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What the Bible says about Joseph Running over the Wall
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 49:22

The people of Joseph are a productive lot. To produce goods and services requires a vast amount of energy—call it zeal, enthusiasm, or drive. They live in a well-watered land that enhances agriculture and industry. The people are so driven that they extend their influence and zeal beyond the boundaries of their countries.

Historically, the people of Joseph have moved into other countries, taken the raw materials to make their products, built manufacturing plants, and influenced the native culture. When the British or Americans colonized, they brought their way of life and imposed it on the natives. Americans continue to introduce movies, television, rock music, household appliances, big cars, etc., to impoverished nations around the globe.

These things just typify the inherent drive of the people of Joseph, a proclivity to expand beyond the frontiers in every endeavor. They are an aggressive and innovative people in science, industry, education, government, and religion. This is generally beneficial and productive, but in one area, religion, it has profound repercussions. Satan has taken advantage of this characteristic, producing a religion that allows Israelites to think that they are Christian and yet still be free to explore the frontiers of religious thought.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Christmas, Syncretism, and Presumption

Genesis 49:22

Genesis 49:22 and Isaiah 49:20 hint very strongly at Israel's colonization of other lands because of burgeoning population and prosperity. Though many nations have colonized other lands in the past, only the nations of northwestern Europe have done it to any great extent.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Israel: Present

Genesis 49:22

In Genesis 49:22, within the chapter that records Jacob's final words to his sons, God prophesies that Joseph will be growth-oriented, restive, not content with the status quo.

This is a difficult passage, so many of its words having more than one meaning. Young, in his literal translation, renders the Hebrew this way: "Joseph [is] a fruitful son, a fruitful son by a fountain: daughters overstep the wall." Here certainly is a description of the fecundity of Joseph: both his immense population and his material abundance. Here too, however, is almost certainly a description of the inclination of Joseph's daughters—the modern nations of Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States—to overclimb walls. Like an ivy plant not content to remain in its place, Joseph grows up wall and chimney, invading walkway and gazebo, re-rooting itself all over lawn and garden.

Charles Whitaker
Globalism (Part Three): America Runs Over the Wall

Genesis 49:22

Numbers 23:9—God's vision of Israel as spoken by the mouth of Balaam—sets us on the right path to finding Joseph's walls, the bounds of his habitations. God describes Israel as "a people dwelling alone, not reckoning itself among the nations." Clearly, God does not envision Israel integrated into the world. Rather, He has always wanted Israel to be separated from it. This vision has a number of applications, one certainly pertaining to the moral sanctification God intends Israel to display in the Millennium. God's vision for Israel is a people distinct from all others—His people, not partaking of the curses of this world's international intrigues, imbroglios, poverty, disease, etc. As we know, those days are yet to come.

Relevant to national Israel today, however, the passage likely has geographic significance. God fulfilled His vision of an isolated Israel by situating some Israelites in England, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand—on islands. (Australia is a continent-sized island.) He located America and Canada in the New World, effectively isolating them from other major nations by vast oceans. By doing so, God insulated Israel from the world.

In other scriptures, God is more specific about modern-day Israel's boundaries. When he addresses Israel in prophecies that have clear, latter-day application, He refers to Israel as residing at the coasts (or coastlands) and in the isles. Additionally, Israel dwells in the north and west. Taking Jerusalem as the geographic starting point, Israel will reside to the north and west of the Middle East in the time of the end. Here are a few passages.

» Hosea 11:10: In context, God is prophesying about Ephraim's return—from the west—to his inheritance. (Often God uses Ephraim as an emblem for all Israel, much as the word Washington often refers to the United States as a whole.)

» Isaiah 49:1, 8-13: Again, God is describing His re-gathering of Israel. The "coastlands" and "people from afar" (verse 1) may refer to the lands of Israelites living in the southern hemisphere (see also Isaiah 41:1). Others will return "from the north and the west" (verse 12).

» Jeremiah 3:12: God tells Jeremiah to "Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say,
'Return, backsliding Israel. . . .'" This cannot refer to the ancient Kingdom of Israel, north of Judah, for it was already in captivity long before Jeremiah's day. God is telling Jeremiah to go further north and warn His apostate people.

» Jeremiah 31:7-10: God promises He will save His people residing in the north (verse 8). Those of His people in the "isles afar off" (verse 10) are probably those of New Zealand and Australia.

Joseph runs "over the wall" when he attempts to extend his influence beyond the isolated lands God gave him. This extension of influence can be cultural, economic, and even military. From a modern policy perspective, America stays within her walls as long as she follows a national policy of isolationism—remaining isolated from foreign nations as much as possible. When America follows a course of internationalism—the doctrine that it is proper to intervene (passively or even militarily) in other nations' affairs—she usually starts to overclimb the walls God established for her.

It is fair to see American history as a slow march from isolationism to internationalism. That is, America started out isolated, purposefully distinct from other nations. Ever so slowly, though, she began to take an internationalist stance, overclimbing the wall, until she finally became deeply entangled in the military and economic affairs of the world's nations.

Charles Whitaker
Globalism (Part Three): America Runs Over the Wall

Genesis 49:22

Genesis 49:22 predicts regarding Joseph, Jacob's son through Rachel, "Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall." Joseph, modern Britain and America, is prophesied to be an unusually prosperous people whose influence spreads far and wide beyond their home locations. At the end time, they have been at the forefront of spreading the "wine of the wrath of her fornication" by means of their cultural influences.

Meanwhile in their homelands, Satan has convinced most Britons and Americans that everybody, regardless of personal beliefs and conduct, is worshipping the same God, the God of true Christianity! What mass confusion and a horrific influence this has been. In doing this, they make God to be a sovereign over mass confusion, unconcerned about what people believe about Him or how they worship Him. They make Him into a God with no purpose for His human creation except a vague concept of somehow "saving" them, whatever that means!

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Beast and Babylon (Part Six): The Woman's Character

Deuteronomy 33:17

The prophet Moses recognized in Joseph this proclivity to overextend. Deuteronomy 33:17 records God's prophecy of Joseph's world leadership.

The "wild ox," rendered unicorn in the King James Version, is an emblem for strength.Moses goes on to tell what Joseph will do with his strength: "push the people, all of them, to the ends of the earth" (The Amplified Bible). Here, the force of the word rendered "together" is inclusiveness: Joseph will push all of the nations. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon defines the verb push as to "thrust, gore, hence, succeed, attain, make progress, figuratively, wage war with." So strong are its overtones of force and violence that the Hebrew word carries the meaning of the verb butt.Here are a few biblical examples of the use of "push":

1. In I Kings 22:11, a false prophet speaks to Ahab, who wants God's blessing in his war against Syria (in which Ahab subsequently dies). "Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself; and he said, 'Thus says the LORD: "With these you shall gore [push, KJV] the Syrians until they are destroyed."'" This refers clearly to war-making.

2. Daniel 8:4: "I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no beast could withstand him. . . ." Notice, an animal with horns—as an ox—is doing the pushing.

3. Psalm 44:5: "Through You we will push down our enemies; through Your name we will trample those who rise up against us."

4. Daniel 11:40: "At the time of the end the king of the south shall attack [push at, KJV]" the king of the north.

5. Ezekiel 34:21: In context, the verb push here seems to refer to economic coercion on the part of false ministers.

In summary, the word push connotes the use of force and violence typical of warfare, or the use of economic power to gain one's ends. Fenton's seems the most accurate translation of Deuteronomy 33:17. Joseph is

Like a noble and splendid prince—
His horns are the horns of a bull:
With them he will conquer nations
And unite the Land into one.

Fenton combines the words "push" and "together" to form the verbs "conquer" and "unite." To unite is to push together!

But when did Joseph ever do that?

»Deuteronomy 33:17 certainly does not refer to the time of Joseph's conquering Palestine. Neither ancient Israel at large, nor Joseph particularly, sought to unite her enemies! Furthermore, ancient Israel's efforts were local; it pushed the nations off the land—and that not fully, but it certainly did not push all the nations of the earth at that time.

»Nor does this passage refer to America's conquering the various Indian nations in the 19th century and before, uniting the continent. This interpretation rings hollow because America's suppression of the North American aborigines was local, never entailing a worldwide pushing.

It is not in past events, but in current ones, where we find fulfillment of Deuteronomy 33:17. God is surely referring to Israel's ambition to build and rule a global village, a world government, pushing all the nations of the world together. Today, America works assiduously to build "permanent alliances"—military (e.g., NATO), economic (e.g., the IMF and the WTO), financial, cultural, educational, scientific, and technological (many through the auspices of the United Nations). Americans today speak of NAFTA rather than of "manifest destiny"; not content to limit their marketplace to the lands God fixed for them, they have jumped the wall, striking complex business and economic deals with Gentile nations, all for financial gain.

America today aspires to lead a global village. She uses her almost inestimable economic clout to that end, and enforces her aspirations through extensive, virtually worldwide, military ventures. Is there any better way to describe America's activities today than by saying she has overclimbed the wall, pushing peoples together around the globe?

Yes, indeed, God planned that 21st century globalism would be "made in America." He knew that America, which properly should serve as an example to the world though the "masterly inactivity" of her "national character," would eventually come to push the nations of the world to adopt her system of government (democracy) and her economic structure (capitalism).

Charles Whitaker
Globalism (Part Four): Israel Pushes the Nations

Revelation 17:4

The elegant clothing, jewelry, and precious metals illustrate her wealth. It is a wealth as among nations, not merely a church. As a group, the Israelitish people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, grew to control around 60% of the world's wealth at the height of their prosperity.

Nobody else on earth is in the position to influence, persuade, and guide as Israel is. Through the misuse of these gifts, Israel has risen to worldly greatness in terms of evil too. Despite its material greatness, it is unfortunately also spiritually great in its immorality, great in its confusion, great in its deviance from responsibility, great in its polluted influence—so great in its power only it can hold the Beast in check and make it do its bidding until God's time comes.

In recent history, Israel—represented primarily by the Joseph tribes—has brushed the world aside politically and economically. No other nation of people on earth today fits the characteristics given in Revelation 17 and 18.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Beast and Babylon (Part Eight): God, Israel, and the Bible


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