Roots of Terror

by Dural Pate



The following article gives insight into the ongoing struggle between Arabs and Jews.


Roots of Terror

By Dural Pate

What is it between the Arab and the Jew? 

What is it between the Arab and the United States? (aside from the fact that there are more Jewish people in the United States than there are in Israel)

What is it that has turned armed conflicts and retaliations against aggression, into a seething inferno of hatred – to the extent that planned annihilation of entire cultures is now contemplated?

Do we honestly think that one dictator (Hussein) holds the control valve to all the hatred in the world?

Some of us may live to see the answer to this question. It may be that there are scores of villains waiting to take his place.

War is bad enough when one knows who his enemy is. But just what can you do about hatred?

Is there a clue in the Bible that might give light as to who the enemy of the Jew, and America, really is?

St. Luke 15:11 – 32   (please read before continuing)

Jesus was talking to a group of average folks one day about restoration and reconciliation. Publicans, sinners, Pharisees, and Scribes were posing some questions important to their beliefs.

In verse eleven He made a statement that could possibly date the story he was about to tell back in time hundreds of years.

          And he said, A certain man had two sons:

Luke 15:11

This could have possibly been in reference to someone they all knew a lot about. He could have been talking about Abraham. We do remember that at one time Abraham had two sons: Ishmael, the older, and Isaac, the younger.

As the story unfolds, Jesus tells that after a period of time, for whatever reason, the younger son desires to leave his homeland and his father’s house. Then, in the course of events, the younger son winds up in some less than desirable circumstances. He finally decides to return to his homeplace and apply for a job as servant to his father. But full restoration to sonship was the father’s response upon his return.

The older son was not so overjoyed.

The story ends without a clear message that the older son had accepted his father’s request. It is quite clear, however, that no outside arbitration was ever called for. The matter would remain between “A certain man” and his “two sons.”

Let’s back up and notice carefully what Jesus said at the beginning of this story. He did not say, “Let’s suppose a man had two sons,” or “Can you imagine a man with two sons?”  But He did say, “A certain man had two sons:” And He allows everyone who reads to figure out who the family might have been.

After reading again and again about the births and early years of Ishmael and Isaac, there is ample reason for me to believe that much strife arose between the two boys and their descendants. Even enough strife, if allowed to escalate, to one day reach a climax at the Battle of Armageddon.

We do know for sure that the most notable conflict between nations today has arisen between the descendants of the two sons mentioned above. “All in the family,” one might say. But the roots of this family tree run deep. Shall we take a look?

Genesis 5:32 says:

          And Noah was five hundred years old: and he begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

According to the 1976 “Table of Nations and Languages” published by the Southwest Radio Church, the following is a list of the principal Semitic tribes and peoples of the present:

“Afghanistan, North and South American Indians, Ammonites,

Assyrians, Arabic, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Ceylon, Chaldeans, China, Elamites, Eskimos, Gurkhas, Hong Kong, Horonites, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Khmer Republic, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldive Islands, Mongolia, Muscat and Oman, Nabateans, Nauru, Nepal, Pakistan, Persian Gulf Sheikdoms, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Siberia, Singapore, South Yemen, Syria, Thailand, Tibet, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and Yemen.”

All the above are countries where the descendants of Shem settled, and names of some of the tribes. Please note that Israel, Iraq, and the Arabic people in general are all direct descendants of Shem. The white and ruddy race is not included in this line – they are the descendants of Japheth.           

Realizing now the extent of this great “family tree,” suppose we zero-in with a closer look at the particular family of Abraham. When we really understand what took place in that short period of time after Abraham’s younger son, Isaac, was born, we may see the root of hatred that may well bring about the end of life as we know it.

Before we get to the nine-word verse of scripture that explains the real answer to the hatred problem, let’s do a little history review:

In Genesis 13:2 it states,

…Abraham was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

So wealthy in fact, that he and his nephew, Lot, could not live in the same zip code. Verse 6 of the same chapter says,

          …And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.

Bookkeeping must have been an impossible nightmare. We have learned how they separated, Lot choosing the well-watered plains toward Sodom.

Genesis Chapter 15 begins with Abraham’s concern about who would inherit all of his wealth. Verse two says,

          And Abraham said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

As the story unfolds, God answers Abraham with a miraculous display of fireworks and a covenant proclamation of inheritance for his own children.

Over a dozen years after this promise from God, some strange visitors came by one day and made some unbelievable remarks to the barren Sarai and her husband. They were informed that the two of them would have a son of their own.

During the time that had elapsed between the promise of God to Abraham, and the day of the visit of the Angels, over-anxiety had caused the barren Sarai to devise a plan to help God out a little, so to speak, in fulfilling His promise. She had arranged for the handmaid Hagar to bear a son to Abraham. Ishmael was an adolescent by the time the Angel made the announcement that Sarai would also bear a son to Abraham.

Abraham and Sarah had a son indeed, and here seems to be where the trouble begins. From the way Genesis 17:18 reads, by this time Abraham must have been well bonded with the thirteen year-old lad, and was quite satisfied that his son, Ishmael, would be heir to his fortune. But in the next verse, God declares His intention that the son of his wife, Sarah, would be the one with whom He had chosen to establish his covenant,

          …and with his seed after him.

Soon after the birth of Isaac, Chapter 21 of Genesis tells how Sarah voices her displeasure at the presence of Hagar and Ishmael, and declares that Ishmael must be disinherited, and

          …not be heir with my son.  --Genesis 21:10

The verses that follow note the grief that Sarah’s wish brings upon Abraham, but God reassures him that this is ‘the plan’:           …in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Ishmael and his mother are given provisions and sent away to the East country, but not without promise.

Genesis 21:13 reads:

And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy son.

Because of the obvious bond that existed between Abraham and Ishmael, he likely felt that the family need not be broken up, as Sarah requested. But God instructed Abraham to …hearken unto her voice.

One might already conclude that trouble is in the making, considering the distribution of the great wealth of Abraham in the event of his death. Aptly so, but this is only the tip of the iceberg.

After Sarah’s death, Abraham married Keturah, and they had six sons, which further complicated the inheritance problem. By the time of Abraham’s death, he had eight sons and dozens of grandsons, all still in contact with him, though not living nearby. This is indicated by Genesis 25:8-9:

Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, and an old man, full of years; and was gathered to his people.

And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;

Abraham died at the age of 175 years. Together at the funeral, Isaac (75 years old) and Ishmael (89 years old) were still in touch.

But here is the clincher – the act that may have created the beginning of all the problems between the Jew and the Arab. The real reason why the older son in the story of  ‘the prodigal’ didn’t want his younger brother to come back home –the real reason why the Arab did not want the Jew back in the land of Palestine in 1948—may be in these nine words found in Genesis 25:5.

          And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

This short verse and the verse that follows describe the action that may have begun the strife that could soon climax in the destruction of life as we know it.

          But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country. Genesis 25:6

No need to ask how you think most families would respond to this dispersion of property, if their parents were the wealthiest in the known world.