Oct 18, 2017

Search

00025

Last Name
BENDOR-SAMUEL
First Name
Elijah
Life Span
1870-1956
Publications
Israel and the Blessing of the Tribes (1937), Introductory to Hebrew Bible (1931), The Prophecy of Zechariah-Chapters I and II (1929), Palestine-Turkey-and Egypt (coauthor with Francis L. Denman 1915), David Baron and the Hebrew Christian Testimony to Israel (coauthored with David Baron 1943), The prophetic character of Job, or The solution of a great problem" (1954), Old Testament Criticism. When and by whom Deuteronomy was written (1927), The Prophetic Character of the Psalms'' (1935)
Sources
RoshPina Project
Details
Born of Orthodox Jewish parents in Kovno, Lithuania. Married Mabel and had two sons, Theodore and Harcourt. Succeeded David Baron as the director of the Mildmay Mission to the Jews (now Messianic Testimony). This text is reproduced from SAVED TO SERVE, Brief Histories of the grace of God in Hebrew Christian life and witness, THE INTERNATIONAL HEBREW CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE, “Shalom”, Brockenhurst Road, Ramsgate, pp. 25-31. (IHCA Permission pending):
-> “BEHOLD an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile." These words, spoken by our Lord concerning Nathaniel, have been quoted by many in recent weeks as descriptive of the life and character of the Rev. Elijah Bendor Samuel, who was called to be with Christ on the last day of the old year, 31st December, 1956. They formed the theme of the tribute that was paid at a memorial service at the headquarters of the Hebrew Christian Testimony to Israel and they are echoed by all who knew him as a simple statement of fact. They loved him in life and his memory will long remain an example of simple guileless faith.
-> Elijah Samuel was born at Kovno, in Lithuania, then as now subjugated by Russia, on 13th August, 1870, the eldest son of Jacob and Lebi Samuel. He was brought up in a strictly orthodox home, and it was doubtless there that he acquired the deep love for the Hebrew Scriptures and the devotion to his own Jewish people that so strongly marked the whole of his life. His father, a cooper, died while he was still a child, but he always revered his memory. Following the example of other members of his family, he came to Britain while still in his teens, traveling from Hamburg to Leith, and going on to join an older sister who was living in Glasgow. Soon afterwards he went to Birmingham and there found employment in a factory. A young fellow worker named Samuel Hefford was greatly attracted to the lad and resolved to win him for Christ. He succeeded, not by his erudition and skill in dialectics, for he was only a simple working man, but by his Christ-like life and the love he showed the young Jew. He persuaded him to read the New Testament.
-> Having seen the beauty of Christ both in the Gospels and in the life of one of His followers, this young man fell in love with Him and continued to love and serve Him throughout his life. Though won for Christ by love, and himself loving his Lord deeply and strongly, his conversion was not just a matter of sentiment. Full well he appreciated all that was included in Christ's saving work, acknowledged his need of salvation, and gratefully accepted it and rejoiced in it. He was baptized by the Rev. George Samuel at Christ Church, Six Ways, Aston, a Baptist Church in Birmingham, at the end of 1888, and received into the membership of the church in January, 1889. In after years he used often to comment upon the recurrence of the name Samuel at this time. With characteristic zeal he entered not only upon Church membership but into Christian service, joining in mission work in the city of Birmingham in his leisure time. Feeling the call to work among his own brethren, he set himself to save sufficient money to pay for the necessary training, and when this was accomplished he entered Harley College, London. During his course there he was invited by the late Rev. John Wilkinson, the founder of the Mildmay Mission to the Jews, to join the staff of that mission, and on the completion of his training in 1894 he did so; the link that was forged then lasted for no less than thirty-eight years.
-> For the first part of his service with the "Mildmay Mission to the Jews” Mr. Samuel was responsible for a number of evangelistic tours, which took him and a small group of colleagues into many of the principal towns in the British Isles, and these visits to provincial Jewish communities were much blessed. A little later he spent a year in similar work in Morocco, and before leaving for this he was ordained at a service held at the Central Hall, the headquarters of the mission. About this time he became known as Elijah Bendor Samuel, adding an old family name of Bendor to the two by which he had previously been known. Returning to England in 1901, he was united in marriage to Miss Mabel Rosa Cornwall, who had been since 1892 on the mission staff. Through long years she proved herself a true helpmeet to him. Their earliest home was at the Central Hall, and here their first four children were born. When the house in which Mr. Wilkinson had lived for many years in Mildmay Park became a home for young men, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel took charge of it, maintaining a happy family spirit which bore its own witness for Christ.
-> The Rev. John Wilkinson died in 1907 and was succeeded as director by his youngest son, Samuel Hinds Wilkinson, who had for long been his father's right hand. His first act was to call Mr. Samuel to the position he vacated, and he served as assistant director for the next twenty-five years. His principal responsibility during this period was the superintendence of the work centred in and around London; he conducted the Sunday evening gospel service at the Central Hall and a well-attended Messianic evidence meeting every Wednesday evening. He found time, however, for several extended visits to centres of Jewish population in central and eastern Europe. In 1932 he accepted an invitation to succeed the beloved David Baron as director of the Hebrew Christian Testimony to Israel, taking up this responsibility at a time of life when many men are contemplating retirement. In the interest of the work he paid a number of other visits to European cities, and even included one never-to-be-forgotten journey to Palestine. The second world war bore hardly upon him; on two occasions his home was seriously damaged in air raids. Yet his bow abode in strength and he continued to direct the affairs of the mission for a full twenty years, retiring in 1952 shortly before his eighty-second birthday. During the latter part of this period he had the joy of the comradeship of Mr. Herman Newmark, as co-director. Altogether his missionary service covered no less a period than fifty-eight years.
-> He was an Israelite indeed. Second only to his love for the Scripture in which he found his Lord, Mr. Samuel loved his own people. His main activity was to seek to win them for Christ, but he never forgot their need of help and guidance after their conversion. His conversion made him more, not less, of a Jew; he had a clear understanding of God's purposes for His people, and sought to set them forward by pastoral as well as evangelistic labours. He was an early member of the Hebrew Christian Alliance and Prayer Union (now the Hebrew Christian Alliance of Great Britain), which had been founded in 1866, and was for many years its secretary. As such he took a leading part in calling the first International Hebrew Christian Conference, held at Islington in 1925, at which the International Hebrew Christian Alliance was formed. He served the new body as secretary for its first three years, and as vice-president for the next six years. From 1926 to 1933 he was president of the affiliated Hebrew Christian Alliance of Great Britain. His Hebrew Christian brethren not only esteemed him and valued his counsel; they loved him and honoured him in every way they could. A man without guile, he was simple, straightforward, sincere and gracious. His natural modesty of manner and a true Christian humility concealed many gifts, all of which he brought without reserve to the service of his Lord, yet these could not altogether be hidden, and wherever he went he was esteemed as a careful and helpful expositor of prophetic truth. Deeply versed in the Hebrew Scriptures he so greatly loved, he could and did bring treasures out of them to the enrichment of those who heard him in many different places to which he was constantly invited. He was a frequent contributor to the counsels of the Prophecy Investigation Society, and many of his addresses and contributions to the pages of Trusting and Toiling and The Scattered Nation were reproduced in pamphlet form. Two longer works that met with much acceptance were one on The Prophetic Character of the Psalms and another entitled The Blessing of the Tribes.
-> Mr. Samuel was greatly blessed in his home life. His wife shared his labours in every possible way. Three sons and two daughters survive him, and think of him as of Abraham of old, of whom God said, I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord. All of them are actively engaged in Christian work, and they trace their conversion to the gracious influences of a truly Christian home, and the example as well as the teaching of parents who sought in everything to do the will of God. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel had the peculiar pleasure of seeing two of their sons serving in the Mildmay Mission to the Jews, to which they had given so large a part of their lives, one as chairman and the other as general superintendent. Retirement was spent in his daughters' home at Tonbridge, a welcome change after long years spent in London's East End. It was marked, as was all his life, with the goodness and mercy of God. He lived a full life and the end was peace. His Hebrew Bible, his life's companion, was at his side in the nursing home where he passed away. Those who cared for him there placed it in his hand and it was buried with him. What prompted them to do this we cannot say, but it was symbolic of what he had been. We doubt not that for him all the trumpets sounded on the other side, yet is the glory due to the grace of God that saved him and manifested itself so conspicuously in him. These lines are written by Mr. Samuel's eldest son. He cannot end without acknowledging with deepest gratitude how much he owes his father. The memory of his wise judgment, his patience and gentle graciousness of character, and above all his deep love for his Lord and complete dedication to His will, will always remain an abiding inspiration.

=>« 00024 · Edit Form · 00026 »