Topical Studies

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What the Bible says about Difference between Israel and Egypt
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Exodus 4:29-31

Hebrews 4:2 clarifies that they heard the gospel as it applied to them; it was good news. They would be freed from slavery and be taken to the land of their forefather Abraham, which would be given to them. When they heard this, all they had to do at this time was to give their mental assent that they believed. How much overcoming had they done? None. God had already set His mind He would save them, and all they had to do at this point was to agree.

What they heard was good news—it was fantastic good news—until Pharaoh turned up the heat ,and their joy of hearing the good news turned to affliction and persecution. This was part of God's purpose, too, because what they were experiencing—the combination of believing and then receiving a test—was beginning to show a difference between Israel and Egypt. A kind of sanctification, a setting apart, was taking place. In this part of the process, it was more difficult for the Israelites than it was for the Egyptians, and in the Israelites' estimation, it was greater than they could bear. This difference intensifies throughout the plagues.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unleavened Bread and Pentecost

Exodus 8:22

The difference between the Israelites and the Egyptians became very pronounced at this point, helping the children of Israel to understand that God indeed was working for them. God works even to make sure that His people have the faith they need! God supplies everything except one's decision—and even in the decision a person makes, He keeps poking us in the ribs, shoving us in the back, to move us in the right direction. He does not give up easily once He sets his mind to do something.

To this point, the Israelites had been required to make few decisions concerning their salvation, yet everything was proceeding along quite nicely. In actuality, they were doing little except observing what was happening, almost like the audience of a grand stage play. Despite their lives being dramatically affected, they had done little themselves to effect their freedom. God had done virtually everything, but as the tenth plague approached, the Israelites were finally having to decide whether or not they would be active participants in God's purpose.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unleavened Bread and Pentecost

1 Samuel 11:7-8

According to the pattern God began in Genesis 48:16, He is establishing that there is a difference between Judah and the other tribes by attaching the name “Israel,” not to Judah, but to those other tribes.

Later, during the time of King David, the distinction continues:

» Ishbosheth, Saul's son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. Only the house of Judah followed David. (II Samuel 2:10)

» David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah. (ll Samuel 5:4-5)

» I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! (II Samuel 12:8)

These two separate houses had their differences:

Now the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him. And all the people of Judah escorted the king, and also half the people of Israel. Just then all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, “Why have our brethren, the men of Judah, stolen you away and brought the king, his household, and all David's men with him across the Jordan?” So all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is a close relative of ours. Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we ever eaten at the king's expense? Or has he given us any gift?” And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, “We have ten shares in the king; therefore we also have more right to David than you. Why then do you despise us—were we not the first to advise bringing back our king?” Yet the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel. (II Samuel 19:40-43)

Pat Higgins
The Nation of Israel—Biblical Israel? (Part One)

2 Samuel 19:40-43

In verse 43, those representing Israel in the disagreement point out that they have “ten shares in the king.” The ten shares are the ten tribes that make up the house of Israel. Under the article, “Ten Lost Tribes,” Wikipedia states, “The ten lost tribes refers to the ten of the twelve tribes of ancient Israel that were said to have been deported from the Kingdom of Israel after its conquest by the Neo-Assyrian Empire circa 722 BCE.”

This deportation took place over 250 years after David's reign. So more than 250 years before they eventually became known as the “Ten Lost Tribes,” God reveals to us that this division was already in place and that the name “Israel” did not include Judah. As further evidence of the depth of the division, the disagreement in II Samuel 19 led to a rebellion and a brief civil war between these two houses as recorded in the following chapter.

God is applying the name “Israel” to the ten tribes and not to Judah. This distinction begins well before the famous split after Solomon's reign. The only time God includes Judah under the name “Israel” is when He is talking about all the children of Israel. Throughout the Bible, God is confirming for us that Judah is not the Israel of the Bible.

After Solomon's reign, a final separation indeed occurs. Most of the two books of Kings details the activities of the now-separate nations. At this point, the lines are clearly and finally drawn. “Israel” includes the ten tribes, and “Judah” includes Judah, Benjamin, and the Levites.

Also in every city he [Rehoboam, king of Judah] put shields and spears, and made them very strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side. And from all their territories the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel took their stand with him. For the Levites left their common-lands and their possessions and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them from serving as priests to the Lord. (II Chronicles 11:12-14)

Pat Higgins
The Nation of Israel—Biblical Israel? (Part One)


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