SOLOMONIC DYNASTY ENDED WITH ZEDEKIAH
Zedekiah's overthrow marked the full end of the Solomonic dynasty; it was not to continue in Jerusalem, Ireland or anywhere else. The overthrow is graphically described in Ezek. 21:25-27, where God addresses Zedekiah thus: "Thou, profane wicked prince of Israel [the ten tribes as distinct from the two are not referred to here] … Remove the diadem, and take off the crown [the active power to rule, along with the dominion] this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. [After the crown of Israel, or Judah, was thus transferred to Babylonia, there were still three more transfers to be made:] I will overturn [to Medo-Persia], overturn [to Greece], overturn [to Rome—see Dan. 2:31-45] it: and it [the crown] shall be no more [or, shall not belong (to anyone)—Leeser's translation; it would not belong to any daughter of Zedekiah, nor would it be given to any descendant of King Coniah (Jehoiachin) the son of Jehoiakim (Jer. 22:24, 25; 2 Chron. 36:9, 10; Matt. 1:11, 12), for he was written childless so far as any of his seed 'sitting upon the throne of David' was concerned (Jer. 22:30); the crown was not to be given to anyone], until he come whose right it is; and I will give it [the crown that fell from Judah's head as represented in Zedekiah (Lam. 1:3; 5:16)] him."
The crown (the active power to rule, with the dominion) was turned over to the Gentiles at Zedekiah's uncrowning in 607 B.C., when their "seven times" (7 x 360 = 2520; "the times of the Gentiles"—Luke 21:24) lease of power began, which ended in 1914 with the beginning of the World War. After Christ at His First Advent as "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" had proved Himself worthy, He obtained, under God, full authority in heaven and on earth (Rev. 5:5; Matt. 28:18). As the rightful crowned King of earth, Jesus in 1914 began the dispossession of the nations and their breaking into shivers (Rev. 2:26, 27; 19:15; Dan. 2:35, 44).
ROYAL LINE NOT FROM JUDAH'S SON ZARAH
In further clutching at any straw that they can to float their theory, the Anglo-Israelites claim that (the legendary) King Herremon of Ireland, like the (legendary) Princess Tea-Tephi, was a descendant of Jacob's son Judah—though not through Judah's son Pharez, but through his son Zarah—and that by Herremon's (supposedly) marrying Tea-Tephi, (allegedly) a descendant of Judah through Pharez, the breach between Zarah and Pharez was healed (Gen. 38:29). Judah had three sons by his wife Shuah and two sons by his daughter-in-law Tamar. It was necessary that the account in Gen. 38 be recorded because Judah and Tamar were progenitors of Jesus through Pharez (Luke 3:33). Pharez was born first, thus supplanting Zarah, upon whose hand a scarlet thread had previously been bound. As the supposed progenitor of Herremon, Anglo-Israelites call Zarah "the prince of the scarlet thread" (as though Judah was a king!). But even if they could prove that Herremon was descended from Zarah, this would not give him any share in God's promise to David, for David was not of Zarah's lineage.
Anglo-Israelites claim also that the prophecy in Ezek. 21:26, that God would exalt the low and abase the high, was fulfilled in the casting down of Judah's line in Zedekiah (a descendant of Judah through Pharez and David) and the (supposed) exalting of Zarah's line through the marriage uniting the (legendary) Irish king (allegedly a descendant of Judah through Zarah) with a daughter of Zedekiah (another assumption). But this unscriptural application of the prophecy (a counterfeit of the true application) would accomplish nothing even if all the assumptions pertinent to the legend could be proven true, for the unconditional covenant promise that "David shall never want [lack] a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel" (Jer. 33:17-22) was made to David, and David was not descended from Zarah!
How foolish therefore is the Anglo-Israel claim that the British monarch sits on David's throne! Neither of the two pertinent propositions is valid, as our examination shows: The claim that the royal line of Judah descended through a (legendary) King Herremon of Ireland (supposedly through Zarah) will not hold, for David was not of Zarah's line. Nor can the claim of the royal line of Judah's descent be Scripturally, reasonably and factually supported with the legend of Tea-Tephi, supposedly a daughter of Zedekiah, for even if all that is claimed for her could be shown to be true (which cannot be done), it would prove only that she and her descendants have inherited a lost dominion; for the diadem was removed and the crown (the power to rule, along with the dominion) was taken from Zedekiah, the "profane wicked prince of Israel" and was given to the Gentiles.
GOD'S PROMISE TO DAVID
But the Anglo-Israelites claim that Jer. 33:17-22; 2 Sam. 7:12-16 and other similar passages prove that the royal family of David must have continued even to our day—that there must always be an active throne (rulership) of David somewhere with one of his descendants through Solomon occupying it. They claim of course that this royal rulership is found in British royalty and that it will remain there until Jesus' Second Advent. (Mr. Armstrong, in the April 1969 issue of The Plain Truth, in discussing his group's archeological work in the Jerusalem area, asserted that the literal "throne of David" is "buried at the very site of our present project." Evidently he thinks it should be found so that our Lord can sit on it after His return!)
We should remember that while God's promise to David himself was unconditional (see, e.g., 2 Sam. 7:12-16; 1 Chron. 17:11-14; 22:9, 10; Psa. 89:3, 4, 19-37; 132:11; Jer. 33:20, 21), His promises to David's children of the Solomonic royal line were conditioned on their obedience and loyalty to Him, even as David himself testified, "That the Lord may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel" (1 Kgs. 2:4; compare 1 Kgs. 8:25; 9:4-9; 1 Chron. 22:13; 28:7, 9; 2 Chron. 6:16; 7:17-20; Psa. 132:12). Not having fulfilled this condition, the Solomonic line was finally deposed in the days of Zedekiah. But God nevertheless kept His promise to David, "that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne" (Acts 2:30); "of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus" (Acts 13:23).
As to the prophecy of Jer. 33:17-22, the advocates of Anglo-Israelism actually reverse the promise as though it meant, "David shall never want for a throne for a son to sit upon," whereas it simply meant that as long as God had His typical throne in Israel, a son of David (beginning with Solomon—1 Chron. 29:23—and ending with Zedekiah) would sit on it; and when God again has a kingdom on earth (the one for which we pray, "Thy kingdom come"—Matt. 6:10), the son of David, Jesus Christ, will sit on its throne. During the Gospel Age, God selects the Bride, the Church, to be united with Christ and to reign with Him; after this selection He rebuilds the tabernacle (the house, royalty, or dominion) of David, which is fallen down, and sets it up, that the remainder of mankind, the non-elect, might seek after the Lord (Acts 15:14-17; see also Psa. 2:8; 22:27, 28; 45:1-17; 72:1-20; 110:1; Matt. 22:41-46; Isa. 2:2-4; 11:9; Luke 2:10; John 1:9; 12:32; 1 Tim. 2:3-6; 4:10; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1-5).
The context of Jer. 33:17-22 itself shows that the true application is within the house of David and that it points to Jesus Christ, "the Branch of righteousness," who "shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land" (vs. 14-16). And in vs. 25, 26, God gives outstanding assurance that He will not cast off fleshly Israel forever, nor reject His Beloved Son Jesus Christ, and the Church, His Body, from being the Davidic Seed, to be rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, when at Christ's Second Advent He causes them to return from their captivity and has mercy on them (Isa. 4:2-4). God promised to give to Jesus "the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever" (Luke 1:32, 33; Isa. 9:6, 7).
"OLAM" DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN ETERNALLY
But referring to God's promise to David in 2 Sam. 7:12-16, Mr. Armstrong (US&BCP, p. 67) states: "David's throne (v. 16) was established FOREVER in Solomon (v. 13). Observe that this nowhere says that when Christ comes, God will establish it in HIM forever. It says it was to be established FOREVER in Solomon."
Let us see if this conclusion is correct. The Hebrew word here translated "for ever" is olam, which means concealed, i.e., the vanishing point; generally, time out of mind; hence, unto a completion, for the age, or forever, perpetual, everlasting. Thus the word olam is not always used in the sense of eternal, or everlasting. For instance, in Ex. 12:14, 17, 24, olam is applied to the period of time for the keeping of the feasts of the typical Passover and unleavened bread prior to the setting in of their antitypes (1 Cor. 5:7, 8). The typical feasts were not to be kept throughout eternity, but unto a completion, for as long as the Mosaic arrangement would last. And in Ex. 40:15, olam is applied to the Levitical priesthood: "an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations"—surely not for eternity (Heb. 7:11-28), but unto a completion, at the end of the Age. The Hebrew scholar, Dr. R. Milligan, explains that olam and its Greek equivalent, aion, "are always perfectly exhaustive of the entire period or cycle to which they are applied. If they refer simply to the period of a man's life, they exhaust it; if to an age, they exhaust it; and if to eternity, they, in like manner, exhaust it."
In harmony with this, we see that when Hannah would give her son Samuel to God for His service under the care of Eli the priest, in Shiloh, it was "that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever" (olam; 1 Sam. 1:22)—surely not everlastingly, throughout eternity, but "all the days of his life," "as long as he liveth" (vs. 11, 28). Thus the Bible explains its own use of the word olam here. And likewise in 1 Sam. 2:30, God said to Eli: "I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father [see Ex. 27:21], should walk before me for ever [olam—surely not for eternity, but all the days of their functioning as Israel's priests, unto a finality] but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed" (comp. Jer. 18:9, 10). And of Samuel, God said: "I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever [olam; all his days]" (v. 35).
In 2 Sam. 7:12-16, God promised David that He would establish the kingdom of David's son (Solomon, v. 12), that Solomon would build the temple and that the throne of his kingdom would be established for ever (olam; unto a completion, v. 13). While the promise to David was unconditional, it was conditioned on obedience to Solomon and his line—"If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him" (v. 14). "But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul" (v. 15). Saul's son (Jonathan) did not succeed him as king, but Solomon's son (Rehoboam) did succeed him, and God allowed Solomon's line to reign in Judea until the crown was finally taken away from it. But David's kingdom is to be unconditionally established forever (Psa. 89:3, 4, 19-37; Luke 1:32, 33). God through David warned Solomon that if he would forsake God, "He will cast thee off for ever" (here the connection shows that olam does mean eternally, so far as reigning is concerned; 1 Chron. 28:7, 9; compare 1 Kgs. 2:4; 8:25, margin; 2 Chron. 6:16; Psa. 132:12). God fulfilled this promise at the time of Zedekiah's uncrowning (Ezek. 21:25-27). Therefore even if the Anglo-Israelites could prove that the line of British monarchs now occupying the throne is descended from Zedekiah, it would but prove that their royalty is of a line that has been cast off eternally.
DAVID'S HOUSE IN "FALLEN DOWN" CONDITION UNTIL
CHRIST'S SECOND ADVENT
The Bible makes it very plain that there was no royal house of David standing at the time of Jesus' First Advent, either in Israel, Britain or anywhere else. Acts 15:14-17 (compare Amos 9:11, 12) shows that long before the Apostles' day the royalty and dominion of David had "fallen down." This occurred in the days of Zedekiah. During the Gospel Age, God "visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name," to be engrafted into the Body of Christ in place of rejected Jews (Rom. 11). Only "after this" does He return His favor to fleshly Israel. THEN (v. 16), and not before, does He "build again the tabernacle [the house, royalty, or dominion] of David [lodged in the Christ], which is fallen down [the Anglo-Israelites' claims to the contrary notwithstanding], and build again the ruins thereof [the ruins of fleshly Israel], and set it up [permanently]: that the residue [remainder] of men [the non-elect world of mankind] might [during the world's Thousand-year Judgment Day, the Millennial Age] seek after the Lord, and [even] all the Gentiles, upon whom [by right of purchase through Jesus' ransom-sacrifice—1 Tim. 2:4-6] my name is called, saith the Lord."
Therefore the British throne cannot possibly be David's throne; for David's "tabernacle" (his house, royalty, dominion, throne) "is fallen down" until after the Times of the Gentiles the Lord in His Second Advent builds again its ruins (see The Time is at Hand, pp. 85-87).
Furthermore, another devastating blow against Anglo-Israelism is the fact that, as prophesied, there has been a long period of time when Israel (the twelve tribes) has not been "reckoned among the nations" (Num. 23:9), in which they have remained "many days without a king, and without a prince" prior to returning to Jehovah their God and David their King, and thereafter reverencing Jehovah and His goodness "in the latter [last] days" (Hosea 3:4, 5 ; Micah. 4:1).
PSA. 89:25 MISAPPLIED
Another Scripture that is misapplied to try to prove that God is perpetuating David's throne in Britain is Psa. 89:25. In US&BCP, p. 113, Mr. Armstrong says: "When the Eternal swore to David to perpetuate his throne, He said: 'I will set his hand [sceptre] in the sea' (Psa. 89:25). The throne is to be 'set,' planted, 'in the sea.'" Because Britain is surrounded by water (though near the coast of Europe), Mr. Armstrong assumes that Britain is referred to here. Thus he grievously misapplies this verse, together with other Scriptures in this connection; and he says nothing about the rest of the verse: "and his right hand in the rivers," for this does not adapt itself to his misapplication of this Scripture.
If Mr. Armstrong would read more carefully and apply the context properly he would see that v. 20 points especially to God's great Servant to come, the Messiah, God's Anointed and Beloved, the antitypical David (David means Beloved), and that in v. 27 God promises "I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth." Jesus is God's firstborn (Col. 1:15; Rev. 3:14), and His Kingdom will extend to "the uttermost parts of the earth" (Psa. 2:7, 8); His power (hand—compare Ex. 3:20; 7:5; nothing in Psa. 89:25 indicates a throne or scepter, as Mr. Armstrong assumes) will be established (set) Millennially among the unstable, restless masses of mankind (the sea), and His special favor (right hand—compare Psa. 16:11) will be established in its various tributary parts.
Then regathered Israel will come to God, and He promises them (Ezek. 16:60): "I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant [the New Covenant—Rom. 11:27; Heb. 8:8-13; Jer. 31:31-34; 32:40; Ezek. 36:21-38]." This will be accomplished through the all-embracing Abrahamic Covenant, which in its Divine, Christ-producing features, "the sure mercies of David" (Isa. 55:3), applies to God's Beloved, His Anointed (Matt. 3:17; Luke 9:35; 2 Pet. 1:17; compare Jer. 30:9; Ezek. 34:23-31; 37:24-28). That David in speaking of himself often spoke prophetically of the great antitypical David, Jesus Christ, is proved, for example, by Acts 2:25-36; 13:33-37.
2 SAM. 7:10; 1 CHRON. 17:9 MISAPPLIED
Here God promises David: "I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime." The Anglo-Israelites insist that this planting was done by Jeremiah, through Tea-Tephi, in Britain, and that "once this 'place of their own' was reached, and the throne of David planted there, they were to move no more. Therefore, the location of this people TODAY is the place where Jeremiah planted David's throne more than 2500 years ago!" (US&BCP, p. 112). Mr. Armstrong claims that the context supports this viewpoint. In quoting this Scripture, however, he (like other Anglo-Israelites) stops after the words "and move no more." Why does he avoid quoting the rest of the verse: "neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime"? Is it because this immediate context to what he quotes completely overthrows his fabrication? Indeed, it would be impossible for him to show that his "Israel people," his Ephraim and Manasseh (allegedly Britain and the U.S.), suffered no affliction from wicked people since Jeremiah's day, and especially in their recent wars!
Furthermore, God shows that this promised planting of the twelve tribes of Israel (they were all one nation when God made this promise to David) in the land that He would appoint, or ordain, for them (i.e., the land that He had promised to them and their fathers—Acts 7:2-5), would not come until centuries after Jeremiah's death. It is spoken of in Amos 9:11-15: "In that day [after He has sifted the house of Israel among the nations—v. 9] will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen … and I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel [will regather the scattered nation] … 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." Powerful enemies have repeatedly tried to destroy this new nation of Israel planted in their midst, but God has repeatedly and miraculously delivered them, for He has planted them there to be pulled up no more.
In Jer. 16:14-16, God promises that for this permanent planting He would bring "the children of Israel [the twelve tribes] from the land of the north [Germany, Poland and Russia especially], and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land [not Britain!] that I gave unto their fathers." God has been sending "fishers" with the attractive bait of Zionism to "fish" them, and has been permitting "hunters" with intent to destroy to "hunt" and fiercely persecute them; and thus He has aroused them and caused them to return to their promised land and has planted them there to stay.
REGATHERED ISRAEL INCLUDES ALL 12 TRIBES
In promising to regather the children of Israel, God did not refer merely to the ten tribes (sometimes called Israel, Ephraim, etc.) as distinct from the two (usually designated Judah), but rather to all twelve tribes, for all twelve tribes were represented in "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 10:6), which house was cast off in 33 A.D. That all twelve tribes are meant is clearly indicated in Isa. 11:11, 12, where both the ten tribes as Israel and the two tribes as Judah are specified: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time [even as He did the first time, at the end of the Babylonian captivity] 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 [all of which has been going on in recent years, but was never done before, for before their Gospel-Age dispersion the twelve tribes had never been scattered so widely]."
Also in Ezek. 36:22, 24, God refers to all twelve tribes under the name of Israel, when He says: "Therefore say unto the house of Israel … I will take you from among the heathen [nations], and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land [not Britain, but their promised land]." This regathering was to precede the full end of the Gentile nations into which God had scattered them (Jer. 30:10, 11; 46:27, 28), and was to be from every quarter, to make of them "one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel … and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all … and they shall dwell in the land … for ever" (Ezek. 37:21, 22, 25).
JESUS—DAVID'S SON THROUGH NATHAN
Since the Solomonic line was in Zedekiah dispossessed of the crown (the power to rule, with the dominion), and since Judah's Zarah line was not eligible to sit on the throne of David, how could Jesus inherit the throne of David and be given the crown? The answer is that when Jesus, the Son of God, was "made flesh" it was through a virgin who was descended from David, but not through the deposed line of Solomon. Joseph, through his father Jacob (Matt. 1:16), was descended from David through Solomon (Matt. 1:6-16), but he was not Jesus' real father. However, Mary was descended from David through Solomon's elder brother Nathan (Luke 3:23-31; 2 Sam. 5:14; 1 Chron. 3:5; 14:4). Note that in Luke 3:23, Joseph is said to be the "son of Heli," the words "the son" being supplied by the translators (indicated in many Bibles by italics). Since Joseph was the son of Jacob we must conclude logically that he was the son-in-law of Heli (see margin), for which relationship there is no separate word in the original Greek.
God's selection of the virgin Mary, of the line of Nathan, to be the mother of the promised Messiah, is another proof that Solomon's line had been cast off. Solomon's elder brother Nathan would naturally have had a prior right to succeed David as Israel's king, but apparently Nathan and all his regal heirs up to the time of Christ constituted God's reserved royal line, not one of whom ever sat upon a throne, but who were nonetheless a royal line in God's program.
God gives us still another indication that He had cast off Solomon's line from the right to the throne of David and from reigning over Israel. It is found in Mary's Divinely inspired "Magnificat" of praise to God (Luke 1:46-55) and refers directly to the prophecy in Ezek. 21:26 of exalting the low and abasing the high: "He hath scattered the proud [the exalted Solomonic dynasty] in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty [the Solomonic line] from their seats, and exalted them of low degree [the line of lowly Nathan]" (vs. 51, 52). Thus God "helped his servant Israel [the whole 12 tribes], in remembrance of his mercy" (v. 54) and leaves no room for a daughter of Zedekiah to retain the crown for Solomon's line. How wonderfully God Himself overthrows the foolish claims of Anglo-Israelism!
From what is stated in the forepart of this treatise, it is evident that Anglo-Israelism is built largely on the unstable foundation of etymological blunders, legends, traditions, suppositions, guesswork, assumptions, twistings of and misapplications of Scriptures, etc. This should be ample to show any humble, sober-minded, Bible-believing person that it is grossly erroneous, and to cause him to turn away from it. But since its advocates are very emphatic in their claims that it is founded on the Bible (and some readers may need more evidence to be convinced of this theory's erroneousness), we will now refute some additional misapplications of Scriptures that they make, starting with some in Genesis.
THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT
Gen. 12:2: "I will make of thee a great nation." This prophecy does not refer to Britain, as Anglo-Israelism claims; for it was fulfilled literally in the great nation of the twelve tribes of fleshly Israel, especially during the reign of Solomon. In a higher sense it applies to all who "are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham" (Gal. 3:7-9)—but especially to the Christ, Head and Body, the fruitful and holy nation of Matt. 21:43 and 1 Pet. 2:9 (which obviously is not Britain).
The "great nation" in this higher sense is elaborated in Gen. 22:16-18, in the Oath-bound Covenant (compare Heb. 6:13-20). In a wider sense it has two aspects—the heavenly and the earthly: the seed like the stars of heaven (the Little Flock and the Great Multitude—Luke 12:32; 2 Tim. 2:12; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 7:1-17) and the seed like the sands of the seashore (the Millennial Kingdom's earthly representatives: chiefly the Old Testament Worthies, from Abel to John the Baptist, of the time prior to the opening of the heavenly calling—Psa. 45:16; Isa. 32:1; Matt. 11:11; Heb. 11:1-40—but including subordinately other faith-justified, consecrated servants of God who are selected in the end of the Gospel Age after the heavenly calling is closed).
In a still wider sense the earthly seed includes also "Israel after the flesh" (partly blinded during the Gospel Age but converted at its extreme end—Rom. 11:25-29; Zech. 12:6-14) and the loyal Gospel-Age unconsecrated Gentile believers. These two classes will be used subordinately in blessing all the families of the earth (Isa. 2:2-4; Zech. 8:23; Matt. 25:34-40). As "sons" in the Kingdom they and the "daughters"—the non-elect who will become believers—shall "prophesy"—declare the Divine Truth and works with rejoicing (Joel 2:28; Zeph. 3:8, 9; Psa. 107:21, 22). God's "holy nation" (not Britain!) is truly "great," and its dominion will be throughout the earth (Psa. 72:7, 8, 19; Dan. 2:35, 44).
"And I [God] will make thy [Abraham's] name great." It is claimed that Britain is the only country in the world to add "Great" to its name, and that in so doing this prophecy was fulfilled. Surely such a puerile explanation would not suit any careful Bible student! It was Abraham's name, not Britain's, that God promised to make great. God gave him a great reputation, a great office and a great position among God's people. God honorably mentioned him in the New Testament, where he is called "the Friend of God" (James 2:23), "the father of all them that believe," etc. This prophecy will have further fulfillment in the resurrection, when Abraham, "the heir of the world," and his seed who "walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham," will take their places in God's Kingdom established on earth. His name in its wider senses will then be great and honored by mankind in general (Rom. 4:11-13).
Gen. 15:18: "Unto thy [Abraham's] seed have I [God] given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates." It is claimed that since Britain was given suzerainty over this land, she must be Israel, the seed of Abraham. Her suzerainty, however, was short-lived. Today she is out of Palestine and out of the Suez Canal and Egypt and the rest of the Middle East, considerably discredited. She has no foothold between the River of Egypt and the River Euphrates. Furthermore, her suzerainty (which was only temporary) did not give her possession of the land, which Gen. 13:15 and 17:8 say will be given to the seed of Abraham for an everlasting possession.
THE GATE OF THE SEED'S ENEMIES
Gen. 22:17: "Thy [Abraham's] seed shall possess the gate of his [the seed's] enemies." Note how in Item (6) in Anglo-Israelism's creed set forth in the beginning of this treatise, this passage is applied only to the nations of Britain and the U.S. as being (allegedly) Abraham's seed and controlling certain key geographical positions on earth (their "gates"). Thus they teach contrary to God's Word, which declares (e.g., in Gal. 3:8, 16, 26-29; 4:26-29) that the Seed is the Christ, Head and Body (Eph. 1:22, 23), brought forth "after the Spirit," the "children of God by faith in Christ Jesus"—New Creatures (2 Cor. 5:17). Isa. 14:1-8 also is misapplied in Item (6); for v. 7 indicates that its fulfillment will be in Christ's coming Millennial reign of peace, when "the whole earth is at rest, and is quiet; they break forth into singing."
As to Abraham's fleshly seed, one might well inquire why the Anglo-Israelites apply the Gen. 22:17 statement only to Ephraim and Manasseh (allegedly representing Britain and the U.S.), and not to all of Abraham's fleshly seed—all twelve tribes, and whether the key positions were held by Britain and the U.S. for the blessing of others, or mostly for their exploitation. And why has the possession of some of their "gates" passed away, and of others become very uncertain? Are God's promises due to fail, and are they only temporary or uncertain of fulfillment? Surely not!
What is the true meaning of the "gate" in Gen. 22:17 (comp. Psa. 127:5, margin)? In ancient times the cities were walled for protection and strength, so walls in Bible symbols represent safety, power and protection. Thus the gate, or entrance, to a city was very important, for whoever held it controlled the city. The true seed of Abraham, "they which are of faith" (Gal. 3:8, 16, 29), have as their enemies Satan, sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, and by nature these are entrenched in their hearts and minds. By using the strength that God supplies through Christ (Eph. 6:10-18; Phil. 4:13, 19) they have been able to take possession and hold the gate, or entrance, into their hearts and minds, and thus maintain control. Consequently they are fitted and prepared to assist mankind in overcoming their enemies in the coming Kingdom of God on earth.
ABRAHAM "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS"
Gen. 17:4-6: "Thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee." Referring to this, Mr. Armstrong (US&BCP, p. 24) states: "The JEWS have never been more than one nation. They are not, and never have been, MANY nations. … We must look for a number of NATIONS apart from either the Church or the Jews. Amazing as it is, we must do it or deny God's promise." Thus by a perversion he tries to make it appear that we must look to the British Commonwealth of Nations for the fulfillment.
But note carefully that the promise was made to Abraham, and not to "the Jews," as Mr. Armstrong applies it. And, considering it even from the standpoint of his fleshly seed only, and not from the standpoint of his being the father of all the seed also that are such by faith (Rom. 4:11, 16, 17), Abraham obviously was "a father of many nations," for from him stemmed not only his descendants through Jacob—the Israelites—but also the Ishmaelites "according to their nations" (Gen. 17:20; 25:12-16), the Edomites (Esau's descendants), including many kings and dukes (Gen. 36), and Abraham's many children through Keturah and their families, notably the Midianites with their kings and princes (Gen. 25:1-4; Num. 31:8; Judges 6:5; 7:25; 8:21; Isa. 60:6).
"A NATION AND A COMPANY OF NATIONS"
Gen. 35:11: "I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee [Jacob], and kings shall come out of thy loins." Considering this also even from the standpoint of fleshly seed only, this promise had its fulfillment in the twelve tribes stemming from his twelve sons, especially in Solomon's reign. In Gen. 48:4, Jacob refers to this promise as meaning "a multitude of people," and surely a multitude has stemmed from him. In blessing Jacob, Isaac said: "God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people" (Gen. 28:3). The Hebrew word translated multitude here is the same one translated company in Gen. 35:11. And the Hebrew word for nations in Gen. 35:11 is translated nations also in Gen. 10:5, 20, 31, 32, as respects the sons of Japheth, Ham, Shem and Noah—"after their families, in their nations." Eleven times the KJV translates this same word as people. Obviously, then, companies or assemblies of nations or peoples were quite commonplace, instead of being "completely foreign to ancient statecraft," as a prominent Anglo-Israelite claims.
The application of the prophecy of Gen. 35:11 to the British nation and the British Commonwealth of Nations by the Anglo-Israelites is built upon the unproven premise that the Anglo-Saxons are in fact Abraham's seed. It is in reality a counterfeit of the true, future application, to the Christ, Head and Body, the true "Holy Nation," and the company of nations as they will exist after Christ's Second Advent, "in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations" (Matt. 19:28; 25:31, 32).
When, in the earthly phase of God's Kingdom, restitution (restoration to Adamic perfection) takes place for the world of mankind (Acts 3:19-21), and when Christ and those who are His Body members as the true primary seed, antitypical Isaac (Gal. 3:29; 4:28), bring blessings to all the families of the earth and offer them everlasting life (Rev. 22:17), then all nations will be joined to the nation of Israel, the twelve tribes of Jacob's natural seed (Matt. 19:28), who by that time will have accepted Christ as their Messiah and will be leading the world in righteous government. "And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain [kingdom] of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem"; "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations [living and dead] shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest" (Micah 4:2; Rev. 15:4).
Thus, and thus only, will everlasting peace and righteousness be brought to mankind (Psa. 72:3). Nothing less than this would meet the requirements of the Oath-bound Covenant. As shown also by the remainder of Psa. 72, Solomon's reign of peace is a type, or pattern, of Christ's future reign of peace on earth, when Abraham, "the father of all them that believe" (Rom. 4:11) in that day, will in the fullest sense be "a father of many nations," even as his name signifies (Gen. 17:4-6).
JACOB'S NAME ON EPHRAIM AND MANASSEH
Gen. 48:16: "Let my [Jacob's] name be named on them [Ephraim and Manasseh], and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac." In US&BCP, pp. 52, 53, 77, Mr. Armstrong makes no application of the names Abraham and Isaac, but confines himself to the name of Jacob only. He says: "His name was ISRAEL. Hence, it was the descendants of THESE lads [Ephraim and Manasseh], not the descendants of Judah, or the Jews, who were named ISRAEL." "It is they—not the Jews—who are called ISRAEL!"
We agree that when the ten tribes were separated from the two, "the ten-tribed kingdom was the one to which the national title 'Israel' was given." But Jacob's prophecy did not exclude Judah or any of the other tribes from the use of the name Israel, nor from the use of the names Abraham and Isaac. All twelve tribes were called "the children of Israel" (Ex. 6:13). Stephen in addressing the Jews spoke of Abraham as "our father Abraham" (Acts 7:2); Paul called himself "an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin" (Rom. 11:1; Phil. 3:5) and did not refer only to the children of Ephraim and Manasseh when he spoke of "Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh" and "the father of us all" (Rom. 4:1, 12, 16); and James, in writing to "the twelve tribes," spoke of "Abraham our father" (James 1:1; 2:21).
According to Mr. Armstrong and other Anglo-Israelites, Jesus and the Apostles did not speak correctly when they referred to the Jews as "Israel" and as "the house of Israel." Jesus, the son of David (Luke 1:32, 33, 69), of the tribe of Judah (Heb. 7:14), a Jew (John 4:9, 22), the self-confessed "King of the Jews" (Matt. 27:11), said "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 10:6; 15:24). Surely Jesus considered that the Jews, as well as others of the twelve tribes of Israel, rightfully owned and were called by the name "house of Israel"; otherwise the Jews would have been excluded from His ministry. And since the Jews, as children of Israel, are rightly called "the house of Israel," the "King of the Jews" is in the same connection rightly called "the King of Israel" (Matt. 27:37, 42; Mark 15:26, 32; John 1:49; 12:12, 13). Also, in addressing Nicodemus, "a ruler of the Jews," Jesus called him "a master of Israel" (John 3:1, 10); and in commending the faith of the Gentile centurion He said, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel" (Matt. 8:10).
Surely Jesus, in using the term Israel in these and other instances, was not referring merely to Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph, who were adopted by Jacob (Israel) as his own, his name being called on them as well as upon his other sons (Gen. 48:5, 6), but specified particularly of them (whose mother was an Egyptian) to indicate their full adoption as among his sons. Nor was Jesus by using the name Israel referring merely to the ten tribes as distinct from the two tribes—Mr. Armstrong and other Anglo-Israelites to the contrary notwithstanding.
EPHRAIM GREATER THAN MANASSEH
Gen. 48:19: "He [Manasseh] also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude [fulness, margin] of nations." In the Anglo-Israel creed, Item (4) applies Ephraim to England and Manasseh to the United States, for which some far-fetched alleged proofs were given in connection with the number 13. But while these two nations did become great (the one growing into an empire by its conquest of other nations), the Anglo-Israelites apparently overlook the fact that this prophecy was already fulfilled in the increase and importance of the literal peoples of Ephraim and Manasseh. Especially after they entered and were in the land of Canaan, Ephraim became the fullness of nations (peoples) to Israel. The same Hebrew word here rendered "nations" is translated "people" in referring to the twelve tribes in Josh. 3:17; 4:1; 5:6, 8; 10:13; Judg. 2:20, etc. Any map showing Canaan as divided among the tribes reveals that goodly portions were given to the children of Joseph—Ephraim and Manasseh—on the west and also on the east of the Jordan. In all, they had about one half of Canaan, and they were multitudinous among the nations (peoples) of Israel. As Jacob prophesied, Ephraim became the greater; when the kingdom was split, this tribe became the leading tribe of the northern section, which was often called by the name Ephraim.
Note, also, how untenable the Anglo-Israel misapplication of Gen. 48:19 really is. In his pamphlet, The "British Israel" Cyclone, W.J. McNaughton asks many challenging questions, among which are the following:
"If Ephraim the younger is Great Britain the older, and Manasseh the older is U.S. the younger, how is it that the U.S. younger has outstripped the British Isles in size and population [and in economic and military strength and world influence] contrary to the prophecy that Ephraim should be comparatively greater than Manasseh?
"In tracing a genealogy it is ridiculous to jump to geography. For instance, if some British explorer would clamp down the Union Jack on a group of Eskimos, would they thereby be sons of Ephraim? Would Swedish parents have Irish children in Ireland? Then, only then, can you say that sons of Ephraim who migrated to America became sons of Manasseh by crossing the Atlantic."
THE SCEPTER OF JUDAH
Gen. 49:10: "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." The Anglo-Israelites appeal also to this text in their efforts to support their theory that the royal crown and house of David in its direct line of succession did not cease with Zedekiah's uncrowning, as Ezek. 21:25-27 plainly teaches, but that it can be traced down to the British royal crown and house, where they allege it will remain until Jesus' Second Advent. They claim that there was a "transfer of the Sceptre from the Pharez to the Zarah line," "after Zedekiah was dethroned," (allegedly) at the overturning of the throne by the (legendary) marriage of Herremon and Tea-Tephi centuries before Christ (US&BCP, p. 105), and they claim (p. 34) that the Bible calls "the spiritual promises" the scepter.
Their definition of the scepter is misleading. We should be careful to define clearly and to distinguish properly between the "sceptre" of Gen. 49:10 and the "crown" of Ezek. 21:26, 27, and not confuse them with each other. As we have seen, the crown, as distinct from the scepter, signifies the power, or active ability, to rule, along with the dominion. The scepter symbolizes the right, the authority, or legitimate claim, to rule earth's dominion. That the definition of the scepter is correct is shown, e.g., by Psa. 45:6 (compare Heb. 1:8), where Jesus' scepter is prophetically called "the sceptre of thy kingdom." That this includes earth's dominion is abundantly proved by such passages as Matt. 6:10; Psa. 72:8; Dan. 2:35, 44; 7:13, 14, 18, 27; Zech. 9:9, 10; Rev. 5:9, 10).
The scepter did not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet (loins), until Shiloh (the One sent, the Peacemaker, the Reconciler, the Lawgiver, the Deliverer) came, at His First Advent. Then the scepter departed from Judah; it was finally given to Christ, the Lion (the Strong One) of the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5; Isa. 11:1; Micah 5:2; Rom. 1:3; Heb. 7:14), who kept the Law perfectly and made peace and reconciliation for iniquity by the blood of His cross. "All authority [see Diaglott, ASV, RSV, Young, Rotherham, etc.] in heaven and in earth," was given to Him at His resurrection (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:10, 20-23; Phil. 2:9-11), but He, as God's Agent in His Kingdom, does not take His great power and begin His glorious reign until His Second Advent, His Second Presence (Rev. 11:17, 18), at the beginning of which He comes as the crowned Reaper (Rev. 14:14, 15), to gather His elect (Matt. 24:31).
Thus antitypical David (Jehovah's Beloved), the Lion of the tribe of Judah, at His Second Advent sits on the throne of David, to which He gained the right at His First Advent (Luke 1:32, 33, 69, 70; Isa. 9:6, 7; Jer. 23:5; 30:9; Ezek. 34:23, 24; Zech. 6:12, 13). "Thy throne, O God [O mighty One], is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre" (Psa. 45:6; Heb. 1:8).
We see therefore that the Anglo-Israelites cannot through the British royal line properly claim any right to the SCEPTER, which remained in Judah until—and only until—Shiloh came at His First Advent; the tribe as such had to continue until then, though with the rest of Israel it was cast off from God's favor in the Jewish Harvest (Matt. 23:37, 38). We see also that the Anglo-Israelites likewise have through the British royal line no right to the THRONE of David, which was lost to the Solomonic line because of disobedience and came to Jesus through the lowly line of David's son Nathan (Luke 3:31; 1:52). Also, they cannot legitimately lay claim to the CROWN (the power to rule and the dominion); for it was removed from Israel in Zedekiah's day and turned over to the Gentiles, "until he come [at His Second Advent] whose right [gained at His First Advent] it is; and I will give it him" (Ezek. 21:27; see The Time is at Hand, pp. 81-87).
JOSEPH A FRUITFUL BOUGH
Gen. 49:22: "Joseph is a fruitful bough … whose branches run over the wall." In v. 1, Jacob had called his sons together, saying, "that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days"; or, as Dr. Berry correctly translates it in his interlinear text, "in after days" (compare NEB, "in days to come")—thus expressing simple futurity. This is the case also in Deut. 4:30 and 31:29 (translated "in the latter days") where the same Hebrew words are used in referring to days after Moses' death when Israel would experience evil. Similarly, Jacob was telling his sons future events and conditions pertaining to their posterity, some propitious and others not.
But ignoring the historic fulfillments of Jacob's prophecies which took place in the "after days" of the Jewish Age, leading up to Christ's First Advent, the Anglo-Israelites emphasize the translation "in the last days" in v. 1 as applying only in modern times, and that Joseph's branches ran over the wall "when they 'ran over' the geographical limits of their homeland" (The New Jerusalem Fellowship, No. 289, p. 21). Thus we have an inconsistent absurdity; for it was not two "branches" (allegedly Britain and the U.S.—which did not then yet exist) but only some of one alleged "branch" (Britain) that crossed the ocean; and how absurd is the claim that some Ephraimites became sons of Manasseh merely by going over that geographical watery "wall"!
The true fulfillment is to be found in both (not just one) of Joseph's branches, Ephraim and Manasseh, running over the wall (barrier or boundary), by being numbered among the tribes of Israel. They were the only ones of all Jacob's grandchildren to have this honor; though their mother was an Egyptian, they were adopted by Jacob as his own sons ("let my name be named on them"—Gen. 48:16), and they became two of the largest and most important tribes in Israel—Ephraim being the most influential of the ten tribes during their separation, and Manasseh having extensive influence and much territory on both sides of the Jordan river. Thus Joseph became very fruitful, his two branches running over the wall and growing into two tribes, whereas none of his brethren formed more than one tribe.
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