The Nations’ Inheritance

What about the rest of the nations of the world? Do they also have an inheritance?


TorahSep 19, 2017

TorahSep 19, 2017


    World map depicted in flags of nations. (Image © Bigstock)

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The Jewish people are God’s chosen people, and the land of Israel is their inheritance. God took the Jewish people out of the land of Egypt and brought them up into the land of promise and established them in Israel.

Even though throughout history, the Jewish people have been exiled from their land at various stages, it has always belonged to them, and the Jewish people will return there as a whole when Messiah returns. What about the rest of the nations of the world? Do they also have an allotted inheritance from HaShem?

Torah portion Ha’azinu may provide a clue. In chapter 32 we read:

When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. But the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage. (Deuteronomy 32:8-9)

This passage teaches us that HaShem has also given the nations of the world an inheritance. According to the sages “when he divided mankind” refers to the dispersion of mankind after the tower of Babel. It was then that God divided the world into the seventy nations. Then what is their inheritance? It seems that HaShem to a certain extent also gave the seventy nations of the world their own territory as he dispersed them throughout the earth. Deuteronomy chapter 2 gives us the examples of Moab and Ammon:

And the LORD said to me, “Do not harass Moab or contend with them in battle, for I will not give you any of their land for a possession, because I have given Ar to the people of Lot for a possession … And when you approach the territory of the people of Ammon, do not harass them or contend with them, for I will not give you any of the land of the people of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot for a possession.” (Deuteronomy 2:9, 19)

Just as Israel has an allotted inheritance, so do the seventy nations of the world.

But it seems that the inheritance of the nations of the world goes from beyond physical land into the spiritual as many non-Jews accept Yeshua as the Messiah and are grafted into the Jewish people. Clement, the disciple of Peter, comments on our parashah:

Let us then draw near to him with holiness of spirit, lifting up pure and undefiled hands unto him, loving our gracious and merciful Father, who has made us partakers in the blessings of his elect [i.e., Israel]. For it is written, “When the Most High divided the nations, when He scattered the sons of Adam, He fixed the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God. His people Jacob became the portion of the Lord, and Israel the lot of his inheritance” [Deuteronomy 29:8-9 LXX]. And in another place in the Scripture it is said, “Behold, the Lord taketh unto himself a nation out of the midst of the nations, as a man takes the first-fruits of his threshing-floor; and from that nation shall come forth the Most Holy.” (1 Clement 29:1-3)

In Messiah, Gentiles can now participate in the blessings of God’s chosen people. D. Thomas Lancaster writes:

According to Clement’s interpretation of these passages, the people of Israel are the elect nation, set apart from all the other nations and God’s own inheritance. However, God builds the nation of Israel by taking people “out of the midst of the nations” and adding them to His people. Clement used the verse about Israel’s elect status to encourage the Gentile believers in Corinth. Though the Gentile believers were from the seventy nations, God made them “partakers in the blessings of his elect.” [1]

Through Yeshua the Messiah, Gentile believers have a spiritual inheritance. After all, the purpose of the election of Israel was not to redeem only the Jewish people but the entire world. In turn, through the Jewish Messiah, the Jewish blessings are brought to anyone who accepts him as Savior.

Footnotes:

[1] D. Thomas Lancaster, Torah Club: Unrolling the Scroll (6 vols.; Marshfield, MO: First Fruits of Zion, 2014), 5:874.

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About the Author: Toby Janicki is the director of the 12-21 youth initiative, as well as a teacher and writer for First Fruits of Zion. He contributes regularly to Messiah Journal and has authored several books including God-Fearers and a comprehensive commentary on the Didache titled: The Way of Life. More articles by Toby Janicki

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