ISRAEL IN THE ISLES
We must keep in mind the fact that the Lord cast Israel afar off to the isles of the sea, and then, through the prophet Isaiah, commanded silence for a certain period, or until the people should have renewed their strength. This same prophet, in the first verse of the forty-ninth chapter, again addresses the people who dwell in the isles as follows: "LISTEN, O isles, unto me: and hearken, ye people from afar"; and then makes the declaration: "Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
Israel, as we know, was cast out of her land for idolatry, and Baal-ism was one of her chief idolatries. Before she was cast out she seems to have acquired the habit of attaching the name of the god Baal to places and cities, for on the ancient maps of Palestine we find Baal-meon, Baal-gad, Baal-ath, Baal-shalisha, Baal-Tamar, Baal-peor, Baal-hazor, Baal-zephon, Mt. Baalah, and others.
But surely these people carried that same proclivity with them to the islands, for in Ireland this name of the god Baal is found just as frequently, if not more frequently, a circumstance which shows that this idol was honored and worshipped by her eastern colonists. The Rev. T. R. Howlett furnishes us with the following list of Baal-it-ish names found in Ireland: Baa-y-Bai, Baal-y-gowan, Baal-y-Nahinsh, Baal-y-Castell, Baal-y-Moni, Baal-y-ner, Baal-y-Garai, Baal-y-nah, Baal-y-Con-El, Baal-y-Hy, Baal-y-Hull-Ish, Baal-NahBrach, Baal-Athi, Baal-Dagon.
Regarding the evidence given by these names, Howlett says: "These certainly are memorials of the Baal worship once prevailing in Ireland. In them we have not only the name of Baal, but its conjunction also with other Hebrew names. How can this be accounted for, except as they were so called by emigrants from Phoenicia and Palestine?
One thing that particularly marks the Hebrew origin of these names is their attachment to places but not to persons. The Canaanites and Phoenicians, attached the names of their gods, Baal, Bal, Bel to persons, as Eth-Baal, Itho-bal, Asdru-bal and Han-i-bal. These were family names among the heathen nations surrounding Israel. In like manner, we find among the chosen people the names of their God associated with and forming a part of family and personal names; as "El" and "Jah," in Isra-el, Ishma-el, Lemu-el, Samu-el, Ezeki-el, El-isha El-ijah. Baal never found favor among the Hebrews as a personal name, though used freely for localities. They gave it to their towns, but not to their children. Its use in Ireland is proof of the Israelitish origin of the earliest settlers -- philological evidence of racial unity."
But this custom of thus using the name of Baal has long since passed away from the descendents of those who settled in "INNIS PHAIL" -- an Island Wonderful -- and her sister isles. These islands need no longer keep silent, for their people have renewed their strength and thus the isles are yielding up their secrets. Hence, we should not be surprised that the name of Baal is no longer in the mouth of their people. By the mouth of the prophet Hosea, whom the Lord used to declare that he would hedge up the way of Ephraim Israel, so that she could not find her paths, he also says: "I will take away the names of Baal-im (plural of Baal) out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name," (Hosea 2:17).
But just prior to this saying the Lord has given a prophecy, of which this is but a part, the sequence of that which precedes it, and which reads as follows: "Behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness [the hitherto uninhabited country], and speak comfortably to her heart [Margin]. And I will give her vineyards from thence [there], and the valley of Achor [sorrow] for a door of hope; and she shall sing as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi [my husband]; and shalt call me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth."
All idolatrous names were taken from the mouth of Israel, not so much because they had reached that God-appointed place where they were to be moved no more, and where the children of wickedness were not to waste them as at the first, but because they had passed out from their former sorrow through the door of hope, which was caused by the fact that their Lord had spoken comforting words to their hearts, and because she could look up in love to him and say, "Ishi -- my husband." The reason for this heart-experienced hope will become clearer as we proceed with the prophetic history of this people, whose centralization of racial life and power is in those islands which are northwest of Palestine.
But in this same forty-ninth chapter of Isaiah, after letting us know that Israel is located in the isles, the prophet foretells some events in the future history of that island nation. Among these predicted events we find the following: "Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One: In the time of favour [grace] have I heard thee, and in the day of salvation [the Christian era] have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and I will appoint thee, as a people of the covenant, to establish the earth, to cause [thee] to inherit the desolate heritages."
In this quotation we have, for the sake of clearness, followed in part both the King James and the Isaac Leeser translations. The italicized phrase is from Leeser, and is remarkable for its clearness, especially in its use of the article a before people, because Ephraim-Israel, although not all the people, is distinctly a people, of the covenant; and as a people of the covenant she is appointed to establish, people, or cause to be inhabited, the desolate, uninhabited places of the earth. These desolate localities are given to Israel as an inheritance, and she has needed them in fulfilling the destiny of the Birthright Kingdom of Israel -- that of becoming many nations, or a company of nations.
But we must now notice the word covenant, since it is used in the phrase as a people of the covenant. The Hebrew word for covenant is Beriyth, which in Judges 8:33 and 9:4 is used as a proper name, and, for that reason, it is simply transferred into the English text without being translated. It is given there as the name of one of the idols of Israel, namely: Baal-beriyth, and means Baal of (the) covenant. Also the Hebrew words Ben-iysh Yemiyniy are translated "Son of a man of Jemini. Thus Ben means "a son" lysh, "a man," and Yemiyniy, Jemini. The anglicized form of these words are Ben, ish and jamin, and, taken together, they mean "A man of Benjamin, or a Benjamite."
We have brought you through this group of words to show that ish in Hebrew means a man. Now take the Hebrew word which is translated covenant, which in its original form has no vowel, but which in its Anglicized form retains the vowel i to preserve the y sound, and we have Brith, which joined with ish is Brith-ish, and means "A covenant man." Today the BRITISH people, or men of the covenant, are called Britons, and are dwelling in the British Isles!!!
We are told that the people of Waels call themselves, in ancient Welsh, "Bryth y Brithan," or Briths of Briton," which means "The Covenanters" of "the land of the Covenant." The first form of this phrase is almost vernacular Hebrew.
It is also unmistakably recorded in British history that the earliest settlers in Wales and southern England were called Simonii. They came by the way of the sea in the year 720 B. C. At this time there was the greatest influx of the Tuatha de Daanan to Ireland, and this synchronizes with the deportation of the Israelites of the commonwealth of Ephraim to Assyria, and the flight of Dan and Simeon from the seaports and coast country of Palestine. That Simonii is the plural of Simeon we need scarcely mention.
But all evidences of the fulfillment of this prophecy are not philological, for Isaiah, still addressing the Israelites who dwell in the islands, predicts the following: "For thy waste and desolate places, and the land of thy destruction [the destruction of their identity], shall even now be too narrow [pressed, straightened] by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up [the Assyrians] shall be far away.
The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears: The place is too straight [small, crowded, cramped] for me; give a place to me that I may dwell," (Isa. 49:19-20).
Here are a people called Israel who are living in the isles of the sea. They have lost one company of people, and yet their children say that the place is still too small, cramped and crowded, because there are too many inhabitants for such a small country. Consequently they ask the Mother Country to give them a place also. Or, according to Leeser's translation, they say, "Make room for me to dwell," and the Mother Country must do it, because it is she to whom the Lord has given the desolate heritages of the earth.
Mark this! It is also said of the mother country, or Mother Israel, that she "lost" her first children before other of her children asked for territory in which to dwell.
England is the only country on the face of the earth where these conditions obtain. Her first child was called New England, but she LOST it, and now it -- together with that which, for various reasons, has been annexed -- is called The United States of America.
But, after losing her American colonies, her work of colonizing non-populated portions of the world kept right on; until today through the power of these colonies she holds possession of Prince Edward's Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Vancouver's Island, New Foundland and Canada. All of these are unitedly called the Dominion of Canada, and to these are added the six States of Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, British India, the Fiji Islands and parts of Africa, Egypt and China. So that now the sun never sets on the realm of the United Kingdom.
But we should expect this, and even more, for according to Jer. 31:9-10, the Israel which is located in the Isles is none other than Ephraim, the Abrahamic Birthright People, of whom the Lord says: "I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first born."
Ephraim, as we have shown, was the second son of Joseph. But when the birthright blessing was given to Joseph in his sons, Ephraim, the younger, was set before Manasseh, the elder. They were to remain together, however, until they grew into a multitude in the midst of the earth. After that they were to separate; then Manasseh was to become a "great" people, or nation, and Ephraim was to become "a multitude, or company of nations."
The people in the British Isles did certainly grow together until they became a multitude of people in the earth, and then they separated. The separated people has become a great nation, and those who were left in the isles have become a multitude of nations. The government of the separated people is democratic, the people in the isles still live, as they ever must, under a monarchy, but the two peoples are, as Joseph's two sons were, brothers; and they even call each other "Brother John" and "Brother Jonathan." There are no other nations on earth who thus brother each other.
The facts recorded above are also in fulfillment of another prophecy given by dying Jacob concerning Joseph, which reads as follows: "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well [water], whose branches run over the wall," (Gen. 49:22).
An objector has said: "But I believe the words 'a multitude of nations' means a multitude of different nationalities." If this be the true meaning of these words, then surely England, with her sixteen nations in British India, her Indians and Esquimaux of British America, her Fiji Islanders and New Zealanders, and her subjects of still other nationalities, which are absolutely too numerous to mention -- surely England is a multiplicity of nationalities. Still we do not believe this to be the meaning of the words under discussion, but we do believe that this fact of England's thus ruling so many nationalities, and of America's holding dominion over the Sandwich Isles, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico and the Philippines is the fulfillment of a promise that Israel shall inherit the lands and labor of the heathen, which is given as follows:
"He brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness: and gave them the lands of the heathen; and they inherited the labour of the people; that they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the Lord," (Psa. 105:43-45). The Bible follows Anglo-Saxon conquests, and some of the people in all these nations both receive and keep the law of God.
We must remember that Ephraim and Manasseh, as the representatives of the house of Joseph, both together received the birthright blessing under the hands of the dying patriarch, and that since they thus jointly hold the birthright blessing, even though Ephraim was set before Manasseh, we may expect that they shall hold many of its blessings in common. Take, for instance, the blessing pronounced upon the land of Joseph, as given by Moses on the day of his death, which is only an enlarged edition of that which was given by Jacob on the day of his death, and which is as follows: "And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven [rain], for the dew, and for the deep [ocean] that croucheth beneath [his vessels], and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and the precious things put forth from moon to moon, and through the chief [best] things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the everlasting hills, and the precious things of the earth and the fullness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let this blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling [firstborn] of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of an unicorn [the unicorn is in the national seal of England] with them he [Joseph] shall push the people together to the ends of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh," (Deut. 33:13-17).
This promise of wealth on land and sea, of abundant harvests, of rare gems and precious stones, of the richest and the greatest mining interests in the world, is fulfilled in England and America. It is also true that these nations, not only push the aborigines of their possessions into the ends, or corners, of their countries, but they also push the people of other nations with whom they war into corners. Concerning America and her aborigines, we need only say, "Lo, the poor Indian," and ask, Where is he? And then ask the same question concerning the aborigines of the countries which fall into the hands of England. Just here the alien testimony of the Russian Vernadsky is pertinent. He says, "Britain is a spider whose web encompasses the whole world within her own dominions. She has all the resources of all the continents. Her empire is stronger and vaster than any coalition of other states. She is a standing menace to all other powers, and her increasing strength is destructive to the balance of power. Nevertheless, unsatisfied and insatiable, she is grasping for more territory. Yesterday she seized Fiji; the day before she took the Diamond fields; today she annexed Transvaal, and tomorrow she will clutch Egypt. It is only too clear that the power of Britain is too great to be compatible with the general safety, and that the aggressive empire, unless speedily checked, will establish a universal dominion over all the people of the earth."
Our reply to this expressed fear concerning Britain is "universal dominion," is that England alone will not gain this, but that England and America will yet form an alliance and that then they shall push the people to the ends of the earth, for it is foretold that they, Ephraim and Manasseh, "together" shall do this, and also that, "Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the whole WORLD with fruit," (Isa. 27:6).
The fulfillment of these promised blessings, which were pronounced upon the land of Joseph, by the people in the isles and their "separated" brother, is the cause of the fulfillment of another prophecy given by Isaiah concerning this same people, which is as follows: "Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon [Palestinean seaport], that pass over the sea have replenished. And by great waters [same place as in Ezekiel's riddle] the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river is her revenue; and she is the mart of nations."
The Sihor is a river in Egypt. Israel dwelt in Egypt for four hundred and thirty years, hence they were formerly from Egypt, latterly from Palestine, now in the isles of the Great Waters!!! Moreover, the birthright holders were born Egyptians. Thus the Lord says, "When Israel was a child, then I loved him and called my son out of Egypt." It is for these reasons that, in the Bible, the Ephraim Israelites are in two places called Egyptians.
This fact of calling Israel out of Egypt is doubly true in the case of Israel; first in the fact that when Israel was a child (a young nation), the Lord called her out of Egypt; second in the fact that the Lord's son, Ephraim his first born was called out of Egypt. This was also true again, after the flight of Joseph and Mary into Egypt with the babe under the protection of an angel, for it is again written, "Out of Egypt have I called my son."
But there is another prophecy in Isaiah which has been most wonderfully fulfilled in the history of Ephraim and his brother Manasseh, i.e., England and America, the long lost house of Joseph. It is the following: "The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. And all the people shall know, even Ephraim, and the inhabitants of Samaria," (Isa. 9:8-9).
Here we have the names of Samaria-Ephraim-Israel, the birthright kingdom, used prophetically. In connection with these names is the fact that the Lord sent a word to Jacob, and that it lighted not upon Judah, but upon Israel, and that all the people of Ephraim "shall know" this.
"Ye chosen seed of Israel's race –
Ye ransomed from the fall!"
Again we say, hear this! "In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the WORD was made flesh, and dwelt among us full of grace and truth. He came to his own [Judah] and his own [the Jews] received him not." So he said to his disciples, "Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Christ, the Divine WORD was "SENT" "into Jacob," bringing life, light, grace, and truth, but Judah rejected the word sent from God, so it lighted upon Israel. Thus, the Apostle Paul, who was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, and who was raised a Pharisee of the strictest sort, understood himself perfectly, when he said, "Israel [as a whole] bath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election [Ephraim-Israel] hath obtained it, and the rest [Jewish-Israel] were blinded." Who, "as concerning the gospel are enemies; but as touching the election [racial] are beloved for the fathers' sakes." Hence, "blindness in part [or blindness to a part] is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in."
But of that part of the elect race which is appointed to be the recipients of the word which God sent. Paul says, "There is a remnant according to the election of grace," and it is the people who belong to the election of grace, that follow the colonies of that elect race, and plant the standard of the gospel of the grace of the Son of God among the nations of the earth. Thus the Messianic promise, which the Lord made to Abraham, that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed, has received a double fulfillment, in that those who carry the message of the One Seed, are also the seed of Abraham. This is true either nationally or spiritually, for all who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ, are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. And it is also true that the Anglo-Saxons are pre-eminently the evangelists of the world.