And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings, Revelation 10:11.
For those who have sought to understand how God divides the population of the world into political units, the introduction of the word "peoples" in the Book of Revelation into the list of the terms used in the Book of Genesis becomes important. Just what was added? In Genesis we see God's original division of the people of the earth. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations, Genesis 10:5. In Revelation we see peoples, nations, and tongues and kings.
The principal division of all people in the bible is into families. A family is the smallest unit in God's reckoning. Another division is tongues. Tongues naturally divide people, and that division was given to retard the scientific progress of man. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech, Genesis 11:6,7.
Families were given as a gift to men. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land, Psalm 68:6. Families are gathered into nations. When we examine the origin of families, and we study their development we see that the word "nation" in a King James Bibles is closer to the words "ethnic group" that we would use today. A national group is the logical consequence of a given family line.
Kings developed out of what English Common Law would call the Right of Primogeniture. When families owned and farmed common properties and subdivided those properties according to their peculiar laws and customs, it was understood that the firstborn should rule. In the next generation regardless of who was born first, the right of rule devolved onto the firstborn of the previous first born. As families got big enough, that person with the right of primogeniture, or the right to rule as the firstborn in the line of the firstborn was called a king. His family and his lineage was held sacred and given noble titles. God upheld that pattern. Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou, Ecclesiastes 8:4.
To uphold the power of a king was to uphold the sacredness of families. This worked well in a small and simple world until various ethnic or national units began to be ruled by the king of one specific national unit. King James was called the King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland. I'm sure that annoyed the French, but if there is any survival for a French national identity in the millennium, it will probably be under Britain's auspices and they will learn to speak English.
Almost to a man, the American Colonists understood George III of England to be their lawful sovereign. The genius of the American Declaration of Independence was that Thomas Jefferson convinced the various American Colonies that King George had voided his right to rule them. If you were a bible believing colonist, and you had always believed that God had given you a king to hold executive authority over you, where would you believe that power had gone once your king had relinquished it? The American people believed that power reverted back to the heads of families where it had been early in the Book of Genesis. That is the basis of American political thought. Each man became a king in his own home and then lent his power to a central government directly responsible to the people. When a national government was established, the right to rule with specified powers and limitations was granted to a central government, not by the several states, but by the people of those states.
What is the proper biblical name for a political unit composed of many ethnic or national units? When Englishmen, Indians, Frenchmen, Germans, Irishmen, Scotchmen, Africans and Spanish sought to create a political unit with all of the rights of a nation among the nations of the world, what should it be called? We the people of the United states; in biblical terms we are not so much a nation as we are a people. What we are did not exist in the Book of Genesis, but the Book of Revelation looked into the future and saw political structures like us. It saw many peoples, and nations, and tongues and kings.
I am sometimes asked whether or not the United States is mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Yes it is. A new type of political unit was established on this earth on July 4, 1776. Since then, there are others such as Canada and Australia. The United States was first, God had foreseen it and it is our duty to keep the word of God before it.