The Lord’s Portion [of the Nations] Is Israel

I showed a brother a verse yesterday that I find fascinating, and he was surprised by it. He’s been a Christian for 40 years, and he didn’t know about it. Why? Because it only reads the way I read it to him in the Septuagint.

Rather than quote the LXX version, I’ll let Clement of Rome quote it for you::

“For thus 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’ [Deut. 32:8-9]. And in another place it says, ‘Behold, the Lord takes for 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 Holy of Holies’ [Num. 18:27; 2 Chr. 31:14].” (1 Clement 29)

The second part is a bit of a concoction (i.e., a borderline mistake) by Clement, but the first is a direct quote from Deuteronomy 32. The nations were divided up among ruling angels, but Israel became the Lord’s portion. Clement then compresses two verses together to say that the Messiah will come from the nation that is the Lord’s portion. We all know the Messiah came from Israel, so we don’t need to argue over whether Clement’s compression of the two verses forms a legitimate prophecy.

Clement follows that quote by saying:

“Seeing, therefore, that we are the portion of the Holy One, let us do all those things which pertain to holiness, avoiding all evil-speaking, all abominable and impure embraces, together with all drunkenness, seeking youthful lusts, all abominable lusts, detestable adultery, and execrable pride.” (ibid. 30)

What a thought! God divided up the nations and assigned them to ruling angels, but Jacob he kept for himself. We who follow Jesus, whose circumcision is of the heart and of the Spirit, we are Israel, the lot that fell to our Lord Jesus (Rom. 2:28-29). We are the true circumcision, the ones who worship God in spirit, rejoice in the Lord Jesus the Messiah, and have no confidence in the flesh.

About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
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4 Responses to The Lord’s Portion [of the Nations] Is Israel

  1. Seth says:

    Are you familiar with Dr. Michael S. Heiser? He has done a lot of work with what you have brought forth here. A lot of it can be found at It’s worth a look.

    • paulfpavao says:

      I just saw this comment. Going to look at it now. My initial reaction is that I’m probably not going to like or agree with it, but I don’t have time to go deeper right now.

  2. David Noah Taylor says:

    What an incredible and wonderful thought! Made my day …thanks. Love from Africa

    On 5 July 2016 at 22:39, The Rest of the Old, Old Story wrote:

    > paulfpavao posted: “I showed a brother a verse yesterday that I find > fascinating, and he did, too. He’s been a Christian for 40 years, and he > didn’t know about it. Why? Because it only reads the way I read it to him > in the Septuagint. Rather than quote the LXX version, I” >

    • paulfpavao says:

      You’re welcome. Grace to you and the work in Kenya. I have been blessed to be hearing a lot about what’s happening there almost every day because of the work my wife is doing helping to get Stonehouse Ministries going here in the states. Love from the USA!

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