Category Archives: Africa

Who did black people pray to before slavery? A discussion on Quora

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Click here to watch African culture  A 40 MINUTE DOCUMENTARY.

The great spiritual up lifter of the indigo people’s was a great enlightener called Orvonon, who lead the black man in the onetime service of “The God of Gods”. His influence for the worship of God lasted in Africa until a few thousand years ago.

You may be interested to know that shortly after taking leave of this world Jesus established a council of Four and Twenty Elders to help in the spiritual government of this world and Orvonon presently holds one of the seats of this council.

Paul Kemp’s answer to Who could possibly be the 24 elders mentioned in Revelation 5:8, New Testament?

The religions of the world have a double origin — natural and revelatory — at any one time and among any one people there are to be found three distinct forms of religious devotion. And these three manifestations of the religious urge are:

1. Primitive religion. The seminatural and instinctive urge to fear mysterious energies and worship superior forces, chiefly a religion of the physical nature, the religion of fear.

2. The religion of civilization. The advancing religious concepts and practices of the civilizing races — the religion of the mind — the intellectual theology of the authority of established religious tradition.

3. True religion — the religion of revelation. The revelation of supernatural values, a partial insight into eternal realities, a glimpse of the goodness and beauty of the infinite character of the Father in heaven — the religion of the spirit as demonstrated in human experience.

Read more here

The Urantia Papers – an enlarged revelation of TRUTH

 

The only thing we can be reasonably sure of is that it was not blond, blue eyed Jesus. Alex Haley portrayed his ancestors as Muslim. Most slaves were taken from the same region.

Further research on my part shows not blond, blue eyed Jesus but Portuguese Jesus got there half a century before Columbus got here. Feel better now?

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I added this picture I found which isn’t from the duscussion

 

You may first want to determine which black people you are referring to. There are numerous communities of black people around the world who different cultural practices. The simple answer to this though, is God. Not as you know Him from the Bible but as he was perceived and referred to in the different communities. Divinities were revered as intermediaries between human beings and the Supreme Being.

 

By black people did you mean Africans? And by slavery did you mean slavery in the United States? I am assuming that you meant both these things, and hoping that you soon understand the difference between them.

Before 1619,when African Slaves were brought to Jamestown, the enslaved people were previously living mainly in Senegambia, where religions such as Obeah and  Myalism  were prominent.

 

 

Africans always believed in God ( the rain maker, the creator of humans) in my language the called him Musikavanhu. So people relied on spirit mediums to communicate with the higher being to find out about troublres in the village or why they was no rain at that particular time. To this day people still believe in this. So selling the gospel of God to africans was easy. The challenge was selling that God had a son (Jesus) this made the supernatural being they believed in human.

 

The part of Africa most of the slaves came from were populated mostly by animists,  worshiping spirits, nature, ancestors,  stuff like that.  A lot of variation to animist beliefs.  
 
Some were probably muslim,  or part muslim/part animist.  There were also jews and christians but probably not in large numbers.

Hernanday Oleary

 

 

Mainly God or Jesus.  African peoples fell mainly into 4 categories.

1. Christians.  Mainly the copts in Ethiopia and east africa and the catholics in angola and the congo.

2. Muslims. Mainly the western africans and northern africans.

3.  Jews. Mainly the western africans in kingdoms around Juda which stretched across Nigeria and Cameroon.  Then you had Uganda, Zimbabwean and other african jews like ethiopian jews.

4. Ancient African religions which are often called spirtualities by Western academics due to bias (the same reason why greek mythology is called well mythology but christian mythology is called religion).

The african religions had multiple gods, the largest being ancient egyptian religion.  You had gods of different things, sky, sea, earth, underworld, water, rivers, fertility, etc.  Spiritualities are not inconsistent with religions.  They are like Voodoo, you can be a christian and believe in voodoo too.

 

 

It is very hard to say definitively but some slaves were muslims, some work pagan or had beliefs considered pagan to White Americans and some actually could have been Christians

 

Depends on what part of the world they were from. It varies from one extreme to the other. When the Zulu warriors dominated Africa; at least some parts of it, they enslaved whole populations and sold them from tribe to tribe, when the dutch came along and others they saw a commodity that could be taken to other parts of the world, the need was big; immoral or not, it was the economics of the day, blacks selling blacks into slavery and once their slaves became a world wide commodity in human trafficking….economics took over and drove it to what it became, one of the greatest, shameful times in world history. America gets blamed for a lot of it, yet it would have never happened without the help from every aspect of the rest of the world of the day.

So the the point; “Yes” they prayed; but the mix and matching of faiths beyond anyone really being able to lock it down in anything more than general trends.

 

All answers are suspect. Even today there are over 300 distinct variations on five types of religious based beliefs.

Sigh. So there isn’t a simple answer.

 

 

They prayed to GOD. The name of GOD is almost the same in most dialects of Africa. The people just ddon’t have a single set way of praying or appeasement. Ancestral worship wasn’t as paganistic as many traders would have historians believe

 

 

In my studies in preparation for teaching Comparative Religion,I looked at the many early concepts of what is a religion.Within the peoples of Africa,and even Native Americans, much superstition,and myth entered into what they believed.The god often was some aspect of their lives, i.e needs for food, for safety, for healing,etc.Prayer today is most often associated with some known religion and is thus addressed to the deity of the specific belief http://system.To a group of peoples in what we would refer to as an un-civilized society.The immediate concerns for life would bring about their approach to what might be determined to be deity.A native throwing her child into the river to appease the crocodile god is a way to seek protection.This may have arisen from someone being eaten by a crocodile and thus the fear came about.Throughout history myth has been incorporated with religious practices,and in many cases trying to separate one from the other can be difficult.One must research the most ancient civilizations in order to perhaps see where primitive beliefs were carried from one society to another.Remember that ancient Egypt was closely involved with African peoples.Prayer,as we define it today is specific requests,desires,needs,etc. to the deity one follows.Therefore in conclusion,in order to make this as short as possible, I would say that prayer in the black peoples would be directed,not so much to a known deity, but that which they perceived as an immediate need.

 

 

They had not been introduced to Christianity before slavery. They probably believed in the folk religions of Africa.

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Yoruba Mythology
According to Yoruba (YOUR-a-bah) mythology, the first Yoruba kings were the offspring of the creator, Oduduwa (oh-doo-DOO-wah). A Yoruba king’s crown identifies the status of its wearer and gives the king the power to interact with the spirit world in order to benefit his people. A veil, a large face, and a group of birds are commonly appear on a Yoruba king’s crown.

Long, long ago, Olorun (OH-low-run), the sky god, lowered a great chain from the heavens to the ancient waters. Down this chain climbed Oduduwa, Olorun’s son. Oduduwa brought with him a handful of dirt, a special five-toed chicken, and a palm nut. He threw the dirt upon the ancient waters and set the chicken on the dirt. The chicken busily scratched and scattered the dirt until it formed the first dry earth. In the center of this new world, Oduduwa created the magnificent Ife (EE-fay) kingdom. He planted the palm nut, which grew into a proud tree with 16 branches, symbolizing the 16 sons and grandsons of Oduduwa.

Oduduwa was the first ruler of the kingdom and the father of all Yoruba. Over time he crowned his 16 sons and grandsons and sent them off to establish their own great Yoruba kingdoms. As descendants of the sky god, these first Yoruba rulers and their direct descendants were divine kings. Only they could wear special veiled crowns that symbolized their sacred power.



Boshongo


The Boshongo are a Bantu tribe of Central Africa.

In the beginning there was only darkness, water, and the great god Bumba. One day Bumba, in pain from a stomach ache, vomited up the sun. The sun dried up some of the water, leaving land. Still in pain, Bumba vomited up the moon, the stars, and then some animals: the leopard, the crocodile, the turtle, and, finally, some men, one of whom, Yoko Lima was white like Bumba.



Efik


The Efik are a Nigerian tribe.

The creator, Abassi, created two humans and then decided to not allow them to live on earth. His wife, Atai, persuaded him to let them do so. In order to control the humans, Abassi insisted that they eat all their meals with him, thereby keeping them from growing or hunting food. He also forbade them to procreate. Soon, though, the woman began growing food in the earth, and they stopped showing up to eat with Abassi. Then the man joined his wife in the fields, and before long there were children also. Abassi blamed his wife for the way things had turned out, but she told him she would handle it. She sent to earth death and discord to keep the people in their place.



Ekoi


The Ekoi are a tribe in southern Nigeria.

In the beginning there were two gods, Obassi Osaw and Obassi Nsi. The two gods created everything together. Then Obassi Osaw decided to live in the sky and Obassi Nsi decided to live on the earth. The god in the sky gives light and moisture, but also brings drought and storms. The god of the earth nurtures, and takes the people back to him when they die. One day long ago Obassi Osaw made a man and a woman, and placed them upon the earth. They knew nothing so Obassi Nsi taught them about planting and hunting to get food.



Ethiopia


Wak was the creator god who lived in the clouds. He kept the vault of the heavens at a distance from the earth and covered it with stars. He was a benefactor and did not punish. When the earth was flat Wak asked man to make his own coffin, and when man did this Wak shut him up in it and pushed it into the ground. For seven years he made fire rain down and the mountains were formed. Then Wak unearthed the coffin and man sprang forth, alive. Man tired of living alone, so Wak took some of his blood, and after four days, the blood became a woman whom the man married. They had 30 children, but the man was ashamed of having so many so he hid 15 of them. Wak then made those hidden children into animals and demons.

Read the full article here African creation stories

 

Wikipedia links listed below

African Traditions by regionEdit

This list is limited to a few well-known traditions.

Central AfricaEdit

East AfricanEdit

Southern AfricaEdit

West AfricaEdit

African DiasporaEdit

North AfricaEdit

Horn of AfricaEdit

 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_African_religions

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An Igbo account

Igbo hebrew history religion & mythology

Sumerian records say that the first God-king of Atlantis was URASH – a Sea-Emperor. We have a river (river-god) in Igboland called Urash. Atlantis was the first world civilization. The Urashi river is densely lined with Wine Palm Trees – the very type whose seeds are being plucked here by angels. The Urash river flows from Orlu (Imo state) through Okija (Anambra state) and joins the Niger. King Urash was an Aborigin, and lived on earth long before the arrival of the Nephilim/Annunaki. My suspicion is that the Palm Tree (Sumerian “Tree of Life”), wch was said to be the First Tree in Eden (see Ralph Ellis: Eden in Egypt), was a metaphor for the Aboriginal Seed of King Uruash, and that his spiritual base is the Urash River. Thus the various species of the Palm Tree frequently celebrated by angels in Sumerian records are all sprouts of the Soul Seed of King Uruash – the First Man to evolve on earth – the Uncreated Aborigine. The Palm Tree is the most sacred and most important tree in Igboland. Its soft shoot (Omu) is considered holy and to harbour the Holy Spirit of God. It is used for spiritual deliverance from every form of evil, and to cordon off bad spirits and negative vibes. We are told in Eri mythology that after the Deluge all vegetation died, and God told Eri (the Atlantean migrant to Igboland – see our new book ‘Eden in Sumer on the Niger’) to kill and dismember his first son and daughter and plant the parts of their body in the ground. Out of the body parts of the son grew the palm tree and yam…. This is a very deep mystery we should try to understand. As I said somewhere else the Palm Seed is the metaphor for the Divine DNA of the aborigines – the Landlords of the earth – the descendants of the first God-King of Atlantis King Uruash. Yashaya is the incarnation of the Christ. But before he came, Osiris had embodied the same Christ several thousands of years before. Before Osiris there was Bakkhus also called Afra (Bi-Afra means ‘Be-Afra – ‘Home of Afra’. Those of you belonging to Summit LightHouse probably know tht Afra is one of the Lords they channel). Afra was crucified in Africa by ca. 500,000 BC. (Africa is named after him). He is the Crucified Christ of the Dogon folklore. His was also Bakkus. As Bakkus he was a WINE god (the originator of the Eucharistic Wine). His name is derived from Igbo GBANKWU ‘LET the WINE Flow’. He returned as Dionysius/Osiris before the Deluge. After the Deluge he returned again in his male and female aspects to offer himself as food and wine to the Igbo First People because all crops had been buried in the Deluge. This time he returned in the House of Eri and offered himself to be killed for the re-engineering of food-crops (Yam and Cocoyam) as well as the Palm Tree and Palm Wine (the Tree of Life and the Drink of Life) and for Breadfruit/Ukwa. All this is part of Eri mythology of Umueri and Umunri. He came into Eri’s house as a Son and Daughter of Eri, though he was the Christ. He ordered Eri to kill him for food to feed his Igbo brethren/children. Before being dismembered and planted in the soil, he/she was scarified in the face with the X-symbol of Orion called ICHI. By tht he/she was re-deified. He actually returned back to life bearing the name IGBO (Yorubas call him ‘Obatala Oba Igbo’) and brewed the tapped the same palm tree tht came from his body and fed the people with the sacred drink. He got drunk and his junior brother Marduk stole his Ashe and his title of ‘World Ruler’ (Oduduwa/Onyendu uwa), made war against him and drove him into exile to South America where he inaugurated the Olmec first civilization of the Americas as QuetzalCoatl/Kulkulcan, the feathered Serpent. Osiris has a Twin identity with Thoth. The symbol of Bakkus is the Palm Wine. Bakkus was eventually killed and eaten. So he was also the bread. The symbol of Osiris/Igbo/Obatala is Yam (Bread of Life) and also Palmwine.

Links to the slave databases available online

Research the slave databases below

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk

http://www.genealogianuestra.com/2017/02/slave-voyage-database-slave-registers.html

http://search.ancestry.com/

http://www.geneology.com 

Israel’s Covenant Renewal Deuteronomy

The Book of Deuteronomy134

Our Lord resisted and refuted Satan’s temptations by citing the truths of Deuteronomy (see Matthew 4:1-11Luke 4:1-12). In many ways, his testing in the wilderness paralleled Israel’s testing in the wilderness for 40 years. Our Lord, however, came through His testing without failing, as He entrusted Himself to the faithful care of the Father.

The Book of Deuteronomy records several important transitions. It records the transition from the first generation of Israelites, who died in the wilderness (the Book of Numbers), to the second generation of Israelites, who would possess the land of Canaan (the Book of Joshua). It marks the transition of Israel from a nation that dwelt in tents to one that possessed land and houses, from a people who ate manna and water to a people who ate “milk and honey.”

Deuteronomy marks the end of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament written by Moses). In this book, Moses hands the torch of leading the nation Israel to Joshua. Moses knows that he cannot enter the land and that he is soon to die. These are the last words of Moses, written to the Israelites who are on the verge of entering the Promised Land. It is almost as though Moses were preaching his own funeral. Kenneth Boa and Bruce Wilkinson appropriately call this book “Moses’ Upper Desert Discourse.”136

Deuteronomy is the account of this generation of Israelites embracing the covenant of God with their fathers as their own, of their entering into a covenant relationship with God. This is the renewal of the covenant:

16 Today the Lord your God is commanding you to keep these statutes and ordinances, something you must do with all your heart and being. 17 Today you have declared the Lord to be your God, and that you will walk in his ways, keep his statutes, commandments, ordinances, and obey him. 18 And today the Lord has declared you to be his special people (as he already promised you) so that you may keep all his commandments, 19 so that he may elevate you above all the nations he has made as a cause of praise, as a name, and as an honor, and so that you may be a holy people to the Lord your God, as he has said (Deuteronomy 26:16-19, emphasis mine).

9 “Therefore, keep the terms of this covenant and obey them so that you may be successful in everything you do. 10 You are standing today, all of you, before theLord your God—the heads of your tribes, your elders, your officials, every Israelite, 11 your infants, your wives, and the foreigners living in your encampment, those who chop wood and those who carry water—12 so that you may enter into the covenant of the Lord your God and into the benefits of the oath that the Lord is making with you today, 13 to affirm you today as his people and himself as your God just as he said to you and already swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 14 And it is not with you alone that I am making this covenant and oath, 15 but with whoever stands with us here today before the Lord your God as well as those not with us here today” (Deuteronomy 29:2-15, emphasis mine).

None of this generation has been circumcised, which was the sign of the covenant God made with Abraham (see Genesis 17:9-14, 23-27; compareExodus 4:24-26). In only a few days, this whole generation will undergo circumcision and observe the Passover before they attack Jericho (Joshua 5:2-12). This is further confirmation that they have now entered into covenant with the God of their fathers.

At the age of 120, Moses made his way to the top of Mount Nebo, where God allowed him to look across the Jordan Valley and into the Promised Land. It was as close as he would ever get to entering the land. Deuteronomy is certainly the high ground of the Pentateuch. It is one of those high points in the Bible from which we may look back in time, and by means of which we can look far ahead in Israel’s history. Several times in this book, God lays out the broad scheme of Israel’s future. An early indication of Israel’s future is found as early as chapter 4, in this brief statement of blessings and cursings:

25 After you have produced children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, if you become corrupted and make an image of any kind and do other evil things before the Lord your God that enrage him, 26 I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that you will surely and swiftly be destroyed from the very land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess. You will not last long there because you will be totally devastated. 27 Then the Lord will scatter you among the peoples and there will be very few of you in the nations where the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship gods made by human hands—wood and stone that can neither see, hear, eat, nor smell. 29 But if you seek the Lord your God from there, you will find him, if, indeed, you seek him with all your heart and soul. 30 In your distress when all these things happen to you in the latter days, if you return to the Lord your God and listen to him 31 (for he is a merciful God), he will not let you down or destroy you, for he cannot forget the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them (Deuteronomy 4:25-31).

At the end of the book, very clear statements are made regarding Israel’s future, both by God and by Moses:

15 The Lord appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud that stood above the door of the tent. 16 And the Lord said to Moses, “You are about to die, and then these people will begin to prostitute themselves with the foreign gods of the land into which they are going. They will leave me and break my covenant that I have made with them. 17 On that day my anger will flare up against them and I will leave them and hide myself from them until they are devoured. Many hurts and distresses will overcome them so that they will say at that time, ‘Have not these difficulties overcome us because God is not among us?’ 18 But I will certainly hide myself on that day because of all the wickedness they will have done by turning to other gods. 19 Now compose for yourselves the following song and teach it to the Israelites—put it into their very mouths!—so that this song may serve me as a witness against the Israelites. 20 For after I have brought them to the land I promised to their ancestors—one flowing with milk and honey—and they eat and become satisfied and fat, then they will turn to other gods to worship them and will reject me and break my covenant. 21 Then when many hurts and distresses overcome them this song will become a witness against them, for their descendants will not forget it. I know the intentions they have in mind today, even before I bring them to the land I have promised.” 22 Therefore on that day Moses wrote this song and taught it to the Israelites, 23 and the Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun, “Be strong and courageous, for you will take the Israelites to the land I have promised them, and I will be with you.” 24 When Moses finished writing on a scroll the words of this law in their entirety, 25 he commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the Lord’s covenant, 26 “Take this scroll of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God. It will be there as a witness against you, 27 for I know about your rebellion and stubbornness. Indeed, even while I have been alive among you, you have been rebellious against the Lord; how much more will you be so after my death? 28 Gather to me all your tribal elders and officials so I can speak to them directly of these things and call the heavens and the earth to witness against them. 29 For I know that after I die you will totally corrupt yourselves and turn away from the path I have commanded you to walk. Disaster will confront you in the days to come because you will act wickedly before the Lord, inciting him to wrath because of your works.” 30 Then Moses recited the words of this song from start to finish in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel (Deuteronomy 31:15-23).

A fuller description of Israel’s sins and their consequences is given inDeuteronomy 28:15-68. It is not all bad news, as we shall point out later in the lesson. What we should recognize at the beginning of this study is that Deuteronomy is a crucial book because it does lay out in broad terms the history of Israel. The Old Testament prophets will frequently return to Deuteronomy as their point of reference. Deuteronomy provides the major outline of the history of Israel, and as such, it is foundational to God’s “unfolding plan of redemption.” Let us listen well to the words of this book. Not only do I say this, but Moses does also:

8 Now pay attention to the whole commandment I am giving you today, so that you may be strong enough to enter and possess the land where you are headed, 9 and that you may enjoy long life in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey (Deuteronomy 11:8-9).

26 Take note—I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing if you take to heart the commandments of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, 28 and the curse if you pay no attention to his commandments and turn from the way I am setting before you today to pursue other gods you have not known (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).

You must be careful to do everything I am commanding you. Do not add to it or subtract from it! (Deuteronomy 12:32)

15 “Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. 16 What I am commanding you today is to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the Lord your God will bless you in the land where you are going to take possession of it. 17 However, if you turn aside and do not obey, but are lured away to worship and serve other gods, 18 I declare to you this very day that you will certainly perish! You will not extend your time in the land you are crossing the Jordan River to possess” (Deuteronomy 30:15-18).

My Approach in this Lesson

It is generally accepted that Moses’ sermons in the Book of Deuteronomy were delivered over a period of about a week and that they fall into three major divisions. These divisions are essentially chronological: the first chapters look back in time; the middle chapters look to the near future; and the final chapters look into Israel’s more distant future. The more I have studied this book, however, the more intertwined I see the past, present, and future. Consequently, I will focus on some of the issues that Moses raises because Israel is very soon going to be entering the Promised Land. I will attempt to show how Moses draws upon the past to buttress his instructions regarding the near future. Then we shall address the subject of the later chapters, which speak of Israel’s more distant future long after this generation of Israelites has died.

Israel’s Response to What Lies Ahead

THE FIRST ISSUE: HOW WILL THIS NEW GENERATION OF ISRAELITES RESPOND TO THE DIFFICULTY OF TAKING THE PROMISED LAND FROM THE CANAANITES? This issue was the turning point for the first generation of Israelites, who were terrified by the strength and size of their adversaries (Numbers 13:26—14:35). Moses knows full well that the difficulty of their task will be an issue the second generation must deal with as well:

17 If you think, “These nations are more numerous than I—how can I dispossess them?,” 18 you must not fear them (Deuteronomy 7:17-18a, emphasis mine).

1 Listen, Israel: Today you are about to cross the Jordan River so you can dispossess the nations there, people greater and stronger than you, large cities with extremely high fortifications2 the Anakites, a numerous and tall people whom you know about and of whom it is said, “Who is able to withstand the Anakites?” (Deuteronomy 9:1-2, emphasis mine)

Moses turns to the history of God’s previous dealings with Israel to show that He will fulfill His promise to give them the land of Canaan.

First, Moses reminds this generation that their fathers refused to possess the land and rebelled against Moses in the wilderness, consequently losing their opportunity to enter into God’s blessings (Deuteronomy 1:18-46).

Second, Moses commands the Israelites not to fear by reiterating God’s promise that He will most certainly give them the land He promised their fathers under the leadership of Joshua:

18 I instructed you at that time as follows, “The Lord your God has given you this land for your possession. You are to cross over before your fellow Israelites, all the warriors, equipped for battle. 19 But your wives, children, and livestock (of which I know you have many) must remain in the cities I have given you 20 until the Lord helps your fellow countrymen prevail as you have, and allows them to possess the land that he is giving them on the other side of the Jordan River. Then each of you may return to his own territory which I have given you.” 21 I also commanded Joshua at the same time, “You have seen everything the Lord your God did to these two kings; he will do the same to the kingdoms where you are going. 22 Do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God will personally fight for you” (Deuteronomy 3:18-22, emphasis mine).

Third, Moses reminds the Israelites of what God had already done for the Israelites while they were slaves in Egypt, and while they were in the wilderness:

32 Indeed, ask about earlier days that have preceded you, from the day God created mankind on the earth and from one end of heaven to the other, whether there has ever been such a great thing as this, or even a rumor of it. 33 Have a people ever heard the voice of God speaking from fire, as you yourselves have, and lived to tell about it? 34 Or has God ever before tried to deliver a nation to himself from the middle of another nation, accompanied by testings, signs, wonders, war, strength, power, and other very terrifying things like the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? 35 You have been made to understand that the Lord alone is God—there is no other besides him. 36 From heaven he spoke to you in order to teach you, and on earth showed you his great fire from which you also heard him. 37 Moreover, because he loved your ancestors he chose their descendants who followed them, and personally brought you out of Egypt with great power 38to dispossess nations greater and more powerful than you and brought you in to give you their land as an inheritance—just as it has taken place today. 39 May you understand today and take it to heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on earth below—there is no other! 40 And may you keep his statutes and commandments that I am setting forth today so that it may go well with you and your descendants and that you might enjoy longevity in the land that the Lord your God is about to give you forever” (Deuteronomy 4:32-40, emphasis mine).

You must carefully recall what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and all Egypt, 19 the great afflictions you saw, the signs and wonders, the strong hand and extended arm by which he brought you out—thus the Lord your God will do to all the people you fear. 20 Furthermore, he will release the hornet among them until the very last ones who hide from you perish. 21 You must not tremble in their presence, for the Lord your God, who is present among you, is a great and awesome God. 22 He, the God who leads you, will expel the nations little by little. You must not overcome them all at once lest the wild animals overrun you. 23 The Lord your God will give them over to you; he will trouble them with great difficulty until they are destroyed. 24 He will hand over their kings to you and you will erase their very names from memory. Nobody will be able to stand before you until you annihilate them” (Deuteronomy 7:18b-24, emphasis mine)

1 Therefore, love the Lord your God and keep his obligations, that is, his statutes, ordinances, and commandments forever. 2 Bear in mind today that I am not speaking to your children who have not known or seen the instruction of the Lord your God, his greatness, strength, and power, 3 or his signs and works that he did in the midst of Egypt to Pharaoh king of Egypt and his whole land; 4 what he did to the army of Egypt, their horses and chariots, when he made the waters of the Red Sea overwhelm them when they were pursuing you, and how he destroyed them to this very day; 5 what he did to you in the desert until you reached this place, 6 and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, their children, their tents, and everything that followed them, in the middle of all Israel— 7 but it is your very eyes that saw all the great deeds of the Lord! (Deuteronomy 11:1-7, emphasis mine)

Fourth, Moses reminds the Israelites of God’s intervention in the more recent past:

2:24 Get up, make your way across Wadi Arnon. Look! I have already delivered over to you Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Go ahead! Take it! Engage him in war! 25 This very day I will begin to fill all the people of the earth with dread and to terrify them when they hear about you. They will shiver and shake in anticipation of your coming.” 26 Then I sent messengers from the Kedemoth Desert to King Sihon of Heshbon with words of peace, 27 “Let me pass through your land; I will keep strictly to the roadway. I will not turn aside to the right or the left. 28 Sell me food for cash so that I can eat and give me water to drink. Just allow me to go through on foot, 29 just as the descendants of Esau at Seir and the Moabites of Ar did for me until I cross the Jordan to the land the Lord our God is giving us.” 30 But King Sihon of Heshbon was unwilling to allow us to pass over near him because the Lord our God had given him a resistant spirit and stubborn determination so that he might deliver him over to you this very day. 31 Surely enough, the Lord said to me, “Look! I have already begun to give over Sihon and his land to you. Start right now to take his land as your possession.” 32 When Sihon and all his troops emerged to encounter us in battle at Jahaz, 33 the Lord our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, along with his son and everyone else. 34 At that time we seized all his cities and put every one of them that was inhabited under the divine curse, even the women and children; there was not a single survivor. 35 Only the livestock and plunder from the cities did we keep for ourselves. 36 From Aroer, which is at the edge of Wadi Arnon, and the city in the wadi, all the way to Gilead there was not a city too inaccessible to us—the Lord our God gave them all to us. 37 However, you did not approach the land of the Ammonites, the Wadi Jabbok valley, the cities of the hill country, or any place else forbidden by the Lord our God.

3:1 Next we set out on the route to Bashan, but King Og of Bashan and his whole army came out to meet us in battle at Edrei. 2 The Lord, however, said to me, “Don’t be afraid of him because I have already given him, his army, and his land to you. You will do to him exactly what you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.” 3 So the Lord our God did indeed give over King Og of Bashan and all his people to us and we rained blows on him until not a single survivor was left. 4 We took all his cities at that time—there was not a one we did not capture from them—sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the dominion of Og in Bashan. 5 All of these cities were fortified by high walls, gates, and bars; in addition there were a great many open villages. 6 We put all of these under the divine curse just as we had done to King Sihon of Heshbon—every occupied city, including women and children. 7 But all the livestock and urban plunder we appropriated to ourselves. 8 Thus at that time we took the land of the two Amorite kings in the Transjordan from Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon 9 (the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion and the Amorites call it Senir), 10 all the cities of the plateau, all of Gilead and Bashan as far as Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11 Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaites. (It is noteworthy that his sarcophagus was made of iron. Does it not, indeed, still remain in Rabbath of the Ammonites? It is thirteen and a half feet long and six feet wide according to standard measure.) (Deuteronomy 2:24—3:11)

Based upon God’s faithfulness to Israel in the past, God assures the Israelites of victory in the future, as they obey Him:

18 I instructed you at that time as follows, “The Lord your God has given you this land for your possession. You are to cross over before your fellow Israelites, all the warriors, equipped for battle. 19 But your wives, children, and livestock (of which I know you have many) must remain in the cities I have given you 20 until the Lord helps your fellow countrymen prevail as you have, and allows them to possess the land that he is giving them on the other side of the Jordan River. Then each of you may return to his own territory which I have given you.” 21 I also commanded Joshua at the same time, “You have seen everything the Lord your God did to these two kings; he will do the same to the kingdoms where you are going. 22 Do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God will personally fight for you” (Deuteronomy 3:18-22, emphasis mine).

THE SECOND ISSUE: THE DANGERS OF CANAANITE IDOLATRY AND IMMORALITYThe second issue facing the Israelites as they are preparing to enter the Promised Land is the temptation posed by the Canaanites’ immorality and idolatry.

We should recall that it was the danger posed by Canaanite idolatry and immorality that necessitated Israel’s sojourn in Egypt. In Genesis 38, we read that Judah separated from his kinsmen and married a Canaanite woman. After his wife died, he had a sexual relationship with a woman whom he thought was a Canaanite cult prostitute (Genesis 38:21-22), though this woman turned out to be his own daughter-in-law. God ordained Israel’s sojourn in Egypt for two reasons: (1) Because the sin of the Canaanite people had not reached maturity, and thus the time for divine judgment (Genesis 15:12-16); and (2) because the Egyptians loathed the Hebrews and would, generally speaking,138 The Canaanites worshipped fertility gods, and so it is little wonder that sexual immorality would be involved in their “worship.”

Israel is repeatedly warned against the evils of idolatry in the Book of Deuteronomy (4:25-26; 5:8-10; 11:16-17; 29:17-20). They are informed that they will turn to idolatry in the future (31:16, 20; 32:15-23). The cure is to take drastic preventative action with regard to the temptations of idolatry and immorality in the land of Canaan.

1 “When the Lord your God brings you to the land that you are going to occupy and forces out many nations before you—Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and powerful than you—2 and he delivers them over to you and you attack them, you must utterly annihilate them. Make no covenant with them nor show them compassion! 3 You must not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your sons away from me to worship other gods. Then the wrath of the Lord will erupt against you and he will soon destroy you. 5 Instead, this is what you must do to them: You must tear down their altars, shatter their sacred pillars, cut down their sacred Asherah poles, and burn up their images. 6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. He has chosen you to be a people prized above all others on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:1-6).

25 “You must burn the images of their gods, but do not covet the silver and gold that covers them so much that you take it for yourself and thus become ensnared by it; for it is abhorrent to the Lord your God. 26 You must not bring any detestable thing into your house and thereby become an object of divine annihilation like it is. You must absolutely abhor and detest it, for it is an object of divine annihilation” (Deuteronomy 7:25-26).

12 “If it should come to your attention in one of your cities that the Lord your God is giving you as a place to live that 13 some evil people have departed from among you to entice the inhabitants of their cities, saying, “Let’s go and serve other gods whom you have not known before,” 14 you must investigate thoroughly and inquire carefully. If it is true and certain that this abomination is being done among you, 15 you must by all means slaughter the inhabitants of that city with the sword; put under the divine curse everyone in it, even the livestock, by the sword. 16 You must collect all of its spoil into the middle of the plaza and burn the city and all its spoil as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. It will be an abandoned ruin forever—it must never be rebuilt again. 17 You must not take for yourself anything of that which has been cursed, so that the Lord might relent of his intense wrath and show you compassion, that he might have mercy on you and multiply you as he promised your ancestors. 18 Thus you must obey the voice of the Lord your God, keeping all his commandments that I am presenting you today and doing the thing that is right before him” (Deuteronomy 13:12-18).

These texts were crucial to Israel’s well being in the land of Canaan, where the temptations for idolatry and immorality were many. They were commanded to completely annihilate the Canaanites, destroying every living thing. They were to show no pity or fear (7:16). When they defeated the Canaanites, they were not to keep any of the spoils (7:25-26). This is where Achan would soon go wrong (Joshua 7). God clearly spelled out the consequences for failing to obey His commands concerning Israel’s separation from the pagan practices of the Canaanites (11:16-17). Any Israelite who sought to lead the Israelites away from God to follow other gods was to be put to death (13:1-18).

Let Israel give heed to the lessons of the past and to God’s warnings regarding the future so far as idolatry and immorality are concerned. This is a time when sin must be dealt with decisively. I am reminded of our Lord’s words in the New Testament:

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into hell” (Matthew 5:27-30).

THE THIRD ISSUE: THE DANGERS OF APATHY, PRIDE, AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY. There is yet another serious danger for the Israelites as they prepare to possess the Promised Land of Canaan – that they become smug, arrogant, and self-sufficient. In other words, in their prosperity they will be tempted to forget that God is the source of their blessings and begin to take credit themselves:

10 Then when the Lord your God brings you to the land he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—to give you large, excellent cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with choice things you did not provide, hewn out cisterns you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—and you eat to your satisfaction, 12 be careful lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, the place of slavery” (Deuteronomy 6:10-12).

11 “Be very careful lest you forget the Lord your God, not keeping his commandments, ordinances, and statutes that I am giving you today. 12 When you eat to your satisfaction, when you build and occupy good houses, 13 when your cattle and flocks increase, when you have plenty of silver and gold, and when you have abundance of everything, 14 be careful lest you feel self-important and forget the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt, the place of slavery, 15 and who brought you through the great, fearful desert of venomous serpents and scorpions, a thirsty place of no water, bringing forth for you water from flint rock and 16 feeding you in the desert with manna (which your ancestors had never before known) so that he might test you and eventually bring good to you. 17 Be careful lest you say, “My own ability has gotten me this wealth.” 18 You must remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives ability to get wealth; if you do this he will confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, even as he has to this day. 19 Now it will come about that if you forget the Lord your God at all and run after other gods, worshiping and prostrating yourselves before them, I testify to you today that you will be utterly destroyed. 20 Just like the nations the Lord is about to decimate from your sight, so he will do to you because you would not pay attention to him” (Deuteronomy 8:11-20).

Up to this point in time, the Israelites had not experienced what we might call “the good life.” They had come out of slavery in Egypt. They had to live in tents in the desert. They were dependent upon God for their food and water. Their “menu” was almost always the same – manna. They could not settle down to plant crops but were always on the move. They were often threatened by other nations who opposed them. But soon the Israelites would enter the land of Canaan and possess it. They would enjoy vineyards and orchards they did not plant. They would experience God’s material blessings in many new ways. The very real danger was that they would begin to take the credit for these blessings, rather than to be grateful to God, who gave them.

God graciously built in some protective elements. He did not make farming so easy for His people that they would not have to trust and obey Him. God put the Israelites in a land that was dependent upon Him for its rains:

8 Now pay attention to the whole commandment I am giving you today, so that you may be strong enough to enter and possess the land where you are headed, 9 and that you may enjoy long life in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 For the land where you are headed as your possession is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, a land where you sowed seed and which you irrigated by hand like a vegetable garden. 11 Rather, the land where you are going as your possession is one of hills and valleys, a land that drinks water from the rains, 12 one the Lord your God looks after. He is constantly attentive to it from the beginning to the end of the year. 13 Now, if you conscientiously attend to my commandment that I am giving you today, that is, to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your mind and being, 14 then, he says, “I will send the rain of your land in its season, the autumn and the spring rains, so that you may gather in your wheat, new wine, and olive oil. 15 I will provide pasturage for your livestock and you yourself will eat until you are satisfied.” 16 Watch yourselves lest you become deceived and turn to serve and worship other gods! 17 Then the anger of the Lord will boil up against you and he will close up the sky so that it does not rain, the land will not yield its produce, and you will soon die off from the good land that he is about to give you” (Deuteronomy 11:8-17).

Israel was to learn from its past as it looked toward the future. They were reminded that God did not choose them because of their greatness, but because of His sovereign grace:

7 It is not because you were more numerous than all the other peoples that the Lord considered and chose you—for in fact you were the smallest of all peoples— 8 but because of his love for you and his faithfulness to the oath he swore to your ancestors the Lord brought you out with great power, redeeming you from the place of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Therefore, take note that it is the Lord your God who is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant faithfully with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:7-9).

The Israelites were reminded of the humble circumstances from (and through) which God brought them to the Promised Land:

20 “When your children ask you later on, ‘What are the stipulations, statutes, and ordinances that the Lord our God commanded you?,’ 21 you must say to them, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt in a powerful way. 22 And he brought signs and great, devastating wonders on Egypt, on Pharaoh, and on his whole family before our very eyes. 23 He delivered us from there so that he could enable us to have the land he had promised our ancestors’” (Deuteronomy 6:20-23).

1 “When the time comes for you to enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you occupy it and live in it, 2 you must take the first of all the ground’s produce you harvest from the land the Lord your God is giving you, place it in a basket, and go to the place where he has chosen to locate his name. 3 You must go to the priest in office at that time and say to him, “I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” 4 The priest will then take the basket from you and set it before the altar of the Lord your God. 5 And you must affirm before the Lord, “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor, and he went down to Egypt and lived there as a foreigner with a household few in number; but there he became a great, powerful, and numerous people. 6 But the Egyptians mistreated and oppressed us, assigning us burdensome labor” (Deuteronomy 26:1-6).

The Israelites were to remember how God brought them through adversity and need, in order to teach them to trust and obey:

1 “You must keep carefully the entire commandment I am giving you today so that you may live, multiply, and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised to your ancestors. 2 Remember the whole way by which he has brought you these forty years through the desert so that he might, by humbling you, test to see whether deep within yourselves you would keep his commandments or not. 3 So he humbled you by making you hungry and feeding you with unfamiliar manna to make you understand that mankind cannot live by food alone, but also by everything that comes from the Lord’s mouth. 4 Your clothing did not wear out nor did your feet swell all these forty years. 5 Be keenly aware that just as a human being disciplines his child, the Lord your God disciplines you. 6 Thus, you must keep his commandments, that is, walk according to his ways and revere him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you to a good land, a land of brooks, springs, and fountains flowing forth in valleys and hills, 8 a land of wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, and pomegranates, of olive trees and honey, 9 a land where you may eat food in plenty and find no lack of anything, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you can mine copper. 10 You will eat and drink and then bless the Lord your God because of the good land he will have given you” (Deuteronomy 8:1-10).

Israel’s blessings were not the result of her faithfulness to God, but the result of God’s faithfulness to His people, as He kept His covenant promises:

4 “Do not think to yourself after the Lord your God has run them out before you, ‘Because of my own righteousness the Lord has enabled me to possess this land, and because of the wickedness of these nations he is dispossessing them from before me.’ 5 It is not because of your righteousness, or even your inner uprightness, that you have come to possess their land. Instead, because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is expelling them before you in order to confirm the promise he swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6 Understand, therefore, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is about to give you this good land as a possession, for you are a stubborn people!” (Deuteronomy 9:4-6)

To help the Israelites remember their past and the wondrous ways that God blessed them, God gave them a number of memorials. The annual celebration of the Passover reminded the Israelites of the way God had delivered them from their slavery in Egypt. The Feast of Booths (or Temporary Shelters) reminded the Israelites of the years they (or their forefathers) spent in the wilderness, dependent on God for their every need (16:13-17; 31:10-13). They were never to forget their humble beginnings and the true source of their blessings and prosperity.

It is true to say that the blessings the Israelites experienced from the hand of God were in spite of Israel’s sins. Time after time the Israelites provoked the Lord to anger:

6 Understand, therefore, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is about to give you this good land as a possession, for you are a stubborn people! 7 Remember—don’t ever forget—how you provoked the Lord your God in the desert; from the time you left Egypt until you came to this place you were constantly rebelling against him” (Deuteronomy 9:6-7; see also 9:8—10:11).

In spite of all these lessons from the past, the Israelites will disregard them and become smugly self-sufficient and arrogant. Through Moses, God warns the Israelites about the future, assuring them that they will fail to heed these words of warning and instruction, spelling out the consequences for their sin. The first warning is found in Leviticus 26. The first warning about the future in Deuteronomy is found in chapter 4:

25 “After you have produced children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, if you become corrupted and make an image of any kind and do other evil things before the Lord your God that enrage him, 26 I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that you will surely and swiftly be destroyed from the very land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess. You will not last long there because you will be totally devastated. 27 Then the Lord will scatter you among the peoples and there will be very few of you in the nations where the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship gods made by human hands—wood and stone that can neither see, hear, eat, nor smell. 29 But if you seek the Lord your God from there, you will find him, if, indeed, you seek him with all your heart and soul. 30 In your distress when all these things happen to you in the latter days, if you return to the Lord your God and listen to him 31 (for he is a merciful God), he will not let you down or destroy you, for he cannot forget the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them” (Deuteronomy 4:25-31).

There is a lengthy pronouncement of blessings and cursings in the closing chapters of Deuteronomy. In chapter 27, the Israelites erect stones on which the law was inscribed. Half of the people gathered on Mount Gerizim, where they proclaimed God’s covenant blessings. The other half gathered on Mount Ebal, where the curses of the covenant were proclaimed by the Levites, and all must acknowledge them by saying, “Amen.” (Notice that in 27:14-26 only the cursings are enumerated specifically.)

In chapter 28, the first 14 verses outline the blessings that God will shower upon His people if they obey the Lord by keeping His commandments. The remaining verses (54 of them) describe the curses which will come upon the Israelites for disobeying God’s commandments. The proportions certainly reflect the fact that the Israelites will not obey God’s commandments and will experience these curses. Israel’s disobedience is a certainty, as is its outcome:

47 “Because you have not served the Lord your God joyfully and wholeheartedly with the abundance of everything you have, 48 instead in hunger, thirst, nakedness, and lack of everything you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. They will place an iron yoke on your neck until they have destroyed you. 49 The Lord will raise up a distant nation against you, one from the other side of the earth as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of stern appearance that will have no regard for the elderly or consideration for the young. 51 They will devour the offspring of your cattle and the produce of your soil until you are destroyed. They will not leave you with grain, new wine, olive oil, increased herds, or larger flocks until they have demolished you. 52 They will besiege all of your villages until all of your high and fortified walls collapse—those in which you put your confidence throughout the land. They will put under siege all your gates in all parts of the land the Lord your God has given you. 53 You will then eat your own offspring, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you, because of the stressful siege in which your enemies will constrict you… . 64 The Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of wood and stone. 65 Among those nations you will have no rest nor will there be a place of peaceful rest for the soles of your feet, for there the Lord will give you an anxious heart, failing eyesight, and a spirit of despair. 66 Your life will hang in doubt before you; you will be terrified by night and day and will have no certainty of surviving from one day to the next. 67 In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were evening!’ And in the evening you will say, ‘I wish it were morning!’ because of the things you will fear and the things you will see. 68 Then the Lord will make you return to Egypt by ship, over a route I said to you that you would never see again. There you will sell yourselves to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you” (Deuteronomy 28:47-53, 64-68).

Chapters 28-30 of Deuteronomy are the key to understanding the history of Israel from the time they enter the land of Canaan. It outlines the consequences for disregarding God and His commandments. It also prescribes the cure for these curses:

1 “Now when all these things happen to you—the blessing and the curse I have set before you—and you remember them in all the nations where the Lord your God has exiled you, 2 if you turn to the Lord your God and listen to him just as I am commanding you today—you and your descendants—with your whole mind and being, 3 then the Lord your God will reverse your captivity and have pity on you. He will turn and gather you from all the peoples among whom he has scattered you. 4 Even if any of your dispersed are under the most distant skies, from there the Lord your God will gather and bring you back. 5 Then he will bring you to the land your ancestors possessed and you also will possess it; he will do better for you and multiply you more than he did your ancestors. 6 The Lord your God will also cleanse your heart and the hearts of your descendants so that you may love him with all your mind and being, in order to live. 7 Then the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hate you and persecute you. 8 You will return and pay attention to the Lord, keeping all his commandments I am giving you today. 9 The Lord your God will make the labor of your hands abundantly successful—in your offspring, the offspring of your cattle, and the crops of your fields. For the Lord your God will once more rejoice over you for good just as he rejoiced over your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this book of the law, that is, if you turn to him with your whole mind and being” (Deuteronomy 30:1-10).

Moses concludes by presenting the Israelites with a choice, urging them to choose to trust and obey God:

11 “For this commandment that I am giving you today is not too awesome for you, nor is it too remote. 12 It is not in heaven, as though one must say, “Who will go up to heaven to get it for us so that we may hear and obey it?” 13 And it is not across the sea, as though one must say, “Who will cross over to the other side of the sea and get it for us so that we may hear and keep it?” 14 For the thing is very near you—it is in your mouth and mind so that you can do it. 15 “Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. 16 What I am commanding you today is to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the Lord your God will bless you in the land where you are going to take possession of it. 17 However, if you turn aside and do not obey, but are lured away to worship and serve other gods, 18 I declare to you this very day that you will certainly perish! You will not extend your time in the land you are crossing the Jordan River to possess. 19 I invoke heaven and earth as a witness against you today that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you may live—you and your descendants! 20 I also call on you to love the Lord your God, to obey him and cling to him, for he is your life and the means of your longevity as you live in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Deuteronomy 30:11-20).

Conclusion

The Book of Deuteronomy concludes with the “song of Moses” in chapter 32, a blessing pronounced by Moses (chapter 33), and a description of the death of Moses (chapter 34). One might conclude that the Book of Deuteronomy ends in a very depressing way. Even before the Israelites have set foot in the Promised Land, they are told that they will fail and that they will be cast out of the land. Where is the “good news” in all of this? Consider the following truths that we find in the Book of Deuteronomy.

First, God has given man a choice to serve God and live, or to disobey and die:

15 “Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. 16 What I am commanding you today is to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the Lord your God will bless you in the land where you are going to take possession of it. 17 However, if you turn aside and do not obey, but are lured away to worship and serve other gods, 18 I declare to you this very day that you will certainly perish! You will not extend your time in the land you are crossing the Jordan River to possess. 19 I invoke heaven and earth as a witness against you today that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you may live—you and your descendants! 20 I also call on you to love the Lord your God, to obey him and cling to him, for he is your life and the means of your longevity as you live in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).

Second, the Book of Deuteronomy makes it clear that, left to himself, man can never merit God’s blessings on the basis of law-keeping. The problem with man is that he is fallen and he does not have a heart to serve God:

28 “When the Lord heard you speaking to me he said to me, ‘I have heard all that these people have said to you—they have spoken well. 29 If only it would really be their desire to fear me and keep all my commandments forever, so that it may go well with them and their descendants eternally’” (Deuteronomy 5:28-29).

But to this very day the Lord has not given you an understanding mind, perceptive eyes, or discerning ears! (Deuteronomy 29:4)

Third, the Israelites, left to themselves, will only bring divine judgment upon themselves.

16 And the Lord said to Moses, “You are about to die, and then these people will begin to prostitute themselves with the foreign gods of the land into which they are going. They will leave me and break my covenant that I have made with them. 17 On that day my anger will flare up against them and I will leave them and hide myself from them until they are devoured. Many hurts and distresses will overcome them so that they will say at that time, ‘Have not these difficulties overcome us because God is not among us?’ 18 But I will certainly hide myself on that day because of all the wickedness they will have done by turning to other gods. 18 But I will certainly hide myself on that day because of all the wickedness they will have done by turning to other gods. 19 Now compose for yourselves the following song and teach it to the Israelites—put it into their very mouths!—so that this song may serve me as a witness against the Israelites. 20 For after I have brought them to the land I promised to their ancestors—one flowing with milk and honey—and they eat and become satisfied and fat, then they will turn to other gods to worship them and will reject me and break my covenant… . 29 For I know that after I die you will totally corrupt yourselves and turn away from the path I have commanded you to walk. Disaster will confront you in the days to come because you will act wickedly before the Lord, inciting him to wrath because of your works” (Deuteronomy 31:16-20, 29).

Fourth, Israel’s blessings will only come to pass on the basis of God’s grace and His faithfulness to His covenant promises:

6 The Lord your God will also cleanse your heart and the hearts of your descendants so that you may love him with all your mind and being, in order to live. 7 Then the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hate you and persecute you. 8 You will return and pay attention to the Lord, keeping all his commandments I am giving you today” (Deuteronomy 30:6-8).

39 “See now that I, indeed I, am he!” says the Lord,
“and there is no other god besides me.
I am the one who kills and brings to life.
I smash and I heal,
and none can deliver from my power.
40 For I raise up my hand to heaven,
and say, ‘As I live forever,
41 I will sharpen my lightning-like sword,
and my hand will grasp hold of judgment;
I will execute vengeance on my foes,
and repay those who hate me!
42 I will satisfy my arrows fully with blood,
and my sword will eat flesh;
with the blood of the slaughtered and captured,
from the chief of the enemy’s leaders!’”
43 Cry out, O nations, with his people,
for he will avenge his servants’ blood;
he will direct vengeance against his enemies,
and make atonement for his land and people (Deuteronomy 32:39-43, emphasis mine).

26 There is no one like God, O Jeshurun,
riding the heavens to help you,
and in his lofty clouds.
27 The everlasting God is a dwelling place,
and underneath are eternal arms;
he has driven out enemies before you,
and he has said, “Destroy!”
28 Israel lives in safety,
the fountain of Jacob quite secure,
in a land of grain and new wine;
indeed, its heavens rain down dew.
29 Most happy are you, Israel—who is like you?
A people delivered by the Lord,
your helpful shield
and your exalted sword;
may your enemies cringe before you,
but may you trample on their backs (Deuteronomy 33:26-29).

At this point in time, the warnings that are so clear and emphatic in Deuteronomy are not taken seriously enough, in spite of Moses’ best efforts. This moment in time is very much like a wedding ceremony. Everyone is happy, and the couple feels so much in love. As a preacher and an elder of a local church, I know all too well that time will present these newlyweds with many challenges. I know that some of the weddings at which I officiate will end up in failed marriages. I also know what it is that will destroy them. I instruct, I warn, and I encourage those being married to carry out God’s instructions, yet I know that many marriages will not survive because of sin and disobedience.

How much easier it is to understand Moses’ words in Deuteronomy from our vantage point. We understand that the Law of Moses was not given to save men, but as a standard of holiness that no man can meet:

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:19-20).

Only one person has ever fulfilled the Law completely – the Lord Jesus Christ:

15 For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin… . 26 For it is indeed fitting for us to have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners, and exalted above the heavens (Hebrews 4:15; 7:26; see also Matthew 5:17-18; 27:4Luke 23:4, 14, 22; 23:47John 7:19; 8:461 Peter 1:18-29).

It was His death in the sinner’s place that made salvation possible. He bore the penalty we deserve as sinners; His righteousness is imputed to all those who trust in Him. It is in Christ and Christ alone that the requirements of the Law have been satisfied.

3 For God achieved what the law could not do because it was weakened through the flesh. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:3-4).

This is what the prophet Jeremiah foretold:

31 “Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new agreement with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 It will not be like the old agreement that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. For they violated that agreement, even though I was a faithful husband to them,” says the Lord. 33 “But I will make a new agreement with the whole nation of Israel after I plant them back in the land,” says the Lord. “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts and minds. And I will be their God and they will be my people. 34 “People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know me. That is because all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,” says the Lord. “All of this is based on the fact that I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

It is also what the Apostle Paul proclaimed as the gospel in the Book of Romans. Taking up the words of Deuteronomy 30, Paul writes:

4 For Christ is the end of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes. 5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is by the law: “The one who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), 9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. 11 For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:4-13).

No wonder the Book of Deuteronomy is so often quoted in the New Testament. It foretells the history of the nation Israel. It lays the foundation for the gospel message. It calls upon men and women to trust in God and to obey His Word. It points to the salvation which Jesus Christ, Israel’s Messiah, will bring.

Moses called upon the second generation of Israelites to enter into a covenant relationship with God, just as the first generation had done. New Testament saints do not live under the old covenant, but rather under the new, but we must embrace the New Covenant in order to enter into its blessings. This we do by faith in Jesus Christ. In our church, we celebrate and remember the New Covenant each week by the celebration of the Lord’s Table (communion).

To many, the Book of Deuteronomy is a book of duty and obligation. While this is true, I want to remind you that “love” is emphasized in this book as well. It is not a teeth-gritting kind of obedience that God desires, but an obedience prompted by love:

12 Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you except to fear him, to walk in all his ways, to love him, and to serve him with all your mind and being? 13 Keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord that I am commanding you today for your own good. 14 The heavens, indeed the highest heavens, belong to the Lord your God, as does the earth and everything in it. 15 However, only your ancestors did he decide to select, and he chose you, their descendants after them, from all peoples—as is apparent today. 16 Therefore, cleanse your heart and stop being so stubborn! 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God and awesome warrior who is unbiased and takes no bribe, 18 who acts justly toward orphan and widow, and who loves resident foreigners, giving them food and clothing. 19 You, therefore, love the resident foreigner because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. 20 Revere the Lord your God, serve him, cleave to him and take oaths only in his name. 21 He is the object of your praise and your God, the one who has done these great and awesome things for you that you have seen. 22 Your ancestors went down to Egypt as only seventy people but now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky” (Deuteronomy 10:12-22).

The Book of Deuteronomy reminds us that every generation must enter into a covenant relationship with God. It is not enough that your mother or father trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation; you must personally embrace Christ’s work on the cross of Calvary for the forgiveness of your sins, and for the gift of eternal life. If you have not done so, I urge you to do it this very moment. Simply acknowledge your sins, and that Jesus Christ bore the penalty for your sins on the cross of Calvary. Believe that God raised Him from the dead, and that in Him, and Him alone, you have eternal life. This choice is a simple one, but it is a matter of life and death.


134 Henrietta C. Mears, What the Bible Is All About (Ventura, California: Regal Books, revised edition, 1983), p. 75.

136 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the NET Bible. The NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION, also known as THE NET BIBLE, is a completely new translation of the Bible, not a revision or an update of a previous English version. It was completed by more than twenty biblical scholars who worked directly from the best currently available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. The translation project originally started as an attempt to provide an electronic version of a modern translation for electronic distribution over the Internet and on CD (compact disk). Anyone anywhere in the world with an Internet connection will be able to use and print out the NET Bible without cost for personal study. In addition, anyone who wants to share the Bible with others can print unlimited copies and give them away free to others. It is available on the Internet at:www.netbible.org.

138 There was a very great difference between the “worship” of the people before the golden calf and that of the elders on the mountain. The people not only ate and drank, they “rose up to play” (32:6). This term “play”refers to illicit and immoral sex play. The same expression is used inGenesis 26:8, where Abimelech “looked out through a window, and saw, and behold, Isaac was caressing his wife Rebekah” (emphasis mine). Thus, this “worship” had turned into an orgy./docs/ot/books/exo/deffin/exo-25.htm

 

Related Topics: Dispensational / Covenantal TheologyLaw

https://bible.org/seriespage/13-israel-s-covenant-renewal-deuteronomy

391be97d1a9189a893835a758614e852

See also

Ark of the Covenant

THE SIGN AND THE SEAL 
by Graham Hancock

Now that the formalities were over I got straight to the point. Gesturing in the direction of the building that loomed in shadowy outline behind us, I said: ‘I have heard of an Ethiopian tradition that the Ark of the Covenant is kept here… in this chapel. I have also heard that you are the guardian of the Ark. Are these things true?’

‘They are true.’

‘But in other countries nobody believes these stories. Few know about your traditions anyway, but those who do say that they are false.’

‘People may believe what they wish. People may say what they wish. Nevertheless we do possess the sacred Tabot, that is to say the Ark of the Covenant, and I am its guardian…’

‘Let me be clear about this,’ I interjected. ‘Are you referring to the original Ark of the Covenant – the box made of wood and gold in which the Ten Commandments were placed by the prophet Moses?’

‘Yes. God Himself inscribed the ten words of the law upon two tablets of stone. Moses then placed these tablets inside the Ark of the Covenant – which afterwards accompanied the Israelites during their wanderings in the wilderness and their conquest of the Promised Land. It brought them victory wherever they went and made them a great people. At last, when its work was done, King Solomon placed it in the Holy of Holies of the Temple that he had built in Jerusalem. And from there, not long afterwards, it was removed and brought to Ethiopia…’

‘Tell me how this happened,’ I asked. ‘What I know of your traditions is only that the Queen of Sheba is supposed to have been an Ethiopian monarch. The legends I have read say that when she made her famous journey to Jerusalem she was impregnated by King Solomon and bore him a son – a royal prince – who in later years stole the Ark…’

The monk sighed. ‘The name of the prince you are speaking of was Menelik – which in our language means “the son of the wise man”. Although he was conceived in Jerusalem he was born in Ethiopia where the Queen of Sheba had returned after discovering that she was carrying Solomon’s child. When he had sign and the sealreached the age of twenty, Menelik himself travelled from Ethiopia to Israel and arrived at his father’s court. There he was instantly recognized and accorded great honour. After a year had passed, however, the elders of the land became jealous of him. They complained that Solomon showed him too much favour and they insisted that he must go back to Ethiopia. This the king accepted on the condition that the first-born sons of all the elders should also be sent to accompany him. Amongst these latter was Azarius, son of Zadok the High Priest of Israel, and it was Azarius, not Menelik, who stole the Ark of the Covenant from its place in the Holy of Holies in the Temple. Indeed the group of young men did not reveal the theft to Menelik until they were far away from Jerusalem. When at last they told him what they had done he understood that they could not have succeeded in so bold a venture unless God had willed it. Therefore he agreed that the Ark should remain with them. And it was thus that it was brought to Ethiopia, to this sacred city… and here it has remained ever since.’

‘And are you telling me that this legend is literally true?’

‘It is not a legend. It is history.’

‘How can you be so sure of that?’

‘Because I am the guardian. I know the nature of the object that has been placed in my care.’

We sat in silence for a few moments while I adjusted my mind to the calm and rational way in which the monk had told me these bizarre and impossible things. Then I asked him how and why he had been appointed to his position. He replied that it was a great honour that he should have been chosen, that he had been nominated with the last words of his predecessor, and that when he himself lay on his death-bed his turn would come to nominate his own successor.

‘What qualities will you look for in that man?’

‘Love of God, purity of heart, cleanliness of mind and body.’

‘Other than you,’ I asked next, ‘is anyone else allowed to see the Ark?’

‘No. I alone may see it.’

‘So does that mean that it is never brought out of the sanctuary chapel?’

The guardian paused for a long while before answering this question. Then, finally, he told me that in the very distant past the relic had been brought out during all the most important church festivals. More recently its use in religious processions had been limited to just one occasion a year. That occasion was the ceremony known as Timkat which took place every January.

‘So if I come back next January will I have a chance of seeing the Ark?’

sign and the sealThe monk looked at me in a way that I found strangely disconcerting and then said: ‘You must know that there is turmoil and civil war in the land… Our government is evil, the people oppose it, and the fighting comes closer every day. In such circumstances it is unlikely that the true Ark will be used again in the ceremonies. 

We cannot risk the possibility that any harm might come to something so precious … Besides, even in time of peace you would not be able to see it. It is my responsibility to wrap it entirely in thick cloths before it is carried in the processions…’

‘Why do you wrap it?’

‘To protect the laity from it.’

I remember asking my interpreter to clarify the translation of this last puzzling remark: had the monk really meant ‘to protect the laity from it’? Or had he meant ‘to protect it from the laity’? It was some time before I got my answer. ‘To protect the laity from it. The Ark is powerful.’


sign and the seal

A great mystery of the Bible

 

In early Old Testament times the Ark of the Covenant was worshipped by the Israelites as the embodiment of God Himself, as the sign and the seal of His presence on earth, as the stronghold of His power, and as the instrument of His ineffable will. Built to contain the tablets of stone upon which the Ten Commandments had been written, it was a wooden chest measuring three feet nine inches long by two feet three inches high and wide. It was lined inside and out with pure gold and was surmounted by two winged figures of cherubim that faced each other across its heavy golden lid. Biblical and other archaic sources speak of the Ark blazing with fire and light, inflicting cancerous tumours and severe burns, levelling mountains, stopping rivers, blasting whole armies and laying waste cities. The same sources also leave no doubt that it was, for a very long time, the cornerstone of the evolving Jewish faith: indeed when King Solomon built the First Temple in Jerusalem his sole motive was to create ‘an house of rest for the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord’. At some unknown date between the tenth and the sixth century BC, however, this uniquely precious and puissant object vanished from its place in the Holy of Holies of that Temple, vanished without song or lamentation in the Scriptures – almost as though it had never existed at all. The evidence suggests that it was already long gone when the armies of Nebuchadnezzar burned Jerusalem in 587 BC. Certainly it was not in the Second Temple which was built over the ruins of the First after the Jews had returned from their exile in Babylon in 538 BC. Neither does it seem to have been taken as booty by the Babylonians. Indeed so. A close reading of the Old Testament reveals more than two hundred separate references to the Ark of the Covenant up until the time of Solomon (970-931 BC); after the reign of that wise and splendid king it is almost never mentioned again. And this, surely, is the central problem, the real historical enigma: not, human nature being what it is, that an immensely valuable golden chest should go missing, but – given its supreme religious significance – that it should go missing amidst such a deafening, improbable silence. Like a black hole in space, or a negative photographic image, it is identifiable in the later books of the Old Testament only by what it is not – it is, in short, conspicuous only by its absence. From this it seems reasonable to suggest that some sort of cover-up may have taken place – a cover-up devised by priests and scribes to ensure that the whereabouts of the sacred relic would remain forever a secret. If so then it is a secret that many have tried to penetrate – a secret that has inspired several treasure-hunting expeditions (all of which have failed) and also one enormously successful Hollywood fantasy, Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was first released in the USA and Europe in 1981 with Harrison Ford in the starring role as Indiana Jones. I was living in Kenya at the time and had no opportunity to see the film until it finally arrived in Nairobi’s cinemas early in 1983. I enjoyed the combination of action, adventure and archaeology and I remember thinking what a sensation it would be if someone were really to find the Ark. Then, only a few months later, I made an extended visit to Ethiopia during which I travelled to the north-west of the war-torn province of Tigray. It was there, in Axum – the so-called ‘sacred city of the Ethiopians’  – that I had my encounter with the guardian monk reported earlier in this chapter.

                               The Sign and the Seal

 

Writing in 1987, Richard Elliott Friedman, Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Religion at the University of California, expressed a view shared by many scholars when he described the disappearance of the sacred relic as ‘one of the great mysteries of the Bible’:

sign and the sealThere is no report that the Ark was carried away or destroyed or hidden. There is not even any comment such as ‘And then the Ark disappeared and we do not know what happened to it’ or ‘And no one knows where it is to this day’. The most important object in the world, in the biblical view, simply ceases to be in the story.’

http://www.selamta.net/Ark%20of%20the%20Covenant.htm

 

 

Exploration of The Hebrews descended from the tribe of GAD

 

As the Hebrews continued toward the border of their promised land they fought and subdued the people who occupied the land where they were traveling. As a result a large part of what is now Jordan became the territory of the tribes of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh. Moses allowed those tribes to have their inheritance […]

My Grandmother use to tell us that we descend from the Tribe of GAD. Interestingly enough our ancestry DNA links us to the GA Tribe of Ghana, the Bantu of South Africa and the Mali region.

Check out this video by a self named Gentile as he confirms who the real Jews are  https://youtu.be/bEDfrBBPZzg

DEUTERONOMY in the bible.

….if thou shalt hearken…. to do all his commandments….God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:…Blessed shalt thou be in the city and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body…the fruit of thy ground;;;;the fruit of thy cattle…Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall cause thine enemies…to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways……And the Lord shall make thee the head and not the tail….But it shall come to pass, if thou shall not hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee. Cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shall thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke….The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land….The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far…..And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates…..and thou shalt eat the….. flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters…in the siege. (from Deuteronomy 28:1-53)

Friends, if you think this is gross, you need to know that it really came to pass eventually, for the Hebrews, the Israelites, the chosen people of God turned their backs on him. Their blessings went away and the curses came upon them, exactly as said.  Jeremiah records: They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger:….the hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people. (Lamentations 4:9-10)

Further, the Lord told them: And ye shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven for multitude….And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people…And among these nations shalt thou find no ease….(Deuteronomy 28: 62,64-65) And so it has been. The Jews have been scattered over the face of the planet, and continue to be persecuted. Anti Semitism is everywhere, even in the U.S.

But, God is not finished with his people the Hebrews: And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations. But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him…When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God…he will not forsake, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. (Deuteronomy 4:27,29-31)

Repentance was the key to restoring the Israelites to right relationship with God. It still is, not only for Israel, but for us who are not Israel. God is not mean, but his laws can not be set aside or ignored, for there are consequences for sin. He has provided the way for us all, through Jesus, to be forgiven and set on the right path, toward heaven, and not toward hell.

Extract from Into the Promised Land — toxawaytellit

 

I am going to explore in this post the Hebrew Teachings in the Old Testament And Tanakh and of the Hebrew Israelites.

For me there has always been a need to explore the religions. I grew up reading the bible. There are so many different versions of the Bible which has caused much divide and critics from religions such as the Jewish Rabbis and Muslim Imams. Yesterday I started to read the Tanakh and found chapters which have been omitted from the King James Version of the Bible which relates to and addresses the tribes of Judah.


http://haitianisraelites.weebly.com/25-beliefs-of-the-hebrew-israelites.html Extract below outlining the Hebrew belief.                                                  

    25 Common Beliefs of the Hebrew Israelites

  1. Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the Torah(Law), or the first five books of a Christian bible, Genesis, Exodus,Leviticus, Numbers,Deuteronomy must be observed. This include the feasts (Leviticus 23), circumcision,weekly shabbat, tithes, offerings(burnt or not), consecration(Nazarites),eating clean foods, fasting,and the celebration of new moons.
  2. Most Hebrew Israelites believe that Yahshua, Yeshua, or Yahwahshi,Yahshayah,known as Jesus in Christianity, is the prophet prophesied by Moses (Deut 18:18). He was a teacher, he observed and never taught against the torah, he was a Jew(offspring of Judah),he was a man of color and the father(Ahayah) called him his son as he also called himself the son of the father. He came for the lost sheep Israel(Matt 15:25). He was crucified and rose out of the dead in three days.
  3. Most Hebrew Israelites believe that “The white men” or Europeans are descendants of Israel’s twin brother Esau, also known as Edom.(Genesis 25:25). They also believe that The Most High, at the end of days has a stern punishment reserved for Esau’s children for enslaving the Hebrew Israelites.
  4. Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the descendants of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade slaves are the true and authentic chilren of Israel from the House of Judah(Levi,Judah,Benjamin) who went to Africa in 70 A.D fleeing Roman Persecution. They use as reference “From Babylon To Timbukto” which states that 1000 000 Israelites fled to Africa during the Roman Persecution and a prophecy found in Deut 28:68, which states that the Hebrew Israelites would return to Egypt(House of Bondage), in ships and no one would redeem them.
  5. Most Hebrew Israelites also believe that the Native Americans and their descendants, known as Hispanics are descendants of the 10 Lost tribes of the House of Israel. According to several Hebrew Israelites’ websites, the Native Americans, known as Native Indians, were exiled by the Assyrian King Salmanasar 722 B.C in ships. It took them one year to have gotten to the place, which is known today as America(North, South and Central). No one lived on the place before their arrival.(2nd Esdras 13:45-49, Apocrypha). They also use the pyramid build by the aztecs to support their assertion.
  6. Most Hebrew Israelites believe that baptism with water can and should be done.
  7. Most Hebrew Israelites believe in marriage between a man and a woman.
  8. Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the term Black Hebrew Israelites is not appropriate but is simply a pleonasm as the Hebrew Israelites were originally black.
  9. Most Hebrew Israelites refuse to accept the Talmud because it was written by Europeans during the the first century.
  10. Most Hebrew Israelites refuse to be called Jewish because the term Jew-ish is more definable as someone who is “sort of a Jew” or someone who follow Judaism, a religion they do not follow.
  11. Most Hebrew Israelites do not support marriage between a gentile(Non-Israelite) and an Israelite(Negroes,Hispanics, Native Americans,Seminole Indians)
  12. Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the term Negroe can be used to define the descendents of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade slaves and can be use to distinguish them from the Africans(Hamites).
  13. Most Hebrew Israelites believe that Israel (not the State of Israel) will be a nation again.
  14. Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the Arabs(Ishmaelites), The Africans(Hamits) and the Europeans(Edomites) work together to enslave the House of Judah(Judah, Benjamin,Levi).
  15. Most Hebrew Israelites believe that being an Israelite is not a religion but a nationality and a lifestyle.
  16. Most Hebrew Israelites believe that the fall of United States and the European rule is eminent.
  17. Most Hebrew Israelites reject Islam because it was founded by an Ishmaelite.
  18. Most Hebrew Israelites practice separatism instead of racism. In order words, Hebrew Israelites don’t judge based on color but whether you’re part of the Twelve Tribes of Israel or not
  19. Most Hebrew Israelites reject the Khabbalah
  20. Most Hebrew Israelites reject the Quran
  21. Most Hebrew Israelites reject Christmas, Halloween, and Easter.
  22. Most Hebrew Israelites reject Homosexuality
  23. Most Hebrew Israelites reject Transgenderism
  24. Most Hebrew Israelites refused to be called or compared as Christian.
  25. Most Hebrew Israelites believe that this(underneath) is the Twelve Tribe of Israel plus the rest scattered, who should be able to find their tribes by their father’s blood.

 This was written by Kohath A. Ben Levy

TwelveTribesofIsraelebible

 

An interesting article  http://ezinearticles.com/?Come-Out-Of-Babylon-My-People&id=8020251

According to Etymologist Lew White, Dr. C. J. Koster, and the Institute for Scripture Research, we have been lied to for over 1600 years. You can read about it in Lew’s book called “Fossilized Customs and in C. J.’s book called “Come Out of Her MY People” as well as in “The Scriptures”, a non-paganized Bible translation.

B. Jesus:

• Seven reasons I know that “Jesus” is not the Savior’s name.

1. “Jesus” is a Greek name. Our savior was Hebrew.

• What does the name mean?

According to Lew White, “Jesus” means “Hail Zeus” or “Praise Zeus”, the primary Greek pagan god.

2. Records indicate His name is spelled “YOD HEY VAV SHIN AYIN”. Any first year Hebrew student can tell you that this does not spell “Jesus”.

3. The Scriptures tell us that the Father’s name is contained in the Son’s name. The Father’s name is not contained in “Jesus”.

4. When Ken Thornburg of California tried to cast a demon out in the name of “Jesus”, the demon said back to him “You can’t cast me out in my name”. Demons are terrified of Messiah’s name and they hate it. A demon is not ever going to be named by it.

5. You might be thinking that “Jesus” couldn’t possibly be the name of a demon. Unfortunately I have personal experience to the contrary. I met a girl who was attending Awanas meetings wednesday evenings at a local Christian church when she was 7 years old. One day she started lying and telling horrible disgusting things to anybody that would listen. Her mother discovered this all started when she went forward at Awanas to give her life to “Jesus”. She obviously got the demon. Her mother lived with that demon for 7 long years and have no doubt that it was the demon Jesus speaking through her. I was warned 2 years after the fact that a 7 year old is too young to ask Christ into her life because children that young don’t have discernment of spirits. They can’t tell who they are inviting in. And, when you’re only going by the name “Jesus”, you obviously don’t know what you’re going to get.

6. I met a man named David in a singles group in Monroe, Washington. David was married, but God told him to meet someone, there; ME. And through a rather odd series of events, my boat wound up in Houston, Texas where David lives. When I went there to get it, David and his wife, Susan, told me this story:

“We were at a Passover celebration when a very tall man was teaching. He was very knowledgeable and taught with great authority. After the meeting and the teacher left, the Pastor asked David where he got such a great teacher to which David replied “I didn’t get him, I thought you did”. No one seemed to know where he came from”.

• What does He prefer to be called?

“Before the teacher left, he said, referring to David and the Pastor calling Him “Lord”; they prefer to be called “Yahuveh” and “Yavehshua”. These are Sacred, Holy names. Do not disrespect or abuse them. If you do, the plagues written in the Book of the Revelation will be upon you”.

David and Susan added “they are very powerful because they call directly upon God. And don’t try to demand anything, but always ask “if it be your will” because you will get what you ask for and if it’s not God’s will, you could have the Revelation plagues upon you.”

7. My spirit testifies to the validity of these names. I know that I know that they put me directly in contact with my heavenly father. In contrast, the name “Jesus” never gave me the same experience, even though I had been a Christian for many years previous. I even met a lady at Camano Chapel near Seattle and mentioned that “Jesus” was never His name, and she replied, “I know that Jesus is the name of a demon”.

• How did the name “Jesus” get into the Bible?

Jesus is the name that the Messianic Jews started proclaiming as the Messiah around the 4th century AD when they were trying to spread the good news of the Gospel all over Western Europe. Unfortunately, the Greeks hated the Jews and weren’t about to accept a Jewish God. So, they falsified His name, calling Him a name that was almost identical to their pagan sun god, “Iesous”. They wrote the name “Jesus” into the Greek New Testament in place of the Hebrew name he had always been known by up until that time.

C. Lord & Adonai:

• Why does the Bible tell us that “The Lord” is our God?

In addition to the name of the Son of God being falsified for over 1600 years, the name of God the Father in the Old Testament was replaced with “Lord” or “The Lord” to appease the pagans who worshipped many different lords such as “Baal’, “Sol”, “Ahura”, etc. In the New Testament, God and the Son of God are both translated “Lord” or “The Lord” so they are indistinguishable, leading one to believe that the Son of God is His own father, an obviously RIDICULOUS CONCLUSION! In the original Hebrew, we find they have different names and different functions. The name of God was given to us as “Yahuveh”; not “The Lord”, “Jesus”, “Adonai” or “Jehovah.”

• What do “Lord” and “Adonai” mean?

In the Scriptures, “Lord” is only used to refer to pagan, counterfeit gods. In addition, many demons are referred to by the title of “lord” and, of course, Satan is always referred to as “Lord Satan” by his demonic followers. “Adonai” is a counterfeit name that was used by the Hebrews when they were held captive in Babylon. They used it so their captives would not find out the true name of God.

• What’s wrong with using these names?

Using insulting names such as these is a violation of the commandment where God said “Thou shall not bring my name to nothing” or as Lew White says “Thou shall not falsify my name”

• What does God prefer to be called?

According to the Passover teacher (angel) that David and Susan told me about, He prefers to be called “Yahuveh”

D. Prayer:

• Turbo-charge your prayer life by using our Heavenly Father’s preferred name that puts you directly into that Holy place where Moses was when God told him to take off his shoes because he was on Holy ground. And, I always pray the way St. Paul taught us… in the name of “Yavehshua”. Paul never even knew the name “Jesus”.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8020251According to Etymologist Lew White, Dr. C. J. Koster, and the Institute for Scripture Research, we have been lied to for over 1600 years. You can read about it in Lew’s book called “Fossilized Customs and in C. J.’s book called “Come Out of Her MY People” as well as in “The Scriptures”, a non-paganized Bible translation.

The tribe of Ga

Ancestry DNA shows I have an African ancestor by the name of Quartey. I searched the name in Google and found they are descendants of the Ga tribe from Accra Ghana. I am going to research this tribe and continue to update this post with my findings. My DNA shows I am 7% Nigerian and 12% Ivory Coast Ghana.

SHEIKH MUSTAFA’S INTRODUCTION IS BELOW type his name into Google to find his blog or check out my re blogs.

INTRODUCTION by SHEIKH MUSTAFA

Quarteys’ all over the world are descendants of the Royal Family of Kpakpatse We clan of the Asεrε group of the Ga speaking people, which is one of the seven quarters (Akutséii) that constituted the Ashiedu Kεtεkε District within the Odododiodioo Constituency of the Ga Mashie Community in Accra. The Asεrε group of people comprises of five different clans which relocated to the coastal settlements of Little Akra (Ga Mashie) after the destruction of Great Akra (Ayawaso) by the Akwamus in the early Sixteen Century. Among them is the Kpakpatse We Royal Family, whose history we shall discuss in this discourse.

That is the end of SHEIKH MUSTAFA quote.

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History and Cultural Relations

The Ga have lived in southern Ghana for more than a thousand years. They largely displaced or intermarried with the indigenous Kpeshi people, established their system of rotating slash-and-burn horticulture, and eventually adopted maize as a primary staple as opposed to the earlier millet. The date of the earliest settlement at Accra is not known, but that settlement was flourishing by the fifteenth century. Accra developed from a series of contiguous settlements formed at different times by different peoples who developed a coherent but flexible sense of Ga identity.

The growth of Accra was stimulated by the arrival of the Europeans, the first being the Portuguese, who built a small fort there in 1482. In the seventeenth century the English, Dutch, Swedes, and Danes established spheres of influence, entering into a preexisting coastal trade. Further growth came with the destruction of the original capital, Ayawaso, 2.1 miles (3.4 kilometers) northwest of Accra, by the Akwamu kingdom in 1677. After being in a tributary relationship with the Akwamu until 1730, Accra regained and largely maintained its independence until it was occupied by the British in 1874. By the beginning of the nineteenth century Accra had a population of approximately 7,500 to 10,000 and was well developed, with extensive interior and exterior trade connections. Merchants in Accra acted as middlepersons in the trade of slaves, gold, and other commodities between the Europeans and the Asante kingdom to the north. From the 1820s on European missionaries arrived in the area and had a substantial impact.

Ga ethnicity was constructed out of many strands because of the multiplicity of trade contacts, religious influences, founding ethnicities, and cross-cultural contacts fostered by intermarriage. A common saying at Asere is, “There is no such thing as a pure Ga.” Not only were many European and inland African ethnicities represented in Accra over hundreds of years, but also the lateral coastal connections produced migrations of Brazilian, Sierra Leonean, and Nigerian families, who formed clans and assumed Ga identity.

Around the turn of the twentieth century Accra experienced a series of disasters, including famines, a fire in 1894, an earthquake in 1906, bubonic plague, and the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919, as well as continuous emigration of skilled laborers. A severe earthquake in 1939 destroyed much of Central Accra and gave added impetus to settle in new suburban settlements such as Kaneshie and Adabraka.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/anthropology-and-archaeology/people/ga

 

The tribe of Ga are descendants of GAD and are the hebrew Israelites. They left Egypt and migrated to Ghana via Nigeria and Ethiopia there is much discussion around this on the internet.

http://www.ghanadot.com have great information regarding this. Below is a quote from their blog.


The Ga-Dangmes claim to be descendants DAN and GAD, the fifth and seventh sons of Jacob. Biblical history suggests that Jacob, whom God named YISRAEL had Leah as his wife who gave birth to four sons for him. When Leah noticed that she had passed child-bearing age, she gave her maid servant, ZILPAH to wife. Through Zilpah, Jacob had Dan and Gad and four more sons. Jacob has two sons with Rachel. Gad’s fifth son was Eri who later formed a clan known as Erites (Genesis 30:9, Genesis 46:16, Numbers 26:15-19 and Deuteronomy 3:12; Genesis 30:4-8 3:12.The descendant of Eri, son of Gad are believed to have founded the Nri Kingdom around 900 A.D of the South Eastern and parts of the mid-western Igboland in Nigeria with other tribes of Levi, Zebulon, Ephraim and possibly more. In the Book of numbers, the Bible had made extensive references to the children of Israel, which includes Gad and Dan and their children (Numbers 1:1-54).

Biblical history strongly lends support to the claim by Ga-Dangmes that they are HEBREW ISRAELITES due to the fact Ga-Dangme names are found throughout the OLD TESTAMENT. Examples are: NIIKOILAI (Rev:2, 6, 15); AMASA (2 Samuel 17, 25; 1 Chronicle 33 20-21 DJAANI/JANNE, 2 Timothy 3: 8; AMON, 2 Chronicle 33: 20-21; ASHALE (ASAHEL), 1 Chronicle 2:16, 2 Samuel 2: 18-19.

King AYI KUSHI, spelled Cush in Hebrew, Genesis 10: 6 Jeremiah 13:23, Isaiah 18:12) led the Ga-Dangmes from Cush in Jerusalem to Ayawaso and was the founder of the GA DYNASTY. It is believed that the Ga-Dangmes Kingdom at AYAWASO was the first Kingdom in GHANA. It is interesting that Queen Dode (Dodi) Akabi’s name DODI is a Hebrew Name. Also, the name of the hunter, KADI, who found a group people at OSU DOKU and introduced them to the Nungua Mantse, is a Hebrew name. The Nungua Mantse, in consultation with the Ga Mashi Mantse gave Osu lands to the “KADI GBOI” as people of Osu were referred to.

Ga-Dangmes custom of circumcision of their male born and their patriarch traditions further lend support to their Hebrew Israelites origins (Genesis 17: 1-12). The HOMOWO FESTIVAL (the PASSOVER) celebrated by the Ga-Dnagmes supports their claim that they are Hebrew Israelites, descendants of children of Jacob (Exodus 13: 1-10); Exodus 12: 1-50; Numbers 9:1-5

According to Abbey in his book KEDZI AFO JORDAN (1968), Ga-Dangmes tradition during which they put money in the coffins of their deceased relatives prior to burial is an ancient Hebrew Israelites custom. In ancient Israel of the Bible, the deceased were said to be buried across the river Jordan. Coins placed in the coffins of the deceased believing that  their spirits will use it in “paying” for their passage across the River Jordan. The “abayan”, cloth belonging to the deceased, which is torn to pieces, and each piece placed on the left wrist of the deceased relatives and very close friends, is an ancient Jewish custom. Also, the DIPO or OTUFO customs of the Ga-Dangmes are said to be ancient Hebrew Israelites customs. These and ancient traditional customs still observed by Ga-Dangmes clearly lend credence to their claim that they are of Hebrew Israelites origins.

End of extract from Ghana. Com blog

Through my own research I have found that the Ga-Dnagmes believe in one supreme being and an evil being who we would call Satan in Europe society. The tribe also believe there are good and bad spirits. The tribe believe that our ancestors guide us through life. People are held accountable in this community for their actions. Many people would have you believe that all of these people worship deities and animals and spirits which is not the case. There are good and bad types of worship and the bad takes the direction of black magic, spirit worship and sacrifices to a number of God’s in my opinion and the opinion of some of the Ghanian community. A documentary I watched discussed this very point and even the indigenous Igbo of the land are aware of this and confirm the difference in the 2 religions. An interesting point is that for 1000s of years there have been people who believed in one God. Religion unfortunately has used it’s power to dominate and rule over certain people claiming all men worshiped numerous God’s and therefore had to be taken under control. Slavery is heavily documented in The Bible and Quran and historical documents breathe life to the story.

Fort James was built in 1673 in Accra as a trading port.  It appears that the slaves were shipped straight from Ghana to Jamaica and other ports that I have yet to explore. In researching my heritage I identified that my paternal line traces back to Accra Ghana. I stored the picture below as my investigations led to Elmina Ghana. Many slaves were transported from the castle below.

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Elmina is conveniently located at the shore line providing a means of transporting the slaves at the time. This castle was used in Ghana to ship the slaves across the continent.

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Some of the people enslaved were described as AKAN  in the slave records. These Africans were from The slavery Gold Coast and would likely have spoken a number of languages which are still in use today.

 

Currently English is the official language of Ghana and the Ga are a mixture of peoples concentrated in the capital, many first-language Ga speakers also know English, one or more of the Akan languages (Fante or Twi), and/or Ewe. These are the languages that they speak in that area.

Further information can be found online http://www.encyclopedia.com they state the following:

The oldest area of settlement in Accra, now known as Central Accra, is composed of seven quarters, among which Asere, Abola, and Gbese are oldest and considered to be the most traditionally Ga. Otublohum originally was settled by people from Akwamu and Denkyera to the northwest. These four quarters make up Ussher Town, the area placed under Dutch jurisdiction in the seventeenth century. The other three quartersAlata or Nleshi, Sempe, and Akanmadzeare said to be of later origin. Alata was settled by Nigerian workers imported to construct a European fort. These three quarters are commonly called James Town and formed the original area of British jurisdiction at Accra. Asere is by far the largest quarter in terms of population and area. All quarters have clan houses known as wekushia, the original homes of Ga patrilineages, and chiefs called mantsemei.

Extract above from http://www.encyclopedia.com

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Ghanian Tour Guide

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My DNA interestingly enough shows the migration of africans down the coast of Africa from Mali and Senegal down to Nigeria Ghana Benin Togo Cameroon and Congo

It is also to be noted that the tribe of Ga are no longer just found in Africa. There are claims that the chereokee Indians and native Americans also originate from this tribe. I will be exploring their heritage and other tribes later in this blog.

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A personal account of St George Castle in Elmina is below by the New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/11/25/travel/the-slave-fortresses-of-ghana.html?pagewanted=all

Elmina, 93 miles west of Accra, at the western edge of Ghana’s central region, is different. Here the highway looks out on coconut groves lining the beach, and the massive weight of St. George’s Castle, at the end of the bay’s long sweep, is clear even from a distance. Here the contrasts that characterize Europe’s first footholds on the continent make themselves felt: the gray and white of the stone against the turquoise and green of the sea, the fortified solidity of the structure against the airy openness of the horizon.

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Built in 1482 by the Portuguese in the area they called Mina de Ouro (the gold mine), after they found vast quantities of the precious metal there, the castle is the oldest European structure in sub-Saharan Africa. For more than 100 years the area around Elmina was the center of a thriving trade in gold, ivory and peppers, which the Africans supplied in abundance, and cloth, beads, metals and hardware, which the Portuguese brought from Europe.

After two unsuccessful attempts to take it, the Dutch captured the castle in 1637 with an assault from the land. Mindful of similar threats, they built Fort Coenraadsburg on St. Iago Hill, where it keeps watch to this day over St. George’s rear. The great castle then became the African headquarters of the Dutch West Indies Company, whose business was supplying the needs of the New World’s great plantations. Foremost among these was the need for labor; the Dutch became the slave trade’s masters.

Elmina’s storerooms were converted to dungeons as other European powers built lodges and forts on what became known as the Gold Coast and began competing fiercely for their share of the trade from the mid-1600’s on. The building that once housed a Portuguese Catholic Church became Elmina’s slave market, where African dealers brought their captives, many of them victims of tribal wars. By the 18th century an estimated 68,400 slaves were exported from Africa each year, of whom about 41,000 came from West Africa, according to published accounts of the times. Of those, 10,000 left Elmina’s shores when the castle was operating at full capacity, according to Ghana’s Museums and Monuments Board.

See also The Ga-Dangme of Ghana

Major Ethnic Groups Of Ghana

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