Sunday, October 12, 2008

Biblical Zionism versus American evangelicals' Zionism

The promise of God that the descendants of Abraham will possess the land forever is an intriguing one, as it has implications in modern foreign policy. It might not make sense to be on the side of opposing something God has decreed as eternal, aside from any humanitarian or ethical considerations. I've always wondered exactly what the promise means. Early on, there's indications that his descendants would be as numerous as the starts, later on, it's said that they already are. I would guess that the later articulations of the promise in scripture should carry some weight. Here's one from Ezekiel 33:
13 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "These are the boundaries by which you are to divide the land for an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel, with two portions for Joseph. 14 You are to divide it equally among them. Because I swore with uplifted hand to give it to your forefathers, this land will become your inheritance.

15 "This is to be the boundary of the land:
"On the north side it will run from the Great Sea by the Hethlon road past Lebo [f] Hamath to Zedad, 16 Berothah [g] and Sibraim (which lies on the border between Damascus and Hamath), as far as Hazer Hatticon, which is on the border of Hauran. 17 The boundary will extend from the sea to Hazar Enan, [h] along the northern border of Damascus, with the border of Hamath to the north. This will be the north boundary.
21 "You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. 22 You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. 23 In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance," declares the Sovereign LORD.
God's promise is for the Israelites and for the aliens who have settled among you. This sounds like a one-state option for Israel. The Word of God says that the aliens residing among the Israelites are to be considered as native-born Israelites.

Too often, the response of American evangelicals to be whole-hearted support for an Ariel Sharon vision of Israel, where brutality is to be a tool in suppressing the aliens who reside among the Israelites, a vision of a two-state option, which is supported in order to keep a democratic majority for Israelites in one section, a vision where there are such things as "Jewish-only" roads. This whole set-up, in my humble opinion, is not in tune with the promise that God laid out in Ezekiel 33.

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