Taking the Kingdom by Force--Part 4
Jun 25, 2010
Jacob, Ishmael, and Esau each portray a different view of carnal thinking. Jacob agrees with God but worries that He is incapable of doing His will without help from the flesh. Ishmael disagrees with God when the divine will does not suit him and is willing to use violence to get his own way. Esau is motivated by hatred and is stubbornly rebellious against God and any man who stands in his way.
These are all earthly manifestations of Old Covenant thinking, except that they are progressively more zealous, extreme, and selfish.
Jacob's lack of faith in God's ability brought him to the place where he was willing to lie to his father (Gen. 27:19) in order to ensure that the word of God would be fulfilled: "the older shall serve the younger" (Gen. 25:23). This sin gave Esau legal cause against Jacob. Isaac recognized this and told Esau, "when thou shalt have the dominion, you will break his yoke from off your neck" (Gen. 27:40).
In other words, at some point in history the older would no longer serve the younger. The dominion would be returned to Esau, though God intended it for Jacob. The reset button would have to pushed, so that the natural process could take place whereby Esau, the oldest son, would have time to prove himself worthy or unworthy according to the law of the hated son in Deut. 21:15-17.
Though Esau himself was loved by his father Isaac, God identifies Esau as the hated son in Mal. 1:2 and 3, saying, "Was not Esau Jacob's brother? declares the Lord. Yet I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau."
This statement places Esau under the category of the hated son and thus puts a protective wall around him so that his rights would not be violated. As the hated first-born son, he could not be disinherited without lawful cause. Jacob's lie violated this process, for Esau had not yet had time to prove himself to be the stubbornly rebellious son that he was. Note that immediately following the law of the hated son, we read the law of the stubborn son in Deut. 21:18-23. Such a son, if continually unrepentant, was in danger of disinheritance and even execution.
This law prophesies of Esau. But because this change of dominion did not occur immediately, Esau set out to do it himself according to his own will. The controversy over the land of Canaan continued for centuries, as both nations felt that they had the right to inherit that land.
Ezekiel 35 and 36 prophesies against Esau's descendants by the name of Mount Seir (Esau's inheritance). The reason for divine judgment is stated in Ez. 35:6, "since you have not hated bloodshed, therefore bloodshed will pursue you." Further, verse 10 prophesies,
(10) Because you have said, "These two nations [the land of Israel and Judah] will be mine, and we will possess them, although the Lord was there, (11) therefore, as I live," declares the Lord, "I will deal with you according to your anger and according to your envy which you showed because of your hatred against them, so I will make Myself known among them when I judge you."
Ezekiel 36:2-5 again reminds us of Esau's desire to inherit Canaan, saying,
(2) Thus says the Lord God, "Because the enemy has spoken against you, Aha! and The everlasting heights have become our possession" .... (5) therefore thus says the Lord God, "Surely in the fire of My jealousy I have spoken against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who appropriated My land for themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and with scorn of soul to drive it out for a prey."
Isaiah, too, prophesied of this "controversy of Zion" (34:8). The great controversy was over rightful ownership of the land of Canaan. But the prophet says in verse 5,
"For my sword is satiated in heaven, behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom, and upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction."
Verses 8-10 give us a further description of this final judgment:
(8) For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the cause [legal controversy in the divine court] of Zion. (9) And its streams shall be turned into pitch, and its loose earth into brimstone, and its land shall become burning pitch. (10) It shall not be quenched night or day; its smoke shall go up forever from generation to generation it shall be desolate; none shall pass through it forever and ever."
The prophet had no words to describe a nuclear incident, but in the past century we have come to understand such things. Isaiah describes it even more clearly in Isaiah 29:1-6, except that in that case the judgment is directed against Jerusalem (i.e., "Ariel, the city where David dwelt)." Comparing these two prophecies, it is not hard to see that Edom would be the "enemy" occupying Jerusalem during the time of this nuclear destruction.
All of this prophecy leads us to ask who Edom is today? Without understanding this history, it is not possible to understand either Ezekiel or Isaiah, nor indeed the prophecy of Isaac upon his son, Esau. The history books all agree that Edom (Greek form: Idumea) was conquered and absorbed into Jewry around 126-125 B.C. The first-century Jewish historian, Josephus, tells us in Antiquities of the Jews, XIII, ix, 1,
"Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the Idumeans; and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would be circumcised and make use of the laws of the Jews; and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of circumcision and the rest of the Jews' ways of living; at which time therefore, this befel them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews."
A second witness is the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1903 edition, under "Edom," which reads,
"From this time the Idumeans ceased to be a separate people, though the name 'Idumea' still existed (in) the time of Jerome."
We may conclude, therefore, that the Jews are fulfilling not only the prophecies of a portion of Judah, but also of Edom. This prophetic merger explains why it is that Edom would be judged while occupying Jerusalem. Until the Israelis took Jerusalem in 1967, this prophecy could scarcely be understood. In fact, it is still not clearly understood in the Church, because, for some strange reason, they are blinded to the prophetic implications of Edom's absorption into Jewry in 126 B.C.
The establishment of the Israeli state in 1948 was one of the most important modern dates fulfilling Bible prophecy. It was the time that Isaac's prophecy was fulfilled and Esau was given back the dominion and the Birthright in order to give Esau time to prove that he was a stubborn and rebellious son. Zionism today represents the spirit of Esau-Edom, and this fully explains why it has resulted in fleshly violence to "appropriate My land" into their own hands and violently expel the Palestinian people.
Zionism asserts that it is a sin to "divide My land," justifying forcible Jewish occupation of the land and the expulsion of all Palestinians. The irony is that Edom is doing this, exactly as Ezekiel prophesied.
This is the final part of a series titled "Taking the Kingdom by Force." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones