Why evangelicals should think twice about equating modern Israel with Israel of the Bible

Ben Irwin

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The other day, I raised a question for evangelicals who think standing with Israel means supporting them no matter what. How do you reconcile a “never criticize Israel” mentality with the overwhelming witness of the biblical prophets?

If you’ve been told that unconditional support for Israel is the only “biblical” position, that the modern-day state enjoys the same kind of “most favored nation” status with God as ancient Israel did, then here’s another question. If Israel today is entitled to the covenant blessings spoken by the Old Testament, what about their covenant obligations?

The Bible never spoke of Israel’s covenant blessings apart from their obligations. It’s no use trying to have one without the other. And at least one of these obligations poses a bit of a problem for the modern state of Israel, if it is indeed the same nation as the one in the Bible.

Ancient Israel was not supposed to have…

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Posted on February 10, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Here is my refutation of this article:

    This article is patently weak and highly biased. One reason why the author thinks that Israel of today is not the same Israel of the Bible is because Israel had to obey the stipulations of the Mosaic covenant. LOL that is very biased because Israel constantly disobeyed God and God constantly punished it repeatedly in many ways, BUT it always remained Israel the chosen people. In Romans 10:21-11:1-2 ” But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people. ”I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham,a a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. ” (here because of God’s grace). 1 Samuel 12:22 ” For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself. ” (here because of God’s name). see also Ier. 31:37.

    Another reason why the author thinks that Israel of today is not the same Israel of the Bible is because Israel should not be militarized and not have a standing army. He cites several OT passages taking them out of context, and thus misinterpreting them.This shows really how really biased this author is. By the way nowhere in the Bible it says that Israel should not have an army. Actually we see over and over again that Israel always had an army, especially after Israel became a monarchy. They were almost always at war with the neighboring nations. The only times they did not have an army was when they were occupied by other empires. During the time of Jesus they did not have an army because they were occupied by the Romans.

    To support his opinion the author cites Deuteronomy 20. However the text here does not say that Israel should not have an army. It simply says that some people should not be in the army because of several problems. Actually this passage proves that Israel had an army and some people were not fitted to be enrolled in that army because they would weaken the army (the word used here is dishearten).

    Second, when it comes to Micah 5, the author makes gross misinterpretations that further proves how biased his opinion is. First, Micah 5 does not say that Israel should not have an army. The text actually does take for granted the existence of its army. Micah 5:1 ” Marshal your troops now, city of troops, for a siege is laid against us.” The passage that this article cites (is misinterpreted and misunderstood by the author). Thus, Micah 5:10-11 says ” In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will destroy your horses from among you and demolish your chariots. I will destroy the cities of your land and tear down all your strongholds.” However as we can see in the context these verses are not addressed to Israel but to her enemies (see vs 9 and 15). God will destroy the horses and chariots of Israel’s enemies. He should have paid more attention to the context. The context makes that clear (look at the end of the previous chapter and the context of chapter 5). Even if this in fact refers to Israel, it does not say that Israel should not have an army. That is just conjecture. If this verse refers to Israel, it only means that God will punish Israel for their pagan worship and idolatry. Actually this verse only proves the opposite, namely that Israel had an army (horses and chariots).

    Third, the author says: “If modern Israel is the same covenant nation written about in the Old Testament, then they are under the same covenant obligations. And that covenant forbids militarization.” The Bible does not say that at all. Where does it say that this covenant between God and Israel forbids militarization? Nowhere!

    Fourth, the author states, “If the laws that governed Israel in the Old Testament do not apply to Israel today, then they are just another nation, and they should be held to the same standard as every other nation.” This is another mistake the author makes. He makes a distinction between Israel as a nation and Israel as a people. The Bible never makes that kind of separation. The covenant God had was between him and the people of Israel, the Jews. Now, does this author imply that the Jews in Israel are not Jews?!? This is ridiculous.

    Fifth. The author also states, “in the same breath as other signs of their apostasy: witchcraft, idols, sacred stones, Asherah poles. The prophets considered militarization a form of idolatry—a blatant violation of Israel’s covenant with God. The verses he has in mind are Micah 5:12-14. However these verses may be directed to Israel enemies as I said above. But even if these verses are directed to Israel, it does NOT say that having an army is idolatry and witchcraft. These verses do not connect the two as being the same thing. Again that is reading between the lines. Here God continues His pronouncements of judgment against Israel (or Israel’s enemies) for their sins of witchcraft and idolatry.

    In conclusion, there is no Biblical support for the notion that Israel today is not the same as Israel in the Bible. This is just a biased speculation that may even betray some traces of anti-Semitism. I am amazed to how much misinterpretation of the Bible the liberals make for the sake of their liberal ideology. Actually they commonly ignore contexts and exegesis when quoting from the Bible. They sacrifice the proper interpretation of the biblical texts for the sake of their ideologies. It is also evident that the author does not understand the Palestinian problem. He believes, just as most liberals commonly do, that Israel is occupying Palestinian territories. This is a public misconception that betrays both anti-Semitic feelings and ignorance of historical facts. History proves that the land in question always belonged to Israel as a right. Yes it was occupied repeatedly by different superpowers but Israel always remained connected to its lands. The vast majority Palestinian people are not true Palestinians. Very few of them are converted Jews to Islam. Most of them emigrated there from surrounding Arab countries after the institution of the State of Israel. There was never a state or country of Palestine as some think it was. The author of the above article should do some more research into history.

    I will close with this quote:
    “If you consider Palestine to be a “Sovereign” and “Independent” country that goes back through most of recorded history as many would have you to believe, then a few questions need to be answered:
    When was it founded and by whom?
    What were its borders?
    What was its capital?
    Who was the President(s)/king(s)?
    What was its form of government?
    What were its major cities?
    What constituted the basis of its economy?
    Who was the Palestinian leader before Yasser Arafat?
    Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
    What was the language of the country of Palestine?
    What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?
    What was the name of its currency and what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, or Japanese yen on any particular date?
    And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?
    If these so-called “Palestinians” are anything but a generic collection of Arabs from all over the rest of the Arab world and if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, then why did they never try to become an independent and sovereign nation until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War in 1967??? (anonymous author).

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