25/04/02  No. 4435

The Perpetual Hatred

To understand more clearly what God foretold concerning the events that would take place between the nation of Israel and the Arab nations in these latter days, we need to trace these nations history back to their roots.

Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac (he also afterwards had other descendants – Gen. 25:1-6).  Isaac had twin sons, Esau and Jacob.  Jacob was later renamed Israel by God, and the Israelites are his descendants.  Esau (who was also called Edom) married a descendant of Ishmael named Bashemath, or Mahalath, (Gen. 28:9 & 36:3), and from Ishmael and Esau, together with Ammon and Moab (descendants of Abraham’s brother Haran) came the Arabs.

In Eze. 35:5[1] God refers to the “perpetual hatred” between the descendants of Esau and Israel.  Today Israel is surrounded by the descendants of Esau (Arabs), and they still have a hatred for Israel.

God foretold to Israel that he would scatter them amongst all the nations of the world (Deu. 28:64), and that he would in the latter days gather them back to their homeland (Deu. 30:3,5).  This has already been fulfilled, with the nation of Israel having been re-established in 1948.

God also foretold the events that are to take place in these latter days, after Israel had been gathered back to their homeland.  He tells us that the Arab nations shall conspire together against Israel to destroy them.  Psalm 83:1-8:

“Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.  For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.  They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.  They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.  For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: the tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot.”

This lists all of the nations that surround Israel today (Assur, for example, is Syria), and we can deduce that this is prophetic rather than telling of past events because these nations have never before all joined together against Israel.

Note that Ps. 83 mentions “crafty counsel” against Israel.  Compare this with the PLO’s Phased Plan of 1974, which is still their plan.  In brief it states:

·       Through the “armed struggle” (i.e. terrorism), to establish an “independent combatant national authority” over any territory that is “liberated” from Israeli rule.  (Article 2)

·       To continue the struggle against Israel, using the territory of the national authority as a base of operations.  (Article 4)

·       To provoke an all-out war in which Israel’s Arab’s neighbours destroy it entirely (“liberate all Palestinian territory”).  (Article 8)

In Jer. 48:47 and 49:6 God foretells that He “will restore the fortunes of Moab” and Ammon “in the latter days” (NRSV).  Moab and Ammon are two of the tribes that form the present day Palestinians.  For most of their history they have been a displaced people, living a nomadic culture, yet in recent years they have grown into an internationally recognised community that even has a representation at the United Nations.

God tells us that the Arabs, and eventually all nations, shall gather together against Israel and that they shall overcome it by force.  But then God says that he will fight for Israel and defeat those nations “by the hand of my people Israel”, i.e. Israel shall fight back and defeat them.  This will been seen to be the work of God in the same way as in Israel’s past they were able to defeat nations that were stronger and outnumbered them because of God’s help.  Shortly after this it will become apparent to all nations that Christ is reigning on earth.  Consider the following verses:

Zechariah 12:2,3 - Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.  And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Zechariah 14:2 - For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Zechariah 12:9 - And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

Zechariah 14:3 - Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

Ezekiel 25:14-16 - And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord GOD.  Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it for the old hatred; {or, perpetual hatred} therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will stretch out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast.

1 Thessalonians 5:3 - For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Article by Keith Robichaud  H.Q. Bournemouth.

[1] Mount Seir is the previous name for Edom, which is south of the Dead Sea.  Edom was what Esau was called after he sold his birthright to Jacob for some red lentil soup.  Edom means ‘red’.