Online Bible Commentary
What Should be Our Position on Israel?
1 Chronicles 1:17 The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, Aram, Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech. 18 Arphaxad begot Shelah, and Shelah begot Eber. 19 To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. 20 Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22 Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, 23 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. 24 Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah, 25 Eber, Peleg, Reu, 26 Serug, Nahor, Terah, 27 and Abram, who is Abraham. (NKJV)
This is the Chronology of the family of Shem, down to Abraham the Father of Israel. Shem was the oldest son of Noah.
Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth were the only surviving men after the Great Flood. Shem was given all the land of what we now call the Middle East, including Israel. Ham was given Egypt and the lands of Africa, and Japheth was given the lands north and west, including Turkey, Greece, and Italy. So for the purpose of the study of the land of Israel, we know that God gave it to Shem.
The descendents of Shem were known as Shemites, or Semites, which was the name given to their languages. The Hebrew language is a branch of the Semite language. The word “Hebrew” comes from the word “eber”.
Eber was the great grandson of Shem (v. 18). He was the father of Peleg and Joktan. Peleg means “division”. He was named that because “in his days the earth was divided” (v. 19).
So the land was divided at that point. Peleg, as the oldest son, was given the fertile lands of Mesopotamia, while Joktan was given Southern Arabia.
Mesopotamia was the land called the “fertile crescent”. It formed a crescent beginning at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, travelling northwest through Iraq, encompassing the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers where the Garden of Eden was located, then westward across northern Syria and southern Turkey, and finally south through western Syria, Lebanon, and ending at Israel.
Mesopotamia was the land of Peleg and his descendants, one of which was Abraham (v. 27). Abraham was the father of the Hebrew nation. He was the grandfather of Jacob, who was later named Israel.
God gave Abraham only a very small part of Peleg’s Mesopotamia (Genesis 12:7), which included the present day Israel. Israel was later taken by the Palestinians before the Hebrews retook the land, which was given to them by God, in 1947.
Today, Israel has given to the Palestinians the West Bank, encompassing most of the northern part of Israel. It has also given them Eastern Jerusalem, “the city of David”, and the Gaza Strip, a valuable strip of land on the Mediterranean Sea.
This is still not enough for the Palestinians and their Arab allies, including Iran. They will only be satisfied with the total destruction of Israel.
The will of God was for Israel to exist as part of the land given to Abraham. As Christians, we should do all within our power to uphold the will of God by helping Israel to continue to exist.