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Christian Identity, Jews, and Israel in 17th-Century England$
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Achsah Guibbory

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557165

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557165.001.0001

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Nation, Monarch, and Israel

Nation, Monarch, and Israel

(p.21) 1 Nation, Monarch, and Israel
Christian Identity, Jews, and Israel in 17th-Century England

Achsah Guibbory

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the developing notion that England was the special object of God's favor. Enabling the Reformation separation from Rome, the Hebrew Bible was used to legitimize England's institutions, giving the nation an Israelite identity. The Hebrew Bible played a crucial role in the formation of English nationalism, which adapted Luther's (and Paul's) idea that Christians were the ‘true Israel.’ Identification with biblical Jews was at odds with the Protestant belief that ‘Jewishness’ had no place in reformed Christianity, and emergent nationalism complicated Protestant internationalism. This chapter discusses ways in which, by the early seventeenth century, England was made biblical Israel's successor. Elizabeth I was a Davidic monarch. James, the ‘British Solomon,’ was imagined to have united the kingdoms of Israel and initiated the messianic time (described in Isaiah) characterized by peace, wealth and empire, and the rebuilding of God's Temple.

Keywords:   Elizabeth I, James I, Luther, Reformation, Foxe, Solomon, Isaiah, monarchy, nation, Israel

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