JUDAH'S SCEPTRE AND JOSEPH'S BIRTHRIGHT
by Allen (1917)
ALL ISRAELITES ARE NOT JEWS
After the division which occurred among the seed of Abraham
in the days of Jeroboam and Rehoboam, and before the two kingdoms
had settled down to steady going, there arose several
contingencies which we must understand, before we can
intelligently follow their history any farther.
By consulting the eleventh chapter of Second Chronicles we
find a brief recapitulation of the history of the revolt of the
Ten Tribes, to which are added further details as to the result,
a list of the cities which were built by Rehoboam for the defense
of the kingdom of Judah, and the following:
"And he fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and
stores of victuals, and of oil and wine. And in every several
city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong,
having Judah and Benja min on his side. And the priests and the
Levites that were in all Israel (i. e., the territory of country
occupied by the ten-tribed kingdom) resorted to him out of all
their coasts. For the Levites left their suburbs and their
possessions, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and
his sons had cast them off from executing the priest's office
unto the Lord: And he ordained him priests for the high places,
and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made. And
after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their
hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to
sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers. So they
strengthened the kingdom oś Judah, and made Rehoboam, the son of
Solomon, strong." 2 Chron.11:11-17.
These statements make it clear that, after Jeroboam, the
king of Israel, had set up those golden calves, and made priests
of the lowest of the people, he would not allow the Levites, whom
the Lord had made the priestly tribe of the race, execute any
priestly offices, or to conduct any services unto the Lord God of
their fathers; and for this reason they returned to Rehoboam, who
already, as is affirmed, had the tribes of Judah and Benjamin on
his side. Thus the kingdom of Judah, for a while at least, was
composed of three tribes, in addition to those scattered families
out of all the rest of the tribes who would not forsake the
worship of the God of Israel, and who would not worship the
calves which Jeroboam had set up, but those people evidently lost
their tribal relations and were assimilated into one of the three
tribes of which the kingdom of Judah was composed, for in all the
history and prophecy which concerns the three-tribed kingdom,
there are no tribal names used, save only those of Judah,
Benjamin and Levi.
Before we carry the history of these two kingdoms any
farther, or leave the A B C of this matter, we deem it important
to place before our readers an array of Scripture texts, in which
both houses, kingdoms, nations, or families of Abraham's
posterity, through the Isaac-Jacob line, are spoken of in the
same passage in such a way that the most simple minded cannot
fail to see that two distinct peoples are being considered.
We cannot, however, at this juncture, give the relative place of
these Scriptures, as regards the history, past, present and
future, of these people under consideration. We place these
Scriptures before you, only to show, at present, that ever after
the division of the people into two commonwealths, in the days of
Rehoboam and Jeroboam, they were recognized in scriptural history
and prophecy as two kingdoms or nations.
For instance, take the following - "Behold the days come,
saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have
promised unto the house of Israel, and to the house of Judah."
Jer.33:14. Here the Lord has promised to perform a certain, "good
thing" for "The house of Israel;" but he has just as assuredly
promised to perform that same certain "good thing" for the house
of Judah, as well as for Israel, for the house of Judah is not
included in the house of Israel, and vice versa.
Take another, as follows: "And I will cause the captivity of
Judah and the capitivity of Israel to return, and will build them
as at the first." Jer.33:7. Here it is a question not only of
"the captivity of Judah," but also "the captivity of Israel."
Neither is it a question only of the return of the captivity of
Judah, for there is promised also in the same sentence the return
of the captivity of Israel, i. e., a people who are not included
Again, "For lo! the days come, saith the Lord, that I will
bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith
the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave
to their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these are the
words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning
Judah." Jer.30:3,4. Here is something that concerns Judah; but it
also concerns Israel; and the people whom it concerns are "my
people Israel and Judah." So, if Judah, the Jews, are the people
of the Lord, then the Lord has a people besides the Jews whom he
calls Israel, and who are not counted among the Jews.
Still another: "For the children of Israel, and the children
of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth." Jer.
32:30. You see that while speaking of the evildoing of his
people, it was not sufficient for the Lord to speak of the
children of Israel only, but the children of Judah must also be
included, in order to embrace all who are under consideration.
In Jer.13:11, we have indisputable proofs of the two houses,
since the broadest generic terms possible are used. Here it is:
"For as a girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused
to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house
of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a
people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory; but
they would not hear." This statement gives us to understand that
"the whole house of Judah" are not all of the Lord's people, and
that "the whole house of Israel" are not all of the Lord's
people; but that it takes "the whole house of Israel" together
with "the whole house of Judah" to make all of his chosen people.
It also proves that there is a people called "the whole house of
Israel" of which "the whole house of Judah" is regarded as
neither part nor parcel. True, they are brethren, because they
all are of the seed of Jacob. As such, they are Jacobites,--or,
since Jacob's name was changed to Israel his descendants may all
be called Israelites. But it is a fact that the seed of Jacob
have been divided, by the will, the decree, and the direct
intervention of God, into two kingdoms, or nations, one of which,
when politically considered, is called "the whole house of
Israel," "the children of Israel," "the house of Israel," "all
Israel," and "Israel"; while the other nation is called "the
whole house of Judah," "the house of Judah," "the children of
Judah," "all Judah," and "Judah," or "the Jews."
The name Jew is derived from, or rather is a corruption of,
the name of Judah (Singular Ju-dah, or Jewdah; plural, Ju-dahs,
or Jew-dahs; possessive, Ju-dah's, or Jew-dah's; contracted, Jew,
Jews and Jew's). Hence it is that the names Jew and Jews are
applied only to the people who composed the kingdom of Judah.
Also it was their land only which was designated as "Judah" and
"all Judah," and which finally became known as "Judea" and
"Jewry," "all Judea" and "ALL JEWRY."
Indeed, long before the division took place, Moses, while
prophesying unto the seed of Jacob, cried out, "Hear, Lord, the
voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people." This can mean
nothing else, except that Judah was to be separated from his
people, and finally, if that prayer is ever answered, was to be
brought back to them.
But let us continue our array of texts in which both houses
are mentioned, almost in the same breath. "And I saw, when for
all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I
had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her
treacherous sister Judah, feared not, but went and played the
harlot also." Jer.3:8.
Here Israel and Judah are not the same; They are only
sisters, both in shame.
"And the Lord said unto me, That backsliding Israel hath
justified herself more than treacherous Judah." Jer.3:11.
Here Israel, in idolatry the adulterous, is justified more
than Judah, the treacherous: although God had said, "Though thou,
Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend." Hosea 4:15.
And he also said, "I will no more have mercy upon the house of
Israel [that I should altogether pardon them - Margin]. But I
will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by
the Lord their God." Hosea 1:6,7.
The name, "Jerusalem" is often used to designate the Jewish
people because it was their chief city. When Jesus wept over the
city and cried out "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, * * * how oft would I
have gathered you as a hen gathereth her brood under her wing,
but ye would not!" he did not mean the streets and buildings of
the city, but the people; and not only the people dwelling within
the walls, but the nation as well. For it was not only the Jewish
capital - but it was their metropolis, their commercial center,
their citadel, their royal city, their sanctuary and in every way
the representative city of their nation.
This being true, we may expect that the name of the capital
city of the ten-tribed kingdom would be used as a representative
name and applied to that nation. Also, since the name of Judah
was given as a national name for the Jewish people, because of
the fact that it was one of the royal sons from the tribe of
Judah who led the revolt when she became a separate nation, and
the fact that her kings were of Judah's line, thus making the
tribe of Judah the representative tribe, so we might expect the
same thing with reference to the ten-tribed kingdom. Jeroboam
reigned over Israel in Shechem twenty-two years, and was
succeeded by Nadab, his son, who reigned two years. After this,
Baasha conspired against him, killed him, and reigned in his
stead; but he moved the capital to Tirzah, where he reigned for
twenty-four years, and was followed by his son, Elah, who reigned
in that city two years. Then he was conspired against by Zimri,
who reigned only seven days, until he in turn was conspired
against and died by burning the king's house down over his own
head. Then Omri, who had conspired against Zimri and succeeded
him to the throne, bought a hill from Shemar, on which he built
the city of Samaria, which became the permanent capital of the
kingdom of Israel. Hance the name of the chief city of Israel,
Samaria, is often used, when referring to Israel, in the same
representative way that Jerusalem is, in the case of the Jews.
For an example take the following: "Thy Calf, O Samaria, hath
cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will
it be ere they attain to innocency? For from Israel was it also:
the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the Calf of Sa-
maria shall be broken in pieces." Hosea 8:5,6. Of course, the
calf herein referred to is the calf worship instituted by
Jeroboam, who caused Israel to sin, and since the calves were
made by the workmen of Israel, they were not God. So we see that
Samaria stands for Israel, whose capital it is, and whose own
workmen had made the calf which they themselves worshiped.
But this nation has another name which stands for the whole, as
well as that of Israel and Samaria. Look ye ! "When I would have
healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and
the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood." Hosea 7:1.
Thus we see that the name of Ephraim is used as a representative
name for the northern kingdom, just as the name of Judah is used
for the southern kingdom, and that the names Israel, Ephraim and
Samaria are used as names of the ten-tribed kingdom in
contradistinction to those of the three-tribed kingdom, which are
Judah, Jerusalem, and the Jews.
On the very day on which Moses died, while he was
reiterating and enlarging upon the prophecies which Jacob had
given at the time of his death, he made a prophecy concerning the
pre-eminence of Ephraim in Joseph-Israel, as follows: "Let the
blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the
head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is
like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the
horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to
the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
and they are the thousands of Manasseh."
With the name of Ephraim standing at the head of one of the
two nations of Jacob, and the name of Judah at the head of the
other, we can easily understand such expressions as the
following: "O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what
shall I do unto thee? For your goodness is as a morning cloud,
and as the early dew it goeth away." Hosea 6:4.
Since both Judah, the fourth son of Jacob, and Ephraim, the
second son of Joseph, had been dead for nearly one thousand years
prior to the writing of these Scriptures which we have just
given, we must know that these are national names, used to
represent the national conditions of the two nations which are
So, also, is the following: "Therefore will I be unto
Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness. When
Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went
Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to King Jared; yet he could not
heal you of your wound. For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and
as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and
go away, and none shall rescue them. I will go and return to my
place, until they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in
their affliction they will seek me early." Hosea 5:12-I5.
Before proceeding further with the history of these two
kingdoms, there is one other point which must be settled once for
all. This is that the people of God whom he distinctively calls
"Israel," the heads of which are the birthright holders, unto
whom was given that national name - it coming to them with the
birthright at the time of the transfer of that inheritance--are
not Jews, that the Holy Spirit has never, either in Biblical
history or prophecy, called them Jews, and that they have never
been called Jews except by uninformed historians and by
unscriptural teachers of the Word of God.
Understand us: we do not say that the Jews are not
Israelites; they belong to the posterity of Jacob, who was called
Israel; hence they are all Israelites. But the great bulk of
Israelites are not the Jews, just as the great bulk of Americans
are not Californians, and yet all Californians are Americans;
also, as in writing the history of America we must of necessity
write the history of California, because California is a part of
America; but we could write a history of California without
writing a history of America.
So, in writing the history of Israel we must needs write the
history of the Jews, but we could write the history of the Jews
and not write the history of Israel. Or, in other words, in
writing the history of the many nations we must write the history
of the Jews, for, to say the least, they are one of those many
nations; but in writing the history of the Jews, it would be
utterly impossible to write the history of the many nations which
were promised to the birthright people, whose national name is,
in a special sense, Israel, and whose people are not Jews.
Nationally speaking, they are brother nations, but not always
very brotherly. But if we can keep track of the birthright
nation, and if they ever have that birthright promise fulfilled
to them, then, and only then, can we write the history of the
many nations which the Lord God of Israel promised unto their
fathers Abraham, Isaac, Jacob-Israel, Joseph, and Ephraim and
It will help us much in our study of this question, to know
just when and under what circumstances the word Jew is first used
in the canon of Sacred Scripture.
It was not until more than two hundred years after the
revolt of the ten tribes from the house of David. It was at a
time when Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Israel, formed a
federation with Rezin, king of Syria, and came up against Ahaz,
king of Judah, to war for acquisition of territory. Notice how
the prophet of God speaks of these three nations Israel, Syria
and Judah. He declares: "And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz,
the son of Jotham, the son of Uziah, king of Judah, that Rezin,
the king of Syria, and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, king of
Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it (Jerusalem was
the throne seat of Judah) but could not prevail against it. And
it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with
Ephraim." Isa.7:I,2. The prophet further explains, that "The head
of Syria is Damascus, (Damascus was the capital of Syria) and the
head of Damascus is Rezin (King of Syria); and within
threescore-and-five (65) years shall Ephraim be broken that
it be not a people. (Marginal--from being a people.) And the head
of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's
son." Isa.7:8,9. Remaliah's son was Pekah, king of Israel.
What Isaiah had to say concerning this war was for the
purpose of making prophecies concerning the outcome. We must pass
over the prophecies for the present, as our object now is to show
the difference between the Jew and Israel and we have simply
quoted sufficient for our purpose.
We now turn to the historic record of that war, and read:
"In the seventeenth year (as king) of Pekah, the son of Remaliah,
Ahaz, the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign, and
reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. * * Then Rezin, king of
Syria, and Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to
Jerusalem to war; and they besieged Ahaz (king of Judah), but
could not overcome him. At that time Rezin, king of Syria,
recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath; and the
Syrians dwell there unto this day. So Ahaz sent messengers to
Tiglathpileser, king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy
son; come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria,
and out o f the hand o f the king o f Israel, which rise up
against me." 2 Kings 16:1,2,5-7.
Here we have it clearly stated that in this war the
besieging party is, "Pekah, the king of Israel," who is the "head
of Samaria," which is the head of "Ephraim," together with
another nation with whom they are confederate. And if we put it
as Isaiah does concerning the other house, the besieged party was
"Ahaz, king of Judah," head of "the Jews," whose head is
"Jerusalem," the head of the house of David.
Do you see the point? The king of Judah, or the king of the
Jews, was besieged in his capital, and wanted to form an alliance
with the king of Assyria and, to secure him as an ally, even
fawned upon the king of Assyria, saying "I am thy servant, thy
son," and crying "Come up!" What for? To save the JEWS from the
hand o f ISRAEL.
Thus we see that the first time the word Jews is used in the
history of the Abrahamic race is at a time when the Jews and
Israel were at war with each other. Hence we ask, If the Jews
were the besieged and Israel was with the besiegers, how can it
be possible that the Jews and Israel are one and the same people?
According to the conclusion of the great number of our learned
men, also some "higher (?) critics," we must needs conclude that
the Jews were fighting their own shadow, which would be reducing
the whole matter to an argumentum ad absurdum.
It is high time for the Christian world, yea, and all
secular historians, too, "to awake out of sleep," take the advice
of the learned Apostle Paul and "cease giving heed to Jewish
fables" and quit telling the people that all Israelites are Jews.
It is not true, never has been and never can be, for the
difference between them is not only political and territorial but
it is semiracial. For, although the inheritors of the Sceptre and
the Birthright were sons of the same father, they were not sons
of the same mother, and thus they were only half brothers. This,
together with the fact that Leah is described as "tender-eyed"
and Rachel was said to be "fair," would make some strong facial
and physical distinctions in the posterity of the two families.
But when we remember that Joseph married an Egyptian princess,
thus blending the best Semitic blood with the royal blood of
Egypt, and making the posterity of Joseph half-blood Egyptian,
then we must know that while the children of Joseph are half
Israelitish they are still three-fourths removed from the
children of Judah. This alone would make great changes in their
physique and largely eradicate all facial resemblances.
The fact that Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, who
were the final inheritors of the Birthright, were half-blood
Egyptians is that which made it necessary for Jacob to adopt them
and make them fully his own, as Reuben and Simeon were his,
before he could confer upon them the covenant Birthright. This is
the adoption to which the Apostle Paul refers in his argument
concerning the Children of the Promise versus the Children of the
Flesh, as follows: "Israelites, to whom pertaineth the adoption,
and the covenants, and the glory, and the giving of the law, and
the service, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom
as concerning the flesh Christ came." Here Israelites as a whole,
including both houses, are spoken of. Hence, to all who really
believe, claim, or teach that the Jews ONLY are Israelites, and
of all who believe that the word adoption, as used in this
connection, can possibly have reference in any way to spiritual
adoption we ask: When, how, or where did there ever occur an
adoption, either spiritual or racial, among the Jews as a nation?
No answer required. Please reflect.
An eminent theological professor, who gives an exegesis of
the Sunday-school lessons for the most prominent denominational
papers in this country, began his exposition on "The Call of
Abraham" as follows "We come now to the third of the great
landmarks of history, the call of Abraham. From being a universal
history the record becomes national. Hereafter, we have to do
with one people, the Jews. In the founder of the Jewish nation we
find not a conqueror or a lawgiver but a saint." Yet it is fact
that the term "Jews" is not used in writing the history of the
Abrahamic people until twelve hundred years after the call of
Another theological professor, of one of our largest
training schools, defines "The Jews" as "A name given to all the
descendants of Abraham." Ah!!! We ask-When?
Still another defines "The Jews": "A name given to the
descendants of Abraham, who were divided into twelve tribes"; and
yet it is a fact that in the Scriptures the name "Jews" was given
only to those who dwelt in Jewry, which country was occupied by
the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi, and did not include
Samaria, the home of the ten-tribed kingdom.
No; it is a fiction which has been foisted upon us by modern
scholars, many of whom are presidents and professors of
universities, colleges and theological seminaries, editors of
religious and secular newspapers, doctors of divinity and church
dignitaries, that the words "Jew" and "Jews" are equivalent to
"Israel," "Israelites," "Israelitish," "Hebrew" and "Hebraic."
By not distinguishing Israel from Judah we have in the Bible a
historical and prophetic chain which can never be linked
together, and which sets all of the writers at variance with one
another; for we cause Isaiah to question statements made by
Jeremiah; set Joel, Amos, and Zephaniah against Zachariah; cause
Jeremiah to convict Hosea of being a false prophet; then make
Ezekiel step in and contradict them both and many others in such
a manner that one prophet is made to give the lie to the other.
We feel sorry for the so-called "Higher Critics," for they really
do find trouble, but they cannot conceive that this trouble
could, by any possible chance, arise because of their
misconception of the subject matter; hence it must be in the
style [stylus-a pen] or manner of the prophet. Thus if any of the
prophets chance to reveal a mannerism at one time which is not so
plainly manifest at another, then the exclamations, "Ah! Eureka!
We've found it! There are two of them!" are heard to vibrate and
revibrate throughout the ecclesiastical world.
Is it any wonder that skepticism is rampant, both in the
church and out of it, since the common error of Christendom is to
regard the Jews as the whole house of Israel? Is it any wonder
that Tom Paine lost his soul while following the beaten path of
this fallacy? For he did give the Bible up as a myth, and boldly
states in his writings that he was led into infidelity because he
saw that the Jews did not and never could verify the promises
For it is true that God had declared, through Micah, of
Israel, who was divorced and cast far off, that he would (at the
proper time) make her a strong nation; while Judah was to become
a remnant. Isaiah, Hosea, Jeremiah and the New Testament declare
Israel to be lost; while both Jeremiah and Ezekiel affirm that
Judah is well known. Hosea declares Israel to be as "the sands
for multitude"; while Jeremiah insists that Judah is "few in
number" and a remnant. Isaiah, David, Micah, Jeremiah and others
declare that Israel is the strongest war power on earth, never to
be conquered by a Gentile power; and yet Jeremiah declares that
Judah is "without might;" while Daniel bemoans and records the
fact that the Jews will be conquered by a Gentile power. The
entire line of prophets from Moses down declare Israel to be a
continuous monarchy, whose sceptre is held by the seed of David;
while Judah is to be "without government" of their own, but are
to be ruled over. Hosea declares that "Israel shall ride" but
"Judah shall plow."
Moses also declares that there shall come a time in the
history of Israel (the ten tribes) when they also shall "be few
in number," and yet it is prophesied concerning them that they
shall obtain possession of "great possessions," inheriting and
establishing (peopling) the desolate places of the earth, rule
many heathen nations, have a great revenue, become the "mart of
nations," hold the keys of commerce, be "exalted above their
neighbors," and become "the chief of nations." But, on the other
hand, Judah is to be "without geographical inheritance,"
"strangers in all countries," "howl for vexation of spirit,"
"leave their name for a curse," "be ashamed," and "cry for sorrow
of heart" until the great day of Jezreel.
To be continued