Genesis 16: 12
And he [Ishmael] shall be as a wild ass among men: his hand will be against every man and every man's hand against him; and he shall live to the east and on the borders of his kinsmen [Jews??]. (Amplified Bible)
"As for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall begat twelve princes, and I will make him a great [Arab??] nation."
But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of the concubines who Abraham had; and while he was still living he sent them eastward, away from Isaac, to the country of the East.
"Now therefore, my son, obey my voice: arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran."
NOTE: Laban was called a "Syrian" (Cp. Genesis 25: 20).
"Arise, go to Padan Aram [Syria], to the house of Bethuel your mother's father. . ."
So Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the East.
Judges 6: 3b, 33b
The people of the East. . .
1 Kings 4: 30
Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the people of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt.
Job 1: 1a, 3b
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. . . this man was the greatest of all the men in the east.
Judges 7: 12
Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley. . .
Ezekiel 25: 3a, 4a
"Say to the Ammonites, 'Hear the word of the LORD God! Thus says the LORD God; "Indeed, therefore, I will deliver you as a possession to the men of the East, and they shall set their encampments among you and make their dwelling among you; they shall eat your fruit and drink your milk."
COMMENTARY: The one thing which seems abundantly clear is that "the people of the East" is a designation for not only a people but an entire geographical region to the East of Judea, in Mesopotamia [Greek for between the two rivers of the Tigris and Euphrates]. Sometimes a specific country or tribal clan is used and at other times the generic term, "the people or sons of the East" are mentioned. Be that as it may, using the reference material in the Bible Dictionary by Smith and Peloubet, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1948, and a Bible Atlas or Map Index in most Bible versions, would seem to reveal that the territory occupied by ancient Middle Eastern tribes in the area are today populated by their descendants, who are: the people of Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq [Babylon], and even Iran [Persia]; for the most part.
Arabs trace their lineage to Ishmael, the Patriarch Abraham's firstborn son and his descendants and their territory is delineated in Genesis 16: 12; 25: 12, 13b-16, 18a.
Just think of the incredible irony: that while these same Arab nations want to destroy Israel and wipe all Jews off the planet Earth, but according to the Bible, there were 3 astrologers [most likely and almost undeniably Arabs] that left their country and traveled for perhaps several months or longer to arrive at the little town of Bethlehem. Upon their arrival they inquired and searched until they came to the house of a couple where the wife had given birth to a young Child around two years of age, who they believed was the King of the Jews. Upon entering and seeing the young male Child with His mother they praised God [I believe] while offering expensive and precious gifts, and they fell down prostrate on their knees, hands and face [emphasis mine] and worshipped a Jewish Messiah who is also, incidentally, the blessed Savior of the world.
Matthew 2: 1-2, 11a
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East [at its rising], and have come to worship Him. And going into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother and they fell down and worshipped Him. (Amplified Bible)
As a freebie, although it probably hadn't occurred to many people when they read about the person of "Job" in the Old Testament [TANAKH], he is not Jewish but in all likelihood an Arab (Cp. Job 1: 1a, 3b), but yet this book is one of the greatest treatises in the entire Bible, not only about suffering but on perhaps the very character of God Himself. And just to think of its inclusion in the Jewish sacred Scriptures shows how greatly it is valued and without its great spiritual insights and moral lessons, we as human beings would certainly be the poorer for it.
This "son of the east" [Arab] is so highly esteemed that he is listed with some of the most righteous men in the Bible, as Ezekiel 14: 14, 20a says: "Even if these three men, Noah [Gentile], Daniel [Jew], and Job [Arab] were in it [the land], they would save but their own lives by their righteousness- their uprightness and right standing with Me- says the LORD God. "Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live says the LORD God, they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would but deliver their own lives by their righteousness." (Amplified Bible)
Jews, Christians and Arabs may need to rethink their preconceived and religiously distorted attitudes towards each others "faith" because there is a tie that binds us all together, not just to a "common" human family but towards a belief in the same Creator and God who is one [echad] and the heavenly Father of us all [ha Shem, Jehovah, and Allah].
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August 19, 2010
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