Scripture is like no other book; it tells the story of mankind from the beginning of time to the end of time.
It does so with an authority not seen in other books because its inspiration comes from someone who knows everything.
it was written by many people over hundreds of years, but its inspiration comes from the Creator of the universe. The Creator provides the history of the universe in broad terms so that we might understand our place in the universe and the reason why we walk the earth.
Modern science tells us the universe consists of multiple dimensions – at least ten or eleven to be exact. We all have intimate knowledge of four of these dimensions: height, width, length, and time. The fourth dimension is unidirectional – it only goes in one direction; it is impossible to go back in time.
God is the Creator of these multiple dimensions including time. Being the creator of time, he is outside of it and can view all of time simultaneously. That is what Scripture means that
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. (Isaiah 46:10).
Many centuries after the beginning of mankind with Adam, God set in motion the world’s redemption through an obscure nomad named Abraham. He was a pagan, worshiping the gods of his culture and would have been lost to obscurity were it not for his calling. He was informed he would produce a race of people who were chosen by God for great things.
They were not chosen because they had done anything special or possessed any special talent or trait. But the grandson of Abraham named Jacob would have his name changed to Israel; the children of Israel would form twelve tribes that would be rescued from slavery in Egypt and led to the Promised Land.
The history of Israel is important for many reasons. The most important is that the Savior was born nearly two thousand years after Abraham lived. Christ was descended from Abraham through King David through Mary – his mother.
But the history of Isreal is also important because the history of Israel is the history of the world.
The history of Israel is very important to our history today – and to the future of the world. The history of modern presidents, countries, wars, and disasters are peculiarly timed involving ancient covenants and the Jewish people.
The working out of the history of ancient Israel in today’s headlines is an amazing finding open to those who know where to look.
It will be the place of this series of articles to view modern history – particularly of the last two centuries – in the light of ancient Jewish covenants with God.
Christian and Jewish History
It is an unfortunate historical fact that Christians know little concerning their Jewish roots. Most Christians skim through the Old Testament as though it is only the prelude for the “main event.” The Church lost its intimate understanding of Jewish culture and tradition after the first century. The Jewish nation rebelled against their Roman overlords and was eventually dispelled throughout the world in what is known as the diaspora. This dispersion resulted in a separation of Jews from their Christian brothers.
Jews formed their own communities; it was a great cultural sin to intermarry with those outside the faith. Christians blamed the Jews for the death of Christ and frequently engaged in unfortunate persecution of Jewish communities.
Jews came to distrust Christians remembering how they were mistreated over hundreds of years. This separation of the two communities came at a great cost to both.
As Christians lost their knowledge of Jewish traditions and festivals, they lost an understanding of Jewish history and the importance of that history of future events.
The history of God’s Chosen People would play out in the history of the world – especially toward End Times. The last two hundred years have demonstrated an amazing replay of this Jewish history in our current events. An understanding of Jewish history will help to understand how ancient history manifests itself today.
The great prophet Moses is one of the most amazing characters in the Old Testament. He was rescued by death by his mother who placed him as a baby into a reed basket. The Pharoah or Egyptian King at the time was concerned about the growth of the Jewish people who were working as slaves. The Pharoah was concerned they might rebel against their Egyptian oppressors and overthrow the government. He decided to reduce their population by throwing all the newborn boys into the Nile River where they would drown or be eaten by predators living in the water.
Rather than carry out this order, Moses’ mother decided to float him in a reed basket in the water where he might have a chance of survival. He was found by the daughter of the Pharoah who raised him in the family. He did well and was valiant in leading the Egyptian army against their foes – especially the Ethiopians.
But Moses was troubled because he knew his people were being mistreated by the Egyptians and were being held against their will Eventually, he would have to leave Egypt after killing an Egyptian guard who was beating a Jew, and spent forty years in the backside of a desert tending sheep.
God would reveal Himself in a burning bush – a bush that would appear to be burning but would not be consumed by the fire. God would tell Moses to inform the Pharoah that he had to let the Jews go – or else there would be terrible consequences. Plague after plague came against Egypt, each plague being directed against one of their gods.
Finally, every firstborn Egyptian male was killed, while the Hebrew firstborn were protected by sheep’s blood painted over the door to their houses. This event would be memorialized as the Passover and is always celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan during the time of the full moon.
Pharoah finally decided to let the Jews leave Egypt, and they traveled day and night to get away quickly from Egypt. Pharoah then changed his mind and went with his army to subjugate the Hebrews and bring them back to Egypt as slaves. The Hebrews were trapped on a small peninsula sticking out into the Red Sea when Moses performed one of the greatest miracles in Scripture – the parting of the Red Sea. The Hebrews crossed a thin rim of land under the Red Sea to get to the other side; the Egyptians followed them but before they could catch the Hebrews, the Red Sea collapsed upon them drowning Pharoah’s army.
The Jews were then separated from Egypt in a land known today as Saudi Arabia where they received the Law of Moses on Mt. Sinai. They then traveled to the Promised Land where they could build their own country and live in accordance with God’s will – or at least that was the plan.
Moses and Future Destruction and Scattering of Israel
Just before he died, Moses foretold what would happen to Israel centuries in the future. It is believed the Hebrews entered into the Promised Land in the year 1406 BC. Moses noted in the future,
Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and multiply, so also it will please Him to annihilate you and destroy you. And you will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess. Then the Lord will scatter you among all the nations, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. Among those nations, you will find no repose, not even a resting place for the sold of your foot. There the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and a despairing soul. (Deuteronomy 28:64).
In the year 70 AD, the Roman legions would defeat the Hebrews living in Israel and would drive the people into exile to the ends of the earth. They would be persecuted by multiple nations throughout the world and would wander the earth as no other people have ever wandered the earth.
This exile lasted into modern times when the Nation of Israel was born in May 1948.
The Liberty Bell outside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia is familiar to many Americans. It is one of the most visited historical locations because it is a symbol of America. There are words inscribed on the Liberty Bell which read,
Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all inhabitants thereof. (Leviticus 25:10)
This Scripture in Leviticus concerns something called the Jubilee year. This is part of ancient Israel that is not at all familiar to many Christians because they are largely ignorant concerning their Jewish roots. Also, the Jubilee is no longer practiced in Israel – and it is believed it was rarely practiced in ancient Israel as well.
The Jubilee year happened once every fifty years. It was a time when you would literally come home. Your family would come home to your ancestral land; your separation from the land is ended. The Jubilee is the year for the restoration of that which was lost. For example, if you lost your land because of bankruptcy, it would be returned to you during the Jubilee year.
Each of the ancient twelve tribes of Israel (except the Levites) was given a large parcel of land by Joshua when they entered the Promised Land. Then, each tribe and family would also receive a parcel of land. Over the next fifty years, that land might potentially change hands several times; but on the fiftieth year, the land would return to its original owners.