Wrested Scriptures

British Israelism

British Israel
  Genesis 35:11
  Ezra 1:5; 2:1
  Jeremiah 33:17
  Jeremiah 43:5-7
of Christ


Carbon Dating

& Inaccuracies

Genesis 35:11
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"And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;"
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On the basis of this passage Armstrong argues as follows: "The Jews have never been more than one nation. They are not, and never have been many nations . . . This promise has never been fulfilled in the Jews. So the 'many nations' are eventually to take shape as a nation - one great, wealthy, powerful nation;1 and another company of nations - a group, or commonwealth of nations allied." 2
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  1. Armstrong's argument sounds plausible but it is circular. A Jew is first defined by him to be a member of the tribe of Judah.3 He then concludes that the Jews have never been more than one nation. Of course if Jews are defined to be members of one tribe they will not be more than one nation. The argument assumes what must first be proven, i.e., that the word "Jew" is used exclusively of one nation in Scripture.
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  2. The following passages indicate that the word "Jew" is not used exclusively in Scripture for members of the tribe of Judah:
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    1. "Brethren the Jews" (Neh. 5:1,8,17) is synonymous with "all Israel, dwelt in their cities". (Neh. 7:73).
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    2. "I am a man which am a Jew" (Acts 21:39; 22:3) said Paul. But he also said, "I am an Israelite". (Rom. 11:1).
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    3. The "all Israel" of 1 Chron. 9:1 includes "Judah" and "Benjamin". (1 Chron. 9:3).
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    4. "And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem." (1 Kings 2:11). David's kingship over Judah in Hebron is counted as part of his reign as king of Israel.
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    5. Nehemiah, a cupbearer to a Persian king (Neh. 2:1) asked one of his brothers "concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem." (Neh. 1:2). But when Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, the enemies of the rebuilding "grieved . . . exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel." (Neh. 2:10).
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    6. Shalmaneser, king of Assyria "took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes." (2 Kings 17:6). But when Ahasuerus sent his decree to the 127 provinces of his dominion, it was sent to Jews: "Write ye also for the Jews . . . and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews . . . unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language." (Esther 8:8,9).4 The decree was not addressed to Jews in Babylon and Israelites in Media which one would have expected if British-Israel theory were true.
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  3. Genesis 35:11 provides no proof that the "company of nations" refers to the Anglo-Saxon peoples. Armstrong's case rests merely on assertion, but to assert, is not to prove. Any points of alleged identification must rest therefore, on other evidence which can be considered separately.
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  4. The land promised to Jacob was the same land promised to Abraham and Isaac (Gen. 35:12). This was "the land of Canaan" (Gen. 17:8) in which Abraham as a sojourner was invited to see (Gen. 13:14,15), but not to ultimately possess. (Heb. 11:8-16; Acts 7:5). It is not the land of Great Britain, U.S.A. and other Commonwealth countries.
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  5. The blessing upon Jacob cannot be understood to refer merely to the literal descendants - the twelve tribes, since the Apostle Paul's exposition in Rom. 4:16,17 requires an applications of the "nations" to those who share the faith of Abraham: "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) . . . " (Romans 4:16-17). The father of many nations refers to "us all" (Jew and Gentile alike) on the basis of faith, not pedigree. Faith, not Anglo-Saxon origin constitutes one a member of the "many nations".

  6. Armstrong argues against the spiritual import of the passage on the following grounds: "It could not pertain to the Church, for there is but one true Church acknowledged in the Bible, and it is not a nation, or a group of nations, but a collection of called-out individuals scattered thru all nations."5 Armstrong is right in saying that there is only one true Church acknowledged in the Bible, but he is wrong in saying that it is not a nation. Peter wrote to the "strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia." (1 Peter 1:1). Although they were literally scattered in all these areas, Peter addressed them as "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation."6 (1 Pet. 2:9). Similarly "nation" is used in the sense of a "multitude; people living under common institutions"7 in the following two passages:
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    1. " . . . I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you." (Romans 10:19). What geographical area, or racial characteristics can be ascribed to this nation?
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    2. "Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." (Matthew 21:43). To what pedigree was Jesus referring by his reference to the "other nation?" What was its geographical location?

    Believers are nations (people living under common institutions) and collectively they form the one Ecclesia (body of called-out ones).

  7. Armstrong's conclusion that "'the many nations' are eventually to take shape as a nation - one great, wealthy, powerful nation" is neither stated not implied in either the verse or the context.

  8. The children of Jacob (Israel) grew into "a nation, and a company of nations", that is, a nation which was a company of nations, a nation divinely organized in twelve sub-nationalities or tribes, having each a princely head, in subjection to the authority of God.

  9. The Hebrew word that is translated "and" in Gen. 35:11 is the particle wav.  If one translates wav in an expletive instead of a conjunctive sense, the result would be "a nation, even a company of nations."  Some Hebrew scholars have adopted such a translation.   That this rendering of wav as even is admissible is shown by its adoption in other instances in the Hebrew scriptures:

    1 Samuel 28:3 - Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even (wav) in his own city.

    Malachi 3:1 - Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even (wav) the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

    Doubtless the particle wav is most commonly used in a conjunctive sense, but these illustrations above show that an expletive sense must be allowed where the sense requires it.  Otherwise we should make Israel bury Samuel in two places at once, i.e., "in Ramah and in his own city".  In the case of "a nation and a company of nations", it is a question of what the facts are.  We must not subordinate the facts to an assumed sense of a variable Hebrew particle: the facts must determine the sense.  The facts are obvious.  Jacob became a nation, even a company of nations.


  1. By "one great wealthy nation" he means the U.S.A., and by "commonwealth" he refers to Gr. Britain and the British Commonwealth. Return

  2. Herbert W. Armstrong, The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy, (Pasadena: Ambassador College, 1954), pp. 2,3. Booklet. Return

  3. In the same booklet, Armstrong defines a Jew as follows: "The term 'Jew' is merely a nickname for 'Judah'. It applies to the one nation, or House of Judah only - never to the house of Israel." p. 7. Return

  4. Peter on the Day of Pentecost addressed "Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven". (Acts 2:5). Some of these Jews came from Media and Persia (Acts 2:9) and were no doubt descendants of the northern kingdom - Israelites. (Cf. 2 Kings 17:6). Return

  5. Herbert W. Armstrong, The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy, (Pasadena: Ambassador College, 1954), p. 3. Return

  6. "Ethnos", the Greek word translated "nation" in this passage is the same Greek word used in the Septuagint translation on Gen. 17:5, 35:11 and Paul's citation in Rom. 4:17. Return

  7. "Goi" the Hebrew word translated "nation" means "a corporate body". It is translated "Gentile" 30 times, "heathen" 142 times, and "nation" 373 times. Robert Young, Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible, (London: Lutterworth Press, 1965 ed.). The Greek equivalent used by the Apostle Paul is "ethnos" which means "a multitude; people, living under common institutions." E. W. Bullinger, A Critical Lexicon and Concordance, (London: Bagster and Sons Lt., 1957 ed.). Return