A man believes that a Bible verse teaches that there is oil in Israel. So he started Zion Oil & Gas Co. to find it. And apparently he has.
Ask John Brown why he’s spent three decades looking for oil and natural gas reserves in Israel, and he has a simple answer: The Bible told him to.
That sounds a bit crazy, the chairman of Zion Oil and Gas Co. admits, especially because no one had ever found much oil there.
“In the first years, it was sort of bizarre to talk about oil and gas in Israel because there was none,” Brown said. “There’s an old joke that, when he came to the Promised Land, Moses should have turned left and gone to Saudi Arabia instead.”
These days, it looks like Brown, who will be in Nashville this weekend for the National Religious Broadcasters convention, may be on to something. Two years ago, a major natural gas field was found off the coast of Israel. And the rising price of oil and new technology have made oil shale, which Israel has in abundance, financially viable. Billionaire investors like Rupert Murdoch and George Soros are putting money into companies looking for oil in Israel.
Brown, whose company’s U.S. base is in Dallas, sees these new developments as signs of God fulfilling his promises in the Bible.“I think it’s God’s blessing for the nation of Israel,” he said.
Zion Oil and Gas Co. was inspired by a passage in the Old Testament, Genesis 49:25: “Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under.”
Brown says the passage refers to oil. Biblical scholars aren’t so sure.
So what do you think the verse is referring to? Is this “rightly dividing the Word of Truth”?