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The population dwindled as various factors made it increasingly difficult to live here. The Turkish government taxed landowners by the number of trees on their land. The forests were decimated in an effort to avoid the tax. Hills and plains were overgrazed by sheep and goats.

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Large tracts ceased to be cultivated and lost their fertility. Many cities were abandoned. Swamps and deserts encroached upon the battered landscape. Visitors to the land in the s and s commented on its forlorn desolation.

Jesus and the Palestinians

Even so, there had been an influx of some people earlier in the s with the invasion and temporary occupation of Syria and Palestine by the Egyptian general Ibrahim Pasha. He left behind a number of permanent Egyptian colonies. A major step came with the Bosnians. The Balkan country of Bosnia was invaded and by force converted to Islam by the Ottomans in the s.

Starting in the late s the Ottomans began to lose European territories. The Ottoman rulers adopted a policy of Moslem colonization … In the Carmel region, in the Galilee, in the Plain of Sharon and in Caesarea, lands were distributed to the Moslem refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. All these and other immigrants of widely disparate and mixed heritage formed part of the basis for the later so-called Palestinian people.

Some of the European elements were those who came to the Holy Land during the Crusades while others came as slaves during centuries of Islamic slave trade. The Jews returning to the land in the late s and early s as part of the Zionist movement and during the time of the British Mandate sparked further immigration from surrounding Arab countries. This migration was so large as to overwhelm and assimilate the earlier non-Jewish immigrants, leading to all being essentially Arabized and regarded as Arab. What prompted this large influx of Arabs into the land? In turn, this explains why the definition of a refugee from Palestine in is a person who lived there for just two years [ two years!

The Arabs are not monolithic in their heritage. They consider themselves to be descended mainly from Ishmael, the first son of Abraham and half-brother of Isaac, and this is evidently the case. Esau intermarried with daughters of Ishmael and the Canaanites. Why focus on Edom here in regard to the Palestinian Arabs?

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Obadiah 1 : 19 Obadiah 1 : 19 And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison. Samson was brought out of that prison to the temple of Dagon during a sacrifice to Dagon.

There he asked to be put between the two pillars that held up that temple, pushed them down, and died with the Philistines Judges It was apparently close to the prison, and hence Samson seemingly died in Gaza. After some territory was lost, Hezekiah, the king of Judah extended his reign to Gaza:. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.

Thus, history indicates that the Philistines would gain and lose territory near Gaza, as did the Israelites, although the seems to show that it was mainly dominated by the Philistines. Acts On this road Philip met the 'Ethiopian eunuch' and after speaking with him, baptize him.

The king shall perish from Gaza, And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. No more shall an oppressor pass through them, For now I have seen with My eyes.

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  8. Zechariah Some see Matthew Henry's Commentary , etc. However, as future prophecies tell of a time Gaza and the Philistines having problems see below , the above could still have future fulfillment. Also the king of Sheshach shall drink after them. Fall and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.

    You shall not be unpunished, for I will call for a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth," says the Lord of hosts. Some of those lands, Ashkelon located 50 kilometres south of Tel Aviv, and 13 kilometres north of the border with the Gaza Strip , Ekron modern Tel Miqne, which is 35 kilometers west of Jerusalem , and Ashdod located 32 kilometres south of Tel Aviv, 20 km north of Ashkelon, and 53 km west of Jerusalem , are currently dominated by the nation of Israel. Ashkelon, Tel Migne, and Ashdod are claimed to be part of Israel.

    They are not in the Gaza Strip they are all north of it nor part of the other Palestinian controlled region known as the West Bank. Therefore, it looks like the Palestinians will either control those cities again or be so numerous in it that they are the ones affected in Jeremiah It is my current view that the Palestinians will gain land that the nation of Israel thinks it will continue to control. Jeremiah 25 looks to be showing us that the current nation of Israel will lose lands to the Palestinians--and this would seem to be well after the 'peace deal' of Daniel is confirmed and it is not currently expected that most of those lands would be ceded to the Palestinians in the Daniel deal.

    The entire 47th chapter of Jeremiah is a prophecy about the Philistines, including Gaza:. How long will you cut yourself? Put yourself up into your scabbard, Rest and be still! There He has appointed it. Problems were thus prophesied for Gaza--since there is a duality to some prophecies e. It should be noted that since Ashkelon is currently claimed to be part of Israel, possibly the Palestinians will either control it again or be so numerous in it that they are affected. Amos Ezekiel had a prophecy against Edom mentioned also above and then the following about the Philistines:. The Bible is clear that vengeance belongs to God Romans ; Hebrews Zechariah tells of punishment for their pride.

    Isaiah This seems to include not only those in Gaza, but possibly those in the West Bank "the people of the East" and beyond. The word of the Lord is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines: "I will destroy you; So there shall be no inhabitant. Zephaniah Though there was a partial fulfillment near the time this was written, the time has not yet been when there was no inhabitant in Canaan, hence this prophecy is for the future.

    Gaza will change and be forsaken! Years ago, because of what Zephaniah teaches, I concluded that the place of protection Jesus promised the Philadelphians in Revelation would NOT be in the direction of Gaza or the land of the Palestinians; details are in the article There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra. The Palestinians, apparently along with some Syrians, are prophesied to be involved in war, apparently a terroristic one:.

    So, there is a prophecy that Syria and the Philistines will devour Israel. The Philistines look to be the people now generally referred to as Palestinians. The tiny nation of Israel has had to deal with issues with the Syrians and Palestinians for decades, and ultimately it will not turn our well for Israel. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

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    Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. Leviticus Terrors including the sword will be against My people ; Therefore strike your thigh. Ezekiel They are utterly consumed with terrors. Psalms , Proverbs Jihadist gains in various parts of the world are a prelude to more terrorism and change. Where are the Christians? Gaza, Abrahamic faiths, the Holocaust, humanity plus.

    Not sure I can align with your thinking here…yet. I have stayed out of the conversation thus far but your piece is so thoughtfully written I am willing to venture a toe in the pool. While Jesus did say all the things you state, you must be willing to allow for the possibility that a strict adherence to those statements will result in the elimination of all Christians from the face of the earth through violent means.

    There WAS a time for violent action, commanded by God. Do I believe there could be a peaceful resolution? Let me state clearly that I love the Jewish and the Palestinian people equally, and I yearn for them to live in peace, harmony and security. I believe Hamas are despicable in their blanket rocket bombardments and suicide bombers, and that their anti-semitism is disgusting. And I believe the Israeli government are despicable too, in ignoring international law and norms of civilised behaviour; ruthlessly bombing refugee camps, hospitals, schools, homes for the disabled; even UN designated shelters; installing de-facto apartheid; stealing land and water resources, and continually colonising the West Bank.

    Some Christians believe that the formation of the modern state of Israel is the fulfilment of Biblical prophesy and as such they give unswerving support for anything the Israeli government does, however many innocent men, women and children suffer and die. Those who hold this view must give very careful consideration to to the many examples of God speaking through his prophets, directly to the the people of Israel, regarding the covenant that he commanded them to keep, and significantly, upon which their continued existence in the land was dependent.

    A thorough examination of scripture teaches that God made it clear the the land is His, and that it does not belong to any nation or people. If Israel makes a Biblical claim to live in the land, Israel must also live a Biblical life, a life that resonates with the goodness that God intended to create in his land, and particularly by respecting, protecting and treating as equals ALL who live in the land.

    God said that Israel was supposed to be a blessing for the nations, not the pariah state it has become.

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    The UN are even now investigating the possibility of War crimes committed in Gaza. Whilst it is true that there are passages that instruct Israel to kill everyone, they were specific to time and a truly wicked people who practiced child sacrifice. All the prophets of old were very vocal on this, Ezekiel , is particularly enlightening. Ignorance of these instructions by so many Christians leads them to give blind support to the very injustices that the prophets, and indeed Jesus spoke so damningly to Israel about.

    The silence of the church about the injustices we see every day in the Holy Land, is not only a gross sin of omission, it is also destroying the chance of lasting, beautiful peace for the Jews and Palestinians. An alternative theological position many Christians hold is the belief that under the New Covenant, Christians are the new Israel and that the modern state of Israel is not the fulfilment of Biblical prophesy, a position which I hold through careful study of scripture and meeting with Christian thinkers in the Holy Land, Europe and the USA.

    A very good book to read on this is Jesus and the Land by Gary Burge. Whatever theological position Christians hold on this issue, one thing is very clear, God is always on the side of the vulnerable, the oppressed, the weak, the children, the widows and the orphans, and he has his harshest, and most frightening words of condemnation for the oppressors. Tony, thanks for your passionate reply.

    I grew up in the tension between the two theological camps you mention and was fortunate to hear from many of the leading thinkers on both sides. But when an enemy chooses to use the poor and oppressed as a shield does that instantly mean game over? They win? No opportunity to defend myself there? The total picture is no doubt complex, but do we really land in a place where we say that in order to be a Christ follower one can never raise a hand to defend themselves, even unto death?

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Actually I grew up in a, strongly support Israel camp, whatever they do, they were returning to the Promised Land and this was the fulfilment of Biblical prophesy! I remember being thrilled at their success during the various wars. He has written two excellent books on the subject Whose Land? Whose Promise? I think this is such a crucial time. And it is nothing to do with the Hamas rockets, despite what our media tells us, believe me.

    Also I believe that this is a very dangerous time, with the rapid rise of extreme Muslim fundamentalism. Having visited so many places of dire poverty, especially crowded slums, with no hope of improvement, I have seen they can become breeding grounds for all sorts of angry discontent. In Gaza, people are in effect trapped in a prison, and then attacked without chance of escape, like shooting ducks in a barrel, and they see Christian countries like ours, not only doing nothing to stop their suffering, but supplying the very weapons that are killing their women and children.

    My great fear for the people of Israel, and indeed for the people of Gaza, is that this kind of terror and hopelessness might result in Hamas being replaced by a far more dangerous group like Isis. And then we in our comfortable, secure, peaceful countries might well begin to feel the heat very much more.

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    Wow, tell that to Tertullian! Do you really think that God will let all Christians be wiped from the earth? If you do… May I suggest that you have an interesting understanding of scripture. I think you need to consider several items here. First, there is the example of Jesus in his engagement with Gentiles and Samaritans, one of inclusion and embrace as well as the application of love of neighbor and enemy. There is also his radical reinterpretation of the Old Testament in this regard, wherein he moves away from the voice calling for vindication of Israel through the divine destruction of her enemies and instead opts for the Kingdom of God brought about through peace, nonviolence, and love of enemy.

    Paul picks up the same hermeneutical approach. I think Fr. He does! All attempts today to justify violence from the life of Jesus or His teachings are devoid of spiritual and intellectual merit.