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1. The use of the word ‘Israel’ in the Scriptures
The book of Genesis uses it almost extensively to address Jacob who was named ‘Israel’ by God.
The book of Exodus starts using it for the descendents of Jacob, the nation that was formed in Egypt. Check general context of these texts in Exodus and:
And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.
22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:
23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.
Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:
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And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites ……. First time used
Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel
And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, which He swore unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.
When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father in law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt;
After Sinai, God declares Himself as ‘The God of Israel’
And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel,
And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
2 Chron. 30:26
[In the time of King Hezekiah of Judah] “ So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.”
2 Samuel 5:8-12
“And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel‘s sake.”
2. ‘The Kingdom of Israel’ – Malchut / Mamlechet Yisrael
1 Samuel 15:28
Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you.
1 Samuel 24:20
I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands.
Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel.
Important & Conclusion
Critics hold it against the Creator God that He commanded the Israelites to wipe out the Canaanites etc and take possession of the Land. These critics should lay this at the feet of God – but also take note of the serious Warnings of the following Scriptures:
3. “Land of Israel” – IS used indeed several times in Scripture
Joshua is the first to refer to sections of the Promised Land as ‘Israel’
|כא וַיָּבֹא יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בָּעֵת הַהִיא, וַיַּכְרֵת אֶת-הָעֲנָקִים מִן-הָהָר מִן-חֶבְרוֹן מִן-דְּבִר מִן-עֲנָב, וּמִכֹּל הַר יְהוּדָה, וּמִכֹּל הַר יִשְׂרָאֵל: עִם-עָרֵיהֶם, הֶחֱרִימָם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ.||21 And Joshua came at that time, and cut off the Anakim from the hill-country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill-country of Judah, and from all the hill-country of Israel; Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities.|
Note that Joshua differentiates between the area of Judah and of Israel. Thus not referring to an overall ‘Land of Israel’
And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord God.
And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
Ezek. 25 defines what God (the God Of Avraham) will do with those who turn on and begrudge Israel. This happened to Tyre, the Trade Metropolis of the Middle East, Tyre, Lebanon, the Phoenecian World Empire (Ezek. 27, Isa. 23). The Phoenecian fleet, in an Alliance that King Solomon had with this Phoenecian Empire, assisted Solomon to build a World Empire, the likes of the Roman Empire and the USA of today.
Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
And the east side ye shall measure from Hauran, and from Damascus, and from Gilead, and from the land of Israel by Jordan, from the border unto the east sea. And this is the east side.
– which opens an entire facet of Prophetic Scripture regarding the re-identification and Return of the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel to ‘The Land of Israel’
Independent research scholar. He works tirelessly as an activist promoting Israel and settlement of the Land of Israel, and as Webmaster and co-ordinator of Kol HaTor. Read More.