The land of Sinim

Arno Froese

“Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim” (Isaiah 49:12).

The land of Sinim is not identifiable. Many Bible scholars consider it to be a part of China. Others place Sinim in Egypt under the spelling of Syene. The experts don’t know, and neither do we.

What is of interest are the beginning words of this chapter: “Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far.” While the Bible recognizes the three major continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa, the rest usually falls under the category of “isles.” This reminds us of Ezekiel 39, where Gog and Magog are judged; verse 6a reads: “And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles.”

But China is the country we are focusing on in this issue. This communist-ruled country has become the fastest growing economy in the world (except some smaller nations). The secret of their success lies in their ability to incorporate communism, socialism, and capitalism/democracy. Here a word of caution: the western news media presents China virtually always in a very negative light, especially when it comes to human rights and private property. Thus, we always recommend that one listen to both sides. Today, we have access to news media from around the world, in almost any language.

The private property issue came to the attention of the world press when, in 2012, a Chinese couple refused to surrender their house to the government’s planned highway. Volumes of pictures are available actually showing the house standing in the middle of the finished highway, before it was eventually demolished. Some reports indicate that it took a legal process of over five years, from the notification to sell the house to the government, until the day of demolition. That means private property is respected.

Unfortunately, the evangelical press has also published much negative news regarding communist China; for example, their demolishing of churches. However, careful investigation shows that in most cases, these churches were built without the proper permit. Buildings that are open to the public without proper permit are subject to demolition in nearly all countries.

We know that communist China is now the world’s largest Bible producer; of course, mostly for export. But reliable sources indicate that the Church is growing at an almost explosive rate. That is in the sphere of our interest.

How does this relate to Israel? Here we must recall Israel’s beginning. The bulk of Jews coming to Israel originated from the Soviet Union. The leadership was almost exclusively born, raised, and educated in communist countries. When they arrived in Israel, one of the first things they did was to establish communes (kibbutzim). That is the backbone of Israel.

It’s not surprising that Israel has an amazingly good relationship with China. Israelis, with their intellectual capacity, are able to see the future, in which China will become the number one economic power structure in the world.

Below is an abbreviated report from the Jerusalem Post. The headline states that despite the trade war, “Israeli innovators flock to Chinese investment confab.”

While trade war hostilities between the United States and China continue to drag on and even intensify, Israeli entrepreneurs are seemingly undeterred from seeking opportunities in the sleeping giant, which is quickly waking up to the potential of Israeli innovation.

Approximately 1,400 investors attended the conference, a joint venture by Cukierman & Co. Investment House and Catalyst Funds, along with Shandong Province’s investment arm Shandong Guohui Investment Co. and Jinan Pioneer Area.

During the summit, held in China for the third time, organizers said Israeli entrepreneurs took advantage of 800 one-on-one meetings with potential backers.

Spanning almost 160,000 and home to 100 million people, Shandong Province boasts [a] GDP of $1.1 trillion, the third largest economy in China.

“This year, we held more than 800 personalized one-on-one meetings between Chinese investors and Israeli companies,” said Edouard Cukierman, chairman of Tel Aviv-based Cukierman & Co. Investment House and managing partner of Catalyst Investments.

China is Israel’s second largest trade partner worldwide today, with bilateral trade exceeding $10b. in 2017. The visit of Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan to Israel in October 2018 symbolized the growing importance Beijing places on increasing innovation cooperation with the Jewish state.

“China is not similar to Europe or the United States at all,” said Motti Kushnir, CEO and founder of InfinityAR, purchased by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in March.

“It’s not something you do on the side, you need a completely different focus and strategy. If you cannot give it the right resources, do not go into it. Do not act here alone, but work with locals who are familiar with the market and take care of your Israeli staff here with a regular presence,” Kushnir said.

“In China, everything moves fast. We’re building a prototype for glasses. What takes a good few months in the US takes a month or two in China. They are not afraid to make mistakes, and they go through three to five stages between the prototype and the final product.”, 1 June 2019

Needless to say, the tariffs placed on Chinese goods destined for the US will open the door even wider for Israel and Europe.

But, what is the real reason behind it all? We may use verse 6 of Isaiah 49 as an answer, where God speaks: “…It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” How very true; Israel has given us the light—the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who of Himself proclaimed: “I am the light of the world.” This light continues to shine forth on all five continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Australia. Innumerable souls are being led out of darkness into His marvelous light. They make up the living Church of Jesus Christ on earth; the spiritual temple, the habitation of God, which will soon be completed. At that moment, the Creator of heaven and earth will take possession of His bride.

Midnight Call - 08/2019

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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