On Tuesday, August 08, 2006, The Trumpet.com republished an article by Ryan Malone and Stephen Hill titled “The End of the Free World,” an article in which the writers describe the role the United States and Great Britain will play in the events of the last days. They wrote:
One of the most astounding secrets of the Bible—that the United States and Britain are two of the most prominent nations mentioned in prophecy—may initially appear startling, or even preposterous, to some of our readers.
The reason “the United States and Britain are two of the most prominent nations mentioned in prophecy” is because Britain, the nations of the British Commonwealth, and the United States of America are the remnant of Ephraim and Manasseh, two of the lost ten tribes of Israel.
Malone and Hill wrote:
Before we can understand the prophecies pertaining to the United States and Britain, an understanding of the identity of these countries in the Bible is essential. The abundant material blessings eventually to be bestowed on the U.S. and the British Commonwealth of nations were initially conveyed to the biblical patriarch Abraham because of his obedience (Gen. 22:16-18). He then passed them on to his son Isaac, who later did the same with his son Jacob. In due time, Jacob conferred this birthright promise to his son Joseph’s sons—Manasseh and Ephraim.
This is the reason, according to the two writers, that Old Testament prophets like Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Hosea provided specific detail about what is to happen to the United States and Britain.
The view advocated in this article is called “British-Israelism.” British-Israelism is the view that teaches that Great Britain and the United States are the remnant of the ten lost tribes of Israel. Thus, those who have adopted this view believe that the United States and Great Britain are God's Chosen People.
The advocates of British-Israelism believe that biblical prophecies about the future of Israel and Judah are in reality prophecies about the destiny of America and Great Britain.
The concept of the ten lost tribes of Israel came into existence after the exile of the Northern Kingdom of Israel by Assyria. In 722 B.C., after the death of Shalmanassar V, King of Assyria, Sargon II finished the conquest of Israel. The capital of the Northern Kingdom, Samaria was conquered and thousands of people were deported to other parts of the Assyrian Empire.
The advocates of British-Israelism believe that the people of Israel who went into exile eventually migrated from their places of exile into the British Isles. These refugees eventually dispersed to America and Canada, thus establishing an Israelite presence in the Anglo-Saxon world.
Among the evidence given by the advocates of this view is that the word “Saxons” is a corruption of the expression “Isaac’s sons.” The advocates of this view also say that the word “British” is formed by the Hebrew word brit which means “covenant” and the word ish which means “man.” Thus, the word “British” means “covenant man.”
According to British-Israelism, America and Great Britain are heirs of God’s promises to Israel and because of that, many biblical prophecies have been fulfilled in the lives of these two nations. America and Great Britain have been blessed with prosperity and material wealth and have become two great superpowers.
But because of disobedience to God’s law, America and Great Britain have begun experiencing God’s judgment:
Also prophesied for America and Britain was the gain of strategic sea gates (Gen. 22:17) only to be lost as these nations reaped curses for disobedience. This too has already largely occurred. The 20th century saw Britain’s and America’s loss of sea gates such as the Suez Canal, Malta, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Falkland Islands, the Cape of Good Hope and the Panama Canal. Gibraltar will undoubtedly be added to the list soon, as Britain is being bullied by the European Union to relinquish control of this strategic territory, under threat of horrendous fines.
The views proposed by British-Israelism find no support in the Bible even though its proponents use many biblical passages to prove their point. A careful study of the Old Testament will show that the lost tribes of the Northern Kingdom were never lost.
When Sargon II deported the population of the Northern Kingdom, he deported only a portion of the population. According to the Sargon Inscription, when Sargon captured Samaria he took captive 27,290 people, but many more were left behind.
During the reforms of Josiah in 622 B.C., Josiah made an attempt to extend his religious reforms to the remnant of the Northern Tribes. According to 2 Chronicles 34:8-9, Josiah contacted Israelite people who lived in Ephraim and Manasseh:
In the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign, to purify the land and the temple, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and Maaseiah the ruler of the city, with Joah son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the temple of the LORD his God. They went to Hilkiah the high priest and gave him the money that had been brought into the temple of God, which the Levites who were the doorkeepers had collected from the people of Manasseh, Ephraim and the entire remnant of Israel and from all the people of Judah and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
The reference in Chronicles to the people of Manasseh, Ephraim, and the entire remnant of Israel may reflect the Chronicler’s view that all Israel was still a viable option. However, this reference clearly indicates that during the time of the Chronicler, the remnant of the tribes of Israel were not lost.
As for America and Great Britain, they are not found in the oracles of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Hosea. Only through the process of eisegesis, reading one’s view into the biblical text, is America and Great Britain found in the Old Testament.
British-Israelism is not supported by the teachings of the Bible. The interpretation of biblical prophecies showing that America and Great Britain are the lost tribes of Israel is false.
Christians who are interested in prophecy and the events related to the last days must be careful not to be deceived by false teachings. Believers should always be aware of the words of Christ, that in the last days “there will be false prophets, and they will give signs and wonders in the hope of turning even the saints from the true way” (Mark 13:22).
If you want to read about the fallacy of British-Israelism online, read British-Israelism: A Mirage by R. P. Nettelhorst.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
UPDATE: For additional information on this topic, read my post The Myth of British-Israelism
Tags: Prophecy, British-Israelism, America