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Who are modern Ephraim and Manasseh?, part 3

Aug 5, 2013

As we continue our studies of Who are modern Ephraim and Manasseh, I will now provide the first half of my FMS #174, July 2013 issue, interspersed with comments I wrote today.

In our study of the life of Joseph, we saw how the dying patriarch Jacob-Israel adopted Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, as his first-born in place of Reuben and Simeon. In placing his hands on the head of the two grown sons of Joseph, the blind Jacob deliberately crossed his hands to place the greater blessing on the head of the younger son, Ephraim.

Joseph tried to explain to his father that since Manasseh was the elder, he should get the blessing from Jacob’s right hand. But Jacob assured Joseph that he knew what he was doing, and that indeed, the descendants of Ephraim would become the pre-eminent tribe. We discussed how that has been fulfilled in these latter days, and I gave my own opinion of who is Ephraim and who is Manasseh today.

I have been pleased with the feedback regarding my contention that the old British-Israel writers (“old” referring to those writing about a century ago) had it wrong in their identification of Britain as Ephraim and the USA as Manasseh. I contend the opposite is the case. There were a number of readers who expressed sentiments of agreement, and some offering comments such as “I thought I was the only one who saw that; glad to see you taking on the issue!”

I have had no one respond to try to rebut even the few pieces of evidence presented in the last issue. I take that back. Since I wrote the July issue in late June, I have had one response on the “nay” side. And yet the writer did not categorically say I was wrong, but stated that “many of the arguments can be used either way.”

Exactly! Which is why it was possible for the old BI writers a century ago to make a compelling case for Great Britain being Ephraim, and why I feel it is worthwhile to share another perspective which many of our contemporaries have not seen or considered. Not that this issue of who is modern Ephraim and Manasseh rises to the level of THE greatest importance; it does not. Nor do I wish it to become an issue which divides brethren. Lord knows, we have enough doctrinally divisive issues. As the letter-writer above stressed: “I believe it is far more important for His people to know WHO is Israel.” I concur.

I shall now make a few other points suggestive of Ephraim is the USA. Incidentally, this is not in any way meant to be providing the exhaustive case. There is much, much more that I could bring forth but I simply do not wish to spend that much time on it. After all, I still have much from Ron Oja which he has graciously permitted me to share with you.

Back to the July FMS: Someone might point to the flag of Great Britain, the Union Jack, as it is called, as being suggestive of Britain as Ephraim. Many of my readers are familiar with the idea common in British-Israel circles that when Jacob crossed his hands in blessing the sons of Joseph, that that crossing was signified by the X-type cross in the Union Jack.

However, may I point out that both boys were under the crossed hands. Therefore, it could apply equally to either Manasseh or Ephraim. So just because the British flag has the symbol of the cross or crossed hands does not make Great Britain Ephraim. It could just as easily be applied to Britain as Manasseh.

Stone Kingdom Ministries holds a monthly fellowship-teaching meeting near Atlanta. And, as all my dear brothers and sisters there were sure to remind me, the flag of the nation-state of Georgia (until 2003) also had the symbol of Jacob’s crossed arms in it. But because it was based on the Confederate battle flag, political pressure forced the change and the X-type cross is no longer part of the flag for the state of Georgia. The current state flags of Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, however, still have the X-type cross. Historically, the X cross is known as the cross of St. Andrew.

The point is also made in many British-Israel writings that the term “Union Jack” means the Union of Jacob, thus signifying the gathering of the Israelite tribes in Great Britain. There is truth in that, but again I believe the greater fulfillment is in the “United Nations” of America. Perhaps you might be interested in the origin of the term “Union Jack.” From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

“The national flag of the British empire is the Union Jack, in which are combined in union the crosses of St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick. …”

The article then goes on to describe them in particular, and point out that the flag of St. Andrew was the national banner of Scotland and that of St. George was the national banner of England. With the accession of James I, the king of KJV Bible fame, the two nations were united. Then the article continues…

“On the union of the two crowns James I issued a proclamation” decreeing the new flag be displayed.

“This was the first Union Jack, as it is generally termed, though strictly the name of the flag is the “Great Union,” and it is only a “Jack” when flown on the jackstaff of a ship of war. Probably the name of the Stuart King ‘Jacques,’ which James I always signed, gave the name to the flag, and then to the staff at which it was hoisted.”

I do not deny that God hides the little secrets for us to discover when we learn who we are—such as that the Union Jack secretly refers to the Union of the tribes of Jacob, the Encyclopedia article notwithstanding. Israelite tribes were united in Great Britain. However, as I said, I believe the greatest fulfillment is in the company of nations called the United States of America.

Our Ephraim-is-Great-Britain-writer pointed out that not all the united states are called “states,” that at least a handful (Massachusetts, Kentucky and Virginia among them) are technically called a “commonwealth.” Point taken, but how does that change anything in my contention?

Now back to the idea from the previous issue concerning all of the 13s in our heraldry. It does not signify that we are Manasseh, since he was the number 2 tribe. But when Jacob adopted the boys, it did make 13 tribes in Israel. Thus, the number 13 is indicative of all 13 tribes, not merely the 13th!

You see, England or Great Britain is both Manasseh and the Union of Jacob in the sense that it was a gathering place for many of the tribes. Just so, but on a greater scale, the United States of America is both Ephraim and the regathering place of all 13 tribes in its greatest fulfillment. This continent, which would include Canada, is the greater fulfillment of the “appointed place” prophesied in 2 Samuel 7:10. Canada, being part of the British Commonwealth, is therefore part of Manasseh. We are full brothers, sons of the same mother, through Asenath and Rachel. Interestingly enough, when one compares the population ratios of Ephraim to Manasseh in the OT, it seemed to be about 10 to 1. That approximate ratio still holds between the USA and Canada.

A thousand years before the Savior appeared in Bethlehem, Nathan the prophet came to King David in old Jerusalem and gave this prophecy for all Israel… All Israel because this was before the kingdom split. God said:

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 anymore, as beforetime,…

and “move no more;” Well, certainly, our Israelites did move in great numbers from England to America. So obviously, Britain could not be the final fulfillment of this prophecy. And not to overlook the last part, “neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them anymore, as beforetime,”

Well, it seems to me that the children of wickedness are still afflicting both Britain and America and all the Israel nations, so that fact does not offer an advantage to interpreting the verse to the favor either Britain or America over the other.

So as it stands, while there was a partial fulfillment of the regathering in Britain, certainly America has become the regathering of Israel in its greatest numbers. At the same time that we are all 13 tribes regathered, the USA and Canada are also “Joseph’s land.” Just as Joseph provided food for “the whole world,” so have we been the breadbasket of the world for a century now.

As in the days of Joseph, the land where Joseph dwelt became the habitation of all the tribes of Israel. Except this time, we are in the land of regathered Israel; we are in Zion, not the land of Egypt. And yet we are in Egypt also, metaphorically, symbolically, because we are in a bondage of sorts. Many of them. We are in “Assyrian” Captivity. We are in the “Mystery Babylonian” captivity. We are in “Midianite” Captivity. We are in captivity to “the children of the east.” And we are in the symbolic Egyptian captivity, all at the same time. Because God speaks of our deliverance at this end of the age as coming about the following manner.

Isaiah 10:24 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.

25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.

26 And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.

27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

One might think that the word anointing there would be the Hebrew word for Messiah, but it is not. It is H8081 shemen {sheh’-men} which simply means oil. (The Holy Spirit? or perhaps it means more than that.) In any event, that concludes all that I presented on who are modern Ephraim and Manasseh. (To be continued with Ron’s observations.)

Category: Teaching