The glitzy flagship of globalist websites, www.theGlobalist.com, advertises the global economy as the "earth's last true frontier." To its builders, today's globalism in scope and sweep is akin to yesterday's "Manifest Destiny," but even bigger than America's nineteenth-century nation-building. Yes, globalism is a big movement, energized by the ideologies of many Shemitic nations—Israelite and non-Israelite alike, the European and North American nations that constitute the Occident. Clearly though, the epicenter of current globalism is Israel, specifically Manasseh. Today, "globalization is made in America."1
God is orchestrating in detail His carefully devised plan to institute globalism in these last days. From the beginning, He planned that Ephraim and Manasseh would ramrod that globalism, promising them as He did great national wealth (Genesis 49:25-26)—globalization's grub-stake—but then delaying His bestowal of that wealth until about AD 1800 (see Leviticus 26:18). Not coincidentally, the beginning of the nineteenth century is about the time the first stage of globalization began, when Ephraim started to push the nations into a one-world government—an empire upon which the sun never set.
God knew, as well, that carnal Israel would come to hold the worldview of Babel's rebellion: Lack of faith in God mixed with the fear of death drives people to integrate. He knew that Israel, powerful yet forgetful of Him, would come to use his wealth and concomitant prestige and power in any movement against Him. This is not new to God, for He experienced Israel's rejection of His own leadership; Israel's call for a king in I Samuel 8 showed Him that, as a nation, Israel was not content to be ruled by Him.
In Genesis 49:22, within the chapter that records Jacob's final words to his sons, God prophesies that Joseph will be growth-oriented, restive, not content with the status quo:
Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a well:
His branches run over the wall.
This is a difficult passage, so many of its words having more than one meaning. Young, in his literal translation, renders the Hebrew this way: "Joseph [is] a fruitful son, a fruitful son by a fountain: daughters overstep the wall." Here certainly is a description of the fecundity of Joseph: both his immense population and his material abundance. Here too, however, is almost certainly a description of the inclination of Joseph's daughters—the modern nations of Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States—to overclimb walls. Like an ivy plant not content to remain in its place, Joseph grows up wall and chimney, invading walkway and gazebo, re-rooting itself all over lawn and garden.
Where are Joseph's walls in general, Manasseh's in particular?
Numbers 23:9—God's vision of Israel as spoken by the mouth of Balaam—sets us on the right path to finding Joseph's walls, the bounds of his habitations. God describes Israel as "a people dwelling alone, not reckoning itself among the nations." Clearly, God does not envision Israel integrated into the world. Rather, He has always wanted Israel to be separated from it. This vision has a number of applications, one certainly pertaining to the moral sanctification God intends Israel to display in the Millennium. God's vision for Israel is a people distinct from all others—His people, not partaking of the curses of this world's international intrigues, imbroglios, poverty, disease, etc. As we know, those days are yet to come.
Relevant to national Israel today, however, the passage likely has geographic significance. God fulfilled His vision of an isolated Israel by situating some Israelites in England, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand—on islands. (Australia is a continent-sized island.) He located America and Canada in the New World, effectively isolating them from other major nations by vast oceans. By doing so, God insulated Israel from the world.
In other scriptures, God is more specific about modern-day Israel's boundaries. When He addresses Israel in prophecies that have clear, latter-day application, He refers to Israel as residing at the coasts (or coastlands) and in the isles. Additionally, Israel dwells in the north and west. Taking Jerusalem as the geographic starting point, Israel will reside to the north and west of the Middle East in the time of the end. Here are a few passages.
» Hosea 11:10: In context, God is
prophesying about Ephraim's return—from the west—to his inheritance. (Often God uses Ephraim as an emblem for all Israel, much as the word Washington often refers to the United States as a whole.)
They shall walk after the Lord.
He will roar like a lion.
When He roars,
Then His sons shall come trembling from the west.
» Isaiah 49:1, 8-13: Again, God is
describing His re-gathering of Israel. The "coastlands" and "people from afar" (verse 1) may refer to the lands of Israelites living in the southern hemisphere (see also Isaiah 41:1). Others will return "from the north and the west" (verse 12).
Listen, O coastlands, to Me
And take heed, you peoples from afar! . . .
Surely these shall come from afar;
Look! Those from the north and the west,
And these from the land of Sinim
[Vulgate: Australi]. (verses 1, 12)
» Jeremiah 3:12: God tells Jeremiah to
Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say,
"Return, backsliding Israel. . . ."
This cannot refer to the ancient Kingdom of Israel, north of Judah, for it was already in captivity long before Jeremiah's day. God is telling Jeremiah to go further north and warn His apostate people.
» Jeremiah 31:7-10: God promises
He will save His people residing in the north (verse 8). Those of His people in the "isles afar off" (verse 10) are probably those of New Zealand and Australia.
Sing with gladness for Jacob,
And shout among the chief of the nations;
Proclaim, give praise, and say,
"O Lord, save Your people,
The remnant of Israel!"
Behold, I will bring them from the north country,
And gather them from the ends of the earth . . . .
Hear the word of the Lord, O nat ions,
And declare it in the isles afar off, and say,
"He who scattered Israel will gather him. . . ." (verses 7-8, 10)
Joseph runs "over the wall" when he attempts to extend his influence beyond the isolated lands God gave him. This extension of influence can be cultural, economic and even military. From a modern policy perspective, America stays within her walls as long as she follows a national policy of isolationism—remaining isolated from foreign nations as much as possible. When America follows a course of internationalism—the doctrine that it is proper to intervene (passively or even militarily) in other nations' affairs—she usually starts to overclimb the walls God established for her.
It is fair to see American history as a slow march from isolationism to internationalism. That is, America started out isolated, purposefully distinct from other nations. Ever so slowly, though, she began to take an internationalist stance, overclimbing the wall, until she finally became deeply entangled in the military and economic affairs of the world's nations. We will briefly trace this out.
Early American Restraint
The early Puritans were by definition isolationists, wanting nothing to do with Europe, whence they had fled, or with the secular world at large. For example, so enamored were some of these Puritans with the idea that America was the "Promised Land"—to be ever separated from sinful "Egypt"—that some of the early instruction at Harvard University, founded in 1636 as a school for ministers, was in Hebrew! Generally, the Puritan predilection to isolationism vastly influenced American thought for decades.
Americans slowly but surely forsook this way of thinking. Even many of the Founding Fathers undertook an effort of "bridge building" across the Atlantic that continues to this day. Education is one example. Early on, a curriculum pivoting around the classic literature of Greece and Rome, in which Jefferson and others were steeped, displaced the Bible-based education of the Puritan fathers. Nearly every high school boy studied Latin, not Hebrew. Architecture provides another example. The builders of banks and government buildings aped the design features of classical Athens and Imperial Rome. Indeed, how many artists draped the founding fathers in togas!2 Even in the early seventeenth century, America had begun her love affair with Babylon!
Do not be deceived by popular notions to the contrary: The nation's father, George Washington, had a clear vision that America would eventually abandon her isolation and take her place leading the international community. Alexander Hamilton, Washington's chief aide and protégé, spoke with his Commander-and-Chief in Washington's Farewell Address in 1796. Both strategic realists, they advised the young, under-populated Republic to exploit her "detached and distant situation." Their day, they argued, was not the time to become entangled in "permanent alliances and enmities." However, they both
[f]ully expected that, as the country became stronger, as distances grew shorter due to improvements in ocean transport, [America] would join the ranks of the world powers. One had only to look at what the British had managed to achieve, and at America's power base compared to theirs. . . . Hamilton presumably foresaw that the United States, by virtue of its commercial and naval might, would come to exercise hegemony . . . over wide areas of the globe.3
God ensured, though, that America would not be quick about extending her influence outside North America. He did so by catching the under-populated Republic in the crossfire of the Napoleonic wars. They "spilled over" into America in the form of the War of 1812, during which even the White House was gutted by fire. In the course of the war, the United States lost most of her wooden-hulled merchant marine fleet (an incredible 1,500 sailing ships!) to French and British forces.4 With that, America also lost her ability to trade with Europe for quite some time. Consequently, she was forced to look inward, that is, westward, to develop her continental resources. This inward view, this nation-building, came to be called "Manifest Destiny." Credit for the term goes to a Danite, John L. O'Sullivan, a New York editor, who wrote in 1845 that it is
the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment in liberty and federative self-government entrusted to us.
"From sea to shining sea" lie America's proper boundaries.
Isolationism and Manifest Destiny
Isolationism was well entrenched, and nation-building carried the day for much of the nineteenth century. When revolution was ripping apart the very fabric of European society, especially in France, John C. Calhoun (1782-1850)5 admonished Americans to keep out:
Far better is it for ourselves . . . and for the cause of liberty, that, adhering to our wise, pacific [that is, peaceful, passive] system, and avoiding the distant wars of Europe, we should keep our lamp burning brightly on this western shore as a light to all nations, than to hazard its utter extinction amid the ruins of fallen or falling republics in Europe.6
Calhoun's words are remarkable. His reference to "this western shore" reminds us of God's use of the words "coasts" and "west" in Isaiah and Hosea.
Henry Clay (1777-1852), like his contemporary, Calhoun, was cut from the same cloth on the issue of American involvement in foreign affairs. Like Calhoun, Clay saw America's influence springing from her example rather than her intervention. Calling for a "masterly inactivity" toward Europe, Clay said,
If we remain quiet . . . and let our destinies work out their own results, we shall do more for liberty, not only for ourselves but for the example of mankind, than can be done by a thousand victories.7
Clay's and Calhoun's statements are remarkable for the vision they express. Both statesmen saw America as a witness to the nations, a light to the rest of the world. The belief that America is an example to the world is called exemplarism. Presidents from George Washington to William Clinton have argued that America is the world's exemplar. In fact, globalists have adopted exemplarism as a centerpiece to their advocacy that America assume a leadership role in world government. We will see, in Part Four, how globalists changed the concept of example from one of "pacific," "masterly inactivity" to down-right military intervention. In a strange perversion of intent, exemplarism has become the rallying call of the most dyed-in-the-wool internationalists.
Revisionist historians have tried hard to turn nineteenth-century America into an empire, calling our march to the Pacific an example of unmitigated imperialism. Against that view, Pat Buchanan stands staunchly: Many American leaders of the period recognized a clear "distinction between naked aggression and Manifest Destiny." We grew into the lands God gave us, as illustrated by our spread into the American Southwest. "Annexation of Texas, the Southwest and California was Manifest Destiny, not imperialism. These lands were contiguous [to the existing United States] and largely empty [of population and development]."8
Acquiring these lands involved us in a war with Mexico. We invaded Mexico, taking control of her capital. After the appropriate treaties had been signed, America withdrew from Mexico proper. Our leadership understood the distinction between aggression and destiny. In fact, Buchanan continues:
. . . [M]ost Americans recoiled at the idea of colonizing Mexico or making Mexicans a subject people. Warned Calhoun, "Mexico is to us the forbidden fruit; the penalty of eating it would be to subject our institutions to political death."9
Probably a statement we should remember today.
Of course, none of this is to suggest that America maintained no relationships with other nations throughout the 1800s. Of course she did, but at arm's length, maintaining a fairly strict isolationism. The Monroe Doctrine, promulgated in 1823, was no hegemonic scheme. "The American continents . . . are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European power." That is quite an audacious statement for a nation without many gunboats at the time. The Monroe Doctrine, far from being hegemonic, simply aimed to promote the defense of the American homeland; it was at heart quite isolationist in philosophy.10
Change, however, was in the air. By the early 1900s, America's foreign policy had turned quite internationalist. Next month, we will examine how the internationalist view of assertive exemplarism—being an example through force, if necessary—gained ascendancy over the passive exemplarism of Clay and Calhoun. What we will see is Manasseh assertively overclimbing walls.
1 Kenneth N. Waltz, "Globalization and American Power," The National Interest, Spring 2000, p. 46.
2 Evan Cornog, "American Antiquity: How DeWitt Clinton Invented Our Past," The American Scholar, Autumn 1998, p. 53. His book, The Birth of Empire: DeWitt Clinton and the American experience, 1769-1828, is must-reading for students of early American cultural history. Note especially Cornog's comments about the American aborigines:
While it was a common conceit that the Indians of North America were the degenerate remnants of the lost tribes of Israel (William Penn and Roger Williams both espoused this view), [DeWitt] Clinton rejected the theory in favor of Asiatic origins and a possible link to the ancient Scythians. Citing Herodotus's description of the Scythians' cruelty as warriors, he believed that from them "we may derive the practice of scalping . . . and it is not improbable, considering the maritime skill and distant voyages of the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, that America derives part of its population from that source by water, as it undoubtedly has from the northeast parts of Asia by land."
The American Scholar is the quarterly organ of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
III John L. Harper, "Mentor for a Hegemon," The National Interest, Fall 2000, p. 49. Harper is professor of American foreign policy at the Bologna Center of the Johns Hopkins University.
4 The British, who arguably "won" the war, were so preoccupied with their new leadership responsibilities in post-Waterloo Europe that the Foreign Office did not press its American prerogatives, largely because of the intervention of Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington. In a famous letter to the Foreign Office, Wellesley, apparently seeing the potential of America as clearly as Hamilton had before, argued that Britain's best course was one of reconciliation and alliance rather than of disenfranchisement and alienation. The Foreign Office agreed, and was more than magnanimous to the young American Republic in the ensuing Treaty of Ghent.
5 Calhoun was Vice-President of the United States from 1825-1832.
6 Quoted by Pat Buchanan in his book, A Republic, Not an Empire: Reclaiming America's Destiny (Regnery: 1999). Buchanan's book makes wonderful reading for older children as well as adults, and would be enlightening to church youth. While not always accurate, it presents an important picture of American history not taught in the public schools.
7 Pat Buchanan, ibid.
8 See the chapter entitled "Jimmy Polk's War," in A Republic, Not an Empire: Reclaiming America's Destiny.
9 Pat Buchanan, ibid.
10 Note, however, that James Monroe's bold move to protect American soil from European adventurism became a useful tool for American internationalists later on.
Receive Biblical truth in your inbox—spam-free! This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. See what over 145,000 subscribers are already receiving.
© 2001 Church of the Great God
PO Box 471846
Charlotte, NC 28247-1846