Every week, we post from seven to ten news stories from Israel with a suggested prayer focus and scripture for each one, guiding readers how to pray for Israel's most urgent needs. This Prayer Update is also sent to over 19,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Fill out the form on the side if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.
- Report: IDF Deploys Iron Dome Batteries in Northern Front
- To the South: New Rockets, Improved Tunnels
- Terror in Tel Aviv
- Israeli Elections—a Lively Process
- Obama Opposes Iran Sanctions
- As ICC Threatens to Charge Israelis, Israel Charges the ICC
- Iranian Revolutionary Guard Chief Vows Revenge on Israel
- First Anti-Semitism Special Meeting at UN
- Israel Strengthens Ties with Fourth Largest Global Economy
- Bringing Smiles to Children
Report: IDF Deploys Iron Dome Batteries in Northern Front
Monday, 19 January, 2015 | The IDF raised its alert level on the northern front on Monday, in positions along the border with Syrian and Lebanon, as foreign media outlets reported that Iron Dome batteries were being deployed in the north, less than a day after a strike attributed to Israel killed senior Hezbollah officers and Iranian soldiers.
Apart from the deployment of the missile interceptor batteries on the northern front—reported by Sky News in Arabic—there has not been a significant reinforcement of the forces on the border.
Yet, there are concerns in the security establishment that Hezbollah will attempt a retaliatory terror attack against Israeli forces which operate along the border. Thus, the soldiers were ordered to increase their level of alert and preparedness.
A Lebanese newspaper unofficially affiliated with Hezbollah published new details on Monday of a strike attributed to Israel, in which a senior Iranian general and the son of Imad Mughniyeh were killed, among others.
According to the Al-Akhbar report, the Iranian general and Jihad Mughniyeh, as well as other Hezbollah members and Iranian soldiers, were travelling in two vehicles on the northern section of the Quneitra district, some seven kilometers [4.3 mi] from the border with Israel.
Al-Akhbr reported that after the two SUVs, a Jeep Cherokee and a Kia Sorento, had moved 400 meters [1,312 ft] away from a UNDOF [UN Disengagement Observer Force] base—but before they arrived at a headquarters for the Syrian regime's paramilitary militia—an Israeli chopper fired two missiles, hitting its targets.
A Hezbollah statement on Sunday named the six killed in the attack as Jihad Mughniyeh, 25; Mohammed Issa, 43 (the only one ranked as commander); Abbas Ibrahim Hijazi, 36; Mohammed Ali Hassan Abu Al-Hassan, 30; Razi Ali Dawi, 27; and Ali Hassan Ibrahim, 22.
Roi Kais contributed to this report.
Source: (Ynetnews, January 19, 2015)
Photo Credit: Ashernet
Thank the Lord God for the protection the Iron Dome can provide, and cry out to Him because He is the only true protection for Israel. Ask that He will be the rock and protector of Israel during these days of trouble from Hezbollah and Iranian infiltration extremely near the northern border.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come to You. Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble; incline Your ear to me; in the day that I call, answer me speedily.- Psalm 102:1–2
To the South: New Rockets, Improved Tunnels
Tuesday, 20 January, 2015 | The IDF confirmed on Tuesday that Hamas has continued its underground activities beneath Gaza, more than a month after Palestinian sources told Ynet that the terror group was rehabilitating its tunnel infrastructure.
"The other side has not neglected this capability," warned a senior engineering officer on earlier in the day. On Monday, Israeli intelligence officials confirmed the developments to the British newspaper The Times.
According to Palestinian sources in the Strip who spoke to Ynet in December, a black market for mortar emerged after Israel allowed the flow of limited goods and materials into Gaza—allowing Hamas to renew construction of concrete slabs used to line the inside of the tunnels.
On Monday, the British newspaper reported that Israeli intelligence officials said Hamas was building a "new generation" of homemade rockets and has been digging terror tunnels intended to reach Israel. According to the report, dozens of long range rockets fired since September 16 were identified on the Iron Dome system's radar, but fell into the sea.
The Times said that according to their sources, Hamas has been trying to upgrade its rocket manufacturing capabilities.
The senior officer added that the defense establishment has yet to complete a proven operational technological development to locate the tunnels. Still, he said, there has been significant progress in the field.
"I hope we can adapt this to the concrete threat in Gaza. There are a number of measures we have tried in recent months, with more than a few successes. We have tried different technologies which have made certain accomplishments, but they are limited and have not provided a complete response to all the challenges. The best of minds are helping us," explained the senior officer.
The focus of the project has been the identification and destruction of tunnels. "We saw that it was very challenging to destroy them and we had to insert a lot of explosives to destroy the tunnels; and we want to do it much faster," he said.
"We are talking about additional explosives measures, and we are making them part of training and preparation as soon as possible," added the officer.
In [the] past, attempts to develop sensors to identify tunnels succeeded in their lab tests but failed in field testing. While the sterile conditions in the lab allowed perfect operation, the ground in the field was full of background noises.
Recently, the IDF explored preventative solutions which do not locate tunnels, but physically hinder digging towards Israeli territory. However, an exorbitant price-tag of billions of shekels has put a hold on procurement of such measures at this stage.
Source: (Ynetnews, January 20, 2015)
Photo Credit: screenshot/www.idfblog.com
Pray for wisdom and insight for those who are developing strategies to protect Israel from improved Gaza tunneling and Hamas rocket construction. Ask that those developing the solutions will humbly seek guidance from the Almighty Lord.
The wicked put up a bold front, but the upright give thought to their ways. There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.- Proverbs 21:13–14 (NIV)
Terror in Tel Aviv
Thursday, 22 January, 2015 | Yesterday morning was just another day, another commute to school, work, play. Just before 7:30am, Bus 40 in bustling Tel Aviv was full. There were children with backpacks, workers in business dress, midweek shoppers headed for the store.
As in every bus in Israel, almost everyone was glancing down at smartphones, listening to music, or looking out of windows.
Near the Maariv Junction in downtown Tel Aviv, 23-year-old Hamza Muhammad Hassan Matruch stepped on board. Handsome, fit, determined, he did not draw attention. Over one million Arabs are citizens in Israel. In cosmopolitan Israel, they are part of the fabric of everyday life.
As the bus pulled away, Matruch pulled out a razor-sharp knife. Lunging at the driver, he repeatedly buried an 8 inch blade into his chest. Except for those up front, passengers were oblivious. Then the bus swerved.
Witnessing the attack, observers were shocked. The wounded bus driver, 62-year-old Herzl Biton, fought back. With pepper spray and flailing arms, he resisted his youthful, strong and would-be murderer.
When passengers began to speak, to shout, to think about moving, Matruch lunged at them as well. And so it went, as like a wave, awareness and bloodshed moved backward in the bus. People screamed for help.
Help came from Benny Botarshvili, commander of an Israel Prison Service team called the Nahshon unit.
According to the Jerusalem Post, "the swerving bus caught the attention of Botarshvili and his men. They were "driving behind the bus on the way to the Tel Aviv courthouse to pick up detainees." Then the bus came to a stop and passengers began to run away. Security cameras show Matruch joining terrified passengers, assaulting one on the way, apparently stabbing her in the back. Botarshvili and his men gave chase.
Catching up, they shot him in the leg and placed him under arrest.
Arriving at the scene, emergency personnel treated people at the curb. Blood stains "were splattered intermittently across hundreds of meters," according to Jerusalem Post reporters.
In the end, seventeen were wounded, three seriously. This morning's reports are that the bus driver is recovering.
The Palestinian Connection
Just last week, Hamas responded to Islamist attacks in France by condemning terror. Yesterday it celebrated and applauded it. Within minutes of the Tel Aviv assault and before rescuers were on the scene, Izzat al-Risheq, a senior Hamas leader, tweeted that “the stabbing attack against Zionists in Tel Aviv is a brave and heroic act.”
Within an hour, Palestinian media published cartoons, echoing al-Risheq's sentiments. The first one posted to Facebook portrayed a red-keffiya clad terrorist. Smiling he holds aloft a knife dripping with blood. Behind him is a bus. Adorned with a Star of David, a pool of blood flows outward on the pavement. A nearby sign reads, "Occupied Tel-Arabia."
A second cartoon portrays an animated knife. With a smiling face on its blade, stick-man hands wave a cheery hello. Blood drips from the knife point splattering an Israeli flag below. The caption reads, "Good morning, Palestine!"
The latter cartoon was the featured image by Israel's UN Ambassador, Ron Prosor, in a blistering letter he penned to the UN Security Council yesterday afternoon.
"On the bus with [the terrorist] and directing his murderous hand," Prosor charged, "were years of anti-Israel incitement fed to him by Palestinian leaders, as well, as the rogue regimes that fund and celebrate terrorists attacks against Jews, namely Iran and Qatar."
"The Security Council has yet to say a word in response to the wave of terrorism aimed at Israeli citizens in recent months," he thundered with his pen. "By remaining silent, the Council is giving terrorists and their sponsors a free pass and literally letting them get away with murder.
Prime Minister Netanyahu concurred. "The terrorist attack in Tel Aviv is the direct result of poisonous incitement being disseminated by the Palestinian Authority against the Jews and their state," he said. "This same terrorism is trying to attack us in Paris, Brussels and everywhere."
In contrast with last week's reactions to terrorist attacks in France, international responses to the Tel Aviv attack were muffled.
Yesterday, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki condemned the attack, saying "there is and can be no justification for such attacks against civilians." In the very next breath, however, she added, "We continue to urge all sides to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence and seek a path forward toward peace."
Hours later the US Embassy in Tel Aviv issued an "emergency message." In part, it said "Due to security concerns, US government employees are prohibited from using public buses throughout Israel and the West Bank.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 22, 2015)
Photo Credit: screenshot/IDFblog.org
Ask the Lord God to deny the desires of the wicked, who would stab or attempt to injure and kill innocent Israeli residents. Plead with Him for the full recovery of the Tel Aviv bus attack victims. Ask the Lord to thwart further terrorist attacks and to bring the violent to justice.
O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. Do not grant, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; do not further his wicked scheme, lest they be exalted.- Psalm 140:7–8
Israeli Elections—a Lively Process
Israel is a vibrant democracy with a plethora of political parties. Voters cast their ballots for one of these parties rather than an individual and seats in the 120-member Knesset are based on the number of votes the party has received. In order to have a majority, the party must win 61 seats, a feat which has only happened once in Israel’s history. Therefore, coalition governments have been formed to reach the needed majority.
During the current elections, most parties have already held their primaries and announced their lists of candidates. Even though there are over 40 parties, new ones can be formed at any time. On January 19th, Israel’s first-ever ultra-Orthodox women’s party announced its formation. Ruth Colian, who heads “B’Zhutan: Haredi Women Making Change,” said her group took the step, “to guarantee representation in the Knesset for ultra-Orthodox women.”
The election process is a lively one in Israel, usually dominating the news as parties strive for the votes needed to gain seats in the Knesset. Some parties may lose out altogether, if they do not garner enough votes. Frequent opinion polls are conducted by news outlets to keep the public informed of the weekly changing tide.
Prime Minister Netanyahu called for early elections in December, as his coalition became divided over differences regarding the budget and other issues. Upon announcing the need for elections, Netanyahu said, “It’s impossible to do all the things that are important for the security and welfare of the citizens of Israel” with the growing division within the governing coalition. Eighty-four of the 120 Knesset members agreed that an election was necessary.
Serious issues are facing the nation of Israel and these elections are critically important. There is increasing international pressure from the Palestinians for the establishment of a state while Israel must ensure that it retains secure and defensible borders. Israel’s Jewish–democratic identity and the status of Jerusalem, part of which the Palestinians are claiming as a capital of their proposed state, are two other issues facing the nation’s leaders.
These decisions and others will fall on the shoulders of the future government of Israel.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 21, 2015)
Photo Credit: Public Domain
Beseech the everlasting Father to grant wisdom and knowledge to the leaders of Israel, as they reshuffle alliances. Pray for the selection of leaders, who will trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for guidance, courage and strength to do what is right for the people of Israel.
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.- Daniel 2:20–21
Obama Opposes Iran Sanctions
Wednesday, 21 January, 2015 | US President Barack Obama on Tuesday outlined his approach to foreign diplomacy in his annual State of the Union address, shooting down the option of Iran sanctions as Republicans panned his views.
The American commander-in-chief said his administration's diplomatic overtures to Iran have managed to halt the Islamic country's nuclear program and reduced its nuclear material stockpile.
"Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies—including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict," he said.
While Obama said all options were on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran, he explicitly opposed placing further sanctions.
New sanctions would "all but guarantee that diplomacy fails—alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again," he argued.
"It doesn't make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. The American people expect us to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom."
Photo Credit: www.bridgesforpeace.com
Praise the Lord that His eyes are on the intent of Iran to destroy Israel. Praise Him that the iniquity of the Islamic country’s nuclear program is not hidden from His face. Ask the Almighty Father to confuse Iran’s deadly nuclear weapons strategy. May He continue to protect Israel and the Middle East from Iran’s deceit.
For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes.- Jeremiah 16:17
As ICC Threatens to Charge Israelis, Israel Charges the ICC
Monday, 19 January 2015 | Last Friday the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to open "a preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine." According to Israeli leaders, its decision to do so is a violation of the ICC's charter and mandate. As such, Israel is protesting the decision while the Palestinian Authority praises it.
Is the ICC's "preliminary examination" of Israel legal? Is it consistent with its founding document, the "Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court"?
Adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome in 1998, the so-called "Rome Statute" went into effect on 1 July 2002. Currently, 123 nations are party to the statute. Although the ICC is independent of the 193 member United Nations, a large portion of its legitimacy is based upon its UN parentage and endorsements.
According to the Rome Statute, the ICC's jurisdiction is narrow and specific. It is aimed at and limited to four crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression. The court recognizes no statute of limitation for any of these.
Notably, only individuals can be charged with these crimes, but only states recognized by the United Nations can bring charges.
Does the Palestinian Authority have standing as a state to bring charges against anyone in the ICC?
In 2009, the ICC rejected "over 400 communications" from the Palestinian Authority against Israel because it was not a UN-recognized state. In short, because Palestine was not a state, the ICC said it did not have jurisdiction to consider the PA's hundreds of allegations.
Last Friday the court took pains to justify its jurisdiction today as opposed to 2009. The ICC concluded that, because "Palestine [has been] granted observer State status in the UN by the UNGA [the United Nations General Assembly], it must be considered a 'State.'" In other words, in the eyes of the ICC, Palestine now has status as state. This gives it standing to file its complaints against the Jewish state.
Israel begs to differ. Under established international law, Palestine does not have legal status as a state, it says.
Immediately after Shabbat last Saturday evening, Prime Minister Netanyahu made clear his country's case against the ICC.
"Israel rejects the absurd decision of the ICC prosecutor," Netanyahu said. “It's absurd for the ICC to ignore international law and agreements, under which the Palestinians don't have a state and can only get one through direct negotiations with Israel.
"The rules of the ICC are clear: No state. No standing. No case."
What's more, said Netanyahu, the ICC decision "is even more preposterous given that Israel is legitimately defending itself against Palestinian terrorists who routinely commit multiple war crimes. They deliberately fire thousands of rockets at our civilians, while hiding behind Palestinian civilians whom they use a human shield.
But "the ultimate folly," Netanyahu said, is that democratic Israel "a world leader in fighting terrorism," is being "hauled to the dock in The Hague, while the terrorist war criminals of Hamas are the ones who are going to be pressing the charges.
And so, he continued, "we see here something truly tragic. The lofty goals of the ICC are being turned upside-down.
"The court was founded to prevent a repeat of history's worst crimes, foremost among them the genocide of six million Jews.
"Now the Palestinians are cynically manipulating the ICC to deny the Jewish state the right to defend itself against the very war crimes and the very terror that the court was established to prevent."
Israel is not expected to cooperate with the court's "preliminary examination."
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 19, 2015)
Photo Credit: Vincent van Zeijst/www.wikipedia.org
Ask the Most Holy Lord to bring the light of truth to the tragic manipulation of the ICC, as they have been led to violate their charter and founding goals. Pray that Israel will be defended by godly wisdom, truth and their Almighty Father.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.- Proverbs 16:25
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Chief Vows Revenge on Israel
Tuesday, 20 January, 2015 | After confirming one of its generals was among those killed in an airstrike attributed to Israel in the Syrian Golan on Sunday, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) said Tuesday that Israel should expect "devastating thunderbolts" in response to the attack.
This, Mohammad Ali Jafari said, will be "a new beginning point for the imminent collapse of the Zionist Regime."
Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said Tuesday in a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu that "the terrorist act by the Zionist regime in the Golan Heights was the continuation of the regime's crimes in Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and their open support for Takfiri terrorists.”
The international community is also concerned of a retaliatory attack—France and the United States were working together on the diplomatic level in an attempt to keep restraint among all sides, Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar reported.
Hezbollah sources told the paper the organization's response to the attack will likely happen outside of Lebanon.
Newspapers affiliated with Hezbollah estimated that organization chief Hassan Nasrallah will make a speech soon to respond to the attack. Nasrallah was scheduled to speak on February 16 on the 7th anniversary of Imad Mughniyeh's death, as he does every year, but some believe he will speak as early as next week.
Photo Credit: Sajed/www.wikipedia.org
Pray for righteousness and justice as Iran’s leaders call for revenge against Israel. Ask for the truth to be apparent about the presence of Iranian high military leaders colluding with Hezbollah on Israel’s border. Pray for truth, steadfastness and courage for Israel’s military defenders and in the court of world opinion.
Do not keep silent, O God of my praise! For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful have opened against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.- Psalm 109:1–2
First Anti-Semitism Special Meeting at UN
Sunday, 18 January, 2015 | Israel, in cooperation with other countries, initiated the first UN General Assembly Special Meeting on Anti-Semitism. Thirty-seven member states including Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia, and all members of the European Union (EU), sent a letter to Mr. Sam Kutesa, President of the United Nations General Assembly, calling for a special session to address the global outbreak of anti-Semitism.
The American, Canadian and the EU Missions to the UN partnered with Israel to host the event. Noted public French philosopher and author, Mr. Bernard Henri Lévy, delivered a keynote address. Representatives from several countries also addressed the General Assembly.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, stated, "It says a lot that so many countries have partnered with Israel to raise this issue of anti-Semitism to the top of the UN's agenda. We have a great deal of work to do to move this issue from the headlines to the history books."
The event took place on January 22nd and was broadcast live from the UN.
Source: (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, January 18, 2015)
Photo Credit: rama/www.wikipedia.org
Photo License: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Juif.JPG
Pray for Jewish people world-wide, who are facing increased persecution, that they might be strong and put their faith in the God of Israel. Thank Him for this partnership of nations whose stated goal is to defeat growing anti-Semitism and seek to move it from “headlines to the history books.”
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted,- Isaiah 35:3–4a
Be strong, do not fear!
Israel Strengthens Ties with Fourth Largest Global Economy
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 | As hostility toward Israel grows in the West, Israel is increasingly building economic ties with the East. This week the Land of the Rising Sun has come to town, ready to do business with the Jewish state.
The world's largest regional economy is the European Union, currently Israel's biggest trading partner. The US is a close second. But in the East, China is a very close third. And next in line is Japan with a hearty $5 trillion Gross Domestic Product.
Last year's Jerusalem meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister of China served as a platform to announce that it is on its way to replacing the European Union as Israel's largest trading partner. Not to be outdone, this week Japan has come to Jerusalem and Israel has rolled out the red carpet.
Two days ago, Sunday, the newly reelected Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, arrived in Tel Aviv. He was not alone. Accompanied by an entourage of more than 100 people, including business executives and government officials, Prime Minister Abe made clear his serious intent to strengthen economic ties with the Jewish state.
When they met, an energetic Abe greeted an ebullient Netanyahu. "I am delighted to welcome you," Netanyahu said, noting that the visit is reciprocal to his journey to Japan last year. This "gives us a historic opportunity to bring together the great capabilities of the people of Japan and the people of Israel," he added.
Abe responded by noting that economic ties with Israel is the one area that "has the greatest potential for advancement of bilateral relations" with Japan.
Abe and his one hundred person retinue have since received a firsthand, first class tour of Israeli businesses. At an "Innovation Exhibition" in Jerusalem, the Japanese delegation was introduced to a few of Israel's high-tech business innovations in health and medicine. They included "wow" developments in brain and heart diagnoses along with recovery mechanisms that allow some paraplegics to walk.
At a subsequent Economic Forum meeting between Israeli and Japanese business leaders, Netanyahu tipped his strategic hat, noting that Israel "must diversify its markets to include Japan and the other great economies of Asia."
Notably, the Western "Boycott Divestment and Sanctions" campaign, BDS, is virtually absent in Asia where, for lack of anti-Israel focus and cultural reasons, it is unlikely to take root.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 20, 2015)
Photo Credit: Gershom/GPO/Ashernet
Thank the Heavenly Father for the favor He is showing to Israel with new trading partners in “Japan and the other great economies of Asia,” where anti-Israel sentiment is practically non-existent. Pray for the Father’s blessing upon the trading ties and upon the nations of the East that are seeking to strengthen economic ties with Israel.
But you, LORD, sit enthroned forever; Your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come.- Psalm 102: 12–13 (NIV)
Bringing Smiles to Children
Every child deserves a future filled with hope. That is one of the core beliefs driving Operation Smile, a leading children's medical charity that provides free cleft palate and lip surgeries in developing countries. Two Israeli doctors recently joined forces with Operation Smile to heal hundreds of smiles among Vietnamese children, giving new hope for their future.
Drs. Omri Amudi and Zach Sharony hale from Israel’s prestigious Rambam Health Care Campus. Over the course of ten days, they worked with a team of international medical volunteers that performed more than 500 free cleft surgeries at six sites throughout Vietnam. In a bid to assist as many children as possible, volunteers committed to a grueling schedule, operating 12 hours a day. Offering their own time and expertise to those who need it most is a long-standing tradition for both doctors.
Brighter, healthier smiles were not the only things to bring a sparkle to the eyes of young Vietnamese patients. Former Miss Vietnam, Mee Huang, was so touched by the initiative that she decided to join the delegation to encourage and spread cheer among the children.
As the largest volunteer-based children’s medical charity in its field, Operation Smile mobilizes professional medical volunteers from across the globe. It operates in 60 developing countries, including Vietnam, targeting impoverished communities where facial defects are common. Over the past 32 years, the charity has performed more than 220,000 surgeries on needy children and young adults suffering from a cleft palate or lip.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 20, 2015)
Photo Credit: Public Domain
Praise the Lord that 500 Vietnamese children with facial defects now have renewed health, hope and smiles! Thank Him for the skill of Israeli Doctors Amudi and Sharony and others like them, who give freely to provide better lives for needy children in developing countries.
…and in you [Jacob] and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.- Genesis 28:14b (NASB)