Edited Sermon Transcript
Jon W. Brisby; 2-23-2002
Well, brethren, we want to continue with the series on the Fundamentals of Belief of the Church of God, The Eternal. As you are aware, we are in the midst of a rather long series covering fundamental number sixteen, which I will synoptically call the “Israel Identity Doctrine.” At least, that’s the term the world uses for it. I’m going to have a lot to say about it, before I conclude this series, in one particular sermon on the world’s view of the idea of the lost tribes of Israel and the identity of the United States and the British Commonwealth as the physical descendants of those Birthright promises. It is a concept that is incredibly hated in this world. As I have mentioned before, it’s probably one of those tenants of our belief that is most likely to get us in trouble in time. Those that truly believe that the Birthright promises were separate from the Scepter promises and are manifested in descendants of Israelites in the Northwestern democracies of Europe and the United States—that is considered hate speech. It’s considered exclusivism. It’s considered an attempt by cult-minded groups and individuals in order to make themselves more important and more valuable—to say that they’re God’s holy people by birth.
Yet, those are not the principles that we are focusing on at all. We do not believe in using that which we were taught from the beginning, including the ministry of Mr. Armstrong concerning the identity of Israel, as a way to make ourselves exclusive, to make ourselves better, in any way. We recognize it only in terms of who we are and our responsibility, not only as physical, but also spiritual Israel, to abide by those laws and commandments and to recognize what God requires of us. As I have said throughout these last four sermons, and what I would like all of you to remember overall, is that the value of this teaching, probably more than anything else, is that it allows us to certify that God did not lie. God is the author of the Holy Scripture; the promises that He made here are inspired—all of those promises are inspired. And God has not failed to fulfill every single promise that He made.
It has been the downfall of the faith of many uncalled in past centuries, including many of our Founding Fathers who become deists, turning to pagan concepts and away from belief in the Bible as the inspiration of God. They did not see what they thought was the fulfillment of these magnificent promises to Israel. They were looking at this little nation over in Israel, or even before the formation of that nation, the scattered nature of the Jews throughout many parts of the world, and they said, “Well, how has God fulfilled His promises to bless, to promote and to give bounty unto these people?” But if we recognize what God revealed and what we were taught originally, then we can have the confidence, because it is a certification that God did not lie; and that is the most important lesson we can learn. That is why it is so fundamental and why Mr. Armstrong called it a key to understanding Biblical prophecy—to know who those Israelites are, where they are, and how God did fulfill His promises. So I have spent an incredible amount of time, in what I still consider a very synoptic fashion, attempting to lay out the beautiful picture to show you, not only how God made the promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and then even a separate, specific covenant with David; but also, as much as God bound Himself inexorably with these covenants to the patriarchs, how He has fulfilled the complexity of all of those promises.
Humanly speaking, we understand what it’s like if you make too many promises to too many parties—how easy it is to run into difficulty trying to fulfill them all. We have gone through the promises that God made to Abraham—the twofold promises of race and grace—which was continued through Isaac and re-certified in a covenant with Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel; the prophecy God made through Israel concerning what was going to happen to his sons, including Judah, through whom that Scepter—that crown, that throne—was going to be continued; and the Birthright promises through Ephraim and Manasseh. And then there was the covenant with David, not only that Judah would continue to hold that crown forever, but even more specifically, within Judah, it would be a descendant of David who would continue on that throne. God promised all of these things.
We have gone through the historical events in order to show what transpired in the history of the Israelites—the division of that kingdom into two nations, the northern house of Israel and the southern house of Judah; the captivity of the northern tribes, their being carried away absolutely and completely by the Assyrians; the house of Judah being carried away captive by the Babylonians 120 years later; and, as we’ve just begun to get into, the transfer of that throne out of the house of Judah.
How is it that God fulfilled His promises—these complex promises? In some regards, they seem to contradict one another—or at least to fulfill one, might take away from the ability to fulfill the other. How is it that God was able to wrench the throne away from the house of Judah, yet still preserve it as a throne that will be in existence even until the very return of Christ? Christ is going to come back and take over an existing throne. As a very descendant of David Himself—born a Jew over 2,000 years ago—when He assumes that throne, He will fulfill the ultimate promise of God of having a descendant of David from the house of Judah that will sit on that throne forever. Christ is going to be the end of that promise.
How is it all being fulfilled right now in all of these centuries in between? When that throne ceased to exist in possession of the Jews and the house of Judah, where did it go? Did God lie, or did He truly fulfill His promise? It’s a fascinating story.
We left off last time with looking at the first half of the commission of Jeremiah and seeing that God did commission Jeremiah with a twofold responsibility. The first was going to be the uprooting, the destroying, the tearing down of that throne out of the house of Judah. The second part of that commission, which is just as important, maybe even more critical, was going to be the replanting of that throne—that crown—somewhere. That throne had to continue. It was not going to end. How did Jeremiah fulfill God’s commission in order to replant that throne? Where was it replanted? How did God bring it about? Well, I can tell you we’re still not going to get all of that answered today, but we’re going to go back and see another very critical part of the puzzle in bringing the story forward and showing you how it’s going to connect together. We’re going to begin first by looking at some of the history of Judah and that offspring. For a quick review, turn with me again to Genesis 49:9 because this was the blessing, or the prophecy, that was spoken by Jacob before his death concerning the end of all of his sons; and of Judah, that son, what do we read?
Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come [When will Shiloh come? That’s the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.]; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Who? Jesus Christ. Christ is the One who is going to gather all of the peoples of spiritual Israel, physical Israel, and all of the nations of the world together. He is going to dominate this entire world in His perfect Kingdom. And this says here, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come . . .” Now, we either believe that’s a true statement, or it’s not, and that God was going to preserve a Jew. Someone of the very lineage of this son, Judah, was going to sit upon that throne, not just through Biblical times, but on through the modern ages until the very return of Jesus Christ. Do we believe that happened? It certainly did happen. The Scepter promise was to remain with a descendant of Judah forever.
Now we want to ask the question, how did that royal lineage begin? You might consider this a little bit of a sideline tangent because, in order to get through this fundamental of belief concerning the Israel identity, I could really skip this whole section. It wasn’t really covered in detail nearly as much, even in Mr. Armstrong’s book The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy; but I think this story is so fascinating, and it has some other very important spiritual principles involved in it. I think it is worth seeing the details here. So I want to turn to Genesis 38. We are going to read all of Genesis 38 because this tells a very important and fascinating story about how the sons of Judah were born and how God fulfilled that requirement for the descendants of Judah to be upon that throne. It all starts with these first sons. And what we have in Genesis 38 is probably a more unbelievable soap opera than you could ever get on your television. I’m telling you that this story in Genesis 38 puts to shame probably anything you can get on General Hospital or As the Stomach Turns or any of the rest of them.
I want to go through this because there are some important points I want to make. I’ll tell you ahead of time, if you think that God used righteous, holy people in the lineage of Christ, think again. They are the most abominable, treacherous people that you could ever imagine that He raised up and chose to fulfill His will. None of us would like to have our mistakes published in the Bible or any work that would go through history, but God did not spare to write those lessons through the mistakes of these carnal human beings that He chose for purpose. But He certainly still fulfilled His will and His promises, even through these undeserving and very carnal human beings. So let’s look and see what Judah did, and let’s see who those sons were who became the ancestors of Jesus Christ and of those that God promised He was going to place upon that throne perpetually. Let’s read the story.
And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah . . .
So he got mesmerized by a Canaanite woman. That’s a problem. As we’re getting ready to see, God never intended for His people to intermarry with the Canaanites.
And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her [He married her.], and went in unto her. And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.
Now, if the Scepter promise was given to Judah, then that promise should have been fulfilled through his first-born son, right? Here, this first-born son of Judah, this man named Er, should have been the man through whom this lineage was going to be perpetuated. Is that what happened? Let’s read on.
And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him.
First, let’s notice that Judah had three sons by this Canaanite wife. The oldest was named Er. Let’s notice also that Judah was absolutely wrong in marrying a Canaanite woman. Keep your finger there in Genesis 38; we’re going to come back and read the rest of the story, but turn quickly with me to Genesis 24:2. Here we see how significant it was to Abraham. He was adamant about the fact that he was not going to allow Isaac to marry a Canaanite, but only one of his own people. And there were reasons because that’s what God had in mind.
And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the [Eternal], the God of heaven, and the God of the earth . . .
Now, Abraham seems to be very serious about this. He’s charging this servant of his, who has responsibility over Isaac, for this particular mission that’s coming up. Abraham is making him swear an oath to fulfill something.
And I will make thee swear by the [Eternal], the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
And that’s exactly what he did, but this was critical and important. Isaac also learned that lesson, and he understood it. Flip forward to Genesis 28:1, and we see that Isaac made the very same command to his own son Jacob.
And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
It was forbidden. It was no small matter. How easily do God’s people today find it very tempting—and I certainly understand it—to fall in love with somebody, to get all emotionally wrapped up and decide that certainly this must be the will of God. It feels so right, it can’t be wrong. So the story goes. That’s exactly what human beings do, but it always leads to problems.
Let’s go back to chapter 38 and pick up the story. This was Judah’s first mistake—the first sin that he’s guilty of in chapter 38—and boy, we’ve got a laundry list of them to come, not only him, but a few others. Chapter 38 and verse 6: “And Judah took a wife for Er . . .” So Er grows up as the firstborn. He should be the one through whom those Scepter promises are going to be furthered.
And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the [Eternal]; and the [Eternal] slew him.
We don’t know any specifics about what this first-born son was guilty of—what made him so wicked. But even by the verbiage that is recorded here by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit—”. . . was wicked in the sight of the [Eternal] . . .”—this is something that was very heinous. This was not a good person. This was not a man who had many redeeming qualities. And his wickedness was so great, in whatever venue it was, that God just outright struck him down and killed him. This should have been the son through whom Christ was going to be born. Now the first-born son is dead. How is God going to fulfill His promise to bring through the heritage of kings to sit on the throne in perpetuity through a descendant of Judah? We’ve come to the first bump in the road. God struck down that first-born son through whom it should have been. What happens next? Verse 8:
And Judah said unto Onan [Onan, remember, was the second born.], Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
Why? What was all this about? Most of you recognize that this was a fulfillment of one of the laws of God to the Israelites that was called the Levirate law. Let’s turn to it in Deuteronomy 25:5. Obviously, then, this was a law that was in effect long before it was codified to the Israelites at Mount Sinai, because here we see it being practiced. So it was one certainly that was in existence already.
If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.
Why would this be? What was the whole purpose of this? We’re talking about a command of God that says if one brother dies childless, an unmarried brother next in line had an obligation and a responsibility to marry the widow of his older brother; and the first-born child of that marriage union would actually be considered the son of the dead brother. Why? What was that all about? Verse 6:
And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
All of those lines and those branches of the families of Israel were incredibly important to God. It was not His intent that those branches die out. He wanted a perpetuation of sons to inherit in the name of the father. At this time, we’re talking about hundreds of years before they were going to enter into that Promised Land, yet it was to certify that those lines would continue in all of those families. When God gave them their possessions in the Promised Land, there would be descendants of each of those branches of the family in order to continue that family name and to hold the property and the responsibilities to fulfill physically within that nation. And so, God provided for this law and this instruction, so that a first-born son would not die childless. It was that firstborn who had to continue the family name. If the firstborn died without having a child, then God created this rule that a younger unmarried son had an obligation to marry her and that the first-born son of that union would be considered the heir of the dead brother—the firstborn of the father. It would not be considered his own heir; it would be considered his brother’s heir, even though it was truly his child. God did that for a reason.
Turn to it on your own, but by comparison now, there are laws against incest within the Bible that God gave in Leviticus 18. One of those, in verse 16, is that a brother is not to marry his brother’s widow. Is that a contradiction to the Levirate law? Not at all. In every other circumstance, except the firstborn dying without children, a brother was not to marry his brother’s wife. Why? That was considered incest. Even if they weren’t related by blood, that was considered incest and an abomination—one of the listed abominations. Why is that? When that dead brother, while he was alive, was made one with his wife, they became one flesh. And when they became one flesh, they were no longer two and separate; they were a new entity in the eyes of God. When that brother dies, that wife is still a part of that brother. Now, she’s free to marry; but because she is considered a part of that family, she is considered the same as a blood sister from that time because she was married to a man’s brother. She is considered his sister as well.
The same laws in Leviticus 18 absolutely prohibit marriage between a brother and a sister. Once she marries into that family, she is considered a sister; and it is an abomination in the eyes of God, except to fulfill the Levirate law. If that first-born son dies without an heir, then it is not only permissible, it’s an obligation for a younger single son to marry that widow in order to raise up a son to be an heir to that family. What a perfect and a glorious law that God put together. Now, people of the world look at those things, and they think those things are absolutely ridiculous—without value, preposterous. Yet, when we understand the wisdom of what God did in raising up His nation, how beautiful are those principles.
So now, with that background, let’s see what Judah and his family did in their own little sordid soap opera. Turn back to Genesis 38. So, Er was struck down by God. Verse 8:
And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife . . .
So, obviously he fulfilled his father’s command. He did marry her. Onan married Tamar, but now what happened? “. . . Onan knew that the seed should not be his . . .” He didn’t like this. He didn’t like the idea that he was going to produce an offspring, an heir, that would carry his brother Er’s name and not his own. This son, who was truly of his making, was actually going to be named by his brother and receive the inheritance that he himself would not receive, including the Scepter—the right through whom the kings of Israel were going to be raised up. Onan didn’t like that.
. . . Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
So he did everything except fulfill the requirement. He married her; he wanted all of the other benefits of the relationship with her, but he did not want to leave an heir the way that God commanded.
“And the thing which he did displeased the [Eternal]: wherefore he slew him also.” Struck him down dead. That’s how heinous this was in the eyes of God. So now, where does that leave us? Judah had three sons: Er, Onan, and the youngest son, and now the first two were both struck dead by God. That’s how evil they were. This is the family through whom the kings of Israel are supposed to be born. It’s a pretty treacherous family, don’t you think? They’re certainly not worthy to be raised to a level of appreciation because of their behavior or their natural characteristics. Not at all.
So the first two sons of Judah are struck down dead. God didn’t strike down a whole lot of men like that—just take their lives away from them. Here you’ve got two sons—the eldest sons of Judah—who are both destroyed, wiped out by God because of their evil. Judah has one son left. Hopefully, this is going to be the son through whom God’s going to fulfill His promises, because we’re running out of descendants here. It’s got to come through Judah. Judah has to have sons. He’s going to have to create a lineage through whom these kings are going to be raised up, but so far, we seem to be running out of possible candidates. What happened? Verse 11: “Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown . . .” Obviously, the third and youngest son of Judah was still a young boy. He was not of marrying age. The Levirate law is still in force here. We’ve already been through it once with Onan. He was rebellious; he wouldn’t fulfill his responsibility, and God killed him. Well, it can still be fulfilled through the youngest son now. She’s a widow again for the second time. She still hasn’t had a child, and now Judah is saying, “Go back to your father’s house. Live in your father’s house for a few years”—however many that is—until this youngest son, Shelah, grows up and is of eligible age. Judah, in essence, was promising that he was going to give Tamar to marry his youngest son. Then the very will of God to produce the offspring would be able to be fulfilled.
. . . Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house. And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died . . .
So Judah’s own wife dies, which means that he’s not going to be producing any more children, at least with her. He only had the three sons with this Canaanite woman. Two of them have already been struck dead, and the third one has now grown to eligible age to marry and take on responsibility for a family. What happens?
And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died; and Judah was comforted [He went through a period of mourning.], and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
Here’s this same Canaanite friend that was responsible for first putting him in contact with the family of whom he ended up marrying this woman.
And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep. [Now Tamar’s going to get into the soap opera. She’s going to start being deceptive and manipulative. Let’s see what she does.] And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath . . .
Now, what is she doing? She’s dressing up like a harlot. In that age, they wore veils. I guess they had at least some remaining aspect of decorum or modesty—even in the profession they were in—so at least they kept a veil over their face. But that was like putting out the shingle that said what profession she was in—to sit by the side of a road with a veil on. That was an open invitation.
. . . wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.
Why was Judah doing this? He had made the promise that as soon as his son became of age, he was going to make Tamar his wife so that his youngest son could fulfill the Levirate law and raise up an heir of Judah to continue on the inheritance of that tribe of Israel. It doesn’t explain why, but somehow, over the course of these years, the youngest son grows up, he’s of eligible age, and Judah balks at it. Now, is it because the son himself said, “I don’t want to marry her”? And maybe Judah gave in and said, “Ok, son, I won’t make you do it.” For whatever reason, we don’t know. All we know is that the end result is that Judah went back on his word. That’s his next problem—his next lie.
It’s still God’s will that Tamar, the woman who was first married to Judah’s first-born heir, is going to be the one through whom those kingly children are going to be born. It is going to be through Tamar; but like in every other circumstance we’ve seen before that, people know what God’s expectation is, but they’re not willing to wait on Him to work it out. They take matters into their own hands.
Remember what Jacob did? He used subterfuge to deceive his father, Isaac, in order to receive the Birthright. He would have received it anyway. God would have worked it out because God had made the prophecy that is was going to be through Jacob, not Esau. Remember when Abraham and Sarah took things into their own hands to determine how God was going to raise up a descendant of Abraham through whom those covenant promises were going to be fulfilled? They weren’t willing to wait on God to fulfill it. No, they took things into their hands. Thus entered Hagar into the picture. So we’ve got many, many examples where the patriarchs were not willing to act in faith at that given time and trust that God was going to carry out His will. Now we have Tamar doing the same thing. Tamar knows the way it’s supposed to turn out. She’s supposed to be the mother of the descendants of that heir of Judah. Judah, for some reason—and maybe the son himself, Shelah—is balking at this, which also was against God’s will. So Tamar is going to take things into her own hands.
. . . wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife. When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot [Well, that’s what she wanted him to think.]; because she had covered her face. And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.)
I don’t even see Hollywood write stories like this, I don’t think. Well, I haven’t seen many of them. They probably do.
And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. [So now, he’s made the financial arrangement.] And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it? [She’s being very crafty here.] And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. [She’s saying, “I’m not taking you at your word. I want something right now that’ll prove that you’re going to follow through with your promise and with your word.”] And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.
Judah with his own daughter-in-law. How sordid can that be? One of the listed great abominations in God’s Law.
And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. [So now, she changes back into her former self.] And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand . . .
He sends his friend to pay her the farm animal he had promised and to get his bracelet and other items back.
. . . but he found her not. Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place. And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place.
All of a sudden, she just appeared out of nowhere and disappeared as quickly as she came.
And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her. [So they were perplexed, but there wasn’t anything they could do about it.] And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom.
She’s a widow; she’s not married, and all of a sudden, three months later, it becomes apparent that she’s pregnant. And of course, that was a horrible and a great sin within the family and the nation.
And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. [Oh, here’s Mr. Self-Righteous Judah who is going to condemn his daughter-in-law who is pregnant out of wedlock.] When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child [And you play the organ music in the background from the soap operas while you hear all of this.]: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff.
Boy, was Judah caught. There’s no way she could have had or possessed those things unless she had gotten them from him, and he knew exactly where it was. He thought he was going to have his little fling on the side—no harm, no foul—and he got caught.
And Judah acknowledged them [What else could he do?], and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son.
So he knew. He accepted responsibility for it. She was guilty of just as much subterfuge because she had the knowledge of exactly what she was doing. She was guilty of a heinous sin as well. Judah was guilty of a heinous sin—adultery, fornication, and not only that, incest.
. . . She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more. And it came to pass in the time of her travail . . .
Now we’re going to find out, what does all of this have to do with the identity of Israel and the continuation of the story of Jeremiah’s commission? Well, all of that is leading up to now. This is where we tie back in, and hopefully we’ll move down the road with our topic.
And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb. [Tamar was pregnant with twins of Judah, her father-in-law.] And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand . . .
Here’s the first little son being born. If things go normally, the first son that’s born, there’s no question about it, is there? The one comes out, and then the other comes out. It’s supposed to work that way—pretty simple. But remember, this is a soap opera, so we have to add more complexity to it. This is not going to work out that easy.
And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.
Just so there wouldn’t be any question about it, as soon as the hand of that first little baby was born, she wrapped a scarlet thread around his wrist to mark which one was the firstborn because this was the one through whom those kingly descendants were going to be born. This was who was going to become the firstborn of Judah through whom God was going to fulfill those promises of the crown; and so it was very, very important that this midwife get it right and not mix up those babies. It was unusual because usually it’s a head that’s born; and here with these two twins in the womb, it’s a hand that comes out first. She quickly wraps this scarlet thread around his wrist. Therefore, there is not going to be any question when he’s born and when his brother is born. They won’t mix up the two babies.
. . . that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first. [She’s certifying who the firstborn is.] And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out . . .
Oops! The little baby with the scarlet thread around his wrist pulls his hand back into the womb, and then instead of him coming out first, his brother comes out. Now what are we going to do?
. . . and she said, How hast thou broken forth? [The midwife is amazed. She’s never seen anything like this, probably in all of her time.] this breach be upon thee [This was considered serious.]: therefore his name was called Pharez.
And that’s exactly what Pharez means. It means “a breach.” This is very similar to the handle they gave Jacob when he was born. Esau was the firstborn, yet while he was being born, here’s Jacob coming out of the womb grabbing his brother’s foot. And his name meant “heel catcher, supplanter.” Well, now this Pharez is born and called “breach,” with the inclination that he is responsible for a division and a breach between family members, between brothers, because he wasn’t supposed to be the firstborn. His brother actually began to be born first, but Pharez came out instead.
And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.
Pharez and Zarah. Which one really was the firstborn? Well, it turns out that the one that really was born first was Pharez. So guess what? He was the one that received the birthright promises of Judah, including the fact that through Pharez was going to come the kingly, royal line. And that is why it is through Pharez that David, Zedekiah, and Christ were born—even though there’s concern that he wasn’t really the firstborn because we still have this brother who came out second. He came out second, but here’s this little baby that has the scarlet thread wrapped around his wrist. He was really, in essence, the firstborn.
So why did God record this story, and why did this happen? What does it mean? Believe it or not, brethren, it is the understanding of this family saga and this soap opera that paves the way for the very fulfillment of all that God was doing to fulfill his promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to David. It was through the descendants of these two sons, Pharez and Zarah.
Notice very quickly the genealogy from 1 Chronicles 2:4: “And Tamar his daughter in law bare him Pharez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five.” We’ve counted all of those. We had the first three that were from his wife who died, and then the two twin sons that came from his illicit relationship with his own daughter-in-law. These sons were going to be the ones through whom, not only the kings of Israel were going to be born, but Jesus Christ Himself—even out of an incestuous relationship. Many have a problem with the fact that Rahab, the harlot, was a descendant centuries later, at the time that Joshua entered the land. They want to talk their way out of the fact that Rahab was a harlot. “Rahab wasn’t really a harlot; she was an inn keeper.” They want everyone in the line of Jesus Christ to somehow be good, sterling, righteous people. Regardless of what Rahab was, is there anything worse and more heinous in the lineage of Christ than that which we just read in Genesis 38?
The other thing to keep in mind before we move on: Remember Judah’s original sin? He married a Canaanite woman. Do you see how it worked out? It was according to God’s will, and not man’s, that the descendants of those kings were not Canaanitish, at least from the marriage of Judah. Because it was not one of the sons—those first three sons that he had through this Canaanite woman—that was the father of Pharez and Zarah in the kingly line. No, it’s as if God made sure that one of those three sons was specifically not going to be in the line for His reason. Now, there are certainly ones that were added into it, because we know Ruth, who was in the lineage of Christ, was a Moabitess. Moab was one of those that Israel absolutely was forbidden to intermarry with, and yet the difference was that Ruth converted. She was a Gentile by birth, and yet she converted and embraced the laws of God and became an extension within that family. Therefore, it was permissible. God allowed Boaz to marry Ruth, and she became a descendant. But see, the defiance that Judah engaged in by marrying a Canaanitish woman, God didn’t accept that. So He killed the first two sons of that marriage and obviously had a hand in preventing the marriage of the third son to Tamar through whom that lineage was going to come.
Certainly, God knew how it was going to work out. This also gives a problem to people who have trouble and stumble over the idea of God knowing the end from the beginning. God knew, and He made the promise that the kings were going to come out of Judah. Now, can you tell me He didn’t know that all of this was going to happen and that it was going to be through an incestuous relationship between Judah and his daughter-in-law through whom these twin sons were going to be born? No. God had to know it was going to happen that way. He knows the end from the beginning. Does that mean He was the author of sin? No. Does it mean that He knew what decisions they were going to make and He used those facts to actually bring about the things that He wanted to occur ? Absolutely. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t have a problem with the idea that God knows what we’re going to do and believing that it doesn’t infringe our free moral agency one iota. God was not the author of that incestuous relationship; but He knew it was going to happen, and He used it. He used it to actually fulfill the promises that He was going to make. Why? Because, as we’re going to see, it was important that there be two sons, Pharez and Zarah. God was going to use the descendants of both of these sons of Judah to fulfill His promises to the patriarchs, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. Both of these sons were going to be necessary.
Pharez, who ended up being born first, even though that didn’t seem to be right, was the one through whom the crown of Judah was going to be continued. What happened to Zarah? Well, it’s all speculated in history, and we really don’t know the details on it; but history says that the descendants of Zarah became wanderers, journeying north within the Scythian nations. Who are the Scythians? Those who were of the lost tribes of Israel who wandered north and west. They journeyed north within the Scythian nations, later migrating to Ireland in the days of King David. So this is what’s said about these people—that there were certain factions of God’s people who did not stay with the nation proper.
I am not going to get into all of the details of the migrations of Israel. We have a very long and thorough, detailed paper by that name. You’re welcome to write in for it or to ask for it at the office. It’s called The Migrations of Israel. It goes into the details historically of all of what happened and what history shows of the movement of these wandering Israelites after they were taken by the Assyrians and the Babylonians and what happened to them. It absolutely supports the fact that those physical descendants of Israel did end up in Northwestern Europe and the British Isles. It said that some of these Israelites, even right out of Egypt, went immediately. They did not even leave and go with Moses and the nation, but actually migrated into the British Isles and were there for several centuries. Is that true? There are certain historical evidences that seem to support it. I’m certainly not going to stand on it. I’m going to stand by what’s in the Bible and not by any human history, but it certainly seems to support that there was already a contingent of Israelite stock in the British Isles, even centuries before the ultimate movement of this kingly line into the area.
So history says that the descendants of Zarah became wanderers, even in the days of King David. We’re not even talking about centuries later in the time of the Assyrian and the Babylonian captivities; but even during the time of King David, the descendants of Zarah were supposed to have left and moved on. Why? Well, it makes sense. Here, you’re talking about the son who should have had the right of the kings. They probably had an inferiority complex the whole time, and so it was passed down from generation to generation among the descendants of Zarah—that they truly should have been the ones that the crown was with and that Pharaz and his descendants, these relatives, were the imposters and the ones responsible for this breach and why they didn’t receive their just reward of receiving that crown and all the benefits that came with it. So history says they took off. They said, “Well, we’re not going to stick around here. We’re going to go off.” Whether that happened or not, it certainly fits in with what we do know from the Bible.
Now let’s get back to Jeremiah’s commission. Ezekiel 21:19. Why did we go through and spend that much time on the birth of these two sons, Pharez and Zarah? It’s going to be very, very critical to putting all of the pieces together as we now examine the beginning of the second part of Jeremiah’s commission. Remember, we saw the first part of that commission from the first part of Jeremiah was that he was going to be the instrument through which God was going to tear down and destroy, who was going to root out the very crown out of Judah. And the second part of that commission is that Jeremiah was supposed to replant that crown somewhere else. Where was he going to plant it? How was he going to plant it?
Well, we get a clue here in Ezekiel 21:19. Verse 19 tells us the setting, so it tells us what we’re speaking of. “Also, thou son of man, appoint thee two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come . . .” What are we speaking of here? Well, who was it that the Babylonians took into captivity? Are we talking about the lost ten tribes of Israel now, or are we talking about the Jews? The Assyrians took the northern house of Israel captive, so here we’re talking about Babylon. We’re talking about King Nebuchadnezzar. We’re talking about the Babylonian siege 120 years later that took the house of Judah into captivity. Now skip down to verse 25: “And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel . . .” So, if we’re talking about the Babylonian siege of Nebuchadnezzar, which prince of Israel is this speaking of? It’s speaking of King Zedekiah. Remember, King Zedekiah was an Israelite. That’s why he’s called a prince of Israel. He was not of the house of Israel; he was of the house of Judah. But remember, all Jews are Israelites; it’s just that all Israelites are not Jews. Jews are only one tribe of the kingdom of Israel. So here, we’re speaking of a prince of Israel that was under siege and was removed by this king of Babylon. It’s none other than Zedekiah.
And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the [Eternal] God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown . . .
This is a prophecy in Ezekiel of exactly what God was going to do. He was going to rip that crown away from Zedekiah and away from the entire house of Judah.
. . . Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.
Now, what did we just read? Anybody make sense of all of that? A very fascinating prophecy, and so much is in it. We’re speaking about the removal of the crown from the house of Judah. “. . . Remove the diadem, and take off the crown . . .” Who had the crown? The Jews, the descendants of Judah, the descendants of David specifically among the Jews. For all of those centuries, God had maintained that dynasty; and now, all of a sudden, He says He’s going to take away that diadem. That crown is going to be ripped away from the very house of the Jews. Can it be ripped away from the descendants of David? No. Remember, that’s one of those promises that God bound Himself with. There would not cease to be a son of David upon that throne, and yet He also said in all of these other prophecies we read last time that He was going to take it away from the Jews. So the crown was not going to rule over the Jews anymore, but it still had to be a Jew who was on the throne, if that doesn’t confuse you. A Jew was still going to be on the throne, but not ruling over Jews. That’s how it had to happen if God didn’t lie. How did God pull off all of those promises and tie up the loose ends?
“. . . Remove the diadem, and take off the crown . . .” This was the first half of Jeremiah’s commission—the rooting out, the destroying, the pulling up of that crown out of Judah. And then, “. . . this shall not be the same . . .” What are we talking about? This what? The crown. The crown ” . . . shall not be the same . . .” Does that mean the crown was going to be destroyed; it was going to be extinguished; it was going to cease to exist; it was going to be a vacant throne? Not at all. That was part of God’s promise—that someone was going to continue to sit on that throne. So, what does this mean, “. . . this [the crown] shall not be the same . . .”? It means it was going to change possession. The crown was going to continue, but a change was going to take place—a monumental change—concerning the person who sat upon that throne and wore that crown.
“. . . exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high.” What does this mean? Who was it that had been high up to this point? The descendants of Pharez—that twin son of Judah through whom the descendants of the kings came, including David. All of the Jews were the ones that were high. They were the ones that God had earmarked to preserve the temple, the priestly worship, and the lineage of kings. God says, “. . . exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high.” It was the house of Judah that was high. They had the royalty. They had all the good stuff.
Who was it that was abased? Who was it that was low, up until that time? The house of Israel to the north—the ten tribes that God had separated into that other nation under King Jeroboam. It was that house who was destroyed because of their sins and taken into captivity, and they had no king. They were scattered and had no nation. They were scattered among other peoples. They were made low; they were abased, but God says now, “. . . exalt him that is low . . .”—those northern ten tribes that were scattered. Now they were going to begin to come into prominence again because God did not forget them, and they did not disappear from the face of the earth. They lost their identity; they lost their name; they lost their language because they stopped keeping God’s laws, but God knew who they were.
“. . . exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it . . .” Is God stuttering here? What’s the purpose for the repeating of three overturns? This tells you that the crown was going to change hands three times. There were going to be three overturns of the throne. When was the first overturn? When the Babylonians sieged and took Zedekiah prisoner, killed his sons, put out his eyes, and locked him away in prison for the rest of his life. At that particular moment in history, the throne was ripped away from the house of Judah. That was the first overturn—the first part of Jeremiah’s commission to root up and to destroy. But there are three overturns. So what about these other two overturns? How do they come into play? We’re not going to see that today, but keep it in mind. I’ll get to that when we get to the next one.
“. . . it shall be no more [overturned. That’s the meaning here.], until he come whose right it is . . .” Meaning, the throne? The throne is going to be no more? No, that can’t be what it’s saying. It can’t be saying that the throne was going to disappear; it was going to be vacant. It does mean, “. . . it shall be no more [overturned] . . .” After these three overturns that God was going to bring about in moving this throne from place to place, it wasn’t going to move again “until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” Who is that talking about? Jesus Christ. When Jesus Christ comes as a King of Kings and a Lord of Lords, He is going to take possession of that throne and it’s not going to change again, because He’s going to be the perpetual King forever and ever. But, after the change and the ripping away of that throne from Zedekiah, there were going to be two more overturns before it settled into where it was going to be, and it was going to stay wherever that is until the very literal return of Christ. Where were those two other overturns? Just keep it in mind.
Judah was high while the house of Israel was low for 120 years and without a king. I’ll let you turn to Hosea 3, verses 4 and 5, which show “. . . the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king . . .” That’s exactly what the house of Israel did. They went into captivity by the Assyrians, and they were not a nation organized with a king any longer; and yet God was going to restore a king within that remnant—that lost house of Israel.
The throne was to be overturned three times, meaning that another was going to wear that crown successively. The first overturn was the abasing of Zedekiah and the Pharez line. Here we find out that God was going to put together a healing of that breach that took place when those two little twin boys were born. He was going to reunite the very lines of those sons of Judah. God was going to use the descendants of Zarah, that little baby who had the scarlet thread tied around his wrist. The descendants of Zarah were going to sit on that throne. Now, Zarah wasn’t an ancestor of David, so it couldn’t just strictly mean that God was going to move the throne to the descendants of Zarah, because that would break His promise with David that a descendant of David—a Jew—was going to sit on that throne. So how is it that God is going to heal the breach between these two lines of the family—between Zarah and Pharez—and that a descendant of Zarah is finally going to sit on the throne? And yet, at the same time, it’s still going to be a descendant of David, who’s a Jew. They’re both Jews, but it’s going to be specifically a descendant of David. How can you have both? Well, as you’ll find out, it’s going to be through marriage.
Remember those daughters of King Zedekiah that we read about last time who God saved and put into the care of Jeremiah? It was through those daughters. One of those daughters became the one who married into the house of Israel and the line of Zarah. You had a healing of the breach by a marriage between the houses of those two sons—both of Judah. We’ll see more of that next time as well.
The planting and the rebuilding—turn with me to Ezekiel 17. I want to finish this quickly today. The planting and the rebuilding was the second portion of Jeremiah’s commission. Let’s read chapter 17 and see what it says:
And the word of the [Eternal] came unto me, saying, Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; And say, Thus saith the [Eternal] God; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants. He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree. And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.
What are we talking about? Be patient; God is going to explain it in just a minute.
There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation. It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. Say thou, Thus saith the [Eternal] God; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof. Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew.
Now, what is all of this about? All of this symbolism—you’ve got these two great birds, one cropping off the top of a tree and carrying it off. You’ve got this vine that grows up low. It’s strong. It doesn’t grow tall; it grows low, though. First, it’s going one direction, and then it starts to reach and go the other direction toward this other bird. What does all of this mean? Verse 11:
Moreover the word of the [Eternal] came unto me, saying [Here, God is going to explain precisely what this prophecy refers to.], Say now to the rebellious house [Who is the rebellious house being addressed here? The house of Judah.], Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem . . .
This was referring in picture to what God did to the house of Judah using Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
. . . Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof [Isn’t that exactly what he did to Zedekiah? He took him captive—put out his eyes, hauled him off to prison for the rest of his life.], and the princes thereof . . .
So, the tree that we saw in the verses above—that great cedar—was the nation of Judah. The highest branch at the top was the king. This great bird that came and cropped off the top of the tree and carried it away was King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians. They carried the king of Judah into captivity. Verse 13:
And hath taken of the king’s seed [That means the people of Judah.], and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land.
What covenant is He talking about? Well, before having taken King Zedekiah into captivity, when Nebuchadnezzar first came in and took over the land of Palestine years before, he had made a covenant with the people. He didn’t want to destroy them. He just wanted to conquer them, and he wanted them to pay him tribute; so he allowed the Jewish kings to continue in Palestine. They were just vassal kings under Nebuchadnezzar, and God had allowed that because of the sins of the people; but he had not, at that point, destroyed them yet. But remember the stories that we read last time about the sons of Josiah that weren’t willing to live under the domination of the Chaldeans. They were going to create these great national reformations and become free, so they created collusion with the Egyptians to try and give them strength against the Babylonians. They rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar and said, “We’re going to be independent again as our own nation,” even though God didn’t will it at all. God was making them pay the penalty as a curse for their disobedience, and they weren’t going to be under the curse.
“. . . hath taken of the king’s seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him . . .” That means Nebuchadnezzar said, “Just live under my jurisdiction, pay the tribute that I want out of your kingdom, and you’ll be ok.” And that’s exactly what God wanted.
. . . he hath also taken the mighty of the land: That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand.
That’s the low vine. Under the domination of the Babylonians, God still was going to further His people. He was still going to let them grow—even under domination by Babylon—as a low vine. It wouldn’t grow tall. They wouldn’t be a great kingdom on their own anymore because of their sins, but they were going to be like a low-growing vine that would still be very strong. All they had to do was submit to the curse that God gave them, but they wouldn’t do it.
But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things?
Do you think we can change the will of God and get ourselves out of trouble when God has placed us in circumstances that He wants us to live with?
. . . or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered? As I live, saith the [Eternal] God, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.
That’s exactly what happened to Zedekiah—just like his nephew before and the other brother, the son of Josiah, who didn’t learn their lessons. They each, in turn, decided to rebel against the king that God had placed over them, and they paid the price for it.
Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons.
No, they tried to go into alliance with the Egyptians against the Babylonians, and it backfired because God was supporting and strengthening Nebuchadnezzar.
Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape. Therefore thus saith the [Eternal] God; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken . . .
See, it wasn’t after all Nebuchadnezzar’s covenant. This was the doing of God.
. . . even it will I recompense upon his own head. And I will spread my net upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon . . .
Because of their rebellion and because they never would obey God, then He finally set His hand to actually take them totally into captivity out of their own land.
. . . and will plead with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me. And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword . . .
Does it remind you of the story we read last time about the remnant that God left in Palestine who still could have been spared from destruction and captivity had they just obeyed and stayed put, and they didn’t? They ran off to Egypt, even against the admonition of Jeremiah who spoke in the name of God.
. . . his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword [That’s exactly what happened. Go back and review it in Jeremiah 41 and 42.], and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds: and ye shall know that I the [Eternal] have spoken it.
So God brought about what He said He was going to do, and He didn’t let anybody undermine what He had purposed to accomplish.
Now verse 22. This is what we want to get to.
“Thus saith the [Eternal] God; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar . . .” Remember that tree earlier in the chapter we read about? Now, this is different because in the first part of it, the bird cropped off the top branch of that tree and took it away. That means he took Zedekiah and hauled him off to Babylon. But now we’ve got a part of the prophecy that’s different.
Thus saith the [Eternal] God; I will also take [not the highest branch] of the highest branch [He was going to take something off of the highest branch.] of the high cedar [which was Judah], and will set it . . .
God was going to take a graft off of that high branch, which was the kingly line of Judah, and was going to graft it somewhere else. I know some of you here actually do engage in grafting plants, and so you understand a lot more about this than I do. He was going to take an actual cutting off of the kingly line of Zedekiah and was going to transplant that somewhere else. What are we talking about? The way that God was going to fulfill His promise to David that a descendant of David of that royal bloodline was going to continue on that throne, even though that throne was no longer going to rule over the Jews. He was going to transplant it somewhere else; but it was still going to be a blood descendant of David, cropped off of the family of King Zedekiah, even as he was going into captivity.
. . . I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one . . .
A tender one—as Mr. Armstrong explained it, that was none other than one of those daughters of Zedekiah. Through her, that line of David was going to be preserved. She was going to marry into the other Jewish family that was already, for centuries, established in a foreign land.
“. . . a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent.” What is this mountain? Mountains always refer to kingdoms and nations. He was going to plant this tender one, who had the bloodline of David, in another nation that was already established. It was already a great nation. It was already significant.
. . . will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent: In the mountain of the height of Israel . . .
What nation was this where this Jewish princess was going to be aligned? In some nation in a faraway land, and it was a remnant of the house of Israel, of those northern ten tribes that had gone into captivity years before. “In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it . . .” It was not going to be in a foreign nation. It wasn’t going to be Gentile at all. It was still going to be planted in Israel, but it was not going to be in Palestine. “. . . and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar . . .” He was going to raise up another great cedar, even compared to that of the house of Judah. It was even going to be greater than the manifestation of that house of Judah. “. . . and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing . . .” We’re talking about a worldwide presence—a family that was going to rule over a world power that was going to affect every part of the globe.
. . . and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. And all the trees of the field . . .
We’ve been talking about a cedar tree, representing Judah, and now another tree in a mountain that’s representing this other nation. So here, when we’re talking about “all of the trees of the field,” what are speaking of? We’re talking about all the nations of the world.
And all the trees of the field shall know that I the [Eternal] have brought down the high tree [the house of Judah], have exalted the low tree [the house of Israel of the northern ten tribes], have dried up the green tree [which was Judah], and have made the dry tree to flourish . . .
He was going to bring back the scattered descendants of those northern tribes as He pulled them together in a foreign land and made it the seat of power from which the throne of David was now going to reign. “. . . I the [Eternal] have spoken and have done it.” Oh, He sure did, and He fulfilled every promise that He gave to those patriarchs along the way.
That tender one was to be planted in the house of Israel. Remember that prophecy that we read last time? Isaiah 37, verse 31 very quickly: “And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.” That was the promise. Who was the remnant of the house of Judah? This daughter of Zedekiah. That remnant of the house of Judah with the royal bloodline was going to escape. She was going to be grafted into another family of Judah, even of the line of Zarah of the scarlet thread, who also had a right to that throne.
For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the [Eternal] of hosts shall do this.
And that’s what Jeremiah’s commission was—to take custody of this Jewish princess, and that entourage, and to transport her into the area where she would be married into the line of Zarah, her fellow Jews in a faraway land. They had lost their identity in many respects, and yet God was going to raise them up as a great nation.
After this, the house of Israel, with the throne of David, was to finally inherit the Birthright promises given to Abraham. Remember, several sermons ago, we talked about those Birthright promises of great national wealth—a nation and a company of nations. One portion was going to be a commonwealth of nations that would have world dominance, and the other was Manasseh who was going to be a great nation, independent of its own, in concert with that company of nations—the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh. Indications are that Israel had already been independent in Ireland for four centuries before this time. So there was already the foundation of that nation before this throne of David was transferred into that area of the world.
Next time, brethren, we’re going to see some of the Biblical evidences that point to the British Isles as the new seat of David’s throne, and some of the modern indications that Britain and the United States truly are the very descendants of Israel. Next time.