By Jim Jester
Complete series available in book format: Will the Real Israel Please Stand Up?
Mat 10:5-6: These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
We can see in this statement of Jesus that he had a message for Israel only. For many today his statement about excluding certain people might sound “racist.” But I am not using that term and the meaning (hate) applied to it. I will repeat, the Bible is a racial book and teaches racial separation. Jesus referred to Israel as “lost sheep.” Israel, like sheep, had a tendency to wander away from God’s Laws as is documented in the books of Kings and Chronicles. Also like sheep, they were lost and didn’t know it. They had, for the most part, forgotten who they were as a race and that they were of Adam, God’s special creation; and of Abraham whom God was in covenant with. Is this not true of many Americans today? They have no clue [unless they have read something like this series] that they are Israelites (sheep) and that their God demands obedience (to His Laws) and separation (from other races and sin), or His judgment will fall upon their Nation. This is the lesson that should be learned from studying Israel’s history.
It is partly understandable that Israel (a people not a country) would forget who they were after migrating over the centuries into various parts of the Earth. Also, that many Israelite children grew up in a religion of some false god rather than the God of Israel. After Solomon, Jeroboam forced calf worship on them and abolished the Holy days in favor of new celebrations (See 1 Kings 12:25-33). They also served Baal, Moloch, Astarte and other sun gods over the centuries, and even today, what’s known as Christendom is still steeped in sun worship whether they realize it or not. This is also true of America today; we do not know who we are as a race because we are taught there is no such thing as “race” and that it does not matter who you are.
A great deception is that when Christians read their Bibles, and come to the word “Israel” they think it is talking about a country in the Middle East! Then they figure violating God’s Law doesn’t apply to them today because that was for ancient Israel.
Another deception is that they see the word “nation” in the Bible and think it means the same as it is used today (some political entity). That is not how the Bible uses it. In most cases “nation” refers to a people of the same family, tribe, or race. Once again, we must think Biblically when reading the scriptures to properly understand it.
All the Israelites (both north and south) had come to resent the labors and taxes because of Solomon’s “public works” projects. Rehoboam said he would be even “tougher” than Solomon (1 Kings 12:1-21). This was foolish, and all of Israel’s tribes, led by his rival Jeroboam, had offered their loyalty if only he would lighten up the load. Having had their conditional offer rejected by Rehoboam, all the tribes except Judah (Rehoboam’s own) and Benjamin rejected Rehoboam and made Jeroboam their king. This left both sides feeling at odds against the other. The Bible records constant fighting between Israel and Judah during the reign of these two kings (1 Kings 14:30). This greatly weakened the Israelite Empire which had developed under Kings David and Solomon. Stephen Collins in his book, The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel Found, (p. 104):
Although the Israelites outnumbered the Jews [or Judahites] approximately two to one; God gave the victory to the Jews. (II Chronicles 13 shows the Jews were again serving God faithfully.) The deaths in this single conflict numbered almost one-half of the 1.2 million combatants! Israel alone suffered 500,000 battle deaths (II Chronicles 13:17), and we are not told the amount of Jewish casualties. The hatred between Israel and Judah must have been immense to cause such unimaginable bloodletting! …This brutal war (occurring approx. 913 B.C.) …had vast international repercussions. II Chronicles 13:20 tersely states concerning the aftermath of this horrendous loss of life: “neither did Jeroboam recover strength again…” With Israel’s military being greatly depleted as a result of this battle, it could no longer control or defend its empire. …Many nations which had been dominated by Israel now became independent by default.
Power struggles went on for almost two centuries between the world powers of that day, until Israel, as a nation, no longer existed. 2 Chronicles 15:5-6 says of that time: “And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries.” This is very similar to the words of Jesus speaking prophetically about another age in Matthew 24:6-7, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars…. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom….”
The migrations of Israel and Judah didn’t just happen because of the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions, or their own internal problems. Certainly many had been migrating elsewhere to avoid the increasing attacks, but also the vast population of that tiny land had been settling into “Phoenician” (as the Greeks called them) colonies all over the world. Many Israelites were relocated to the colony of Carthage in northern Africa because of the drought caused by the prayer of Elijah as God’s response to the wicked King Ahab and Jezebel (a Phoenician princess) for establishing Baal worship. During this time period (mid 9th century B.C.) with the water sources gone and vegetation scarce, starvation gripped both Israel and the Phoenician city-states (see 1 Kings 17:7-12; James 5:17). By the time of the fall of Samaria (Israel’s capitol), approximately 721 B.C., most of the Israelites had already moved out of the land voluntarily! Look at it this way; if you knew another invasion was coming and you would become a captive or a corpse, wouldn’t you relocate? Neither the Bible nor Assyrian records state that the remainder of Israel was taken captive. 2 Kings 17:5 states that the Assyrians went “throughout all the land” but only found resistance (and captives) in the city of Samaria. Our researcher, Collins says in his book (ibid p. 120):
The cuneiform records of the Assyrians claim only 27,290 captives in this final campaign, all of whom came from Samaria. The Assyrians claimed no captives other than the residents of Samaria. Since the Assyrian kings were not at all modest in their victory statements, we can be sure that they would not have failed to record additional Israelite captives if there had been any! …The obvious question is: What happened to the rest of the inhabitants of the kingdom of Israel? Where did they go?
Most likely they went to some of the colonies around the Mediterranean area. Many Judahites had also been taken from Judah by 700 B.C. as Assyrian captives. Judah (and its capitol city of Jerusalem) survived until approximately 586 B.C., when the Babylonians took the remainder of the population into the Asian captivity.
Since Israel was generally a food exporter (see Ezekiel 27:17) the drought of Elijah must have caused quite a hardship upon the nation. Much of the population faced a brutal choice: either stay and die, or go somewhere else and live. We know that some wanted nothing to do with Baal worship and moved to Judah where King Jehoshaphat ruled by the Law of God. Researcher Stephen Collins in his book (ibid p.113) adds this concerning the drought:
The fact that little Judah could support a population that included military reserves of over one million men provides ample evidence that the drought did not affect Judah! This was a stark contrast between the two Hebrew nations, and daily proof of God’s role in the drought. He gave rain to Judah (which obeyed God) while he denied rain to Israel (with its Baal worship), even though Israel and Judah directly bordered each other.
Collins also brings to our attention that Israel under King Ahab still had some political “clout” in the world. After Elijah came out of hiding (1 Kings 18:10), one of the aides to the king said:
“By the life of the Lord your God, there is not a nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent in search of you; and when they said, He is not here; he made them take an oath that they had not seen you.”
Since it would have been very easy for Elijah to catch a ride on one of the many commercial trade routes either by land or sea, King Ahab searched all the Israelite/Phoenician colonies in Africa, Europe, and North America. But the elusive prophet hid in a place Ahab least expected: a suburb of Jezebel’s home town, Sidon, the very heart of the pagan religion that was destroying Israel (1 Kings 17:9).
Collins reasons (ibid p. 114):
Since we have seen evidence of ancient Hebrews, Phoenicians and Egyptians in widespread areas of North America, an assumption that Elijah had fled to a completely different continent would have been understandable. Since the navies of Israel, Tyre and Sidon sailed throughout the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, and since the ancient Egyptians sailed into the Indian and Pacific Oceans, a statement that king Ahab (who was one of the co-rulers of the alliance that commanded these navies) searched “in all nations of the earth” for Elijah can not be dismissed as an exaggeration. … If he had been an impotent little potentate, he would have been ignored. While Israel’s homeland could only support a “skeleton crew” during the drought, the remainder of its population (much of it still loyal to Ahab and Baal-worship) could easily have relocated to Israel’s colonies. While those Israelites who served God sought refuge in the Jewish kingdom of Judah, those Israelites “who served Baal” likely sought refuge from the drought in Israel’s far-flung “Phoenician” colonies where Baal was worshipped. Undoubtedly, some of Israel’s refugees found new homes in Israel’s colonies in Spain, Briton, Ireland, and even North America. Since most Israelites had abandoned their distinctly Hebrew religious practices, they would have been indistinguishable from the “Phoenician” colonies in their new lands. With the culture, religion and even dialect of Tyre and Sidon, migrating Israelites would have quickly lost their Israelite identity, and would be known to us today simply as “Phoenicians,” “Iberians,” “Celts,” “Celtiberians,” etc.
Israel needed to build a new and closer colony for its large starving population, yet it had to be far enough to avoid the drought. The location on the African coast with a harbor proved to be an excellent choice. It was given the Hebrew name Kirjath-Hadeschath which means “New City” (Kirjath is a Hebrew word for city). The Greeks called it “Karchedon” and the Romans called it “Carthage.”
Carthage became independently strong soon after the fall of Israel’s capitol, Samaria. Herodotus, a Greek historian (5th c. B.C.) confirmed that Carthage attained by 650 B.C. a “rich and powerful…adult status.” At first the Greeks were their enemy but as Rome increased in power it became their greatest rival. In a treaty dated 348 B.C., Carthage forbade the Romans to even trade with certain Western Mediterranean areas. Their arrogance, even with their business partners, eventually became a factor in their undoing.
Carthage could blockade the Pillars of Hercules with its navy so the Greeks or the Romans could not pass into the Atlantic Ocean. When one Greek mariner named Pytheas did get through around 300 B.C. due to impending military action elsewhere, it was an extraordinary event. Pytheas visited the coastlands of western and northern Europe, previously unexplored by the Greeks. He marveled that the constellations changed in the sky as he traveled north, giving evidence to the Greeks that the world was a sphere. Dr. Barry Fell noted, “Never before had any [Greek] navigator been able to sail so far north; Carthaginian commercial interests would not permit it.”
The Greeks and Romans were limited to areas within marching distance until Carthage waned in power and therefore had a limited world view. This has huge implications for us today as we learn history. Collins expresses it well (ibid p. 148):
Our modern versions of ancient history are taught almost exclusively from a Greco-Roman perspective. Therefore, we are taught to assume that no one in the ancient world could know anything until someone in the Greco-Roman world learned about it for the first time. …Carthage (and Israel/Phoenicia) knew vastly more about the geography of the spherical earth than the ancient Greeks and Romans ever knew! Israel/Phoenicia and Carthage discovered, explored, colonized and exploited the New World long before Greek or Roman eyes ever saw territory beyond the Mediterranean Sea!
So if the Carthaginians were getting rich off of the trade and exploitation on a global scale, it is no wonder they wanted to keep the Greeks and Romans ignorant of what was out there. Perhaps this is why there were tales of “falling off the end of the world” or “sea monsters out there.” If Carthage had defeated Rome (and they almost did) the later European nations would have never inherited the idea that the world was flat.
Frederick Pohl, in his book, “Atlantic Crossings before Columbus” (p. 20), gives a Greek account of a land beyond Gibraltar which can only be ancient America. It is from the writings of Aristotle:
In the sea outside the Pillars of Hercules they say that an island was found by the Carthaginians, a wilderness having wood of all kinds and navigable rivers, remarkable for various kinds of fruits, and many days’ sailing distance away. When the Carthaginians, who were masters of the Western Ocean, observed that many traders and other men, attracted by the fertility of the soil and the pleasant climate, frequented it because of its richness, and some resided there, they feared that knowledge of the land would reach other nations, and a great concourse to it of men from various lands of the earth would follow. Therefore, lest the Carthaginian Empire itself should suffer injury, and the dominion of the sea be wrested from their hand, the Senate of Carthage issued a decree that no one, under penalty of death, should thereafter sail thither, and they massacred all who resided there.
Carthage had no sovereignty of its own since it was in the shadow of the mother country, Israel. That changed after Israel’s fall and it began to develop its own identity in world affairs. Carthage was famous for its wealth. In Dr. Barry Fell’s book, Saga America (pp. 55-59, 65-67, 84), he documents the finding of Carthaginian coins, artifacts and inscriptions in the states of Alabama, Connecticut, New York, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Nevada. He also postulates that Carthage’s gold and much of the timber for its large naval ships came from North and South America (Ibid, pp. 77, 85-87). Nigel Davies, in his book, Voyagers to the New World, cites an account by the Greek historian Herodotus that the Carthaginians mounted an expedition of 30,000 men and women in 60 ships in 500-480 B.C., and sent them westward into the Atlantic toward an unknown destination. Mr. Davies observed that this “resembles a migration more than a mere expedition” (Ibid, p. 151).
At first the culture of Carthage honored “El” a common name for the God of Israel and had strong family values. But just as its mother country, it too began to degenerate into Baalism and child sacrifice. Once again we see a pattern here. When a nation follows the Laws of God it prospers. When it forsakes the Law, it falls.
Internal corruption and the Punic Wars finally brought down the city of Carthage and its surrounding empire. But what happened to its population? Just as the Israelites had fled from the Assyrian conflicts, so the Carthaginians had fled to other parts of its empire. According to the above account of 60 ships filled with families headed west, they must have had a place to go which was appropriate for refugees. There is an ancient stone inscription in Massachusetts which claims North America for Carthage in the middle of the first millennium B.C. by Hanno, a Punic ruler (America B.C. by Fell pp. 95, 160). I have already mentioned in the first part of this series that Israel/Phoenicia had established the Adena culture in the Ohio valley. There is evidence that the Adena colony received a large influx of new immigrants known as the Hopewell People in 300-200 B.C. (Lenhart, “The Adena Tablets,” Epigraphic Society Occasional Publications, Vol. 13, 1985, pp. 206-208). This coincides with the First and Second Punic Wars (264-241 B.C. and 218-201 B.C.) between Carthage and Rome. It also follows the time that Carthaginian coins and tablets with Punic inscriptions (nearly identical to Hebrew; especially the consonants) were infused into North America. So it seems logical and feasible that a part of Carthage’s population came to America. The destruction of Carthage came at the end of the Third Punic War in 146 B.C.
We do not know for sure what happened to the ancient American Punic civilization known as the Hopewell Civilization. It could have been a venereal disease brought on by Baal-worship and the related promiscuity. There may also have been slave revolts that killed off the ruling class. Dr. Fell noted that an artifact found in Ohio depicts a Nubian head indicating that Hopewell culture was multi-racial. “Hope” in our culture? Where have we heard of that before? [I digress] It is also known that Carthage’s army included many mercenaries of other races. So it is possible that the Punic colonists gradually lost their distinctive identity via intermarriage with other native inhabitants. Do I see a repeat of history in America? At any rate, the Hopewell people disappeared about 500 A.D.
In the opening scripture (on p. 1), Jesus Christ said to his disciples to go to the lost sheep, Israel. He said do not go to anyone else, and He gave an example of one people (the Samaritans) not to go to. Are there any churches in America who follow this procedure of our Lord? Not many, for most of them go to anybody and everybody if they can. Matthew 18:11 says, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” Did you notice it says “that which was lost” not those who are lost? If Jesus was not talking about people who were lost, then what was He talking about? He was talking about the kingdom that was lost. That kingdom is Israel! Four times in this chapter alone the Kingdom of Heaven is mentioned. America has hundreds of denominations, thousands of churches, and millions of people who attend those churches, yet America is lost and continues on a downward spiral. Of the millions of people who attend church every week, you could ask any of them if they are a part of the “lost sheep of Israel” and you would get a blank stare. They don’t even know who they are; neither do they know they are lost. If they ever discover who they are (as re-gathered Israel) perhaps they would realize that they are responsible for keeping their God’s Laws in their Nation, or else. That is the only way to reverse the broad way to destruction. History has proven this over and over again.