1 But now thus saith Yahweh that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
How comes the disobedient, reprobate Jewish nation to be thus addressed? The answer is-because nationally, it is the fact that God created and formed them. There would have been no nation of Israel if God had not called Abraham, and given him Isaac by a miracle-(Sarah being both barren and past age-Heb. 11:11). There would have been no Israel if God had not further guided Isaac's son, Jacob (Called Israel), multiplied his seed, delivered them by miracle from Egypt, and organised them as a nation by the hand of Moses.
The nation of Israel was divinely created and formed as no other nation on earth ever was. It was redeemed as no nation has been. It is the only nation divinely surnamed and divinely owned.
"You only," says God himself, "have I known of all the families of the earth" (Amos 3:2).
2 When thou passest through the waters [mayim], I will be with thee; and through the rivers [neharot], they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire [eish], thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
It is an indestructible nation; it is an immortal nation, because God has so decreed:
'Though I make a full end of all the nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure'" (Jer. 30:11).
When we think of this, we are not to think of the individual Jews who may be presented to our notice in any generation. We are to think of the nation as a whole with a past and a future.
...Our present experience is an experience of evil - a going through fire and water, as it were. Oftentimes, we are filled with fear lest after all, the evil be too much for us, and calamity overwhelm; lest the fire kindle and the water overflow, and we perish.
Here is a word of almighty comfort. It is the voice of God-the voice of Him who holds the stars in His hand-of whom are all things and without whom, a sparrow cannot fall. It is the voice of Him whose words alone can give abiding comfort; for if God be for us, who can be against us?
Mark the nature of the comfort. It is not an assurance that Israel shall be free from trouble. It is not an assurance that there will be no towering billows or leaping flames of fire. It is a distinct intimation to the contrary, that we may expect both, but that in the midst of all evil, God will be with His people, and guide them safely through the great and terrible wilderness in which they are threading their way to the promised land.
If we are tempted to ask why there should be evil-why the fire and flood-why the wasting and terrifying affliction, we have the answer,
"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver: I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction" (48:10).
This suggests the purifying of good metal by the removal of dross. It is what Paul tells us in another form when he says that the Father chastens us
"for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness" (Heb. 12:10).
Now, is it not a matter of common experience that human nature in prosperity does not tend towards God, but away from him? And is it not a matter of common experience that adversity brings wisdom and godliness? There is but one answer, and that answer brings with it the assurance that it is true kindness that leads the children of God into trouble. It is hard to bear. It would not be affliction if it were otherwise. It would not do its work if it were pleasant.
"No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands that hang down, and the feeble knees" (Heb. 12:11-12).
There is this further assurance that God does not, in the case of those who fear, trust, obey, and serve Him, allow trouble to press to the point of destruction.
There is a moderating of the rigours of suffering as wisdom may call. Peter expresses the idea when praying for the brethren that, after they have suffered a while, God might
"stablish, strengthen, settle them."
God, who can control all circumstances, knows when to remove the pressure, and to fill the hearts of His children with joy, and their mouths with praise.
Bro Roberts - Seasons 1.95.
3 For I am Yahweh thy Elohim, the Holy One of Israel [ Kadosh Yisroel], thy Saviour [Moshi'a]: I gave Egypt [Mitzrayim] for thy ransom [kofer], Ethiopia and Seba for thee [Kush and Seva in thy place.].
'...when that mortal and corruptible flesh, or soul, was made alive by the Spirit of AIL, it became the "Yahweh Elohim, the Holy One of Israel;" or Yahweh, and "His Holy One" -- the Light, the Fire, and the Flame of Israel.
"That which has been born out of the Spirit is spirit." The Spirit-Logos first became flesh; and at its resurrection, that flesh became spirit; and therefore, "the Holy One and the True One;" for the Spirit is holiness and truth.
Egypt appears to occupy a very important position in the restoration of Israel by the Rainbowed Angel.
Egypt, Cush and Seba are appointed for their ransom (Isa. 43: 3) -- the wilderness and deserts of the south into which they are to be brought for discipline, to fit them for settlement in the land of Israel (Ezek. xx. 33-44). In reference to this crisis, the Spirit saith,
"Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beasts of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls; because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise" (Isa. xliii. 18-21).
This is all part of the work of the Rainbowed Angel, in which Adon (the Lord) adds his hand to redeem a second time the remnant of his people which shall be left from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea (Isa. xi. 11).
This is an area of wide extent, stretching from the Nile to the east of the Tigris; and thence north to the Caspian; and then westward to the Mediterranean, in and beyond which are the islands. It is not to be supposed, that such a revolution in the south of Asia and north of Africa, developing a new power of extraordinary might, could progress without making a powerful impression upon France, Turkey, and Russia, which are so sensitive in regard to their supposed interests in Egypt, the Red Sea, and the east.
It will throw them all into a state of terrible belligerency. So great a danger will confederate them for a great effort to scatter it. All Europe will be moved; and
"rush forth as a whirlwind to scatter me;" saith the Spirit: "their rejoicing was as to devour the poor in ambush" (Hab. iii. 14): "they will ascend and come like a storm, and like a cloud to cover the land, that is (or that portion of it which is) brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, who are dwelling safely in the midst of it
(Ezek. xxxviii. 9,8,10-12):
under the protection of the Rainbowed Angel. The conquest of Egypt will, doubtless, operate powerfully upon England: for nothing can affect Egypt without greatly disturbing the policy of Britain, and deeply wounding her commercial interests.
4 Since thou wast precious in My sight, thou hast been honourable [honored], and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men [adam in exchange] for thee, and people for thy life [in exchange for thy nefesh].
Bro Thomas' rendering is:
"I have given Egypt, Cush, and Seba, thy covering in return for thee; since that thou hast been precious in my eyes; thou shalt become renowned: and I have loved thee; I will therefore give men in return for thee, even to peoples in return for thy life".
Here is the Giver, who, being the proprietor of the earth, and distributor of the nations upon it according to certain bounds (Acts 17:26), establishes a new relation of things in the East, in consideration of Israel's return undercover, or protection, of some particular power.
Israel is, as it were, transferred to the Divine Purchaser, that is, to the midst of His land, by a power, whose sway is Providentially extended over Egypt, Cush, and Seba, or Abyssinia, Nubia, and Egypt; so that it obtains command of the Red Sea, from the Straits of Babelmandel to Suez; and from thence to the Mediterranean. Having thus command of both sides of the Straits, being already settled at Aden in Sheba, and possessed of Perim, the highway to India is controlled, and assured to the covering or protecting power.
But what country doth the Scripture indicate will extend the shadow of its political protection over the tenth, in the midst of the land of Israel'? Whatever land is therein indicated will, I conceive, obtain supremacy in the Abyssinian Ethiopian or Cush; Seba, or Nubia; and Mitzraim or Egypt; whereby it will find it to be promotive of its commercial and political interests to obtain the resettlement of the central tenth of the Holy Land under the guarantee, perhaps, by the great powers, of neutrality. This would be in the sense of the text, receiving Egypt, Cush, and Seba, in return for the resettlement of the tenth.
The answer to the question proposed is revealed in Isa. 18:1,2,7, which I translate thus: "Ho! land of widely o'ershadowing wings extending from beyond to rivers of Cush; which sendeth by sea whirling things even upon vessels of fleetness on the surface of waters! Go swiftly, ye fleet messengers, to a nation carried away and oppressed; to a people terrible from this and onward; a nation prostrate and trodden down, whose land rivers have spoiled. . . to the dwelling-place of the Name of Yahweh T'zvaoth, Mount Zion "- Herald, Vol.iii, p. 103.
A land of widely o'ershadowing wings is representative of a government of widely extended colonial dominion. It is hailed in the prophecy, which was delivered in Jerusalem, as a power located east of the rivers of Cush, or "extending from beyond;" and in its amplest Asiatic development, extending "to the rivers of Cush". The reader must bear in mind, that there are two separate and distinct regions known in Scripture by the name of Cush; the one, in Asia and now called Cushistan: the Other, in Africa, styled Abyssinia and Ethiopia. The latter is at the southwest extremity of the Red Sea; while the Cush of our text is at the north end of the Persian Gulf, where it is watered by the Tigris and Euphrates, and now lying partly in Persia, and partly in Turkey.
The overshadowing power is "from beyond" these rivers. By sea, the communication is direct from Hindostan to Cush, where there is well known to be a power, of widely extended dominion, whose navy is largely composed of fleet, or swift vessels propelled by "whirling things". Ezekiel styles this power "Sheba, Dedan, the Merchants of Tarshish, and all the young lions thereof" (ch. 38:13).
This is the power to which Egypt, Cush, and Seba, the country of the Sabaeans, "men of stature" (Isa. 45:14) are given as the price for the resettlement of the tenth in the midst of the land. It is the British Indian Lion of Tarshish, which even now commands the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and is prepared for any advance northwestward towards Syria or Egypt, deemed necessary by the home government for the satisfying of its interests.
5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east [zera from the mizrach], and gather thee from the west [ma'arav];
6 I will say to the north [tzafon], Give [them] up; and to the south [teiman], Keep [ hold] not back: bring My sons [banim] from far, and my daughters [banot] from the ends of the earth [ketzeh ha'aretz];
Like Pharaoh in ancient time, the nations will be opposed to their return so long as they have the power to prevent it. The North will not "give up," and the South will "keep back," until the power of the North and South be broken "as a potter's vessel!" The Jews, in their dispersion, will be "the weapons of war," in the Lord's hand for the subjugation of the North and South.
When these are subdued, the Gentiles will promote their return with all possible facilities-
"The ships of Tarshish (Britain) first, to bring thy sons, O Zion, from far, their silver and gold with them."
"And the Gentiles shall bring all thy brethren, O Judah, an offering unto Yahweh out of all nations, upon horses, and in chariots, and in coaches, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my Holy Mountain Jerusalem-to the place of the Name of Yahweh of armies, the Mount Zion."-Isai. 66:20; 18:7; 41:15, 16; Jer. 51:20.
The resident subjects of the kingdom, then, while the tribes are in "the Wilderness of the Peoples" midbar midbar hāǎmmim-are comprehended in the "third part;" the non-resident subjects will be found in the military encampments of Israel in the several countries where they will be campaigning in the service of their King against the peoples.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, May 1856.
Thus the Lord disposes of nations and countries as it pleases him. To "the land shadowing with wings," which shall proclaim their return to the dust of their fathers, he will give Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba as their ransom; and enable them, through its power, "to lay their hands upon Edorn and Moab;" and to obtain the ascendancy over "the children of Ammon."
Thus they will settle in these countries of the Red Sea; to which they will be attracted by the riches to be acquired through their connection with the commerce of the east; which will then resume its channel of the olden time, when Israel and the British, like Solomon's servants and the men of Tyre, will drive a thriving trade between the Indian and China seas, and the nations of the west.
Elpis Israel 3.6.
The Balfour Declaration
November 2nd, 1917
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the
following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been
submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national
home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the
achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which
may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in
Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist
Arthur James Balfour
18 Remember ye not the former things [rishonot], neither consider the things of old [kadmoniyyot].
19 Behold [Hineni], I will do a new thing [chadashah]; now it shall spring forth [titzmach;Tzemach]; shall ye not know[perceive] it? I will even make a way in the wilderness [derech in the midbar], and rivers [neharot] in the desert.
20 The beast of the field [ animal of the wild] shall honour me, the dragons and the owls [jackals and the ostriche]: because I give waters in the wilderness [mayim in the midbar], and rivers in the desert [neharot], to give drink to My people, My chosen [Bachir].
21 This people have I formed for Myself; they shall shew forth my praise [tehillah].
Bro Thomas renders..."
The living things of the plain shall glorify me, swift things and the daughters of voracious ones (the wild Arabs, figuratively "dragons" and "ostriches"): because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people I have created for myself: they shall show forth my praise". This implies the subjugation of the freebooters of the Arabian desert, and its fertilization, which will make its people glorify the conqueror, and sing for joy.
"The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon (the cedar) shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall be the glory of YAHWEH, and the excellency of our Elohim" (Isa. 35:1,2).
And again in ch. 41:18-20, "I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of waters, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together; that they may see, and know, and consider, that the hand of Yahweh hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it". And "Let the wilderness and the cities thereof exult, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit; let the inhabitants of the rocky country (Arabia Petraea) sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto Yahweh, and declare his praise in the habitable lands" (ch. 42:11).
Now it must be evident to every one, that before the wild, untamed marauders, who inhabit Arabia Deserta, Arabia Petraea, and Paran, Horeb, Sinai, and the tents and villages of the Kedarite Arabs, can glorify Yahweh, and rejoice with joy and singing, and become the intelligent, happy, and contented population of this newly created Paradise, they must have been subjected to the severe discipline of the sword; to subsequent instruction, as to the true character of the New Power so recently developed in Teman; and made witnesses of the wonderful transformation of their section of Asia from an arid, sandy and rocky wilderness, into a well-watered park of choice, odoriferous, trees and shrubs!
And such is the testimony of the prophets. Isaiah, in speaking of the crisis of Messiah's accession to David's throne, declares it to be "a day of Midian". His words are "thou hast broken the yoke of his (the Assyrian's) burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of the oppressor upon him, as a day of Midian: for every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood: but she shall be for a burning fuel of fire"