The Berean Expositor
Volume 17 - Page 87 of 144
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Studies in the Prophets.
The nation and the nations.
Israel, though a separate nation, can never be separated from the nations, and a due recognition of
this apparent paradox would, humanly speaking, have saved Israel from their pharisaic exclusiveness,
while enabling them to maintain their true exclusiveness as the Lord's appointed channel of blessing.
This two-fold relationship is the first feature of Israel's calling.
"And I will make of thee a great nation. . . and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 12: 2, 3 and
18: 18).
Among the peculiar characteristics of Israel as a nation may be indicated the following;
1. A kingdom of priests, and an holy nation (Exod. 19: 6).
2. This nation is Thy people (Exod. 33: 13).
3. Not reckoned among the nations (Numb. 23: 9).
4. A nation so great by reason of tbe presence of tbe Lord, and the possession of His law (Deut. 4: 7, 8).
5. Taken as a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and wonders (Deut. 4: 34).
6. This nation shall reign over many nations (Deut. 15: 6).
7. This nation shall be set on high above all nations (Deut. 26: 19).
Among the nations whose destinies are intimately bound up with that of Israel, and which are
mentioned by name in the prophets, are the following;
AMMON (Gen. 19: 88; Neh. 2: 10; lsa. 11: 14).
ARABIA (Isa. 21: 13; Neh. 2: 19).
ASHKENAZ (Gen. 10: 3; Jer. 51: 27).
ASSYRIA (ASSHUR) (Gen. 10: 11 (margin); 2 Kings; Ezra. 6: 16-22).
BABYLON (Gen. 10: 10; 1 and 2 Kings; Ezra. 5: 13-17).
CANAAN (Gen. 11: 31 ; Psa. 105: 11).
CHALDEA (Gen. 11: 28; lsa. 13: 19; Hab. 1: 6).
CUSH (ETHIOPIA) (Gen. 10: 6 ; Isa. 18: 1; Ezek. 30: 5).
DEDAN (Gen. 10: 7; Ezek. 25: 13).
EDOM (Gen. 36: 1; Jer. 9: 26).
EGYPT (MIZRAIM) (Gen. 10: 6; lsa. 19: 25).
ELAM (Gen. 10: 22; lsa. 11: 11; Jer. 49: 39).
GOG, MAGOG AND GOMER (Gen. 10: 2; Ezek. 38: 21).
GRECIA (JAVAN) (Gen. 10: 2; lsa. 66: 19; Zech. 9: 13).
LIBYA (PHUT) (Gen. 10: 6; Ezek. 27: 10; Dan. 11: 43).
LUD (Gen. 10: 22; lsa. 66: 19; Ezek. 27: 10).
MESHECH (Gen. x 2; Ezek. 27: 13).
PERSIA (Ezra. 1: 1; Dan. 8: 20; Ezek. 38: 5).
SEBA (Gen. 10: 7; lsa. 43: 3).
SHEBA (Gen. 10: 7; 1 Kings 10: 1; lsa. 9: 6).
TUBAL (Gen. 10: 2; lsa. 66: 19).
TARSHISH (Gen. 10: 4; lsa. 2: 16, 66: 19).
Here is a list of twenty-four different nations that figure in prophecy. It does not pretend to be
complete, for it has been compiled in circumstances that prevent access to books of reference, but it is
sufficiently full for our immediate purpose. Considered as a list of names it can serve no spiritual
purpose, but if this list of names shall compel us to accept a true canon of interpretation, then its
compilation shall not indeed have been in vain. First as to the spiritualizing of such names. We know that
sometimes names of nations or cities must be understood spiritually or figuratively. As a case in point
we note Isa. 1: 10, where the prophet addresses the rulers and people of Israel under the title, "Ye
rulers of Sodom, and ye people of Gomorrah. "While, therefore, we must allow for this use of names, it
is nevertheless the exception and not the rule. It cannot be denied by anyone who shall take the trouble to
consult the references to this list of names, that in the great majority of cases these names must be taken
literally, and refer to actual nations on the earth.
The second feature of importance that must strike the reader is the number of these names that go
back to the great ethnic chapter Gen. 10: Chronologically Gen. 10: immediately precedes Gen. 12:, the
nations, and the nation. The prophets, by speaking of these nations as figuring in the yet future day of the
Lord, assert an unbroken unity of purpose; that the nations of Gen. 10: and the nation of Gen. 12: are too
intimately connected to be omitted from our reckoning, and link the book of Genesis with the book of the
Revelation, thereby indicating that all Scripture that relates to the earthly side of the purpose of the ages
is one and undivided.
The third feature is suggested by the names in this list that are put into brackets. The English version