israel judah

Seven-Eighths of the Bible Misunderstood

by Edward Hine, 1876
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Any Bible students would find it most useful, because greatly facilitating their reading and understanding of Scripture, if they would underline in red ink all parts of the Bible having a direct reference to Israel only, and to underline, in blue ink, those parts referring to Judah alone, and also, in green ink, those parts that refer directly to the Gentile World, apart from Israel or Judah.

By doing this they would arrive at the readiest method of ascertaining the positive fact, that seven-eighths of the entire Bible have reference only to the literal, social, and historical affairs of Israel and Judah, that only about one-eighth of the whole Bible has any real bearing upon the Gentiles, and that those parts marked red, as referring to Israel, largely predominate.

It follows that, not to understand the distinction of Israel from Judah, is positively to misunderstand seven-eighths of the Bible, and yet, it is an undeniable fact, that 99 per cent, of our people do not recognise any difference as existing between Israel and Judah, and that, when you speak to them about Israel, they immediately think you are referring to the Jews, and read their Bible with this same false impression. Nationally, to this day, both Oxford and Cambridge are under this delusion, as well as all the Dissenting Colleges of the land; how, then, can we be surprised at the amount of stupid blundering and erroneous statements issuing from our pulpits, or wonder at the fact, that our pulpit ministrations do not gain the respect of the masses, so that, while the thousands regard the Church as a venerable Institution, the millions are really outside its influence?

Brethren! is it not a lamentable assertion to make in 1876, that seven-eighths of the Bible are misunderstood? yet it is, too truly, a fact. By not distinguishing Israel from Judah, we set all the prophetical books at variance with each other; we make one prophet give the direct falsehood to another; we make Isaiah call into question the prophecies of Jeremiah; and Jeremiah impugn the statements of Hosea. We set Joel against Amos, Zephaniah against Zechariah, and make Ezekiel contradict them all.

Hundreds of proofs are at hand to substantiate these statements, but a few must suffice. Isaiah, Hosea, and Christ declare Israel to be Lost. Isaiah 7:8; Hosea 1:10; 6:2; Matt. 15:24. Jeremiah and Ezekiel declare Judah to be Known. Jer. 24:9; Ezek. 22:4. Hosea declares Israel to be as the sand for Multitude. Hos. 1:1 0. Jeremiah declares Judah to be Few in number. Jer. 15:7. Isaiah, David, and Micah declare Israel to be the Strongest War Power upon earth. Isa. 41:11; Psa. 105:24, Micah 7:16. Whereas Jeremiah declares Judah to be Without Might. Jer. 19:7. God Almighty, Samuel, David, Isaiah, and Jeremiah declare Israel to be a Monarchy. H Sam. 7:12, 13; Psa. 89:4; Isa. 37:31; 49:23; Jer. 33:26. Jeremiah states Judah to be without Government, 17:4. Isaiah and Obadiah state Israel to be an Island Nation with large Colonies, 49:1, 8; Obad. 17. Jeremiah and Ezekiel state Judah to be strangers in all countries, without geographical inheritance. Jer. 24:9; Ezek. 22:16. Isaiah, Hosea, Micah, Habakkuk, and Paul declare Israel to be a Christian People. Isa. 44:23; Hos. 2:19; Micah 5:7; Hab. 3:13; ROM. 6:14. Whereas Ezekiel, Nahum, Zechariah, Christ, and Peter declare Judah to be under the Mosaic Law. Ezek. 43:18-27; Nahum 1:15; Zech. 9:11; Mark 7:9; Luke 13:35; 1 Peter 2:8. Many scores of such illustrations might be given. These statements are, in reality, perfectly harmonious.

It is only when we read Scripture in our blindness, under the impression that each statement refers to one and the same people, that it becomes contradictory; then it is that the whole Bible seems one mass of confusion, defying the genius of man to bring forth a shadow of reconciliation, without doing material damage to other parts of the Book. Tom Paine fell into the common error of looking at the Jews as the House of Israel, and states boldly in his writings that he was led into infidelity because he saw that the Jews could never verify the promises given to Israel; he therefore gave the Bible up as a myth.

Honestly, I cannot blame the man; for he did but exercise an acute judgement; and I frankly avow, that if my eyes had not been opened, and my mind instructed, to see that Israel and Judah are not the same people, I could have come to no other conclusion. I can never be too thankful to the Almighty, that in my youth He used the late Professor Wilson to show me the difference between the two Houses. The very understanding of this difference is the key by which almost the entire Bible becomes intelligible, and I cannot state too strongly, that the man who has not yet seen that the Israel of the Scriptures are totally distinct from the Jewish people, is yet in the very infancy, the mere alphabet of Biblical study, and that, to this day, the meaning of fully seven-eighths of the Bible is completely shut out to his understanding.

I close this chapter by a short and powerful description of the difference between Israel and Judah, given forth by God Himself: "Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants (Israel) shall eat, but ye (Judah) shall be hungry,. behold, my servants (Israel) shall drink, but ye (Judah) shall be thirsty; behold, my servants (Israel) shall rejoice, but ye (Judah) shall be ashamed; behold, my servants (Israel) shall sing for joy of heart, but ye (Judah) shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit,. and ye (Judah) shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen (Israel); for the Lord God shall slay thee (Judah), and call His servants (Israel) by another name" Isa. 65:13, 14, 15.

I again recommend my readers the plan of underlining their Bibles in red, blue, and green inks. If they would try the red and blue in the quotation just given, they would see its service. There are hundreds of verses like the above, that in part refer to Israel, and in part to Judah, and by this method of employing different colours to distinguish the parts, the intellect is immediately instructed, saving an immense strain upon the mind in study. I live in the hope of seeing the day when our Oxford and Cambridge Presses, with the British and Foreign Bible Society, will facilitate study by using different classes of type to discriminate readily these distinctions, and at the same time sponging out the absurd and abominably false Head Lines that both disgrace and disfigure nearly all their Editions.

Orange Street Congregational Church