St Paul explained to the Galatians how that in the Old Testament Abraham’s concubine Hagar and her son Ishmael were set forth to the Jews:
“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” (Galatians 4:22-31)
As the true son and only heir of Abraham was Isaac, so it is that only the Christians are entitled to the promises of Abraham because we alone have received them through Christ Jesus.
As the fleshly Hagar and Ishmael were jealous trouble makers against Sarah and Isaac, so the worldly Jews have been contentious against God’s spiritual heirs, his holy prophets and the Christians.
“¶ And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.” (Genesis 16:4)
As soon as Moses took the nation of Israel out of Egypt they began to go astray and repeatedly despised the good ways that God had shown them.
“But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.” (Genesis 16:6)
God brought the Jews into bondage under others because of their sins and rebellion: The were getting from God exactly what they deserved, but they only whined about how ‘persecuted’ they were.
“And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.” (Genesis 16:9-11)
As Hagar was promised that her son Ishmael would live, so to the Jewish nation has a true promise from God that he is not going to abandon them entirely.
The Jews will survive – and they have survived to this day – but they are not the inheritors of the true promises of Abraham, such as, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3). Those promises belong only to Jesus Christ – and to those that have joined themselves to Jesus Christ by the new birth: the Christians.
Because of the Jews’ constant rebellion against the LORD, he took the sceptre from them and made them servants of the Gentile world powers beginning with Babylon around 600 B.C.
This is like Hagar and Ishmael being put under Sarai awaiting the birth of Jesus Christ who is “the prince of the kings of the earth.” (Rev. 1:5).
Eventually Christ the King is born, but the carnal Jews do not receive him:
“And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age. And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. ¶ And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.” (Genesis 21:7-10)
The Jews killed Christ, who rose again victorious from the dead. Despite this, they added to their sin by rejected him further, and mocked and persecuted his followers, the early Christians. Even as Paul and the disciples preached Christ throughout the Roman world, the Jews followed behind contradicting, blaspheming, and raising up persecution against the Christians.
Even as Hagar and Ishmael were kicked out of Sarah’s house for mocking Isaac, so the unseemly behaviour of the Jews toward the gentile Christians meant they had to be cast out.
“And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.” (Genesis 21:11)
It was not a pleasant thing, but God was compelled in 70 AD to give Jerusalem into the hands of the Roman army to destroy it, and he kicked the Jewish nation out from Palestine for almost 2,000 years.
“¶ And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.” (Genesis 21:12-13)
So again, the Jews being cast out and disinherited are nevertheless not entirely forsaken. Promises of increase and nationhood remain to them, although there is no mention of him getting any “blessing”. God’s blessings are found in Jesus Christ – not in the Jews!
“And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.” (Genesis 21:20)
Likewise, the exiled Jews have lived as urban men, money makers and merchants. The prophesy about his trouble-making personality has also come true:
“And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” (Genesis 16:12)
The Jews have earned bad reputations in all nations wherever they wandered – pushy, crass, crafty, greedy, dishonest, filthy, subversive, and so forth. And as his hands have persecuted all men, so all men have persecuted the Jews in return. Yet the Jews continue to live scattered in all the major cities of the world.
This prophesy has been fulfilled.
Although the popular teaching that we stand to gain anything by blessing unsaved Jews or the nation of Israel is false, nevertheless we see that the contrary teaching that says the Jews have no entitlement to Palestine and have no claim to any promises from God is also incorrect. We should take a balanced approach regarding the Jews and Israel that rejects both these extreme positions.
“As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:28-29)
The first white horsemen in Revelation 6 carries a bow, hence an archer like Ishmael (Gen 21:20 above). The second red horsemen carries a sword, hence is a hunter like Esau:
“And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.” (Genesis 27:40)
St Paul shows that Esau is also a type of the Jew who is rejected despite his apparent birth-right:
“(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” (Romans 9:11-13)
“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” (Hebrews 12:16-17)
Then the third black horseman carries balances, hence he is a merchant as the prophet Hosea described the Jews:
“¶ He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.” (Hosea 12:7)
So it is interesting to see that 3 of the 4 horsemen have emblems in their hands that connote the Jew. Gentile rulers with Jewish assistants is a recurring theme in the Bible. Pharaoh king of Egypt was assisted by the Jew, Joseph. Nebuchadnezzar and Darius were assisted by the Jew, Daniel, and by his three Jewish friends. King Ahasuerus the Persian was assisted by the Jews, Esther and Mordecai. Deputy Sergius Paulus had Barjesus, a Jewish false prophet, assisting him. Governor Felix was flanked by his Jewish wife, Drusilla.
It is well-known that the world’s great powers of the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the United States all have prominent Jews positioned near the top governmental positions. These world powers, who contend against each other to lead the coming world government, probably match the first three horses of Revelation chapter 6.