All the Nations

of the World

Isaiah 40

Comfort, O comfort my people,
   says your God. 
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
   and cry to her
that she has served her term,
   that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
   double for all her sins. 

A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
   make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 
Every valley shall be lifted up,
   and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
   and the rough places a plain. 
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
   and all people shall see it together,
   for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ 

A voice says, ‘Cry out!’
   And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All people are grass,
   their constancy is like the flower of the field. 
The grass withers, the flower fades,
   when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
   surely the people are grass. 
The grass withers, the flower fades;
   but the word of our God will stand for ever. 
Get you up to a high mountain,
   O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
   O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
   lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
   ‘Here is your God!’ 
See, the Lord God comes with might,
   and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
   and his recompense before him. 
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
   he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
   and gently lead the mother sheep. 

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
   and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure,
   and weighed the mountains in scales
   and the hills in a balance? 
Who has directed the spirit of the Lord,
   or as his counselor has instructed him? 
Whom did he consult for his enlightenment,
   and who taught him the path of justice?
Who taught him knowledge,
   and showed him the way of understanding? 
Even the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
   and are accounted as dust on the scales;
   see, he takes up the isles like fine dust. 
Lebanon would not provide fuel enough,
   nor are its animals enough for a burnt-offering. 
All the nations are as nothing before him;
   they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. 

To whom then will you liken God,
   or what likeness compare with him? 
An idol? —A workman casts it,
   and a goldsmith overlays it with gold,
   and casts for it silver chains. 
As a gift one chooses mulberry wood
   —wood that will not rot—
then seeks out a skilled artisan
   to set up an image that will not topple. 

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
   Has it not been told you from the beginning?
   Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
   and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
   and spreads them like a tent to live in; 
who brings princes to naught,
   and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. 

Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
   scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows upon them, and they wither,
   and the tempest carries them off like stubble. 

To whom then will you compare me,
   or who is my equal? says the Holy One. 
Lift up your eyes on high and see:
   Who created these?
He who brings out their host and numbers them,
   calling them all by name;
because he is great in strength,
   mighty in power,
   not one is missing. 

Why do you say, O Jacob,
   and speak, O Israel,
‘My way is hidden from the Lord,
   and my right is disregarded by my God’? 
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
   his understanding is unsearchable. 
He gives power to the faint,
   and strengthens the powerless. 
Even youths will faint and be weary,
   and the young will fall exhausted; 
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
   they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.

Who is Like our God? Ray Stedman: Isaiah 40

The United States is only One Nation among Many

In recent months a ground swell of patriotism can be seen in our country. It's far from a moral majority, but it is a grass roots uprising. Much of this stirring is about our history of having once been "One Nation Under God with liberty and justice for all." Many older citizens remember America as we were during World War 2, in the Great Depression before that, and in The Cold War, and so on.

Very dark forces of lawlessness, anarchy, and revolt against all authority threaten the social order now. Our prosperity as the once-richest nation on earth is fast fading. Our once great super power status is all but gone. As a bastion for freedom and opportunity we are no longer highly regarded by other nations -- and we probably can't recover.

What is not part of the discussion is a consideration of world history. Once great civilizations have risen, prospered, faded and fallen--to be remembered only by a Tell in the desert.

Perhaps 50% of American claim they "believe in God" but that doesn't carry much weight with the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Probably fewer than 10% of American today actually know, serve and obey the God of the Bible through Jesus Christ, God the Son.

What is being ignored by the majority is the Sovereignty of God! He has told us clearly who we are and about His rule over all the nations. Only one nation has ever had a Covenant with God, and that nation is Israel. It's very naive, I believe, to ignore God's dealings with the other nations and to insist that we have rights and privileges as an Entitled Nation. Greatly blessed, yes! It's not our planet to mess one. The Owner is about to step in and fully restore everything.

The one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob declares in no uncertain terms that He is the sovereign ruler over all nations. Isaiah 40. Furthermore tiny Israel is God’s template! Their entire 4000 year history from Abraham until now is God’s show-and-tell for the world to see.

Great civilizations have risen and fallen down through history why should we be an exception to the rule?
Here is a quick look at the rise and fall of a few "great civilizations." 

The Aztec Civilization:1325 A.D. – 1521 A.D. 199 years
5 generations 
The Roman Civilization:753 B.C. – 476 A.D. 277 years
7 generations 
The Persian Civilization: 550 B.C. – 331 B.C. 219 years
5.5 generations 
The Ancient Greek Civilization: 2700 B.C. – 479 B.C. 1654 year
41 generations 
The Chinese Civilization: 1600 B.C. – 1046 B.C. 554 years
14 generations 
The Mayan Civilization: 2600 B.C. – 900 A.D. 3500 years
88 generations 
The Ancient Egyptian Civilization: 3150 B.C. – 30 B.C. 3100 years
78 generations 
The Mesopotamian Civilization: 6,500 B.C. – 539 B.C. 5961 years
149 generations 
The Indus Valley Civilization: 2600 B.C. – 1900 B.C. 700 years
18 generations

Ancient Powers 

Forwarding Address


Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh. Mesopotamia was home to several powerful empires that came to rule almost the entire Middle East—particularly the Assyrian Empires of 1365–1076 BC and the Neo-Assyrian Empire of 911–609 BC. From the early 7th century BC and onward, the Iranian Medes followed by the Achaemenid Empire and other subsequent Iranian states and empires dominated the region. In the 1st century BC, the expanding Roman Republic absorbed the whole Eastern Mediterranean, which included much of the Near East. The Eastern Roman Empire, today commonly known as the Byzantine Empire, ruling from the Balkans to the Euphrates, became increasingly defined by and dogmatic about Christianity, gradually creating religious rifts between the doctrines dictated by the establishment in Constantinople and believers in many parts of the Middle East. From the 3rd century up to the course of the 7th century AD, the entire Middle East was dominated by the Byzantines and the Sasanian Empire. From the 7th century, a new power was rising in the Middle East, that of Islam. The dominance of the Arabs came to a sudden end in the mid-11th century with the arrival of the Seljuq dynasty. In the early 13th century, a new wave of invaders, the armies of the Mongol Empire, mainly Turkic, swept through the region. By the early 15th century, a new power had arisen in western Anatolia, the Ottoman emirs, linguistically Turkic and religiously Islamic, who in 1453 captured the Christian Byzantine capital of Constantinople and made themselves sultans.

Large parts of the Middle East became a war ground between the Ottomans and the Iranian Safavid dynasty for centuries, starting in the early 16th century. By 1700, the Ottomans had been driven out of the Kingdom of Hungary and the balance of power along the frontier had shifted decisively in favor of the Western world. The British Empire also established effective control of the Persian Gulf, and the French colonial empire extended its influence into Lebanon and Syria. In 1912, the Kingdom of Italy seized Libya and the Dodecanese islands, just off the coast of the Ottoman heartland of Anatolia. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Middle Eastern rulers tried to modernize their states to compete more effectively with the European powers. A turning point in the history of the Middle East came when >oil was discovered, first in Persia in 1908 and later in Saudi Arabia (in 1938) and the other Persian Gulf states, and also in Libya and Algeria. A Western dependence on Middle Eastern oil and the decline of British influence led to a growing American interest in the region.

During the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, Syria and Egypt made moves towards independence. The British, the French, and the Soviet Union departed from many parts of the Middle East during and after World War II (1939–1945). The Arab–Israeli conflict in Palestine culminated in the 1947 United Nations plan to partition Palestine. Later in the midst of Cold War tensions, the Arabic-speaking countries of Western Asia and Northern Africa saw the rise of pan-Arabism. The departure of the European powers from direct control of the region, the establishment of Israel, and the increasing importance of the petroleum industry, marked the creation of the modern Middle East. In most Middle Eastern countries, the growth of market economies was inhibited by political restrictions, corruption and cronyism, overspending on arms and prestige projects, and over-dependence on oil revenues. The wealthiest economies in the region per capita are the small oil-rich countries of Persian Gulf: Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. (Wikipedia)

At last count there were 195 nations on planet earth, each committed to the welfare of its people. Often they make war against their neighbors or compete economically.

Here is one summary of the ten most powerful nations in economic terms--as \of two years ago. The world’s most powerful countries also are the ones that consistently dominate news headlines, preoccupy policymakers and shape global economic patterns. Their foreign policies and military budgets are tracked religiously. When they make a pledge, at least some in the international community trust they will keep it.

The 2021 Best Countries rankings, formed in partnership with BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, are based on a study that surveyed more than 17,000 people from four regions to assess perceptions of 78 countries on 76 different metrics. The Power sub-ranking is based on an equally weighted average of scores from five country attributes that related to a country's power: a leader, economically influential, politically influential, strong international alliances and strong military. The Power sub-ranking score had a 6.09% weight in the overall Best Countries ranking. Although there was little change this year in the 10 countries seen as being the most powerful, many shuffled positions. The United States is perceived to be the most powerful country again, and has the world’s largest economy and biggest military budget, spending over $732 billion on military hardware and personnel in 2019. The country is a leader in the so-called war on terror, is by far the largest contributor to NATO and cements alliances by giving out billions of dollars in military aid to nations worldwide. The U.S. spent more than $33 billion in economic aid and about $13 billion in military aid in 2019, the most recent year data is available.

China overtakes Russia to be seen as the second-most powerful country. Both countries are among the world’s top military spenders. Following the top three are Germany, the U.K., Japan and France – countries that have large economies and give out large amounts of international aid, while Japan and France traded positions this year. South Korea and Saudi Arabia each moved up one position this year, to No. 8 and No. 9 respectively. The United Arab Emirates moved to the No. 10 position while Israel fell out of the top 10. 

Countries perceived to be less powerful tended to be smaller nations with medium to small economies. Estonia, a small country in Northern Europe, is viewed as the least powerful nation, followed by Slovenia. Baltic countries Latvia and Lithuania and Southeastern Europe’s Bulgaria round out the bottom five.

Power Rankings

United States #1

No Change in Rank from 2020. The United States of America is a North American nation that is the world’s most dominant economic and military power. Likewise, its cultural imprint spans the world, led in large part by its popular culture expressed in music, movies and television. In November 2020 the country elected Joe Biden as its 46th president, removing Donald Trump after one term. The country is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing deep economic recession. And calls for greater social justice reignited in the country following the death of Black American George Floyd at the hands of police in May 2020. Public demands to address racial inequality in the country, expressed in institutions such as the criminal justice system and health care, spurred similar movements in countries around the world. 

GDP, $21.4 trillion, POPULATION, 328 million, GDP PER CAPITA, PPP, $65,280

China #2

3 out of 73 in 2020. Home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, China has been ruled by the Communist Party since 1949, when the nation was established as the People’s Republic of China. The country is the world’s most populous and is considered the second-largest by land mass.

GDP, $14.3, trillion POPULATION, 1.40 billion, GDP PER CAPITA, PPP, $10,217

Russia #3

#2 out of 73 in 2020. The scale of Russia is difficult to imagine. It is the world’s largest country by land mass – nearly twice as big as Canada, the world’s second-largest nation – and covers all of northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe. It shares land borders with more than a dozen countries, and shares sea borders with Japan and the United States.

GDP $1.69 trillion, POPULATION 144 million, GDP PER CAPITA, PPP $11,498

Germany #4

No Change in Rank from 2020. Germany, the most populous nation in the European Union, possesses one of the largest economies in the world and has seen its role in the international community grow steadily since reunification. The Central European country borders nine nations, and its landscape varies, from the northern plains that reach to the North and Baltic seas to the Bavarian Alps in the south.

GDP $3.86 trillion, POPULATION, 83.1 million, GDP PER CAPITA, PPP $46,468

United Kingdom #5

No Change in Rank from 2020. The United Kingdom is a highly developed nation that exerts considerable international economic, political, scientific and cultural influence. Located off the northwest corner of Europe, the country includes the island of Great Britain – which contains England, Scotland and Wales – and the northern portion of the island of Ireland. The country’s role on the global stage faces new questions as the nation withdrew from the European Union. , as well as the policies supporting the eurozone.

GDP $2.83 trillion, POPULATION, 66.8 million, GDP PER CAPITA PPP, $42,354

Japan #6

#7 out of 73 in 2020. Japan, one of the world’s most literate and technically advanced nations, is an East Asian country made up of four main islands. While most of Japan is covered by mountains and heavily wooded areas, the country’s roughly 126 million people lead a distinctly urban lifestyle. Long culturally influenced by its neighbors, today the country blends its ancient traditions with aspects of Western life.

GDP $5.06 trillion, POPULATION 126 million, GDP PER CAPITA, PPP $40,113,

France #7

#6 out of 73 in 2020. It is difficult to overstate the influence France has on the world, both in the past and today. Located in Western Europe, France is one of the world’s oldest countries, and its reach extends around the globe through science, politics, economics and perhaps above all, culture. Starting in the Middle Ages, France evolved through kingdom, empire and finally, into a republic. It was one of the first nations to champion the rights of the individual.

GDP $2.72 trillion, POPULATION 67.2 million, GDP PER CAPITA PPP, $40,380

South Korea #8

#9 out of 73 in 2020. South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a nation in eastern Asia with a long history of conflict that occupies the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. Liberated from Japan in 1945 at the end of World War II, South Korea was invaded by communist forces in North Korea a few years later. Aid requested by the United Nations helped end the three-year war and support the south on its way to democracy. A critical divide between the two nations along the center of the peninsula remains.

GDP $1.65 trillion, POPULATION 51.7 million, GDP PER CAPITA, PPP $31,846

Saudi Arabia #9

#10 out of 73 in 2020. Saudi Arabia is the giant of the Middle East, with both the vast majority of land and wealth of the Arabian Peninsula falling within its borders. Millions of devout Muslims from around the world participate in a pilgrimage to Mecca each year, believed to be the birthplace of the Muslim prophet Mohammed and the cradle of Islam. A fierce religious identity dominates the Sunni-majority nation, with principles of the Koran, conservative Sunni teachings known as Wahhabism and strict Islamic Shariah law present in all aspects of life.

GDP $793 billion, POPULATION 34.3 million, GDP PER CAPITA, PPP $23,140

United Arab Emirates #10

#11 out of 73 in 2020. The United Arab Emirates, or UAE, is a federation of seven emirates on the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula. The country, wedged between between Oman and Saudi Arabia, has rocky desert, wetlands, waterless mountains and coastlines that stretch along the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. The emirates that currently comprise the UAE were known as the Trucial States in the 19th century as a result of a series of agreements with Great Britain. In 1971, six of these states merged to form the UAE; a seventh joined in 1972.

GDP $421 billion, POPULATION 9.77 million, GDP PER CAPITA, PPP $43,103

(From USnews.com)

The Table of Nations: Genesis Chapters 10-11

Genesis Chapters 10 and 11 constitute what is known as "The Table of Nations" in the Bible.

The Seventy Nations

NATIONS, THE SEVENTY , a conception based on the list of the descendants of Noah given in Genesis 10, usually called "The Table of Nations." According to the table, all the nations of the earth may be classified as descended from one or another of Noah's three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The principle behind the classification is generally geographic proximity rather than ethnic or linguistic connections. Those nations descended from Japheth are *Gomer (Cimmerians), Madai (Medes), Javan (Ionians), *Ashkenaz (Scythians), *Elisha and *Kittim (Cypriots), and others (10:2–4). The lands occupied by the Japhethites bordered the Fertile Crescent in the north and penetrated the maritime regions in the west. The principal subdivisions of the descendants of Ham are Cush (the peoples of the southern shore of the Red Sea), Miẓraim (Egypt), Put (location uncertain, probably Cyrene), and Canaan (10:6–20). The descendants of Cush are listed in 10:7 as Seba, *Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtecha. According to 10:8, Cush had another son, *Nimrod, whose rule extended over all Mesopotamia. That a Mesopotamian ruler is here linked to the peoples adjacent to the Red Sea stems from the confusion caused by the fact that there were two nations known by the name Cush, one in the Nile region ("Nubia, Ethiopia") and another in Mesopotamia (the Kassites; Akk. Kaššû). The Bible often telescopes the two. The inclusion of the Philistines and the Cretans (Caphtorim) in the list of the descendants of the Egyptians (Miẓraim; verses 13–14) is another problem, as there is clearly no ethnic or linguistic connection between these peoples. The reason for including the Philistines in the list must, therefore, have been geographic; Crete was included because it was the original home of the Philistines. The inclusion of the Ludim, if this refers to the Lydians, in this list is also a problem. It is possible that this refers to the invasion of Egypt by the Sea Peoples. Another Lud is also mentioned as a descendant of Shem (verse 22). The classifying of Canaan in the Hamite branch of nations is again perplexing, there being no ethnic or linguistic connections between the Canaanites and the Egyptians (verse 6). The subdivision of the Canaanites is problematic too: the inclusion of Phoenicia (Sidon) among the subdivisions of the Canaanites is appropriate, since the Phoenicians referred to their country as Canaan, and the Phoenician language is close to Hebrew. However, it cannot be on ethnolinguistic grounds that the Jebusites, Hittites, Hivites, and others are listed as Canaanites (10:15–18). It seems that once again the principle behind the classification is geographic proximity. The territory of the Hamites extended from Phoenicia, through western Palestine, to northeastern Africa. The Shemites included all the "children of Eber," the eponym of the Hebrews (10:21), and hence were therefore given prominence. The Assyrians, Arameans, and numerous tribes of Arabians were classified as Shemites. It is not clear why the Elamites, whose center was southwest Persia, were considered Shemites (10:22). Perhaps they were listed with Ashur (Assyria) because they were the nearest neighbor to the east of Mesopotamia. Arpachshad, listed as the grandfather of Eber, is otherwise unknown; the name appears to be non-Semitic.

That the table does not aim at completeness is suggested by verse 5a, "From these [sons of Japheth] the maritime nations branched out" – here unnamed. Moab and Ammon, the descendants of Nahor and Keturah, the Ishmaelite tribes and Edom, and Israel itself are intentionally omitted, for they find their place at later stages of the narrative. Unexplained is the omission of Babylon. The earliest dating of the table is determined by the presence of the Cimmerians and the Scythians, who appeared in Asia Minor only in the eighth century. In general, the horizon of the table agrees remarkably (with the exception of Babylon) with that of Jeremiah (e.g., 46:9; 51:27–28) and Ezekiel (27:1ff.; 38:2ff.; 39:1), and it is likely that the table in its present form was known to these prophets. Heterogeneous and inconsistent (cf. the discrepancy between verse 7 and verses 28–29 regarding Havilah and Sheba), the table is assumed to be a combination of various sources. The material is conventionally allocated between j (verses 8–19, 25–30) and p (all the rest). Together with the story of the Tower of Babel, the table marks the end of the primeval history of mankind and the transition to the patriarchal history, which is played out against a background of a world filled with nations. Like the genealogies of 11:10–30; 25:12–18; and 36:1ff., it enables the narrative to maintain its focus on the main line of Israel's descent by summarily disposing of all collateral lines. At the same time, it shows the fulfillment of God's blessing of Noah and his sons with fertility (9:1, 7), and locates the ancestors of Israel in relation to the rest of mankind. The Jewish tradition that mankind is made up of 70 nations is based on the count in the table–although a sum is not stated in the text (cf. the itemization in Pesikta Zutreta, No'aḥ) and seems to underlie Deuteronomy 32:8, which speaks of God's "dividing mankind… in accord with the number of the sons of Israel" (namely, 70; Gen. 46:27). On the other hand, the Septuagint and the 4q Deuteronomy fragment that read "the sons of God" (i.e., angels) instead of "the sons of Israel" reflect the notion, dated as early as the Persian period (Dan. 10:20) and possibly earlier (Ps. 82:7) that every nation has a divine patron – again, 70, in accord with Jewish tradition (Charles, Apocrypha, 2 (1913), 363 (late Hebrew Test. Patr., Naph. 9), Pesikta Zutreta, ibid.).

The Table of Nations served as the basis of later Jewish ethnography; for representative attempts to embrace contemporary ethnogeography under its rubrics compare Jubilees, chapters 8–9; Josephus, Antiquities, 1:122–147; Targum Jonathan to Genesis 10; Genesis Rabbah, 37; and for the late Middle Ages, Abraham, at the end of his commentary to Genesis 10.

In the Midrash

In early Christian sources 72 nations and tongues were assumed (e.g., Hippolytus, 10:26; Clement of AlexandriaStromata 1:26), perhaps following the Septuagint version of Genesis 10. This chapter was considered a scientific account of the division of mankind into three races – Semitic, Hamitic and Japhethic – distributed in three separate zones (Jub. 7:10ff.). There are, however, varying opinions as to how many nations belonged to each "race." The commonest system (Psalm 9:7; et al.) ascribes to Japheth 14 nations, Ham 30, and Shem 26 (total 70), while the Yalkut Shimoni, Genesis 61 gives a reckoning of Japheth 15, Ham 32, and Shem 27. From this total of 74, however, subtract Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, and Eber, who were righteous, and thus again there is a total of 70.

There is, moreover, another tradition of 60 nations, based on an exegesis of the Song of Songs 6:8 (Mid. Hag. to Gen. 10:1). Numbers Rabbah14:10 speaks of 70 nations and 60 kingdoms, giving a total of 130 (cf. Numbers 7:13). The tradition of 72, which is found in A. Zacuto's Yuḥasin (ed. Cracow (1580–81), 135) is also echoed in Midrash Haggadah to Genesis 10:32. It has been suggested that the 72 nations are the 70 "Noahite" nations plus Israel and Edom. However, Abrabanel (on Gen. 10:2) states that a straightforward reading of chapter 10 suggests 73 nations; thus 72 may have been reached by excluding the Philistines, who in Genesis 10:14 are designated as a mixed race. Just as there were 70 nations, so there were 70 languages (cf. Targ. Jon., Gen. 11:7 and Deut. 32:8). Thus the law engraved on the tablets on Mt. Ebal (Deut. 27:2ff.) was written in 70 languages (Sot. 7:5), so that all nations might read it. For the same reason, the divine voice that made itself heard at Sinai divided itself into 70 tongues (Shab. 88b et al.). However, according to Aggadat Bereshith 14 there are 71 languages. Perhaps the Philistines were included in that reckoning. The motif of the 70 nations is widely used in rabbinic literature (as is its derivative, the 70 tongues, e.g., Sefer ha-Yashar, Mi-Keẓ). Thus the 70 sacrifices offered on Tabernacles are said to atone for the 70 nations (Suk. 55b). The silver bowls, which the princes of the 12 tribes offered to the Tabernacle (Num. 7:13) weighed 70 shekels; so too did 70 nations spring from Noah (Num. R. 14:12). The 70 members of the Sanhedrin were likewise thought to correspond to the 70 nations of the world (Targ. Yer., Gen. 28:3).


S. Krauss, in: Jewish Studies in Memory of G.A. Kohut (1935), 379ff.; J. Simons, in: ots, 10 (1954), 182–4; E.A. Speiser, in: idb, 3 (1962), 235ff. (incl. bibl.); For the 4q Deut. fragment see P. Skehan, in: basor, 136 (1954), 12–15; See also commentaries to Genesis. In the Midrash: Ginzberg, Legends, 5 (1925), 194f.; 7 (1938), 429; Guttmann, Mafte'aḥ, 2 (1917), 73ff.; M. Steinschneider, in: zdmg, 4 (1850), 150ff.; 57 (1903), 476f.; S. Krauss, in: zaw, 19 (1899), 1–14; 20 (1900), 38–43; S. Poznański, ibid., 24 (1904), 301–8.

[Daniel Sperber]

Encyclopedia Judaica

Israel God's Template Nation

Psalm 2 (KJV)

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,
against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 
"Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." 
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. 
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 
I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,
and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Oratorio: Why do the Nations Rage? Handel 

Why do the Nations Rage? Psalm 2. Ray Stedman

Distress of Nations

The one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob declares in no uncertain terms that He is the sovereign ruler over all. Isaiah 40. Furthermore tiny Israel is God’s template!Their entire 4000 year history from Abraham until now is God’s show and tell for the entire world. The state of Israel came into being on May 24, 1948 after disappearing from the state in the First Century—for good reasons.

[Note: Several good summaries of the history of modern Israel are available: Britannica, Wikipedia, and State of Israel are recommended].

Israel’s present government is Monocameral. They have a President but the day to day affairs are run by a Prime Minister elected by the Knesset (the Parliament). The founding fathers of the present state knew that absolute monarchs were often very ineffective as far as the welfare of the people is concerned. Both Socialism and Communism were considered. The American model was also considered but believed to be too weak and too much of drain on the available revenue. Many of Israel’s founding fathers were survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and had seen the deadly peril of one man committed to the superiority of the Arian Race.

The Fall of Jerusalem

The Ninth of Av, in 586 BC and in 70 AD are important dates for the Jewish people. After a two-year siege, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon destroyed Solomon's Temple, with great loss of life. The prophet Jeremiah documented this.

"In the ninth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, in the tenth month, King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and besieged it; in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city. When Jerusalem was taken, all the officials of the king of Babylon came and sat in the middle gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim the Rabsaris, Nergal-sharezer the Rabmag, with all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon. 

When King Zedekiah of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled, going out of the city at night by way of the king’s garden through the gate between the two walls; and they went towards the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and when they had taken him, they brought him up to King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, at Riblah, in the land of Hamath; and he passed sentence on him. The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah at Riblah before his eyes; also the king of Babylon slaughtered all the nobles of Judah. He put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in fetters to take him to Babylon. The Chaldeans burned the king’s house and the houses of the people, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. 

Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard exiled to Babylon the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the people who remained. Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time." (Jeremiah 39:1-8)

586+70=655 years later Roman armies under General Titus (later to be Caesar) leveled Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Jewish Temple.

Josephus recorded this event.

The Diaspora Followed

The Land of Israel (Eretz Israel) belongs to God and has been given to the Jewish people--to Abraham and his descendants forever.

But the right of the Jews to live in the land is conditioned upon their obedience.

Three times God has temporarily evicted them,

(1) During their 430-year exile in Egypt, ending with Moses and the Exodus.

(2) The 70-year Captivity in Babylon

(3) the Great Diaspora from about 70 A.D. till the Return of the 1920s and 30s and statehood May 14, 1948.

God’s Covenant with Abraham

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’ But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’ And Abram said, ‘You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.’ But the word of the Lord came to him, ‘This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.’ He brought him outside and said, ‘Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Then he said to him, ‘I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.’ But he said, ‘O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?’ He said to him, ‘Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon.’ He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him. Then the Lord said to Abram, ‘Know this for certain, that your offspring shall be aliens in a land that is not theirs, and shall be slaves there, and they shall be oppressed for four hundred years; but I will bring judgement on the nation that they serve, and afterwards they shall come out with great possessions. As for yourself, you shall go to your ancestors in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.’

When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire-pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.’ (Genesis 15)

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.’ Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him,‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you, and to your offspring after you, the land where you are now an alien, all the land of Canaan, for a perpetual holding; and I will be their God.’ (Genesis 17:1-9)

The Above Notes are Very Brief! For more see the following links:

God's Land - God's People Who Owns Jerusalem? What's His Name?
Aliyah  Israel's Coming False Messiah Modern Jewish Expectations for the Messiah
The Names of God Chronology of the Times of the Gentiles Hosea and Israel's Future
What's His Name? The Coming Exile of Israel in Edom Land Owned by Famous Jews 
Israel’s Covenant with Sheol  God's Long Term Purpose for Israel Israel's Birth Pangs

From the time of Adam to the Flood, there was but one God, though people increasingly ignored the personal nature of God until the Flood of Noah. The confusion of languages, the scattering of the nations with accompanying polytheism marked the crisis of Babel instigated by Nimrod. Two incursions of fallen angels possessing humans were essentially demonic in nature. From Noah to Abraham the world was thoroughly polytheistic.

Abraham grew up serving these gods in Ur, Babylon, Southern Iraq. He was called at age 70 to break with the gods of his ancestors and to rediscover the one true God.

Two thousand years ago the Jewish Messiah showed up on time, fulfilling numerous Old Testament predictions about his person and work.

Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomsoever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgement to the Son, 23so that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Anyone who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgement, but has passed from death to life.

‘Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgement, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

‘I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgement is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

 ‘If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.

 ‘You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?’ (John 5:21-47)

Israel the Model Nation Today

Israel’s present government is Monocameral. They have a President but the day to day affairs are run by a Prime Minister elected by the Knesset (the Parliament). The founding fathers of the present state knew that absolute monarchs were often very ineffective as far as the welfare of the people is concerned. Both Socialism and Communism were consisted. The American model was considered bug believed to be too weak and too much of drain on the available revenue. Many of Israel’s founding fathers were survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and had seen the deadly peril of one man committed to the superiority of the Arian Race.

Israel's Glorious Future


Jeremiah 31

At that time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. 
Thus says the Lord:
The people who survived the sword
   found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest, 
   the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
   therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. 
Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
   O virgin Israel!
Again you shall take your tambourines,
   and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers. 
Again you shall plant vineyards
   on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant,
   and shall enjoy the fruit. 
For there shall be a day when sentinels will call
   in the hill country of Ephraim:
‘Come, let us go up to Zion,
   to the Lord our God.’ 

For thus says the Lord:
Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
   and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
   ‘Save, O Lord, your people,
   the remnant of Israel.’ 
See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,
   and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
   those with child and those in labour, together;
   a great company, they shall return here. 
With weeping they shall come,
   and with consolations I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
   in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
for I have become a father to Israel,
   and Ephraim is my firstborn. 

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
   and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
   and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.’ 
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
   and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. 
They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
   and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
   and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall become like a watered garden,
   and they shall never languish again. 
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
   and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
   I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. 
I will give the priests their fill of fatness,
   and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty, 

says the Lord. 

Thus says the Lord:
A voice is heard in Ramah,
   lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
   she refuses to be comforted for her children,
   because they are no more. 
Thus says the Lord:
Keep your voice from weeping,
   and your eyes from tears;
for there is a reward for your work, 

says the Lord:
   they shall come back from the land of the enemy; 
there is hope for your future, 

says the Lord:
   your children shall come back to their own country. 

Indeed I heard Ephraim pleading:
‘You disciplined me, and I took the discipline;
   I was like a calf untrained.
Bring me back, let me come back,
   for you are the Lord my God. 
For after I had turned away I repented;
   and after I was discovered, I struck my thigh;
I was ashamed, and I was dismayed
   because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’ 
Is Ephraim my dear son?
   Is he the child I delight in?
As often as I speak against him,
   I still remember him.
Therefore I am deeply moved for him;
   I will surely have mercy on him, 

says the Lord. 
Set up road markers for yourself,
   make yourself signposts;
consider well the highway,
   the road by which you went.
Return, O virgin Israel,
   return to these your cities. 
How long will you waver,
   O faithless daughter?

For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth:
   a woman encompasses a man. 
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
Once more they shall use these words in the land of Judah and in its towns when I restore their fortunes:
‘The Lord bless you, O abode of righteousness,
   O holy hill!’ 
And Judah and all its towns shall live there together, and the farmers and those who wander with their flocks. 
I will satisfy the weary,
   and all who are faint I will replenish.

Thereupon I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals. And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. 

In those days they shall no longer say:
‘The parents have eaten sour grapes,
   and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ 
But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.

A New Covenant

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. 

Thus says the Lord,
who gives the sun for light by day
   and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
   the Lord of hosts is his name: 
If this fixed order were ever to cease
   from my presence, says the Lord,
then also the offspring of Israel would cease
   to be a nation before me for ever. 

Thus says the Lord:
If the heavens above can be measured,
   and the foundations of the earth below can be explored,
then I will reject all the offspring of Israel
   because of all they have done, 
says the Lord. 

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord from the tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 
And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. 
The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the Wadi Kidron,
to the corner of the Horse Gate towards the east, shall be sacred to the Lord.
It shall never again be uprooted or overthrown. (Jeremiah 31)

Other References

Death of a Nation (Jeremiah) Israel is the Key to World Peace  Israel My Glory (Aliyah) 
The Ruthlessness of God  Jesus, Greater than Moses  The Gog/Magog Invasion
Jesus our Jubilee Jesus, the Avenger of Blood The Assyrian
Strike the Shepherd The Terror of the Lord  Entering God's Sabbath Rest
The Day of the Lord The Wife of Jehovah, The Bride of Christ
World War Three

The Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Second Advent of Jesus


Jesus, The Light of the World

Lambert's Other Diverse Musical Selections

Notes by Lambert Dolphin 

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November 27, 2021. October 18, 2023