by Epiphany Bible Students


Dear Brethren: Grace and peace be multiplied!

Our political and military leaders are asking this question, “What kind of a man are we fighting?” The answer to this question was written in the Bible about 4,000 years ago. Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac: Ishmael by Hagar, an Egyptian, when Abraham’s wife Sarah was unable to conceive. Some years later God performed a bi­ological miracle and permitted Sarah to give Abraham a son Isaac, the “seed of promise.” These two sons of Abraham each had twelve sons which became two mighty nations which later became known as the nation of Israel and the Arab nation or Ishmaelites.

The Arabs or Ishmaelites are described in Genesis 16:12 (Rotherham): “But he will be a wild ass of a man, his hand against every one, and every one’s hand against him ­yet in presence of all his brethren shall he have his habitation.” In Genesis 16: 10, it states that Ishmael’s seed, the Arabs, “shall not be numbered for multitude.”

The Ishmaelites and posterity have lived by prey and plundering, robbers by land and pirates by sea. Genesis 16:12 states that Ishmael would dwell in the presence of all his brethren – viz., Moabites, Edomites and Israelites. They have been continually at war with the rest of the world and yet never defeated. They did not acknowledge Al­exander the Great as conqueror. Alexander objected to this insult and determined to punish the culprits but died before he could accomplish his mission.

When the Romans invaded the East and subdued adjoining countries they were never able to reduce Arabia to a Roman province. Time after time enemies sought to invade but were always forced out.

About the 7th Century A. D., Mohammed appeared on the scene and set the desert and the Mid East aflame. Ishmaelites under Mohammed strengthened and extended their power. Under his successors these Arabs, imbued with their new and false religion and their hereditary thirst for blood and pillage, developed into a ferocious horde and carried the Islam banner throughout Asia, Africa and even into Spain.

Since the fall of their Muslim empire, the Turks have made repeated attempts to subdue these Arabs, but instead of succeeding they have been obliged for several centu­ries to pay them yearly tribute, to permit the converted Turkish Moslems to have a safe passage to Mecca, the “Holy City” where Mohammed the Ismaelite was born.

Others, Gallas, Trajan, Pompey and Augustus, have been unsuccessful in conquering the Arabs – the Ishmaelites. Emperor Severus, a Roman, laid siege and even made a breach in their defenses, but insurrection broke out in the ranks. As an unseen power protected these Ishmaelites, Emperor Trajan sought to conquer them in about A; D. 110. Whirl­winds, swarms of flies, lightning, thunder, hail, apparitions in the sky, heat and thirst all helped to repulse these Italians every time they attacked.  And so down the stream of time God’s hand seems to have been on the Ishmaelites. In spite of commerce and in­tercourse with others, they remain the same fierce, savage, intractable people like their ancestors.

This people, with the Jews excepted, have for 4,000 years withstood the enmity as a distinct people from their beginning with Ishmael.

Compare Arabs and Jews:

(1) Both descendants of Abraham.

(2) Both practise circumcision.

(3) Both originally had 12 patriarchs or heads of tribes.

(4) Both marry among themselves.

A contrast: Israel scattered – Deut. 28:64; Ishmael stayed at home – Gen. 16:12.

The land promised to Abraham and his seed is given in Genesis 17:6-8: “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

Also in Genesis 22:16-18: “And said By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore: and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” The stars of the heaven and the sand which is upon the sea shore indicates a heavenly and earthly phase of Christ’s Kingdom. In Jeremiah 31:31 God promised to make a new Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Ju­dah. When this covenant is established with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, He will bless them and through them “all the families of the earth . “

The Ishmaelites too will be blessed through the nation of Israel. “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.” (Gen. 17:20)

In Isaiah 2:2,3 we read: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

The Jews are to be gathered from the four corners of the earth where they have been dispersed until God gathers them by the hunters and fishers. (Jer. 16:16) “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isa. 11:12)

The headquarters of the Kingdom will be Jerusalem and from there flow throughout the world.

God did not promise Ishmael and his seed the land of Canaan. Isaac and his seed were promised the land from “the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphra­tes.” (Gen. 15:18–21; Ex. 23:31; Deut. 1:7,8; 11:24; Ez. 48:1–29)

A similar picture is presented in the two sons of Isaac: Jacob and Esau. Saddam Hussein will be defeated eventually because God has promised Canaan to the Jews. “He is faithful that promised.” (Heb. 10:23)

Your brother in His service,

Roy Ekroth



A ghastly sight shows in the shivering air

On Calvary’s brow:

The Savior of mankind, in love, hangs there;

While followers bow

The head low on the breast and sadly sigh,

“How can he be Messiah – if he die?”

A jeering mob surrounds the cursed knoll

And mocks the Lord;

Yet to his lips comes from his stricken soul

The precious word –

“Father forgive; they know not what they do

E’er o’er his face creeps dissolution’s hue.

“‘Tis finished,” rings in triumph through the sky;

He bows hishead.

And, while the querying soldiers mark the cry,

The Lord isdead.

All anguish past, his triumph doth begin,

The world is saved, a death blow dealt to sin.

A Sabbath’s journey from thecitygate,

With sorrowshod,

Two sad disciples bear their sorry weight

To theirabode.

The Christ appears, while holden are their eyes,

And doth expound wherefor Messiah dies.

Emmaus reached, the Lord would further go.

They gentlychide–

“Thou hast beguiled our weary tears, and so

With usabide.”

He brake their bread, – then vanished from their sight.

Their hearts did burn with holy joy that night.

The tale is old, but ever sweetly new,

Why Jesusdied.

The nail prints, doubting ones, he shows to you,

And in hisside

A spear thrust gapes – a passagerentapart,

For easy access to yourSavior’sheart.

It was for you, my brother, that he shed

His life sofree.

For you, for me, he bowed hisgodlikehead

On Calvary’s tree;

That trusting in the merit ofhisname,

We might be saved from sorrow, sin and shame.

The past sufficeth, surely, to have spent

In sinful deeds.

Come, join our band;  and be our footsteps bent

Where Jesus leads.

So in his righteousness serenely dressed

We’ll meet him face to face among the best.

H. Hardie