35. Ishmael and the Arabs

35. Ishmael and the Arabs

Chapters 16-25 of the book of Genesis contain the stories of Ishmael. Ishmael is mentioned in the Torah, Bible and Qur’an. Jewish, Christian and Muslim beleivers regard Ismael as Aabrahams eldest son, born of his second wife hagar (Gen. 16:3. Though born of Hagar, Ishmael was credited as Sarah’s son (Gen. 16:2). He died at the age of 137 (Gen. 25:17). A number of the Arab tribes are listed as being descendant of Abraham thorugh Hagar and Keturah (Gen. 25) and from the descendants of Esau (Gen.36). In the time of Jacob two groups of Abrahams descendants, the Ishmaelites (from Ishmael) and the Midianites, are found as caravan merchants (Gen. 37:25-36; Nomads). Both Jewish and Islamic traditions consider Ishmael as the ancestor of Arab peoples

An Arab is a person who identifies as such on genealogical, linguistic (there are 23 Arabic speaking countries), or cultural grounds. Arabs are a semitic people, descending from various Old North Arabian tribes. The plural form, Arabs, refers to the ethnic group at large. “Arab” is defined independently of religious identity, and pre-dates the rise of Islam, with historically attested Arab Christain kingdoms and Arab Jews. Muslims, do not form part of the Arab World but comprise what is the geographically larger and diverse Muslim World. Most of their lineage relies on biblical genealogy. They mainly setteled in Arabia. The name “Arab” is a name loosely applied to all the Arabic-speaking peoples of the Near and Middle East, but restricted by ethnologists to the basic Semitic stock of the Arabian peninsula, where many of the nomadic tribes have preserved their identity after thousands of years of intermittently and internal war and migration into Iraq, Syria and Africa. It is also used both inside and outside the Islamic world as synonymous with Bedouin, the Nomadic Arab as distinct from the town dweller. In the southwest mountainous regions spices are the principal exports, and it is known that wealthy Arab kingdoms there were settled at least a thousand years before Christ. In the last century they have become more influential in the world of commerce because of their oil.

Ishmael – Ancestor of the Arabs Gen. 16:1-4

As Abraham and Sarai grew older they thought they would help God with His promise to them of providing a child. They did not wait on God. Many believers today make the same mistake. We devise schemes and plan to help God. He is all-powerful and does not depend upon us.

16:1-4 It was Sarai’s faith that first weakened. She was ashamed that she was barren and made the mistake of wanting a surrogate mother to bear her a child and encouraging Abraham to commit polygamy with the Egyptian servant Hagar. As a slave legally any children she born belonged to Abraham and Sarai. But Abraham was not innocent “he hearkened unto the voice of Sari.” This proved to be a serious mistake. He did not focus his faith on God at that moment. Gods plan was for monogamous marriages, anything else was bound to create problems. The mistake has caused and continues to cause problems in the world today.

Vs 4 “And Abraham went in unto Hagar, and she conceived, and when she saw that she conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.” She despised and scorned Sarai when she found that she was pregnant. It may be she mocked Sarai, for her barrenness. Sarai, in her turn, afflicted her maid until Hagar fled from her presence towards her own country of Egypt.

The Promise of God to Hagar

Vs 5-6. The situation became unbearable as Sarai treated Hagar badly causing her to run away and headed towards Egypt her homeland. While resting in the wilderness of Shur, by a well of water, the angel of the Lord found her. She was alone and desperately unhappy but the Lord heard her affliction and sent His messenger to strengthen and inform her of what he intended to do for her child:

The Angel of The Lord Appears to Hagar When She Was Pregnant with Ishmael

Vs 7 – 8 Hagar was alone and tired and helpless by a fountain of water in the wilderness the angel of the Lord (Vs 13 God Himself) came to her. He lovingly sought her out. He calls her by name and questioned her “Where did you come form and where are you going.”

Vs 9 He told her to return to her mistress and submit for her. He had a plan for her life and it included living in her circumstances.

God Promised to Multiply Hagar’s Seed Gen. 16:10-12

Vs 10 He has fulfilled his promise to her and for she is the mother (along with Keturah Abraham’s second wife) of the Arab race.

Sons of Hagar and Keturah Descent Through Ishmael

The Joktanites settled in the southwest of the Arabian peninsular. As Jokshan was a son of Keturah this would make the stock Abrahamic, but not through Ishmael, son of Hagar. Sheba and Dedan, both ancient kingdoms in southwest Arabia, were also the names of the sons of Jokshan.

The Naming of Ishmael

Vs 11 The Angel of the Lord named him, Ishmael (meaning God hears). This would remind her that it was the God of Abraham who heard and met her need and not her old Egyptian gods. She even named the name of the well “the well of the Living One who sees me.” (Beer-lahai-roi) (Vs 13)

The Character of Ishmael – A Wild Man

Vs 12 The Lord described certain aspects of Ishmael’s character to his mother before he was born about the child she would conceive. “A wild man,” a wild ass of a man, a free wild animal (man) running wild. Ishmael had the urge to seek the wild, free, desert places.

Vs 15. In the strength of the Lord’s promise, Hagar returned to her mistress and gave birth to her son. “And Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bore, Ishmael” (Gen. 16:15).

Abraham Intercedes for Ishmael Gen. 17:18-21

Vs 18 When Abraham heard the joyful news that he was going to have a son and heir his mind went immediately to Ishmael because he loved him and cared for his future.

Vs 19 God made sure that Abraham knew that Isaac was the heir of the covenant and it would continue through his seed.

God’s Promise to Ishmael of Blessing and Twelve Sons

Vs 20-21 “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac” (Gen. 17:20-21).

At the time of this revelation Ishmael was thirteen years of age and Isaac not yet born. It is worth noting that Abraham’s new name was only given him when he was ninety-nine years of age and that with it came the promise of a son by Sarah. When Ishmael was born of Hagar, the bondwoman, his name was still Abram (High Father).

When he and his mother were sent away from Abraham and Sarah, after the birth of the child of promise, Isaac, he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran, married an Egyptian and begat the twelve sons as predicted. A daughter’s name is also given who married her cousin, Esau. In the wilderness Ishmael became an archer. The Nomadic Arabs have never been conquered. His very freedom and independence have put the Arab in the position of opposing those with a more settled way of life. Abraham, too, is given information about his first-born:

At the time of this revelation Ishmael was thirteen years of age and Isaac not yet born. It is worth noting that Abraham’s new name was only given him when he was ninety-nine years of age and that with it came the promise of a son by Sarah. When Ishmael was born of Hagar, the bondwoman, his name was still Abram (High Father).

Sarah Tells Abraham to Cast Out Hagar and Ishmael Genesis 21:8-21

Vs 8-11 When Sarah saw Ishmael mocking her son Isaac, his brother, younger by fourteen years, she insisted that Abraham cast out Ishmael and his slave-mother. Calling her the “bondwoman” after 20 years service because her bitterness was strong against her. Sarah had already resented Ishmael and Hagar and the mocking fuelled this further. Ishmael had been the only son for a long time now rivalry, jealousy and mockery set in. He probably resented Isaac being born as he thought he would be the heir. So he made fun of his half brother, especially on the day of the great feast when much attention focused on Isaac. Abraham under great domestic pressure reluctantly yielded. His heart was torn but for the sake of peace sent Hagar and Ishmael away.

God Takes Control of the Situation

Vs 12 Abraham had got himself into a mess but the Lord was merciful and told him to let Ishmael go as he also had a plan to bless him as well as Isaac. Abraham cast out Ishmael and his slave-mother.

Vs 13-15 Abraham provided them with bread and a bottle of water. After all the water was consumed Hagar cast Ishmael under one of the bushes and went a good way off because she did not want to witness the death of her son who was about to die of thirst.

Vs 16-19 When God heard the baby cry the angel of the Lord (Elohim- the Creator) called to Hagar out of heaven and assured her not to hear because God had heard her and assured her that as he promised a long time ago he would make Ishmael a great nation. (He had come to her once before in the desert before Ishmael was born as the angel of the LORD –Jehovah- the covenant name because she was under Abraham’s roof and protection). He said, “Arise and lift the lad, hold him in your hand; for I will make him a great nation.” God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water and drank form it with her son.

Ishmael As a Young Man

Vs 20-21 They decided to stay there “in the wilderness of Paran” now the mount Sinai Peninsula where God had met them and provided for them. Ishmael dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer and provided for his mother and himself. Eventually he married a wife obtained by his mother for him from her people in Egypt, apparently, of Beer-sheba, where he became a skilful archer; later he settled in the wilderness of Paran, where his mother took him a wife back in the land of Egypt.

The Sons of Isaac and Ishmael Were At Abraham’s Funeral Gen. 25:8-9

When Sarah died in Hebron (Canaan) Abraham bought a filed with the Cave of Machpelah in to bury his wife Sarah (Gen.23). When he died he was also buried there in the Promised Land. A mausoleum for the bodies of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah was erected later. The building is over the cave of Machpelah. The Arabs know this and, in spite of the passage of centuries, and invading armies entering, settling and disappearing from the land, the knowledge remains and, what is more important, the actual place remains to be seen by all.

Ishmael’s Twelve Sons Gen. 25:13-15

Moses lists the generations of Ishmael to record that God’s purpose according to His choice will stand and that He keeps His promises. God’s purpose according to His sovereign choice was accomplished.

Ishmael begat the twelve sons as predicted. A daughter’s name is also given who married her cousin, Esau. The names of his twelve sons are recorded here and also the geographical location of the sons from “Havilah unto Shur,” that is, from the wilderness near Egypt right across to the centre of the Arabian peninsular.

13 And these were the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: The firstborn of Ishmael,

Nebajoth; He is believed to be the ancestor of the Nabateans, a prominent tribe that lived in the same region as the Edomites.

Kedar, the second son, is associated with Nebaioth in Isaiah 60:7, had many descendants, and his name is often used in scripture as essentially synonymous with all the Arabs (Isa. 21:17; Jer. 49:28; Ezk. 27:21 etc). The name was great among the Arabs and is used by some as a universal name for the Bedouin Arabs. Isaiah, the prophet, refers to “the glory of Kedar” (Isaiah 21:13-17) and describes them as archers and mighty men. The Psalmist implies that Kedar is one of those that hates peace and is for war and strife (Psa. 120). Ezekiel includes Arabia and all the princes of Kedar amongst the merchants of Dedan, Sheba and Raamah (Ezekiel 27:21). Jeremiah, when denouncing Israel for immorality, uses the illustration of an Arabian sitting in the wilderness as though it were a common sight in his day “In the ways hast thou sat for them (thy lovers), as the Arabian in the wilderness” (3:2).

Adbeel, Certain Assyrian tribes have been tied in with the names Adbeel, Massa, Nebaioth, and Kedar.

Mibsam Nothing is know of him.

Vs 14 Mishma Nothing is known of him.

Dumah is named in Isaiah 21:11 as “called out of Seir,” which was the home of the Edomites. There is a town in Arabia called Dumath al-Jandel.

Massa Little is known of them.

Vs 15 Hadar Hadar is as Hadad in (1 Chron. 1:30). The city Adra in Arabia Petraea, and from the other the city Themma in Arabia Deserta, both come from these or may be thought to have their names; or the city Adari and the Athritae in Arabia.

Tema. There is a town in Arabia called Teyma. The inhabitants of the land of Tema are mentioned as Arabians, (Isa. 21:13-14). The Thimaneans, whom he says the ancients joined to the Nabathaeans.

The troops of Tema mentioned in Job were of this people, (Job 6:19); and Eliphaz the Temanite, (Job 2:11), is thought by some not to be the descendant of Teman the grandson of Esau, but to be of this man’s people and country.

Jetur, The Itureans are believed to be from him.(c.f. Lk. 3:1). They occupied a small tract of country beyond Jordan, which was afterwards possessed by the half-tribe of Manasseh.

Naphish, These are the same people mentioned 1 Cor. 5:19, who, with the Itureans and the people of Nadab, assisted the Hagarenes against the Israelites, but were overcome by the two tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. Naphish, and Kedemah are reckoned among the Hagarites, as the Ishmaelites were sometimes called, (1 Chron. 5:19);

Kedemah . His descendants dwelt at Kedemoth, a place mentioned Deuteronomy 2:26. Little is known of them at his point of time. Kedomah, may mean the men of the east, or the men of Kedem, (Jer. 49:28), they are mentioned with the posterity of Kedar the second son of Ishmael; and the Nubaeans by Lebanon may be from Naphish

16 These were the sons of Ishmael and these were their names, by their towns and their settlements, twelve princes according to their nations Their towns-places of encampment in the wilderness, such as have been used by the Arabs from the remotest times. They have built castles, their towers, dwelt on mountain tops, fortified rocks, and places to live in of various kinds even in woods and hilly countries.

The Death of Ishmael

17 “These were the years of the life of Ishmael: one hundred and thirty-seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.

Vs 18 (They dwelt from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt as you go toward Assyria.) The descendants of Ishmael possessed all that vast desert of Arabia which extends from east to west, from Havilah on the Euphrates, near its junction with the Tigris, to the desert of Shur eastward of Egypt (the last place before Egypt); and which extends along the isthmus of Suez, which separates the Red Sea from the Mediterranean. It bordered on that part where lies the way to the land of Assyria. “ and he died in the presence of all his brethren”; they were present and at peace, when he died.

The Palestinian Arab is descended from Abraham through Ishmael. They are proud of their ancestry.

Ishmael Will Dwell in the Presence of His Brethren Gen. 25:18

Vs 18 “He died in the presence of all his brethren”. The whole family circle were present.

Family Funerals – Abraham and Ishmael

A mosque that now stands at Hebron was first built by Herod the Great, before our Lord was born, as a mausoleum for the bodies of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah.

The sons of Isaac and Ishmael were at Abraham’s funerals (Gen. 25:8-9).

When Sarah died in Hebron (Canaan) Abraham bought a field from Ephron, the Hittite, when Abraham sought for a place to bury his wife Sarah which contained the Cave of Machpelah to bury his wife Sarah (Gen.23). When he died he was also buried there in the Promised Land. The Arabs know this and, in spite of the passage of centuries, and invading armies entering, settling and disappearing from the land, the knowledge remains and, what is more important, the actual place remains to be seen by all.

When Abraham died Ishmael was present with his half-brother, Isaac, at the service of burial. (Gen. 25:8-9).

Two Nations Genesis 25:21-23

Esau and Jacob. Moses drives home his point in the account of the birth of Esau and Jacob. If God was going to make a great nation of Abraham through Isaac, then obviously Isaac needed to have children. But Rebekah, like Sarah, was barren. For 20 years there were no children in their marriage. But Isaac prayed and the Lord answered in accordance with His promise to Abraham. But even in that situation, God made a choice.

God told Rebekah that two nations would come from the twin sons in her womb, and that the older (Esau) would serve the younger (Jacob). Esau became the father of the Edomites (Gen. 36). Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, became the father of Israel. It was God’s purpose that Israel’s descendants, those to whom Moses was writing, fulfill God’s purpose according to His choice of Jacob, by conquering the promised land. God chooses certain people for His purpose and that His purpose is on the basis of grace not merit. Human works, human potential, or ones status at birth does not impress God. You or I would choose on the basis of beauty, academic achievement, business acumen, how and where a person was born God is no respecter of persons. Isaac the weaker, milder brother over Ishmael the one was tough; the one who was an adventurer and survivor in a hostile desert. God would have picked Esau over Jacob. Esau was a man’s man, an outdoorsman. Jacob was a conniving mama’s boy.

When Isaac came to die, Esau was with Jacob at the burial. Jacob died in Egypt but his body was embalmed and returned to his own land escorted by a very great company of his own people and Egyptians. Thus the burial-place was known to all surrounding nations.

The Midianites

Gen. 37:25, 36 Joseph was sold by his brothers to the Ishmaelites (the Midianites) the caravan of merchantmen on their way to Egypt. Through Reuben, who wanted to save his young brother’s life, and Judah, who saw he could make a profit out of the transaction, the sons of Jacob agreed to sell Joseph to the merchants for twenty pieces of silver. The name Midianites is used as though it is an alternative name for Ishmaelite. But Midian was a son of Keturah (another wife who Abraham took not Hagar, as was Ishmael), which makes the tribe from Abraham, not, strictly speaking, of Ishmael.

Moses fought against the Midianites as did many Israelites after him.

The same mixture occurs in the Book of Judges, when Midianites were defeated by Gideon and it is explained that they had golden earrings “because they were Ishmaelites” (8:24). Ishmael and Midian were half-brothers, Midian as the younger took on the name of Ishmael on occasions, perhaps using it as a family name.

Judges 6:3-5 The enemy of Israel at that time against Gideon and his three hundred men were “Midianites … Amalekites, and the children of the east, … they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; (for) both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it”

The Nomadic Tribes – Bedouin

The nomadic tribes were desert dwellers in the east and south of Canaan, who opposed Israel in the time of the Judges, were Abrahamic tribes descendants of Hagar, Keturah and Esau-Edom. (Abraham had sent the sons of the concubines away to the east.). They have been constantly on the move to find pasture for their livestock for centuries. The black goatskin tents are a feature of the life of wandering. They set up camp on a raised area such as a hill if possible for protection from wind and sand, the tents look tiny against the immensity of the vast desert space. Through the centuries the nomadic Arabs have spent their time raiding, hunting and fighting. They have endured severe physical hardship and, even until after World War 1, terrorised Central Arabia and surrounding territories. The desert tribes have much in common, whether living in Old Testament days or the twenty first century AD. Historically there has been much tribal warfare but now travellers tell much of the hospitality and generosity of the desert, and an obvious desire to be friendly. But, still, there is a love of liberty and a fierce independence, and want no interference with their chosen way of life.

Job had a problem with Arab Tribes Job 1:15 The Sabeans (from Sheba a part of Arabia descendants of Abraham and Keturah) raided his flocks and killed his servants

Gideon and the Arabs. The list of plunder taken in the war of Gideon, together with that taken by Moses when fighting Midianites two centuries earlier, this included gold, silver, brass, iron, tin and lead, jewels of gold, chains and bracelets, rings, earrings and tablets, ornaments and collars, purple raiment, chains that were about the camels’ necks. These Arabs were wealthy and had beautiful jewellery ill gotten by plunder and some by trade. Neither should the camels be overlooked. In war they must have been a frightening sight. A camel may plod along slowly when loaded with merchandise but racing camels can cover the ground at great speed and, undoubtedly, their riders were able to make surprise attacks, gather their booty quickly, and be away before the terrified defenders had gathered their wits.

Solomon and the Arabs. There were extensive trade relations with the Arabs, especially form the port of Ezion-geber on the Red Sea. This is emphasised by the famous visit of the Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 9:26-28) and nearer home by the tribute he received from malke-rab (2 Chron. 9:14) and is rendered “kings of Arabia”. The name rab,abi,(were the word Arab comes form) seems to have originally meant “desert” or “steppe”” and by extension “steppe dweller” referring biblical to people who occupied semi- desert areas in East and South of Palestine (i.e. Children of the East).

Arabs Raiders carried off the wives and sons of Jehoram in the ninth century B.C. (2 Ch. 21:16-17). Ahaziah the youngest was left and became king (2 Ch. 22:1). Uzziah reversed the situation in the eighth century and rebuilt Elath which was on the coast of Aqueba (2 Kings 14:22).

Manasseh and the Arabs. 1 Chron. 5:18-22 When Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh made war against the Hagarites, Jetur, Nephish (all of Ishmael) and Nodab in the days of Saul, they captured fifty thousand camels and a hundred thousand men as well as two hundred and fifty thousand sheep and two thousand asses.

Nehemiah had a problem with Gesham the Arab. He laughed when Nehemiah went to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and spread bad rumours about him. (Neh. 2:19; 6:6).

Palestine Is There Such a Land? Dr. W. Smith

Islam claims that “Palestine” belongs to the Arab descendants of Ishmael. This is has been the root cause of the hatred Muslims have toward Israel and of their determination to exterminate its people and to possess all of Israel (Israel is not on their maps) for themselves. “Palestine” is not mentioned once in the Qur’an in spite of Muslim claims today.
That spurious claim is further “legitimized” through a people who today call themselves “Palestinians.” They claim descent from the “original Palestinians” and that, therefore, the entire land of “Palestine” is theirs, but is being unlawfully occupied by Jews. They demand all of this land as their possession. Such a claim is fraudulent for many well-established reasons. The land to which God brought Abraham (at this time called Abram), and which He gave to him and to his heirs, was called “Canaan” (Gen 12:5, 6-8; 13:7-17, etc.). There was no such land as Palestine and no such people as Palestinians. Its early inhabitants were Kenites, Kenizites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizites, Rephaims, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites (Gen 15:19-21). God never promised anything called “Palestine” to Abraham and to his heirs. The only land He promised was Canaan: “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God (Gen 17:8); Be ye mindful always the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance” (1 Chr 16:15-19).
Even had there been a land of Palestine and “Palestinians,” the Arabs could not possibly be descended from them. They claim descent from Ishmael, who was certainly not a “Palestinian.” His father, Abraham, was from Ur of the Chaldees, and his mother, Hagar, was an Egyptian. Neither of them was one of the “original inhabitants of Canaan,” nor even remotely related to such a people. The land was already settled when Abraham with his wife, Sarah, and her maid, Hagar, arrived there.
Furthermore, as late as the 1950s Arabs refused to be called Palestinians. To the British Peel Commission in 1937, a local Arab leader testified, “There is no such country as Palestine. ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented.” Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, testified to an Anglo-American Committee of inquiry in 1946, “There is no such thing as Palestine in history–absolutely not!” To the UN Security Council in 1956, Ahmed Shukairy declared, “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.” Eight years later, in 1964, Shukairy became the founding chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No “Palestinian,” like Arafat, he was born in Cairo. Abraham settled in Hebron in the land of Canaan (Gen 13:18; 23:2, 19; 35:27; 37:14, etc.). Everyone knows where Hebron and Canaan were located then and now–nowhere near Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Yet the Qur’an and Islam claim that Abraham and Ishmael together built the Ka’aba. This is pure fabrication-as is the claim in the Qur’an that a Samaritan built the golden calf in the wilderness, 700 years before Samaritans even existed.
Ishmael was born after Abraham had lived in Hebron for ten years. Fourteen years later, Isaac was born in Hebron to Abraham and his wife, Sarah. Ishmael mocked Isaac, and Sarah banished him and his mother, Hagar (Gen 21:10-20). From that time onward, Ishmael was no longer part of Abraham’s household but lived far away “in the wilderness of Paran” (21:21). Indeed, God did not consider him to be Abraham’s son! God told Abraham: “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest and offer him [as] a burnt-offering” (Gen 22:1-2).
Thirty-seven years after giving birth to Isaac, at the age of 127, Sarah died (23:1). Abraham and Sarah were buried in Macpelah in Hebron of Canaan. After Abraham’s death, Isaac continued to live in Hebron in the land of Canaan another 110 years. Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Leah all died and were buried in the family tomb, the cave of Macpelah–but not Ishmael. No Arab or Muslim was ever buried there. David was first crowned king in Hebron and ruled there over Judah years before moving his throne to Jerusalem. Hebron is of great significance to the Jews. Yet Muslims built a mosque at Macpelah, claim the burial place of Jewish patriarchs as their own, forbid access to Jews, have periodically slaughtered and expelled Jews from Hebron, and desire to make it Jew-free today. They also claim that Jerusalem and the entire land of Israel have always belonged to them, that no Jews ever lived there, and that the Israelis are occupying Arab land! Incredibly, the world accepts this lie as the basis for forcing upon Israel a fraudulent “peace” in the Middle East. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their families lived for more than 300 years in the land of Canaan, which God had promised to them and to their descendants. (Arabs never lived there in any numbers until after the seventh-century A.D. Muslim invasion of Israel.) Jacob and his family temporarily moved to Egypt because of a famine in Canaan, but remained there 400 years and became the slaves of the Egyptians, then were brought back to conquer Canaan as God had foretold, establishing them as the heirs of God’s promises to Abraham (Gen 15:13-14). Thereafter Canaan was known as the land of Israel, which it is called 31 times in Scripture. Its kings ruled from Jerusalem over a vast empire stretching from the Sinai to the Euphrates, until they were conquered by the Babylonians around 600 B.C. and scattered to many nations, as God had warned. Thus, for 300 years before Egypt and about 1,000 years thereafter–a total of 1,300 years–the Jews dwelled in their own land, the land of Israel. It is an insult to the God of Israel and to His chosen people to call Israel “Palestine”! Please don’t encourage this lie!
Ishmael’s descendants never lived in Canaan. Most of them settled in the Arabian Peninsula. It would not be until the seventh century, through the Islamic invasions, that Arabs would come in any significant numbers into the land of Israel, which in A.D. 135 the Roman conquerors (after rebuilding Jerusalem as a pagan city dedicated to Jupiter) had angrily renamed Provincia Syria-Palestina after Israel’s ancient enemies, the Philistines. Since Israel was renamed by the Romans, its inhabitants have been known as “Palestinians.” Who were they? Jews, of course. In World War II, Britain had a volunteer brigade known as “The Palestinian Brigade”–all Jews. The Arabs were fighting on Hitler’s side. There was the Palestinian Symphony Orchestra, a Jewish orchestra, and the Palestinian Post, a Jewish newspaper. Arabs refused to be known as “Palestinians” and declared that if there were such a people, they were Jews. (see Wm. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible.).