Bible Answers: Solving the Mystery of Israel – God’s Firstborn Versus God’s Covenant Wife
(Ver 1.1) This Bible lesson is a reply to a great reader question about the natural nation of Israel. This is an advanced Bible subject. Therefore, this lesson is potentially offensive and is intended for mature Christians that desire to learn something new in the Bible with an open heart and an open mind. Please judge yourself if this is your desire and motivation before continuing to read about a potential Bible subject from a fresh perspective. This lesson will be about a conflict that occurs between scriptures concerning the natural nation of Israel. We will learn several concepts about this name “Israel” that may have never been taught to you before. I warn you up front to help set your expectations so that I do not become your enemy by showing you something new (Gal 4:16). Please stop and pray and ask God to help everyone see what He wants us to learn in this Bible study.
Also, this is another in-depth Bible lesson with a lot of great Bible verses to study. I would recommend that you break it into sections and maybe do one section a day and this will spread it out over a period of time and hopefully not overwhelm anyone with too much new information at once. I give a lot of Bible verse references and I do not address them each in detail. Therefore, it would be highly advisable that you go and look up each verse, read it carefully, study the context, look up each Greek or Hebrew word and verify in your mind that it is saying what you think it says and use that information to apply to this lesson. This is being a noble Berean type of Bible student mentioned in Acts 17:11. Please do not believe a word I say in any Bible lessons without you verifying it in your own Bible study. Place your trust in God and the Spirit of God on the inside of you to help you see the truth.
Some Christians think a Bible study is just reading a chapter a day for 15 minutes and bang you are done. But that is not what a real Bible study is, even if God says something to you that is helpful to get you through that day. No according 2 Timothy 2:15, God tells us to “Study to show yourself approved, a workman unto God that will not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth”. This verse claims Bible study is more than a casual reading. God has implied that we are to dig deep to be able to understand His Word correctly. Meaning it is not easy and not automatically understood.
Finally I want to say something very important to help people not get offended easily. I love the natural nation of Israel. I love the people living in the natural nation of Israel. I desire everyone both Jew and Gentile to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:16). So if you read something in this lesson that causes you to think I am a racist or a hater of anyone, you are wrong. Are you ready study now? Let us step into an initiation of the controversy within scripture.
QUICK INTRODUCTION TO ISRAEL’S
FOUNDATION AND RELATIONSHIP TO GOD
According to Jeremiah 3:8, Jeremiah 3:14, Jeremiah 3:20, Jeremiah 31:32, Ezekiel 16:8, Ezekiel 16:32 and Isaiah 54:5-6 to name only a few verses, where the natural people of Israel are called the Old Covenant wife of the Lord God. These teach us that God’s Old Covenant relationship between the natural blood line descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his 12 sons and all the natural people that descended from Jacob was that of a husband and a wife. These people were called God’s covenant wife (H802) until they committed adultery and whoredom (Eze 16:17, Jer 3:9, Hos 2:2) with so many other gods and idols. God finally handed these people a bill of divorce (Deut 24:1) that ended that covenant as we can read in Hosea 2:2, Jeremiah 3:8, Isaiah 50:1, and Galatians 4:30 to name just a few. These are simply basic facts of scriptures that need to be understood.
However, there are not a lot of ministers and teachers of the Bible that I know of, that have taught this part of the subject of Israel. But the bottom-line conclusion is that the natural nation of Israel was considered by God to be His set apart woman and His wife (H802). This officially occurred when she entered into a freewill covenant relationship with God on Mt Sinai where God gave them the Law (Jer 31:32, Gal 4:24).
There are several other Bible lessons that go into this in more detail on this website, if you have never studied this subject. I would suggest that you begin with “Understanding Bible Covenants” first. But we have seen enough verses to understand Israel was an Old Covenant female wife in covenant relationship with God her Husband. Let us continue with this introduction to see the apparent contradiction of scripture about Israel.
INTRODUCTION TO AN ISRAEL
The opening lesson introduction statements and verses were probably very controversial to many new Bile students. But we now need to get into a deeper discussion that represents a suggested conflict within scripture. This potential conflict characterizes the root of my reader’s question. Let us get started in learning what was the question and the mystery that is raised within our minds creating some difficult and potentially strong levels of confusion to many Christians. For example, my reader pointed out that in Exodus 4:22-23, the natural nation of Israel while they were in bondage in Egypt, they were potentially called by God, His “firstborn son”. Here is my reader’s exact question and comment:
“I have a question and you can post this on the blog if you want. I understand how earthly Israel is one of the wives of God, but Israel is also called God’s firstborn son in the Old Testament (Exodus 4:22-23). How do you reconcile Israel being both a wife and a firstborn son to God the Father? I am having trouble figuring out the connection and would appreciate any info you could share on that.”
What a tremendously thoughtful and excellent deep Bible question about an apparent conflict of scripture. How can a group of natural people be a male firstborn son and a female covenant wife simultaneously? Can you see the potential confusion that this creates? Let us continue this section of the lesson by reading the verses in question:
Exo 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel (is) my son, (even) my firstborn:
Exo 4:23 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.
It is clear from reading Jeremiah 31:32 and other verses that natural Israel was called God’s covenant wife making God their covenant Husband. But here in Exodus 4 we can clearly see an apparent conflict emerging. The people of Israel before entering the covenant marriage on Mt Sinai to God (Gal 4:24), were potentially referred to in Exodus 4 as God’s “son” and “firstborn”. Therefore, we have God the Father declaring someone or a people His firstborn son in relation to their existence in Egypt. That is an amazing contradiction. Are they His wife? Or are they His son? Or are they both simultaneously? There appears to be a factor of great gender confusion being suggested in scriptures.
Anytime an apparent contradiction occurs in the scripture it is a time for rejoicing. Every perceived conflict should be viewed as an expectant great opportunity to learn, because God does not make any mistakes and there are no conflicts when understood correctly. I have found that whenever I encounter something that looks like a conflict at first in the Bible, it is caused because I do not understand the correct point of view of the subject from God’s spiritual perspective. In other words, I was usually thinking too naturally and not enough from a spiritual viewpoint. We all know God is a Spirit (Jn 4:24) and we should know that His Spirit thoughts are much higher than our natural thoughts (Isa 55:8). Therefore, I seek and ask God to reveal to me, His Word from His viewpoint.
For example, Jesus told us in John 5:39 that if anyone would search the scriptures of the Old Testament, we would find Him (everywhere) in them because they were (ALL of) those that testified of Him. This teaches us that Jesus is hidden in every word, sentence, paragraph, chapter, and book somewhere using some technique of spiritual concealment. Wow, that means Jesus must be found here in Exodus 4 somewhere. Therefore, when I see any potential conflict, I immediately begin my hunt for conflict resolution by searching for Jesus. Let us get started.
Let us begin this part of the lesson by removing the italicized translator added words and punctuation from the verses in question in Exodus. This may help us to see something new.
Exo 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh Thus saith the LORD Israel my son my firstborn:
By the removal of two added words and from this verse and the translator’s commas, it changes the focus tremendously. The translators believed they were adding focus to the natural people and nation, but they have only detracted from God’s statement that this verse was about Jesus. “Thus, saith the LORD Israel My Son My Firstborn”. By removing the added italicized words, it appears the word “Israel” is a name of God’s firstborn son. This should begin to open our eyes to see something that we may have not seen before. But let us verify this using scripture rather than my opinion.
We will begin the verification process with a dive into the Hebrew word used by God to describe Israel. The first word H1121 was translated as “son”. This Hebrew word literally means a male child that is born to carry the name and blood of the family into the next generation. Without the continued male line in the family the family name ends. This is why God created the law where if a firstborn son marries a wife and does not have any children, then his brother was to marry his brother’s widow. They would then try to have children for his dead brother in order to carry on the family name. Ok, we can see this concept first mentioned in Genesis 38 when Judah has 3 sons, and his oldest son marries a woman named Tamar, but he dies before having any children. She then marries the next son, and he refuses to have children for his dead brother, and he dies. The third son is never given to Tamar and so Tamar dresses as a prostitute to have a child through her dead husband’s father Judah. Tamar does get pregnant thought Judah. Thus, the family lineage of Jesus through Judah was preserved by a righteous act of Tamar’s deception (Gen 38:26).
All of this was a God designed connection called a “kinsman redeemer”. This occurred when one blood relative took the wife of a dead relative to have children for him to continue the family name. We can read about this concept again in the Book of Ruth exclusively as a type of our redeemer “Jesus”. Ruth was a Gentile, and a type of the church and Boaz was the type of Jesus the kinsman redeemer that redeemed humanity out of the chains of bondage of Satan’s dark kingdom..
It is also noteworthy that the Hebrew word “H1121” translated as “son” is what Jesus was called in the Bible repeatedly. Every time in the Gospels when Jesus called Himself the “Son of man” or the “Son of God”, the word “Son” was equivalent to this Hebrew word H1121. Right there we have two possible connections to sonship in Exodus 4 and Jesus. First, Jesus was a “Son” (H1121) of Adam and second, He was the “Son” (H1121) of God simultaneously. This was accomplished because Mary the mother of Jesus was a virgin daughter ancestor of Adam that was impregnated by the Holy Spirit (Mat 1:20). Let us go to the word “firstborn” next.
H1060 that is translated as “firstborn”. This Hebrew word comes from the Hebrew word H1069 and it does mean a natural childbirth that opens the womb of a physical women for the first time. Could this potentially also be a hidden reference to Jesus? I believe it is. We know this by reexamining the birth of Jesus in Matthew and Luke to confirm how Mary got pregnant and then notice what this resulting child is called. Please go read both accounts and notice all the details. Pay close attention to Matthew 1:25 and Luke 2:7 to begin. Both verses claim that Mary brought forth her “firstborn” son. Wow, that sounds like the exact wording and phrase used by God in Exodus 4, especially knowing who the Father was to this child by reading Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:32. Both verses claim Jesus’ Father was God the Holy Spirit!
Now ask God this question about our brand-new conflict rising before us in scripture. Was Jesus Christ God’s firstborn Son or was natural Israel in Exodus 4 God’s firstborn son? I mean it CANNOT BE BOTH! It is impossible to have 2 firstborn sons. Even when Jacob is described as birthing 12 sons from 4 different women, there was only 1 “firstborn” to Jacob. According Genesis 35:23 the firstborn son of Jacob was Rueben. The second son’s birth regardless of the mother is always the second son to the father even if it was her first. The first son’s birth regardless of the mother is always the first son. This is also true even if they were conceived simultaneously as twins, only one son can exit the womb first (Gen 25:24-25). There is always only one “first” and one “second”. Therefore, a natural nation of Israel cannot be God’s “firstborn” son while we see Jesus also being called His “firstborn”.
We get the further resolution to this new conflict of two potential “firstborn” sons by reading John 3:16. In John 3:16 God says “For God so loved the world that He gave His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON…” The Greek word G3439 translated as “ONLY BEGOTTEN” means “only born”. John 3:16 defines Jesus to be God’s “ONLY” naturally born Son. This truth of Jesus being the ONLY NATURAL BORN SON is further confirmed by God in John 1:14, John 1:18, John 3:16, John 3:18, and 1 John 4:9.
If Jesus was God’s ONLY naturally born Son, then He must also be God’s “FIRSTBORN” Son. This is basic logic and common sense. An only child is both the first and the last child. We can further confirm Jesus being the “Firstborn” of God by reading these verses: Romans 8:29, Collosians 1:15, 1:Collosians 1:18, Hebrews 1:6, Hebrews 12:23, and Revelations 1:5. In every verse the Greek word G4416 that was used to describe Jesus being Mary’s firstborn son is used to describe Jesus as being God’s “Firstborn” Son. We have just confirmed using scripture that Jesus is the ONLY BORN SON of God and the FIRSTBORN SON of God.
Therefore, the natural nation of Israel would not qualify to be called by this name or title of “firstborn” even though it was the message that was given to us by translators in the English Old Testament. Uh oh! The controversy continues unless both verses are about the same firstborn Son named Jesus with the same common name Israel. Could this be possible? I believe it is. God just gave us a great confirmation that it was His Son Jesus that He was referring to in Exodus 4. But we are not done yet and there is more evidence to consider. We need to continue our Sherlock Holmes type of Bible Study to discover and examine all the clues.
OUT OF EGYPT I HAVE CALLED MY SON
We have been going through Exodus 4:22 and 23 trying to learn who God is speaking of as being His firstborn son with a name of Israel. I want us to examine some new clues given to us by God in the Gospels. I hope you read and noticed that in the book of Matthew chapters 1 and 2, God provides us amazing evidence in the narrative of the natural birth of Jesus and His early childhood. We will be reading some truly relevant verses about Jesus starting in Matthew 2:13. Please read these verses over carefully and notice how they appear to relate directly to Exodus 4:
Mat 2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
Mat 2:14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
Mat 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
Wow, we are discovering some especially important information about God’s Son and the natural nation of Egypt in verses 13, 14 and 15. God purposefully connects Jesus to the natural nation of Egypt very plainly. As we should know, the ruler Herod was angry that the wise men did not return to tell him of the location of Jesus. Herod then killed every male child under two years old in Bethlehem and continued his search for Jesus in case he missed him in other locations of his ruling region.
The angel of the LORD was sent by God to warn Joseph of this plan and he told Joseph to take Jesus into the nation of Egypt. Joseph was told to stay there until he was given the word to leave and return to his home in Nazareth. Then Matthew makes an extraordinary claim. Matthew reveals that this action of Joseph would be the fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy saying, “Out of Egypt, I have called my Son”. This prophecy can be easily passed over or ignored by many Bible students. Let us go back into the Old Testament and examine God’s original prophecy that is quoted by Matthew:
Hos 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge gives us the necessary links to the verse of Matthew 2:15 by connecting this fulfillment back to both this verse in Hosea 11:1 and the Exodus 4 verses in question. The original Exodus 4 divine statement of Israel being God’s Son that was being called out of Egypt is indirectly related to being fulfilled in the child Jesus in Matthew 2. Therefore, the Hosea 11:1 verse that we just read is very plainly and directly related to Jesus and Egypt. I find this amazing to see how God speaks many hundreds of years before Jesus was born on the earth and then tells us in Matthew all of this was fulfilled in the life of Jesus. This just continues to confirm what Jesus said that all of the O.T. was written about Him.
We should realize that God’s spiritual timings are not based upon normal human expectations. We learn from reading in 2 Peter 3:8 that one thousand years of human time is just the same as a single day to God. We can logically deduce that God spoke of Jesus coming out of Egypt as if it were occurring when Moses took the people of Israel out Egypt. But this interpretation creates the conflict with other scriptures that declare this woman being taken out was going to be His Old Covenant wife and that would still not qualify to be the fulfillment of Matthew 2.
I would suggest that you go and read Ezekiel 16 to help us see God has always viewed the natural nation of Israel to be a covenant female. In this chapter of Ezekiel 16, God described the birth of a discarded baby child that is thrown away in the pool of her own blood. This chapter further goes to describe how God took pity on this baby girl and commanded her to live and took care of her to grow up. We can then read how she matures sexually and how God clothed her with fine clothing and jewels. This is the description of these natural people being a woman that were saved out of Egypt. But then we still have a problem with the contradiction of Israel being a male in Exodus 4 if we take the literal English translation as a present tense fact and not a future tense prophecy.
Romans 4:17 reveals and teaches us a divine principle that God calls things that are not yet visibly seen and observable as if they were already manifested into our natural reality. We first learn this concept from Genesis 1 where several times God would say something like “Light Be” and then “Light was”. This is how God works throughout the Bible. Before He does a thing, He would speak it and then it would come to pass only after He had spoken it.
After creation God reiterates this principle speaking through the prophet Amos. In Amos 3:7 God says, “Surely the LORD God will do nothing except He reveal His secret to His servants the prophets”. We learn from this concept that the prophet Moses writing in Exodus was declaring a future secret concerning Jesus. This is the pattern of God declaring His secret plan for future years before the timing of them happening. This principle was certainly repeated by the prophet Hosea 11:1 about Jesus coming out of Egypt and I believe it is the same being said by the prophet Moses writing in Exodus 4.
Let us get back to Hosea 11:1. Did you notice what Hosea 11:1 said? It is easily missed. We know from reading the quotation in Matthew 2 that this verse was a prophecy of the child Jesus being taken to Egypt and then back out of Egypt at God’s direction. But this verse begins with a very radical declaration “When Israel was a Child…”. Notice that it does not say “When Yeshua (Jesus) was a Child”. Ok, that continues the subject and repeats the question that is vital to understanding a lot of the Bible. Who exactly is Israel? It appears from what we are seeing so far that Israel is a name of God and Jesus. Let us analyze this Israel name subject in more depth in our next section.
WHO IS ISRAEL?
Most Bible preachers and teachers that I have learned from believe the name “Israel” is only defined in the Bible as a natural nation of people that originated from Jacob and his 12 sons. And it just so happens, that it was these people that moved to Egypt after their son and brother Joseph was sold into slavery (Gen 37:28) where he eventually became the second in command in Egypt. Remember there was a famine in the land but before it occurred a dream was given to Pharaoh and only Joseph was able to interpret the dream (Gen 41:14-15). It was this famine that was hidden in the dream that drove Joseph’s father to send some of his remaining sons into Egypt to buy them food. While in Egypt they met with Joseph and eventually reconciled, and the entire family moved to Egypt. One of the key brothers of Joseph that is noteworthy was Judah.
Judah was the brother that saved Joseph from being killed by his other brothers. It was Judah that suggested they all sell Joseph into slavery. It was this act of salvation that caused them all to eventually be saved by Joseph from starvation and end up in Egypt. But my key point in this story is that Judah is also the name of the son of Jacob that will bring forth their Messiah named Jesus the Christ. This is an extremely important point to remember. We will try to get to this in depth later. But, for now we have just confirmed how these people came to exist in Egypt.
Now, let us consider how all of these natural people obtained the name “Israel”. To know this, we must read Genesis chapter 32:
Gen 32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
Gen 32:25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
Gen 32:26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
Gen 32:27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
Gen 32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Gen 32:29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
Gen 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
We can clearly see a divine encounter taking place between Jacob and a supernatural being in the form of a “man”. I am not going to attempt to teach this entire encounter. We only need to focus upon the name change that takes place. Here after wrestling this supernatural man, this man asks Jacob his name and says from henceforth your name will no longer be called “Jacob” but rather “Israel” because you have obtained “power” with God and men and have prevailed. Jacob then asked this man his name and then uses the information given to him to name the place where he was wrestling “Peniel”.
Peniel is a Hebrew word that means the “Face of God”. From what we have been reading and studying in Genesis 32, we can surmise that Jacob has just been with God or at the least a supernatural representative of God. We can further deduce that Jacob was given God’s name during this encounter. Wow, I hope you got that. I am totally convinced that “Israel” was one of God’s names first and that it was passed down to the earth as a marriage covenant name change for His chosen natural people that would come from him. Our traditional human marriage covenant name change, for the wife to take the husband’s name was a God created idea. I do not know why so many people have not seen this before. The evidence for this conclusion is all over the Old Testament. Read these verses to help us see what God is saying to us:
2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Isa 65:1 I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
Jer 7:10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
Jer 7:11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.
Jer 7:30 For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.
Jer 32:34 But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it.
Dan 9:19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
I do not have time to go over every verse that I just listed. There are plain references in these sample verses that claim God’s natural people on the earth are all called by His name. This is probably one reason why Satan hates these natural people so very much. In a couple of these verses it may appear to indicate that it is just the city Jerusalem or the tribe of Judah alone that have His name, but that would be a rush to judgment without giving the verses enough thought. For example, if I said the city of Jerusalem is my capital. It requires me asking which Jerusalem and which nation is Jerusalem the capital of? The correct answers would be that God is speaking of the natural Jerusalem on the earth in the middle east and it is the capital of the natural nation of Israel. Therefore, the greater binding covenant name above Jerusalem would be Israel. And all of the people living in the subset of the city of Jerusalem would still be called by the larger mathematical set name Israel also. These are just basic laws of mathematical sets. Every subset category is still a member of the larger encompassing set.
This is also true for the people within in the tribe of Judah. Judah was the one brother that was used by God to bring Jesus into the world. The single tribe of Judah is still under the national heritage of their father Jacob who was renamed Israel. All these people that came from natural Jacob would all be labeled by God as a part of Israel. It is important to notice how the corporate nation containing all 12 tribes originated from one man that was renamed Israel by God. But there are other verses that we may also need to consider helping us confirm the truth. For example, read these verses and notice what they say:
Exo 5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
Jos 8:30 Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal,
Jer 7:3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
There are approximately 200 verses that have the similar phrase “God of Israel” in it. Please think with me and consider what the word “of” means. We should begin by defining the word “of”. “Of” can generally mean the first noun comes from the source or origin of the following noun. It would be like us saying the people of Jerusalem. That clearly would indicate that the people being spoken of came from a city named Jerusalem. But when God says “the God of Israel” it would seem to be an indication that God came from Israel and that does not really make sense, does it? That would appear to be another contradiction since we know someone from heaven came down to give Jacob this name and therefore the name definitely came from heaven.
The antithesis of saying “the God’ of Israel” is found in Galatians 6:16 where God wrote the “Israel of God”. The Galatians 6 verse is clearly speaking about an “Israel” that originated from God, but the phrase “God of Israel” seems to be saying something different or is it. In the first example the God of Israel appears to indicate that God is the lower object that is contained within the higher object that is named Israel. But in the Galatians 6 example the “Israel of God” that cannot be the same type of relationship as Israel appears to be a lower object that is contained within the larger object God. This is just getting too complicated, isn’t it?
I am going to propose another possible solution to this complexity. I believe the word “of” can be eliminated completely and this might solve our problem and help us confirm Israel is God’s name at the same time. This is the same principle that we used earlier by removing translator added italicized words. If you analyze the original Hebrew text in parallel to the English words being stated, you will find that there is no Hebrew word that is translated as “of”. Therefore, it appears to be a translator suggestion to what they thought the other actual words meant. I mean the translator could have written “God in Israel”, “God by Israel”, “God from Israel” as well as the “God of Israel” or even a multitude of other prepositional English words. These prepositions have been added by translators thinking they help us understand the words given to us by God, but sometimes they distract from the original intended meanings.
Let us go back and reread Exodus 5:1 removing the inserted English preposition “of” that is not in the Hebrew. It would read “Thus saith the LORD GOD ISRAEL”. That statement makes a tremendous amount of plain sense to me knowing what I know now. We all should know that God sits in the heavens (Mat 22:32, Heb 1:3). We now have learned that God gave Jacob a name “Israel” that came from heaven (Gen 32:28). Therefore, we have a direct connection of the name Israel coming from God in heaven. Based upon this information it would not be an abuse of scripture to say, “Thus says the LORD GOD ISRAEL”.
Most of the English prepositional words like “the”, “of”, “in”, “by”, “from”, “with”, etc. were added by translators thinking they were helping to clarify the Hebrew words mentioned in God’s ordered sequence. Most of the time they did a great job and they do help us. But please understand there was not a Hebrew word found in the original Hebrew language text that could be translated “of” or “the” in any of these verses. For example, back to Exodus 5:1 if we remove all the words added by translators, God said in the Hebrew “Thus(H3541) saith(H559) LORD(H3068) God(H430) Israel(H3478)”.
If you like the added word “of” in “God of Israel” more than the “God Israel” that is fine, and I will not debate you. For now, I see it more clearly with the omission of the word “of” as being one of God’s names that was given to Jacob in Genesis 32. If you are an advanced Hebrew scholar and would like to share your thoughts on this wording “God of Israel” versus “God Israel”, I would love to hear your comments to learn more about it. But, I now think that we need to move to a different and even deeper study of the name “Israel” that should turn up the intensity of the light on this subject.
UNDERSTANDING THE NAME ISRAEL – DEFINITION
This part of the subject study of the word “Israel should be a Bible study all by itself. But I will give the shortened overview to help us understand that the name Israel is particularly important to our understanding of the Bible. Let us analyze the definitions given to us by dictionaries like “Strong’s”. The Hebrew word translated as “Israel” is H3478. Here is the definition given to us by “Strong”:
From H8280 and H410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity: – Israel.
First notice this word H3478 is made up from the combination of two other Hebrew words. The first “H280” means “to prevail or to have power as a prince or a ruler”. Then that word is combined with “H410”. This word H410 literally means “to have strength or to be mighty” and it is translated as “God” over 200 times in the Old Testament. This Hebrew word is typically viewed as a shortened form (EL) of God’s plural name “Elohim” and is often found in many other Hebrew names. In fact, this short form of God’s name occurs in at least 150 other names found in the Bible like “Samuel” that means “heard of God”.
What I would like you to consider for a takeaway is for us to see that Strong defines this word Israel as “He will rule as God”. Then ask the obvious questions. Who is he? And who can rule as God? Is the answer the natural man Jacob? Is the answer Satan? Or is it possible that He who will rule as God is the conquering and victorious Jesus? I believe it can only be Jesus. We can see several clues revealing this to us in the Bible. For example, read Revelation 12:5 which is a description of male child that is birthed by a woman that is stated to rule with a rod of iron. This male child is not named but he must represent a form of God. Then read Revelation 19:15 where a grown man riding on a white horse comes back to the earth from heaven to rule all nations with a rod of iron. Reading back up in Revelation 19:13 we find this man’s name is the “Word of God”. This of course is another name for Jesus (God the Son).
From just these few examples, I have concluded that Israel (HE WHO WILL RULE AS GOD) is Jesus the risen from the dead Christ. And if we are in Him and overcome our flesh, the devil and the world, then according to Revelation 2:25-26 we read this promise:
Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
Here we have the Highest Ruler Jesus speaking to the churches and He says that whoever overcomes and keeps His works till the end, to them He will give power over the nations and they will rule with Him with a rod of iron. That is an amazing statement of truth. This should give us motivation and hope for a significantly better future. It is self-evident to me that only Jesus qualifies to rule over every nation on the earth. It further says to me that only Jesus is qualified to delegate this authority to anyone else. Therefore, the name Israel can only be God’s name and only He will rule as God! Let us conclude this lesson with a new particularly important perspective.
LET MY SON GO
We have been studying to determine who God was speaking of in Exodus 4:22-23 that is called His Son. We have seen in these verses where God spoke to Pharaoh of Egypt through the prophet Moses and commanded him to let God’s Firstborn Son go or else Pharaoh’s firstborn son would be killed. We all should know the context of this command. This occurred during God’s first Passover. Pharaoh made the wrong choice and did not let God’s Son go. The children of Israel were then told to obtain a lamb to slay it, and to place it’s blood upon the doorposts of the houses. We all should know that this slain lamb was a symbolic representation of Jesus the firstborn Son of God. Jesus was God’s Lamb that would be crucified hundreds of years later, on a cross on Passover. It was this lamb’s blood on the doorposts of homes in Egypt that instructed the death angel to bypass their houses and all their firstborn were saved. But the firstborn of every house of Egypt without any lamb’s blood their firstborn child died, including Pharaoh’s.
Here is the main point. When God was speaking of His firstborn Son to be freed from bondage, He was looking forward in time seeing the Son of God that would be born from the people of the nation of Israel that were being held in bondage in Egypt. All the living descendants of Jacob/Israel were being held captive slaves in this natural nation of Egypt. And if they were never freed, how could their Messiah Jesus have been born in Bethlehem? How could there have been a temple built in Jerusalem? How could there have been David the King of Israel, and on and on we could go. God was calling things that were not yet manifest as if they were already real when He commanded His Firstborn Son to be freed from Egyptian slavery. Wow, I pray you are receiving what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.
I need to show you a principle that is revealed to us in the book of Hebrews that is a MUST to understanding a lot of the Bible. I have taught this principle in other Bible lessons because it applies to many other subjects and it represents a fundamental law of God called the Law of Seeds.
Heb 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
Heb 7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
Heb 7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
Heb 7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
Heb 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
Heb 7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
Verse 5 begins with a description of Levi and his descendants being given the responsibility of High Priests in Israel. God then says these descendants were commanded to receive tithes of their brothers in the other tribes of Israel. God ends the verse with the radical statement that all of these people came out of the “loins” of Abraham their father. That was the fundamental law that you need to see. When God showed me these concepts I was literally blown away. Think of the implications that this truth is revealing to us. For example, God knows the exact sperm cell and their order of impartation into a female to cause every impregnation of every born child down the entire family blood line. We can clearly see that God is into every detail of our life. This is a divine characteristic of Him.
Notice what God said in verse 5. Remember that Levi was the great-grandson of Abraham. Levi came from the family lineage of his father Jacob/Israel. Then Jacob going down the family tree came from his father Isaac. Isaac continuing down the family tree then came from his father Abraham. Yet God speaks of them all as a corporate single individual sperm cell being one together, from one source and one father. Wow! You may not understand this concept of a sperm cell. A natural sperm cell is called a “seed” by God in the Bible. You can read about this concept in Genesis 38:9 in the story we looked at earlier about Onan who married Tamar his dead brother Er’s wife to raise up a seed for him. In the case of Jesus it was God’s word that was His Seed that impregnated the virgin Mary. Read down to verse 9 to find out the most important concept that applies to our lesson.
Did you notice what God says in verses 9 and 10? God makes it very plain that Levi who received tithes three generations later after Abraham also paid tithes to Melchisedec because he was that one sperm cell in the “loins” of his father Abraham when it happened. Wow, Wow, and Wow! This is the law of fruit with seeds inside itself given to us by God in Genesis 1:11. There is an old concept that says “No one knows how many apples are in one apple seed. That is a part of what God is teaching us, “No one knows how many children are in one Abraham “seed” except God. We notice this concept being repeated by God in 1 Corinthians 15:22 where God says “in Adam (his seed) all die, but in Christ (His Seed) all shall be made alive”. What God is saying is because Levi was a seed inside Abraham, whatever Abraham did was what all of his descendants from that seed also did. Again, Wow!
Can you see how this law of Seeds from Genesis 1 applies to what God said in Exodus 4:22-23? Since Levi was in an Abraham seed, so also was his brother Judah. Since Jesus came from the tribe of Judah, Jesus also paid tithes to Melchisedec like Levi. This is such a radical revelation. Why do you think it was so important for God to put Jesus’ genealogy in the books of Matthew and Luke? These genealogies show us who Jesus was in all the way back to His natural father Adam. Jesus was in Adam when he rebelled and caused everyone that comes from him to also die. This teaches us that Jesus was born into the world to die. It also helps us to understand how God says in Revelation 13:8 that Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. God had Jesus planned to come into the world when He created Adam. Jesus was the preplanned seed of redemption inside of Adam before there was any need for Him to come. This is a great descriptive example of the Omniscience of God. He knew what was going to happen before it happened and it was already taken care of in His mind and His designed actions when creating our world.
Therefore, Jesus was the continuing seed in all of His natural family lineage loins including when they were being commanded to be released from Egyptian captivity and slavery in Exodus 4:22-23. This confirms how God’s commandment to Pharaoh to let go His “firstborn” was a directive to speak of His coming Firstborn Son Jesus the Christ. When God was speaking of releasing the nation of Israel in Egypt, there was present one seed (sperm cell) in this group of all the people that contained His firstborn Son. Please understand that I am not making up facts of truth. God teaches us very clearly in Galatians 3 this one seed concept speaking of Abraham. Read this verse that confirms the one seed concept:
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
We can plainly read when the promises of God were given to Abraham and his seed that God was only focused upon a single seed that was Jesus Christ. God again saw every detail and selected one sperm cell and made His promise to that one seed that would continue until Jesus came into the world. Wow! I don’t know how anybody is not totally amazed at God’s wisdom. Praise the LORD!
We have been discovering some radical new information and how to understand and apply it to JESUS. Thank you to my reader for a great Bible question. We just learned how God commanded the entire nation of Israel from Pharaoh’s captivity while He was speaking of just one Seed that would become His, Firstborn Son, named Jesus being born in a manager in Bethlehem some 1400+ years later. Is there anybody like God? I don’t think so! We have just given the resolution of a major conflict of scriptures simply by seeing the verses from God’s higher perspective. We have discovered that Jesus said all of the verses in the Old Testament testify about Him and now we are beginning to see how this can be with a lot more clarity. I pray that you can see how God could simultaneously be speaking of natural Israel, His covenant wife while declaring His natural born ONLY SON was in her to command a world ruler to let Him go.
Today we should have learned the following facts of information:
- Israel was a given name that came down from God in heaven.
- The name Israel was given to one man named Jacob
- But in Jacob were the seeds for the entire nation so everyone is called Israel
- Israel is a name that means “He will rule as God”
- Israel became God’s Old Covenant wife being a nation of people referred to as a single female bride
- Israel committed adultery and whoredoms with other gods
- Israel was divorced by God ending the covenant
- Israel became captive slaves to Egypt
- God raised up a deliverer of Israel named Moses that was faithful to God to bring His message to Egypt
- God commanded Pharaoh to let His Son His Firstborn go or else Pharaoh’s son would be killed
- We now know from the N.T. that Jesus is the “Only Born” Son of God
- We now know also from the N.T. that Jesus is the “First Born” Son of God
- Therefore we know that natural Israel the nation cannot be the same
- We can now conclude that God’s Firstborn Son that was being commanded to be freed was a prophetic reference to Jesus who was a single seed in the natural nation of Israel and whatever happened to them would happen to Jesus
- Pharaoh released the natural nation of Israel (God’s Son) without fully understanding who he was freeing.
- Israel is Jesus’ name and He will rule as God now and in the future 1000 year millennium.
These were some of the key points that should have been understood in today’s advanced Bible lesson. I would highly recommend that you go back and reread lessons like this more than once. It was too much information to get it all with one reading. I hope and pray that everyone gained some spiritual knowledge that helped them understand God’s Holy Word. I also pray that you learned how to study the Bible more than just to read what the Bible says on the surface. This desire should cause us to begin to see things more like God sees them and to look for Jesus in every word.
It is my number one goal to teach people how to fish for their everyday truth food in Bible study and not to just give someone a single fish snack Bible lesson for the day. I love God and the Bible more than life itself. The Word of God is the most amazing Book that is available anywhere in the world. I pray that you saw something new in this Bible lesson that you have never seen before and that this increase in your spiritual knowledge. I pray that every new revelation that you receive from God, will help to open your eyes to become a severely starving and thirsty Christian that only knowing more about Jesus will satisfy.
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AGAPE “GEEK” CHRISTIAN RECCOMENDATIONS
High-Tech companies are trying to silence us. If you are using the most popular search engines as your source for information they are tracking everything you do on the internet and you have no privacy or rights. They also filter what you see on your searches to their biased ungodly preferences using corrupt algorithms that are biased against all Conservative Christian voices.
I highly recommend that you change immediately your search browser to the “DuckDuckGo” browser and search engine to protect yourself and keep these high-tech monopoly companies from placing Christians at the bottom of the search results to silence us. Also get off of Social Media like Facebook. I stopped using this over 5 years ago. I recommend Parler as a free speech alternative platform Thank you and God Bless you all very much.