NOAH'S ARK:  INTERSECTION OF TIME AND SPACE

"Now the Earth had become corrupt before God; and the Earth had become filled with violence. And God saw the Earth and behold it was corrupted, for all Flesh had corrupted its way upon the Earth. God said to Noah, 'The end of all Flesh has come before Me, for the Earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I am about to destroy them from the Earth. Make for yourself an Ark of gopher wood; make the Ark with compartments, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you should make it -- 300 cubits the length of the Ark; 50 cubits its width; and 30 cubits its height. A window shall you make for the Ark, and to a cubit finish it from above. Put the entrance of the Ark in its side; make it with bottom, second and thirds decks. And as for Me -- Behold, I am about to bring the Flood waters upon the Earth to destroy all Flesh in which there is a breath of life from under the Heavens; everything that is in the Earth shall expire. But I will establish My Covenant with you, and you shall enter the Ark -- you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.'" (Gen. 6:11-18). According to Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, 1040 - 1105) the Ark took 120 years to build. This opinion is based upon God's earlier declaration that: "My Spirit shall not contend evermore concerning Man since he is but Flesh; his days shall be 120 years." (Gen. 6:3) -- a pronouncement that has been traditionally interpreted to mean that God would delay the Flood for 120 years (and/or that God would cause Humankind's then extremely long life span to gradually diminish to a maximum of 120 years). By orchestrating Noah's salvation by means of a 120 year construction project God, in His Mercy, was providing to Humankind both a daily reminder of the coming destruction and a constant opportunity to repent prior to its advent, which repentance would, in turn, enable God to cancel His Decree. But, alas, the disbelieving populace ridiculed and scoffed at Noah; and even those few who accepted that the end of the 120 year grace period would indeed bring the Flood believed that they had more than enough time to deal with the faraway crisis. As a result, the Flood consumed all (non-aquatic) Life, except for that which had entered the Ark. God thereby vindicated the faith and obedience of righteous Noah by executing His prophesied Judgment upon the unrepentant World. This was for the benefit of Posterity, as the Hebrew Bible declares: "The righteous man shall rejoice when he sees Vengeance. He shall wash his feet in the blood of the Wicked. And Mankind shall say, 'Truly there is a reward for the Righteous. Truly there is a God Who judges on Earth.'" (Psalms 58:11-12)

Jewish tradition informs us that the events depicted in the Hebrew Bible are portents of the Future. In this regard, the story of the Ark and the Flood represents themes of Time and Space, both of which illuminate Humankind's future.

From the perspective of Time, Noah's Ark serves as a calendar consisting of 3 seasons -- represented by its 3 floors -- of 40 years each. What is the metaphysical significance of the duration and the number of these "seasons"? Throughout the Torah, the period of 40 is utilized by the Creator of Existence to represent each of the 3 phases of testing, judgment and redemptive transformation (see Gen. 7:4, 7:12, 7:17, 8:6, and 18:29; see Ex. 16:35, 24:18, and 34:28; see Num. 13:25, 14:33-34, and 32:13; see Deut. 2:7, 8:2, 8:4, 9:9, 9:11, 9:18, 9:25, 10:10, 25:3, and 29:4). The nations of the World, as well, must pass through each of these phases in order for God's Earth to be restored to its prelapsarian perfection.

If it can be said that there is a contemporary counterpart to the Flood then, without any doubt, that counterpart is the apocalyptic War of Gog and Magog, during which the gentile nations will conspire to destroy Israel, but will, instead, be decimated by God's Wrath at the hands of the Messiah. The Prophet Zechariah prophesies about the War, as follows: "I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for the War; the City will be captured, the houses will be pillaged and the women will be violated; half of the City will go out into Exile, but the rest of the people will not be eliminated from the City. HaShem will go out and wage War with those nations, as He waged War on the Day of Battle ... This will be the Plague with which HaShem will strike all the peoples that have organized against Jerusalem: Each one's flesh will melt away while he is standing on his feet, each one's eyes will melt away in their sockets; and each one's tongue will melt away in their mouths. It shall be on that Day that there will be a great panic of HaShem among them; each one will grab the hand of his fellow, and his hand will be raised up against the hand of his fellow." (Zech. 14:2-13). The Prophet Ezekiel prophesies: "Thus said the Lord HaShem: Behold, I am against you Gog ... You will attack; like a storm you will come; you will be like a cloud covering the Earth, you and all your cohorts and the many nations with you. ... Surely on that day, when My People Israel dwells securely, you will come to know, when you come from your place in the uttermost parts of the North, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding horses, a vast horde, a mighty army, and you advance against My People Israel like a cloud covering the Earth. It will be at the End of Days that I will bring you upon My Land, in order that the nations may know Me, when I become sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog! ... You will fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your cohorts and the peoples that are with you; I will give you to the bird of prey, to every winged bird, and to the beast of the field as food. You will fall upon the open field ... I will dispatch a fire against Magog and against those who dwell confidently in the islands, and they will know that I am HaShem." (Ezek. 38:3 - 39:6). The Prophet Joel prophesies: "For, behold, in those Days, and in that Time, when I shall reverse the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all of the nations, and I will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat [Valley of God’s Judgment]; and I will issue Judgment against them there concerning My People and My Heritage Israel, whom they have scattered amongst the nations, and My Land that they have divided [amongst themselves]." (Joel 4:1-2).  And the Prophet Isaiah, describing the Vengeance that God will wreak upon the nations who have persecuted the Jewish people, declares: "He donned Righteousness like armor and a helmet of Salvation on His Head; and He donned garments of Vengeance as His Attire and clothed Himself in Zealousness like a coat. Just as there were [previous] Retributions [against His enemies], so shall He [now] repay Wrath to His enemies, Retribution to His adversaries; He will pay Retribution [even] to the distant lands. From the West they will fear the Name of HaShem, and from the rising of the sun [they will fear] His Glory; for [their] travail will come like a river; the Spirit of HaShem will gnaw at them." (Isaiah 59:17-19)

If the War of Gog and Magog is the contemporary counterpart to the Flood, then what is the corresponding counterpart to the Ark? In other words, what device exists Today that serves the function of a calendar for the modern nations, counting down the days to the future End Time? That calendar is the Hebrew Bible -- the most widely disseminated and translated text in all of History. And, just as the Ark was divided into 3 floors, the Hebrew Bible also has its 3 parts -- Pentateuch, Prophets and Writings -- which are known in the Hebrew language as Torah, Neviim and Ketuvim, resulting in the Hebrew-language acronym “Tanach”. By giving the modern nations millennia of advance warning by virtue of the existence of the Hebrew Bible, God has reprised the Mercy that He granted to the evil generation of the Flood by virtue of Noah's 120 year Ark-building project.

However, just as the generation of the Flood ignored the message of the Ark, the modern nations continue to ignore, and even defy, the message of the Hebrew Bible, which, ironically, they -- unlike the Ark-ridiculing generation of the Flood -- profess to honor as the Word of God. The explanation for this puzzling and self-destructive phenomenon is to be found in the gentile nations’ erroneous theological interpretations of the Jews’ Exilic presence among them. Prior to the rise of Judaism’s monotheistic rivals, the polytheistic, idol worshipping gentile nations, such as Babylon and Rome, which had subjugated Israel -- not comprehending that God was merely utilizing their empires to punish His People for their lack of Yirat Elohim (Fear of God) -- mistakenly believed that their defeat and exile of the Jewish people represented a victory of their false gods over the God of Israel. In other words, their military triumphs were used as proofs by them that the God of Israel was a weak and defeated god. In contrast, after the rise of Christianity and Islam, the monotheistic gentile nations readily accepted that the God of Israel was the one and true God, but they mistakenly believed -- each according to their own religion -- that the Jews’ Exilic presence among them and their ability, at will and with impunity, to murder their Jewish subjects and plunder their assets were incontrovertible proofs that God had punished the Jews, not for their lack of Yirat Elohim and certainly not in accordance with the timetable of God's Promises as set forth in the Hebrew Bible, but rather, solely on account of the Jews' failure to accept Christianity or Islam as the complete and final religion of God. Due to their conviction, born of military and economic prowess, that their respective religions had thereby superseded Judaism and that their respective Scriptures, in cases of conflict, had thereby superseded the words of the Hebrew Bible, these nations developed such a distorted view of the God of Israel (which they now called by the name of Jesus or Allah) that they long ago convinced themselves that He had ceased honoring His Promises to the Jewish people, including those concerning the great Ingathering of the Jewish people from the Diaspora to the Land of Israel, the Resurrection of Israel as a Jewish nation-state, and the harsh Judgment to be imposed upon the gentile nations during the latter End Time.

Concerning the Ingathering, God declares to the Jewish people:  "Then HaShem, your God, will reverse your captivity and have mercy upon you, and He will gather you in from all the peoples to which HaShem, your God, has scattered you. If your dispersed will be at the ends of heaven, from there HaShem, your God, will gather you in, and from there He will take you. HaShem, your God, will bring you to the Land that your forefathers possessed, and you shall possess it; He will do Good to you and make you more numerous than your forefathers." (Deut. 30:3-5)

Yet, once the gentile nations formed societies and foundational religious beliefs predicated upon the obsolescence of God's Promises to the Jewish people, even the cognitive dissonance produced by the commencement of the great Ingathering and the Rebirth of Israel did not convince their respective leaderships that God intended to fulfill, as well, the remainder of His Promises to the Jewish people. That being the case, the nations -- instead of quaking before the Manifestation of God’s Will -- have relentlessly vilified and maligned (or, in the case of some of the more "enlightened" nations, have artfully declined to oppose the demonization of) the renascent State of Israel in international forums, foremost among them the United Nations (which, while having repealed in 1991 its infamous 1975 resolution equating Zionism with Racism, continues to treat Israel as if its very existence is a Crime against Humanity).  Moreover, in a brazen attempt to undo God's fulfilled Promises to the Jewish people and to thereby revalidate their own respective religious dogmata, the Arabs, supported by the international community, have been engaged for nearly a century in a War -- punctuated by lengthy periods of low intensity conflict and terrorism -- to extirpate the Jewish presence from the Land of Israel.

Ineluctably, in complete and final fulfillment of Hebrew Scripture, the continued hostility of the gentile world to Israel as a Jewish nation-state with sovereignty over Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, will lead to the cataclysmic, worldwide War of Gog and Magog, as a consequence of which the nations, with their massive armies and weaponry, will be humbled and their false beliefs will be destroyed in order to sanctify God's Holy Name and to crown Him as King.  As the Prophet Ezekiel says concerning the powerful and arrogant Gog with respect to his future defeat at the hands of a tiny and vulnerable State of Israel led by the Messiah at the End of Days: "Thus said the Lord HaShem: ‘Surely on that Day, when My People Israel dwells securely, you will come to know, when you come from your place in the uttermost parts of the North, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding horses, a vast horde, a mighty army, and you advance against My People Israel like a cloud covering the Earth. It will be at the End of Days that I will bring you upon My Land, in order that the nations may know Me, when I become sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog!’" (Ezek. 38:14-16).  As the Prophet continues, in God’s Name: "‘I will manifest My Glory among the nations; and all of the nations will see My Judgment that I have executed [against them] and My Hand that I have placed upon them. Then the House of Israel will know that I am HaShem, their God, from that Day onward. Then the nations will know that the House of Israel was exiled because of their sins -- because they betrayed Me; and I hid My Face from them; and I delivered them into the hand of their enemies, and they fell by sword -- all of them. I dealt with them in accordance with their contamination and their sins, and I hid My Face from them.’" (Ezek. 39:21-24).  Clearly, only as a result of their defeat at the hands of the Messiah will the nations, as well as the victimized Jewish people, publicly acknowledge the sole Kingship of the God of Israel; and only as a result of this defeat will the nations finally come to understand that the Jewish people were exiled from the Land of Israel, and thereafter subjected to millennia of depredations and annihilations, not due to their failure to embrace the false religions of the nations, but rather only due to their failure to observe the Commandments, and heed the Warnings, of the Torah while they yet dwelled securely in the Land.  Finally, the Prophet declares, in God’s Name, concerning the ingathered Jewish people residing in the resurrected nation-state of Israel at the End of Days: "‘Then they will know that I am HaShem, their God; for, having [previously] exiled them to the nations, I [now] gather them back into their Land and leave none of them there [among the nations]. I will never again hide My Face from them; for, I will pour out My Spirit upon the House of Israel -- the Word of the Lord HaShem.’" (Ezek. 39:28-29)

And, as is promised in the Hebrew Bible concerning the aftermath of the War of Gog and Magog: "HaShem will be the King over all of the Earth; on that day HaShem will be One and His Name will be One." (Zech. 14:9); and: "I swear by Myself, Righteousness has gone forth from My Mouth, a Word that will not be rescinded: that to Me shall every knee bend and every tongue swear." (Isaiah 45:23).

Our sages opined that the Jewish people's final redemption from the yoke of the gentile nations would be similar to their first redemption from the yoke of pharaonic Egypt. Accordingly, it is instructive to recall the Torah's explanation of the posed vulnerability of the Jewish people at the shore of the Reed Sea, the Torah's declaration of the purpose of this deception upon the Egyptians, and the Torah's description of the aftermath of this first redemption: "HaShem spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the Children of Israel and let them turn back and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, before Baal-zephon; you shall encamp opposite it, by the sea. Pharaoh will say of the Children of Israel, "They are imprisoned in the land; the wilderness has locked them in." I shall strengthen the heart of Pharaoh, and he will pursue them; and I will be glorified through Pharaoh and his entire army, and Egypt will know that I am HaShem.' And so they did. ... On that day, HaShem saved Israel from the hand of Egypt; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the Great Hand that HaShem inflicted upon Egypt; and the people revered HaShem, and they had faith in HaShem and in Moses, His Servant." (Ex. 14:1-30). As it was with the first redemption, so it will be with the final redemption: The God of Israel will cause the gentile nations to believe that Israel is easy prey so that He may be glorified through their defeat and destruction. In this way, not only the remnant of the gentile nations, but, as well, the Jewish people will know that He is the one and only God.

Tragically, just as the antediluvian world observed the slow but steady completion of the Ark but defiantly refused to heed its message, the postdiluvian world has observed, and continues to observe, the slow but steady fulfillment of all of the Promises set forth in the Hebrew Bible, but the nations defiantly refuse to heed its message. And, as one would expect from the God of Truth and Consistency, the two messages (like the two dreams of the pre-Exodus Pharaoh -- see Gen. 41:1-32) are actually one and the same, namely, that although God is merciful and patient, He cannot abide Evil forever, and that once the iniquity of the nations be full, He will execute Judgment upon them devoid of Mercy. This denouement is presaged by God's Promise to our ancestor Abraham concerning the near future of his Jewish progeny: "And He said to Abram, 'Know with certainty that your offspring shall be aliens in a land not their own, they [the Jewish people] will serve them [the Egyptians], and they [the Egyptians] will oppress them [the Jewish people] 400 years. But also the nation that they shall serve, I shall judge, and afterwards they shall leave with great wealth. ... And the fourth generation shall return here [the Land of Israel], for the iniquity of the Amorite shall not yet be full until then.'" (Gen. 15:13-16). Clearly, from the perspective of Time, the Hebrew Bible is the contemporary counterpart to Noah's Ark.

From the perspective of Space, Noah's Ark represents the concepts of selection and separation that pervade the Torah, both before and after the Flood. Some examples from the antediluvian World are as follows: "God said, 'Let there be Light,' and there was Light [-- in contemporary terms, God created the great primeval Fireball of pure concentrated energy that consisted of electromagnetic radiation -- both the visible and invisible segments thereof -- which was wholly suspended within the great primeval dark lake of plasma, unable to escape therefrom]. God saw that the Light was Good, and God separated the Light from the Darkness [-- in contemporary terms, God cooled the Fireball, thereby freeing the electromagnetic radiation, including the visible segment thereof, from its dark plasma prison]." (Gen. 1:4); "So God made the Firmament [-- in contemporary terms, God made the conditions necessary for the formation of the atmospheric envelope surrounding the Earth], and it separated between the waters which were beneath the Firmament [i.e., the primordial Earth’s oceans which then covered the entire planet] and the waters which were above the Firmament [i.e., the innumerable chucks of matter hurtling through outer space, such as comets and asteroids, which were composed largely of ice]." (Gen. 1:7); "And God said, 'Let us make Man in Our Image, after Our Likeness [unlike the animals who had been created with instinctual abilities but without any conscience or free will]. They [Humankind] shall rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, the whole Earth, and every creeping thing that creeps upon the Earth.' So God created Man in His Image, in the Image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Gen. 1:26-27); "By the seventh day God completed His Work which He had done, and He abstained on the seventh day from all His Work which He had done. God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on it He abstained from all His Work which God created to make." (Gen. 2:2-3); "And HaShem God commanded the man, saying, 'Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, you must not eat thereof; for on the day you eat of it, you shall surely die.'" (Gen. 2:16-17); "After a period of time, Cain brought an offering to HaShem of the fruit of the ground; and as for Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and from their choicest. HaShem turned to Abel and to his offering, but to Cain and to his offering He did not turn." (Gen. 4:3-4); " ... And HaShem placed a mark upon Cain, so that none that meet him might kill him." (Gen. 4:15); "HaShem saw that the wickedness of Man was great upon the Earth, and that every product of the thoughts of his heart was but evil always. And HaShem reconsidered having made Man on Earth, and He had heartfelt sadness. And HaShem said, 'I will blot out Man whom I created from the face of the ground -- from man to animal, to creeping things, and to birds of the sky; for I have reconsidered My having made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of HaShem.'" (Gen. 5:7-8); and finally: "And as for Me -- Behold, I am about to bring the Flood waters upon the Earth to destroy all Flesh in which there is a breath of life from under the Heavens; everything that is in the Earth shall expire. But I will establish My Covenant with you, and you shall enter the Ark -- you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.'" (Gen. 6:17-18).

God determined that certain things ought not to be mixed or merged, and so He has decreed Separation as to those things. Often this Separation is the result of a Moral Selection that God has made between Good and Evil. In the case of Noah, God decided to separate him and his immediate family from the rest of Humanity -- in effect, to separate Good from Evil. The separation device that God utilized for this purpose was the Ark which was meant to completely isolate righteous Noah, a paragon of Yirat Elohim, from the perversions of the doomed antediluvian World. But what separation device is intended by God to function as the contemporary counterpart to the Ark? Before this question can be answered, a preliminary question must first be asked, namely, who represents the postdiluvian counterpart to Noah -- selected out from among the multitude of nations? The Torah answers this preliminary question by declaring that God has chosen the Jewish People for this role: "... So said HaShem: My Firstborn Son is Israel." (Ex. 4:22); and: "... My Legions -- My People -- the Children of Israel ..." (Ex. 7:4); and: "For you are a holy people to HaShem, your God; HaShem, your God, has chosen you to be for Him a treasured people above all peoples that are on the face of the Earth. Not because you are more numerous than all the peoples did HaShem desire you and choose you, for you are the fewest of all the peoples. Rather, because of HaShem's love for you and because He observes the Oath that He swore to your forefathers did He take you out with a strong hand and redeem you from the house of slavery -- from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. (Deut. 7:6-8); and: "For you are a holy people to HaShem, your God, and HaShem has chosen you for Himself to be a treasured people from among all the peoples on the face of the Earth." (Deut. 14:2); and: "And HaShem has distinguished you today to be for Him a treasured people, as He spoke to you, and to observe all His Commandments, and to make you supreme over all the nations that He made, for praise, for renown, and for splendor, and so that you will be a holy people to HaShem, your God, as He spoke." (Deut. 26:18-19). And just as God found it necessary to insulate Noah from the immorality of the outside World, He subsequently found it necessary to do the same for His Chosen People. This physical and spiritual Separation of the Jewish people from the gentile nations was praised by the gentile prophet Balaam: "'For, from its origins, I see it rock-like, and from hills do I see it; behold! -- it is a people that [physically] shall dwell in solitude, and [spiritually] not be reckoned among the nations.'" (Num. 23:9). And God even chose to describe Himself to the Jewish people by reference thereto: "'So I said to you, "You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to inherit it, a land flowing with milk and honey" -- I am HaShem, your God, Who has [physically] separated you from the peoples.'" (Lev. 20:24); and "'You shall be holy for Me; for, I, HaShem, am Holy -- and I have [spiritually] separated you from the peoples to be Mine.'" (Lev. 20:26).

Given God's desire to isolate the Children of Israel from the gentile nations, it is entirely logical that He would select and set aside for His people a special place in which to dwell -- this place was the biblical Land of Israel, the postdiluvian counterpart to Noah's Ark. As Ibn Ezra (Avraham Ibn Ezra, 1098 - 1164) commented on Deuteronomy 4:10: "God knew they would be unable to perform His mitzvot (commandments) properly while in lands under foreign domination." And Ramban (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman aka Nachmanides, 1194 - 1270) noted on Exodus 3:12: "God told Moses two things. Firstly, He promised that He would descend to save the people from the hand of Egypt. Second, He could have saved them right in Goshen itself or nearby, yet He promised to remove them from that land entirely, to the land of the Canaanites." God determined, in his infinite wisdom, that only in the Land of Israel could the Jewish people be adequately isolated from the alien influences of the gentile nations and thereby be able to properly understand and practice Torah morality as a people dwelling in solitude. Even the great Jewish sages of Babylon acknowledged this truth. In Bava Metzia 85a of the Babylonian Talmud, it relates: "When Rav Zera arrived in the Land of Israel from Babylonia, he fasted a hundred fasts to forget his previous Torah study so it would not trouble him."

Of the Land of Israel the Hebrew Bible states: "HaShem said, ‘… a good and spacious Land … a Land flowing with milk and honey …’" (Ex. 3:8); and: "For HaShem, your God, is bringing you to a good Land: a Land with streams of water, of springs and underground water coming forth in valley and mountain; a Land of wheat, barley, grape, fig, and pomegranate; a Land of oil -- olives and date-honey; a Land where you will eat bread without poverty -- you will lack nothing there; a Land whose stones are iron and from whose mountains you will mine copper. You will eat and you will be satisfied and bless HaShem, your God, for the good Land that He gave you." (Deut. 8:7-10); " But the Land, to which you cross over to inherit, is a Land of hills and valleys; from the rain of Heaven shall you drink water; a Land that HaShem, your God, seeks out; the Eyes of HaShem, your God, are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year." (Deut. 11:11-12); and: "The commander of HaShem's legion said to Joshua, 'Remove your shoe from upon your foot; for, the place upon which you stand is holy.' And Joshua did so." (Josh. 5:15). The modern State of Israel is the resurrection of the biblical Land of Israel, as is prophesied in the Torah: "Then HaShem, your God will reverse your captivity and have mercy upon you, and He will gather you in from all the peoples to which HaShem, your God, has scattered you. If your dispersed will be at the ends of heaven, from there HaShem, your God, will gather you in, and from there He will take you. HaShem, your God, will bring you to the Land that your forefathers possessed and you shall possess it; He will do good to you and make you more numerous than your forefathers." (Deut. 30:3-5). The obligation formerly imposed upon the Jewish people to live in the biblical Land of Israel now applies to the modern State of Israel. As our Sages said: "Living in Eretz Yisrael equals the combined weight of all of the mitzvot in the Torah." (Sifri, Re’ei, 80). Furthermore, they declared: "A person should live in Eretz Yisrael , even in a city whose majority is idolaters, and not outside the Land, even in a city that is entirely Jewish ." (Tosefta, Avodah Zarah, 5:2) -- this is a proof that residence in the modern State of Israel is required well before the completion of the ingathering and the coming of the Messiah -- and, just so that there be no room for ambiguity or misunderstanding, they also emphasized: "Whoever lives in Eretz Yisrael is like someone who has a God, and whoever lives outside of Eretz Yisrael is like someone who has no God, as it says, ‘To give you the Land of Canaan, to be a God to you’ (Lev. 25:38)." (Ketuvot 110b).

Furthermore, due to the fact that the enforcement of complete separation requires recognition of its duality, the Ark functioned not only to keep Noah and his family on the Inside, but also to keep the corruptive World on the Outside. Similarly, God instructed not only that the biblical Land of Israel function as the separate dwelling place for the Israelites, but He also decreed that other nations be required to dwell outside of its borders. Accordingly, since the Canaanite nations were then dwelling inside the Land, the imperative of complete separation between the Jewish people and the gentile nations dictated that the latter be removed outside the Land. As the Torah relates: "HaShem spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan [River], at Jericho, saying, 'Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them, "When you cross the Jordan [River] to the land of Canaan, you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the Land from before you; and you shall destroy all their prostration stones; all their molten images shall you destroy; and all their high places shall you demolish. You shall possess the Land and you shall settle in it, for to you have I given the Land to possess it. ... But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land from before you, those of them whom you leave shall be pins in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you upon the Land in which you dwell. And it shall be that what I had meant to do to them, I shall do to you."'" (Num. 33:50-56).

Or HaChaim (Rabbi Chaim ben Attar, 1696 - 1743) comments on Num. 33:55: "'... They will harass you upon the Land in which you dwell' (Num. 33:55): Not only will they hold on to the part of the Land that you have not taken, but the part which you have taken and settled, as well. '... They will harass you ...' regarding the part that you live in, saying, 'Get up and leave it.'"

And since the Israelites were required to expel the Canaanite nations from the Land of Israel they were certainly not permitted to make any peace treaty with these nations which would allow them to remain in the Land. As God warned Moses concerning the Canaanite nations then occupying the Land: "'Beware of what I command you Today: Behold, I will drive out before you the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivvite, and the Jebusite. Be vigilant not to seal a covenant with the inhabitants of the Land to which you are coming, since they will be a fatal trap for you.'" (Ex. 34:11-12).

Abarbanel (Don Yitzchak Abarbanel, 1437 - 1507) comments on Ex. 34:11-12: "Verses 11-12 inform us that since God is driving out the Amorites and the other nations, it is improper for Israel to forge a covenant with them. If a nobleman helps someone by fighting his battles and banishing his enemies, it is morally inappropriate for that person to make peace with them without that nobleman's permission. So, too, with God driving out Israel's enemies, it is inappropriate for Israel to forge a covenant with them, for that would profane God's Glory. This is especially so considering that this friendship and this covenant will not succeed. With Israel having taken their land, there is no doubt that they will constantly seek Israel's downfall. This is why it said, '...[the Land] to which you are coming...' Since Israel came to that Land and took it from its inhabitants, and they feel that it has been stolen from them, how will they make a covenant of friendship with you? Rather the opposite will occur: '...they will be a fatal trap for you.' When war strikes you, they will join your enemies and fight you."

The God of Israel also commanded the Jewish people through Moses: "'When HaShem, your God, will bring you to the Land to which you come to possess, He will cast out before you many nations -- the Hittite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivvite, and the Jebusite, [being] seven nations greater and mightier than you. And HaShem, your God, will deliver them up before you, and you shall assault them, utterly destroying them; you shall not make any covenant with them, and you shall not show them any mercy. And you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son. For, he will turn away your child from [following] after Me, and they will worship other gods; and the anger of HaShem will burn against you, and He will destroy you quickly. Rather, so shall you deal with them: You shall break apart their altars, and you shall smash their pillars, and you shall cut down their sacred trees, and you shall burn with fire their engraved images.'" (Deut. 7:1-5); and "'You shall devour all the peoples that HaShem, your God, will deliver to you; your eye shall not pity them, and you shall not worship their gods; because it is a snare for you.'" (Deut. 7:16); and: "'But from the cities of these peoples that HaShem, your God, gives you as an inheritance, you shall not allow any person to live. Rather you shall utterly destroy them -- the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivvite, and the Jebusite, as HaShem, your God, has commanded you, so that they will not teach you to act according to all their abominations that they performed for their deities, so that you will sin to HaShem, your God.'" (Deut. 20:16-18).

Based upon recent history, it should be clear to anyone with open eyes and common sense that the present-day Arab clans which are interspersed throughout the Land of Israel (including Judea, Samaria and Gaza) are the spiritual descendants of the Canaanite nations and that, for all of the reasons set forth above, the Divine Commandment to drive out, and not make any treaty with, the Canaanite nations applies, as well, to the present-day irredentist Arab inhabitants of the Land.

However, lest one should argue that this Commandment applies only to the ancient Canaanite nations and not to the present-day Arabs and other gentiles living inside the Land, Or HaChaim comments on Num. 33:52 in comparison with Deut. 20:16: "'You shall drive out ...' (Num. 33:52): Although the verse said of the seven [Canaanite] nations, '... you shall not allow any person to live' (Deut. 20:16), here [in Num. 33:52] the Torah is talking about the other nations found there besides the seven. It was therefore careful to say, '... all the inhabitants of the Land ...' (Num. 33:52), meaning even those not of the seven."

It is more than obvious that the Jewish people's latter-day return, en masse, to the Land of Israel in the face of intense Arab hostility and their crushing defeat of the Arabs living within (and without) the Land, together with their concomitant failure to completely remove the Arabs living inside the Land have resulted in all of the above-predicted calamities, culminating in the current war of attrition being waged with rocks, firebombs, automatic weapons, mortars, missiles and suicide bombers against the Jews of Israel by the "Palestinian" Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza -- overtly and covertly aided by their "Israeli" Arab brethren (who prefer to view themselves as the Inside or 1948 "Palestinians"). The seditious and treasonous hostilities perpetrated by the "Palestinian" citizens of Israel are, in turn, orchestrated by Israel's own Islamic Movement, including elected officials of Arab towns and villages located inside pre-1967 Israel, and by Arab members of Israel's Parliament who, on a daily basis, openly incite their constituencies to participate in the "Palestinian" jihad against Israel. As God related to Moses in the form of a poetic warning: "They [Children of Israel] provoked Me with a non-god, angered Me with their vanities; so shall I provoke them with a non-people, with a vile nation shall I anger them." (Deut. 32:21). I believe that the "non-god" and "vanities" in the first part of this passage refer to the State of Israel's arrogant belief in, and worship of, its presumed alliance with the United States and its own superior technology. And I believe that the "non-people" and the "vile nation" in the second part of the excerpt refer to the ersatz people known as the "Palestinians", a collection of diverse Arab clans and a smattering of other ethnic groups (such as Serbs -- these are the so-called Bosnian Muslims who were Serbian Orthodox Christians before their forced conversion to Islam -- as well as Circassians and Chechens, all imported by the Ottoman Empire from their lands of origin to the Middle East, including the Land of Israel, several centuries ago), which, for propaganda purposes, have fraudulently declared themselves to be a separate and distinct ethnic nation named after the ancient Philistines, despite the fact that the Philistines were not even Arabs.  Moreover, as regards its dominant Arab element, the "Palestinian" people is not ethnically distinct from the great masses of Arab clans ranging through 21 sovereign Arab nations from Mauritania in the West to Oman in the East. Moreover, never in the annals of History, did the ancestors of the people who now call themselves "Palestinians" ever rule -- or even reside in -- a nation-state or kingdom of "Palestine", as such a sovereign entity never existed.

The Arab and larger Muslim worlds' fabrication, in modern times, of a "Palestinian" ethnic identity is a blatant imitation of the Roman Empire's concoction in 135 -- in the immediate aftermath of Rome's costly suppression of the Jews' third and final rebellion against the Empire's hated occupation of Judea -- of Palestine in honor of the Philistines (an Aegean people who had migrated to the Land of Israel in Antiquity and had subsequently become a fierce enemy of the Jewish people, but who had disappeared from History due to their extirpation by the Babylonian Empire more than 700 years prior to the renaming of the Land by the Roman Empire).  Imperial Rome's purpose in converting Judea (the Latin-language word for which was Iudaea, meaning Land of the Jews) to Palestine (the Latin-language word for which was Palaestina, meaning Land of the Philistines) lay in its political desire to humiliate the defeated Jewish people and to delegitimize any further national Jewish claims to the Land. Not surprisingly, the modern creation of a "Palestinian" ethnic identity is designed to resurrect and achieve the very goal that ultimately eluded the long-disintegrated Roman Empire. 

Moreover, in light of “Palestinian” claims to aboriginal status, it is ironic and noteworthy that the English-language cognate words “Palestine” and “Philistine”, as well as the Arabic-language word Falastin, are all derived (via Latin and, before that, Greek) from the biblical Hebrew-language word Pelishtim” (“Philistines”), whose literal meaning is: “Invaders”.  It is indeed telling that the “Palestinians” have created for themselves a faux ethnic identity whose very name originates, not from their own Arabic language, but rather from the Hebrew language.

Again, returning to the warning of the Torah (at Num. 33:55-56): "But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land before you, those of them whom you leave shall be pins in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you upon the Land in which you dwell. ..." -- this is a clear prophetic reference to the fact that, because the Jewish leadership of Israel has permitted the defeated Arabs to remain in the Land, mida k'neged mida (measure for measure), God has permitted the Land's Arabs to repay such foolish mercy with a continuous and relentless jihad against the Land's Jews -- ... "And it shall be that what I had meant to do to them, I shall do to you." -- this a clear prophetic reference to the fact that, because the Jewish leadership of Israel has stubbornly refused to expel the Arabs from within its midst, mida k'neged mida (measure for measure), God has caused the Arab leadership of the region to single-mindedly pursue the expulsion of Israel from within its midst.

And, in reply to those who, after all of the above, still insist that the Divine Commandment to drive out the Canaanite nations is limited exclusively to those long-extinct peoples, please know that the Arab residents -- both the 1948 "Palestinians" and the 1967 "Palestinians" -- of the Land of Israel have doggedly insisted, both through public declarations of their leadership and through published "histories", that they are, in fact, the biological descendants of the Canaanite nations and that, as such, they have the superior legal and moral claim to all of "Palestine" -- this despite the unchallengeable fact that the "Palestinians" are Arabs while the Canaanite nations were a collection of non-Arabic peoples. The falsehood that proceeds from their own lips -- mida k'neged mida (measure for measure) -- establishes that the Commandment to expel the Canaanites applies, as well, to the "Palestinian" Canaanites.

Nonetheless, the following gentile groups living within the Land of Israel may, in fact, be exempt from God’s Decrees of Expulsion and Destruction, namely, the Druze (descendants of Egyptian Arabs who deviated from the Shiite branch of Islam approximately 1,000 years ago) excluding those who reside in the Golan Heights (because these identify with Syria against Israel), the Circassians (a non-Arab ethnic group originating from Circassia, located in the northwestern region of the Caucasus Mountains of modern Russia, who follow the Sunni branch of Islam), and a small minority of Arabs (mostly Bedouins), all of which groups, by their service in the Israel Defense Forces, have, at great personal risk, allied themselves with the State of Israel against its enemies.  However, if exempted, these groups must be loyal to their protected status, meaning that: (1) on the physical plane, they openly acknowledge Israel as a perpetual Jewish nation-state and disavow any national role in its governance, and (2) on the spiritual plane, they undertake to abandon their false religious beliefs and, instead, observe the Noahide laws, which comprise the seven universal Commandments given by God to Noah in the aftermath of the Flood and, consequently, eternally binding upon the gentile nations, namely:  Do not murder; Do not steal; Do not worship false gods; Do not be licentious; Do not eat a limb removed from a live animal; Do not curse God; and Establish an impartial judicial system. (Sanhedrin 58b;  and Code of Maimonides, Kings 8:10). 

 

The scriptural basis for these group exemptions is the biblical status of the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites were certain clans of Hivvites residing in the district of Gibeon, which, during the returning Hebrews' conquest of the Land of Israel under the leadership of Joshua -- through an adroit combination of deceit as to their real identity and of complete prostration before Joshua and the Hebrew tribes -- convinced the Jewish people to conclude an alliance with them (in violation of God's Prohibition against such treaties), on account of which they were exempted from God's Decrees of Expulsion and Destruction (see Josh. 9:1-27).

 

However, even in the case of the Gibeonites, the Hebrew Bible cautions that: "The [Israelite] men accepted their deception, but they did not [first] ask for the Word of HaShem. Joshua made peace with them and sealed a covenant with them to let them live; and the leaders of the assembly swore [an oath] to them." (Josh. 9:14-15).  Consequently, it will behoove the Messiah to seek the Word of the God of Israel before granting any group exemptions to modern-day Gibeonites.

 

Moreover, by virtue of their righteous conduct, a select number of other gentile individuals living within the Land of Israel may also be exempt from God’s Decrees of Expulsion and Destruction. 

 

The scriptural basis for these individual exemptions is the biblical status of Rahab.  Rahab was a prominent inhabitant of the City of Jericho who risked her own life to hide two Jewish spies from City authorities, thereby preserving the secrecy of the impending Jewish invasion and conquest of the Land of Israel (see Josh. 2:1-23).  In gratitude for her services to the Jewish people, Rahab and her immediate family were spared the destruction meted out to her people. As the Hebrew Bible relates: "They burned the City in fire, and everything that was in it; only the silver and the gold and the vessels of copper and iron they gave to the treasury of the House of HaShem. But Rahab the innkeeper and her father's household and all that was hers, Joshua allowed to live; and she dwelled in the midst of Israel until this day, because she hid the messengers that Joshua had sent to spy out Jericho." (Josh. 6:24-25).

Yet, this raises another issue, namely, what would have happened if all of the Canaanite peoples had been as peaceful and as submissive towards the Hebrews as the Gibeonites? Putting aside the fact that the Hebrews were tricked into making their treaty with the Gibeonites, isn't it likely that the Hebrews, when faced with a peaceful and submissive native population, would have, in any case, found it morally difficult to treat this population as harshly as God had so commanded -- namely, not to make any alliances with them, but rather, without pity, to expel and annihilate them from the Land? Despite the fact that God's Commandments were not made conditional upon the military posture of the Canaanite peoples towards the returning Hebrews, the answer to this question is in the affirmative. As is revealed in the Hebrew Bible: "Joshua waged war with all of these [Canaanite] kings for a long time. There was not a city that made peace with the Children of Israel except for the Hivvite inhabitants of Gibeon; they [the Hebrews] took everything in battle. For it was from HaShem, to strengthen their [the Canaanite nations'] hearts towards battle against Israel, in order to destroy them [the Canaanite nations] -- that they not find favor [with the Hebrews] -- so that they would be extirpated [by the Hebrews], as HaShem had commanded Moses." (Joshua 11:18-20). So it is with the "Palestinian" Canaanites. God has stiffened their resolve -- even against a militarily superior Israel -- and He has permitted them to perpetrate the most heinous atrocities against the Jewish people only so that when the Messiah -- as a component part of the War of Gog and Magog -- finally comes to expel and to destroy them, (most of) Israel will have, at that time, no moral qualms about complying with God's Commandments which, at this time, so shock the mores and sensibilities of modern Jewish civilization.

It is noteworthy that, although the belligerence of the ancient Canaanite nations forced the Hebrews to take aggressive counter-measures against them, thereby resulting in large-scale expulsions and annihilations of these nations, after the latter were defeated, the Hebrews permitted their irredentist and revanchist remnants to continue living and increasing in the Land of Israel in defiance of God’s Commandments (See Judges 1:1-36).  That denouement constitutes an uncannily accurate portent concerning the evolution of the status of the 1948 “Palestinian” Canaanites. For, during modern Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, approximately 600,000 hostile Arabs (who actively participated in the War to annihilate Israel) fled or were expelled from the Jewish State.  However, after Israel defeated their allied multi-nation Arab invasion force, approximately 150,000 Arabs (who were just as hostile, but who did not actively participate in the War) were allowed to remain, and were thereafter rewarded with citizenship and national voting rights in the Jewish State.  From that 150,000 (plus another 100,000 that Israel permitted to return in the ensuing decades), modern Israel's irredentist and revanchist Arab citizenry has grown to approximately 1,200,000. 

Had Noah permitted those from the outside World to enter the Ark, he would have suffered God's Wrath for rebelling against His Authority. Unfortunately, the leaders of modern Israel who, due to their Yirat HaGoyim (Fear of the Nations) rather than Yirat Elohim (Fear of God), have stubbornly refused to remove the Arabs from the Land are now responsible for the prophetic consequences of ignoring God's Strict Warning -- ("But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land before you, those of them whom you leave shall be pins in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you upon the Land in which you dwell. And it shall be that what I had meant to do to them, I shall do to you.") -- which defiance will continue to result in the horrific suffering of their Jewish brethren at the hands of the "Palestinian" Canaanites (until the advent of the messianic War of Gog and Magog when God's Name will be sanctified, not only through Israel's defeat of the gentile nations, but also through the expulsion and destruction, with limited exceptions, of the Arab and other gentile inhabitants of the Land). For just as the Ark completely separated Good from Evil, the biblical Land of Israel was mandated, and the modern State of Israel is mandated, to do the same. Clearly, from the perspective of Space, the State of Israel is the contemporary counterpart to Noah's Ark.

Each in their own way, both the Hebrew Bible and the State of Israel are Noah's Ark. Perhaps, before the latter End Time, the gentile nations -- as well as those Jews who stubbornly persist in living among them -- will heed the message of the Ark and thereby avoid the punishment meted out to the generation of the Flood.

 

© Mark Rosenblit

 

 

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