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Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem

Chapter FOURTY Part 2 of 6

FULFILLMENT OF THE PROMISE FOR POSSESSION OF THE LAND

The promise for the possession of the land of Canaan was fulfilled when Joshua conquered the land of Canaan and the Israelite tribes settled in the land. The possession of the land was testified to by several verses in the Old Testament; Joshua expressly stated that all the promises given for possession of the land of Canaan were fulfilled:


43. And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.

44. And the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand.

45. There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass. (59)

The same passage is stated even more emphatically in the New American Catholic Edition of The Holy Bible:


Today, as you see, I am going the way of all men. So now acknowledge with your whole heart and soul that not one of all the promises the Lord, your God, made to you has remained unfulfilled for you. with not one single exception. But just as every promise of the Lord, your God, made to you has been fulfilled for you, so will he fulfill every threat, even so far as to exterminate you from this good land which the Lord, your God, has given you. If you transgress thecovenant of the Lord, your God, which he enjoined on you, serve other gods and worship them, the anger of the Lord will flare up against you and you will quickly perish from the good land which he has given you. (60)

King David also ruled the land of Canaan and extended his domain to lands which were not included in the promises such as Syria and other territories. It was stated in the Bible that he also reached the border of the Euphrates.


David smote also Hadad-ezer, the son of Rehob, King of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates. (61)

The kingdom of Aram-Zobah at one time "exercised sway well toward the Euphrates on the east and the Hauran on the south." (62)

King Solomon also ruled the land of Canaan and extended his domains to neighboring areas: I Kings 4:21 states:


And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life. (63)

This fact is repeated in II Chronicles 9:26:


And he reigned over all the kings from the river unto the land of the Philistines, andto the border of Egypt. (64)

King Solomon himself acknowledged the fulfillment of all the promises, as stated in I Kings, Chapter 8:


54. And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.

55. And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying,

56. Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised; there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. (65)

In Nehemiah 9:7-8, & 24, the prophet Nehemiah reiterates the fulfillment of the promises related to the land of Canaan:


7. Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Urof the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham.

8. And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:

24. So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. (66)


GOD PROMISED THAT THE ISRAELITES WOULD BE DISPOSSESSED OF THE LAND IF THEY DISOBEYED HIS COMMANDMENTS AND DID NOT REMAIN TRUE TO HIM

All the Promises given by God to the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses were conditional. He will allow the Israelites to possess and dwell in the land of Canaan provided they obey his Commandments, Judgments and Statutes and will only worship God, and God alone. These conditions are inscribed in many books of the Old Testament, and are an inseparable part of the Promises.

Chapter 4 of Deuteronomy explicitly spells out conditions, as follows:


Now therefore hearken. O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.

2. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord vour God which I command you. (67)

23. Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee.

24. For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

25. When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the Lord thy God, to provoke him to anger:

26. I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.

27. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you.

28. And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.

29. But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord they God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and all thy soul.

30. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;

31. (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. (68)

Chapter 7 of Deuteronomy repeats the same conditions:


8. But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a might hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

9. Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

10. And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.

11. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes. and the judgments, which I command thee to this day, to do them.

12. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: (69)

Chapter 8 reiterates the conditions:



All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers ...

18. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.



20. As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God. (70)

Chapters 28 and 29 of Deuteronomy repeat the conditions and punishments for not keeping these conditions:

14. And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

15. But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

45. Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee. and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:

63. And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goes! to possess it.

64. And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serveother gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.

65. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind. (71)

These are the words of the covenant, which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab; beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb ...


25. Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which hemade with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:

26. For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them:

27. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:

28. And the Lord rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land. as it is this day. (72)

The major prophet, Jeremiah, confirmed the punishment which will be inflicted on the Israelites for their violation of the statutes and commandments of the Lord:


9. And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.

10. And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers. (73)


4. And the Lord hath sent you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.

5. They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:

6. And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.

7. Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the Lord; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.

8. Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words,

9. Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. (74)

Chapter 7 of II Chronicles provides the conditions attached to the promise to David:

19. But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;

20. Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight. and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. (75)

Because the Israelites failed to heed the prophets continually sent to them, there remained no remedy for their failure to abide by the conditions of God's promises, as recorded in II Chronicles:


14. Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.

15. And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:

16. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

17. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.

18. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon.

19. And they burnt the house of God. and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.

20. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:

21. To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years. (76)


MAJOR PROPHETS TESTIFY TO THE TRANSGRESSIONS AND WICKEDNESS OF THE ISRAELITES AND THEIR VIOLATIONS OF THE LORD'S COMMANDMENTS

The major prophet Isaiah charged the Israelites with the following transgressions against God's Commandments, statutes and judgments:

1. Following other gods and filling their land with idols.

2. Rebelling against God and becoming a sinful nation.

3. Rewarding evil and despoiling the poor.

4. Corruption.

5. Hypocrisy.

6. Usury.

7. Treachery.

8. Oppression.

9. Perversion.

10. Lying.

11. Murder, defiling their hands with blood and shedding innocent blood.

12. Debasing justice, truth and equity.

13. Sacrificing and burning incense to other gods.

14. Blasphemy.

The following are numerous passages from the Book of Isaiah documenting that the prophet Isaiah made the abovementioned charges against the Israelites:


2. Hear, O heavens, and giveear, Oearth: for the Lord hath spoken I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

3. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

4. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

5. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. (77)


8. Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made. (78)


8. For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory.

9. The shew of their countenance doth witness against them: and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. (79)


13. The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.

14. The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses. (80)


16. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.

17. Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. (81)


Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

2. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

3. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. (82)

Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel but not of me; and that cover with acovering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin. (83)


9. That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the word of the Lord:

10. Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

11. Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

12. Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon. (84)


2. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

3. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

4. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. (85)


6. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they coverthemselves with their works: theirworks arc works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.

7. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.

8. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crookedpaths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.


9. Therefore is judgment far from us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.86 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;

13. In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

14. And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.

15. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. (87)


I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.

2. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;

3. A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;

4. Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and brothof abominable things is in their vessels. (88)


7. Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom. (89)


11. But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.

12. Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye didnot hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not. (90)

THE PROPHET JEREMIAH

The major prophet Jeremiah charged the Israelites with the following transgressions against God's commandments, statutes and judgments:

1. They have forsaken the Lord and served strange gods.

2. They have not obeyed the Lord's words.

3. They put their abominations in the house of the Lord to pollute it, and built high places of Tophet to buburn their sons and daughters.

4. They returned to the iniquities of their fathers who refused to hear the Lord's words.

5. They built altars to Baal (a Canaanite god).

6. They burned incense to other gods.

7. The prophets of Samaria prophesied in Baal.

8. They have dealt treacherously with the Lord.

9. They have committed adultery.

10. They broke the covenant with God.

The following are numerous passages from the Book of Jeremiah documenting that the prophet Jeremiah made the abovementioned charges against the Israelites:


11. And the Lord said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.

12. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever.

13. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord.

14. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion. (91)


20. Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.


21. A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the Lord their God. (92)


25. We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God. (93)


7. How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. (94)


11. For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the Lord. (95)


19. And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the Lord our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.

20. Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,

21. Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears and hear not. (96)


25. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholded good things from you. (97)


13. For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. (98)


15. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush; therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. (99)


19. Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. (100)


30. For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the Lord: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.

31. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. (101)


12. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush; therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. (102)


10. They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. (103)


13. For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. (104)


The sin of Judah is written with pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond; it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;

2. Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills.

3. O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders.

4. And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever. (105)

3. And say, Hear ye the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.

4. Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;

5. They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind. (106)


11. For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord.

12. Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord.

13. And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.
14. I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible The State of Israel is not a Fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy 987 thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom. and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. (107)


30. Therefore thus saith the Lord of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost.

31. And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem. and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not. (108)

Jeremiah expressed God's weariness with the Israelites' repenting and then continuing to repeat their transgressions:


6. Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. (109)

Jeremiah charged the Israelites with bringing theirpunishments upon themselves:


19. Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter. that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts. (110)

Jeremiah, in Chapter 11, details the Israelites' disobedience to the covenant with God:


The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

2. Hear ye the words of this covenant. and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

3. And say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant,

4. Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I commanded you: so shall ye be my people, and 1 will be your God:

5. That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O Lord.

6. Then the Lord said unto me. Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them.

7. For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day. rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice.

8. Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not.

9. And the Lord said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

10. They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.

11. Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able toescape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.



14. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble. (111)

In Chapter 7, verse 2, the major prophet Jeremiah quotes God's word that in order to dwell in the land of Canaan the Israelites must amend their ways and doings. Jeremiah then specifies transgressions which the Israelites must cease in order to dwell in the land of Canaan. The transgressions included lying, stealing, murder, committing adultery, oppressing strangers, orphans and widows, and following other gods, even to the extent of turning the House of Worship of the Lord into a den of robbers:


The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

2. Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord.

3. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.

4. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord. The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these.

5. For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and yourdoings; if ye thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor;

6. If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt;

7. Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.

8. Behold, ye trust in lying words that cannot profit.

9. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;

10. And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?

11. Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord. (112)

THE PROPHET EZEKIEL

The major prophet Ezekiel charged the Israelites with the following transgressions against God's commandments, statutes and judgments:

1. The house of Israel did not obey the Lord because of its impudence and hard-heartedness.

2. The iniquity of the houses of Judah and Israel is exceedingly great, filling the land with blood and perverseness.

3. The house of Israel was estranged from God through its idols.

4. The house of Israel rebelled against God.

5. The Israelites shed innocent blood and committed adultery.

6. They transgressed against the Lord.

The following are passages from the Book of Ezekiel documenting that the prophet Ezekiel made the abovementioned charges against the Israelites:


7. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted.

8. Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.

9. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. (113)


9. Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not. (114)


5. That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

6. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. (115)


8. But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. (116)


13. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them." (117)


24. Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols. (118)


23. And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies; so fell they all by the sword.

24. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them. (119)

Ezekiel also stated that they would not possess the land of Canaan as long as they continued to shed blood and worship other gods and continued their abominations. Chapter 33 of The Book of Ezekiel states:


23. Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

24. Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.

25. Wherefore say unto them. Thus saith the Lord God; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land?

26. Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbor's wife: and shall ye possess the land? (120)

THE PUNISHMENTS PREDICTED BY THE MAJOR PROPHETS WERE FULFILLED BY DESTRUCTION AND EXILE

The major prophets had witnessed the Israelites' violations of the conditions of the promises quoted above. They relayed the warnings of God that the Israelites would be punished by death, the destruction of their cities, dispossession from the land and exile. These punishments were fulfilled when the Israelites were conquered by the Assyrians and Babylonians and their cities were destroyed and their land made desolate, and when many were carried off into exile.

In 931 B.C. the kingdom of David and Solomon was divided into two kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom, called Israel or Samaria, and the Southern Kingdom, called Judah.

The Assyrians "invaded Samaria from the north, breaking through the line of forts guarding the upper Jordan valley and occupying Galilee and the coastal region. The invaders annexed the occupied territories and many of the inhabitants of these territories were taken away to Assyria as captives. All that was left intact of the Northern Kingdom was the capital city, Samaria, and the hill region around it." (121) In 721 B.C. the Assyrians captured the capital city, Samaria, and deported many of its inhabitants. (122)

The "gaps in the population were filled with colonists from other regions who brought in their own religious beliefs." (123)

This was confirmed in II Kings:


Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. (124)

Judah, the southern kingdom, received the same fate. In 605 B.C. the Babylonian ruler, Nebuchadnezzar, carried away some of the inhabitants of Judah to Babylon, the prophet Ezekiel among them. In 597 he carried away another large number to Babylon. Eleven years later (586 B.C.) "his army burned the Temple, destroyed Jerusalem, and carried off the residue of the people, leaving only the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen." (125)

This was confirmed in II Kings; which describes the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of its inhabitants by the Babylonian general Nebuzaradan:


And he burnt the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire.

And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.

Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away ...

So Judah was carried away out of their land. (126)

 

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Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem
By Issa Nakhleh

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