What Is the Oldest Nation?

Accepted definitions and time estimates place Israel as one of the oldest of nations. Of present-day nations, probably only Egypt and China existed before Abraham settled in the land that would be named after his grandson. It is nothing short of absurd that America officially recognizes Israel as only a 68-year-old nation with 1967 borders.

Although scholars disagree on the exact time-frame of Abraham’s journey from Ur (now Iraq) to Canaan, most place it between 1700 and 2000 BC. That is when God told Abraham, “Go…to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation.” That divine promise was later reiterated to his grandson, Jacob, as God changed his name to Israel: “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name….I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come forth from you. The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you.”

After a period of exile in Egypt, Moses led the return of the nation of Israel back to their land where they flourished for centuries until they were conquered by Assyria and Babylonia in the 8th and 6th centuries BC. During that relatively brief exile, a remnant of their nation remained in the promised land, which later became known as Palestine during the Roman occupation. Finally, in the 1st century AD, their nation was uprooted again by Rome scattering most Jews to surrounding nations. Again, some still stayed in their homeland.

Over the following 1900 years, most Jews, escaping frequent persecution, migrated throughout the world. Yet, wherever they settled, they maintained a common bond as citizens of the Nation of Israel. Since the diaspora (scattering) of the 1st century, all Jewish people, wherever they lived, have seen Israel as their God-given homeland.

For those 19 centuries that Israel was ruled by Rome, the Arabs, the Ottomans (Turkey), and the British, a minority of Jews living in their homeland and millions living all over the world remained committed to returning their promised land to independent status. Each annual Passover meal, or Seder, celebrated by the Jews ends with the proclamation, “Next year in Jerusalem.” Large-scale immigration back to the homeland began toward the end of the Ottoman rule at the beginning of the 20th century and continued heavily through their declaration of independence in 1948 and UN recognition as a nation again in 1949.

The Palestinians who where occupying much of the land in 1949 were an indigenous mixture of Arab people from throughout the Middle East. These Arabs had filled the vacuum left by the Jews who had not been allowed into their country for centuries. Needing some kind of identity, they took up the name of Palestinians from the old Roman name of Palestine in reference to the land of Israel. However, Palestine has never been a nation, and Palestinians have never been a nationality. They have no recognized government, no common language, and no common culture. They have simply migrated from all over the Middle East to the promised land of Israel during the rule of the land by various foreign governments.

The UN position, presently supported by the United States, advocates a two-state division of the promised land between Israel and the Palestinians. This would mean the declaration of Palestinians as a nation for the first time ever. This Palestinian nation would officially take a huge chunk of the promised land that has belonged to Jewish people of Israel for around 4,000 years. By condemning Israel’s settlements in the West Bank last week, America has strengthened Palestinian insistence on taking Israel’s land for their own nation and weakened Israel’s hold on the land God has designated for them for four millennia.

America is opposing one of the oldest nations in the world, our only dependable ally in the Middle East, a 4,000 year precedent, and the will of God Almighty. This is a big deal!

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