What Is The Meaning Of Israel
So what does Israel mean in the Bible? It really depends on the context.
- It could refer to an individual; Abrahams grandson.
- It could mean the descendants of Israel; the children of Israel.
- Frequently it refers to the nation of Israel; either the united kingdom or the northern kingdom.
- Probably the most common usage is to refer to Gods people; those that he established a covenant with at Sinai and their descendants.
- And, finally, we see it pointing toward the new humanity created in Christ; citizens of the kingdom of God.
But always the name points back to God and his purposes. Those identified with that name are Gods people, chosen for a purpose. And that is what Israel ultimately means: Gods people.
Ed Jarrettis a long time follower of Jesus and a member of Sylvan Way Baptist Church. He has been a Bible teacher for over 40 years and regularly blogs at A Clay Jar. You can also follow him on or . Ed is married, the father of two, and grandfather of two lovely girls. He is retired and currently enjoys his gardens and backpacking.
Early History Of Israel
Much of what scholars know about Israels ancient history comes from the Hebrew Bible. According to the text, Israels origins can be traced back to Abraham, who is considered the father of both Judaism and Islam .
Abrahams descendants were thought to be enslaved by the Egyptians for hundreds of years before settling in Canaan, which is approximately the region of modern-day Israel.
The word Israel comes from Abrahams grandson, Jacob, who was renamed Israel by the Hebrew God in the Bible.
The Bible States That The Kings Of Israel Sinned Greatly But Israel Fell Because It Was Just Too Attractive To The Assyrians
At first the Assyrians ignored Samaria, then the capital of Israel, thinking it was too isolated. But eventually they attacked it and conquered the city, along with rest of the kingdom.
If you believe the Old Testament, the kingdom of Israel suffered and ultimately fell because its rulers and people just couldnt be monogamous with the god Yahweh. ;
But, looking at the archaeological record, Israels greatest misfortune and the cause of its destruction and the exile of many of its people was that as an independent kingdom living in the shadow of a great empire, it succeeded too well, write Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman in The Bible Unearthed: Archaeologys New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts.
Yes, Israel fell because of jealousy not Gods but the Assyrians.;
Israel with its rich resources and productive population was an incomparably more attractive target than poor and inaccessible Judah, the authors explain.;
Israels prosperity sparked Assyrias envy. The minute the Israelites considered a revolt, the Assyrians launched an attack.
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Is The Trinity In The Bible
According to Witherington and Ice, Levering, and Fee, then, the Trinity is in the Bible in an undeveloped form. On this construal, the task of Trinitarian theology in relation to the Bible is to develop what is undeveloped without destroying the natural narrative habitat that generated the undeveloped form of the doctrine in the first place.
In a short essay devoted to Pauls teaching about God in Romans and Galatians, Richard Hays suggests an alternative construal of the presence of the Trinity in the Bible. While Hays acknowledges that Paul did not know the doctrinal formulae worked out in the fourth-century Churchs theological reflection about the one God in three persons, he argues that Pauls prayers, praises, and narratives about . . . God point to the same complex reality with which the ecumenical councils later grappled. The relationship between the mode of the Trinitys presence in the Bible and the mode of the Trinitys presence in the creeds is not, according to Hays, a relationship between raw data and developed doctrine.
The Trinitarian theology of the Churchs creeds, proclamation, and liturgy, therefore, is not a refinement of or an improvement on Gods self-naming in Scripture. It is rather the Churchs attempt, in prayerful thought and speech, to follow the divine Word as it leads us out of the misery of idolatry into the happiness that lies before us in the vision of the triune God.
Religious Leaders Divided Over Trump’s Jerusalem Decision
That faith in the doctrine of biblical inerrancy and the Bible’s dictates regarding Jerusalem is shared by many Zionist Jews, including the city’s mayor, Nir Barkat.
“Everywhere you put a shovel in the ground in Jerusalem, you will find Jewish roots and connecting to Bible stories,” Barkat told NPR. Like other Israeli leaders, Barkat rejects U.N Security Resolution 242, which calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied during the 1967 war. While those territories include East Jerusalem, the resolution does not list the territories or specifically say forces must be withdrawn from all of them.
“Any U.N. resolution that dismisses the Bible and dismisses the history, in many, many ways is irrelevant,” he said. “If you go back, even legally, was never anything but belonging to the Jewish people.”
Those Christians who are not themselves Jewish may still feel included among the “people” of Israel, Cardoza-Moore said, by virtue of their faith in Jesus. She quotes Galatians 3:29, where Paul says, “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring.” Her organization, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, is dedicated to “building a global community of action and prayer in support of Jews and Israel.” President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. Embassy, in Cardoza-Moore’s judgment, is “spiritually, biblically and historically significant.”
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Why Are The Tribes Important
While there are many answers to this question, I want to focus on just one. To do this, lets not look back to who the 12 tribes of Israel were. Lets look forward to see the importance as we move closer to the Lords return.
During the period of the Great Tribulation there will be 144,000, 12,000 from each tribe of Israel, who will be sealed and who will carry the message of the Gospel during this period.
Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God. Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel .
My goal here is not to go into the significance of the 144,000 but to show as a reminder that the prophecy of Genesis is being fulfilled even through the Great Tribulation. These who are sealed will be preaching Gods plan of redemption even in the midst of horrific circumstances. Giving all mankind another opportunity to receive the hope in Jesus Christ. This will create another opportunity for all the people of the world to be blessed through Abrahams offspring.;
Why Did Israel Split Into Two Kingdoms
Sometimes some of the histories in the Bible escapes some Bible students as they study. This question, why did Israel split into two kingdoms, is one that is not so easy to grasp.
If we look at it in the physical, we can understand why the kingdom was split into two. For starters, Jacob married Leah and Rachel the two sisters, although he really wanted Rachel.
Nevertheless, his father-in-law didnt want to give the younger daughter in marriage. Not before the elder, no, no, no, therefore Jacob ended up marrying them both.
Leah was the older daughter and the first and wanted to actually marry Jacob. She was given the rights of the first wife .
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What Happened To The Tribes In The Divided Kingdom
After Solomons reign, the kingdom of Israel divides. Some tribes remain loyal to Davids bloodline , but most tribes rebel and form their own new nation .
The prophet Ahijah illustrates this by tearing his cloak into 12 pieces and giving 10 pieces to Jeroboam, who would rule the Northern Kingdom. He says that one piece will remain with Solomons son for the sake of Gods covenant with David .
So a little more math:
12 10 1 = 1
It turns out that Benjamin joined the tribe of Judah, and combined to form the Southern Kingdom . The Southern Kingdom is ruled by the house of David, who was from the tribe of Judah, so the kingdom is often just called Judah.
The tribe of Levi was also aligned with the South. Jeroboam set up a new priesthood to false gods in the North, and so because the temple of the Lord was in Judah, the Levites migrated there .
So the original divided kingdom looked like this:
Key Points On Jerusalem
As tensions between the Arab and Jewish populations in Israel as well as the surrounding territories have grown in recent years, so has the disagreement between those Arab Christians who are critical of the Israeli government and those U.S. evangelicals who hold pro-Israeli views.
“I’d question the authenticity of their faith,” said Cardoza-Moore, referring to the Christians in Jerusalem who oppose its recognition as Israel’s “eternal” capital. “I’d say they’re making a decision on a political expediency basis, not a biblical basis,” she said.
Burge, an ordained Presbyterian minister and a professor emeritus at Wheaton College in Illinois, an evangelical Christian institution, counters that it is those Christians and Jews citing the Bible to support their policy positions who are thinking politically.
“We have a political application of a biblical idea,” Burge says. “If you reach into the Old Testament and say, ‘God has given the Holy Land to the descendants of Abraham,’ that’s fine. The question is whether the modern state of Israel is that nation that was imagined back in the Bible.”
Clarification Dec. 11, 2017
A reference to U.N. Security Resolution 242 has been edited to make clear that while it calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from “territories occupied” during the 1967 war, the resolution does not list the territories or specifically say forces must be withdrawn from all of them
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What Happened When The Nation Of Israel Was Divided
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Division of Israel
During the reigns of Solomon and David, Israelites had a single kingdom. Jeroboam I led the ten northern tribes to rebel against King Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. And the nation of Israel was divided in 975 B.C. The Northern Kingdom was called Israel with its capital located in Samaria. All of the kings who reigned over the Northern Kingdom were wicked men who lived in open rebellion against God.
The Northern Kingdom
Because of their disobedience, the Northern Kingdom lost Gods protection over them and they were conquered by Assyria in 721 B.C. Most of the inhabitant of Israel were taken into captivity. The Northern kingdom never again came into existence.
The Southern Kingdom
The Southern Kingdom was called Judah. It consisted of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Jerusalem, where the temple was located, was the capital of Judah. Although most of its rulers were wicked, a few were obedient to God. But with time even Judah became rebellious and lost its favor and protection of God. And they too were conquered by Babylon in 606 B.C.
Some of the royal princes, including Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, were taken to Babylon during this period. And when Judah rebelled against Babylon in 596 B.C. others, including Ezekiel, were taken as captives to Babylon.
Gods covenant transferred to the Church
In His service,
Did Abraham Kill His Son
Biblical narrative According to the Hebrew Bible, God commands Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. After Isaac is bound to an altar, a messenger from God stops Abraham before the sacrifice finishes, saying “now I know you fear God.” Abraham looks up and sees a ram and sacrifices it instead of Isaac.
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Israel And Judah In The First Century
Although there had been some mixing of the peoples of Israel and Judah during their respective captivities, during the first century it was still understood that these remained distinct groups of people. Since he was of the tribe of Benjamin, Paul told people that he was both a Jew and an Israelite .
When James wrote his general epistle, he addressed it to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad .
Writing during this same time period, the Jewish historian Josephus;said, The entire body of the people of Israel remained in that country ; wherefore there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers .
Ancient Israel: A Brief History
ByOwen Jarus16 August 2016
When scholars refer to “ancient Israel,” they often refer to the tribes, kingdoms and dynasties formed by the ancient Jewish people in the Levant .;
Scholars draw largely on three sources to reconstruct the history of ancient Israel archaeological excavations, the Hebrew Bible and texts that are not found in the Hebrew Bible. The use of the Hebrew Bible poses difficulty for scholars as some of the accounts are widely thought to be mythical.;
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Violence Erupts As Palestinians Protest Trump Action On Jerusalem
The argument that Jerusalem should be the undivided capital of Israel is also rejected by many of the Christians who live there or in the neighboring territories. Most are ethnic Arabs, and they may feel less kinship with Jews. In a joint letter to Trump before he announced the policy change on Jerusalem, leaders of local Christian churches cautioned that it could bring “increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering.”
Some evangelical leaders in the United States who work closely with Arab Christians in Israel and the Palestinian territories also worry about the ramifications of the Jerusalem policy change. Travis Wussow, vice president for public policy at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, called Trump’s declaration “important” but warned that many Arab Christians are “concerned” about it.
“As the Middle East absorbs this news, let’s pray for the peace of Jerusalem, pray for the safety and flourishing of our Arab brothers and sisters in Christ, and pray our brothers and sisters in majority-Muslim contexts,” he wrote.
Among the U.S. evangelical leaders who disagreed with Trump’s move was Gary Burge, a New Testament scholar at Calvin Theological Seminary in Michigan.
“For many evangelicals, the modern state of Israel is a revival of the Israel they read about in their Bibles,” he says. “But when you build a bridge from biblical Israel to modern Israel, there is an enormous gap in history and theology.”
Many Christians Believe Israeli Recognition Has End
The eyes of the world were on Washington this week as President Donald Trump helped broker a deal where the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain would recognize Israel as a nation. It is a historic agreement as the two Arab nations break from other Middle Eastern nations as they open diplomatic and trade relations with the Jewish state.
Of the 18 Arab nations in the Middle East, only Egypt and Jordan have recognized the Jewish state, which was established in 1948. Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
While political commentators believe rising tensions with Iran are responsible for this weeks actions, many Christians believe there is more to the story. They believe the nation of Israel plays a significant role in Gods future work in the world.
Scholars base the belief on Romans 11:25-27 where the Apostle Paul seemingly speaks of a time when Israel will turn to Jesus Christ as Savior, I dont want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, and sisters so that you will not be conceited: A partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.
Texas pastor and commentator Tony Evans believes similarly. Once the fullness of the Gentiles has come, God will pick up his program with Israel again, writes Evans.
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The History Of Israel And Judah
The 12 tribes of Israel descended from the patriarch Jacob, who was renamed Israel by God. One of the prominent tribes throughout the years was Judah.
All 12 tribes of Israel were united under the leadership of Moses and Joshua, but the history during the time of the judges was more complicated. It seems most Israelites were more focused on local concerns. The book of Judges ends with, In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes .
This changed when the people of Israel demanded a king like the nations around them. God allowed this, and Saul became the first king of all 12 tribes of Israel.
King Sauls sins disqualified his family from a continuing dynasty. God chose David, from the tribe of Judah, to be the next king. But the transition would not be a smooth one.