Israel And The Jews in Prophecy Summary.
Israel And The Jews in Prophecy Summary.
Have they been forever cast aside, or are they destined for glory?
Few Biblical studies are as exciting as an examination of the prophecies of Israel and the Jews in Scripture, for the Jews are one of the key focal points of Bible prophecy.
Scripture reveals the Jews as the 'apple of His eye' [the ETERNAL's eye]. (Zechariah 2:8). Their land is described as "holy" (Zechariah 2:12). Their city of Jerusalem is termed the 'center of the nations' (Ezekiel 5:5). They are pictured as the wayward wife of the ETERNAL (Ezekiel 16 and the book of Hosea). And the Bible makes it clear that Israel and Judah both (Jeremiah 30:1-4), will be the object of the ETERNAL's wrath, and His grace, (Zechariah 13:7-9) in the end times.
The panorama of prophecy that relates to Israel and the Jews is breathtaking. It applies to the past, the present, and the future. It demonstrates the ETERNAL's love and grace as nothing else does. Let's take a look at the incredible prophecies that pertain to the Jewish people, and let's begin with the prophecies that have already been fulfilled.
1) Dispersion - The Jews were warned repeatedly that they would be dispersed worldwide if they were not faithful to their covenant with the ETERNAL. Consider the words of Moses: "The ETERNAL will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other..." (Deuteronomy 28:64; and Leviticus 26:33).
2) Persecution - The ETERNAL also warned the Jews that they would be persecuted wherever they went. Again, the words of Moses are graphic in this regard: "And among those nations you shall find no rest, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the ETERNAL will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul" (Deuteronomy 28:65).
3) Desolation - The ETERNAL promised that after their dispersion, their land would become "desolate" and their cities would become "waste" (Leviticus 26:33). Moses put it more graphically when he said, "the foreigner who comes from a distant land... will say, 'All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it" (Deuteronomy 29:22-23).
4) Preservation - But the ETERNAL in His marvelous grace promised He would preserve the Jews as a separate people during their worldwide wanderings. (Isaiah 66:22; Jeremiah 30:11; Jeremiah 31:35-37.) Isaiah puts it in a colorful way. He says the ETERNAL could no more forget Israel than a mother could forget her nursing child (Isaiah 49:15). He then adds that the ETERNAL cannot forget Israel because He has them tattooed on the palms of His hands! (Isaiah 49:16).
The ETERNAL has fulfilled all four of these prophecies during the past 2,000 years. In 70 A.D. the Romans destroyed the city of Jerusalem and took the Jewish nation into captivity, desolating the land and scattering the Jewish people across the face of the earth. As prophesied, everywhere they went they were, and still are, persecuted.
But the ETERNAL also preserved the Jews, and the fulfillment of this prophecy has been one of the most remarkable miracles of history. No other people have ever been so dispersed and yet been able to retain their identity.
We are privileged to live in an age [the past 300 years] when the ETERNAL is fulfilling many of the promises he made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israel and the Jews. What a testimony this is, to the fact that the ETERNAL is alive and well, that the ETERNAL is on His throne and in control, and that the ETERNAL is faithful to His promises.
1. Regathering - The Old Testament prophets promise repeatedly that the day will come when the ETERNAL will regather the Jews to Palestine (Isaiah 11:10-12 and Ezekiel 36:22-28). This remarkable regathering of the Jews from the four corners of the earth has occurred in our life time. World War I prepared the land for the people as the control of Palestine was transferred from a nation that hated the Jews (the Turks) to a nation that was sympathetic to their return (Britain). The Persecution of the Jews during World War II, prepared the Jewish people for the land, by motivating them to return.
2. Nationhood - The prophets stated that when the people were regathered, the nation of Israel would be re-established. This occurred on May 14, 1948 (Isaiah 66:7-8; Zechariah 12:3-6). This is the cornerstone prophetic event of our age. It is an event that prophetic scholars have pointed to for 400 years amid much scoffing and ridicule by those who did not believe that Israel would ever exist again as a nation.
3. Reclamation - The ETERNAL promised that with the re-establishment of the nation, the land would bloom again (Isaiah 35:1-7; Joel 2:21-26). As Ezekiel put it, people would one day exclaim: "This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden!" (Ezekiel 36:35). And that is exactly what people exclaim today when they visit Israel, for it is once again a land of milk and honey. Over 300 million trees have been planted in this century. Rainfall has increased 450 percent. The former malaria infested swamps have been converted into cultivated land. Water from the Sea of Galilee has been channeled to the deserts, causing them to bloom.
4. Language - When the Jews were scattered worldwide in the first century, they ceased speaking the Hebrew language. The Jews who settled in Europe developed a language called Yiddish (a combination of Hebrew and German). The Jews in the Mediterranean basin mixed Hebrew with Spanish to produce a language called Ladino. The prophet Zephaniah implied a time would come when the Hebrew language would be revived (Zephaniah 3:9). It has been. Today the Israelis speak Biblical Hebrew. It is the only example in history of the return of a dead language. The man the ETERNAL used to revive the language was Eliezer Ben Yehuda (1858-1922).
5. Military Strength - Zechariah prophesied that when the Jews were re-established in the land, their military strength would be overwhelming - like "a flaming torch among sheaves" - and that they would "consume" all the peoples around them (Zechariah 12:6). Need anything be said about the fulfillment if this prophecy?
6. Focal Point - Israel is always pictured as the focal point of world politics in the end times (Zechariah 12:3; Zechariah 14:1-9). This has been true since the Arab oil boycott in 1973. The West suddenly realized its dependence on Arab oil and began to line up behind the Arab obsession to annihilate Israel.
1. Tribulation - The ETERNAL will put the newly regathered people of Israel through an unparalleled period of tribulation (Deuteronomy 4:30), during which two-thirds of the people will perish (Zechariah 13:8-9). The purpose will be to soften the hearts of a remnant so that they will accept the ETERNAL CREATOR as the only REDEEMER and SOVEREIGN:
(Deuteronomy 13:4) (CEB) You must follow the ETERNAL your CREATOR alone! Revere Him! Follow His commandments! Obey His voice! Worship Him! Cling to Him; NO OTHER!
2. Salvation - In that day... I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. (Zechariah 12:6-9).
3. Reunification - The ETERNAL will then regather and reunite all the remaining [believing] tribes of Israel back to Jerusalem where they will be established as sons and daughters, and great kingdom of priests, a holy nation of the ETERNAL for all eternity. (Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 28:1,13; 2 Samuel 7:9; Isaiah 60-62; Micah 4:1-7; Exodus 4:22; Isaiah 43:6; Isaiah 63:16; Jeremiah 31:20; Hosea 11:1.)
The ETERNAL's Infinite Love.
The ETERNAL set the Jews aside and put them under discipline because of their disobedience, but He did not cut them off from His grace.
He intends to bring His wayward wife home: "For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince... Afterward, the sons of Israel will return and seek the the ETERNAL and they will come trembling to the ETERNAL and to His goodness in the last days." (Hosea 3:4-5)
The lovingkindness and faithfulness of the ETERNAL in keeping His promises should be a source of encouragement to us all. As we watch the ETERNAL fulfill the promises He made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israel and Judah thousands of years ago, we can be absolutely certain that He will be faithful to fulfill all the promises He has made.
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