Drawing published by A.B. Schater, Cincinnati, Ohio
November 2, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Balfour Declaration, in which Great Britain declared that “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object…”
When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas heard that Britain was preparing to celebrate the centennial of this famous document and all that it has represented concerning the rebirth of the state of Israel, he appealed to Arab leaders “to sue the British government for this historic crime that has brought upon the Palestinian people a tragedy from which it suffers to this day.”
Abbas urged Britain “to atone for this crime” by taking a series of measures, including “apologizing to the Palestinian people; recognizing the Palestinian state without delay; revoking the Balfour Declaration, and issuing a new declaration in its stead that does justice for the Palestinians, and compensating the Palestinians for the suffering caused by the declaration, just as Germany compensated the Jews for the Holocaust.” (memri.org)
It could not be clearer—Abbas’ goal is to destroy Israel and replace it with another Muslim Arab state!
AT THE UN
Last September—during a UN General Assembly address—Abbas called on the UK to apologize for the declaration.
“We ask Great Britain, as we approach 100 years since this infamous declaration, to draw the necessary lessons and to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people for the catastrophes, misery and injustice this declaration created and to act to rectify these disasters and remedy its consequences, including by the recognition of the state of Palestine,” Abbas said. “This is the least Great Britain can do.” (reuters.com)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also speaking at the UN, noted that the PA’s stance on the centenary is “another example” of the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
“That’s almost 100 years ago… Talk about being stuck in the past! The Palestinians might as well file a class action suit against Abraham, for buying land in Hebron,” he said, referencing the Biblical figure. (independent.co.uk)
In a speech to the Christian Friends of Israel in December 2016, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May called the pivotal letter written by Conservative Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild in 1917 “one of the most important letters in history” which “demonstrates Britain’s vital role in creating a homeland for the Jewish people.” May added, “It is an anniversary we will be marking with pride.” She has invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the official anniversary celebrations.(cfoi.co.uk)
BRITAIN PLANS A HOST OF CELEBRATIONS
And celebrate they will! Jews, Christians, and conservative statesmen and politicians will celebrate, along with British citizens who love Israel. University students, school children and diplomats from many countries will join in the celebrations.
A website, balfour100.org, has been created by and for the UK Christian coalition to commemorate the Balfour Declaration centenary. There will be a huge event at the Royal Albert Hall on November 7 with many other events around the UK. In fact, there will be celebrations during the month all over the nation.
BALFOUR DECLARATION HAS SHAPED HISTORY
Why then, is the Balfour Declaration so important? Why is it so “hallowed” among the Jewish people and evangelical Christians, and so controversial with Palestinians, Arabs and liberal politicians?
Critical to international law, it was the first formal policy declaring the right of the Jewish people to settle in their original homeland. Inevitably, understanding its true meaning and intention is clouded by differing worldviews and political bias. Nevertheless, it was the first step by any nation to recognize Zionist aspiration of any kind.
For people who do not know or believe the Old and New Testaments, the claim of Biblical rights to the land belonging to the Jewish people dating back 2,000 to 4,000 years just makes liberal eyes roll when they see Arabs who claim their ancestors lived in Jericho some 7,000 years ago, but who today live under the control of the 70-year-old nation of Israel.
One thing is certain: For the world in 1917 to even imagine a government making an official declaration to recreate the state of Israel some 1800 years after its demise, would seem objectively impossible, even fantastical. With millions of Muslims living in the Middle East whose religion teaches extreme hatred of Jews, with noxious centuries-old anti-Semitism throughout Europe, with deep anti-Semitism even in the United States a hundred years ago, who could imagine a scenario that a small island nation with an empire where the sun never set, would focus in on the non-existent nation of Israel, and seriously consider raising her from the dead?
BRITAIN’S CHRISTIAN AND ZIONIST PRIME MINISTER
Nevertheless, by the hand of God, it happened that in the years 1916-1922, David Lloyd George became Prime Minister of the largest empire the world had ever seen. Great Britain controlled 13 million square miles of the earth’s landmass and 20% of the world’s population.
The man God placed at the helm was a Welsh Christian who had been adopted by the family of a Baptist minister. He then continued as a devout member of the Disciples of Christ church all his life. He had been brought up on the Bible. In a speech much later in his life during a visit to “Canaan,” he told his Jewish audience, “I heard of Jezreel and Esdraelon, of Carmel and of Zion before I knew of the existence in my own land” of battles and disputed frontiers which occurred in England’s history. Because of his Biblical background he had been a loyal Zionist for several decades (unlike many other politicians from more conservative denominations such as the Anglicans.) (jta.org)
But among the daily duties of this Prime Minister, Lloyd George was also in charge of executing World War I in the theatres of Europe and the Middle East. It took a foreign secretary with like-minded theology to concentrate on drafting a document which would actually bring to life a homeland for the Jewish people. It so happens that Arthur Balfour was just such a foreign secretary and was in complete agreement with Lloyd George’s sentiments.
A CABINET FULL OF CHRISTIANS
Balfour was known as a devout Christian, and theology was one of his favorite subjects. “His interest in the Jews and their history was lifelong,” his niece Blanche Dugdale later wrote. “It originated in the Old Testament training that Balfour had received from his mother and in his Scottish upbringing.…the problem of the Jews in the modern world seemed to him of immense importance,” wrote Dugdale. “He always talked eagerly on this…that Christian religion and civilization owe to Judaism an immeasurable debt, shamefully ill repaid.”
In fact, two decades later during World War II, Lord Balfour’s family took in 180 Jewish children who were transported into Britain before the Nazis could reach them.
Moreover, it so happened the war cabinet of Prime Minister Lloyd George was made up of nine members, seven of whom had been raised in evangelical homes or personally embraced evangelicalism. More specifically, six of these seven had been raised in evangelical Calvinist homes. Back then, in the 1800s–early 1900s Calvinists were pro-Israel, and as “restorationists” looked forward to the Jews returning to their homeland in the last days.
It would have been highly improbable to put together a more evangelical group of men who were influenced by the Bible at the highest level of British government in those days than the ones who made up that group. In fact, only one cabinet member was firmly anti-Zionist, Edwin Samuel Montagu, and he was Jewish! (jpost.com)
WOULD AMERICA SUPPORT THE DECLARATION?
But before Prime Minister Lloyd George and Secretary Balfour would feel the courage to finalize such a profound undertaking, they felt they must have the backing of the United States. Would America be interested in such an unusual enterprise?
They contacted President Woodrow Wilson. Now it so happened that Wilson was the most pro-Jewish president the U.S. has ever had. He appointed the first Jew to the Supreme Court, Louis Brandeis, a fervent Zionist—who also counseled Wilson about the Balfour Declaration. Earlier, as president of Princeton University, Wilson had appointed the first Jew to the faculty.
Wilson was a Presbyterian elder of deep religious faith, the son of a leading theologian. He read the Bible daily, and said he felt “sorry for the men who do not read the Bible every day.” He also prayed on his knees twice a day. In short, Wilson was the most Christian president the U.S. has ever had. Had Lloyd George not had Wilson’s full support, it is doubtful the British would have put forward the Declaration. (haaretz.com)
One other person was providentially instrumental in persuading the British prime minister to take this extraordinary leap into legalizing a Jewish homeland. Chaim Weizmann was a brilliant Jewish scientist who devised a process to create acetone—a substance the British munitions industry was in dire need of. This achievement granted him access to the very politicians deciding the future of the Middle East. His leadership was already recognized some years earlier when he emphatically pushed for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, and not Uganda, of all places, as some influential voices were demanding.
THE DIE IS CAST
On November 2, on behalf of the British Government, Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour sent the Declaration in the form of a letter to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader of the Jewish community.(wikipedia.org)
Historically, the Rothschild family was not known to be Zionistic. In fact, many British Jews were not at all Zionists. While many prominent Jews in Western Europe were afraid that a Jewish homeland could threaten their status in Europe, Walter Rothschild argued that a Jewish Nation could be a home for those Jews who did not or could not live in their countries. As a major leader of the Jewish Community in Great Britain, Rothschild received and delivered the letter to the Jewish Zionist Federation, where from then on, it became an authoritative document used in international policy and law.
BRITAIN MOVES TROOPS INTO THE HOLY LAND
Meanwhile, the British were bogged down in the Middle East in their offensive against the Ottoman Turks. Lloyd George quietly moved his best general from the Western Front in Europe to take charge of the Palestine Campaign, and General Edmund Allenby did not disappoint. Lloyd George also ordered an increase in the number of British troops, and Allenby “received extra aeroplanes, battalions and battleships.” These moves were done quietly to make sure the British would capture Jerusalem before the French or the Germans. (pre-trib.org)
Now it so happened that General Allenby was a devoted Christian who read his Bible on a daily basis. Allenby was a believer in Bible prophecy. He had to have been deeply moved when he received the commission to liberate Jerusalem from the Islamic Ottoman Empire and prepare the land of Canaan for the return of the Jewish people. Two British army sergeants were the first to see Jerusalem’s Muslim mayor carrying a white flag of surrender on December 9, 1917, just a little over a month after the issuance of the Balfour Declaration. December 9 happened to be the Jewish date of 24 Kislev, the first day of Hanukkah, celebrating the rededication of the Temple of God. (See page 6.) (cai.org)
Today, the Palestinian Authority works without ceasing to delegitimize, demonize and ultimately replace the Jewish state with a Muslim one. Its leaders declare that Jews never lived in Palestine, and most of the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world are convinced that this is truth. However, much to the PA’s dismay, archeologists are digging up on a regular basis all kinds of remnants of Israel’s ancient heritage in the land of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The Balfour Declaration was the first legal document to physically resurrect this ancient nation—as foretold by Israel’s prophets thousands of years ago.
It is the Sovereign God who positioned men in places of authority and power, who knew the Bible. God’s plans will never be thwarted. Blessed are those who have eyes to see and ears to hear!
ISRAEL ENDORSED, APPROVED, CERTIFIED, LEGALIZED FOUR TIMES!
November 2, 1917
Balfour Declaration By Britain which declared its intention to create a Jewish state out of “Palestine.” Palestine was a geographical area (not a people) between the Mediterranean to the west, and Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Arabia to the north and east.
April 19-25, 1920
San Remo Article 22: Meeting of Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, & others to decide future of defeated Ottoman Empire territories. Participants signed and certified the wording of the Balfour Declaration, making it an international binding law to establish Palestine as a homeland for the Jews.
July 24, 1922
League of Nations: A legal document titled “Mandate for Palestine” was unanimously approved by the 51 states of the League which laid down the Jewish legal rights in Palestine: “Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” The League mandated: “The Mandatory [Britain] shall be responsible for placing the country [Palestine] under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home, as laid down in the preamble…
However, the Mandate for Palestine divided Palestine into two parts: west of the Jordan River for the Jews, and east of the Jordan for the Arabs, giving 77% of Palestine formerly promised to the Jews, for a Trans-Jordan state.
November 29, 1947
UN General Assembly Resolution 181: Resolution 181 called for a further partition of Palestine west of the Jordan River, dividing it into two states: a Jewish state and an Arab state. It was approved on November 29, 1947. The Jews in Palestine accepted the resolution, but the Arabs in Palestine and the Arab states rejected it to this day.
In none of these documents does the word “Palestinians” appear as such a people did not exist at the time of these documents. After the Six Day War in 1967, the Palestinians appeared. Until then, there were Jews, Christians and Muslims/Arabs.
JERUSALEM, DECEMBER 11, 1917:
The atmosphere was electric as General Edmund Allenby dismounted his horse in humility, removed his hat in reverence, and entered the walls of the Old City through the Jaffa Gate, which hadn’t been in use for many years.
Six hundred and seventy-three years of Muslim rule were over. Iconic footage shows Jewish people welcoming the general as if he was some kind of messiah, and the Land was never the same again.
As time went on, Britain’s ardor for a Jewish state quickly cooled, but the story of how this particular moment came about is one of breathtaking wonder.
JERUSALEM’S 400 YEARS OF BONDAGE
After other Muslim (and Crusader) conquests had come and gone, the Turkish Ottomans conquered and ruled over Jerusalem from 1517 to 1917—what was then called Palestine for exactly 400 years. In the Bible, 400 years seems to be a bit of a byword for slavery and oppression—400 years of Canaanite sin stored up for wrath, 400 years of slavery in Egypt… and here we have 400 years of Ottoman rule.
The building of churches and synagogues was outlawed, church bells were forbidden; non-Muslims (dhimmis) had to pay the jizya tax. But most catastrophically of all, in 1915 the call had gone out to wipe out every Christian in the Empire. The Armenian Genocide included not only Armenians but also Catholics and Greek Orthodox Christians. One-and-a-half-million were murdered, and many more suffered horrifically before making their escape.
GOD’S STRATEGY GIVEN IN ISAIAH 31
As the Turks were allied with Germany in the First World War, the British found themselves fighting against the fading Ottoman Empire in the Middle East. General Allenby was charged with liberating Jerusalem and had expressed concern to his superiors about the magnitude and sensitivity of the task before him.
He had been ordered to take the city without firing on the people or the city. How on earth was it to be done? “Pray,” the answer came from above, which perhaps did not seem to be very helpful at the time. But Allenby did pray.
Allenby had come across the work of Bible scholar, Dr. H. Aldersmith, who had been studying the prophecies regarding Israel. Aldersmith explained in his book from 1898, “Fullness of the Nations,” that he believed Jerusalem would be delivered by Great Britain in 1917. He had become convinced from Isaiah 31:4-5 that the UK would have a part to play in the restoration of Jerusalem, and that it would be accomplished by some kind of flying machine.
“…So will the Lord of hosts come down to wage war on Mount Zion and on its hill.” Like flying birds so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem. He will protect and deliver it: He will pass over and rescue it. Isaiah 31:4b-5
Aldersmith had arrived at this idea even before the Wright brothers took their first flight in 1903—airplanes had not even been invented. But fourteen years later in 1917 airplanes were being used (but not commonly), and most people had never seen one. This man’s conviction about Isaiah 31 was Allenby’s inspiration. He would fly planes over Jerusalem, and drop notes written in Arabic saying, “Surrender the city! Allenby.”
AN ARAB PROVERB
There was an Arab saying that, “The Turks will not leave Jerusalem until the river Nile flows in Palestine and the prophet expels them from the city.”
Remarkably enough, events conspired to bring these two highly unlikely things to pass. British troops were stationed in Egypt in the years leading up to these events, and Lieutenant General Sir Archibald Murray gained authorization to build a pipeline to pump fresh Nile water and a railway to supply their troops. By 1917, the water had arrived, along with the troops, in Palestine. Most bizarre, the River Nile was flowing in Palestine.
Secondly, Allenby airdropped notes that when written in Arabic, looked like this: “Surrender the city! Al Nabi,” which means “The Prophet.” After the mysterious flying objects sent messages from Allenby (“Al Nabi,”) many of the Turks immediately fled the evening of December 8, 1917. All through the night, Turkish troops were fleeing Jerusalem.
By early morning, December 9, all had gone, and the Mayor of Jerusalem with a small party came under a white flag to surrender the keys of the city. The formal surrender was accepted by General O’Shea, on behalf of the Commander-in-Chief. Jerusalem was delivered and not a shot was fired.
General Allenby officially accepted the surrender at David’s Tower by the Jaffa Gate two days later, and a proclamation was read in seven languages, telling the people they could go quietly and undisturbed about their ordinary business, and all their holy places would be respected.
THE PROPHET HAGGAIN POINTS TO A DATE
So the evening of December 8th through the day of December 9th was a critical and historical time. In the Jewish calendar, from sunset December 8th through to sunset December 9th that year fell on the 24th of the Jewish month of Kislev. What is so special about the 24th Kislev?
To find the answer, we need to go back many hundreds of years to the prophet Haggai. Kislev is the ninth month of the Jewish calendar, and if we read the second chapter of Haggai, a prophet who was ministering during the building of the Second Temple, we notice that he highlights that very date three times.
Haggai is receiving the word from the Lord on that date, 24th Kislev, and tells us to “consider” that date, or to pay careful attention to it in verse 10, 18 and again in verse 20.
The context of the chapter is mainly surrounding the issue of the Temple, of holiness and defilement, and of blessing for his people. God reminds us of his power over all the nations, and his total sovereignty. He can shake the nations whenever he chooses. He promises blessing for the people of Israel and draws our attention quite pointedly to that particular date—the 24th of Kislev. “But from this day on,” writes Haggai, “I will bless you.”
Some believe that the Feast of Dedication, Hanukkah, has its roots in this chapter, since it surrounds the issue of rededicating the Temple. Perhaps this date was significant to the Jewish people even before the Maccabees overthrew the Greeks and cast out their idols from the Temple in 167 BCE.
THE END OF MUSLIM RULE
Either way, the idea of removing that which is against the God of Israel from his holy place resonates throughout the ages at this very time in the Jewish calendar. Is it a coincidence that the Muslim authorities raised a white flag in Jerusalem, the city that God calls “Mine”? Jerusalem on the 24th of Kislev, (Dec. 9, 1917) was liberated, ending Islamic rule.
Moreover, even further back than Haggai, Daniel 12:12 also prophesied that there would be blessing for Jerusalem after “1335 days.” As one of the British officers was amazed to realize, the Islamic year in 1917 was 1335, since the Muslim (lunar) calendar started in 622. Keen observers of prophecy such as Dr. H. Aldersmith had already put the pieces together, and were expecting redemption and blessing for Jerusalem in 1917. The 1335 years were up. “Blessed is he,” writes Daniel, “who waits and arrives at 1,335 days.”
After 1335 years of Islam, the city of Jerusalem was delivered by the British using airplanes that “hovered like birds” on 24th Kislev in 1917.
Reprinted with permission (Link)
Dear Maoz Israel Ministries,
Last week I read your email on “Ending the Famine.” Thinking at first that the topic related to a physical food problem, I was curiously surprised that it was instead being applied to the dearth of the Word of God among Israelis. I would have never imagined that the Tanach in Israel had such little appeal to many in large part because it was still being taught in its ancient Hebrew. It never dawned on me that the zeal of Jewish scribes to keep the originals intact would have prevented the introduction of more modern versions to have arisen by now.
I recently started teaching myself Koine Greek with the intention of being able to read the New Testament in its original language. I’ve bought a Greek NT that includes passage title descriptions in English and footnote translations to words that are deemed non-common. I absolutely love it and it is proving to be of tremendous help to me. I am most certain that a similarly enhanced version of this, as you describe in your vision for the Hebrew translation, would be of great appeal to Israelis. For this reason, I felt led to “buy” a $250 sheet “share” (for I personally see this as an awesome spiritual investment opportunity!).
I very much share in your excitement about this project and hope that you will keep us posted of its progress along the way. I will definitely be including it in my prayers as well!
You can sponsor one or more pages of this Bible in Hebrew for $250 (£195, €210, CAN $315) per page.
A three-year project to bring the Hebrew Bible (Old and New Testaments) to Israelis with narration and footnote dictionary to clarify the meaning of difficult words and passages.