Roots of BitternessWorld Events

Roots of Bitterness: The Rebirth of Israel

In the previous post, we explored the promise of God to Ishmael being realized in the establishment of the Islamic faith and Ottoman Empire, which was dismantled in 1922.

As the British and French divided the land in the Middle East in conjunction with the Sykes-Picot agreement, the Palestinian Mandate was also put into place, partitioning Palestine to create a Jewish national homeland that would not interfere with the rights of non-Jewish residents.

The new agreement incorporated much of the the 1917 Balfour Declaration.  In order to quiet the objections of many in the world community, however, original language that attributed a Jewish claim to the land was modified, as seen below.

Original: “Recognizing, moreover, the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the claim which this gives them to reconstitute it their national home…”

Revised: “Whereas recognition has thereby [i.e. by the Treaty of Sèvres] been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine, and to the grounds for reconstituting their National Home in that country…” 

It was a sensitive issue, especially in light of Islam’s rewritten history regarding Ishmael and Isaac, essentially removing Israel’s right of inheritance based on God’s promises.  So, compromises were made.

Needless to say, the non-Jewish Palestinians were less than happy with the new arrangement being forced upon them by the international community.


Needless to say, the increased tensions fueled the roots of bitterness…

On May 14, 1948, Israel once again became a nation, just as Isaiah foretold.

“Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children” (Isaiah 66:7-8 ESV).

The next day an Arab coalition consisting of forces from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq invaded Israel.  At the end of 10 months, Israel still maintained control over the area proposed by the United Nations while acquiring additional land originally allotted to the Arab Palestinians.

Even more tension to fuel the roots of bitterness…

In June 1967, the tensions finally boiled over again.  Egypt mobilized troops along the Israeli border on the Sinai Peninsula, so Israel demolished their Air Force.  Then, Syria and Jordan attacked, officially starting the Six-Day War.  It was a short and decisive win for Israel, capturing the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank from Jordan.


Yet even more fuel for the roots of bitterness…

Israel remains in turmoil today, as they are continually attacked by their neighbors while being referred to as occupiers by many throughout the world.

Time for an interesting observation…

Did the Muslims and eventually the Ottoman Empire ever consider themselves occupiers in territories they conquered over the course of 1,200 years, or did they simply view themselves as the victor…and to the victor go the spoils?

How about the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek or Roman Empires?  They all controlled the Israeli territory at one time.

Why is it, then, that Israel can be attacked on more than one occasion, by more than one of its neighbors, emerge victorious over all of them, yet somehow be viewed as occupiers for enjoying the spoils of their victory?

Is that not the epitome of an international double standard?

Canaan’s curses have been validated by every succeeding Empire.

“Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers” (Genesis 9:25 ESV).

“…Thou and thy sons will fall in the land and (be) accursed through sedition; for by sedition ye have settled, and by sedition will thy children fall, and thou shalt be rooted out for ever” (Jubilees 10:30).

The land of Canaan has been in constant turmoil for millennia.

The prophecies concerning Ishmael and Esau have proven very accurate, as well.

“Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has listened to your affliction. He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen” (Genesis 16:11-12 ESV).

“And the LORD said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger'” (Genesis 25:23 ESV).

“By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you grow restless you shall break his yoke from your neck” (Genesis 27:40 ESV).

As we wrap up this study in the next installment, we’ll revisit the similar perspectives all three Abrahamic faiths have concerning the simmering animosity toward Israel coming to an apocalyptic end.  Read more here

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