In Ephesians Chapter 2:15 the Apostle Sha'ul (Paul) speaks to us about “the one new man” in Messiah. He declares that Yeshua will take two: Non-Jews and Jews, and make ONE new man from the both of them. He will make for Himself a special people here for He is speaking of people groups not just two individuals.
Where would the Apostle Paul have gotten this idea about two becoming one in Messiah? Remember, the Apostle Sha'ul was a Rabbi. He was trained at the feet of Rabban Gamliel and he was a Pharisee. He was called by Messiah to go to the nations, which he calls a mystery revealed. All of his writings pull from his understanding of the TaNakH (Old Testament).
So, let's see if we can find a parallel from the Older Testament that has wording and promises similar to what the Apostle Paul is saying. A MYSTERY that Paul understands, one that is now more clearly understood by the Apostle since Yeshua revealed it to him when He called him to go to the nations.
In Ezekiel chapter 36:16 - 17 we find the word of God coming to Ezekiel and speaking about the “house of Israel”. (Remember, the Kingdom of Israel divided into two kingdoms during the time of Rehoboam, son of Solomon. The Northern Kingdom was called the House of Israel, or Ephraim/Joseph, and the Southern Kingdom was called the House of Judah or just Judah).YHVH tells Ezekiel that he is speaking about the “house of Israel” so let's begin by keeping Scripture in context.
Because of idolatry by the Northern Kingdom, YHVH says in verse 19 that He scattered them “among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds.”
In verses 24-27 He promises a restoration of the “House of Israel”.
In Ezekiel Chapter 37, YHVH once again is speaking to the Prophet about the “House of Israel” (37:11). This is the story about the dry bones. The tribes of the Northern Kingdom who were carried away into the nations appear to be dead and dry bones, never to live again, but YHVH promises to bring them back to life again and to bring them into their land again. Many argue that YHVH is here speaking about the Northern and the Southern Kingdoms, but YHVH calls these dry bones “cut off” in verse 11. Judah was never “cut off”. They went to Babylon but they came back. They were never divorced. (Ephraim was divorced) Ephraim was “sowed, shown no-mercy, and called “not my people”. These phrases never referred to Judah. Likewise, in Ephesians 2:12-13 the Apostle Paul states," ... that ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made near by the blood of Messiah." In Scripture, the House of Israel was called "those who are far off, and Judah was called "those who are near.
The book of Hosea explains this scenario further with a great description of how the “house of Israel” went astray and were scattered among the nations. (Hosea 7:8 “Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples...”). (It is clear that Hosea was speaking about the “House of Israel” from verse 4 “...and bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel”) When reading the book of Hosea we are informed that Ephraim will lose her identity and that YHVH will call her “God will sow, no-mercy, and not my people” (Hosea 1:4-8) However, He states that on the Day of the Lord He will re-gather her and bring her back to her land and that His servant David will be her King (Hosea 3:5 ). He declares that she who was once, “God will sow, no-mercy and not my people”, will once again be shown mercy, be re-gathered and be His people (Hosea 23). The Apostle Peter is pulling from these scriptures in I Peter 2:9-10.
See also Amos 9:9 “For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, ...”
Interestingly, in Ezekiel 37:13 YHVH states about the “House of Israel”, “And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,”
In Hosea 13:12-14 YHVH makes a similar declaration about Ephraim:
“The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid. The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children. I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.”
So, it is plain from these scriptures and many, many others that the “house of Israel” was scattered among the nations, lost their identity, appeared dry and dead as a people group, and this is how they became “simply gentiles/nations”. They just identify as “gentiles or nations” because they are intermarried among the nations and they have lost all identity with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, BUT.... God knows where they are! They may appear to be “dead, dry bones”, but God knows each and every one. A person may have a lot or just a trickle of the DNA of Jacob flowing through their veins, really doesn't matter, for like Ruth and Rahab, we as gentiles/non-Jews can be grafted into the natural olive tree (Israel – Judah).
Notice that when the Apostle Sha'ul writes about the “two trees” in Romans chapter 11, that he calls them both “olive” trees. The olive tree always represents Israel in the Bible. The “natural” olive tree, Judah, has been pruned by God throughout the Kingdom's history, but The Kingdom of Israel, Ephraim, has been floundering around as a “wild” olive tree, not even aware of their identity.
YHVH has plans to bring them back together through Yeshua. Because of Yeshua all nations of the earth will be blessed. This is in keeping His promises to Abraham, that through his seed, Yeshua, all the nations of the earth will be blessed. This happened because Ephraim was spread throughout the world. The blessings spoken over Joseph by Moses and Jacob attest to the fact that the descendants of Joseph would be very fruitful and grow over the wall. Joseph himself became like an Egyptian, so much so that his own brothers did not recognize him. How much more has Ephraim became like the nations so that his brother Judah does not recognize him.
In Ezekiel 37:15-22 YHVH explains that He will take the stick of Judah and the stick of Ephraim and join the two sticks together again and make one out of them. In verse 24-25 He declares that “David my servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd, they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. Then they shall dwell in the land...”
This is where the Apostle Sha'ul is getting his “one new man” understanding. This was the “mystery of the ages” that he now understood. Jew (stick of Judah) and Gentile/non-Jew (stick of Ephraim) coming together as “one new man” in Messiah.
Notice the parallel in these scriptures:
In Ezekiel 37:26 it is written: “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, ...”
In Ephesians 2:14 “For he is our peace, who hath made both one,..”
In Ephesians 2:15 “...so making peace”