Israel In Prophecy
Updated: Feb 9
Day 23 of the 24 Day Prophecy Study
Notes compiled by Steve McAtee and Marty Zide
Never has the world been more conscious of the Jewish nation as it is in our day. Hardly a day goes by, that the people of Israel are not mentioned in the news of the world. Why is this little nation so significant?
The only satisfactory answer is, it’s because of God’s special plan and program that He has for them. If not for that, Israel would be on the list of other nations that are hardly ever heard about.
What we want to do now is to examine a small portion of that special plan and program that is laid out for us in God’s Word.
The Dispersion of Israel Predicted
Deut 28:64-65 - Moreover, the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood, and stone, which you or your fathers have not known. Among those nations, you shall find no rest, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul.
The Bible speaks of several dispersions of the people of Israel:
Egypt - 400 years; Babylonian - 70 years; Roman - 70 A.D. - 135 A.D. - Present.
In A.D. 70, Titus, the Roman general, ordered Jerusalem and its temple destroyed, and a quarter of a million Jewish people perished. The remaining Jewish people continued to revolt and finally, in A.D. 135 the desolation of Judea was ordered. Almost 1000 towns and villages were left in ashes. The people of Israel, except for a few scattered families who remained, were dispersed to the four corners of the world.
The Restoration Of The Land And The Return Of The People Of Israel To The Land
Does God’s Word clearly predict a future regathering of the Jewish people back to the land of Israel? Is this to be taken literally? Is God remaining faithful to His chosen people Israel, even though they do not deserve it?
As soon as God warned the people of Israel about the consequences of their disobedience, He went on and told them that when they turned from their evil ways, He would restore them.
Deut 30:1-6 - So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the LORD your God has banished you, and you return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. The LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.
Israel’s restoration to the land is a truth that is greatly neglected and in some circles outright denied. Israel has already been scattered and regathered on several occasions. Since this is something that has been done before, why is it so hard to believe that it will happen again in the future?
This is a truth that should be proclaimed by Gentile believers. The will of God concerning the Jewish nation should be made known far and wide by true believers of all nations. Instead, in many circles, not only is this truth not being proclaimed, it isn’t even believed.
Jer 31:10 - Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare in the coastlands afar off, and say, He who scattered Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.
There are dozens of prophecies that speak of a regathering of the people of Israel. Some of the prophecies have already come to pass and some look to future fulfillment. The fact that the past prophecies came to pass literally, indicates that the future ones will also be fulfilled literally.
Notice how clear and literal the prophecies of Judah’s captivity in Babylon and return to the land that Daniel read about in the book of Jeremiah came to pass.
Jeremiah’s Prophecy Jer 25:11 - This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
Jer 29:10 - For thus says the LORD, When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.
Daniel’s Discovery Dan 9:2 - In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
The following prophecies still await ultimate fulfillment. There is no reason why we should not expect them to be literally fulfilled.
Ezek 36:22-28 - Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD, It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.
Ezek 11:16-17 - Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, Though I had removed them far away among the nations and though I had scattered them among the countries, yet I was a sanctuary for them a little while in the countries where they had gone. Therefore say, Thus says the Lord GOD, I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.
This is going to be so monumental that it will make the deliverance out of Egypt seen small.
Jer. 16:14-15 - Therefore behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no longer be said, As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt, but, As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them. For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.
Some Very Important Questions
Why is this subject of the land, and Israel’s future, so dominant in the Old Testament and not even a minor topic in the New Testament? Does that suggest that God is finished with Israel as the replacement theology teachers believe? Has God cast off His covenant people as many claims?
“The silence of the New Testament about land promise is not conclusive evidence in support of those who hold that land is not a factor in the New Testament era. There are some good reasons for New Testament silence on this point. The church is not territorially bound, so that the land question would not be pressing for the church. A further reason for the silence on land promises in the New Testament may be that they were so well established in the Old Testament that repetition of them was unnecessary. It is not for us to set the New Testament against the Old. Both are the Word of God. The relative silence of the New Testament on Israel’s regathering cannot be used to say that the earlier promises are now incorporated in the church.” Elmer Martens - OT Theology Professor - Mennonite Brethren Seminary
2 Pet 3:1-2 - This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
The words spoken by the prophets in the OT are just a valid as those spoken by our Lord Jesus as given by the apostles. The epistles are primarily taking up the cause of the Church. When God once again takes up the cause of Israel, as He will do in the future, all that was recorded in the OT will come into play.