|Judah's Septere and Joseph's Birthright
Chapter 8 - The Birthright or the Promise of Many Nations to Abraham
Samaria-Israel Cast Out and Cast Off Concerning the casting out of Israel, it is written:
"And it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah [the king of Judah] which was the seventh year of Hosea, son of Elah, king of Israel, that Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, came up against Samaria and besieged it, and at the end of three years they took it; even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hosea, king of Israel, Samaria was taken. And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah, and in Habor by the river of Gozan and in the cities of the Medes. Because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them," (II Kings, 18:9-12).
"For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did, they departed not from them; until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight [literally his fore-front regard, or fore-front favor; such as is expressed in other places by the use of the words face and countenance], as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day. And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof," (II Kings 17:23-24).
If, as it is herein affirmed, the king of Assyria did take this ten-tribed kingdom out of their own land, which land is called Samaria, and then place another people there instead of the children of Israel, then Samaria is the lawful home of those pre-Samaritans, THE EGYPTO-ISRAELITES of the Ephraimitish or Birthright kingdom, while those mongrel post-Samaritans, who were gathered up from various places, were but strangers and foreigners in that portion of the Abrahamic land grant known as Samaria.
Following this record of the removal of Israel and the placing of these strangers in their former home, we have the following:
"And so it was at the beginning of the dwelling there, that they feared not the Lord: therefore the Lord sent lions among them which slew some of them. Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land."
"Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let him go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land. Then one of the priests whom they carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord. "
"Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the [former] Samaritans [Israelites] had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt; the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth [an idol], and the men of Cuth made Nergalm [another idol], and the men of Hamath made Ashima [still another]. And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak [still others], and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharviam. "
"So they feared the Lord and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. They feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of nations [Joseph-Ephraim-Samaria-Israel] whom they carried away from thence. Unto this day they do after the former manners," (II Kings 17:25-34).
Yes: "after the former manner" of idolatrous Israel. Yes; after the former manner of Israel, who feared — was afraid of — the Lord, but served their own idol-gods. Yes; after the former manner of Israel, who built those same high places — the groves, temples and altars — and in them worshiped the works of their own hands. Yes; after the former manner of Israel, who rejected the priests of the Lord, and made priests of the lowest of the people. Yes; here is a perfect flower, produced from the pollen of example, and grown upon the plant of "after the former manner." Yes; here is a clear case of gathering thistles when they should have had figs. And yet that poor priest whom they sent back was not to blame, for he himself was one of the lowest of his race. The blame lay behind him — Israel!
The charge against the people of Israel is,
"Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord," (Jeremiah 3:20).
And the Lord cried out,
"O Ephraim, thou hast committed whoredom. Israel is defiled," (Hosea 5:3).
Hosea is also used of the Lord to declare "Ephraim is smitten.... My God shall cast them away, because they did not harken unto him." (Hosea 9:16-17). Thus the Lord declares, "I will love them no more," (v. 15) but in the bitterness of his disappointment, for this is the same Lord that wept over Jerusalem, he cried out, "O Ephraim, how shall I give thee up?" (Hosea 11:18)
No! No! That loving One did not want to cast them off; but they forsook him; they would not have him to reign over them; they would no longer ask counsel of him after the judgment of Urim and Thummim, for the faithful but rejected One declares,
"My people ask counsel at their stock [cattle, calves], and their staff [support or stay] declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredom hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God," (Hosea 4:12).
Still he cries after them,
"Return, O backsliding Israel, return! Return unto me and I will return unto you, for I am married unto you. I will heal your backslidings and love you freely." (Jeremiah 3:14, 22)
But they would not. Previous to this the Lord had said that he was a husband to Israel; but now, disappointed, he turns his heart more to the other kingdom — that of Judah — and says:
"Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend," (Hosea 4:15).
But as the story unfolds we find that Judah offended worse than Israel, and that one hundred and thirty years after the driving out of Israel they, too, were carried into captivity — the captivity in Babylon.
Since "the head of Ephraim is Samaria," (Isaiah 7:9) there need be no difficulty in understanding why the Lord should declare that "the inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Beth-aven," (Hosea 10:5). Beth-aven is defined as "House of Vanities"; "vain emptiness." When Jeroboam set up the two calves for Israel to worship he set one in Bethel, which means "God's house;" and by worshiping those idols they turned the house of God into a house of vanity, or of vain, hollow, unsatisfactory emptiness. "Thus provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger [passionate suffering] by their vanities." (1Kings 16:13) Hence the wail of the prophet, "They trust in vanity and speak lies." (Isaiah 15:4)
Let us note carefully, and we will get still clearer light concerning the calf question.
"Israel hath cast off the thing that is good [God and his care]: the enemy shall pursue him [because they had cast off the protection of God]. They have set up kings, but not by me [their own, not the Lord's, choice]: they have made princes [feudal princes, not of royal line], and I knew [Hebrew, yada, appoint, recognize] it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them [selves] idols [calves, etc.] that [as a result] they may be cut off. "
"Thy calf [the cause], O Samaria, hath cast thee off [the result]: mine anger [long-suffering passion] is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they [Israel] attain to innocency? [i.e., lack of guilt through the power of the calf to forgive, or take that guilt away.] "
"For from Israel was it also: The workmen made it, therefore it is not God. But the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. "
"For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath left no standing corn [R. V.] the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers [Post-Samaritans] shall swallow it up. "
"Israel is swallowed up; now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure. For they are gone up to Assyria a wild ass alone [without God] by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers [Marginal reading: loves, i.e., having no loving care from the Lord, they hire some one to love them]. Yea, though they have hired [lovers] among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall begin to sorrow in a little while [marginal reading] for the burden of the king of princes. "
"Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be to him a sin. I have written to him the great things of my laws, but they were counted as a strange thing. They sacrifice [other] flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the Lord accepteth them not: now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins; they shall return to Egypt. [Figurative to them of captivity and bondage]. For Israel hath forgotten his maker." " (Hosea 8:3-13)
Isaiah fully explains the expression, "They shall begin to sorrow in a little while, for the burden of the King of Princes," (Hosea 8:10) in the following:
"O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against a hypocritical nation and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil and to take the prey and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings?" (Isaiah 10:5-8).
This last expression was an Assyrian boast. The Assyrian king really expected to destroy Israel and cut them off, but the Word of God has gone forth that they shall never be destroyed. In order to punish them he allowed the Assyrian to "tread them down like mire of the streets." And further on he refers to the Egyptian bondage, and says that the Assyrian shall smite them with a rod and lift up his staff against them, "after the manner of Egypt."
It is high time for us, who live in the realm of faith, to throw off our lethargy, arouse ourselves from our God-dishonoring stupidity and ignorance and understand that the name Samaria has a prophetic significance, as well as a historic one. Yes, and that not only Samaria, but that the names of Ephraim, Joseph, Rachel, Judah, Jacob, Israel and many others have the same signification in the prophecies of the Bible that they have in its historic portions. That is, if the names Israel, Samaria, Ephraim, etc., are used in the history to designate the ten-tribed Egypto-Israelitish Birthright kingdom; then, when those names are used prophetically, surely the prophecy involved must refer to the same people. This is also true of the terms Judah and the Jews. True, the name Israel often includes the Jews, for, racially speaking, it is their national name; but it is used again and again and again when it has no reference whatever to the Jewish people.
In the thirty-first chapter of Jeremiah the Lord has made an unconditional promise to the Birthright nation. This promise is given in clear, definite and unmistakable language, which he declares they shall consider in the last days; and in which he uses the names of Jacob, Ephraim, Israel, and Samaria, together with the name of Rachel, the mother of the birthright family. It is in this prophecy that the Lord makes use of the expression, "I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first born," (Jeremiah 31:9) in connection with which he says, "He that scattered Israel will gather him," (v.10) and commands that this be told in the land where Ephraim is living in the last days. He also says to them, in this same promise, "Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria," (v. 5) and to this he further adds: "A great company shall return thither." (v. 8)
To the place from which they came — SAMARIA!
It is a well-known fact that the Jews went into the Babylonish captivity; but it is much more fully known that they returned from that captivity and dwelt, for a short season, in Judea, or Jewry. But, aside from that one priest who was brought back from among the captives of Israel, and who dwelt in Bethel, that he might teach those mongrel post-Samaritans the manner of the God of the land, there is not one word of history, sacred or profane, to show that any tribe, tribes, or remnants of tribes, of those pre-Samaritans, the children of Israel, who composed the northern kingdom, have ever returned to and dwelt in their former home. That is, that portion of the land which the Lord God of heaven and earth promised to their fathers, and which is known in Biblical history as Samaria," and "All Israel," in contradistinction from that which is known as "All Judea" and "Jewry," which was the home of the Jews.
In another chapter we have given the details of the Babylonian captivity of the Jews, but just at present we desire to call your attention to the fact that their captivity occurred in 588 B. C. (Usher's Chronology, which is not correct by more than eight years, but is sufficiently correct for our present purpose), and the first prophecy uttered concerning that captivity was 623 B. C. and the last one twenty-three years later, i.e., 600 B. C. But the prophet Amos had prophesied concerning the captivity and return from captivity of the ten-tribed kingdom one hundred and sixty-four years prior to the first intimation that the Jews would ever go into captivity, and one hundred and ninety-nine years before they were carried away into captivity.
In writing concerning the captivity of the ten tribes the names which Amos used to designate them are, "Samaria," used four times; "Joseph," used three times; "Isaac," used twice; "Bethel," used five times, and "Israel," used seventeen times.
Amos is the only one of the prophets who applied the name of Isaac to either one of the two kingdoms. But there can be no possible doubt that Amos gives the name of Isaac to the ten-tribed kingdom. The first verse in the book of Amos reads:
"The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel, in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam [this is Jeroboam the second] son of Joash, king of Israel. " (Amos 1:1)
He uses the title of Isaac as follows:
"And the high places [groves for worship] of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries [Bethel and Dan] of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise up against the house of Jeroboam [king of ten-tribed Israel] with the sword. Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel [the place where they went to worship the calf], sent to Jeroboam, king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land. Also Amaziah saith unto Amos, O thou seer, go flee away into the land of Judah [Jewry] and there eat bread, and prophesy there; but prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king's chapel," (Amos 7:9-15).
In the days of Joshua, when the land of Canaan was divided by lot, Bethel fell to the house of Joseph. Thus we find it in possession of the Birthright kingdom and used as the chapel of this idolatrous king, for Jeroboam the first had polluted it with one of the calves.
While it is true that this people were taken to Assyria, and were given a promise that they shall eventually return, there is something else which must first occur; for the Lord has said of them that after they were cast out he would:
"sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth," (Amos 9:9).
Then, after giving this prophecy concerning the sifting of the house of Israel among all nations, Amos prophesies concerning their return, as follows:
"And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 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," (Amos 9:14, 15).
But, in spite of the fact that this prophecy was written two centuries before the Jews were sent into captivity, while they were yet counted among the faithful saints, it having no application to them whatever, and that, when fulfilled, the people to whom it refers SHALL NO MORE BE PULLED UP out of their land — there are theory-bound men who are so determined that everything Israelitish shall be Jewish that they have the audacity to tell us that this prophecy was fulfilled when the Jews returned from the Babylonish captivity.