Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Middle East Issues

In the time of Ezra, Jews with a Gentile parent were not allowed settlement rights back in the land of Israel. That wasn't just Ezra's own idea - he founded his criterion in the Torah.

And it wasn't just for Ezra's own time. In the time of Jesus, Palestine was divided into three sections: Judea, Samaria and Galilee. The Judeans and Galileans were pure Jews; but the Samaritans had interbred somewhat with Gentiles, and therefore the Jews despised the Samaritans and didn't accept them as legitimate Jews at all.

Samaria was in the middle, geographically. So to travel to and from Judea and Galilee, a traveller had to pass through Samaria. But many Jews despised Samaritans so much they refused to pass through, and crossed the Jordan river instead and travelled through the land of Jordan.

Jesus Himself passed through Samaria, but He insisted that salvation was of the Jews, not the Samaritans; He insisted that Jerusalem had been the required place of worship, not the Samaritan mountain, etc - and He asserted all this with the Samaritan woman at the well (He also said the time was coming, and now is, when the true worshipers wouldn't worship in either place, but in spirit and in truth).

So the idea that pure Jewishness, with no Gentile mix, was essential to land rights, was a Torah-idea that persisted.

So, question:

What modern 'Jews' today can prove they satisfy that Bible-criterion? (i.e., can prove they are pure Jews, with a provable lineage to Jacob, and no Gentile parent).

The modern Israeli government and legal system sets its own criteria for repatriation rights; different denominations within Judaism also set different criteria - neither is strictly Torah-compliant.

One modern requirement even is that an applicant must not be a Christian, even if he or she satisfies their other criteria for 'Jewishness'.

Can anyone today convincingly claim the land, based on the Tenakh's (Old Testament's) criteria? (Of pure Jewishness, with proveable lineage to Jacob, and no Gentile mix). Honest question!

I know God promised the land to Jews. And I don't believe God ever explicitly revoked that.

But it seems Jews all agree on this: a different criteria to the Tenakh's (Old Testament's) criteria is needed. Or at least it can be said that Jews can't agree on how the Old Testament's criteria might apply today.

I am aware of a new criterion which I think can adjudicate the decision, if compliance to the Old Testament criteria isn't possible any more. This new criterion can I think decide questions of the right to exist; of borders, and territories and settlements.

It's a criterion which might not demand a pure ethnicity, like the old criteria once had.

A criterion which would never discriminate against believers in Jesus Messiah.

It's Messiah's New Commandment:

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" - said Jesus Messiah (see John 13:34).

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law - the Torah and the Prophets. So if you decide Middle East matters based on love, you can't go wrong.

Love regards human rights, respects and protects an innocent person's right to live and not be murdered.

So love, for example: acknowledges the truth, that the land was promised to Jews, and the promise was never explicitly revoked.

Love, despite the difficulties many might have, or anyone might have, proving their pure Jewishness, delights in seeing a safe-haven provided for Holocaust-surviving Jews post-WWII.

Love also would not run roughshod over any peace-loving non-Jews who may have been living there already - such as Arabic Christians for example, whose ancestors had been living there for centuries and who had nowhere else to go.

Love would think twice before ceding the right of governance over territory to a regime which avows the destruction of innocent human beings.

Love therefore ultimately requires a new Jerusalem - heavenly in origin, spiritual in nature, which only the righteous shall enter, not based on race. This New Jerusalem is the true object of all Biblical promise, type, shadow, law and prophecy! All who believe in Jesus are part of it.

While we wait, as for the earthly, physical temporary Jerusalem, it has no worse status nor better status spiritually, than any other city or nation.

Since making a claim in terms of the Old Testament might be difficult or impossible for some or for anyone, every matter, and all people, are subject to and is best decided by the new commandment of love.

Love covers every point of the law and prophets anyway! Can’t go wrong.

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