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Perusing a Pivotal Prophecy
Contrary to what many people think, the word “peruse” does not mean to skim over. It means to thoroughly examine. When David brought the ark of the covenant out of its obscurity of nearly 70 years and brought it up to Jerusalem, he also arranged to have a special tent made for it. In the Scriptures, it is called the Tabernacle of David. But soon David felt that this was an inadequate dwelling place for the ark. David felt guilty that he as God’s servant should have a very elegant and palatial home while God’s dwelling place was composed of merely fabric.
2 Samuel 7:2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.
3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for YHWH is with thee.
4 And it came to pass that night, that the word of YHWH came unto Nathan, saying,
Allow me to suggest here that when Nathan said to David: Go, do all that is in thine heart, for the Lord is with thee; that this was his own opinion. Nathan was giving a blank check to David. In effect, Nathan says: “So David, you want to build a glorious temple to house the ark? What a splendid idea! I am sure the Lord would have no objection to that. Go ahead and do it!”
But that night, the prophet receives direct word from God which will cause Nathan to eat his words. He is not to give David a blank check. God was not going to allow David to build a house (temple) for Him. It reminds us of another occasion when a true and faithful prophet of the Lord made a similar mistake. It was in 1 Samuel 16:6 where Samuel was sent to Jesse’s house to anoint the future king of Israel. Remember how he had Jesse parade all his sons before him? Then when the eldest son was presented, Samuel thought within himself: surely, this is the one the Lord has chosen. But he was wrong, wasn’t he?
And so it is here, Nathan gives his own stamp of approval to David’s plan to build a magnificent temple for Yahweh, but then God visits him that night and corrects His prophet. There is an important lesson for us which is contained in this incident. It is two-fold: First: we must realize that any one who instructs others in the ways, the will and the plan of God may be correct in his general understanding of the plan of God, but mistaken in his understanding of the specific application or circumstances.
In this case, the prophet understood correctly that God was pleased with David’s desire to exalt and glorify God with an appropriate dwelling place. God will always be pleased with a person’s desire to exalt Him—the general understanding is correct. But the prophet or teacher or preacher or evangelist may not understand correctly the specifics, in this case, God’s timing for carrying out such a noble desire.
Secondly, we also have a responsibility as hearers of the Word to be discerning. What I mean by being discerning is that we should not be so quick to condemn because a preacher or teacher makes a mistake. He may be like Nathan, a true prophet of God who understands the will and purpose of God in general, but who may from time to time, be in error on specifics—for example, on how certain biblical precepts and types might apply in our day. I know of people who have condemned ministers as false prophets, antichrists and wolves for being incorrect in their understanding of certain doctrines. There is not one of us who is perfect in his understanding, so let us be very discerning before we relegate someone to the side of the antichrists and wolves.
After being corrected by God in the night, Nathan then conveyed the proper message to David the following morning, as given in 2 Samuel 7, verses 5 through 17. It turned out that, despite David’s desire to build a great temple for God, God made it plain that it was not time yet for such an edifice. In verses 8 through 10, Yahweh then reassures David that this refusal to allow the building did not mean He was disappointed with David. As part of that reassurance, a most marvelous and awesome prophecy is given in verse 10.
2 Samuel 7:10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,
This verse is scarcely noted by virtually all the standard commentaries. But for those of us who understand our Israelite identity, this is a well-known— even a classic verse. But there are always critics who want to spin this verse another way to deny the truth of our identity.
Let us deal with an objection head-on here at the beginning. It is a fact that there are at least two (I should say “only two”) Bible versions—out of the dozens of versions which I have on my shelves— which translate this in the past tense. For example, the Ferrar Fenton version gives this rendering:
“I have also provided a position for my people Israel and planted them, and they shall rest in it, and never fear, nor shall the sons of Evil again afflict as formerly.”
This is indeed strange coming from Fenton, who himself understood and believed the British-Israel message of identity. Fenton’s translation implies that with David’s accession to the throne, that Yahweh had now finished this action: that He had provided some real estate for them—namely, the land of Canaan; and that He had planted them permanently in that land, and from now on, they will rest in it; they will never fear, nor will the sons of Evil afflict them anymore.
The other version which translates it as past tense is, surprisingly, the Young’s Literal Translation. While Young’s is generally quite reliable, one must not assume that merely because it is a literal translation, that it therefore must be correct—that is not always the case. The fact is that almost all other versions translate this verse as future tense, including two other literal versions (Rotherham’s & Jay Green’s Interlinear Bible). Granted, there is some flexibility of verb tense when translating from the Hebrew language, but the context itself and a knowledge of Israel’s history over the next couple of centuries after David, shows why it must be future. Because, in verse 10 is the phrase “move no more.”
This prophecy was given to David in roughly the year 1000 B. C., and it was only a couple of hundred years later that practically all of Israel was forcibly moved out of the land; first, in the Assyrian Captivity, and later, in the Babylonian Captivity. So much for “moving no more.” It cannot be past tense since they did move again. Furthermore, the children of wickedness did afflict them severely many times over the next several hundred years from the time of David. It simply cannot be past tense as we have now demonstrated by the context.
This verse is clearly prophesying that the old land of Israel was not to be the final geographical location for the Israel people. Note that in verse 1, it tells us that David sat “in his house.” His house was located in Jerusalem, on Mt. Zion, of course. Therefore, David was physically located in the land of Israel when the prophecy was given. And since it is a statement of a future reality, it means that the “appointed place” from which Israel will move no more, had to be some place outside of the first Promised Land. Even some Jewish rabbis understand this. In fact, I heard on a television documentary a couple of years ago that many Jews have for many decades have referred to America as the second Promised Land. We, of course, believe that America is that prophesied “appointed place.”
Here is an instance, however, where we differ from our British-Israel brethren. From at least as far back as the 1700s, British-Israel writers believed that Great Britain was the appointed place. Incidentally, we are in the process of posting on our website (www.stonekingdom.org) many writings from some
very old British-Israel books which we have in our library. We do not necessarily agree with every point, but it gives us the opportunity to read some of their thinking on this matter.
We will concede that their interpretation of Britain as “the appointed place” did and still does make a great deal of sense. Were there no United States of America, it would be sufficient, in our view, to qualify as fulfilling the prophecy of 2 Samuel 7:10. Remnants of all the tribes did migrate to the British Isles. But, of course, we believe that the United States and Canada are a much clearer picture and greater manifestation of its fulfillment. We will give more reasons shortly.
Setting aside for the time being the question of where this verse is fulfilled, it is revealing to learn how the standard reference works and commentaries treat this verse. How do they handle such powerful verses like this which point to our Israelite identity? One commentator simply states that it should have been translated past tense and that it was fulfilled by David’s consolidation of the kingdom—a position which we have already seen is pure nonsense, simply by virtue of the phrase that they would “move no more.” However, most commentaries do not even deal with it at all. They simply glide right over verse 10 without ever addressing this very important and farreaching promise. So let us then proceed to give a few details on how we see it.
First of all, the original plot of real estate in old Canaanland would simply be too small for the multiplied millions of descendants that God promised the patriarchs. Old Canaanland is roughly the size of our state of New Jersey. Compared to most other states, New Jersey is quite densely populated. If you’ve ever been there and then compared it to say, Iowa or Alabama or Oregon, New Jersey is quite crowded.
I do not know what the current population of New Jersey is, but my 15-year-old almanac states that New Jersey has roughly seven and a half million people. It has been reasonably estimated that the ancient Israel and Judah kingdoms before the captivities, might have had upwards of 25 to 30 million people.
So imagine tripling or quadrupling the population density of New Jersey, and then remember that there were no huge metropolitan areas back then. It was an agrarian-based economy. So we can easily imagine how crowded it must have been. Remember, God was just beginning to multiply their descendants at that time, so it is patently obvious that the first Promised Land was simply insufficient to accommodate all the future Israelites.
Already by the time of Solomon, the tribe of Dan was complaining they were short of land, and so therefore many Danites began to migrate in ships into Europe. They left evidence of their migrations in the form of place names all over Europe. That was in keeping with another prophecy, by the way.
The Danites were trailblazers. The names they attached to places are still recognizable today. Many rivers contain the tribal name of Dan. Remember, in ancient Hebrew there were no written vowels, so we find the consonantal sound of the “d-n” in river names from the Dnieper to the Dniester, to the Don, to the Danube; and to other geographical names such as Denmark (i.e., Dan’s mark), Sweden, London, and Caledonia.
Some of the inhabitants of ancient Greece were known as the Danaoi. They were from the tribe of Dan. They were there long before Pericles, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The ancient settlers of Ireland were known as the Tuatha de Danaan, which means “the tribe of Dan.”
We carry a number of books which deal with the migrations of Israel: The Covenant People, Heirs of the Promise, Missing Links Discovered, Judah’s Scepter and Joseph’s Birthright, The Story of Celto-Saxon Israel, Israel’s Lost Empires, Parthia, The Stone Kingdom: America, and Israel’s Tribes Today. (See our catalog, order form, or website.) Additionally, there is an entire book written just on this subject of Dan’s migrations alone. It is called Dan: The Pioneer of Israel, also available from this ministry.
But given the enormous populations which were prophesied to comprise Israel, there would simply be no room for them all in old Canaanland. That fact brings us to another little lesson in the sovereignty of God. You see, God used evil to bring about His own good purpose.
Our Israelite forefathers from the time of Solomon down to about 600 B. C., grew worse and worse. They fell into idolatry and all manner of wickedness until God uprooted them from the land and only a relative handful ever returned—less than 50,000. And that was only for the purpose of providing the ancestors and community of relatives for the Messiah and his disciples. Then, by 68 A.D., they, too, left Judea and never returned. Most of them went into Europe, including some to the British Isles.
So over the centuries, from roughly 700 B.C., our forefathers migrated into Europe. Some went in other directions, but many came across the Caucasus mountains northward and from thence into Europe. Hence, we became known as the Caucasian people. Back when I was young, my driver’s license and practically all official government forms which had a box labeled “Race” used the term “Caucasian.” Now they simply use “white.” Isn’t that interesting?
We should note that Bible scholars state that Europe was settled by the descendants of Noah’s son, Japheth. We do not take issue with that, except to say that “now here’s the rest of the story.” And that is, that our Israelite forefathers, descendants of Noah’s son, Shem, migrated into Europe and mingled and intermarried with the Japhethites. This, too, was in keeping with prophecy. Here are just two of numerous references that speak of God scattering or sowing Israel among the other peoples of the earth.
Hosea 2: 23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
Zechariah 10:9 And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again.
Those far countries included Europe and the British Isles and certainly America. America is indeed a melting pot in the sense that large contingents of all 12 tribes (or 13 tribes, depending on how you count them)—large numbers of all the tribes have ultimately migrated and settled here since 1609.
Some historians and Bible scholars who show to some degree how the tribes maintained somewhat of a separation from each other as they settled in Europe…for example, Ephraim and/or Manasseh in Britain, Dan in Denmark, Benjamin in Iceland, Judah in Germany and Scotland, Issachar in Finland, etc. But this is much less so in America. The Germans have spread all over the nation. Likewise with the Scots, the Irish, the English, the French, the Dutch, and so on. And no, not all the Swedes and Finns ended up in Minnesota. They initially settled there, but surely by the end of the 20th century, many of them also were migrating elsewhere in the states and intermarrying with non-Swedes and non-Finns. So we are indeed a melting pot in that the tribes of Israel have greatly blended together here in America.
At this point, we still need to answer several questions concerning the fulfillment of 2 Samuel 7:10. First, let’s compare the parallel verse in…
1 Chronicles 17:9 Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning,
Well, the “move no more” phrase here becomes “shall be moved no more.” But, whether it is in the active or passive voice, I would contend that with our peoples’ settlement in the New World, that this portion of the prophecy is fulfilled. The tribes moved from old Canaanland, they moved out of captivity in Assyria into and across Europe and into the British Isles. But while many remained, many also moved from Europe to North America, Australia and South Africa.
In my view, God seems to be driving the Israelites out of South Africa and the former Rhodesia. And while Australia and New Zealand are marvelous countries, in my opinion, there are a number of reasons why they do not fit as “the appointed place,” except in the sense that Britain does, since they are part of the British Commonwealth. So with all the tribes having been regathered here in North America, and with virtually all the major pieces of real estate on the planet having been claimed and inhabited, there is no place left to move, except off-world, and I do not think that was the intent of the prophecy.
(To be continued.)