“Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall…From the God of your father who helps you, And by the Almighty who blesses you With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath…” (Genesis 49:22-25)
In 1983, John Brown visited Israel in what became a life-changing religious experience. Shortly thereafter, Brown founded Zion Oil and Gas, which seeks to change the way Israel perceived in the geopolitical sphere by searching for oil and gas in the Holy Land.
“I believe as a Christian Zionist that God gave me a scripture, a vision and a calling to render assistance to the Jewish people and Nation of Israel, and to aid them in the restoration of the Land by providing the oil and gas necessary to help the people of Israel maintain their political and economic independence,” explains Brown on the company’s website.
Brown believes that the blessing that was given to Joseph by his father Jacob in the Book of Genesis (49:22-26) discusses the clue to finding oil within the northernmost reaches of the ancestral land of Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Menashe.
What is referred to as the “head” (in Hebrew, rosh) of Joseph turned into the inspiration for a project that would come to be known as the Joseph project. After investing $20 million of his own money into forming a new company which would become known as Zion Oil and Gas, Brown hired gas and oil consultants in Israel as well as Texas, meeting with government officials, and investing in local gas and oil explorations companies that were focused on finding oil in Israel.
“People keep saying even if they don’t get their money back they still want to invest with us because they want to help the State of Israel,” said Andrew Summey, the Online Communications Manager of Zion Oil, during an interview with Breaking Israel News. “The support we have is the kind that is based on faith, not on a guaranteed return.”
The company, which has raised around $145 million in shares on NASDAQ while investing only $130 million of it in oil exploration in Israel, has had three miracles keep it afloat.
“There have been three times when this company should have folded. Each time the experts have told us that the company will never make money. And each time we’ve pulled through,” explained Summey. “Everyone says it is never going to work, but then it works. Our investors want to support Israel, that is why they invest in us. Making money is secondary.”
And investing in Israel’s future is exactly what the company does.
The vision for Zion Oil is is one of geopolitical independence, with the idea being that if Israel is oil and gas independent then it will have a much freer hand to act in the geopolitical sphere as it sees fit.
Brown has dedicated the last 30 years of his life to helping Israel solve this problem. In three locations which Zion Oil has dug, the company has had small oil shows but no production. While not enough to change Israel’s geopolitical situation, Zion Oil is hopeful and encouraging further dig sites, both on the part of the Israeli government and investors back home.
“Mr. Brown’s heart said that Israel needs this, and he believes that God has given him this mission to do. He personally has a tremendous amount invested in the company,” said Summey.
“Zion Oil is about believing that Israel can be energy independent, and that such an independence would help Israel greatly. But more than that, it is a company which firmly believes that God’s promises are real. The promises in the Bible are real. And you can literally take those to the bank. The scriptures that indicate that blessing lies beneath (Genesis 49:25), is real. How it is going to come about, we don’t know. But we can bank on God’s promises. That is even a better find than finding oil. They are real and they can be trusted.”
Zion Oil is set to begin digging its fourth, and hopefully most prosperous well in the Megiddo-Jezreel district, near Kibbutz Sde-Eliyahu this coming fall.