In Daniel 12:7, a section of Scripture titled, “The Time of the End” in our King James Bibles, we read, “it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” To “scatter” the power of Holy People indicates they were scattered abroad. The Speaker’s Commentary points out that “scattered” would be better rendered by the word, “dispersed,” as in distributed in foreign lands. This prophecy was given during the era centuries before Christ when both the House of Israel and House of Judah were dispersed from Canaan, and interesting evidence exists as to the lands of their exile.
The direction of a large portion of exiled Israel is shown in the Apocrypha. In First Maccabees 15:21-23, Philo makes the Jewish envoys say to Caligula that all the more noted islands of the Mediterranean were full of Jews. Dispersed Israel was found in large numbers in the West.
Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” This passage was applied in early Christian times to the British nation by Bishop Fastidius, about 430 A.D. (BOI xxxix:215)
The Church Family Newspaper, June 1908, speaking of Marazion, Cornwall, says, “The curious name of this parish is said…to have been given by the Hebrews who worked in the tin mines over 2,000 years ago, and named it, ‘The Bitterness of Zion.’”
Although early Western tribes were in a fallen, paganized or gentilized state, noted historian, Sir Francis Palgrave (1788-1861), in his “History of England,” says, “Yet not withstanding these and many other similar delusions, the Teutonic nations retained some faint reminiscences of the truths revealed or shadowed to the patriarchs.” (BOI xxxi:80) Interestingly, Dr. Palgrave was himself a Jewish Christian.
In the New Testament in John 10:16, we read, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” Sheep is a biblical term for Israel. Christ says, “Other sheep I have,” not “will have” after the church was established. He was indicating a branch of Israel not present in Canaan. Who are the exiled sheep that heard and believed the Gospel? Where is the traditional home of Christendom? If we are not Israel, it is remarkable that we possess all of Israel’s marks! Some people assume that Israel’s promises were transferred to the Church, but to promise things to one person and then transfer them to another can not be designated “fulfillment.”
The ten–tribe House of Israel was divorced by God, exiled, and “gentilized,” becoming heathen. When looking for our Western Nations in end-time prophecy, we are often told that we are non-Israelites fulfilling the “fullness of the Gentiles.” We read in Romans 11:25, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” What does this prophecy mean and how was it fulfilled?
The term, fullness of the Gentiles, is a reference back to Genesis, where Jacob gives to Ephraim, the Hebrew lad, a blessing which recognized his descendants as a fullness of nations. The expression “fullness of nations” occurs only twice in the Bible, once in the Old Testament Hebrew of Genesis 48:19 as “Melo-hag-goyim,” and once in the New Testament (Rom 11:25), where the exact Greek translation is used, “Pleroma ton Ethnon.” In both cases blessings to the House of Ephraim, the ten tribes, are predicted; by Jacob, who described Ephraim’s progeny as a multitude of Goyim or Gentile nations (a nation and a company of nations, Gen. 35:11), and by Paul, who declared that as soon as that great sign of “fullness” occurred, “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Rom 11:26-27) Saving faith would come to the heathenized, Gentilized Ephraimite ten-tribes after they became a company of nations.
Critics complain that this prophecy was never fulfilled because the Western Christian nations contain many unbelievers. The term, “all Israel” in Romans 11:26 is misunderstood as implying that every single Israelite would believe and be saved when the fullness of the Gentiles occurred. If that were so, and the Jews were that Israel spoken of, then every single Jew would be a Christian today! In reality, “all Israel” is a Biblical term specifically referring to Ephraim, the ten-tribe House of Israel (cf. “all Israel and Judah,” 1 Sam. 18:16; 2 Sam. 5:5; 2 Chr. 30:1, 6) and the Apostle is prophesying the establishment of “Christendom,” or Christ’s Kingdom among them. This is what we now know as the Western Christian nations of the Church age. Hebrews 8:10 also predicts this in saying, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel [i.e. the ten tribes] after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” The New Covenant was made or offered to both the House of Judah and the House of Israel (Heb. 8:8) but verse 10 indicates that it would be the ten tribes who would accept Christ and become His people.
We believe that this Bible prophecy has been fulfilled. We should be thankful for the light shed by literal translations of Luke 2:32, such as Young’s Literal: “a light to the uncovering of nations…” Rotherham: “A light for the unveiling of nations…” Concordant Literal: “A Light for the revelation of nations…” The Scriptures: “a light for the unveiling of the gentiles…” Yes, let us seek to unveil the identity of the so-called Gentiles of Christendom!
There is no hint of the transfer of Israel’s blessings bodily in a “parenthetical dispensation” to Gentile non-Israelites. Did Ephraim become “a multitude of goyim” while in Canaan? We are sometimes accused of ignoring the Spiritual aspect of prophecy, but the late Vicar of St. Stephen’s Church, London, England, G. Harold Lancaster, aptly commented, “Nor must it be imagined for one moment, that we who regard the Anglo-Saxon race as fulfilling the promises given to Israel of blessing, prosperity and world-colonisation, think only of such things as are material. That were contrary to the living Word of God. Our Empire stands for moral and spiritual rectitude. There is before our eyes a heavenly vision. We have a work to do for Christ amongst the nations of mankind. We have to uphold the teaching of the Cross, by which we have received our redemption. In short, our material heritage is great only because our spiritual responsibilities are greater. Let this sacred fact not be forgotten, and may its continual remembrance invoke within our national sub-consciousness a rising to higher ideals, and to purer motives, for the sake of the Gospel, and of the Glory of God.” (Old Testament Studies, p. x) Amen!