August 20, 2010

What Christian Zionists Don't Know about Old Testament History

I have been comforted by the divine wisdom and promise found in the Bible countless times throughout my life, yet it troubles me how this sacred book has been manipulated by so many into a how-to manual of theft and destruction. Often I have been questioned by non-Christian friends regarding biblical passages commonly abused by Christian Zionists—those who believe that Jews are God’s Chosen and must be implanted in Palestine in order to precipitate the Second Coming of Jesus Christ—“Does the Bible really say that?”

My answer is always a resounding “no.” While it is possible to take certain passages out of context and ignore the historical perspective in which they were written in order to manufacture a case for a modern-day nation called Israel, it is neither accurate nor theologically sound. Yet as many as 70 million people in the United States espouse the doctrine of Christian Zionism which endorses racism, ethnic cleansing and wholesale slaughter as manifested in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This heresy is twofold: Zionist Christians have manipulated both biblical prophecy and the Bible’s historical content to support their murderous agenda.

It is imperative that true followers of Christ actively fight back against this lethal false doctrine that has caused far more death and destruction than any so-called Islamic extremism by first examining history from a biblical perspective. It is very important not to confuse the term Biblical Literalist with Christian Zionist. I probably take the Bible more literally than anyone I know and in fact, the most effective way to rescue otherwise benign individuals from the dangerous heresy of Christian Zionism is through a strict literal interpretation of the Bible.

Beginning with the Book of Genesis, God establishes a covenant with Abram (Abraham) whom modern-day Jews, Christians and Muslims all revere as a patriarch and a prophet. In the Covenant, God promised Canaan (Palestine) to Abram and his descendants (Genesis 17:8).

Later, in Genesis 17:19-21, God specifically establishes His covenant with Abraham’s son Isaac. Unfortunately this is an early point of contention between Christianity and Islam, as Muslims believe it was Ishmael (Ismail PBUH) whom Abraham was ordered to sacrifice in a test by God while Christians believe it was Isaac. Yet even in the Bible, God does not exclude Ishmael and his descendants from the original promise to Abraham of all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates Rivers. Christian theologian Alfred Guillaume (1888-1965) addresses this point:

“It is generally supposed that these promises were made to the Jews alone. However, this is not what the Bible says. The words ‘to thy seed’ inevitably include Arabs, both Muslim and Christian, who can claim descent from Abraham through his first son Ishmael. Ishmael was the reputed father of many Arab tribes…”

The name Israel is first heard in Genesis 32 when God renames Jacob, the son of Isaac. From this name are derived the terms “Children of Israel,” “Israelites,” and “Twelve Tribes of Israel.” Christian Zionists base Jewish claims to Palestine on the ridiculous notion that they are directly and purely descended from the biblical Israelites, as members of a Jewish “race” rather than adherents to the religion of Judaism. Ironically, anyone who converts to Judaism has legal rights to immigrate to the Jewish State regardless of heritage.

Intermarriage was prevalent early on, beginning with Isaac’s marriage to Rebekah, whose father was Syrian. Hence Arab blood was already present in the Israelites’ lineage. There are numerous other instances of intermarriage throughout the Old Testament, including Moses, whose father-in-law is identified as a Midianite, of an Arab tribe. Ruth, whose story is told in the Old Testament book bearing her name, was not Jewish but Moabite. In the first chapter of Matthew, Ruth is listed as a direct ancestor of Jesus Christ. Jacob’s youngest son, Joseph, married Asenath, daughter of Potipherah who was an Egyptian priest. She bore him two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Gen. 41: 50). Jacob (Israel) later adopted Manasseh and Ephraim hence the two of the Twelve Tribes of Israel bear their names.

The Twelve Tribes of Israel were to divide the aforementioned land. The Levites, to whom Moses and Aaron belonged, were chosen as a caste of priests, thus not entitled to any land. Ironically, those with the surname Cohen claim to be descended from the Levites, not knowing if this were indeed true, they would have to relinquish rights to any land in Palestine! Likewise, the tribes of Gad, Reuben and half of Manasseh elected to settle east of the Jordan River.

When Israel split in the 6th Century B.C., the Northern Kingdom (which retained the name Israel) was comprised of ten tribes. The remaining two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, formed the Southern Kingdom (Judah). From 734-732 B.C. the kingdoms were at war with each other; the Assyrians routed the Northern Kingdom ten years later. The Babylonians conquered Judah in 597 B.C., the beginning of a seventy-year exile. The majority of those who eventually returned from the Babylonian captivity were from the tribe of Judah, from where the term “Jew” is derived, first appearing in the Second Book of Kings 16:6.

Another name found in the Bible is Ashkenaz, a son of Gomer. From this word comes Ashkenazim, referring to Jews of European heritage. However, Gomer was descended from Japheth (I Chronicles 1:6) and not Shem; therefore the name itself defines them as non-Semitic people.

Biblical origins of names become very important when confronting Zionist Christians, as evidenced in this inane statement from Craig Winn, author of such inflammatory titles as Prophet of Doom:

“The name ‘Palestinian’ was derived from the Roman Latinized name of the Philistines. The Assyrians murdered the last of the Philistines in 585 B.C. There are therefore, no Palestinians alive today. There haven’t been for over 2,500 years.”

In reality, the Philistines were only one of seven Canaanite nations and inhabited the area immediately around Gaza. Canaanites were descended from Ham, not Shem (Genesis 10), thus were not Semitic and cannot be related to modern day Palestinian Arabs who are true Semites. One of the many biblical prophecies warped by Zionist Christians is found in Zechariah 14:21b “…and in that day there shall be no more Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.” They use this passage to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, when in fact Palestinians are not Canaanites.

An upcoming article will be devoted entirely to other biblical prophecies that Zionist Christians have taken out of context and twisted to fit their homicidal master plan.

1 comment:

AskWhy! Blogger said...

An informative and well written blog, Tammy. I note that you only post occasionally these days, and would like to read more of it. The power of Zionism does not make it easy to get facts that are not predigested. Best wishes, Mike at AW!