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Abraham’s Family Feud – Part III

Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor from the tribe of Ephraim. Solomon made him the officer of all the labor force of the house of Joseph. During the latter years of Solomon’s reign, the prophet Ahijah, from Shiloh, met Jeroboam and told him that the LORD, the God of Israel, would tear ten tribes out of the hand of Solomon due to his apostasy and give them to Jeroboam. Out of respect for David, the LORD would wait until Solomon was dead before he gave Jeroboam the ten tribes of Israel. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, would retain the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

 

Jeroboam reigned from Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim. One of his first acts was to make two calf idols out of gold, reminiscent of the molded golden calf Aaron made for the children of Israel in the wilderness. Jeroboam set one up in Bethel and the other one in Dan. This was done so the ten tribes wouldn’t return to Jerusalem to worship there. He also made shrines in the high places and made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi. Jeroboam told the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!” 

 

He also ordained a feast on the 15th day of the eighth month and offered sacrifices on the altar to the calves he had made. This was an imitation of the Feast of Tabernacles which was held on the 15th day of the seventh month in Jerusalem.

 

A man of God went from Judah to Bethel by the word of the LORD to give Jeroboam a prophetic message. He was burning incense on the altar when the prophet cried out, O altar, altar! Thus says the Lord: Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the Lord has spoken: Surely the altar shall split apart, and the ashes on it shall be poured out” (1 Kings 13:2-3).

 

Of course, the altar was split apart, and the ashes on it were poured out. “After this event Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again he made priests from every class of people for the high places; whoever wished, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. And this thing was the sin of the house of Jeroboam, so as to exterminate and destroy it from the face of the earth” (1 Kings 13:33-34).

 

Later, Ahijah was sent again to Jeroboam with this message. “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: Because I exalted you from among the people, and made you ruler over My people Israel, and tore the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it to you; and yet you have not been as My servant David, who kept My commandments and who followed Me with all his heart, to do only what was right in My eyes.

 

 But you have done more evil than all who were before you, for you have gone and made for yourself other gods and molded images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back—  therefore behold! I will bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male in Israel, bond and free; I will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as one takes away refuse until it is all gone. The dogs shall eat whoever belongs to Jeroboam and dies in the city, and the birds of the air shall eat whoever dies in the field; for the Lord has spoken!

 

Moreover, the Lord will raise up for Himself a king over Israel who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam; this is the day. What? Even now! For the Lord will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the River, because they have made their wooden images, provoking the Lord to anger. And He will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who sinned and who made Israel sin” (1 Kings 14:7-16).

 

The short-term prophecy was fulfilled after Jeroboam died and his son Nadab reigned. He ruled Israel for only 2 years. “And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin” (1 Kings 15:26). All 20 kings of Israel were evil and the phrase “and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he had made Israel sin” is used 14 times in the books of Kings. Baasha, of the house of Issachar, killed Nadab and all the house of Jeroboam, just as Ahijah prophesied. Baasha became king of Israel after Nadab’s death. Of course, he walked in the way of Jeroboam, who made Israel sin.


Regarding the prophecy of I Kings 13:2 and the burning of bones on the bones of Jeroboam, it took approximately 300 years before it was fulfilled. Josiah was the King of Judah at the time and was one of the greatest and righteous kings after David. Israel had been conquered and exiled by the Assyrians for about 100 years when this prophecy was fulfilled.


King Josiah restored true Yahweh worship to Judah and destroyed the many idols and altars that the two kingdoms had set up. Here is the fulfillment of 1 Kings 13:2: Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he broke down; and he burned the high place and crushed it to powder, and burned the wooden image.  


As Josiah turned, he saw the tombs that were there on the mountain. And he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar, and defiled it according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words. Then he said, What gravestone is this that I see? So the men of the city told him, It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things which you have done against the altar of Bethel. And he said, Let him alone; let no one move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria” (2 Kings 23:15-18).


Josiah killed the priests who were burning incense on the altar and burned their bones on the bones of the wicked kings and priests of Israel, including Jeroboam’s bones. God’s word always comes true, no matter how long it takes. 


Regarding some of the other descendants of Abraham, the kingdom of Edom (descendants of Esau) was a thorn in Israel’s side ever since the Israelites entered the Promised Land. During the time of David, the commander of the army of Israel, Joab, thought he had killed every male Edomite in the land. However, there was a child descendant of the king of Edom, named Hadad, who escaped to Egypt with some of his father’s Edomite servants. He caused much trouble for Solomon during his latter years.


Hadad’s descendants would eventually repopulate and reclaim the land of Edom, which was located in what is now southwestern Jordan. They went to war against both Israel and Judah throughout the reigns of different kings. The Greeks called the Edomites “Idumeans.” King Herod was half Idumean and part Jew, as Herod’s father, Antipater, was an Idumaean and Herod’s mother was a Nabatean Arab princess from Petra. Antipater was by descent an Edomite with a Jewish mother. His ancestors had converted to Judaism. Herod was raised as a Jew.


During the waning days of Judah, when the kingdom was a vassal state of Babylon, the kingdoms of Moab and Ammon (descendants of Abraham’s family) took advantage of Judah’s weakness and sent raiders to pillage the land.


In the days of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, he came up, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him. And the Lord sent against him raiding bands of Chaldeans, bands of Syrians, bands of Moabites, and bands of the people of Ammon; He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord which He had spoken by His servants the prophets. Surely at the commandment of the Lord this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also because of the innocent blood that he had shed; for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which the Lord would not pardon.


After 20 kings of Israel and approximately 207 years, Israel was conquered by the Assyrians in about 723 BC and the people were exported to different regions throughout the Assyrian kingdom. The kingdom of Judah had a combination of good and bad kings (a total of 19 kings and 1 queen). Their kingdom survived for approximately 344 years (from the reign of Rehoboam) before they were conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians in 586 BC.


Jeremiah the prophet prophesied against kingdoms other than Judah, in which Babylon would be the instrument that God used to bring about their downfall. Egypt, the land of Philistine, Moab (descendants of Lot’s elder daughter), Ammon (descendants of Lot’s younger daughter), Edom (descendants of Esau, the city of Damascus, the cities of Kedar and Hazor (descendants of Ishmael) and Elam (Iran). He then prophesied about Babylon’s destruction.


Moab and Ammon helped Babylon (non-militarily) and made plans to carve up the Promised Land for themselves after the Babylonians carried Israel into captivity. This displeased the Lord and He had the Babylonians destroy them as well. Moab and Ammon ceased to exist as nations at that time. Edom did likewise.


So Edom, Moab, and Ammon ceased to be nations at about the same time that Judah was carried off to Babylon. After 70 years of captivity, Israel was restored. In Jeremiah 48:47, the Lord promised one day to restore the fortunes of Moab as well. In Jeremiah 49:6, He made the same promise to Ammon, but He made no such promise to Edom. Obadiah also prophesied against the Edomites who were eventually driven out of their capital (Petra) by the Nabateans, a Bedouin people descended from Ishmael, in fulfillment of Obadiah’s prophecy.


The Roman Empire conquered much of what is now Jordan, even the powerful trading kingdom of the Nabateans in 103 AD, whose capital was the fortress city of Petra. Of course, we know Israel’s history, with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD and the destruction of Judah in 135 AD. The entire Jewish population of Judah was deported and replaced with Gentiles. The province’s name was changed from Judah (or Judea) to Syria-Palestine. Thus began the centuries-old Jewish diaspora throughout the Gentile nations.


Many modern-day Bereans see Psalm 83 as a future war between Israel and her long-time enemies described in Psalm 83:4-8. “They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have helped the children of Lot. Selah.”


The modern-day version of these kingdoms and peoples would be, Edom (Palestinians and southern Jordan), Moab (Palestinians and central Jordan), Ammon (Palestinians and Central Jordan), Ishmaelites (Saudi Arabia), Gebal (Hezbollah and northern Lebanon), Tyre (Hezbollah and southern Lebanon, Amalek (Arabs of the Sinai area), Hagarenes (nomadic Egyptians), and Assyria (Syria and northern Iraq).


I don’t believe this is a future war because I can’t see Jordan, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia getting into another war with Israel after Israel’s victories in 1948, 1967, and 1973, and the current war against Hamas. You better believe they are afraid of the military power of Israel. I believe this imprecatory prayer/psalm by Asaph was a short-term prophecy in which the seer saw the invasion of many peoples against Judah in the future time of King Jehoshaphat, or it could have been written by a son of Asaph during the time of Jehoshaphat.


“It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them— here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit.  O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:1-2, 10-12). Mount Seir is in Edom (Jordan).


Regarding this bad news, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, who stood up and said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!


The outcome was exactly how Jahaziel prophesied. The Jews did not even have to fight, for the LORD used one of his favorite war tactics against their enemies. He confused them so that they fought against each other, and so they helped to destroy one another. “So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped. And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms

of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around” (2 Chronicles 20: 24,29-30). In the near future, God will use this same tactic against Israel’s enemies who form a confederacy during the Gog/Magog War.


After centuries of occupation by different kingdoms and peoples, the descendants of Abraham and Lot returned once again to the lands adjacent to the Jordan River. Here is a brief history of how Israel and Jordan (Edom, Ammon, Moab) became nations again. “Since the start of World War II, the British had been very strict about the immigration of Jews into Palestine, even turning boats loaded with refugees back to sea. In 1945, Britain, appointed by the League of Nations to rule Palestine, outlawed the immigration of Jews into the region. On May 22, 1946, the United Nations abolished the mandate for Transjordan and it became a sovereign state.


In 1947, Britain ceased efforts to reconcile Arabs and Jews in Palestine, deferring to the General Assembly of the United Nations. On November 29, 1947, the U.N. voted to partition Palestine into two states. The Negev Desert (in southern Palestine), and the coastal region and easter Galilee (in northern Palestine) were set aside for the Jews, while Arabs were given the Gaza Strip (the southern coast) and the remaining areas of Palestine. Jerusalem was designated as an international city. The motion, which the United States and the Soviet Union supported, was denounced by the League of Arab States, which supported the cause of the Palestinian Arabs.


The British mandate over Palestine was scheduled to end on May 15, 1948, at which time the English troops would be leaving. The day before, David Ben Gurion called to order a historic meeting on May 14, 1948, and read Israel’s Declaration of Independence. For the first time in more than 2000 years, there was an independent Jewish state of Israel. The next day, Israel was attacked by five Arab nations: Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. By the end of 1948, they had defeated the Arab nations and in so doing had conquered half of the territory the U.N. had planned for the new Arab nation (Palestine). The other half was divided between Jordan and Egypt. Israel controlled the western half of Jerusalem and Jordan the eastern half, including the Old City and the Temple Mount. Israel was recognized as a sovereign state by the U.N, and was admitted as a member of the General Assembly.” {1}


Israel’s neighbors continued to wage war against Israel in the decades that followed, including the Six-Day War in 1967, the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and the war in Lebanon in 1982. However, in 1978, peace talks between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin began. The talks were organized by Jimmy Carter at Camp David, Maryland. This led to an agreement in which Israel surrendered the Sinai region to Egypt, in exchange for Egypt’s political recognition of Israel. Then on October 26, 1994, at Wadi Araba on the border between Israel and Jordan, King Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin signed a peace treaty that established a solid framework for future relations.


There are several end-time prophecies concerning the kingdoms of Edom, Ammon, and Moab (descendants of Abraham or his relatives). One of them is found in Daniel 11 and concerns the Antichrist and his many wars. “He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (Daniel 11:41). It appears the Antichrist will be unable to conquer Jordan during the time of the Great Tribulation. Israel is the “glorious land” mentioned in verse 41.


Rev. 12:13-17 tells us that after Satan is confined to Earth he will go after “the woman,” symbolic of Israel. But the woman will be given the wings of a great eagle, enabling her to flee into the desert to a place prepared for her, where she will be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, which is 3 ½ years, the duration of the Great Tribulation. This agrees with Matt. 24:15-21 where the Lord warned the believing remnant of Israel to flee to the mountains to escape the Great Tribulation. The closest mountains to Jerusalem are in Moab and Edom.


Most scholars think the believing remnant of Israel will flee to the area of Bozrah, which was once the capital city of Edom. The abandoned fortress city of Petra is only twenty miles from Bozrah. This is where the remnant of the children of Israel will make their getaway with assistance from the LORD.

The phrase “wings of a great eagle” in Rev. 12:14 is reminiscent of Exodus 19:4 where the Lord used the same phrase to describe the way he delivered Israel from the Egyptians. This implies the same kind of supernatural assistance, such as when Satan spews out a river of water to sweep the woman away. But the Lord will open the earth to swallow the river and save the woman. This will enrage Satan, but he will leave the woman and go after other followers of Jesus (Rev. 12:15-17).


These prophecies help us understand how Edom, Moab, and Ammon could escape the clutches of the anti-Christ. The Lord has chosen Petra as the city of refuge where He will protect His people throughout the Great Tribulation. In doing so, He will make sure the whole area stays out of the hands of His enemy. It also explains why, when He returns, He will first go to Edom to clear the way for His people to return to Jerusalem (Isaiah 63:1-6).” {2}


Before the Antichrist’s forces can destroy the remnant Israelis in Bozrah, Jesus will return to the earth with his angelic and redeemed mankind’s armies to save his people from annihilation. His return to Bozrah and His slaughter of the Antichrist’s forces is found in the prophecy of Isaiah 63:1-6. His garments are so stained with blood, that Isaiah describes Jesus’ apparel as looking like one who has been treading grapes in a winepress. It won’t be out of any consideration for Edom, Moab, and Ammon that God will protect them from the anti-Christ, but out of a need to preserve the believing remnant of Israel.


However, after the Second Coming, the homelands of these three antagonists of Israel will become desolate wastelands. Ammon (northern Jordan), will suffer partial destruction and become a possession of Israel according to Jeremiah 49:1-2. Those who survive will turn to the Lord and a remnant of Ammon will be found in the Kingdom of Christ according to Jeremiah 49:6.


Moab (central Jordan) will also suffer destruction, but it will not be total. Moab and Ammon’s lands are compared to Sodom and Gomorrah in Zephaniah 2:8-9.  “I have heard the insults of Moab and the taunts of the Ammonites, who insulted my people and made threats against their land. Therefore, as surely as I live, declares the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, Surely Moab will become like Sodom, the Ammonites like Gomorrah—a place of weeds and salt pits, a wasteland forever. The remnant of my people will plunder them; the survivors of my nation will inherit their land.” It is believed Sodom and Gomorrah were located at the southern end of the Dead Sea. As with Ammon, the survivors in


Moab will turn to the Lord and will be found in the Kingdom of Christ according to Jeremiah 48:47.

It is Edom, however, that will receive an extra portion of God’s wrath. At the end of the age, Edom had been given ample opportunity to trust in the Lord but failed to respond. This results in the land of Edom becoming nothing but an astonishment, a reproach, a waste, and a curse according to Jeremiah 49:7-13 and Ezekiel 35:6-9. The smallest book of the Old Testament, Obadiah, concentrates its entire attention on Edom’s destruction. Obadiah says the destruction of Edom will be so total that nothing will remain of Esau’s descendants, while the descendants of his brother Jacob will own and possess the mountain of Edom.


The Lord will use Israel to bring about the final destruction of Edom as described in Ezekiel 25:12-14. In the Kingdom of Christ, there will not be a nation called Edom. Likewise, the same can be said of Lebanon, as Israel’s boundaries will encompass all of modern-day Lebanon, according to Ezekiel 47:13-48:29.


In the Millennium, Egypt will also be punished for their mistreatment of the Jews. Unlike Edom, Egypt’s desolation is to last for only the first forty years of the Millennium Kingdom. They will be dispersed all over the world, as recorded in Ezekiel 29:1-16. But afterward, the Egyptians will be regathered, becoming a kingdom again, although it will never be a powerful one again. In fact, it will be a lowly kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations” (Ezekiel 29:15).


However, the LORD will deliver Egypt, and they will return to the LORD. Not only will Egypt undergo a conversion experience, but so will the ancient area of Assyria (northern Iraq). In the Kingdom, when peace is restored, all borders will be open between Egypt, Iraq, and Israel. There will be economic, political, and religious unity between these kingdoms because they will all worship the same God, Yahweh. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.

In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance” (Isaiah 19:23-24).


The land of Saudi Arabia (Kedar and Hazor) will be a perpetual desolation throughout the Millennial Kingdom, and the inhabitants will be dispersed worldwide. “I will scatter into all winds them that are in the utmost corners; and I will bring their calamity from all sides thereof, saith the Lord. And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation forever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it” (Jeremiah 49:32-33).


Persia or Iran (Elam) will suffer destruction in the millennium and its inhabitants will be dispersed throughout the world according to Jeremiah 49:34-38. However, the destruction of Iran will only be partial and temporary. “And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from there the king and the princes, says the Lord. But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 49:38-39).


Throughout the Millennial Kingdom, the earth will be transformed into a place of beauty reminiscent of the Garden of Eden. Crops, animals, and humans will flourish like never before in the history of mankind. However, there will be two desolate areas of burning pitch and brimstone that will last throughout the millennium. The first area will be Babylon, according to Isaiah 13:20-22, Jeremiah 50:39-43, Revelation 18:1-2, 19:3.


The second area of perpetual desolation will be Edom or southern Jordan, according to Isaiah 34:8-15, Ezekiel 35:10-15, and Jeremiah 49:17-18. It is thought that the animals mentioned in these verses regarding Babylon and Edom are demons, for no animal can live in such an environment. While Satan is confined to the Abyss for 1000 years, his demons will be confined in the burning hell of Babylon and Edom.


Regarding the remnant of the children of Israel, Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—  not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.  But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

 

Randy Nettles


Endnotes:

{1) When & Where In The Bible and Throughout History by E.Michael and Sharon Rusten

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Martin
Martin
Jan 03
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great article, brother. The best one I've read in the past 2 years. God bless you. This is the way.

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you once again, Randy! I’d like to spread your article far and wide to correct the misconceptions many have about the true history of Israel and the “Palestinians”.


You’ve explained the history and the future of the region beautifully, and while I may not remember every detail, I have a much clearer understanding of the woven pieces, thanks to you.


I think 2024 is going to be an interesting if chaotic ride, and I’m clinging to my Lord as never before. I’m deeply grateful for you and Pete, and the other Biblical scholars and prophecy experts who have taught me well and encouraged me unfailingly.


May every day of the New Year bring us closer to our Father and…


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Amen, Trish. Thank you for your support and kind words. I very much appreciate it. Every time I write an article I learn something new, and also when others comment on the articles. I'm grateful there are so many studious students of the Bible that visit this site and others, such as yourself. Keep up the good word!

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Dcvbc12
Dcvbc12
Dec 30, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Randy this was an eye opener on a few parts. A great article. I see it very difficult to come any conclusion on Ps 83. Is 17 and Ez 38. There is a great deal of information out there. I do lean towards an idea, but not 100% on a few. Thank you for a good read. I do enjoy reading your articles and you always give me so much to chew on and research. God bless you brother and Happy and Blessed new year to come.

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Dean DeGrendel
Dean DeGrendel
Dec 29, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Very good series Randy!

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David Jack
David Jack
Dec 29, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

God's word is truth throughout, anders what He said would happen will come to pass . Thanks for a wonderful message of hope and walk through the history of the Middle East and especially God's chosen people Israel.

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