If you’re still contemplating the conclusion of our last post, “Israel – Guess Who?”, then this follow-up is sure to make things more interesting.
We are now going to address a few other issues, namely the disposition, location, and condition of the nation of Ephraim/Israel especially in the “Last Days.”
Let us first take a look at the general disposition of the nation of Israel.
Furthermore Yahweh said to me, ‘I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stubborn people. (Deuteronomy 9:13)
You have been rebellious against Yahweh from the day that I knew you. (Deuteronomy 9:24)
For I know that after my (Moses’) death you will surely act corruptly, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and in the LATTER DAYS evil will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of Yahweh, provoking him to anger through the work of your hands. (Deuteronomy 31:29)
Ephraim is joined to idols. (Hosea 4:17)
Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim (Isaiah 28:1)
He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loves to oppress (commercially). (Hosea 12:7)
By now we should have enough to get a fairly good idea of the overall character of the nation of Israel.
Another important aspect to consider is the issue of where Ephraim/Israel might have gone to.
Ephraim is a companion of the wind and pursues the east wind; all the day he multiplies lies and ruin. (Hosea 12:1)
The east wind comes out of the east but blows towards the west. The prophecy of Ephraim pursuing the east wind, accordingly, means that during the last days this particular tribe would migrate to the west, chasing the wind.
Because the Israelites would spread in all directions, some of them would also be located in the east, some in the north, and still others in the south. But Ephraim and those joined with him would take up residency in a land located west of the land of Kanaan, the land from which the prophecy given in Hosea was spoken.
From the book of Isaiah:
Be quiet before me coastlands and the power belonging to the peoples shall be renewed. (Isaiah 41:1)
And you Israel, are my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend who I have made strong from the ENDS OF THE EARTH and (I) have called you from its (the earth’s) sides. (Isaiah 41:8-9)
When Yahweh makes the Israelites strong, accordingly, they are to be located at the “ends” and “sides” of the earth as referenced from the land of Kanaan. Similarly, in chapter 24, a prophecy is given regarding the various locations of these tribes:
They lift up their voice; they sing for the majesty of Yahweh; they cry aloud from ha-yam (the sea;the west). Therefore, glorify Yahweh in the be-arim (in the region of lights), in the COASTLANDS of the sea, the name of Yahweh eloahi of Israel. We have heard songs from the ends of the earth, honor to the justified. (Isaiah 24:14-16)
The Hebrew be-arim refers to a region of light and can either refer to the region in the east at sunrise or the region “in the west” at sunset. The use of the term ha-yam, which means both “the sea” and “the west,” further confirms that the house of Israel would move westward into the sea to settle in a distant land far off on the western horizon.
Rotherham translates the first part of this verse to read:
They shall lift up their voice—shall raise a tremulous note,—On account of the splendour of Yahweh have they made a shrill cry, on the WEST; For this cause, In the Regions of Light give ye glory to Yahweh.
Also, in the book of Ezekiel the Hebrew term ha-yam is translated as west:
Now the building that was before the separate place at the end toward the ha-yam (west) was seventy cubits broad. (Ezekiel 41:12)
In Jeremiah the peoples of the nations in general are distinguished from those of the far away coastlands (i.e., the Israelites) and both groups are told that the Israelites would be scattered (exiled) among the nations before Yahweh would return them to the Promised Land in Kanaan.
Nations, hear the word of Yahweh and declare in the COASTLANDS from far away. And say, “He who scatters Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.” (Jeremiah 31:10)
The same theme is also found in two other passages from Isaiah:
Listen to me, my people and my nation, give an ear to me, because a Torah shall go forth from me and my justice I will make rest for a light of the peoples. Near is my righteousness, my salvation goes out and my arms shall judge peoples. Upon me will the COASTLANDS wait and they will hope towards my arm. (Isaiah 51:4-5)
Hear me COASTLANDS, prick up the ear belonging to peoples from afar. Yahweh has called me from the womb, from my mother’s belly he remembered my name. And he made my mouth like a sharp sword. He hid me in the shadow of his hand and he made me a polished arrow. In his quiver he hid me. And he said to me, you are my servant, Israel, who in you I shall be glorified. (Isaiah 49:1-3)
Next, Balaam’s prophecy of future Israel states:
I see him from the top of the rocks, from the heights I behold him. Behold, IT IS A PEOPLE WHO SHALL DWELL ALONE and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob and the number of the fourth part of Israel? (Numbers 23:9-10)
Moses also blesses Israel. He writes the following about Israel just before those of Israel are saved by Yahweh:
And he (Yahweh) will drive out the enemy from before you, and shall say, Destroy. AND ISRAEL WILL DWELL ALONE IN SAFETY; the fountain of Jacob in a land of grain and new wine; and his heavens shall drop down dew. Blessed are you Israel. Who is like you? A people that will be saved by Yahweh. (Deuteronomy 33:27-29)
The statements that vast numbers of Israel shall “dwell alone” during a period of blessing indicates that the Ephraimite nations, who shall be located in regions with extensive coasts, shall be set off from the other nations of the world. This isolation would be a product of the fact that most of the Israelites would have oceans and seas between them and the rest of the world’s major populations.
Therefore, at the time of blessing you will not find the nation of Israel dwelling in the midst of other nations. It will be in far off regions, across the oceans and seas, and at the remote edges of other countries.
The ethnic composition of Ephraim during the unconditional blessing period is not just Ephraimite. Although Ephraim is himself to be a “gathering of nations (Gen. 35:9-12, 48:17-20),” his single government is specifically stated to consist of “all the house of Israel, his companions” and the “tribes of Israel, his companions (Ezek. 37:16, 19, 22).”
Accordingly, Ephraim will have a large number of family members coming from the other tribes of Israel mixed in among his “gathering” of Ephraimite nations. Nevertheless, the tribes of Ephraim will be much larger in numbers than all of the other Israelite tribes.
In Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh, for example, he states they will “increase into a multitude like fishes in the sea (Gen. 48:16).” Further, Ephraim’s power and numbers will be ten times that of his brother Manasseh, who was also blessed:
As the firstborn bull is his glory, and the horns of the wild ox are his horns; with them he will butt peoples together to the ends of the earth. And they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. (Deuteronomy 33:17)
At the same time, just as the Israelites leaving Egypt had a large host of alien peoples with them (Exod. 12:37-38), Ephraim will also have a large number of foreign populations with him. To demonstrate, in the book of Hosea, regarding the time after Ephraim has received his unconditional blessing of great wealth, we read:
Ephraim mixes himself among peoples . . . foreigners have eaten up his strength, he does not know it. (Hosea 7:8-9)
This prophecy is set in the time just before Ephraim’s fall and his nation being scattered among the nations of the world. They will go from unconditional blessings to conditional curses because they will refuse to return to Yahweh. The numbers of the Israelites in the period before they return to the Promised Land will reach into the millions.
In Hosea, for example, we are told:
Yet the number of the sons of Israel will be as the sand of the sea, which is not measured and not numbered. And it will be, in the place where it was said to them, You are not my people, it shall be said to them, Sons of the living el. (Hosea 1:10)
Great Military Power
As previously noted in our previous post, Ephraim will become a world-leading military power during the unconditional blessing period.
And lords of arrows vex him (Joseph) and shoot at him and lurk for him, but his bow abides in strength, his hands of his arms are made agile from the hands of the valiant one of Jacob, from the shepherd, the rock of Israel, from the el of your fathers. (Genesis 49:22-26)
Therefore, Ephraim’s world power status is dependent upon the divine intervention by the angel Yahweh and with this intervention he conquers those shooting at him and attains a position as the leading military power in the world. One could say a “super power” par excellence.
Also, as previously discussed, during the unconditional blessing period Ephraim will receive the great blessings from the best of the land on the earth in regard to grain, wine, and other harvests (Gen. 27:28, 37, 49:25-26; Deut. 33:13–15).
This detail means that Ephraim’s wealth will first stem from its agriculture. Along with these, this nation will receive the blessings from the deep, indicating the water, oil, mineral and other material wealth found in the world (Gen. 49:25).
A demonstration of this wealth is found in Isaiah, where we read:
And his (Jacob’s) land is full of silver and gold, neither is there an end to their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there an end to their chariots. (Isaiah 2:7)
The English word chariot comes from the Latin word carrum. Also, the English word car is derived from carrum. Therefore the terms chariot or car describes the type of vehicle one would ride in.
What country exists today that is filled with the largest number of horses and cars?
When Ephraim receives the unconditional blessings, he will find himself with great economic wealth. In Hosea we read:
He (Ephraim) is a merchant, scales of deceit are in his hands; he loves to oppress (commercially). And Ephraim said, Yet I AM RICH; I HAVE FOUND MUCH WEALTH FOR MYSELF. They will not find any iniquity in all my labors. (Hosea 12:7-8)
This evidence shows that Ephraim will be a great commercial market state. Yet Ephraim and the other Israelites will fail to realize that it was Yahweh who gave them all of this great wealth. Instead, they turn to Baal (the Lord) as their deity. Once more, in Hosea we are told:
For she (Israel) did not know that I gave to her grain and new wine and olive oil, and I multiplied the silver and the gold which they gave to Baal (the Lord). (Hosea 2:8)
Yahweh states in Hosea:
I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they did not know that I healed them. (Hosea 11:3)
This statement proves two points.
• First, Yahweh will fulfill his promise of the unconditional blessings despite Ephraim’s ignorance and sins.
• Second, Ephraim will be in a diseased condition, requiring national healing, just prior to their receiving the unconditional blessings. When they are healed, they will not recognize that the hand of Yahweh was the cause of their healing.
This prophecy, therefore, indicates that Ephraim will be in a state of economic depression and suffering from war at the time Yahweh intervenes on their behalf to heal them. War is further indicated by Jacob’s conquest of Edom (Amulek) just prior to their receiving the unconditional blessings (Gen. 25:21-23, 27:29).
Israel Rejects Yahweh
Because the blessings to the Israelites are unconditional, after receiving them, the house of Israel will not attribute their new-found power and wealth to Yahweh’s intervention.
Rather than seeking out the true source of their well-being, the Israelites will, instead, turn away from discovering Yahweh and turn toward idols and their relationship with false eloahim.
The priests do not say, Where is Yahweh? And they who handle the Torah (Scriptures) do not know me. And the shepherds rebelled against me; and the prophets prophesied by Baal (the Lord) and they went after unprofitable things. (Jeremiah 2:8)
In Isaiah we read:
But you are those who forsake Yahweh, who forget my sacred mountain, who set in order a table for Gad (God), and who fill mixed wine for fate (destiny). (Isaiah 65:11)
Isaiah writes in another place regarding these Israelite nations:
House of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of Yahweh. For you (Yahweh) have forsaken your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled from the east, even soothsayers like the Palestim, and with the children of strangers they clap (their hands). . . . And his land is full of idols, and he bows down to the work of his hands, that which his own fingers have made. (Isaiah 2:5-6,8)
Jeremiah describes one form of Israel’s idolatry as the coveting of decorated trees:
For the statutes of the people are temporary (worthless). Because one cuts down a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the craftsman with the axe. They adorn (the tree) with silver and gold, with nails and with hammers they fasten them down so they will not move. They are like a rounded post and they can not speak. Surely they must be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, because they can do no evil and it is not with them to do good. (Jeremiah 10:2-5)
In Hosea we read:
Ephraim mixes himself among the peoples. Ephraim is a cake not turned. Strangers have eaten up his strength, yet he does not know it. He has grey hairs sprinkled on him (i.e., his nation is reaching its end), yet he does not know it. His arrogance testifies to his face, yet he does not return to Yahweh, nor in all this seeks him. (Hosea 7:8-10)
Israel Possesses Scriptures
Why would Yahweh expect Israel, especially Ephraim, to be looking for him as the source of their wealth and well-being? Such statements are premised upon the fact that the Israelites have immediate access to the truth—they have Scriptures. For them to know the messiah, the rock who upholds their hand, also means they must have the New Testament books as well.
Therefore, in all of this expectation, there is, at minimum, a presumption that Ephraim/Israel claims to be a Bible-believing people who have access to Scriptures. In turn, Yahweh expects his people to seek him out, but because they are an evil generation they instead turn to “the Lord.”
In Jeremiah we read:
And I have seen frivolity among the prophets of Samaria (Israel); they prophesied by Baal (the Lord) and caused my people to go astray. . . . How long is the deceit of their own inner selves in the inner self of the prophets, the prophets of lies? They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams (imaginations from the self) which they tell each male to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten my name with Baal (the Lord). The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream. And he who has my word, let him trustworthily speak my word. (Jeremiah 23:13, 26-28)
In Isaiah the attitude of the Israelites, and more especially of the house of Israel, during the time of their unconditional blessing is clearly expressed. Yahweh commands Isaiah, saying:
Now come, write it before them on a tablet, and note it in a book, that it will be in the last days, for until the eternal age. For this is a rebellious people, lying sons, sons who are not willing to hear the laws of Yahweh, who say to the seers (prophets), Do not see. And to those seeing visions, Do not have a vision of right things belonging to us; speak to us smooth things, have a vision of trivial things; turn aside from the road, stretch from the path, cause the sacred one of Israel to cease from before us. Therefore, thus says the sacred one of Israel, Because of your rejection of this word, and your trust in oppression and perversity, and the reliance upon it, therefore this iniquity will be to you as a falling breach, bulging out in a wall made high, which suddently, in an instant, its smashing comes. And its smashing is as a vessel of the potter smashing. When it is broken, he has no pity. And there is not found in its breaking a sherd to take up from the fire hearth or to skim water from a pool. (Isaiah 30:8-14)
With all the facts assembled together, including the information from our previous post “Israel – Guess Who?”, here is what we have so far.
Scriptures advise us that we are to look for Ephraim/Israel in the Last Days far to the west of the Promised Land, at the edges of the earth as seen from the land of Kanaan, in a region with extensive coastlands.
When Ephraim receives the unconditional blessings, he will be set off alone from other nations (thereby protected). At that time Ephraim shall be a single government of a “gathering” or an “assemblage” of Ephraimite nations.
Included with them will be members from “all the house of Israel, his companions” and the “tribes of Israel, his companions.” As we found when the Israelites left Egypt, there will also be a large population of resident aliens mixed in among these Israelite people.
The land of the unconditional blessing will be as a country possessing rich treasures under the land and the fat places (i.e., rich soil) of the earth, an agriculturally rich and merchant wealthy kingdom, which during the unconditional blessing period will be provided the required dew from heaven to grow crops and bring forth an abundance of corn and wine.
Not only will Ephraim have an abundance of gold, silver, and other material substances he will have an enormous number of horses and transportation vehicles (cars).
At that time, Yahweh will bless Ephraim’s military power and uphold it by divine intervention. Even more important, these Israelites will have in their possession the Scriptures with complete access to the truth about Yahweh and Yahushua the messiah.
Despite all of these blessings, the house of Israel is an undeserving people. Unlike other nations of the world, who if they would have been Yahweh’s people would not have abandoned him, the Israelites will forsake Yahweh, exchanging their eloahim for idols and those things which are not the living eloahim, and doing so without gaining any profit for themselves.
They are a people without real trust, for trust comes by hearing the report (Rom. 10:13-21) and they have closed their ears and eyes to that report.
These Israelites will not seek after Yahweh but instead set a table for God, seeking after the Lord (Baal). They will believe that their great economic gains and great wealth came at their own hand and not by the hand of Yahweh.
In reality, they pervert the truth and worship the works of their hands, paying only lip service to Yahweh. Instead, they will actually serve Baal (the Lord).
As a result, the house of Israel will begin to lose its economic and military power. Foreigners shall eat up Ephraim’s strength. He will become old and not realize it.
Yahweh will turn his face from these disobedient people after the unconditional blessing period is over as he states:
I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end will be. (Deuteronomy 32:20)