Israelites of old and Israelis of the modern times are God’s own people (Psalm 8:3, Numbers10:10). Jerusalem, a city built by King David was named “David City” (2 Samuel 5:6-9).
Enemies of God took crafty counsels together and formed a confederacy against Israel, to wipe it off the face of the earth and be remembered no more. Even the children of Lot joined them (Psalm 83:2-8)
It has to be remembered that Lot was the grandson of Terah. Abraham was Lot’s uncle and Lot was his nephew. Abraham was a descendant of Shem (Genesis 11:26) and son of Terah (Genesis 11:27). Lot was the son of Haran (Genesis 11:27), the younger biological brother of Abraham. Abram’s name was later changed to Abraham by God (Genesis 17:5). Terah took Abraham his son, and his nephew Lot to the land of Canaan and settled in Haran. Abraham’s brother who was the father of lot had died in his native city of Ur of the Chaldeans or Babylon when his father Terah was still living.
Abraham and Lot were prosperous shepherds and had many flocks of livestock. At a time, their servants began to quarrel over insufficient pastures for their animals. Abraham though an elder allowed Lot to choose where to graze his stock where upon Lot chose the region of Jordan valley which was very fertile and camped near Sodom (Genesis 13:10-13). Abraham moved his camp and dwelt near the sacred trees of Mamre at Hebron and there he built an altar to the LORD as directed by HIM (Genesis 13:18). Abraham’s magnanimity towards Lot remained unabated for he rescued Lot with his household from captivity of Sodom’s foes who won a major battle against her and carted away many victims and loots (Gen 14:12-16).
Later in a vision, Abram (Abraham) was promised protection from danger and a great reward by the LORD. He being realistic and a man of unequalled faith in the LORD believed Him but humbly questioned the sagacity of the great reward as he was childless at the age of about 85 years. Whereupon The Lord took him outside and directed him to count the stars; that his descendants would be as many as that. (Gen.15: 1-4). His strong faith pleased the LORD who accepted him and counted this as righteousness. (Gen. 15:6)
He made a covenant with the LORD and sealed it with the sacrifice of a cow, a goat, a ram, each of them three (3) years old and a dove and a pigeon as dictated by God. He cut up the animals in half and placed the halves opposite each other in two rows; but he did not cut the birds.
The covenant however was that Abraham would be the father of many nations. At the age of 86 years, Abraham begot a son named Ishmael by his slave girl Hagar on the advice of his then barren wife Sarai later renamed Sarah. It is a known fact that Ishmael was the ancestor of Islamic countries; thus fulfilling part of the LORD’s promises to Abraham. It was Abraham himself who named his son by the slave girl, an Egyptian, Ishmael.
There is no doubt about the fact that Ishmael was the ancestor of the Islamic countries, thus fulfilling part of the LORD’s promises to Abraham.
When Abraham was 100 years old, Sarah bore him a son who he named Isaac. Sarah was extremely happy because the LORD gave her a son for she said “God has brought me joy and laughter. Everyone who hears about it will laugh with me” (Gen 21:6). Then she further, with gladness, continued “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse Children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age” (Genesis 21:7). Sarah of course was very old and her monthly period had long ceased. In other words, she had long past the child bearing age. God blessed Isaac, her son with a set of twin boys Esau and Jacob. Therefore, Sarah invariably became a mother of children. Esau sold his birth right over a pot of porridge to Jacob, the younger twin brother. On account of this, Jacob was blessed by their father Isaac, with promises of fertile fields, bountiful harvests of corn and wine, subjugation of other nations and lording it over his mother’s descendants. Furthermore, Isaac blessed him with the LORD cursing those that cursed Jacob and blessing those who bless him (Gen27:28-29).
God consented to his blessings by an encounter with him at Peniel where he changed his name to Israel (Gen 32:22-28). So, that is the origin of the Israelites God’s own people and modern day Israelis.
It has to be remembered that lot, Abraham’s nephew married a wife who bore him female children only. On two nights, fearing that they would die childless because there was no man to marry them after God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, got their father drunk and slept with him. They became pregnant by their father and gave birth to 2 sons, Moab by the elder daughter who was the ancestor of the present day Moabites and Benammi by the younger daughter. He was the ancestor of the present Ammonites. (Gen 19:37).
Other nations of the world emerged from the other children of Adam besides Cain and Abel (Gen 5:1-6).
JERUSALEM- KING DAVID’S CITY
Rebecca, Isaac’s wife complained bitterly about the untoward behavior of Esau’s foreign wives for he married Canaanites girls. As a result, Isaac summoned Jacob and advised him to go to Mesopotamia to the home of his grandfather Bethel to look for a wife there. He should marry one of his Uncle Laban’s daughters. Laban was the brother of Rebecca who was the mother of Esau and Jacob.
Isaac blessed Jacob one more time for heeding to his instructions and implored God to give him many children that will make him father of many nations.(Gen 27: 46, 28: 1- 4). Isaac subsequently married 2 daughters of Laban named Rachel and Leah. Leah less loved and an elder sister was favored by God for she gave birth first. Her eldest child was a boy and she named him Reuben, followed by Simeon; then Judah. Leah then stopped having children. God purposely made Rachel childless initially because he hated preferential treatment in that Jacob loved Rachel more (Gen 29: 31- 35).
On the advice of Rachel, Jacob begot through her slave girl Balhah, Dan and Naphtali. Leah’s slave girl Zilpah on Leah’s admonition bore Gad and Asher.
Because of her generosity with her son’s mandrakes towards Rachel, Leah became pregnant once more and gave birth to Issachar, Zebulun and a daughter named Dinah. She had earlier borne Levi before Judah leaving her a total of ‘8 boys and a girl’, though 2 boys were by her slave girl. Levi’s lineage was to become the priesthood family and consequently was not apportioned any territory. That was why he was not counted among the 12 tribes of Israel. Joseph’s 2 sons Ephraim and Manasseh were given 2 territories in his place as Joseph had died much earlier in Egypt. Levi, though the 3rd son Levi did not receive a good blessing from him because of his fiery anger and crippling horses for sport (Gen 49: 5-7). The Levites had several cities and farmlands scattered all over Israel (Joshua 15).
After, God remembered Rachel and answered her prayers. He made it possible for her to have children. She gave birth to Joseph and Benjamin. Her slave girl had previously borne her 3 boys making it a total of 5 boys to her credit. The 12 tribes of Israel were;- Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Reuben, Simeon, Gad, Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, Dan, Asher and Naphtali (Numbers 7;12- 83).
Judah was the most loved of his brothers probably because of his kindness and good behavior. He was the most prominent tribe of the southern kingdom and the Israelites are called ‘Jews’ because of his tribe’s dominance. The tribe of Judah settled in a large area in the south (Joshua 15). The blessing given to Judah by Jacob was superb and exceptional for he said ‘’ Judah, your brothers will praise you. You hold your enemies by the neck. Your brothers will bow down before you. Judah is like a lion; Killing his victim and returning to his den; Stretching out and lying down. No one dares disturb him. Judah will hold the royal scepter, and his descendants will always rule. Nations will bring him tribute and bow in obedience before him (Gen 49: 8-10, Ps 78: 67-68). King David and descendants including Mary and Joseph, the earthly parents of Jesus Christ were from the tribe of Judah. The possible reason among others that God chose him, the fourth born, to be the ancestor of the Messiah is that the first born Reuben, slept with his father’s concubine and next two, Simeon and Levi, betrayed and slaughtered the Hivites for raping their sister Dinah.
David was the son of Jesse from Bethlehem in Judah and his mother was Nitzebet according to Jewish tradition.
When Joshua and the Israelites had acquired the Canaaniite lands through victories in wars, he shared them among their tribes as directed by the LORD. However some nations were left in the land to test the Israelites who had not been to wars and to punish them whenever they disobeyed HIS commandments. So the Israelites settled among the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites. They intermarried with them and worshipped their gods. Surrounding countries such as Philistia, Syria, Assyria, Persia, and other enemy nations were constantly waging wars with them because of their sins.
Judges led them to wars as soon as they repented and cried to the LORD. Samuel who was a prophet ruled Israel for a long time (1 Sam 3: 20 – 21, 7: 15). There was a relative peace in Israel throughout his ruler ship. Then he became very old and appointed his sons judges in Israel. But they were corrupt and accepted bribes. As a result, the Israelite leaders met Samuel and requested for a king like other countries. The LORD permitted him to grant their wish.
There was a wealthy and influential man from the tribe of Benjamin named Kish. Some of his donkeys wandered off. So he mandated his son named Saul to take one of his servants and search for the missing asses. They went through the regions of Ephraim, Shalisha, Shaalim, and territory of Benjamin but could not find them. Later they came to the region of Zuph and inquired of a highly respected prophet who was holy, named Samuel.
As soon as he saw Saul, the LORD revealed to him that he would be ruler of His people Israel. Saul was a handsome man in the prime of life and was taller by head than anyone else in Israel. On the previous day, the LORD had told him, Samuel, that He would send him a man from Benjamin; he should anoint him king of Israel. So Saul and his servant slept in the house of Samuel till the following day. At dawn, Samuel went to the edge of the town anointed him king (1 Sam 10: 1).
King Saul defeated the Ammonites, the Philistines and the Amalekites in different fierce battles. But in the war against the Amalekites, he spared the life of Agag their king and did not kill the best sheep and cattle, the best calves and lambs contrary to the LORD’S instructions to him that he should destroy everything as a punishment for what their ancestors did to Israelites when they were coming from Egypt. Their progenitors opposed the Israelites in the desert (Exodus 17: 8-12). Saul killed only what was useless or worthless. So the LORD rejected him as a king. He blamed his men for sparing the best animals in order to offer them as sacrifice to the LORD at Gilgal. Thereupon, Samuel said to him that to obey was better than sacrifice.
Thereafter, David was anointed king in place of Saul. He was the man that was after God’s heart for he always obeyed Him and ensured justice, equity and fair play at all times (1Sam 17: 13; Isaiah 9: 7}. God extolled his unparalleled quality and called him a servant of His who was very dear and always obeyed his commands (Psalm 89: 1- 4, 19- 29, 35- 37). Soon after he was made king of Israel and Judah, David attacked Jerusalem inhabited then by the Jebusites (2 Sam 5: 6- 9). They made fun of him and his army saying that the blind and the crippled could keep them out. The Jebusites had a strong military formation with a formidable defense system. His forces eventually captured the city.
Furthermore, after capturing the fortress, David lived in it and subsequently named it ‘’David’s City’’ (2 Sam 5: 8- 9). The following children were born to him in Jerusalem:- Shammua, Shabab, Nathan, Solomon, ibhar, Elishu, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada and Elipheleth. David built the city round it, starting at the place where land was filled in on the east side of the hill. King Hiram of Tyre provided him with cedar logs, carpenters and stone-masons to build a palace. He then moved from Hebron to Jerusalem.
He later brought God’s Covenant Box, bearing the name of LORD Almighty who is enthroned above the winged creatures from Abinadab’s home on the hill country of Judah by a strong choice 30,000 soldiers in Israel to Jerusalem with shouts of joy and the sound of trumpets.
During the reign of Rehoboam the son OF King Solomon, Israel broke into 2 nations. The northern kingdom became Israel ruled by king Jeroboam and southern kingdom was known as Judah governed by king Rehoboam. When Hoshea king became king of Israel, king Shalmaneser of Assyria invaded his kingdom and Samaria the capital city fell in 722 BC. The people of Israel were taken into exile to Assyria because of their sins against the LORD for they worshipped idols and followed the customs of surrounding nations. The emperor of Assyria took people from the cities of Babylon and settled them in the cities of Samaria in Israel (2 Kings 17: 24).
King Zedekiah of Judah rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia. So he besieged Jerusalem and captured it. Nebuzaradan, the commander of his army and adviser to the king, took away the Israelites of importance to Babylonia in about 586 BC. But he left in Judah some of the poorest people, who owned no property and put them to work in the vineyards and fields. this tragedy befell them because of their sins against the LORD.
These events took place many years before Jesus Christ was born. Who own Jerusalem based on this account? Your guess is as good as mine.
CREDIT: Ofomah ES writes from
St David’s Catholic Church,
Azigbo. Nnewi South LGA.