“Israel’s Strategic Borders!”
Shalom Precious Partner and Friend of Israel,
The Bible teaches us that BORDERS or BOUNDARIES are God's idea and that such are to be respected! Crossing a border without permission is like breaking in the back door of a house to help yourself to another people’s property instead of being invited in by the host through the front door. You might get to eat either way in the same house and from the same cupboard …but in one case you would be doing something respectful and civil …and in the other doing something that rightly should land you in trouble and jail. The Scriptures make it clear that national sovereignty - including clearly defined borders was and is God's idea! “…and He made from one (blood) man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.” - Acts 17:26. We read that God made from one blood (Adam) and every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place. Two things, we are told, are under God's sovereign control; how long a nation lasts and where its borders are. So, God has marked out and defined the borders of each country. Even regarding private property, curses were pronounced on anyone who moved a boundary marker, a stone which delineated the perimeter of privately owned land. Borders, boundaries and property lines clearly matter to God. “You have established all the boundaries of the earth; You have made summer and winter,” Psalm 74:17. You see, every nation's sovereignty is marked by its boundary and a nation without a boundary or border is not a nation! And, each nation has the moral right to decide who will be given permission to enter its sovereign territory. Moses recognized this …and so should Israel have the right to do so today! The only exception is under circumstances of a just war. All borders are Biblical and are there by God's sovereign design. And, they are to be respected by everyone!
Is Israel as a nation central to God’s plan? Yes! By understanding God’s Word, regarding the nation of Israel and the thoughts and intentions of the nations opposed to Israel we can understand the situation in our world today. Islam is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, but its footprints can clearly be seen. The Old Testament was completed in 425 BC., about 1000-years before the birth of Mohammad and the New Testament in 100 AD. The role Islamic nations that will play a part in Israel’s future is unmistakable. The Bible clearly indicates the restoration of the nation of Israel in the Last Days, and the nations who would oppose them. “They have said, ‘Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more … they form a confederacy against You!’” - Psalm 83.4,5. Does this sound familiar? Here the Psalmist mentions certain people groups in this alliance and notice that they are ALL Muslim nations: Ishmaelites (v6) or Arabs, descendants from Ishmael. Edom and Moab (v6) refer to Jordan. Philistia (v7) relates to Hamas in Gaza. Gebal (v7) (a maritime town near Tyre) and Tyre relate to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Ammon (v7) relates to Palestinians east of the West Bank (NW Jordan). Assyria (v8) relates to northern Iraq and parts of NE Syria and SE Turkey (areas that were/are still troubled by ISIS).
Tiny Israel is surrounded by hostile Islamic nations. In the north; Lebanon with Hezbollah and Syria controlled by Iran. In the East is Jordan. In the South; Egypt and Gaza controlled by Hamas terrorists also financed and supported by Iran and Turkey. In the West is the Mediterranean Sea. Inside Israel the so-called Westbank (Judea and Samaria) is controlled by Abbas’ PLO but also connected to Hamas terrorists in Gaza working to destroy the Jewish State.
Amazing facts emerge when a survey is done of Israel’s past and compared to the present. The list of nations, which were its enemies in the Old Testament period, has re-emerged from history and are once again Israel’s enemies! Another point which we cannot avoid is all these nations today are Muslim. So, how did these nations emerge? Wasn’t Syria, Egypt, Persia (Iran), Arabia, Turkey and Jordan always a nation? Many of the nations in the Middle East emerged after the fall of the Turkish Ottoman Empire during 1918-1920. Turkey WILL be part of an End-Time alliance against Israel as foretold in Ezekiel 38. Turkey's President Erdogan has been signalling to the world that he wants to restore an “Islamic Caliphate” to wipe out Israel. After the official recognition of Jerusalem as the Eternal Capital of Israel and moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv on the 14th May, 2018 - Erdogan turned up the anti-Israel rhetoric, calling Israel "a state of occupation and terrorism!" Turkey is being watched carefully prophetically!
If Borders or boundaries for the nations weren’t important to God …then why are they mentioned in Bible Prophecy? God even set boundaries for the oceans and seas (Jeremiah 5:22). We can clearly see “borders” and “boundaries” are important to God! There are many Scripture references on God setting “borders” and “boundaries.” God took ownership of land seriously. In a real sense, it was private individuals, NOT the government, who owned the land. In a wider sense, a people group corporately owned the land within their country. While on their way to Canaan, Israel was marched past a number of their future neighbours. Each time, in Deuteronomy 2, they heard the same words from God; “You are going through the land of …” “Do not fight them…” “I will not give you their land that I gave THEM that land as a possession.” Pay for any food you eat, or water you drink from there. Notice, God has established particular physical boundaries for each of these nations. These were to be respected. Likewise, in Genesis 15:1-10 God marked out the physical boundaries that Israel was to lay claim to!
God’s is going to be dealing with the nations in the future… At the End of this Age, the God of Israel will call the nations to account; “I will gather ALL the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land. - Joel 3.2. ‘Jehoshaphat’ means ‘the judgment of Jehovah’. So, the ‘Valley of Jehoshaphat’ may be used as a general term for the theatre of God’s final judgments or curse on Israel’s foes. The prophecy clearly says that the nations will be judged as to how they have treated God’s people (the Jews) and how they have treated the land (Israel) promised to Abraham’s descendants. Yeshua (Jesus) may be referring to the same End-Time scenario in His parable of the “sheep and the goats” … “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.” - Matthew 25.31-33. There are various interpretations of this parable, but, given the similarity to Joel 3, and taking the ‘dispensational view’ of prophecy, the parable can be understood to apply to whole nations. Note that Yeshua (Jesus) separates - “one (nation) from another” - before judgement (verse 32)! Then He says that whatever good these nations have done to His brethren they have done to Him (verse 40). Who are His brethren? The Jewish people who are our Lord’s brethren and we see the context here. So, the parable is often taken to refer to how nations have treated God’s people Israel. In the Millennium and thus the “blessing and the cursing” also extends into the Millennial Age after the Lord’s Second Coming. The prophet Zechariah says that those nations who refuse to worship Him in Jerusalem will suffer drought (Zechariah 14.17-19). It seems that those nations who refuse to bless God’s people, Israel, will suffer. Here God singles out individual nations, as in Egypt!
Have you watched the news lately and seen the bias reports on Israel by the corrupt News Media? Hamas terrorists are trying to breach through and violate Israel’s border with Gaza. To suggest, however, that Israel would ever have willingly thrown open their borders to a swarm of culturally hostile Arab foreigners who claim to be Palestinian and grant them asylum and so become financially responsible for their care is ridiculous. That is seen as an invasion force and has been treated as such. God promised that He would give ALL the land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants and made a Covenant with Abraham; “To your descendants (through Isaac and Jacob) I have given this land, from the river of Egypt (traditionally taken as the Nile) as far as the great river, the River Euphrates.” – Genesis 15:18. And, God repeats this promise; “I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines (Gaza coast), and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates.” - Exodus 23.31. Despite Israel’s future disobedience …this promise was unconditional in that the land that was to be theirs forever - NO strings attached; “I will give to you and to your descendants all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.” - Genesis 17.8. Israel’s southern border with Egypt and Gaza is there by God's design! To disregard it and to treat it as if were NOT there and to regard it as something NOT worth respecting and defending - is an insult to the God who put it there for their benefit! For instance, here's the description of the southern boundary is read in Joshua 15:3-4.
What does the Bible say about forcefully entering a country by “illegal immigration?” There should be compassionate and mercy toward immigrants (Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:33-34; Matthew 25:35) …however, that is NOT the question at hand. The question at hand concerns - “illegal immigration” and whether it is wrong to violate another nation’s borders by transgressing its immigration laws. What is currently happening on Israel’s border with Gaza? Hamas terrorists are wanting to force their way across the border into Israel and with evil intentions to kill Jews and destroy the Jewish State. This is clearly a planned Islamic invasion to infiltrate Israel! Romans 13:1-7, makes it abundantly clear that God expects us to obey the laws of the government …and the only exception to this is when a law of the government forces us to disobey a command of God (Acts 5:29). Hamas is using Palestinians as “pawns” to breach the border of Israel …and is clearly the breaking of Israel’s Governmental Law. There is nothing in Scripture that contradicts of a sovereign nation having immigration laws. In fact, it’s the duty of the government of the land to protect its people! It is rebellion against God to unlawfully enter another country and therefore sin! Much of the illegal immigration today is done by Muslims to force Islamic invasion and by globalists western governments with political motives to in fact change borders by force. Over the recent years it has become a controversial issue politically as some argue that the immigration laws are unfair, unjust, and even discriminatory therefore giving individuals justification to immigrate illegally and violate borders. However, Romans 13:1-7 does NOT give any permission to violate a law just because it is perceived as unjust. Again, the issue is not the fairness of a law! The only Biblical reason to violate a government’s law is if that law violates God's Word. When Paul wrote the Book of Romans, he was under the authority of the Roman Empire, led by Emperor Nero. Under that reign, there were many laws that were unfair, unjust, and/or blatantly evil. Still, Paul instructed Christians to submit to the Government! The Biblical fact that we are to care for the unfortunate does not mean we should violate the law of the country in doing so. Supporting, enabling, and/or encouraging lawless illegal immigration is therefore a violation of God’s Word!
God’s Covenant with Abraham regarding the Land of Israel stands forever! In Genesis 15:11 we read that AFTER God made this Covenant with Abraham… “birds of prey came but Abraham drove them away! Let’s ponder on this thought; isn’t it just a fact that when God makes a Covenant or promotes someone …attacks will come as the enemy sends opposition - ‘birds of prey’ or ‘people’ who will try to kill the vision! But, here we see Abraham drove them away! It was a spiritual and physical fight to deter God’s plan! Timing was also important in this conquest. God Himself, told Abraham it was not yet time to judge the sins of the Amorites. “…On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying; “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite." – Genesis 15:12-21. So, here we have God’s actual “borders or boundaries” for Israel set by God Himself – yet to be fulfilled. Divine limitations of conquest were limited not only by start time and within specified boundaries but they also had a cut-off date. However, Israel was also told that any group that remained in those boundaries would become… “thorns in your sides and would trouble you in the land!” - Numbers 33:55.
When God called Abraham (Abram) He made the following unconditional Covenant; “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed!”- Genesis 12:2-3. Inserting the original Hebrew, it reads as follows; “I will bless (barak) those who bless (barak) and the one who curses (qalal) you I will curse (arar). Here, ‘barak’ (Strong’s 1288) means to bless, to kneel down, to congratulate, to praise, to salute. The Hebrew “qalal” (Strong’s 7043) means to despise, to afflict, to treat as trivial. The Hebrew ‘arar’ (Strong’s 779) means: to curse, to be under a curse, to bring a curse. In modern terminology, the term ‘curse’ can be seen as; “A solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something.” So, curse can convey the notion of judgement on an individual, organization or even a whole nation. At first reading, the text appears to point to the blessing (or cursing) of Abraham himself. But, later Scriptures (Genesis 12:7; 13:5; 15-18; 17:7-8) clarify that this Covenant applies to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob (Israel), Genesis 35.10 …and the 12 tribes of Israel. So, when Isaac blessed Jacob, he said to him; “May peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you; be master of your brothers and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you and blessed be those who bless you!” - Genesis 27.29. We also read; “Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you.”- Numbers 24.9. So, it’s plain to see that the ‘blessings’ and ‘curses’ of the Abrahamic Covenant apply to those who bless or curse the people of Israel – the Jews!
What happened to those nations who opposed Israel in Biblical times? The nation of Egypt was judged for its treatment of the children of Israel. In the times of Joshua and the Judges, the Canaanites were conquered and subdued, and those that remained became tributary to the Israelites. In the times of David, the Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, Ammonites and Edomites became subject to him. In these examples, whole nations were singled out for cursing. In Joshua Chapters 13-20 there is a record of the; “Promised Land” being divided up among the 12 Tribes of Israel. What is striking is how thorough and detailed the description of each tribal boundary is. In Joshua 15, the word "boundary" is found no less than 15 times in describing the outermost parts or boundary of Judah. Before they entered the Promised Land, God told the children of Israel that He wanted them to remove from the region at least SEVEN evil nations more powerful than they; the Hittites, Canaanites, Girgashites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (Deuteronomy 7:1). God promised that He would deliver these peoples who were enemies into the hands of Israel. Almighty God made it clear to His chosen people how they were to treat these pagan nations (Obadiah 1:6-8). This is what the Lord says to the descendants of Esau (the Ishmaelites/ Muslims); “…If Edom says, we are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places. Thus, says the LORD of hosts; ‘they shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, ‘the border of wickedness,’ and, the people against whom the LORD has indignation forever!’” – Malachi 1:4-5. God had foretold the destruction of the Edomites in Ezekiel 35:15, saying; “As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you; you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am the Lord!”
We can clearly see God’s Hand of protection on Israel and the Jews, who though small in number, compared to the Muslim nations or Ishmaelites. God is a just God. Because, they were close relatives, the Israelites were forbidden to hate the Edomites (Deuteronomy 23:7). However, the Edomites did not fear God and regularly attacked Israel, and many wars were fought as a result. King Saul fought against the Edomites, and King David subjugated them, establishing military garrisons in Edom. With control over Edomite territory, Israel had access to the port of Ezion-Geber on the Red Sea, from which King Solomon sent out many expeditions. After the reign of Solomon, the Edomites revolted and had some freedom until they were subdued by the Assyrians under Tiglath-pileser. Edom descendants of Esau and lived South-east of Israel. The Edomites became the Idumeans during the 1st Century. From Jacob's days through the time of Christ the Edomites were Israel's enemies. During King Herod's rule the Idumeans became co-operative with the Romans and intermarried with Roman royalty. This made them unpopular with the Jews. In modern day terms, a large portion of the peoples residing in modern day Turkey are descendants from Esau. Most Syrians and the Kurdish people of Iraq are descended from Esau. Actually, it would not be inaccurate to say that a large part of the Muslim world has the blood of Esau flowing through their veins. Finally, many Palestinians even though they are migrants from surrounding areas outside the borders of Israel today recognize themselves are descendants of Esau.
The land of Israel lay desolate for almost two thousand years. Her people were dispersed by the Romans all over the world in 70 A.D. By the turn of the 20th Century, the whole land of Israel was desolate! The part that was not desert was mostly malaria infested swamps! Mark Twain visited Israel in 1867 and wrote in his resulting diary, Innocence Abroad; “There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country. No landscape exists that is more tiresome to the eye than that which bounds the approaches to Jerusalem. The only difference between the roads and the surrounding country, perhaps, is that there are rather more rocks in the roads than in the surrounding country.” Since the return of the Jewish people, the swamps have been drained and some of the best agriculture technology has been applied. Today, one can drive through the valleys and hills of Israel and see something very different than Mark Twain saw in 1867. Much of the land today has some of the most beautiful crops growing. The variety of crops is astounding!
You NEVER see Israel conquering nations since that only happened in Biblical times when God told them to do so. It is something that Jews don’t do because they believe God sets the borders and they are to be respected. Israel does NOT covet another people’s land! If they wanted to re-take Gaza it could happen within hours because they have the means to do so. That such national boundaries are to be respected is made plain by no less a personage than Moses himself. In a largely forgotten passage, Numbers 20:14-21, we read that Moses sought permission from the king of Edom to cross his border and pass through his land. When permission was refused, Moses didn't force his way in …he respected the king's decision and went around Edom to the East. Moses conveyed his original request this way: "Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, or drink water from a well...we will not turn aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory.” So, what was the king’s response? “You shall NOT pass through!" Moses tries a second time to secure an ‘entrance visa’…"We will go up by the highway, and if we drink of your water, I and my livestock, then I will pay for it. Let me only pass through on foot nothing more.” The pagan king of Edom was utterly “water-tight” to this plea when he said; “You shall NOT pass through!" How did Moses react to this denial of permission to immigrate into and through the sovereign territory of another nation? Did he barge ahead anyway? Or try to sneak in under cover of darkness? Did he launch a military strike to secure passage? NO! "Thus, Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel turned away from him."
What about all the current land disputes with Israel over the so-called “occupied territories?” They will be relatively short-lived! Bible prophecy points to a soon-Coming Age (the Millennium) when the people of Israel - the Jews, live at peace within the boundaries promised unconditionally to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Those boundaries span from the River Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean in the west and embrace the so-called disputed territories - West Bank and Gaza. It is interesting to observe that the boundaries given to Moses as he was about to divide up Canaan for the 12 Tribes of Israel (Numbers 34) correlate well with the Millennial boundaries given in Ezekiel 47.
God set Israel’s borders. And, they are far greater than the land of today! At first sight it appears that there is some discrepancy in the northern boundary, since initially God told Abraham this boundary would be the River Euphrates, much further to the north (Genesis 15.18). The kingdoms of David and Solomon did indeed stretch from the river of Egypt on the Sinai Peninsula (not the Nile), across the Syrian Desert to Tiphsah on the Euphrates, but the Euphrates boundary is absent from Numbers 34 and Ezekiel 47. Could it be that God is giving boundaries for two time periods? At the Second Coming of Yeshua (Jesus Christ) as there will be significant geological changes in the Middle East (Zechariah 14.4,10; Isaiah 11.15,16) …and one of these is the drying up of the Euphrates River (Revelations 16.12). So, whilst the Euphrates served as a boundary for David and Solomon, it virtually ceases to be a landmark in the Millennium. So, it is interesting to compare the future Biblical borders and the land division with the current situation in Israel. Clearly, the future borders include both the Gaza strip and the West Bank and the Golan Heights as they also include significant parts of present-day Syria (up to Hamath) and probably all of Lebanon. Are the politicians listening?
Historically, Judea and Samaria, commonly known as the so-called West Bank, belongs to the Jewish people. There was never ever a Palestinian state nor political entity that belonged to the Palestinians. According to the evolution of International Agreements from 1917 until 1947 - the land of Israel (renamed Palestine by the Romans in the 2nd Century) was divided into three states: Jordan, which is east of the Jordan River, and a Jewish and Arab state to share the land west of the Jordan River. While the Jews accepted this painful compromise, shrinking the size of their land by over 75%, the Arabs refused! As a result of the Arab launched “war of aggression” against the re-established State of Israel in 1948, Jordan occupied the area of Judea and Samaria and illegally annexed it! At the conclusion of hostilities in 1949, a cease-fire was reached between Israel and her neighbours. However, the Arab nations surrounding Israel insisted, and even demanded, that this line had no political significance whatsoever. In essence, the lines which we call the 1967 borders were not from 1967, and by Arab demand, are not, and were NOT legally binding borders!
It should be emphasized that the Palestinians NEVER claimed to establish a Palestinian state following the Jordanian annexation. Rather, they wanted to establish their state in the land instead of the state of Israel, the land they previously refused and consequently lost in the 1948 war. Because, the annexation of the land by Jordan was NOT recognized and was considered illegal …and because the British had given up their claim on the land in 1948 when the British Mandate left the region …and because the Arab forces insisted that the 1949 Armistice lines had NO legal significance, in essence, legally the land belonged to nobody! The Palestinian claim to Judea and Samaria only originated following the Israeli capture of Judea and Samaria from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War! Remember, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (the PLO), was only formed in 1964 before Israel’s capture of the West Bank, in order to establish a Palestinian state in Israel’s place, without reference to the land of the West Bank, which was annexed by Jordan. They only began demanding rights over the West Bank, once it was prospering and in Israeli hands! So, they continue to covet the land to this day!
In Modern Times: We must ask ourselves what it means to curse (Heb: qalal) Israel today. Recall that the Hebrew ‘qalal’ means “to be slight, to be swift, to be trifling, to be of little account, to despise, to afflict, to treat as trivial. Would support of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement qualify? Probably. Would the Replacement Theology of many institutionalized Churches qualify? Probably. Would the lack of Church teaching on Israel qualify? Probably. Would the frequent UN sanctions against Israel qualify? Probably. Would the hate speech against Israel from Iran’s leaders qualify? Probably. Would Hitler’s slaughter of 6 million Jews qualify? Most definitely. Most of the Muslims were allied with Germany in World War II and they knew what Hitler was doing to the Jews …and so we can see that many Muslims feel much the same way toward the Jews today. Since America supports the Jews and Israel it is not difficult to envision the Muslims and Germany allying against these two nations.
We must not forget that Germany started WWI (1914-1918) and WWII (1939-1945): Germany was responsible for starting the First World War: believing they could win European domination together with their ally Austria. Decade long tensions in Europe over the arms race, political alliances, and a growing sense of nationalism all came to a head when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo in June 1914 by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. But even after the shocking event war was not inevitable …and it was the subsequent actions of Germany and Austria which threw Europe into some of its darkest days, it is claimed. historian Sir Max Hastings has said. It also has a history of starting many other wars. And, Germany was also responsible for starting the Second World War: Political and economic instability in Germany and the harsh conditions of the “Treaty of Versailles” …and the rise of power of Adolph Hitler and his alliance with Italy and Japan to oppose the Soviet Union. History keeps repeating itself because the world never learns its lessons! Are the Palestinian Arabs today going to share that hate-filled sympathy with Germany under leadership of Angela Merkel since they are continually consulting with EU and the UN over Israel’s God-given land and to disown the rightful owners, the Jews? Still, God in this End-Time is using these nations to accomplish His plan. And, someday soon ALL nations will come and stand before Almighty God.
Britain’s well-being seems linked to how she has responded to the Jews… History shows that when Britain clearly supported the Jews she seemed to be blessed. From Cromwell’s time until the early 1920’s Britain acted favourably towards the Jews, and during this time Britain became wealthy through industrial innovation and global trading. Conversely, when Britain clearly failed the Jews between 1922 and 1948, she saw a sudden and dramatic loss of influence and wealth. Today, her lack of clear support for the State of Israel could be further contributing to Britain’s decline? Today Britain certainly is NO longer “Great Britain!” as she continues down the path of destruction of cursing Israel by standing with her enemies. Another example is our own beloved country South Africa …who once was among the 33 states that voted in favour of the 1947 UN Partition Plan and supported the establishment of a Jewish State …and was one of only four Commonwealth nations to do so on 24 May 1948, only nine days after Israel’s Declaration of the State of Israel. BUT, sadly our present government of today has turned its back on Israel and have down-graded the South African Embassy in Tel Aviv and openly support BDS as well as the ungodly formation of a Palestinian state within Israel! Having said this, we thank God each day for the many South African Christians that love, support and pray for Israel. May God bless you always!
The Jewish State of Israel occupies the land the Jews call Israel and Christians call the Holy Land. Many in the West who are uninformed about what the Bible says and support the Islamic Nations who also refer to this land as Palestine. The (so-called) Palestinians want to establish a Palestinian state in some parts of Israel with Jerusalem as their capital (and preferably all) of the land called Israel. Hence the Israeli-Palestinian conflict! They don’t want peace they want every “piece” of Israel. The facts are that there are NO historical Palestinian people, no historical Palestinian land, and NO official Palestinian state. A ‘Palestinian people’ came to prominence from the indigenous Arab population in response to increasing Jewish immigration after WWI. So, in 1947 UN Resolution 181 proposed an Arab state and a Jewish State, but the Arabs rejected it. The Declaration of the Jewish State in 1948 resulted in an immediate Arab attack on Israel which resulted in both Palestinian and Jewish refugees. Today, Israel’s legal borders are still defined by Article 80 of the UN Charter and span from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. The Article refers to this land as ‘Palestine’ and so Palestine is synonymous with today’s Israel. According to Article 80, “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” The land of Israel was also meant to be ‘home’ for the non-Jewish peoples. Sadly, this has NOT happened because the Arab leadership still refuses to accept the State of Israel and so peace cannot be achieved. This attitude reflects the deep spiritual roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, Jordan was to be the home for Palestinians but the British caved into pressure from Arabs and divided up Israel’s land giving it to appease King Abdullah I.
Is ‘Palestine’ a historic land? Is it legitimate to use the term ‘Palestine’ for the area we now call Israel? Where did the term come from? To answer this we first observe that the Hebrews entered the Land of Israel, specifically then Canaan, under Joshua in 1450 BC (Joshua 6). This area was gradually extended by Israel’s kings (Saul, David and Solomon) but still excluded ‘Philistia’ (the land of the Philistines), a narrow coastal strip including Gaza. The Philistines were an Aegean people more closely related to Greeks than to Arabs. Linguistically, the term ‘Palestine’ originated from the Greek word pronounced Palaestina, which is derived from the Hebrew word pronounced pel-eh-sheth, meaning ‘land of the Philistines’. Historically then, the term ‘Palestine’ only applied to the narrow coastal strip of land occupied by the Philistines, and Philistia itself did NOT survive the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar II in 600 BC.
However, that was not the end of the matter and this land definition of “Palestine” was later expanded by the Romans. In the 2nd Century AD, the Romans renamed Judea as ‘Palaestina’ - in an attempt, some say, to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. In fact, it is claimed that the Roman Emperor Hadrian began using the term ‘Palestine’ for the whole Land of Israel, and unfortunately this term has prevailed over the centuries. For example, under the Ottoman Empire (1517-1917), the term “Palestine” was used as a general term to describe the land south of Syria, and it was applied to the territory placed under the 1922 British Mandate. But, as already mentioned, according to historian Professor Bernard Lewis, even at the start of the 20th century… “The land was not a country and had no frontiers, only administrative boundaries!” So, since there was NO historic - “Land of Palestine” there can be NO legitimate Arab claim to such a land spanning large parts of Modern Israel. Even Arab leaders themselves have admitted to this in the past!
In the twentieth century we have seen prophecy made before our eyes with the re-establishment of the state of Israel, and the return of the Jewish people to the Land. To date, there are close to 7.5 million Jewish people who call Israel their home. Many have returned there since the country’s re-establishment in 1948 and still returning. Their presence is an incredible testimony to how close we are to the return of Yeshua (Jesus). The story of the Jewish people is an incredible story of pain and disappointment that has come to them mostly at the hands of those who hate them for little or no reason! The Bible predicts those pains and disappointments will finally end when Yeshua, the Messiah, comes to rule and reign in Jerusalem and makes Israel the head of the nations. The Bible indicates when Israel returns to the Land, Israel’s future will be as bright as her past has been dark!
We most sincerely believe that God WILL bless you for your faithfulness and love for His land and His chosen people. God’s Word is true! He IS watching to see how the nations are treating His people. God will have mercy on Israel through Gentile believers acting as mediators towards them. This is one of the most amazing revelations ever given to the church – an opportunity to do something that carries the highest priority in the heart of God. Yet, sadly, so few have seen the potential and the rewards of serving God in this manner - as agents of mercy to Israel and the Jewish people! Israel was and still is despised today and a despised nation continually turning away from God BUT nothing ever altered the purpose of God for that nation. The despised element is always a noticeable element in the purpose of God. When the Saviour of the world came, He came of that despised nation; like Israel… He Himself was “despised and rejected by men,” …and there is that despised element; “…things that are despised God has chosen,” 1 Corinthians 1:28. Now, more than at any time is the time to support Israel and the Jewish people - the Lord’s Brethren! We are witnessing the nations and people turning their backs on Israel. Thank you once again for your prayers and generous support!
We hope that you enjoy and become more informed by our work. We serve an awesome God and we are humbled by this opportunity to bring you this information. With Shalom to you and your family always,
Alf & Julie Saunders
01st July, 2018
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John Bunyan once said, "You have never lived successfully until you have done something for someone who can NEVER repay you!"
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