In John 8:32, we are told, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” It is paramount, therefore, we find that TRUTH and never deviate from it, for without the enemy’s shackles can never be broken.
“Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul.” (1 Samuel 17:12)
With this study, we will investigate a doctrine contrary to all that is Holy, and will only tighten our chains of servitude all the more. This great FALLACY is a formula for disaster, and when we are finished, we will see clearly how UN-Scriptural it is. The proponents of this heresy dub it “In Search of The Missing Birthright.”
Once analyzing the nature of the distortion and the unsoundness of its foundation, one can recognize it for the FRAUD it really is. Its very beginning is a deception, for the “birthright” was never lost. The undeniable intent of this heresy has nothing to do with the “birthright” was never lost.
The undeniable intent of this heresy has nothing to do with the “birthright,” but to remove the Scepter from the tribe of Judah and transfer it to the Tribe of Ephraim. Let’s call it what it truthfully is. If the Scepter were to go to Ephraim, as they falsely claim, Ephraim would have everything and Judah nothing. Once grasping their subterfuge as a means to divert the eye toward the birthright while manipulating the Scepter, their entire shell-game is exposed.
After propagating the above highly misleading title-heading, the proponents of this false doctrine will say:
“The birthright belonging to the House of Ephraim was hidden by the scribes who ruled the Sanhedrin” and that “the scribes also tried to distort the genealogy of the Messiah so as to create the appearance that the Messiah would descend from Judah and not Joseph Ephriam.”
Continuing, they will claim that the motive was selfishly done “to enhance their own importance as they believed that they descended from Judah, and wanted to glory in being in the tribe from which the Savior-Messiah would be born.” They make the unfounded claim, “we can safely assume that the scribes were learned Talmudic experts and that maybe they knew that they in fact were descendants of Satan but claiming to be the undiluted seed of Abraham through Judah.”
How do you like that word assume?” Answer: We can’t “safely assume” any such thing. Breaking down that word it reads “ass-me-me.” (Ass-of-me) and that is what they do.
Then they will walk you through Genesis 28:10-15 where Jacob uses a rock for a pillow and dreamed of a ladder from earth to heaven; Genesis 28:18-22 where Jacob sets up the rock for a pillar (witness), anoints it with oil and names the place Bethel; Genesis 31:13 where Yahweh identifies Himself with the angle at Behel; Genesis 35:9-15 where Jacob’s name is changed in Israel and Yahweh reconfirms His promises and Jacob once again anoints the stone and designates the place as Bethel. They then take Genesis 49:24 completely out of context to prove their unfounded, groundless argument. That passage is speaking of Jacob’s blessing on Joseph and pertains to both the House of Ehpraim and the House of Manasseh (now just Ephraim) and reads:
“But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel).”
The motive of the proponents of the Ephraim-Scepter heresy is to deviously precondition the unwary Bible student so he will unguardedly accept the misconception that the “shepherd” and “stone” represent respectively our Redeemer the Messiah, and Jacob’s pillar These terms don’t even come close to that hypothesis, so their premise is flawed from the start. While you will notice that the last phrase is enclosed in parentheses (a device of English grammar), parentheses in the A.V., are used to mark a digression in the narrative by the writer, and such digression should be kept in its proper context.
It simply means that Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) was a prince among his brothers; a shepherd tribe(s), a rock of refuge, a type of Messiah, but not actually the promised Messiah, and a sustainer of his brethren. In other words, Joseph would be solid, and afterward advanced to a shepherd to feed in time of famine, a stone or rock in support of all of Jacob/Israel. All one need do is to take a look at Ehpraim and Manasseh (England and America) today, and they are feeding much of the world, and their weapons of war, though used in many cases for all the wrong reasons, have no equal among the nations.
Anyway, the terms “shepherd” and “stone” is that phrase DO NOT represent the Messiah or Jacob’s anointed stone, Bethel. The proponents of the Ephraim-Scepter heresy are reading something into that verse that simply is not there.
As the advocates for the Ephraim-Scepter heresy continue to prop up their untenable position by citing varius passages of Scripture, they show their utter disregard for Biblical history in evaluating the circumstances and the time-periods involved. They cite Joshua 24:24-27 where Joshua sets up a stone under an oak as a witness at Shechem where the people pledged to keep the law.
That was not Jacob’s anointed Bethel stone, and was much before Jerusalem became the Capital of the United Kingdom. Before Jerusalem was established as a religious center. Shechem served that purpose, and because it was the place where Jacob set up an altar, it continued to be the place for crowning kings even until Rohoboam who became king of Judah.
It’s a blatant attempt to favor Ephraim at Judah’s expense. Then they cite 1 Kings 12:1 showing that Rohoboam went to Shechem to be crowned king at Ephraim. As you can plainly see, citing this passage does not in any way make Rohoboam an Ephraimite as they imply.
Then they cite 1 Kings 12:25 in an attempt to claim that Jeroboam, son of Nebat of the Tribe of Ephraim somehow legitimizes their claim that Ephraim was the Scepter tribe
Then, in another vain attempt to bolster their absurd position, they quote 2 kings 11:13-14 and 2 Chronicles 23:13 where the eight-year old Josh (Jerash) was crowned by a “pillar.” Doubtless, ti was in fact Jacob’s anointed stone, but that in no way makes him of the Tribe of Ephraim.
Further, to hatch their unwarranted point, they site Judges 9:1-6 where it speaks of a certain Abimelech, a son of Judge Gideon born of his concubine at Shechem. After his father’s death, Abimelech with presumptuous impudence sought out to make himself king. Cunningly, he appealed to the landowners of Shechem though his mother’s influential family.
After obtaining their support he hired some hoodlums, went to his father’s house at Ophrah, and there annihilated his half brothers upon a single stone. Of the 70 half brothers, only the youngest, Jotham, escaped the slaughter, whereupon Abimelech proclaimed himself king, standing by a pillar at Shechem. Again, al this adds nothing to their family supposition about Ephraim being the Scepter tribe. It is overwhelmingly obvious their motive in using these passages is to favor Ephraim and lambast Judah.
After this, they point to Hosea 3:4 which says:
“For the children (of the northern kingdom) of Israel shall abide many days (years) without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim.”
Evidently somehow, according to the Ephraim-Scepter people, this passage is supposed to prove Ephraim was the Scepter tribe. Actually, this passage along with verse 5 teaches quite the opposite. Verse 4 is designed to show a lengthy period of isolation for northen Israel, and the absence of a KING and PRINCE implies a loss of national sovereignty.
The elimination of SACRIFICE and SACRED STONES meant the cessation of formal religious activity. However, with the adoration of Baal, Israel’s sacrifices became contaminated, and her condition was further exacerbated by the people’s failure to obey the more important matters of the Law. Without an IMAGE, literally a pillar (KJV center reference) no other than Jacob’s anointed stone, bethel, which Jeremiah took to Ireland.
Without an EPHOD; assuredly the ephod of Exodus 28:6-14, or Israel’s royal colors and two onyx identifying stones with six names each (including Judah). Without TERAPHIM; teraphim meant inheritance in ancient times, and when all Israel was divorced, they lost theirs temporarily until Messiah purchased them back. Hosea 3:5 says:
“Afterwards shall the children of Israel return, and seek Yahweh their El, and David (Messiah, the lion of the Tribe of Judah) their king; and shall fear Yahweh his goodness in the latter days.”
In no way doe this passage in Hosea support an Ephraim-Scepter theory, but upholds the Judah-Scepter fact.
Confused with Ephrath
The next blatant, intentional deception the proponent of the Ephraim-Scepter heresy use is purposely confounding the geographical location of Ephrath with the unrelated biological Tribe of Ephraim.
They will start something like this:
“As you shall see, hidden in the flawed Bible text in plain sight of millions of readers is the mystery of the true birthplace of the Savior.”
Then they will ask the sly question:
“In what city was the Promised Messiah born, Bethlehem Judah, or Bethlehem Ephrath?” (Ephrath also spelled Ephrath) Not only do they confound the geographical Ephrath with the Tribe of Ephraim, but also confuse the location of Ephrath with the city of Ephraim in John 11:54. So where is that so-called “Bethlehem Ephrath” in the territory of Ephraim? It’s not there, and I never was.
The only Bethlehem Ephrath was in Judah. The EphrAIN of 2 Chronicles 13:19 is NOT EphrAIM, but rather an error in the A.V., for Ephron (Strong’s #6085), and no Old Testament geographical city of “Ephraim” can be found, and the Ephriam mentioned at John 11:54 may not be an actual town at all.
Now in the A.V., there was a second Bethlehem in the northern Kingdom, but it was in the territory of Zebulun (seven miles NW of Nazareth), not Ephraim. (Joshua 19:10-16, especially verse 15). The LXX has it Bathman (Beth-man).The true location of Bethlehem Ephrath can be resolved at Genesis 35:16, where it says:
“And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.”
All one need do is find a map of Palestine with a scale-of-miles and locate Bethel along with the Bethlehem in Judah and the Bethlehem or Bathman, seven miles NW of Nazareth, and measure the miles between these three locations very carefully. Upon doing that it will be found that from Bethel south to Bethlehem Judah is 16 miles, where as from Bethel north to Bethlehem-Zebulun in 62 miles.
Surely, the description “a little way” hardly fits the Bethlehem in Zebulun. Moreover, one would hardly think that Jacob would put Rachel on a pack-animal in her sick and dying condition in “hard labor” and force her to travel 62 miles north to the Bethlehem in Zebulun. It is considerably apparent that the Ephriam-Scepter people are talking when they should be listening, and being taught rather than teaching.
Yet in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, the Ephriam-Scepter theorists continue spouting their false dogma. There simply is no Biblical, secular or archaeological record of such a so-called place as “Bethlehem Ephrath” in the area of the Tribe of Ephriam. Another witness, The Protevangelion of James 12:1-5 properly identifies the correct Bethlehem:
1: And it came to pass, that there went forth a decree from the Emperor Augustus, that all the Jews (Judeans) should be taxed, who were of Bethlehem in Judea:
2: And Joseph said, I will take care that my children be taxed: but what shall I do with this young woman?
3: To have her taxed as my wife I am ashamed; and if I tax her as my daughter, all Israel knows she is not my daughter.
4: When the time of the Lord’s appointment shall come, let him do as seems good to him.
5: And he saddled the ass, and put her upon it, and Joseph and Simon followed after her, and ARRIVED AT BETHLEHEM WITHIN THREE MILES.
Again in 1 Infancy 1:5 we read:
“Joseph therefore arose, and with May his spouse he went to Jerusalem, and then came to Bethlehem, that he and his family might be taxed in the city of his fathers.”
Again, the Ephriam-Scepter advocates are proving to be only surface-readers of the Bible rather than mature students. All one need do is read Matthew 2:21-23 and it perfectly clear that Messiah-Emmanuel was born in Bethlehem of Judea rather than anyplace in northern Israel:
21: And he (Joseph) arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22: But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to got thither: notwithstanding, being warned of Yahweh in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
23: And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”
From this, it should be categorically indisputable that Yahshua was born in Bethlehem of Judah PERIOD. That fact should not even be debated. If Joseph was afraid to return to where he departed, he would of necessity had to have left from somewhere in Judea which was his ancestral home, and some nonexistent, mythical so-called “Bethlehem Ephrath” in Ephriam.
The Ephriam-Scepter heretics are implying that Joseph left form somewhere in northern Israel to go to Egypt. If that’s the case (and it’s not true), he would have returned to the same place he left, making this passage a total lie. It should be glaringly obvious that when they departed for Egypt, they left from Joseph’s ancestral home in Judea, and when they left Egypt, they returned to Mary’s birthplace at Nazareth, which evidently at times Joseph used as a temporary residence. It appears from verse 22 that Joseph’s initial intention was to return to Bethlehem in Judea.
Then, the Ephriam-Scepter people try to make a case of Ephriam receiving all the inheritance of Jacob as jewelry, ointments, revered relics, Bethel stone, etc., and somehow that is supposed to, in their perverted way of reasoning give Ephriam the Scepter that rightly belongs to Judah.
Continuing, they cite 12 varius Scriptures on “rock,” evidently trying once again to prove Yahshua was the “stone’ of Genesis 49:24. After that they attempt to add some words to Micah 5:22 which were never implied:
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephrath, though thou be little among (compared to) the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel: whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
With this little twist, they shift the “ruler” (Scepter) from Judah to Ephriam. They do this by fallaciously claiming that the geographical location of “Ephrath” means the same thing as the Tribe of Ephriam. Further they ask an unskilled, in competent illogical double question: “Where is Bethel Ephrath? Is it in Galilee of Ephriam?” Illogical in as much as “Bethel” and “Ephrath” are two different unrelated localities; and when combined together as “Bethel Ephrath,” there s no such place Furthermore, the lot apportioned to the Tribe of Ephriam was not in Galilee nor Galilee in Ehpraim’s lot, for they also are two separate entities (shades of Bozo the clown).
The Bethel-Bethlehem Hocus-Pocus
Not only do the Ephriam-Scepter practitioners deliberately misrepresent the geographic Ephrath as being the same as the Tribe of Ephriam, but they also manipulate Bethel and Bethlehem to be the same place. Let’s observe how they maneuver that subterfuge:
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephrath...The words tingle with excitement and mystery. Why Bethlehem? Where is Bethlehem? What role has it played in history to make God’s choice for the birthright of His Son? Actually Bethlehem is one of several names for the same place in Holy Scripture. The Hittites called it Luz meaning the place of an almond tree.”
This is simply preposterous. But as stated here, rather than “tingle with excitement,” it gives a pain in one’s posterior, and let’s see why. If one will check any good Bible dictionary, they will find that Luz was Bethel, not Bethlehem.
Let’s state that again: Bethel is not Bethlehem and Bethlehem is not Bethel. They might sound somewhat alike but they are two separate, individual entities. (To add two sound alike also, along with cite, site and sight) Let’s read Genesis 28:19 to confirm that pregnant fact:
“And he (Jacob) called the name of that place bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.”
Therefore, Bethel only was called Luz, and Bethlehem has nothing to do with it. The only thing these two place-names have in common is the Hebrew word “beth”which means “house.” Bethel therefore means “house of El,” and Bethlehem “house of bread.” I’m sure that El is the bread of life, but that analogy cannot be applied to these two geographical locations.
You should now grasp somewhat the underhanded tactics these turkeys are using. If Bethel and Bethlehem are the same place, there is no way Jacob could have journeyed from Bethel to Ephrath (Bethlehem) as stated in Genesis 35:16. That passage is very clear that Jacob and company “journeyed FROM Bethel, and their destination was Ephrath (Bethlehem). (absurdity unlimited) Let’s repeat it again: Bethel is not Bethlehem and Bethlehem is not Bethel.
After attempting to establish that faulty premise, they moved on to another flawed supposition, and a quite serious one at that. The Ephriam-Scepter people, in their own words, with several misquotes and typographical errors, start by stating:
“Now let us the trail of deception of the scribes starting in the book of Luke chapter 2.” Continuing with their muddled typing and inaccurate quoting, they will approach the subject from the backdoor, and this is what they say:
1: Herod the king, behold, wisemen from the East came to Jerusalem,
2: Saying, Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His Star in the East, and have come to worship Him. When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the People together, inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by The prophet...Now let us examine the text that the scribes was quoting from in the Book of Micah to see if they quote this prophesy correctly.
1: But thou Bethlehem Ephrata, which art little to be [compared] among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall one come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth re from of old, from Everlasting You will notice how they insert the word “compare” in brackets. Their motivation is to make you believe that Bethlehem is in Ephriam, and the prophet is comparing it with all the larger cities of Judah. No, it is comparing it with all the larger cities of Judah of which Bethlehem was a part.
Then they continue with this statement:
“The prophesy reads that Christ would come out of a small region called Bethlehem Ephrath not Bethlehem Judah.”
Continuing they state:
“In ancient times Luz better known as Bethel, this is the original home place of Jacob in the territory inherited by Joseph. Jacobs property in Genesis 49:24 given to Joseph was the promised seed (Christ) would come through the house of Joseph Ephriam claiming the brightright (author’s text copied exactly)”
Garbage Piled on top of garbage what a disarray of confusion. That passage has nothing to do with “Christ,” nor does Jacob’s Bethel make Joseph the Scepter tribe. By the way, the scribe they are calling a liar is Luke, the physician of Colossians 4:14, a coworker with Paul, and I hardly believe Luke was a “Talmudic scribe of the Sanhedrin” as the Ephriam-Scepter people claim. (Luke was a Greek from Antioch). Before they are through, they will call Matthew the Apostle, and John the beloved liars also. If this were true, (and it isn’t), three of the four witnesses to the Gospel are false witnesses. Now that’s serious.
Then this Ephriam-Scepter advocate asked an asinine two-part question:
“Why do most think the birthright was Judah? When Jacob’s prophecy states clearly that the scepter would depart from Judah when the true birthright inheritor Christ the promised seed came?”
“Asinine” inasmuch as such un-learned gibberish proves they can’t even ask a rational, scholarly question. Outside of a few Ephriam-Scepter people, I have never read or heard anyone suggest that Judah received the “birthright.” It should be quite evident this two-part question the incompetent proponents of this insane heresy confuse the birthright with the scepter.
Unequivocally, the Scepter is not the birthright, nor is the birthright the Scepter. Judah was the Scepter tribe and Joseph through Ephriam and Manasseh were the birthright tribes. The second part of this two-part question suggests, contrary to Genesis 49:12 that the Scepter would depart from Judah when Messiah comes. To understand their bizarre harebrained premise on that, one must ascertain that they consider Emmanuel’s first coming to be His Shiloh coming.
That position simply is not true for at His Shiloh, or Second Coming, there will be “a gathering of the people” which never happened at His First Coming. Where did that adage disappear to that we could rightly divide the Word? All one need do is check 1 Chronicles 5:1-2, for it states clearly that the birthright, after Reuben’s disqualification, went the Joseph and that Judah became “chief ruler” or the Scepter tribe.
To show how inconsistent those who teach this untenable doctrine are, in one breath they strongly claim that David and Jesse were Ephraimites rather than Judahites, and in the next breath will admit that Judah had the Scepter only to have it take away again. It would seem they really should make up their mind which way they want it to be, because it can’t be both ways.
While there is absolutely no doubt that Ephriam is one of the two Brightright tribes, on the other hand, Ephriam has proved by his performance he doesn’t have what it takes for leadership. The entire chapter of Psalm 78 is devoted to that theme, especially verses 9, 11, 57, 60 and 68. Time after time Ephriam failed in that position.
Then Psalm 78:67-68 sums up the chapter by saying:
67: Moreover he (Yahweh) refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephriam;
68: But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.”
Judah was the fighting tribe then as well as now. Judah today is found in Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and the United States. If your lineage is of these four, then you are of the same tribe that the Almighty chose to come in the flesh. Judah’s hand is to be “in the neck of thine enemies.” (Genesis 49:8) In other words, without Judah, which includes Yahshua, we have no salvation form our age-old fight with the seed of the serpent.
It is simply amazing what some people dream up on what they presume the Bible is saying. This subject is no exception. Evidently, they are endeavoring to find some new revelation so they can set themselves up, wittingly or unwittingly, on a pedestal and lord it over everyone else as some kind of pompous, grandiose, overblown demagogue.
This is the image they make of themselves when peddling this off-the-wall, counterproductive, recycled hogwash, and that is probably overrating it. For those who don’t know what the Ephraim-Scepter heresy is all about, it’s a sorry, reprehensible attempt to remove the Scepter from Judah and place it in Ephraim’s hands. The reason for such outlandish, preposterous conclusions is because they haven’t the slightest idea why Judah was chosen by Jacob for the Scepter in the first place.
We are told in Genesis 35:23 that Jacob, by his first wife Leah, had six male children: (1) Reuben, (2) Simeon, (3) Levi, (4) Judah, (5) Issachar, and, (6) Zebulun. Ancient Law demanded that the first born son receive both the birthright and Scepter. But in this case, Reuben was disqualified for both the birthright and Scepter because he had violated another of Jacob’s wives Bilhah, Genesis 35:22.
After this disqualification, the birthright and Scepter were divided between the children of Jacob by Leah and Rachel, Leah’s line receiving the Scepter and Rachel’s line the birthright. Sonce Reuben was disqualified, the next in turn for the Scepter in Leah’s line would be Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun in that order. But Jacob had a problem with both Simeon and Levi and bypassed them in favor of Judah for the Scepter.
The story on Simeon and Levi is told in Genesis Chapter 34, where the Hivite Shechem, son of Hamor, raped Dinah, full sister of Simeon and Levi. Upon this Simeon and Levi dealt deceitfully with them requiring all the men of their city to be circumcised so Shechem might have Dinah to wife. (This Shechem shouldn’t be confused with the city of Shechem or two other people by that name). Reportedly, while the men were sore from the circumcision, Simeon and Levi “digged down a wall;” slew all the male inhabitants; spoiled the city and rescued Dinah.
Jacob reminded Simeon and Levi of this when he passed on the birthright and Scepter in Genesis 49:5-6. It wasn’t that these Hivites didn’t deserve what they got, but Jacob understood that Simeon and Levi didn’t have the qualities required for leadership. Therefore, Jacob designated the coolheaded Judah for that position. Had Simeon and Levi waited for Jacob’s guidance, the same outcome would have resulted without putting the whole family at risk
Should one check Josephus’ antiquities 121:1-3, he will find that Dinah had gone on a shopping excursion at a festival where women’s “finery” was for sale. Knowing the wiles of the Hivites, perhaps when Dinah stepped into the woman’s private clothing booth, Shechem entered and forced himself on her and raped her. (The Canaanite-kikes were in the clothing business in those days also). Oddly enough Josephus says nothing about any circumcision, but that the men of the city got drunk at the festival, and that was when Simeon and Levi killed the.
In any case, this is the reason that Jacob bypassed Simeon and Levi, and chose Judah. Therefore, Judah’s line got the Scepter and Joseph’s line got the birthright. Again, Joseph was bypassed in favor of his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Had Jacob given the birthright directly to Joseph, it would have been only a single portion, whereas giving it to his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh, it became a double blessing.
The promoters of the Ephraim-Scepter heresy are totally ignorant of these facts, for they are unable to differentiate between the birthright and the Scepter. Again, the birthright is not the Scepter and the Scepter is not the birthright. Once more, they ignorantly leave Manasseh entirely out of that birthright, and all they can think about is Ephraim. It’s imply amazing how people read these passages concerning Reuben, Simeon and Levi and have no idea what they are talking about.
From Paddan Aram to Bethlehem Judea
Although the territory of Judah hadn’t been established yet in the book of Genesis, nevertheless it was called at that time Ephrath, when Jacob returned to his father’s family after 20 years in Paddan Aram. This is an important element, as the Ephraim-Scepter people vainly attempt to place Ephrath in the territory of Ephraim, which also hadn’t yet been established.
Actually, Jacob had left Beersheba to journey to Paddan Aram, and when leaving Laban his father-in-law, was returning to that same general location, which was about 40 miles south of Ephrath.
Beersheba is the same location that Israel (Jacob) stopped at before going into Egypt during the great famine; it is were he grew up, so we shouldn’t be surprised that he journeyed as far south as Ephrath in the account of Genesis 35:26. We cite this period of time between Paddan Aram to Ephrath (Bethlehem Judah), for it represents closely the time period contemporaneous with the birth of the last two of Jacob’s children.
In Genesis chapter 31, we are told there was friction between Laban’s sons and Jacob, with Laban upholding his sons. Upon that development, the Almighty instructed Jacob to return to the land of his father’s kindred. Then Jacob gathered together his family and all the possessions that he had acquired at Paddan Aram and left quietly, without informing Laban, and made Gilead his first destination.
After three days Laban, being informed of Jacob’s departure, pursued him seven days and found him at Mount Gilead, a mountainous region east of the Jordan river and midway between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea (a chase of about 350 miles). After chiding Jacob for not giving him the opportunity of properly seeing his daughters and grandchildren off, and after much harangue abut their former business relations, Laban and Jacob made a mutual non-aggression pact between them.
No sooner had this agreement been finalized, than in Genesis chapter 32, Jacob was faced with the dilemma of having to confront his brother, Esau, who had vowed to kill him. After leaving Mount Gilead, Jacob met some angels of Elohim at a place he named Mahanaim; an ancient town in Gilead, east of the Jordan River in the vicinity of the River Jabbok, which later became the border between the tribes of Manasseh and Gad. (Joshua 13:26, 30)
Then, skipping the story of Jacob’s encounter with the Angel, we will dwell on the meeting with Esau, for we are interested in the narrative concerning the members of Jacob’s family At Genesis 3:1-2 of that confrontation:
1: And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he (Jacob) divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.
2: And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.”
Noticeably, all the children are accounted fro except Benjamin, and thus importantly narrows the time frame with which we are working. The question arises: When did Rachel conceive Benjamin? Mighty she have already been pregnant at the meeting with Esau? Anyway, Jacob wisely paid off Esau in the form of a large “gift” and parted with him never to fraternize again.
To avoid Esau altogether and throw him completely throw him off his track, Jacob (now named Israel) headed temporarily west to Shechem while Esau head east to Seir. The RSV on Genesis 33:18 says:
“And Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-Aram; and he camped before the city.” (Evidently, the reference in verse 17 to “Sccoth” simply means a place for Jacob to build booths for his cattle) LXX has it, “to Salem a city.”
Now let’s take a look at Chapter 32 in the book of Jasher to see why Esau had such a change of heart, from one of murdering his brother to one of reconciliation.
Book of Jasher 32:1-40; 52-57
1 And at that time Jacob sent messengers to his brother Esau toward the land of Seir, and he spoke to him words of supplication.
2 And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye say to my lord, to Esau, Thus saith thy servant Jacob, Let not my lord imagine that my father's blessing with which he did bless me has proved beneficial to me.
3 For I have been these twenty years with Laban, and he deceived me and changed my wages ten times, as it has all been already told unto my lord.
4 And I served him in his house very laboriously, and God afterward saw my affliction, my labor and the work of my hands, and he caused me to find grace and favor in his sight.
5 And I afterward through God's great mercy and kindness acquired oxen and asses and cattle, and men servants and maid servants.
6 And now I am coming to my land and my home to my father and mother, who are in the land of Canaan; and I have sent to let my lord know all this in order to find favor in the sight of my lord, so that he may not imagine that I have f myself obtained wealth, or that the blessing with which my father blessed me has benefitted me.
7 And THOSE MESSENGERS WENT TO ESAU, and found him on the borders of the land of Edom GOING TOWARD JACOB, AND FOUR HUNDRED MEN OF THE CHILDREN OF SEIR THE HORITE WERE STANDING WITH DRAWN SWORDS.
8 And the messengers of Jacob told Esau all the words that Jacob had spoken to them concerning Esau.
9 And ESAU ANSWERED THEM WITH PRIDE AND CONTEMPT, and said unto them, Surely I have heard and truly it has been told unto me what Jacob has done to Laban, who exalted him in his house and gave him his daughters for wives, and he begat sons and daughters, and abundantly increased in wealth and riches in Laban's house through his means.
10 And when he saw that his wealth was abundant and his riches great he fled with all belonging to him, from Laban's house, and he led Laban's daughters away from the face of their father, as captives taken by the sword without telling him of it.
11 And not only to Laban has Jacob done thus but also unto me has he done so and has twice supplanted me, and shall I be silent?
12 Now therefore I have this day come with my camps to meet him, and I will do unto him according to the desire of my heart.
13 And the messengers returned and came to Jacob and said unto him, We came to thy brother, to Esau, and we told him all thy words, and thus has he answered us, and behold he cometh to meet thee with four hundred men.
14 Now then know and see what thou shalt do, and pray before God to deliver thee from him.
15 And when he heard the words of his brother which he had spoken to the messengers of Jacob, Jacob was greatly afraid and he was distressed.
16 And Jacob prayed to the Lord his God, and he said, O Lord God of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, thou didst say unto me when I went away from my father's house, saying,
17 I am the Lord God of thy father Abraham and the God of Isaac, unto thee do I give this land and thy seed after thee, and I will make thy seed as the stars of heaven, and thou shalt spread forth to the four sides of heaven, and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
18 And thou didst establish thy words, and didst give unto me riches and children and cattle, as the utmost wishes of my heart didst thou give unto thy servant; thou didst give unto me all that I asked from thee, so that I lacked nothing.
19 And thou didst afterward say unto me, Return to thy parents and to thy birth place and I will still do well with thee.
20 And now that I have come, and thou didst deliver me from Laban, I shall fall in the hands of Esau who will slay me, yea, together with the mothers of my children.
21 Now therefore, O Lord God, deliver me, I pray thee, also from the hands of my brother Esau, for I am greatly afraid of him.
22 And if there is no righteousness in me, do it for the sake of Abraham and my father Isaac.
23 For I know that through kindness and mercy have I acquired this wealth; now therefore I beseech thee to deliver me this day with thy kindness and to answer me.
24 And Jacob ceased praying to the Lord, and he divided the people that were with him with the flocks and cattle into two camps, and he gave the half to the care of Damesek, the son of Eliezer, Abraham's servant, for a camp, with his children, and the other half he gave to the care of his brother Elanus the son of Eliezer, to be for a camp with his children.
25 And he commanded them, saying, Keep yourselves at a distance with your camps, and do not come too near each other, and if Esau come to one camp and slay it, the other camp at a distance from it will escape him.
26 And Jacob tarried there that night, and during the whole night he gave his servants instructions concerning the forces and his children.
27 And the Lord heard the prayer of Jacob on that day, and the Lord then delivered Jacob from the hands of his brother Esau.
28 And THE LORD SENT THREE ANGELS OF THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN, AND THEY WENT BEFORE ESAU AND CAME TO HIM.
29 And THESE ANGELS APPEARED UNTO ESAU AND HIS PEOPLE AS TWO THOUSAND MEN, RIDING UPON HORSES FURNISHED WITH ALL SORTS OF WAR INSTRUMENTS, AND THEY APPEARED IN THE SIGHT OF ESAU AND ALL HIS MEN TO BE DIVIDED INTO FOUR CAMPS, WITH FOUR CHIEFS TO THEM.
30 And one camp went on and THEY FOUND ESAU COMING WITH FOUR HUNDRED MEN TOWARD HIS BROTHER JACOB, AND THIS CAMP RAN TOWARD ESAU AND HIS PEOPLE AND TERRIFIED THEM, AND ESAU FELL OFF THE HORSE IN ALARM, AND ALL HIS MEN SEPARATED FROM HIM IN THAT PLACE, FOR THEY WERE GREATLY AFRAID.
31 And the whole of the camp shouted after them when they fled from Esau, and all the warlike men answered, saying,
32 Surely we are the servants of Jacob, who is the servant of God, and who then can stand against us? And Esau said unto them, O then, my lord and brother Jacob is your lord, whom I have not seen for these twenty years, and now that I have this day come to see him, do you treat me in this manner?
33 And THE ANGELS ANSWERED HIM SAYING, AS THE LORD LIVETH, WERE NOT JACOB OF WHOM THOU SPEAKETH THY BROTHER, WE HAD NOT LET ONE REMAINING FROM THEE AND THY PEOPLE, BUT ONLY ON ACCOUNT OF JACOB WE WILL DO NOTHING TO THEM.
34 And this camp passed from Esau and his men and it went away, and Esau and his men had gone from them about a league when the second camp came toward him with all sorts of weapons, and they also did unto Esau and his men as the first camp had done to them.
35 And when they had left it to go on, behold the third camp came toward him and they were all terrified, and Esau fell off the horse, and the whole camp cried out, and said, Surely we are the servants of Jacob, who is the servant of God, and who can stand against us?
36 And Esau again answered them saying, O then, Jacob my lord and your lord is my brother, and for twenty years I have not seen his countenance and hearing this day that he was coming, I went this day to meet him, and do you treat me in this manner?
37 And they answered him, and said unto him, As the Lord liveth, were not Jacob thy brother as thou didst say, we had not left a remnant from thee and thy men, but on account of Jacob of whom thou speakest being thy brother, we will not meddle with thee or thy men.
38 And the third camp also passed from them, and he still continued his road with his men toward Jacob, when the fourth camp came toward him, and they also did unto him and his men as the others had done.
39 And when Esau beheld the evil which the four angels had done to him and to his men, he became greatly afraid of his brother Jacob, and he went to meet him in peace.
40 And Esau concealed his hatred against Jacob, because he was afraid of his life on account of his brother Jacob, and because he imagined that the four camps that he had lighted upon were Jacob's servants.
52 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold Esau was at a distance, coming along with many men, about four hundred, and Jacob was greatly afraid of his brother.
53 And Jacob hastened and divided his children unto his wives and his handmaids, and his daughter Dinah he put in a chest, and delivered her into the hands of his servants.
54 And he passed before his children and wives to meet his brother, and he bowed down to the ground, yea he bowed down seven times until he approached his brother, and God caused Jacob to find grace and favor in the sight of Esau and his men, for God had heard the prayer of Jacob.
55 And the fear of Jacob and his terror fell upon his brother Esau, for Esau was greatly afraid of Jacob for what the angels of God had done to Esau, and Esau's anger against Jacob was turned into kindness.
56 And when Esau saw Jacob running toward him, he also ran toward him and he embraced him, and he fell upon his neck, and they kissed and they wept.
57 And God put fear and kindness toward Jacob in the hearts of the men that came with Esau, and they also kissed Jacob and embraced him.
Genesis chapter 34 is the incident with Dinah, which we have already discussed. Then in chapter 35:1, Elohim instructs Jacob to go south to Bethel and dwell there. That verse reads:
“And Elohim said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto El, that appeareth unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.”
The words “go up” has noting to do with A direction like some might wrongly interpret to mean to go north. It is #5927 in the Hebrew, and simply means to go to a place on which is higher in altitude which, depending on the topography, could be almost any direction. We will skip over the importance for the trip to Bethel, and go to verse 16 where Jacob then leaves Bethel, and go to verse 16 where Jacob then Leaves Bethel with an intended destination for Ephrath, which was later called “Bethlehem of Judah.”
That verse read:
“And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.”
We have no traced Jacob step by step from Paddan Aram to Ephrath (Bethlehem Judah) A so-called mythical place in the territory Ephraim named “Bethlehem Ephrath” positively never exited as the Ephraim-Scepter advocates so vociferously proclaim.
Their next devious ploy is to jump from unrelated passage to unrelated passage and time-period to time-period. All one need do is refer to some maps of the various great empires such as Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medeo-Persia, Greece and Rome at different stages of their development, at different time periods, and the borders are all over the place. The territory of what we now called Palestine was no different.
This next maneuver by the Ephraim-Scepter people is to cit the borders at different stages of development in an attempt to prove that Bethlehem Ephrath was in Ephraim rather than in Judah. As we very carefully tiptoe through their subterfuge, their motives will become exposed to the light of day. We will counter their erroneous assumptions with Scripture.
First, they start by quoting Genes 35:6-20, leaving out verses 7-13, 17-18:
6: So Jacob came to Lux, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him...
14: And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.
15: And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethes.
16: And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor...
19: And Rachel died, and was buried on the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.
20: And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day.”
Next, they say:
“Now let us see where Samuel the Ephrathite prophet says Rachel’s grave is...1st Samuel 10:2:
“When thou art departed from me today, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel’s sepulcher in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah...’ So the tomb of Rachel is not in Judah but in the territory of Benjamin. Why then are we told she is buried in Judah.”
The answer to that one is quite simple. Before answering that though, their statement that Samuel was an “Ephrathite (sic)” is incorrect, for he was Levite in order to understand the topography of that area, the town of Bethlehem is about 21/2 miles south of Jerusalem. The southern border of Jerusalem is the shared border of Judah and Benjamin. As Ephrath was also a district, it is not improper to imagine that the district reached to the border of Jebus, later Jerusalem, and hence Benjamin (much like the border of Lucas County, Ohio reaches Michigan).
Now standing in Judah, we would refer to the border between Judah and Benjamin not as the “border of Ephrath,” nor the “border of Judah,” but as the “border of Benjamin’ to avoid confusion. Surely A.V.’s “in the border” may better be rendered “by” or “at the border.” Bethlehem was called Bethlehem-Judah long before Benjamin and Judah became what would be better labeled “Judea,” and is clearly in Judah, being 21/2 miles south of the border of Benjamin
Shamelessly, they continue with their faulty diatribe. Continuing, they quote Joshua 15:1, 8 in a futile attempt to authenticate their false premise.
1: This then was the lot of the bribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast...
8: And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward.
Then they ask as inadequate question:
“Do you see the territory of Jerusalem. Now look at where the territory of Joseph Ephraim the birthright territory was located.”
Persistently, in an effort to somehow prove their contention they quote Joshua 16:1-2:
1: And the log of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel,
2: And goeth out from Bethel to Luz, and passeth along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth...”
After quoting this passage, they as a foolish question:
“Do you see how it was impossible for Christ to be born south below Jerusalem in Bethlehem Judah?”
This passage has nothing to do with the geographic place of the birth of our Messiah. As I stated before: Bethel is not Bethlehem and Bethlehem is not Bethel. This passage only describes the lot that fell to Joseph which would include both Ephraim and Manasseh. (Check verse 4) To use this passage so as to prove the birthplace of our Savior is ridiculous. And again, they completely brush Manasseh aside as if he never existed.
But these Ephraim-Scepter people never cease their lunacies by making the statement:
“Christ was born in Bethlehem Ephrath north of Jerusalem in the city of David who was himself a Ephraimite. 1st Samuel 17:12: ‘Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-Judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: (i.e., all Ephraimites).”
Again they refer to Genesis 49:24, stating;
“...and had the promise of the shepherd and stone of Israel, noted in 49:24 that Christ would birth into the house of Joseph...” The “shepherd” and “stone of Israel” has everything to do with Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) and nothing to do with Judah’s inheritance in the person of “Christ.”
Another such false teaching being promoted in some circles of Israel Identity is built on 1 Samuel 17:12 which says in part:
“Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-Judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons...”
They incorrectly conclude from this that our Messiah was from the tribe of Ephraim rather than Judah. Here again, it is speaking geographical instead of genetically. This can be corroborated by the Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, page 408-409:
“EPHRATHAH...2. The ancient name of Bethlehem of Judah (Genesis 48:7); Ephrath, NIV)...EPHRATHITE... 1. A native or inhabitant of Ephrath, or Bethlehem (Ruth 1:2; 1 Samuel 17:12)...”
This can also be authenticated by Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 318; The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, vol. D-G, p.335; The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, vol. E-J, p. 122; The Popular And Critical Bible Encyclopedia, vol. 1, p. 605; Insight On The Scriptures, vol. 1, p. 755; New Concise Bible Dictionary, p. 150; The Westminister Dictionary Of The Bible, p. 169; Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary of the Bible (1890), p. 181; Nave’s Topical Bible, p. 344; Gesenius’ Hebrew And Chaldee Lexicon under #673, p. 73, and Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance under Hebrew #673.
My undated Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, which has “Miss Lilly Summerskile, St. Mark’s S.S., Christmas 1890" written on the front flyleaf, says this on page 85:
“Bethlehem. 1. One of the oldest towns in Palestine, already in existence at the time of Jacob’s return to the country. Its earliest name was Ephrath of Ephrath (See Genesis 35:16, 19; 48:7), and it is not till long after the occupation of the country by the Israelites that we meet with it under its new name of Bethlehem. After the conquest Bethlehem appears under its own name Bethlehem-Judah (Judges 17:7; 1 Samuel 17:12; Ruth 1:1-2) The book of Ruth is a page from the domestic history of Bethlehem: the names, almost the very persons, of the Bethlehemites are there brought before us...In the New Testament Bethlehem: retains its distinctive title of Bethlehem-Judah (Matthew 2:1, 5), and once, in. the announcement of the Angels, ‘city of David’ (Luke 24:4; comp. John 7:42)... 2. A town in the portion of Zebulun named nowhere but in Joshua 1915.”
The next thing these proponents do is point to Genesis 49:24 where it says in part concerning Jacob’s blessing on Joseph.
“...(from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel)...”
They will imply by this that the “shepherd” or “stone” is Yahshua the “rock,” and that He descended from Joseph rather than Judah. The Believer’s Bible Commentary, by William MacDonald makes that same error. Some of these proponents go so far as to claim there was never a David nor a Bethlehem-Judah; only Bethlehem of Ephraim. They might have gotten by with this, but in 1993, Seymore Gitin, digging for The W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeology, unearthed a piece of stone at Tel Dan inscribed in Aramaic “King of Israel” and “House of David.”
These proponents will also pont to the 15th chapter of Joshua, claiming Bethlehem is not mentioned among Judah’s cities. They should check the LXX on Joshua, for it is listed at 15:60. The reason 1 Samuel 17:12 designates Bethlehem as “Bethlehem-Judah” is to distinguish it from Bethlehem-Zebulun.
Had there been only one Bethlehem, it wouldn’t have been necessary to make that distinction Judges 17:7 speaks of “a Levite” of “Bethlehem-Judah.” Are we also to make him of the Tribe of Ephraim? It seems that if a Scripture can be taka wrongly, there is always going to be someone out there to do it. Again, “Ephrathite” in 1 Samuel 17:12 is not speaking of the Tribe of Ephraim, but of a city.”
Next, the Ephraim-Scepter people point to Genesis 43:33 and 1 Chronicles 5:1-2 and make a big thing out of Joseph being in line for the birthright. There is no problem with that as Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) are the birthright tribes, and Judah is the Scepter tribe (the Scepter is not the birthright, and the birthright is not the Scepter). But then they proceed to make the ignorant statement:
“The birthright was Joseph’s passed on to Christ the Kinsmen Redeemer.” I have a Franklin electronic KJV Bible. In the word-search program, I entered the word “birthright” and searched the entire Bible, and there was not a single place in the entire Bible where it speaks of the Christ, Jesus or Emanuel in the context of a birthright.
It is obvious that this statement concerning “Christ receiving the birthright” is a figment of their imagination, and is not based on any scripture in Holy Writ. The word “birthright” is used only 10 times in all Scripture. Why don’t you check your Strong’s and see if you can find a place where “Christ the Kinsmen Redeemer” will receive the “birthright?” If there is any question about the Scepter, we only need to look at Genesis 38:18, where Tamar demanded a pledge from Judah thusly:
“And he (Judah) said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she (Tamar) said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he (Judah) gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.”
The staff was the symbol of ruler-ship showing that Judah had the Scepter. The word “Staff” in Hebrew is #4294 in Strong’s Concordance and anyone can check it out for themselves, where it can mean “rod” or scepter.” I am sure that Judah, from his abilities in this case, didn’t need a walking stick.
Some may argue that there were others not of the Tribe of Judah who used the staff as a sign of authority, which is true but one must take into consideration “Thy signet, and they bracelets, and thy staff.” Put all three of these together, the signet, bracelets and staff, and it is a sign of royalty. Actually, the word “bracelets” as translated here means twisted thread, and the signet was a ring which was strung on a ribbon and usually worn around the neck, and was used to make an impression or seal on legal documents.
From the record, we can be confident that Judah’s ribbon was of a royal-scarlet color. We can be certain of this because at the birth of Pharez and Zerah, Tamar’s midwife tied a scarlet twisted thread around the hand of Zerah prematurely, believing he would be Judah’s firstborn by the Shemite, Tamar. Not only that, but the name Zerah means “brightness” or “redness” (check The international Bible Commentary, by F.F. Bruce on Genesis 38:27-30, p. 139).
Again, in Joshua 2:18, 21 we come face to face with the royal “scarlet thread” indicating that Rahab (translated the harlot) was of Judah’s royal line, though some incorrectly suggest Ephraim. We meet with the color scarlet again in Matthew 27:28 where a “scarlet robe,” the Lion of the Tribe of Judah) in mockery. It is noteworthy that the color “scarlet” is not always used in a good sense, so we must understand the context in which it is used.
To show that David and Jesse were not Ephraimites, as the Ephraim-Scepter heretical advocates claim, there is one passage of Scripture that is so striking and outstanding that no one should ever have any doubt of the origin of the Royal Line of the Tribe of Judah and its major role in being the Line of the promised Messiah. Shame on anyone who would say otherwise. That passage is 1 Kings 12:16, and it is simply astounding:
“So when all (the 10 northern tribes of) Israel saw that the king (Rohoboam) hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the potion have we in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.”
Here are ten witnesses (all the ten northern tribes of the House of Israel) saying with a certainty that David and Jesse are not part of their inheritance. One of those ten was Ephraim, and another was Manasseh. Here Ephraim and Manasseh are literally shouting at the top of their voices that Jesse and David are not part of them. Therefore, anyone who claims Jesse and David were of the Tribe of Ephraim, wittingly or unwittingly, make liars of themselves.
What some people fantasize or presume the Bible is saying is simply flagrant. When they deviate from the true context, the Scripture will make a liar out of them every time. The Ephraim-Scepter heresy is an outrageous undertaking designed to validate that the Scripture proves that the Redeemer many call “Jesus Christ” was of the Tribe of Ephraim rather than the Tribe of Judah. They go to long lengths and twist many passages into pretzels in order to accomplish their goal.
We will again cite a passage that blows their ludicrous surmise (wild off-the-cuff guess) into oblivion:
“So when all (the 10 northern tribes of) Israel saw that the king (Rehoboam) hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.” (1 Kings 12:16)
One must comprehend the circumstances to which the above passage appertains, otherwise one might be sucked into their unmitigated, warped logic. Therefore, let’s analyze what 1 Kings 12:16 is saying. Any competent Bible student worth his salt is aware that this chapter concerns itself with the division of the thirteen tribes at the time of Jeroboam. After the breakaway, the northern Kingdom had Ephraim, Manasseh, Reuben, Simeon, Issachar, Zebuln, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, and remaining in the southern kingdom were Judah and Benjamin, with Levi scattered among all the tribes.
Importantly you will notice, representing Joseph in the north are both Ephraim and Manasseh among the other eight northern tribes. Inasmuch as Ephraim was the dominant tribe of the northern Kingdom of Israel, it would have been illogical for Ephraim to make the statement: “What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse,” if David and Jesse were of the Tribe of Ephraim. Under such an erroneous state of affairs Ephraim could only have said: “Our portion is with David and our inheritance is in the son of Jesse.”
Not only are Ephraim and Manasseh sending this message to Rehoboam, but to the entire ten northern tribes, so we know with confidence that Jesse and David were indeed NOT of the Tribe of Ephraim. Here we have ten witnesses in the ten northern tribes of the House of Israel (representing millions of people), testifying to that indisputable fact, and not a single witness in opposition.
Conversely, the Ephraim-Scepter people insist that David and Jesse were of the Tribe of Ephraim. So if you would rather believe people like Scott Vaught, Buddy Johnson and Russell Walker, then that’s your problem!
Quoting from a manuscript with many typing errors, by Walker and Johnson:
“You only have to know one thing here to see the deception of the lying pens of the scribes; that is the fact that this is not revealed in the genealogy; Salmon (of Ruth 4:20), Boaz, Jesse, and (sic) David and Christ were all Ephraimites.”
Again, all one need do is refer to the above passage at 1 Kings 12:16 to see this statement that “Salmon (of Ruth 4:20), Boaz, Jesse, and (sic) David and Christ were all Ephraimites. SIMPLY IS NOT TRUE. To add to the confusion, these two Ephraim-Scepter hucksters attempt to make an issue of John 7:40-44. Before quoting the passage, they ask an unrelated double question: “Galilean or Judean” have nothing to do with the genetic terms “Israelite or Jew,” the question makes no sense.
Many unrelated people could live in either Galilee or Judah, and therefore an only apply to a place, while Israelite or Jew can only be peoples who could live in any of many different countries of the world. It is apparent they can’t even ask an intelligent question. After these clumsily stated nonsensical questions, they move on to type out this passage thusly:
40: Man of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said. Of a truth this is the Prophet.
41: Others said, this is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?
42: Hath not the scripture said That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
43: So there was a division among the people because of him.
44: And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.
They then make the statement:
“It is clear here that there was a controversy over where he should be born and to (sic) what bloodline He was descended.”
Again, Johnson and Walker make an unqualified statement, for this passage is very distinct concerning both the town of Bethlehem as the place of birth and the lineage of David as His descent. Inasmuch as the Herodian-Jews were sure they had killed the promised Redeemer (Matthew 2:18), the “jews” ruled out any possibility of Bethlehem of Judea and pointed out how no prophet could come from Galilee. It seems the only ones who were confused were the Herodian-Jews, unless we include the Ephraim-Scepter advocates.
After this, they again accuse the Apostle Matthew misquoting at Micah 5:2, which reads:
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephrath, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose going forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
If Matthew deliberately misquoted Micah 5:2, as they so preposterously claim, then the physical Luke, of Colossians 4:14, also misquoted Luke 2:4. And if David was born from Bethlehem of Judea (and he was),then John (the beloved Disciple of Messiah) also misquoted at John 7:42. How many red flashing lights must we observe before we understand there is something rotten in Denmark? It should be quite apparent, this Ephraim-Scepter heresy is built on one damnable lie right after another.
Then the Ephraim-Scepter people continue to erratically type from John 7:45-52, keying in on verse 52, which they type
“They (the Pharisees) answered and said unto him (Nicodemus), Art thou also of Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.”
Those Ephraim-Scepter people then make the statement: “This (verse) is very deliberate lie.” Again, it should be stated: Galilee is not Ephraim, and Ephraim is not Galilee (look it up on any map of Palestine showing the locations of the tribes. Galilee was formerly Zebulun with Manasseh separating Zebulun (Galilee) and Ephraim). In other words, to travel from Ephraim to Zebulun, one had to go through Manasseh. Again, Galilee (Zebulun) is not Ephraim and Ephraim is not Galilee (Lebulun).
Bait and Switch
This is the old Canaanite merchant game of “bait and switch,” designed for simple-minded suckers. The object is to get the victim’s eye on the “bait” while switching to another object. In other words, now you see it; now you don’t. It is nothing more than the old Canaanite variety of “Jewish” hocus-pocus, sometimes referred to as abracadabra. Using this Canaanite-Jew’s system of bait and switch, the Ephraim-Scepter advocates setup their unwary prey by typing 1 Samuel 17:12;
“Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-Judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul.”
You have now been introduced to the “bait,” after which come the preparation for the “switch.” To accomplish this they will erratically type Romans 1:3, showing that
“Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.”
This is a softening-up process getting you ready for the ultimate switch. They by typing another passage at 2 Timothy 2:8, they continue their sly maneuver to position you for their trap: “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel.”
Let us now analyze the process they are using in order to deceive you. By citing the truth from two outstanding Scriptures that Messiah was the seed of David, you’re expected to believe they will tell the truth the third time around when they pull “the switch;”
“Hath not the Scripture said, that Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? Clearly Christ is the seed and offspring of David who, it has been shown was the House of Ephraim.”
Now if you believe the last phrase of this last sentence, you are as an Eskimo in need of a refrigerator, and you’ve been had. You’ve just been “baited” and “switched,” Canaanite style, and you’ve been sucker-punched. Wanna try for the Brooklyn Bridge? Notice one more the process two outstanding truthful references from Scripture, followed by a two part sentence; the first part of a cardinal truth followed in the second segment by a crafty, misleading lie.
They than have to gall to accuse the scribes of lying and continue typing thusly:
“Now get ready for the final nail in the coffin lid of deceit and deception of the scribes. Who do you think the Land of Israel belongs to, the jews or the Arabs? This Land belongs neither to the Jews nor the Arabs. Ephraim himself holds the title deed (no the world in its fullness beings to Yahshua...Ephraim may have possession only).”
Notice, once again, the Ephraim-Scepter people leave the Tribe of Manasseh completely out of the picture, when actually they shared in the birthright, Genesis 49:22-26. And when it says “Joseph” it includes both
Ephraim and Manasseh, for both were blessed not just one.
In Genesis 48:5 Jacob said,
“Ephraim and Manasseh which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they are mine.”
Although Ephraim got a greater blessing, where do these Ephraim-Scepter people come up with all this partiality? Here Jacob claims all h is children, and Jacob gave Judah the Scepter in Genesis 49:8-12:
8: Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; they father’s children shall bow down before thee.
9: Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10: The scepture shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
11: Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
12: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth with white milk.
All this, according to the Ephraim-Scepter people, is one big scribal lie.
It surely is strange how the Ephraim-Scepter advocates come up with all their idiotic, harebrained, off-the-all, freakish notions We will show you how Scripture has made them liars once again. In 2 Samuel 2:4, we are told David was anointed king over Judah. This passage says:
“And the men of Juda, and there they anointed David king of the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul.”
For the story of this passage we refer you to Believer’s Bible Commentary, by William MacDonald, p. 325:
“Coronation as King of Judah, 2 Samuel 2:1-7...With Saul dead and Israel without a king, David sought guidance from the Lord and was directed to go to Hebron, one of the cities of Judah. There the men of Judah...anointed him as their king. When they informed him how the men of Jabesh Gileadhad kindly buried Saul,
David immediately sent a message of thanks to them and rather indirectly invited them to recognize him as king, as the men of Judah had done.
“Conflict with Saul’s House, 2 Samuel 2:8-11 ...But not all the tribes of Israel wanted to recognize David as their monarch. Abner, the commander-in-chief of the late Saul and also his uncle, took Saul’s only surviving son, Ishbosheth, and proclaimed him king. For seven years and six months...David reigned over the lone tribe of Judah, with Hebron as his capital. However, it was for only two of these years that Ishbosheth...reigned over the other eleven tribes. It ma have taken Abner five years to push the Philistines back out of Israel and establish Ishbosheth on his father’s throne...”
Isn’t it simply incredible how David (a supposed Ephraimite) would rule over the lone Tribe of Judah for seven and a half years, while we are not informed of an objection from the Tribe of Ephraim on such a thing? Because David was never of the Tribe of Ephraim; that’s why. “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
In stark contrast to the southern Kingdom of Judah, which included the territory of Benjamin, the northern Kingdom, which was made up of the other ten tribes and designated as Ephraim, chose non-Davidic kings. How do the Ephraim-Scepter heretics account for that ironclad fact?
In the case of David, they diametrically chose Ishbosheth the Benjamite, with blood-ties to the Tribe of Ephraim through Joseph. Then in parallel to that episode, they chose Jeroboam the Ephraimite of the Tribe of
ephraim over Rehoboam of the line David. These concrete facts prove, beyond all doubt, the Ephraim-Scepter heretics are shamefully and disgracefully ignorant of Biblical history.
Secondly, we need to know just who this Ephraimite Jeroboam was. There are three different accounts of Jeroboam’s live prior to his becoming king; two in the LXX, and a third in the MT, the latter of which forms the basis of most English translations. When we observe such discrepancies, then it is legitimate to question the scribes or copyists, but not as the Ephraim-scepter heretics do by making blanket allegation without evidence. Check 1 Kings 11:26 - 12:24 LXX, especially verse 24, and compare it with the Masoretic Text.
Among the midrashic elements added to put Jeroboam in the worst possible light are the following: (1) (Compare LXX at 11:26) (2) He attempted a siege of Jerusalem during Salmon’s reign 12:24, which is a distortion of MT 11:27 in which Solomon is said to have repaired a breach in the wall (3) Having fled to Egypt, he married Shishak’s eldest and most prominent daughter Ano who bore him a son Abia (v. 24 cf. The story of the rebel Hadad the Edomite in 1 Kings 11:14-22 cf. LXX v. 19 with LXX 12:24 to see that Ano was thought to be the daughter, not the sister-in-law of Shishak’s wife Tahpenes.
The key words of v. 24 routine Anoadelphen Thekeminas ten presbyterian tes gynalkos autou, Ano sister of Thekemina, the eldest of his wife) and (4) Shemaiah (not Ahijah; cf. 1 Kings 11:29-39), the prophet was tod by the Lord to go to Jeroboam at Shechem, to tear a new garment into twelve pieces and tell Jeroboam, Take for yourself ten shreds for you to wear’ (tou peribasesthal se; a sarcastic purpose clause; (a rather odd phrase; possibly).
Each of these details seek to discredit Jeroboam and should probably be ignored when reconstructing his rise to power. (From The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, vol. H-L, p. 456)
The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, vol. E-J, p. 850 does a good job of describing this situation:
“According to the latter account Jeroboam was an Ephraimite. His mother’s name was Saria, and she was a harlot. Consequently, no mention is made of his father’s name. Solomon had made him overseer of the corv_e of the house of Joseph. He built a city called Saria on Mount Ephraim. He built the Akra and enclosed the city of David. Then he rebelled against Solomon who therefore attempted to kill him, but he fled to Egypt to the protection of Sousakim (Shishak). There remained until the death of Solomon. When word reached him that Solomon was dead, he wanted to return home, but Sousakim was unwilling to let him go. Parenthetically, we learn that Jeroboam had married the Pharaoh’s sister-in-law, who had borne him a son, Abia. Sousakim finally gave permission to return. He came back to Sarira, where the tribes of Ephraim gathered to him, and there built a fortress...After this Jeroboam came to Shechem, where he gathered the tribes together. This is followed by the prophecy of Samalas the Elamite (cf. 1 Kings 11:29 ff). The rest of the Greek supplement corresponds to the Hebrew text of 1 Kings 12:1-24.”
Where are the Ephraim-Scepter people on this?
Again, if David was of the Tribe of Ephraim, why didn’t the Tribe of Ephraim accept him as king? The Ephraim-Scepter people strongly declare the “Sanhedrin scribes” changed the genealogy of the Messiah from the Tribe of Ephraim to the Tribe of Judah. Contrariwise, the Bible records no Ephraim kingly line, so with that hideous, dreamed-up hypothesis, our Redeemer had no genealogical record. Of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, Scripture shows kings Jeroboam, Jehu, Jahoahaz, Joash, Jeroboam.
If Zachariah, Shallum, Menaherm, Pekahiah, Pekah and Hosea with no family or tribal records. It is overwhelmingly evident that no kingly line can be traced among the kings of the northern Kingdom of Israel, in addition to that, of all the ten northern tribes of Israel, excepting in the book of Revelation only the Tribe of Aser (Asher) is mentioned in the New Testament in Luke 2:36.
Therefore, there is no record in either the Old Testament of the New of a kingly line of Ephraim. If Ephraim is the Scepter tribe, let’s see the evidence. There isn’t any. Period. If this allegation were true, about a conspiracy of the”Sanhedrin Scribes” changing Ephraim to Judah (and it isn’t), the scribes would had to have changed 890 entries on Judah alone. How fantastic, and indeed a falsehood.
Do they mean to tell us this could have happened without someone exposing them? Well, that seems to be what they are saying. Surely, Yahshua would have warned us if that were true, and He didn’t (my, what incompetence the Ephraim-Scepter heretics are charging Him with).
Yes, but He did warn us t beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, but He never cautioned us that the would change the record from Ephraim to Judah. It’s the last thing they (The Pharisees and Sadducees) would have done, for they love to falsely claim their heritage as Judah, and they would have been the firstrose to complain if such a change was make. His pregnant fact is quite evident at Revelation 2:9 and 3:9.
It doesn’t say they claim to be of Ephraim “but do lie.” In fact, Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 don’t make any sense if the Scepter tribe was Ehpraim. It is clear farm this passage there are both the Judahites and impostor Judahites. As we can plainly see, this is one area where the “Sanhedrin scribes” wouldn’t have changed things, so that leaves only Matthew, Luke and John left to accuse, which these people also do. Like all liars, the Ephraim-Scepter people can’t keep their story together. Wittingly and deliberately, the Ephraim-Scepter peddlers of misinformation and confusion have made themselves equal to the blasphemous liars of John 8:44.
Lack Of Comprehension
Once analyzing the motives of the Ephraim-Scepter people, we can then understand what they teach and promote. The basic underlying factor is that they have discovered that ll the evil in this world stems from the “Jews.” Thus their fundamental history (especially Biblical history), they arrive at some mistaken conclusions. Their basic error comes from their inability to differentiate between the impostor and the genuine members of the Tribe of Judah. Therefore, they have formulated the incorrect premise that all the people professing to be of the Tribe of Judah are satanic. Their dominant theme is to destroy all of Judah, both the good figs and the bad.
Because their fundamental reasoning is flawed, their objectives are misdirected, and they become like “one that “beateth the air.” (1 Corinthians 9:26) And, rather than helping the cause, they are helping to defeat it. All this simply because they haven’t done their homework on the subject. As one Ephraim-Scepter person typed:
“This is the document that will set the satanic jews on their ass by taking away their alleged status as ‘God’s chosen people.’”
No it will not. For the Ephraim-Scepter message will only aid and abet the imposters who are calling themselves Judah.
In their all-out attack on all the Tribe of Judah, as opposed to a few bad-figs which were mainly at Jerusalem, shows their utter lack of knowledge concerning Biblical history of the deportations of Judah, if they ever come to that knowledge, they will have to hide their face in a corner somewhere in shame for some of the uncouth remarks they have made.
It all boils down to a severe case of ignorance. After Tiglath Palustre initially took many Israelites into the Assyrian captivity during 745-727 B.C. Shalmaneser V deported more throughout 727-722 B.C. In the years 722-705 B.C., Saigon II continued the process of deporting more Israelites of the northern Kingdom. Then during the years 705-681 B.C., Sennacherib entered the land of Judah and deported all the Judahites, and many of Benjamin in that area to Assyria, leaving only the inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem. (2 Kings 18; 2 Chronicles 32; and Isaiah 36)
This history contains points that I used to interrupt Scott Vaught in the middle of his presentation in October, 1996, at the Feast of Tabernacles meeting at Luden, Tennessee. Vought was mouthing this same Ephraim-Scepter garbage at that time. In the process, he called Tamar a whore; said that David and Jonathan were homosexuals in one breath; and said there was never a historical David in another.
Vaught also presented himself as expert in Palaeo Hebrew with 15 years experience. He never did show us any original Palaeo Hebrew manuscripts, but only allegedly concerted square style Hebrew back to the earlier Palaeo. With that he could make Scripture say anything he wanted. As I listened, he spewed out one vial of poison after another. His main thrust was to exclude Judah from being part of Israel. Among his many allegations, he said that Ruth was a Moabite, and thus polluted the entire line of Judah. He said that he had worn out either for or five Bible finding all of these things, and waited for a year to two after that before he decided to pass on his great revelation to the world. He further intimated that ll of Judah burned out bad and that are the jews of today. After that meeting, I wrote one of the first of a few articles and titled it: The Lies of Scott Vaught.
Scott Vaught made a disciple of a man at that meeting by the name of Buddy Johnson. I sent “tons” of documentation to Buddy, but evidently to no avail. Since that meeting, Johnson has made a disciple of another man who was at that meeting by the name of Russell Walker. I simply cannot sit idly by while this kind of garbage is circulating around the country, for if I keep quiet on the matter. I become part and parcel of their lies. The main reason for exposing this is because it is a hindrance to Yahweh’s Kingdom, and only scatters His sheep. “He that gathereth not with me scattereth.” (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:3) This should give you an idea how some are trying to elevate their own ego through subterfuge. (Taken, in part, from Clifton A. Emahiser’s Teaching Ministries, 1012 N. Vine Street, Fostoria, Ohio 44830, (419) 435-2836)