|Judah's Septere and Joseph's Birthright
Chapter 5 - The Birthright or the Promise of Many Nations to Abraham
All Israelites are not Jews After the division which occurred among the seed of Abraham in the days of Jeroboam and Rehoboam, and before the two kingdoms had settled down to steady going, there arose several contingencies which we must understand, before we can intelligently follow their history any farther.
By consulting the eleventh chapter of Second Chronicles we find a brief recapitulation of the history of the revolt of the Ten Tribes, to which are added further details as to the result, a list of the cities which were built by Rehoboam for the defense of the kingdom of Judah, and the following:
"And he fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and stores of victuals, and of oil and wine. And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side. And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel [i.e., the territory of country occupied by the ten-tribed kingdom] resorted to him out of all their coasts. "
" For the Levites left their suburbs and their possessions, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest's office unto the Lord: And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which lie had made. And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers. So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, strong," (2Chronicles 11:11-17).
These statements make it clear that, after Jeroboam, the king of Israel, had set up those golden calves, and made priests of the lowest of the people, he would not allow the Levites, whom the Lord had made the priestly tribe of the race, execute any priestly offices, or to conduct any services unto the Lord God of their fathers; and for this reason they returned to Rehoboam, who already, as is affirmed, had the tribes of Judah and Benjamin on his side. Thus the kingdom of Judah, for a while at least, was composed of three tribes, in addition to those scattered families out of all the rest of the tribes who would not forsake the worship of the God of Israel, and who would not worship the calves which Jeroboam had set up; but those people evidently lost their tribal relations and were assimilated into one of the three tribes of which the kingdom of Judah was composed, for in all the history and prophecy which concerns the three-tribed kingdom, there are no tribal names used, save only those of Judah, Benjamin and Levi.
Before we carry the history of these two kingdoms any farther, or leave the A B C of this matter, we deem it important to place before our readers an array of Scripture texts, in which both houses, kingdoms, nations, or families of Abraham's posterity, through the Isaac-Jacob line, are spoken of in the same passage in such a way that the most simple minded cannot fail to see that two distinct peoples are being considered.
We cannot, however, at this juncture, give the relative place of these Scriptures, as regards the history, past, present and future, of these people under consideration. We place these Scriptures before you, only to show, at present, that ever after the division of the people into two commonwealths, in the days of Rehoboam and Jeroboam, they were recognized in scriptural history and prophecy as two kingdoms or nations.
For instance, take the following —
"Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel, and to the house of Judah," (Jeremiah 33:14).
Here the Lord has promised to perform a certain, "good thing" for "the house of Israel;" but he has just as assuredly promised to perform that same certain "good thing" for the house of Judah, as well as for Israel, for the house of Judah is not included in the house of Israel, and vice versa.
Take another, as follows:
"And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them as at the first," (Jeremiah 33:7).
Here it is a question not only of "the captivity of Judah," but also "the captivity of Israel." Neither is it a question only of the return of the captivity of Judah, for there is promised also in the same sentence the return of the captivity of Israel, i.e., a people who are not included with "Judah."
"For lo! the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah," (Jeremiah 30:3, 4).
Here is something that concerns Judah; but it also concerns Israel; and the people whom it concerns are "my people Israel and Judah." So, if Judah, the Jews, are the people of the Lord, then the Lord has a people besides the Jews whom he calls Israel, and who are not counted among the Jews.
"For the children of Israel, and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth," (Jeremiah 32:30).
You see that while speaking of the evildoing of his people, it was not sufficient for the Lord to speak of the children of Israel only, but the children of Judah must also be included, in order to embrace all who are under consideration.
In Jeremiah 13:11, we have indisputable proofs of the two houses, since the broadest generic terms possible are used. Here it is:
"For as a girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory; but they would not hear."
This statement gives us to understand that "the whole house of Judah" are not all of the Lord's people, and that "the whole house of Israel" are not all of the Lord's people; but that it takes "the whole house of Israel" together with "the whole house of Judah" to make all of his chosen people.
It also proves that there is a people called "the whole house of Israel" of which "the whole house of Judah" is regarded as neither part nor parcel. True, they are brethren, because they all are of the seed of Jacob. As such, they are Jacobites — or, since Jacob's name was changed to Israel his descendants may all be called Israelites. But it is a fact that the seed of Jacob have been divided, by the will, the decree, and the direct intervention of God, into two kingdoms, or nations, one of which, when politically considered, is called "the whole house of Israel," "the children of Israel," "the house of Israel," "all Israel," and "Israel"; while the other nation is called "the whole house of Judah," "the house of Judah," "the children of Judah," "all Judah," and "Judah," or "the Jews."
The name Jew is derived from, or rather is a corruption of, the name of Judah (Singular Ju-dah, or Jew-dah; plural, Ju-dahs, or Jew-dahs; possessive, Ju-dah's, or Jew-dah's; contracted, Jew, Jews and Jew's). Since it is that the names Jew and Jews are applied only to the people who composed the kingdom of Judah. Also it was their land only which was designated as "Judah" and "all Judah," and which finally became known as "Judea" and "Jewry," "all Judea" and "ALL JEWRY."
Indeed, long before the division took place, Moses, while prophesying unto the seed of Jacob, cried out, "Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people." This can mean nothing else, except that Judah was to be separated from his people, and finally, if that prayer is ever answered, was to be brought back to them.
But let us continue our array of texts in which both houses are mentioned, almost in the same breath.
"And I saw when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah, feared not, but went and played the harlot also," (Jeremiah 3:8).
Here Israel and Judah are not the same;
They are only sisters, both in shame.
"And the Lord said unto me, That backsliding Israel bath justified herself more than treacherous Judah," (Jeremiah 3:11).
Here Israel, in idolatry the adulterous,
Is justified more than Judah, the treacherous:
although God had said, "Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend," (Hosea 4:15). And he also said,
"I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel [that I should altogether pardon them - Margin]. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God," (Hosea 1:6, 7).
The name, "Jerusalem" is often used to designate the Jewish people because it was their chief city. When Jesus wept over the city and cried out "Jerusalem, Jerusalem...how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her brood under her wing, but ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37, Luke 13:34) he did not mean the streets and buildings of the city, but the people; and not only the people dwelling within the walls, but the nation as well. For it was not only the Jewish capital — but it was their metropolis, their commercial center, their citadel, their royal city, their sanctuary and in every way the representative city of their nation.
This being true, we may expect that the name of the capital city of the ten-tribed kingdom would be used as a representative name and applied to that nation. Also, since the name of Judah was given as a national name for the Jewish people, because of the fact that it was one of the royal sons from the tribe of Judah who led the revolt when she became a separate nation, and the fact that her kings were of Judah's line, thus making the tribe of Judah the representative tribe, so we might expect the same thing with reference to the ten-tribed kingdom. Jeroboam reigned over Israel in Shechem twenty-two years, and was succeeded by Nadab, his son, who reigned two years. After this, Baasha conspired against him, killed him, and reigned in his stead; but he moved the capital to Tirzah, where he reigned for twenty-four years, and was followed by his son, Elah, who reigned in that city two years. Then he was conspired against by Zimri, who reigned only seven days, until he in turn was conspired against and died by burning the king's house down over his own head. Then Omri, who had conspired against Zimri and succeeded him to the throne, bought a hill from Shemar, on which he built the city of Samaria, which became the permanent capital of the kingdom of Israel. Hence the name of the chief city of Israel, Samaria, is often used, when referring to Israel, in the same representative way that Jerusalem is, in the case of the Jews.
For an example take the following:
"Thy Calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency? For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the Calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces," (Hosea 8:5, 6).
Of course, the calf herein referred to is the calf worship instituted by Jeroboam, who caused Israel to sin, and since the calves were made by the workmen of Israel, they were not God. So we see that Samaria stands for Israel, whose capital it is, and whose own workmen had made the calf which they themselves worshiped.
But this nation has another name which stands for the whole, as well as that of Israel and Samaria. Look ye!
"When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood," (Hosea 7:1).
Thus we see that the name of Ephraim is used as a representative name for the northern kingdom, just as the name of Judah is used for the southern kingdom, and that the names Israel, Ephraim and Samaria are used as names of the ten-tribed kingdom in contradistinction to those of the three-tribed kingdom, which are Judah, Jerusalem, and the Jews.
On the very day on which Moses died, while he was reiterating and enlarging upon the prophecies which Jacob had given at the time of his death, he made a prophecy concerning the pre-eminence of Ephraim in Joseph-Israel, as follows:
"Let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh." (Deuteronomy 33:16-17)
With the name of Ephraim standing at the head of one of the two nations of Jacob, and the name of Judah at the head of the other, we can easily understand such expressions as the following:
"O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away," (Hosea 6:4).
Since both Judah, the fourth son of Jacob, and Ephraim, the second son of Joseph, had been dead for nearly one thousand years prior to the writing of these Scriptures which we have just given, we must know that these are national names, used to represent the national conditions of the two nations which are addressed.
So, also, is the following:
"Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness. When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to King Jared; yet he could not heal you of your wound. For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away, and none shall rescue them. I will go and return to my place, until they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early," (Hosea 5:12-15).
Before proceeding further with the history of these two kingdoms, there is one other point which must be settled once for all. This is that the people of God whom he distinctively calls "Israel," the heads of which are the birthright holders, unto whom was given that national name — it coming to them with the birthright at the time of the transfer of that inheritance — are not Jews, that the Holy Spirit has never, either in Biblical history or prophecy, called them Jews, and that they have never been called Jews except by uninformed historians and by unscriptural teachers of the Word of God.
Understand us: we do not say that the Jews are not Israelites; they belong to the posterity of Jacob, who was called Israel; hence they are all Israelites. But the great bulk of Israelites are not the Jews, just as the great bulk of Americans are not Californians, and yet all Californians are Americans; also, as in writing the history of America we must of necessity write the history of California, because California is a part of America; but we could write a history of California without writing a history of America.
So, in writing the history of Israel we must needs write the history of the Jews, but we could write the history of the Jews and not write the history of Israel. Or, in other words, in writing the history of the many nations we must write the history of the Jews, for, to say the least, they are one of those many nations; but in writing the history of the Jews, it would he utterly impossible to write the history of the many nations which were promised to the birthright people, whose national name is, in a special sense, Israel, and whose people are not Jews. Nationally speaking, they are brother nations, but not always very brotherly. But if we can keep track of the birthright nation, and if they ever have that birthright promise fulfilled to them, then, and only then, can we write the history of the many nations which the Lord God of Israel promised unto their fathers Abraham, Isaac, Jacob-Israel, Joseph, and Ephraim and Manasseh.
It will help us much in our study of this question, to know just when and under what circumstances the word Jew is first used in the canon of Sacred Scripture.
It was not until more than two hundred years after the revolt of the ten tribes from the house of David. It was at a time when Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Israel, formed a federation with Rezin, king of Syria, and came up against Ahaz, king of Judah, to war for acquisition of territory. Notice how the prophet of God speaks of these three nations Israel, Syria and Judah. He declares:
"And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uziah, king of Judah, that Rezin, the king of Syria, and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it [Jerusalem was the throne seat of Judah] but could not prevail against it. And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim," (Isaiah 7:1, 2).
The prophet further explains, that
"The head of Syria is Damascus, [Damascus was the capital of Syria] and the head of Damascus is Rezin [King of Syria]; and within threescore-and-five  years shall Ephraim be broken that it be not a people. (Margin: from being a people). And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son," (Isaiah 7:8, 9).
Remaliah's son was Pekah, king of Israel.
What Isaiah had to say concerning this war was for the purpose of making prophecies concerning the outcome. We must pass over the prophecies for the present, as our object now is to show the difference between the Jew and Israel and we have simply quoted sufficient for our purpose.
We now turn to the historic record of that war, and read:
"In the seventeenth year [as king] of Pekah, the son of Remaliah, Ahaz, the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem...Then Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to war; and they besieged Ahaz (king of Judah), but could not overcome him. At that time Rezin, king of Syria, recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath; and the Syrians dwell there unto this day. So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser, king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son; come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me," (2 Kings 16: 1, 2, 5-7).
Here we have it clearly stated that in this war the besieging party is, "Pekah, the king of Israel," who is the "head of Samaria," which is the head of "Ephraim," together with another nation with whom they are confederate. And if we put it as Isaiah does concerning the other house, the besieged party was "Ahaz, king of Judah," head of "the Jews," whose head is "Jerusalem," the head of the house of David.
Do you see the point? The king of Judah, or the king of the Jews, was besieged in his capital, and wanted to form an alliance with the king of Assyria and, to secure him as an ally, even fawned upon the king of Assyria, saying "I am thy servant, thy son," and crying "Come up!" What for? To save the JEWS from the hand of ISRAEL.
Thus we see that the first time the word Jews is used in the history of the Abrahamic race is at a time when the Jews and Israel were at war with each other. Hence we ask, If the Jews were the besieged and Israel was with the besiegers, how can it be possible that the Jews and Israel are one and the same people?
According to the conclusion of the great number of our learned men, also some "higher (?) critics," we must needs conclude that the Jews were fighting their own shadow, which would be reducing the whole matter to an argumentation ad absurdum.
It is high time for the Christian world, yea, and all secular historians, too, "to awake out of sleep," take the advice of the learned Apostle Paul and "cease giving heed to Jewish fables" and quit telling the people that all Israelites are Jews. It is not true, never has been and never can be, for the difference between them is not only political and territorial but it is semi-racial. For, although the inheritors of the Sceptre and the Birthright were sons of the same father, they were not sons of the same mother, and thus they were only half brothers. This, together with the fact that Leah is described as "tender-eyed" and Rachel was said to be "fair," would make some strong facial and physical distinctions in the posterity of the two families. But when we remember that Joseph married an Egyptian princess, thus blending the best Semitic blood with the royal blood of Egypt, and making the posterity of Joseph half-blood Egyptian, then we must know that while the children of Joseph are half Israelitish they are still three-fourths removed from the children of Judah. This one would make great changes in their physique and largely eradicate all facial resemblances.
The fact that Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, who were the final inheritors of the Birthright, were half-blood Egyptians is that which made it necessary for Jacob to adopt them and make them fully his own, as Reuben and Simeon were his, before he could confer upon them the covenant Birthright. This is the adoption to which the Apostle Paul refers in his argument concerning the Children of the Promise versus the Children of the Flesh, as follows:
"Israelites, to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the covenants, and the glory, and the giving of the law, and the service, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came." (Romans 9:4-5)
Here Israelites as a whole, including both houses, are spoken of. Hence, to all who really believe, claim, or teach that the Jews ONLY are Israelites, and of all who believe that the word adoption, as used in this connection, can possibly have reference in any way to spiritual adoption we ask: When, how, or where did there ever occur an adoption, either spiritual or racial, among the Jews as a nation?
No answer required. Please reflect.
An eminent theological professor, who gives an exegesis of the Sunday-school lessons for the most prominent denominational papers in this country, began his exposition on "The Call of Abraham" as follows:
"We come now to the third of the great landmarks of history, the call of Abraham. From being a universal history the record becomes national. Hereafter, we have to do with one people, the Jews. In the founder of the Jewish nation we find not a conqueror or a lawgiver but a saint."
Yet it is fact that the term "Jews" is not used in writing the history of the Abrahamic people until twelve hundred years after the call of Abraham.
Another theological professor, of one of our largest training schools, defines "The Jews" as "A name given to all the descendants of Abraham." Ah!!! We ask — When?
Still another defines "The Jews": "A name given to the descendants of Abraham, who were divided into twelve tribes"; and yet it is a fact that in the Scriptures the name "Jews" was given only to those who dwelt in Jewry, which country was occupied by the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi, and did not include Samaria, the home of the ten-tribed kingdom.
No; it is a fiction which has been foisted upon us by modern scholars, many of whom are presidents and professors of universities, colleges and theological seminaries, editors of religious and secular newspapers, doctors of divinity and church dignitaries, that the words "Jew" and "Jews" are equivalent to "Israel," "Israelites," "Israelitish," "Hebrew" and "Hebraic."
By not distinguishing Israel from Judah we have in the Bible a historical and prophetic chain which can never be linked together, and which sets all of the writers at variance with one another; for we cause Isaiah to question statements made by Jeremiah; set Joel, Amos, and Zephaniah against Zechariah; cause Jeremiah to convict Hosea of being a false prophet; then make Ezekiel step in and contradict them both and many others in such a manner that one prophet is made to give the lie to the other.
We feel sorry for the so-called "Higher Critics," for they really do find trouble, but they cannot conceive that this trouble could, by any possible chance, arise because of their misconception of the subject matter; hence it must be in the style [stylus — a pen] or manner of the prophet. Thus if any of the prophets chance to reveal a mannerism at one time which is not so plainly manifest at another, then the exclamations, "Ah! Eureka! We've found it! There are two of them!" are heard to vibrate and revibrate throughout the ecclesiastical world.
Is it any wonder that skepticism is rampant, both iti the church and out of it, since the common error of Christendom is to regard the Jews as the whole house of Israel? Is it any wonder that Tom Paine lost his soul while following the beaten path of this fallacy? For he did give the Bible up as a myth, and boldly states in his writings that he was led into infidelity because he saw that the Jews did not and never could verify the promises concerning Israel.
For it is true that God had declared, through Micah, of Israel, who was divorced and cast far off, that he would (at the proper time) make her a strong nation; while Judah was to become a remnant. Isaiah, Hosea, Jeremiah and the New Testament declare Israel to be lost; while both Jeremiah and Ezekiel affirm that Judah is well known. Hosea declares Israel to be as "the sands for multitude"; while Jeremiah insists that Judah is "few in number" and a remnant. Isaiah, David, Micah, Jeremiah and others declare that Israel is the strongest war power on earth, never to be conquered by a Gentile power; and yet Jeremiah declares that Judah is "without might;" while Daniel bemoans and records the fact that the Jews will be conquered by a Gentile power. The entire line of prophets from Moses down declare Israel to be a continuous monarchy, whose sceptre is held by the seed of David; while Judah is to be "without government" of their own, but are to be ruled over. Hosea declares that "Israel shall ride" but "Judah shall plow."
Moses also declares that there shall come a time in the history of Israel (the ten tribes) when they also shall "be few in number," and yet it is prophesied concerning them that they shall obtain possession of "great possessions," inheriting and establishing (peopling) the desolate places of the earth, rule many heathen nations, have a great revenue, become the "mart of nations," hold the keys of commerce, be "exalted above their neighbors," and become "the chief of nations." But, on the other hand, Judah is to be "without geographical inheritance," "strangers in all countries," "howl for vexation of spirit," "leave their name for a curse," "be ashamed," and "cry for sorrow of heart" until the great day of Jezreel.