The biblical prophetic writings speak of the house of Israel/Joseph/Samaria/Ephraim and the house of Judah/the Jews. The Bible teaches that these are two different groups of people and they will exist on the earth in the end times. Knowing who these players are in biblical prophecy will help us to understand what will happen prophetically in the end times as this video shows.
Joseph Meets His Brothers (Gen 42)
While in Egypt, Joseph became aware that his brothers (and father) were still alive. He recognized who they were, but they didn’t recognize him, since he resembled an Egyptian (a Gentile).
In the end times, Christians, who many of Joseph’s descendants would become according to Genesis 48:14 and 16, have begun to recognize Judah as their brother. Until this time, most of Christianity had either persecuted the Jews, believed that Christians had spiritually replaced the Jews, or were ambivalent toward the Jewish people. This attitude of many Christians toward Jews, however, began to change in the 1960s with the beginning of the “Jews for Jesus” movement which helped Christians to become aware of the need to evangelize the Jews. The result was that many Christians themselves began to become interested in the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith. Beginning in the 1960s, many Messianic Jewish congregations began forming for Jewish believers in Yeshua, but surprisingly often seventy-five percent of the members of those congregations were actually non-Jewish “Gentile” Christians who were seeking to understand and even practice the Jewish roots of their faith!
From the Jews for Jesus or Messianic Jewish Movement of the 1960s came two unexpected results:
- As Messianic Jewish congregations formed, a large percentage were “gentiles” and not Jewish.
- In the early 1980s, the Messianic Israel or “Two-House” Movement was birthed through Angus and Batya Wootten.
In this latter movement, which is occurring in the 21st century church, Christians are beginning to open their eyes not only to the fact that the Jews are their brothers, but that they themselves are Israelites and are descendants from the ancient tribes of Israel (Gen 48:14, 16; Rom 9:24–27). As this is occurring, very few Jews (as was the case with Judah Continue reading
I post this teaching nearly every year. Some of you have read it before, but we have many new readers to this blog who haven’t read it. Hopefully this post will be a blessing to both our old and new friends. It contains very important truths relevant to understanding Bible prophecy and end times events. Parts 2 and 3 will follow. Enjoy!
Biblical Types and Antetypes
A major key to understanding biblical prophecy is to recognize the relationship between antetypes and types in the Scriptures. This means that an event or a series of events occurred once, was recorded in the Scriptures, and then at a later time a similitude of the event repeats itself, but with different characters and scene.
An antetype is a type or pattern of something that occurs before the actual event occurs (sometimes incorrectly referred to as an antitype, which means opposite rather than before). In other words, the first event predicts or points prophetically to the future event. This is a way for the Creator to give clues and hints about future events that will come to pass. Those who are ardent students of his Word and those “who have (spiritual) ears to hear” will pick up on these clues and be able to have a sense of what the Creator is going to do at some future date. In this way, those who diligently seek him are rewarded with understanding or “inside information” about what he is planning to do in the future. At the same time, his divine plans and purposes will be obscured from those who don’t have a diligent heart to seek him Continue reading
The reunification of the two houses of Israel (the Jews and the Christians) around the Torah and the testimony of Yeshua is prophesied from one end of the Bible to the other. This is a major biblical theme and a key aspect of the gospel message that has been overlooked by Christian Bible teachers, but it affects you and your spiritual destiny as this video shows.
My apologies, but in my print version of this article, I have numerous footnote references, which, sadly, don’t come through in this online version. If you need the footnotes, please email me and I’ll send you a pdf of this article with the footnotes. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Brief History Lesson
When the children of Israel exited Egypt, they were one nation composed of twelve tribes. Contrary to popular opinion, the Jews (from the tribe of Judah) were only one-twelfth of that nation — not the whole nation. At Mount Sinai, that nation made a covenant with YHVH Elohim to obey him and keep his commandments with the Torah as the nation’s constitution. In return, YHVH promised to bless and protect the nation of Israel. Several hundred years later, the nation of Israel began to turn away from its covenantal promises by not adhering to its Torah-constitution and by worshipping pagan deities. The result of this apostasy was that the nation of Israel split in two becoming two nations: the Northern Kingdom (composed of the tribe of Ephraim and nine other tribes) and the Southern Kingdom (composed of Judah and two other tribes more or less). The tribes of the Northern Kingdom never did come back to YHVH or his Torah, but continued to walk in the ways of the heathen nations around them. As punishment for their disobedience and rebellion against him, YHVH allowed the very nations whom the Northern Kingdom “fell in love with” other than YHVH to take them captive. This resulted in the Israelite dispersion among the nations of the world as Moses predicted would happen in the Torah. Sadly, the same thing eventually happened to the Jews of the Southern Kingdom. Even though the Torah predicted this would occur (Gen 49:16; Deut 28:64; 29:25–28; 30:1–5; 32:21–29), it also predicted that YHVH would regather his people from the lands where they had been scattered (Deut 30:1–5). The Hebrew prophets spoke extensively about the exile and eventual return of all the tribes to the land of Israel. Often these prophecies were coupled with end time, Messianic and millennial prophecies. The prophecies about the return of the Israelites to their land was partially fulfilled by the return of a small remnant of Jews and Levites to the Israel during the time of Cyrus, king of Persia and Babylon. But this historical event didn’t fulfill these prophecies totally even in the least. First, Ezra makes it clear that only those from the tribes of Judah and Levi returned to Israel after the Jews’ seventy-year exile in Babylon. None from the Northern Kingdom returned. Second, the Jews only came from one nation of exile (Babylon), and not from many nations around the world — including even the furthest islands — as the Hebrew prophets predicted would happen. So the remnant of Jews who returned to Israel from Babylon was only a partial fulfillment of the biblical prophecies about all twelve tribes eventually returning to the land of Israel. Why did YHVH allow a remnant of Jews to return to Israel? Simply this. Had there been no Jews in the land of Israel, the Messiah couldn’t have been born in Bethlehem. With no Messiah, then the Messianic biblical prophecies couldn’t have been fulfilled making the Bible — the Word of Elohim — a lie. Not only that, as we shall see below, it was the purpose of the Messiah to regather the lost sheep of the house of Israel by sending out spiritual fishermen with the good news message of redemption and salvation for all those who would repent of sin (i.e., Toarhlessness, see 1 John 3:4) and place their faith in the Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah. As we shall also discuss below, the apostolic writers of the Testimony of Yeshua (the New Testament) were very well aware that the twelve tribes were still extant in their day, and the gospel message needed to be taken to them. Not only that, but in Paul’s mind, the Gentiles were, at least in part, to be viewed as the lost the sheep of the house of Israel (i.e., the Northern Kingdom). The gospel message was to be like a net to draw them back into the spiritual fold of nation Israel — back into a spiritual relationship with YHVH Elohim through Yeshua the Messiah. Paul makes this clear in several places (especially in Eph 2:11–19). What the Jewish Sages Say For several millennia, many notable Jewish scholars have been aware of the biblical prophecies pertaining to the return of the Israelite exiles (all twelve tribes) from the lands where they were scattered. Even today, Orthodox Jews still pray daily for and look forward to the regathering of the dispersed of Israel from the four corners of the earth. They see this as something to be fulfilled in the end times with the advent of the Messiah. They refer to this event as the final redemption. Here are some quotes from some of these Jewish sages: The late Menachem Schneerson, the head of the Orthodox Jewish Lubivicher Movement, stated that,
The future King Messiah (Messiah Ben [Son of] David) will not only redeem the Jews from exile, but will restore the observance of the Torah-commandments to its complete state, which will only be possible when the Israelites are living in the land of Israel.
At this same time, according Schneerson while referencing the notable rabbinic sage of the Middle Ages, Moses Maimonides also known as the Rambam, Continue reading
Hosea 5:15–6:3, I will go and return to my place. This passage is a clear prophecy concerning the resurrection of the righteous dead of which Messiah Yeshua is the first to raise.
Verse two contains a Hebrew parallelism, which is a Hebraic literary device where the same thought is expressed differently back-to-back. The word revive is the Hebrew word chayah and is the basic Hebrew root verb meaning “to live or to have life.” The word raise up is the Hebrew word quwm meaning “to rise, arise, stand, stand up.” According to The TWOT, the basic meaning of this word “denotes rising up from a prostrate position (e.g. Josh 3:16).” YHVH is speaking here in the broader context of this passage concerning his Messianic role as the lion of Judah (Rev 5:5). After presenting himself as such to both houses of Israel (Ephraim [i.e., the Christians] and Judah [i.e., the Jews]) at his first coming, verse 14 states that Messiah would “go away … and none shall rescue him.”
Then in verse 15 we read that, “I [Messiah speaking] will go and return to my place till they [Ephraim and Judah] acknowledge their offense and seek my face ….” (This refers to Yeshua’s absence from the earth between his first and second comings.) What is their offense? Isaiah 8:14 states that that which offends both houses of Israel is “the stone of stumbling and … rock of offence.” Who is this Rock of offense? Verses 8 and 10b identifies it as Immanuel (El with us), which is one of the titles of the Messiah. The Christians have stumbled over Yeshua, the Written Torah-Word of Elohim made flesh, saying that the Torah-law has been done away with, while the Jews have stumbled over the Yeshua, the Living Torah, declaring that he can’t be the Messiah.
However, after two days (i.e., 2000 years) YHVH will revive us or resurrect the righteous dead of Ephraim and Judah or those who have been grafted into the olive tree (a metaphor for Israel, see Jer 11:16; Hos 14:6) or into the commonwealth of Israel through Messiah Yeshua (see Rom 11:16–26; Eph 2:11–19) the end of the age. This occurs on the third day, or in the third millennia from the time of Messiah’s first coming (or approximately in the year 6000 from the beginning of creation) when he will raise up (or resurrect) the righteous redeemed of Ephraim and Judah at his second coming.
As Messiah Yeshua raised from the dead on the third day becoming the first of the first fruits to raise from the dead (1 Cor 15:20, 23), even so, he will resurrect his saints at his second coming on the third day (or the third millennia after his “going away” after his first coming). After that, he shall “go forth” and “shall come unto us” (i.e., the second coming) very much alive to lead his people during the Messianic Age (Millennium).
The prophet Hosea, a native of the northern kingdom of Israel, ministered to that nation (called Ephraim or the house of Israel, as opposed to the southern kingdom, called Judah or the house of Judah) for about 38 years during the middle part of the eighth century b.c. (from about 770–725 b.c.). He lived in the final tragic days of the house of Israel and prophesied that Israel’s enemy, the Assyrians, would be instruments in YHVH’s hands to bring judgment against Israel if that nation did not repent and cease its spiritual harlotry and idolatry. That the book contains references to the kingdom of Judah is probably due to the fact that the northern kingdom fell in 721–722 b.c. while Hosea was still ministering and that he most likely transplanted to Judah where he may have finished writing his book (NIV Study Bible, p. 1312).
The theme of the Book of Hosea revolves around the prophet’s personal family life. YHVH’s prophets were often required to act out in their personal life something that would serve as a prophetic allegory of what would happen to the people of Israel if they failed to repent of their sin and return to YHVH. In Hosea’s case, YHVH required him to act out what had already happened to the northern kingdom. Because they had turned from YHVH, their spiritual husband, and taken to consorting with foreign spiritual lovers characterized by their forsaking the Torah, turning to serve pagan gods, and succumbing to heathen religious rituals and lifestyles, YHVH instructed the prophet to marry a harlot. In this way, the family life of Hosea would become a spiritual mirror that could be held up in front of the nation so that it could see itself as YHVH’s saw it. Furthermore, being married to an unfaithful wife gave Hosea direct insight into the emotional turmoil a husband endures when married to an adulterous woman that would provide the passion and impetus when defending YHVH in writing about the spiritual plight of adulterous Israel.
Hosea’s life must have been a sad one, for his adulterous wife bore him three children. From the text, it cannot be determined whether they were his children, or another man’s. Despite this, Hosea accepted his wife and children with an unconditional love representing YHVH’s love for Israel, despite her refusal to be faithful to him. The nation of Israel (the northern kingdom) did not heed the prophet’s warnings resulting in her falling to her Assyrian enemies. The Soncino Pentateuch aptly summarizes Hosea’s life this way:
A heavy domestic sorrow darkened Hosea’s life. He had married a woman called Gomer; and she rendered him deeply unhappy. He found that he had wasted his love on a profligate woman. She fled from the Prophet’s house, and sank lower and lower until she became the slave-concubine of another. But Hosea’s love was proof even against faithlessness and dishonour. He, the deeply aggrieved husband, buys her back from slavery, and brings her into his house—as a ward, pitied and sheltered, but subjected to a period of probation that shall show whether her better self can be awakened. (p. 581)
The terms house of Israel and house of Judah are initially used (in chapter one) in this book followed by the simplified terms Ephraim and Judah used throughout the remainder of the Book of Hosea. So that the reader can understand the context of this passage, let’s define these terms:
House of Israel: This term is used 146 times in Scripture. Prior to the division of the united kingdom after the death of Solomon, this phrase referred to all twelve tribes of Israel. Afterwards (during the time of the prophets), it was used in contradistinction to the phrase “house of Judah” in reference to the northern kingdom. In the Apostolic Scriptures, Yeshua makes reference to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt 10:6; 15:24). Elsewhere in the Apostolic Scriptures this term refers to all twelve tribes of Israel (Acts 2:36; 7:42; Heb 8:10), and in some references it refers to just the northern kingdom (Heb 8:8). The context of the passage of scripture surrounding this phrase determines its meaning.
Ephraim: This name is used 180 times in the Tanakh and is referring to this specific Israelite tribe or as a metaphor for the northern kingdom of which the tribe of Ephraim was the leading and largest tribe (Isa 7:9,17; 9:9; 11:13; Ezek 37:19; Hos 4:17; 5:12, 13, 14; 6:4; 7:1; 10:11: Zech 9:13). When blessing the two sons of Joseph, Jacob placed his right hand of power and strength upon the head of Ephraim signifying the position of primogeniture for him and his descendants (Gen 48:17–19).
House of Judah: This term is found 41 times in Scripture and is always referring specifically to the tribe of Judah (e.g., 2 Sam 2:4, 7, 10) or to the southern kingdom, which included the tribes of Benjamin and Levi (1 Kgs 12:21, 23; 2 Chr 11:1). In addition, this term can refer to a remnant of Israelites from the northern ten tribes who refused to submit to the spiritual apostasy of Jeroboam and defected to the southern kingdom (2 Chr 11:16). The phrase “house of Judah” is used in contradistinction to the phrase “house of Israel” eleven times in the Scriptures including once in the Apostolic Scriptures (1 Kgs 12:21; Jer 3:18; 5:11; 11:10,17; 13:11; 31:27, 31; 33:14; Zech 8:14; Heb 8:8).
Judah: This name refers to both the tribe of Judah and to the southern kingdom. Scriptural context will determine which is meant.
Listed below are other prophetic allegorical terms found in this scripture passage with their accompanying definitions. Review these terms and their definitions, and then notice how the authors of the Apostolic Scriptures employ these terms applying them to the “Gentile” believers of the first century.
No Compassion or Mercy (Lo-ruhamah): This is the name of one of Hosea’s three children and is a prophetic reference to the house of Israel who, because of their apostasy, would be rejected by YHVH (Hos 1:6).
Not a People/Not My People (Lo-ami): This is the name of one of Hosea’s three children and is a prophetic reference to both the houses of Israel and Judah (Hos 1:9). This same phrase is echoed prophetically elsewhere in Scripture, as well (Deut 32:21; Isa 7:8; Rom 9:25; 1 Pet 2:9–10).
Sand of the Sea: A metaphor used to describe the number of the descendants of Abraham as a whole (including both houses of Israel) (Gen 32:12; Isa 10:22; Jer 33:22; Hos 1:10–11; Rom 9:27).
Scattered or Sown (literally Jezreel or YHVH Scatters or Sows): This is the name of one of Hosea’s three children and a prophetic reference to the house of Israel who because of their apostasy YHVH sowed or scattered them throughout the nations of the world. In this case, Hosea is specifically addressing the house of Israel (northern kingdom) as opposed to the house of Judah (southern kingdom; Hos 1:4–7 compared with Jas 1:1 and 1 Pet 1:1; see also Deut 28:64).
Beasts of the Field: In Deuteronomy 7:22, we see that the term beasts of the field represent the nations of the earth from which Israel was to stay separate (also Jer 12:9; 27:6; Dan 7:3). The children of Israel were scattered or exiled and became meat for or were given over to all the beasts of the field (Isa 56:9; Ezek 34:5; Hos 2:12). Scripture likens exiled Ephraim (the northern kingdom), who fell into idolatry and mixed with the beast (Gentile) nations, to beasts of the field themselves (Hos 2:16–19; Acts 10:12). In the future, YHVH will make a covenant (a marriage betrothal agreement or ketubah) with the beasts of the field (Hos 2:18; see also Jer 31:31–33; cp. Rom 1:23, 18–25).
In Romans 11:13–24, note Paul’s discussion about the Gentiles whom he likens to “a wild olive branch.”Scripture likens the nation of Israel to an olive tree (Jer 11:10,16), which was split into two branches (Zech 4:3, 11–14), but which will be joined back together to become one nation or a single olive tree again in the future (Ezek 37:15–28). Scripture is clear that both houses of Israel broke their covenants with YHVH (Jer 11:10) and both had their branches broken off from YHVH’s spiritual olive tree (Jer 11:16).
Now let’s notice how Scripture defines the word gentile seeing how it can apply to non-Israelites, as well as to Israelites who have turned from YHVH and mingled with the nations.
Gentiles: (Hebrew: goyim, Strong’s G1471; Greek: ethnos, Strong’s G1484) This word is translated in the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) as nation 374 times, as heathen 143 times, as Gentiles 30 times, and people 11 times. Whenever the word gentile is used in the KJV it is the word goy. According to Strong’s Concordance, the meaning of goy is: “a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (fig.) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts.” According to Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, the word goy means “a people, a confluence of men,” and “contextually in holy Scripture it is used to refer to the other nations besides Israel, the foes of Israel, and strangers to the true religion of Israel.” There are times when this word refers specifically to Israel (e.g., the descendants of Joseph in general: Gen 48:19; of the southern kingdom of Judah when it forsook Elohim and its covenant with him and became like the surrounding heathen nations: Isa. 1:4; of the southern kingdom: Isa 9:1; of Israel in general: Isa 26:2; 49:7; Ps 33:12; Gen 12:2; 35:11). There are numerous other instances in Scripture where the words goy or goyim are applied to the descendants of Abraham. Scripture’s use of the term is unbiased and lacks any of the pejorative implications that have been applied to the term subsequently (e.g., Gen 17:4, 5, 6, 16; 18:18; 25:23; 46:3; Exod 19:6; 33:13; Deut 4:6, 7, 8, 34; Ezek 37:22). As already noted, goy simply means people group. The Greek word ethnos as found in the Apostolic Scriptures is equivalent in meaning to the Hebrew word goyim.
After reading Romans 11:13–25 and understanding how Scripture defines some of the terms Paul uses, let us now look at Romans 9:25. Here he is quoting Hosea 2:23, which is a specific reference to both the “lost” ten tribes of the house of Israel and to the house of Judah from whom the modern Jews are descended (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, commentary on Deut 32:26, pp. 1105–1106). With whom does Paul equate the “Gentiles” of his day who were receiving the good news of Messiah Yeshua? Paul makes a one-to-one correlation between the apostate Israelites of Hosea’s prophecy and to the very Gentiles to whom he was preaching the gospel in the first century. In Ephesians 2:11–19, he states that these Gentiles upon receiving the gospel and turning to the Messiah of Israel would cease to be Gentiles and would once again become part of the nation of Israel. Elsewhere Paul calls these grafted-in Israelites the seed or descendants of Abraham (Rom 4:16; 9:8–11; Gal 3:7,9,14,28–29).
Some Bible teachers and students may attempt to allegorize or spiritualize away Paul’s equating the Gentiles of his day with the Israelites of Hosea’s day. To do so, however, violates one of the fundamental rules of biblical interpretation: unless the author of a scriptural passage specifically states that what he is saying is allegorical (e.g. Gal 4:24), uses a literary device such as a simile (words like as or like, e.g., Pss 83:13; 88:5; 89:46; Luke 13:34), or unless common sense dictates that a literal interpretation would be absolutely impossible (e.g., Matt 5:13,14; John 10:9; Ps 91:4), the honest Bible student has to assume that the passage is to be understood at a literal level.
Often Bible teachers and students will spiritualize difficult biblical passages away because a literal interpretation does not fit with their theology, religious tradition or what they think the Bible should say. The honest, truth-seeking Bible student must avoid these pitfalls, which only lead to false teachings and false doctrines.
YHVH’s Word demands that humans conform their lives and thoughts to his Word, not conform his Word to their lifestyles and thoughts. To do so is to succumb to the lies of the devil, which is the spirit of humanism. Satan and his philosophies combine to become the arch foe of YHVH’s truth, plans and purposes. This same spirit originated at the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden when the serpent twisted the Word of Elohim and tricked man into believing the lie!