An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 9 - Prophetic Truth - Page 109 of 223
It has become a matter of common knowledge among those who understand
something of 'Dispensational Truth' to speak of the people of Israel as a
most important factor in the outworking of the purpose of the ages, and
especially in connection with the interpretation of prophecy.  We speak of
those periods in history when the people of Israel were scattered from their
land, or temporarily dominated by a foreign power, as 'lo -ammi' periods,
periods when Israel were reckoned 'not My People' by the Lord.  This
influence of the presence of Israel is seen most noticeably in the New
Testament.  Up to the end of the Acts, Israel are viewed as a people before
God; at the end of the Acts they are dismissed as a people, and with them was
temporarily suspended the hope of Israel, the promises made to the fathers,
together with any anticipatory enjoyment of blessings under the New Covenant
that had been introduced.  The absence of this people since Acts 28 and
throughout the present dispensation, necessitates a new revelation, and this
is given in those epistles known as 'The Prison Epistles'.  Those who see
that since Acts 28 Israel have become 'loammi' will not be moved by the
attempts of expositors and preachers who stress the words 'Armageddon' and
'Wars and rumours of wars' as having a fulfilment in the present time, for
they know that the prophetic clock stopped at the end of the Acts, even as it
did in days past when Israel's position as a nation before God was in
These things are known to readers of The Berean Expositor, but even so,
no reader knows too much of the truth: no reader has reached the point when
further and fuller exposition is unnecessary.  Most, if not all, welcome
further light, even though convinced of the truth by what they have already
perceived.  If this principle of right division referred to as 'lo -ammi' is
sound, a closer examination of the usage of the word 'people' in the
Scriptures should confirm it.  Moreover, the study of such an important word
will be useful and a blessing, quite apart from any peculiar application we
may make of the truth discovered.
We believe that an examination of the teaching and usage in Scripture
of this word 'people' will reveal how intimately it is related to a great
part of God's purpose, and will not only provide a key to unlock prophecy,
but will demonstrate more fully the peculiar calling of the dispensation of
the Mystery, if only by the marked absence of the reference to the 'people'
from the prison ministry of Paul.
Before considering the way in which the word 'people' enters into the
record of the ages, let us, become acquainted with the original words that
are employed.
The Authorized Version translates thirteen words by the one word
'people'.  The following occur in the Old Testament:
Ish, a man, an individual (2 Sam. 20:13).
Ummim, Ummoth, a company of men and women mutually supporting one
another, a society of people (Num. 25:15;
Psa. 117:1).
Enosh, a frail, mortal man (Jonah 3:5).
Bene, 'sons of' (Gen. 29:1; Lev. 20.17).
Goi, a corporate body (from the word gavah 'a body', a society or
a body of men).  A nation or people (Josh. 3:17).  Used of
Israel, but mostly translated Gentile, Heathen or Nation.
Leom, a gathering of people, a nation (Gen. 25:23; Psa. 2:1).
Edah, a congregation (Lev. 10:6).