed; and will far excel the benefits which were conferred upon His people, arising from the covenant which God made, when He took them by the hand and brought them out of Egypt. “A new heart, also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” God will truly save His people and cleanse them from all their iniquities. He will cleanse them with “clean water,” that they may be able to receive the “new spirit.” Given a heart of flesh, in place of their stony heart, they will do that in time past they failed to do. They will walk in God’s statutes, and keep His judgments. Thus, in the land given to their fathers, they will be acknowledged as His people, and He will be their God.  Repeating a scripture already quoted, God says, “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.” This peace and plenty will be accomplished in behalf of Israel when, and not until, the New Covenant is made and brought into effect, according to the Word of the Lord.

The New Covenant of Jer. 31, and the “covenant of peace” and “everlasting covenant” of Ezek. 37 are one and the same covenant. “In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be for­gotten.” (Jer. 50: 4, 5).

We await “those days” and “that time.” They are surely coming. In them all that is involved in the new covenant will be fully accomplished, and Israel will rejoice, and be glad in the salvation of the Lord.

 

THE GOODNESS AND SEVERITY OF GOD

 

IN this drama of Israel, down the trail of The Wandering Jew, we see a mani­festation of the goodness and severity of God. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, presents this to us as a part of the Gospel message. “Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” (Rom. 11).

Gentiles, who would be saved, do well to ponder the advice given: “Be not highminded, but fear.” The gospel was “to the Jew, first. Then, “through their fall, to the Gentiles. Paul and Barnabas testified: “It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you (Jews): but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gen­tiles.” (Acts 13: 46). “And they will hear it.” (Acts 28: 28). Whether, then, we think of Jew or Gentile, we must accept the fact, as stated by the “Saviour of the world,” that "Salvation is of the Jew.” ( John 4: 22).

 

SALVATION

 

FROM many Scriptures already quoted, and expounded, the reader must observe that “Salvation” is not the saving of “an immortal soul from the damnation of the burning hell” (doctrines which are not to be found in the Bible). Salva­tion is for men and nations- both individual and national. In all cases it is governed by the principles of righteousness, and conditions laid down by God-from whom alone salvation can be obtained. Hence, before “all Israel shall be saved,” the people must continue to pass “under the rod,” and be prepared to accept the conditions of the new covenant. Salvation for the nations will be upon the prin­ciple as hitherto in the Way of God- “to the Jew first and also to the Gentiles. This has been demonstrated from Paul to the Romans, whose words we again repeat: “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”

Whether we look at Salvation from the national, or individual, viewpoint there is one feature we must perceive and acknowledge; Salvation is from God, and to us Jesus is the Savior. Even though He was “the Stone set at nought of you builders,” He, nevertheless, became “the head of the corner.” “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4: 11, 12).

 

 

IN THE LAST DAYS

 

FROM many remarkable testimonies concerning “Him who was born to be king,” and “who should save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1: 21), we recall one from the first of The Books: “Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” (Gen: 49: 1, 10. (A.V.). This is a prophecy concerning “last days,” the tribe of “Judah,” a “scepter”- which speaks of Kingship, a person who is to be “a law giver,” and, incidentally, of a people who should be scattered- for “unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” But, as it reads in the Authorized Version, one might conclude that “the scepter” would remain with Judah “until Shiloh came, and then it would “depart.” If that was to be, then why should Shiloh gather the people from their dispersion? Having gathered then, would He control them without a law, and rule them without law, and rule them without a sceptre?

The Revised Version gives various alternative renderings.  Dr. Young’s literal translation is as follows: “The sceptre turneth not aside from Judah, and a law­giver from between his feet, till his seed come; And his is the obedience of peoples.” There has been much difficulty, amongst commentators, regarding the term Shiloh, and its correct application. It has been said that, “this word is understood by no one.”  But such a statement is not necessarily true. Dr. John Thomas (peer of prophetic expositors since the light began to shine in The Reformation) gave his translation as follows: “Thou, Judah, thy brethren shall praise thee; thy hand (shall be) upon the neck of thine enemies; before thee the sons of thy father shall prostrate themselves.  Judah, a lion’s whelp, from the prey, my son, thou hast arisen; he kneeled; he laid down like a strong lion, and like a fierce lioness; who shall arouse him? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a legislator from between his feet, for that Shiloh shall come; and to him (shall be) the obedience of peoples.” An exposition, in support of this translation, was published in the Herald of the Kingdom, 1858, from which I give the following quotations:

 

“The passage is easy enough, and teaches that the reason why the staff or sceptre shall not depart from Judah, is ‘because Shiloh shall come. It is a text similar to Jer. 33: 17; ‘David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel.’ Jeremiah is speaking of what shall be in the latter days forward; and so was Jacob. When Judah shall act the lion, Shiloh will be with them; and thenceforth the sceptre shall not depart; and thenceforth David shall never want a man to sit on Israel’s throne.”

“Jacob’s prophecy belongs to the ‘uttermost part of the days,’ termed in Daniel, ‘the Time of the End,’ or ‘the Latter Days’; not ‘the last days’ or end of the Mosaic Aion.”

“The sceptre had departed from Judah in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, who wrested it out of the hand of David’s house, when he dethroned Zede­kiah about 590 years before the birth of Jesus; and it has not been restored to Judah since.”

“There was no lawgiver descended from Judah, in power, at the birth of Jesus. The givers and makers of law were not Jews, but Gentiles.”

“The symbols of royalty were not to be restored to Judah, ‘until he shall come whose right it is’ to reign over all Israel; the right belongs to Jesus, who is the Shiloh; but when he appeared, he did not reign, positively refusing to accept authority, because his Kingdom did not belong to that world; but to another, when Judah, ‘the fierce lioness,’ shall go through the nations as through a flock of sheep (Mic. 5: 8) as Jacob’s prophecy intimates.”

“Whatever its etymology, anyone not judicially blinded by unbelief, may see from the text itself that it (Shiloh) relates to a person, a conqueror and a ruler, not to a place. ‘Shiloh shall come, and to him the obedience of peo­ples.’ ‘To him is the key to ‘Shiloh. Shiloh is a man; and as the people are to obey him, he must be a ruler; and as peoples only obey those who compel them, he must be a conqueror before he can rule them.”

 

HOPE FOR THINE END

 

THE PSALMIST wrote concerning his people: “By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept; yea, we wept when we remembered Zion.”  And a prophet wrote: “Thus saith the Lord: A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, bitter weeping; Rachael weeping for her children, refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Thus saith the Lord: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for there is a reward for thy work saith the Lord; and they shall return from the land of the enemy. And there is hope for thine end, saith the Lord, and thy children shall return to their own boundary.” (Jer. 31: 15,17). The translation is by Dr. Thomas, who, commenting on the prophecy, wrote: “Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound; therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water.” (Hos. 5: 8-10). Hence, the voice to be heard was lamentation and bitter weeping, on account of the desolation and slaughter of Benjamin and Ephraim by the enemy, and their deportation into their destroyers’ land.  The con­texts of these references show that the predictions relate to the removal of the whole twelve tribes from their land by the Assyrian power. Benjamin stands for Judah and Jerusalem as well as for its own particular canton; for the kingdom of Judah included Benjamin, and Jerusalem was one of the cities that fell by lot to it when Joshua subdued the country. Ephraim represents the rest of the tribes or kingdom of Israel, as distinguished from that of Judah, inasmuch as Samaria, the seat of government, belonged to Ephraim and Manasseh.

The prophecy of this voice of lamentation in Ramah found its initiatory ac­complishment when the overthrow of the twelve tribes was consummated by Nebuchadnezzar, the Chaldean head of Assyria. Jeremiah mingled in that lament for his country’s ruin; “her children have gone into captivity before the enemy” (Lam. 1: 1-5),- that is, “they were not.” Notwithstanding, “there is hope for thine end; they shall return to their own border.” And they did return in part as an earnest, so to speak, of the great restoration in Israel’s sorrow, and the son of Jacob’s right hand, returned with Judah, his fraternal ally, from the land of the enemy to his own border, seventy years after his deportation. This was the first and only restoration of the Hebrew Commonwealth. But there was little comfort in it. Ephraim and Manassah were not, being still exiles beyond Bashan. . . . There was another crisis in Hebrew affairs to be encountered . . . its echoes would sound from one end of the Roman world to the other, and be hushed only by a second de­portation of Benjamin into the land of the enemy. Rachel’s children, then, are constitutionally the whole twelve tribes, and as Israel’s mother, she refuses to be comforted so long as they are in the land of the enemy, exiles from home.” -Herald. 1873.

The foregoing expositions, by Dr. Thomas, were re-published in The Christa­delphian, 1875, which, together with another on THE LAST WORDS OF DAVID, we urge the reader to peruse, and consider well, if a copy thereof is within reach. Here I can but give the Doctor’s new translation of David’s Oracle, which is found in the opening verses of 2 Sam 23.

 

“Now these words of David, the last, are an oracle of David, son of Jesse, even an oracle of the mighty man concerning an anointed one of the gods of Jacob, and the pleasantest theme of Israel’s songs.

The Spirit of Jehovah spake through me, and His word was upon my tongue; gods of Israel spake to me, and the Rock of Israel discoursed, saying,

There shall be a just man ruling over mankind, ruling in the righteous precepts of the gods. And as the brightness of morning He shall arise, the sun of an unclouded dawn shining forth after rain upon tender grass out of the earth.

Though my house is not perfect with THE MIGHTY ONE, yet he hath ordained for me the covenant of the age, ordered in everything and sure; truly this is all my salvation and all my delight, though he cause it not to spring forth.

But the wicked shall be all of them as a thorn bush to be thrust away yet without hand shall they be taken; nevertheless a man shall smite upon them; he shall be filled with iron and the shaft of a spear, but with fire to burn up while standing they shall be consumed.”

 

 

JESUS, A PLANT OF RENOWN

 

THIS translation was the subject of criticism, and so six years later Dr. Thomas published another article upon the “Last Words,” in defense, and explanatory, of his translation. He gave a revised translation, in which he changed some of the words, but not the principle of his translation. Instead of “gods of Jacob,” he wrote “Concerning an anointed one of the Mighty Ones of Jacob,”- the “anointed one” being Messiah, and the “Mighty Ones” the Elohim, or “gods”- the Saints. Instead of “The Spirit of Jehovah” he made use of the term’s significance, HE WHO SHALL BE SPIRIT. Again, in verse 3, we have Mighty Ones as representative of the Hebrew, for which in the former translation we have “gods.” THE MIGHTY ONE of verse 5 being AIL, the invisible Deity.

That Jesus Christ is the central feature of all these testimonies and prophecies is obvious to all who understand the Truth concerning Him, as the manifestation of the Father. Jesus was born to be a King, yet He did not reign as King. He was to be the perfect sacrifice, yet before being so declared He must live a life of perfect obedience. In other words He, Jesus, must be “a body prepared.” Though Son of God from His birth Jesus was not, in that beginning, the same as He was at the end of His probation. He was then, as the result of all that He had experienced and en­dured, “a tried stone, a sure foundation.” ( Isa. 28: 16). In like manner the prophet again speaks concerning Jesus, “He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground.” (Isa. 53: 2). Of this, one has written: “With this beautiful figure, we associate the idea of parent earth and Spirit sun in combination. The plant derives nourishment from both, though of a different kind and different nature, yet the substance of the plant remains the same. The ‘Tender Plant,’ to which we refer, receiving nourishment from its mother earth- color, size and mature growth from the rays of its father sun, grew and developed to a ‘Plant of Renown.’The child grew and waxed strong in Spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.’ Although this plant was to be laid low for a time, it was not doomed to decay, because the Father’s Spirit preserved it from decomposition, raised it up again, transplanted it into a heavenly atmosphere, where it fully expands into the ‘Tree of Life’: retaining life, and giving life to as many as shall be engrafted upon it in the appointed way.”

The “plant of renown” is associated with the restoration of the kingdom of Israel (Ezek. 34: 29), when the people will “be no more consumed with hunger in the land.” We therefore wait in faith, hope and “assured expectation,” for the day of His coming; when the “plant of renown” will be seen in all its glory. In that day, under the covenant of peace, Israel shall dwell safely; sitting under their own vine and fig tree, with none to make them afraid, they will surely enjoy “showers of blessing.” Meanwhile, “until the day break, and the shadows flee away,” the true Israel of God rest content in the confidence of Faith and Truth, that “my beloved is mine, and I am his.”

 



* Even though we now see the existence of Israel as a secular nation (bones and sinew), we still await the complete fulfillment of the prophecy when Yahweh will put “breath” into this Body, and Christ will rule a united kingdom of Israel.

** This has reference to the false idea that the British are the “lost ten tribes” of Israel.

* The writer is referring back to the momentous events of 1897.

* The total estimated number of Jews who died at the hands of Nazi Germany stands at over 6,000,000 men, women, and children.

* Over the past half-century the population of Israel has grown to approximately  6 million.  80% of the population is Jewish.