The Origins And Empire Of Ancient Israel

by Steven M. Collins.

 History Review.  

Part One of a Four-Part Series on the Lost Tribes of Israel.

This book tells the story “behind the story” of early Israel by combining little-noticed Scriptural details with historical and archaeological finds. Its central focus is the important and far-reaching Abrahamic promises too long ignored or glossed over. The sad result of our ignorance of God’s covenants is a lack of understanding of the fulfillment of God’s Word in our world today. For example, one of the important promises to Abraham is a little-noticed passage in Genesis 21:12, where God said to Abraham, “…through Isaac shall your descendants be named.” As author Steven Collins points out, “God promised Abraham that his descendants would be recognizable in the future because they would bear Isaac’s name from that time forward.” (p.30) The evidence that this, and other promises, were precisely fulfilled is found in this well-researched series of books on the lost tribes of Israel.

This book opens with an interesting study of the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and a look behind the scenes at the customs and social mores of the day. Topics such as Jacob’s fourfold vow, and a discussion of the military and civil authorities of the Egypt of Joseph’s day, will surely be new to readers. Fascinating pieces of information correlate Scripture with sources such as the ancient “Book of Jasher” that shed light on obscure events.

The Scriptural evidence presented shows that Jacob’s blessing was decidedly more far-reaching than most Christians ever realize. As Mr. Collins says, “when the Bible afterwards uses the term ‘Israelites’, ‘Israel’, or ‘house of Israel’, it primarily refers to the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh” (p.88). The fulfillment of God’s promises through time is the author’s main subject matter throughout his series of four books.

The author endeavors to show his readers that the Bible is not just an interesting story, but solidly confirmed by historical discoveries. Egyptologists have uncovered evidence of not only Israel’s presence in ancient Egypt, but they have even pinpointed the exact location of the Hebrew captivity. In fact, two ancient Egyptian execration texts contain the Egyptian spelling of the name “Joseph.” The documentation behind the ancient area called Avaris, or the “land of Goshen,” as Israel’s place of exile is revealed, as well as a detailed map (pages 93-94), with the area looking perhaps much like it did in the days of the Patriarch Joseph.

Moving along, this book gives an account of Moses and the Exodus, a story that has captivated Christians and non-Christians alike for centuries. Yet this book does more than simply retell the Biblical story. The author presents compelling evidence for the true location of Mount Sinai—in Midian (Exodus 3:1) east of the Gulf of Aqaba—at a mountain long known as Jabal al Lawz. Other interesting research identifies the true Pharaoh of the Exodus, known as Dudimose or Tutimaos, as revealed in a little-noticed written record cited by the ancient Egyptian historian Manetho in the third century, B.C. The evidence is all here and well documented with maps and illustrations.

The background to the story of King David is presented with a look at the political situation of that time and an analysis of the so-called “Phoenician” alliance referenced in the Bible. Few Christians today are aware of the full extent of the tumultuous background to that era, or of the thrilling victory of King David’s army over a joint expeditionary force of the early Assyrian empire. A rather short and little-noticed passage in Scripture records this important event. This book gives us an expert analysis of all of this thrilling little-known history.

Not to be overlooked is a fascinating section on Israelite colonies in the new world, with photographs of rock carvings in New England, Ohio and New Mexico. In North Salem, New Hampshire, is located a series of ancient rock structures, including a Winter Solstice monolith, that bear no resemblance to the culture of the local American Indians. In Ohio, a Ten Commandments stone was unearthed, and a Decalogue stone at Hidden Mountain, New Mexico. These and other fascinating finds are well documented in the book with compelling research and photographs.

This book is profusely illustrated with well over 100 maps, charts, and illustrations, an epilogue, bibliography and extensive indices of Scripture, persons, places, and subjects. Yet the best feature of all is the wonderful way that the author, Steven Collins, holds the attention of the reader with an interesting and lively style of writing that not only captivates, but also enlarges our vision of the Scriptural world in a most inviting way. Seldom is a “history book” a faith-strengthener as this one surely is. Renew your faith in the Word of God, and enjoy yourself in the process. This is truly a book that is hard to put down and one that you will really treasure. Extensive documentation, with a bibliography and twenty-one page index, and well over a hundred maps, charts, and illustrations throughout the text. Published by Bible Blessings, 256 pages softcover, second edition.

You can buy it here.

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