THE GOOD AND THE BAD FIGS
By Bertand L. Comparet
This booklet contains the talk which Rev. Bertrand L. Cormparet delivered to a group attending one of his regular Bible studies in Manhattan Beach, California.
Tonight I want to talk to you about something found principally in the Book of Jeremiah, the matter of the good figs and the bad figs, because this is something on which a lot of churches have become sadly messed up.
The first deportation in the Babylonian captivity occurred soon after the overthrow of King Jehoiachin by Nebuchadnezzar The Babylonians captured Jerusalem about 606 B.C., and the deportation probably took place nearly two years later, around 604 B.C. You have had the details set out in 2nd Kings 24, verses 9 to 17; and 2nd Chronicles 36, verses 9 to 10.
Then there was a second deportation, because the puppet king, who had been placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar, rebelled; so Nebuchadnezzar had to come back and finish the job, deporting the rest of the people of Judah and pretty largely burning and destroying the city of Jerusalem You will see that set out in 2nd Kings 25, verses 1 to 21; that was 585 B.C.
Now in between these two deportations, and in the reign of its last king, Zedekiah, the prophet Jeremiah was shown a vision of two baskets of figs, and he says this (Jeremiah 24, verses,1 to 10): "Yahweh shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of Yahweh, after that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. One basket had very good figs, even like the figs. that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. Then Yahweh said unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
"Again the word of Yahweh came unto me, saying, Thus saith Yahweh, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am Yahweh: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart.
"And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith Yahweh, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land I gave unto them and to their fathers."
Now you know He was speaking of two different groups, which both had been in the land of Judah originally. The good figs were those that were captive in Babylon; the bad figs were "the princes, and" (He says, please note: not the residue of Judah), ''the residue of Jerusalem," and those who are in Egypt.
You might compare this with Jeremiah 32, verses 31 and 32 (again quoting the words of Yahweh): "For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face. Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem." Now if the inhabitants of Jerusalem were just some of the men of Judah, there would be no point in making the distinction here.
You remember, the prophet Ezekiel was with the group who had been deported to Babylon. Jeremiah never was taken to Babylon, although I have seen the statement made, in matter printed by some of our churches, that even tries to put Jeremiah in Babylon, although the Bible, if they ever read it, would tell them the exact opposite.
In the twenty-ninth chapter of Jeremiah, verses 8 to 19, Jeremiah sent a letter to those already in Babylon, telling them both sides of this prophecy: he said, "Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith Yahweh. For thus saith Yahweh, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Yahweh, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found by you, saith Yahweh: and will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith Yahweh; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive Because ye have said, Yahweh hath raised us up prophets in Babylon.
"Know that thus saith Yahweh of the king that sitteth upon the throne of David, and of all the people that dwelleth in this city, and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity; Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold. I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth. to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither' I have driven them. Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith Yahweh, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them.''
So you had two groups here. Part of the nation of Judah had gone into captivity already at Babylon, part of the nation of Judah remained still, in and around Jerusalem, and then of course you had the Jews among them who were in Jerusalem. Just as the Jews congregate in our big cities, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, and that sort of thing today, so did they then.
Here you had clear prophecies by Jeremiah, that even those not yet deported to Babylon were going to be, and yet somehow they wouldn't believe. There had been the one Babylonian conquest and deportation, and they wouldn't believe that there was coming another. Now why? Well, they wouldn't hear Jeremiah for several reasons. One of course is the natural dislike of bad news by evil men, and second was the supposed contradiction of Jeremiah by Ezekiel. Now Jeremiah had warned that this last king of Judah, Zedekiah, was going to be captured and taken to Babylon.
Jeremiah 34, verses 2 to 5, says: "Thus saith Yahweh, the God of Israel: Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith Yahweh: Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire: And thou shalt not escape out of his hand. but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon. Yet hear the word of Yahweh. O Zedekiah king of Judah; Thus saith Yahweh of thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword: But thou shalt die in peace."
Now, note this prophecy: Zedekiah was to be taken to Babylon; he would be captured; he would talk face to face with King Nebuchadnezzar, and be taken to Babylon, but he wasn't going to be put to death; he would die in peace. Now in Babylon, Ezekiel had said this, and the word of it had gotten back to Jerusalem (this is Ezekiel 12 verses 10 to 14): 'Say thou unto them, Thus saith Yahweh Elohim: This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them. Say, I am your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove and go into captivity. And the prince that is among them shall bear upon his shoulder in the twilight, and shall go forth: they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby: he shall cover his face, that he see not the ground with his eyes. My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there And I will scatter toward every wind all that are about him to help him, and all his bands; and I will draw out the sword after them."
You know how it is today: you go. into any major church and the preacher takes one verse, or sometimes just a phrase out of one verse, as his subject for his sermon of the day; that is his point of departure from the Bible, not to return to it. So in those days they were doing the same thing. Ezekiel said that Zedekiah should not see Babylon., so they said, ''Well, that means he is not going to be deported there, and therefore tho. rest of us will not be.''
Both these prophecies were fulfilled in great detail. In Jeremiah 39 verses 1 to 8, you have the historical record of it: ''In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Juduh, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it. And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, the city was broken up. And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate.. .And it came to pass, that when Zedekiab the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war,. then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king's garden; by the gate betwixt the two walls: and he went out by the way of the plain.
'But the Chaldeans' army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiab in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar. king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment upon him. Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes . . . also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah. Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes, and bound him win chains, In carry him to Babylon. And the Chaldeans burned the king's house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem."
Josephus also records some detail of the great accuracy of this prophecy. The city was taken about midnight, and Zedekiah with his family and a few retainers fled. Now they couldn't go out any of the regular gates of the city, because these were all guarded by the besieging army. So they did flee out of one little gate that had been overlooked, and they had to be disguised. But when the pursuers came into sight, near Jericho, all these retainers scattered and fled, leaving Zedekiah and his family alone, to await capture. Now he was taken to Babylon alive; he was kept there a prisoner to the end of his life, and he finally died of natural causes; he was not killed. So he went to Babylon, but he never saw it. It is an instance of the extreme accuracy of Bible prophecy.
Now we know that on that second conquest of Jerusalem, not only Zedekiah, but an awful lot of the remaining population were taken to Babylon. It said there were left only some of the poorest sort of people of the land; and that, I believe, is not to be construed as poor in the financial sense, but poor in the sort of people they were.
Now, you have here these two kinds of figs: the good figs, and the bad figs. How are you going to sort them out? Well, who are these good figs? Remember that Jeremiah 24 verse 5 said that they were among the Judahites who were taken into captivity into the land of Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans. Now we know that substantially the whole remaining nation of Judah was taken into the Babylonian captivity. We know that after the seventy years, when Babylon was conquered by the Medes and Persians, that shortly thereafter a remnant returned, as the books of Ezra and Nehemiah record. Now were these good figs, those who returned to Palestine after the seventy years captivity? I believe not; there are too many indications against it.
Jeremiah 29 verse 14 says of them, that they would be gathered "from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven" them; but Babylon was not a lot of nations; it was one nation and, in general, one place, one territorial area. So those who returned with Nehehiah and Ezra had not been scattered; they were only in Babylon.
Then Jeremiah 24 verse 6 says, of these who were the good figs: ". . . and I will plant them, and not pluck them up." Now that doesn't fit those who came back to Jerusalem, because they came back for a few centuries of continuous trouble.
Jeremiah 24 verse 7 says, of these good figs, ". . . I will give them an heart to know me, that I am Yahweh: and they shall be my people, and I shall be their God, for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."
You remember that those who returned to Jerusalem, with the exception of a tiny little minority among them, came back bringing with them the Babylonian Talmud, the "tradition of the elders" as they called it in Jesus Christ's day; they refused to receive Jesus Christ; they refused His message.
So as to that part, John 5 verse 23 says, ". . . he that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him."
And John 5, verses 37 and 38: "And the Father himself which hath sent me, have borne witness of me . . . And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not."
John 5, verses 41 and 42: "But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you . . . if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."
John 6 verse 45: ". . . Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." John 8 verse 19: "Then they said 'into him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also."
John 8, verses 54 and 55: ". . . it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him.
They had to go to Babylon, and what happened to them there? We know that it was a large nation which was captured, and we know that only 42,000 people came back, of whom slightly over 8,000 were not of any tribe of Israel whatsoever. So those who came back from Babylon were only some 34,000. Now what happened to the rest?
Jeremiah himself predicted what was going to happen to the rest, the good figs. Jeremiah 50 verses 1 to 4: "The word that Yahweh spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet. Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces. For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast." And note this final verse: "In those days, and in that time, saith Yahweh, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek Yahweh their God."
Now you hear some people who profess to know something of the Israel message, quoting this verse as though it were something future. But you remember, he has been talking specifically about the fall of Babylon, and says, "in those days, and in that time, saith Yahweh, the children of Israel shall come . . ." Well, you know of course that the ten-tribed northern kingdom of Israel, together with a considerable fraction of the people of Judah and Benjamin, were deported by the Assyrians, and settled in an arc around the southern end of the Caspian Sea, where they became known as the Scythians.
In 612 B.C. the nation of the Assyrians was broken up; their capital, Nineveh, was captured and destroyed; and the people that captured and destroyed it were an alliance of three: there were Scythians, in other words, the people of Israel destroying their Assyrian conquerors; and the Medes; and the Babylonians. They had formed that alliance against the Assyrians. So the Scythians were a very formidable military people; we always have been a formidable military people, all our history.
Then when you had, later, the Medo-Persian army coming down and taking Babylon, some of the ancient historians record that the Scythians swooped down into Babylonia, at that time, and gathered up most of the deported Judahites and Benjaminites. They took them back with them; in other words, they were about ready to start their march northward into Europe, and they would not leave the people of Judah and Benjamin behind - they took them with them. So, as Jeremiah had said, ". . . in those days, and in that time, saith Yahweh. the children of Israel shall come, 'they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek Yahweh their God."
In the Apocrypha, 2nd Esdras 13, verses 39 to 46, has a record of this. Esdras had been given a vision and the angel speaking to him refers to that: "And whereas thou sawest that he gathered another peaceable multitude unto him; those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmasasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and sp came they into another land. But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, that they might there keep their statutes, which they had never kept in their own land. And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow passages of the river . . . For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth. Then dwelt they there until the latter time."
We know of course that they went around the eastern end of the Black Sea. Some of them went through the mountainous region lying between the Caspian and Black Sea, the Caucasus mountains, and because they came out of the Caucasus mountains on their march into Europe, you note that many historians have called those people Caucasians; but they never ask, Who were they before they went through the Caucasus mountains?
Some others of course went around the easterly side of the Caspian Sea, and after they came to the north end of it, turned west and joined the other migration, and we know that they followed up the Danube valley, for the major, portion of their migration. Now this Arsareth, a northern tributary of the Danube river in modern Rumania, still bears the name Sareth. Now that is one of the places that they would have passed in their migration, so even the name of it was given.
Now you remember, of the good figs God had said He would build them, and not pull down. Well, you can see how God has prospered our people, the White nations of Europe. But as to those who claim that heritage, falsely, these Edomite Jews who are occupying Palestine today, look what the first chapter of Malachi says of them: "The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved. us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom (note now: not Israel, not Judah) - whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom Yahweh hath indignation for ever.''
Now what about the people of Judah who came back to Jerusalem after the seventy years of the Babylon an captivity? Daniel 9 verse 24 prophesied that: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.''
Well, when it came to murdering their Saviour. certainly that was finishing the transgression; I don't know what you could add after that. They came back for an evil destiny in itself, save for a little handful of them. You remember that there were around 5,000, or a little bit more, who were the converts in Jesus Christ's own time; and the rest, riff-raff. Now those who came back to Jerusalem certainly didn't go and see Yahweh their God, as Jeremiah 50 verse 4 said.
Now there were two baskets of figs: one good, one rotten. Today in our land we have people who claim American citizenship along with their Israeli passport they are here in this country, they vote in our elections! when it is convenient to them they claim to be Americans, but are they really so? It is the same old thing.
Isaiah 3, verses 8 and 9: "For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against Yahweh, to provoke the eyes of his glory. The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves."
As I have told you before, all the ancient monuments that show Israelites show a straight-nosed, typically Anglo-Saxon type face; and the monuments which show the Canaanites, from the Hittites in the north, way up into Turkey, on down through the various Canaanite peoples living in Palestine, they all show hook-nosed, typically Jewish faces. And there is another thing that hasn't been given much publicity: the Assyrians who lived, by the way, bordering the Hittites; the Assyrians also were a hook-nosed Jewish type people.
In Assyria as in Babylon, the people lived in river valleys where there was no stone available. If they wanted to do any building with stone, they had to carry it long distances. But of course, like you find over here in our Imperial Valley, those river valleys were made up of a very fine silt clay, beautifully suited toward the making of bricks and tile; and so their building construction was of brick.
When they wanted to leave a carved monument, for permanence, they would bring in a big block of stone from the mountains, a long distance away, but their building was not of stone. Both in Babylon and in Assyria the typical palaces and major buildings had their main wall structures made of sun-dried brick, just like the adobes that we see here in our own Southwest. Naturally, that wasn't going to last long, if exposed to the rain; so there was an outer layer, one brick thick, of burned brick. And then, on their palaces at least, the interior was lined with beautiful painted and glazed tile work, and on this they had the best artists of the kingdom, and in fact the best they could capture from other nations, to make the decorations on these interior walls of their palaces. So what you saw there was not their enemies' caricature of them; this was the Assyrian's portraying their own people by their best artists, and the faces are typical hook-nosed, pawnshop Jews.
Now when you consider the fact that, long after the destruction of Assyria and the scattering of her people, the Bible continued to prophesy of things that Assyria was going to do in the end time (those that survived), this begins to take on significance.
There is a long series of Bible prophecies concerning Assyria; not Assyria as it existed in Bible times, but what it was going to do in our own day; and you will find that those prophecies coincide identically with the prophecies about Russia in the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth chapters of Ezekiel.
We know that a lot of the surviving Assyrians fled northeast from their old kingdom into what is today southwestern Russia: Georgia and Ukraine. We know that there was a heavy Jewish population there, and we know of course that the Jews are the complete masters of Russia today. And so, now the identical prophecies, that the Assyrians were going to do this, and that the Russians were going to do this; they add up to the same total, today.
The way we write the Greek in our transiati6n of the old Greek historians, today, the way we write it in English we really mangle it up. In the English they write that word "Scythian," for our people settled around the Caspian Sea, and they spell it S-c-y-t-h-i-a-n, and you ask, How come, how do they get that name? Well, the answer is, that wasn't the name they had in the Greek. In ancient times, every city of any consequence was a fortress: it had walls as big and as high as the inhabitants could furnish the labor to make them, and when an invading army was approaching, all the farmers from miles around fled into the city for refuge, and many a city withstood a long siege successfully. So where the Assyrians captured the people of Israel, the ten-tribed northern kingdom, and deported them, they weren't about to let them settle down and build for themselves a large number of fortresses; they kept them a nomadic, shepherd and cattle herding people.
Of course the only shelter that a nomad has is a tent, if he is lucky, and if he is not quite that lucky, he may just have to throw together a brush hut for shelter at night. Now the Hebrew word "succa,'' which probably applied more accurately to a brush hut, was also used for a tent, and the plural of succa is succoth; and, in course of time, it was slurred over into scuth, and the Greeks called them ''Scuthoi'' - tent dwellers, nomads -which they were.
And that is the very thing that gave them their tremendous military strength in later times. When their army was strong enough to defeat the enemy, fine; and if their army had to retreat before a larger enemy. they could retreat without losing a thing; they had; no cities they had to defend. So, as they gathered their strength, where the Assyrians had settled them, they became a powerful military force again. For a century they were constantly harassing the Assyrians, as opportunity came, and by the time of the overthrow of Nineveh, the Assyrians were showing the results: they had been pretty much bled white.
History records that these Scythians made a raid clear down into Palestine. In fact, they reached the borders of Egypt before they were turned back, and they left a settlement in the Jordan valley which was called Scythopolis, that was named after them. But it was against God's plan for them, that they come back and stay in Palestine, sd combined forces pushed them on into their European homelands.
The Medes and Persians, while they had received the help of the Scythians, were ungrateful. Every king in those days felt "that his only business was to conquer as many of his enemies as he could, and the Medo-Persian armies turned against the Scythians. One of them was turned back with a frightful defeat and slaughter, but they gathered another one, and went out again against the Scythians, and these were primarily the ones on e western side of the Caspian Sea These Scythians retreated before them, finally getting back into the Caucasus mountains, where there is a great pass in the Caucasus mountains that, from that time until our own day, has borne the name, The Pass of Israel. The communist government in Russia may have changed the name, since they came into power, but, until then at least, it was known as The Pass of Israel - and it is the route of the Georgian military road. This mountain pass came to a point where the mountains on both sides were so steep, that fighting along that surface was impossible. There is just a narrow, little bit of level ground at the edge of a river, because the river covered most of the bottom of this gorge, and here and there are places where great rocks barred the passageway. and a few men could have defended it against an army of a million men, because the million men could only have passed that place, three or four at a time. It was there that the army of Darius finally gave up and turned back, as further pursuit was hopeless; and the place was named the Dariel Gorge, after that, and it has borne that name down to our present lime.
Now you remember, God was going to gather the good figs out of the many nations where He had scattered them. Well, we know what happened to these Scythians: we know that while they were still in Scythia, two of the tribes were even then known as the Angles and the Saxons. We know the name of a couple of the others, originally called Getae, over a period of time was slurred over and finally became Goth. The Angles and Saxons you have no difficulty in tracing, because the tribes of the Jutes, Angles, and Saxons settled in northwestern Germany, along the border of what is today Denmark.
By the time the Goths were moving up through the Danube valley, they were starting to be pushed westward by the great flood of mounted nomad warriors from Asia, under Attila the Hun. First. the Visigoths turned west; they were coming into the Roman empire then, and the Romans sent out an army which the Visigoths pretty near exterminated. So the Romans gave them some land on the westerly side of the Danube river, to settle in, provided they would stay there, and they were supposed to just be peaceful settlers and give up their arms, and so on; arid of course, as they did that, the Romans started oppressing them, and besides, there was also pressure coming from the east.
So the Visigoths went on the march again. They came up above the north end of the Adriatic Sea, down into northern Italy. In 408 A.D. they were threatening to capture the city of Rome. By that time, Rome had gone the way we are starting to go now. In the days of Rome's greatness, it was the Roman citizens themselves who made up the Roman army, a well trained powerful army. But by now the Romans had grown soft, off the plunder of the other nations, and the Romans just couldn't be bothered with military service. So they were hiring mercenary soldiers to defend them, soldiers who fought, not because it was their country, but just because they were getting paid wages for it; and you know the present great furor, 'Don't have a draft anymore, just have a mercenary professional army."
The Romans saw they couldn't withstand this force of the Visigoths; they bought them off, paying a very heavy ransom, tribute, and in that same year, 408 A.D. they pulled the last of the Roman legions out of Britain, calling them back to Rome to try to defend the city. In 410 A.D. the Visigoths resumed their attack upon Rome; captured it, looted it. In fact, they had captured and plundered the whole northerly half, or more, of Italy. And soon thereafter, perhaps 412 or around in there, the Visigoths, finding nothing left worth taking, pulled out. They marched through southern France, where a few of them settled; the bulk of them crossed the Pyrenees and settled in Spain. And from the time they got there, somewhere between 415 and 420 A.D., they were the dominant ruling people in Spain until the Moorish conquest in 711 A.D.
When the Moors came into Spain, attacking from the south, these Visigoths fought a rear-guard battle as far as they could, and they were pretty largely driven up into northern Spain, and you will find, today, two completely different racial types in Spain. You will find a dark Latin type, but you will also find some blue-eyed blonds, who are the pure descendants of the old Visigoths.
About fifty years after the Visigoths came through, the other Gothic tribe, the Ostrogoths, came along the same route. Part of these Ostrogoths had gone up the Danube river, clear up to the shores of the Baltic Sea where they had settled in what is today East Prussia, which is now under communist rule. But the rest of these Ostrogoths, or eastern Goths, came down into Italy, again captured and looted Rome, and they set themselves up a Gothic kingdom in northern Italy that lasted, as an independent kingdom, about twenty-five years.
Then they were overthrown politically, but their people remained there, and you will note that today, in Italy, you have two distinctly different racial stocks. In the extreme southern part of Italy and in Sicily you have one type; in northern Italy you have another type who are obviously of our own racial stock, and they are the descendants of these Ostrogoths. Portions of them got into Austria and up into Switzerland, and again in Switzerland you won't find a single pure type, but different racial types, part of whom are our people.
Not all of the Ostrogoths went all the way up into the Baltic regions; some of them settled in the fine country they found in the Danube valley, and you will again find what are obviously our people in Hungary and in Czechoslovakia; not a hundred percent, because, remember that area has been a battleground for invasion of many different people who have left some of their racial stock behind. But you will find there, quite a number who are obviously our people; Germany of course in its entirety, and the Scandinavian countries.
Then, from the Jutes, Angles and Saxons (Germans), you had the settlement of the British Isles after the withdrawal of all the Roman legions. Now some of these people, Armstrong and some of those, who will try to tell you that England is going to have to be overthrown, as part of the collapse of the old Roman empire, simply don't know their history. There wasn't an Englishman in England at a time when the Romans were there. English history as such begins with the landing of the Jutes, Angles and Saxons, and by that time the Roman army had been gone for nearly a century. So, an Englishman is a German who went for a boat ride, and a German is an Englishman who stayed home - and yet we let the Jews promote constant warfare between them.
Now remember that God spoke in these passages I read to you, about the evil that had existed in the lands of Israel and Judah, provoking Him; and it did, because they had let themselves be corrupted by Jews among them, exactly as we today allow ourselves to be corrupted by Jews among us, and, in punishment, we are having to go through disaster, the same as fell on our ancestors 2,500 years ago.
Another group that make up part of the English today, of course, are the Normans who came in under William the Conqueror in 1066, and those were not Latin French at all. History records that the Norse and Danish Vikings were a scourge of most of the known world for several centuries, at least along the coastlands of Europe. Viking ships even turned up in the harbor of Constantinople. Viking ships sailed up the Tiber to attack the city of Rome. Of course Rome was so well fortified, and these Vikings didn't have the equipment or the training for conducting a long siege, so they didn't capture it. But they did capture the island of Sicily and there was a Norman kingdom there for several generations.
The Vikings harassed the coasts of France continually, and on three different occasions Vikings captured and looted the city of Paris. And finally one of the French kings made a deal with one of these Viking chieftains: he would give him the English Channel coastal province of Normandy, if the Vikings would settle there with their people, settle it thoroughly, and then act as a buffer against any further attacks; and that was done. And so the people of Normandy who came in under William the Conqueror were Norse Vikings.
Incidentally, before that time, these Vikings had likewise harassed the British Isles, including Ireland. They established settlements on the coasts of England, in addition to conducting a great deal of piratical raiding, and a large number of them settled in Ireland. The early Irish histories record that you could hardly find a village in Ireland that didn't have some of these Norse Vikings among them.
So our people were scattered among a number of nations. They fulfill in all respects the description of the good figs; and the others: well, you remember some where left behind, even after the second Babylonian conquest and deportation; those went down into Egypt, taking the prophet Jeremiah with them. And, as Jeremiah told them, they weren't going to escape from the Babylonians by going to Egypt, because they would be under Babylonian rule even there, and would be slaughtered. And history does record that the Babylonians conquered Egypt shortly after that Jeremiah of course didn't stay there for that; he had been warned of what was coming, and you have of course the record of Jeremiah leaving with the two princesses, daughters of Zedekiah, and finally landing in Ireland with one of them; the other one had married a Milesian king in Spain.
So those who remained in Palestine, those who went to Egypt, and most of those that came back to Palestine, were the bad figs; and the rest, who went on to become the Israelites of today, were the good figs.
So whenever God makes a prophecy, He carries it out in complete detail, exactly as He said it.
In the question-and-answer session that followed this talk, the following comments are worthy of note:
QUESTION: The bad figs that came back from Babylon, even though they were of the tribe of Judah, they are the ones who had been taken over by the religion of the Babylonian Talmud, were they not?
ANSWER: Yes. Those were the ones that the Scythians didn't take with them into Europe; they left them behind; they were corrupted; they came back to Palestine bringing the Talmud, a thing unknown before the Babylonian captivity. The late rabbi Stephen S. Wise, who died some seven or eight years ago and was the chief rabbi of the United States, made this statement: "The return from Babylon and the introduction of the Babylonian Talmud marks the end of Hebrewism and the beginning of Judaism."