Joel 3:19; Obadiah 10.
Gaza and the Hamas firing their hundreds of rockets everyday against Israel has been a big part of the news lately as I write this. Maybe it’s coincidental, or maybe not, but “hamas” is mentioned in Hebrew scripture in relation to Judah or Israel. Hamas was the militant arm of the Islamic Brotherhood, which was the winning faction in Egypt lately. So it’s no surprise to see Egypt’s new President Morsi warmly embracing Hamas in Gaza. Hamas has never accepted Israel’s right to even exist. The “Arab Spring” and its promise for more democracy and an Arab-Muslim world with closer ties to the USA and Europe - -and maybe even Israel – simply has not materialized. We have a more anti-US set of leaders in North Africa.
There are many examples of “plays on words” in Scripture. To an Arab, the word “hamas” means someone acting bravely in the cause of Allah. In Arabic it means “zeal” and it’s an acronym in Arabic for “Islamic Armed Movement”. However, in Hebrew, there might be an interesting play on words. In Hebrew the word “hamas” means “violence.” (It can also be spelled “chamac” but still pronounced “hamas”.) Is it possible that we were warned thousands of years ago in Scripture that Hamas would become a violent thorn in Jacob’s (Israel’s) side? Read the rest of this blog for what might be more than a coincidence as we examine 2-3 places where the word “hamas” is used in scripture and translated as “violence” in direct context of Israel.
19 "Egypt shall be a desolation, And Edom [Esau’s descendants] a desolate wilderness,
Because of violence [Hebrew: hamas] against the people of Judah,
For they have shed innocent blood in their land.
20 But Judah shall abide forever, And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
21 For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted;
For YHVH dwells in Zion."
Edom – or Esau – always felt that his twin brother Jacob had stolen what was rightfully his. He made sure his children were firmly indoctrinated from their early childhood to hate their uncle Jacob, renamed Israel. The children of Esau included the fierce Amalekites and we may be witnessing some of their offspring in operation today. It is ironic that Palestinians and Jews are really from the same overall family. Both are children of Abraham and Isaac. Esau and Jacob were brothers. Palestinians and many Arabs are really brothers or cousins to the Jew. But the bad blood between these brothers has been roiling for millennia. And it doesn’t help that the Hebrew or Jewish word for “darkness” or “nighttime” is “erev” – which can sound very much like “Arab” when it is spoken. Jews had no love for the Idumeans, as they had to endure the rule of the Herods, who were Edomites (or Idumeans). At one point, the famous rock city of Petra, also called Sela in scripture, was the capital city of the Edomites at Mt. Seir. Read Jer. 49:16 and 2 Chron. 25:11-12 pertaining to a great slaughter at Petra/Sela (which means “rock”).
On your own please read the one-chapter book of Obadiah. It starts out as a prophecy, a vision, concerning Esau/Edom (Obadiah 1:1). We jump ahead to verse 10, but be sure to read all of it:
10 "For violence (hamas) against your brother Jacob [Israel],
Shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever.
Yehovah is angered and saddened when brothers don’t support each other and love each other. Edomites cheered the destruction of Israel in ancient times and will do so again in the end. They cheered the 9-11 attacks. Our Creator is particularly upset when brothers act this way. In fact He told Israel that they were forbidden to abhor an Edomite, “for he is your brother” (Deut. 23:7). But unfortunately for descendants of Edom, the Almighty is going to severely punish them in the latter days. Why? Because of the violence, the hamas, they perpetrate against Israel before it is all over. In the end however, YHVH rescues Israel – but not before some terrible carnage happens.
If any of you readers are Jew or Arab, please my brothers: in our Messiah we can come out of the hateful ways of this world. We are not of this world. Our hearts are set on our heavenly kingdom. Those of us led by the Holy Spirit can become brothers and sisters in Messiah, heirs of the promises given to Abraham through Christ – whether you are Jew or Arab. But first, we each have to come to Him and surrender our lives in humble obedience. We ask Him to come live in us by His spirit. Only then can we be one with Him and one another. John 17:20-23 tells us how we become one: in and through our Savior, who also happens to be our Creator (John 1:1-3; Col.1:15-16). Jesus – Yeshua – was the God-being who spoke the words “Let there be light” and HE was the one who created man out of the dust and then built a woman from Adam’s side.
Let’s pray that God’s kingdom will soon be established on earth. Then eventually we will have all people from all nations going up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast. God speed that day. Every Jew, every Palestinian of Gaza, is also made in the image and likeness of Yehovah. If a land war breaks out, and Gaza is invaded to flush out the extremist militants, there will be much violence, death, stress and innocent lives lost. If you are a believer, pray for protection. God is your Rock, your deliverance, who can save you from violence (hamas) – 2 Samuel 22:1-3. I cry out for the families of the Israeli soldiers – and I also cry out for the families of the 1.5 million Gazans stuck in that tiny parcel of land. The last time I was in Jerusalem, I heard from Jew and Arab alike: they just want peace. They want their children to be safe. They are tired of the militants like Hamas and Hezbollah – fueled by Iran – causing so much anguish.
Isaiah 60:18 is encouraging:
“Violence (hamas) shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders. But you shall call your walls “Salvation” (Yeshua!), and your gates Praise.”