Ephraim, Manasseh, Texas and the Bill of Rights
I have been an avid student of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong for almost thirty years. I stick to the vast majority of his work like glue. However, in the area of Ephraim and Manasseh and who they are in prophecy, I have always come up with questions (contradictions). Allow me to present those contradictions, and perhaps sort them out!
Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly for Manasseh was the first born (Gen 48:14).
Contradiction #1 Manasseh is supposed to be the U.S. in prophecy, but Manas-seh was the older brother. How can the younger brother be the older nation and the older brother be the younger nation? Why this anomaly? Why the contradiction? Obviously this was not a divine mistake!
And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great (referring to Manasseh): but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude (company) of nations (Gen 48:19).
Contradiction #2 If Manasseh was to be second rate, how come he became the greatest nation (the U.S.)? And if Ephraim was to become the greatest nation, how come he became the second-rate British Commonwealth? It doesn't match! Why this glaring anomaly? Why the contradiction?
The commonly offered proof that Ephraim is the British Common Wealth is that "his seed shall become 'a multitude of nations'." I had read that description as well as: "the U.S. was only a single country." I accepted those "proofs" for twenty-some years, but these questions, these anomalies, these glaring contradictions still lingered.
Genesis 35:11 uses the expression " company of nations." What is a "company," anyway? According to Strong's, the Hebrew word for "company" in this verse is qahal, "... to assemble (selves) (together)". It is not a division created "from the top, down."
Recently I had reason to study American history, especially the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I learned that the original Thirteen Colonies rejected the "assembling together" into the Federal Union for more than four years because they did not like the idea of losing their freedom as separated and equal governments. Not until the Bill of Rights came along guaranteeing their separate and autonomous governments ("states" or "nations") did they accept the Federal Union. The Tenth Amendment (last of the Bill of Rights) is:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
In other words, the "United States" is not a hierarchical system controlling the 50 states. It is a creation of the constitution, given limited power by representatives of the 50 states, Why weren't we taught that in public school?
There is one other bit of conflicting data that has a bearing on this controversy. I am a Texan (you Texans out there will understand this instantly)! Texans are a unique people. Texans are also a very independent and proud group of people, no less independent and proud than the original thirteen colonies. Texas was legally a nation of its own for 10 years before it became a state. I am a Texan first, then a citizen of the United States. Texans feel they are loosely bound to the Federal Union (though the Federal Government sees it differently.) Even today, many Texans believe we are not simply a state, but a nation.
Also please consider the Hebrew word for "nation" which is gowy which comes from a root word meaning "a massing", as of locusts. Each separate colony was a "massing" of like peoples. Each colony was unique; they had different laws regarding religion, taxes, slavery, etc. Ask almost any Texan if Texas is uniquehe will tell you.
Conclusion: Texas was a separate nation, one of "the company of nations" that Ephraim was to become. Ephraim, the USA, "assembled themselves together" to become an assembly of states (a company of nations). This with a better understanding of the Bill of Rights, the most damaging argument to the contrary has now crumbled. So now we see that Ephraim, the younger brother did become the younger country. Yes, Manasseh was great, but Ephraim literally did become " greater than he"the incredibly great and wealthy United States of America as prophesied.
Besides the value of this being a "new truth", the precise understanding of Ephraim in prophecy has an even greater importance. Look in your concordance: There are many more references to Ephraim than to Manasseh. To more fully understand the USA's role in this end time scenario, particular attention must be paid to each and every prophecy and historical event in the Bible concerning Ephraim.
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