The Jews Return From Exile - Prophecy In The News Magazine - July 2008
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The Jews Return From Exile
By J. R. Church
It was on November 2, 1917, that the
British government issued the Balfour
Declaration promising a homeland for the
Jews. Thirty years later, on November 29,
1947, the British gov-
ernment placed the mat-
ter of Israel’s future be-
fore the United Nations,
resulting in another dec-
laration — that being
the establishment of the
state of Israel. After all
of that, the British gov-
ernment attempted to undermine the deci-
sion of the UN by resisting the establish-
ment of Israel.
It was inconsistency and hypocrisy of
the highest order. Such a conduct tarnished
the reputation of Britain and proved to
be the first stage of a prolonged national
decline. The shift in British policy came
at a crucial moment in the history of the
Middle East without any official decision
of the British Parliament and without the The pressures to which Israel has continuously been subjected are possibly
majority of the British people being aware without parallel in history: hostile neighbors, six wars, terrorism, inflation, media
of what was taking place. misrepresentation, and economic boycott. The tiny nation with a population of less
Why did the British politicians change than four million occupies an area of less than 8,000 square miles. In contrast, its
horses in the middle of the stream? Why hostile Arab neighbors number more than 150 million people living on five million
did they turn against the Jews in favor of square miles.
the Arabs? Well, it is said that there were lost almost every colony and has faced the population with new immigrants — most
two reasons. First of all, as early as 1939, decline of her economy. Worse than that, of them refugees. They housed them,
it had become clear that the world would the moral fiber of that once great nation clothed them, and fed them. They taught
someday face an ever-increasing depen- has been on the slide ever since. And, may them the Hebrew language, trained them,
dence on oil. Even then, a major supply I add, what happened to the British is also and placed them in jobs. At the same time,
of the world’s oil was controlled by Arab happening to the United States. Israel built up its military to defend itself
nations in the Middle East. Then secondly, Israel’s only ally has been wavering in against the Arabs.
on the part of many, there was that under- recent years. Our politicians in Washing- The pressures to which Israel has con-
lying anti-Semitism, which colored British ton have attempted to placate the Arabs tinuously been subjected are possibly
thinking. But those in Britain who opposed while restraining the Israeli government. without parallel in history: hostile neigh-
the Jews overlooked one important fact — Arab oil has been used to blackmail the bors, six wars, terrorism, inflation, media
there is a moral and spiritual force at work United States. Oh, will we never learn? misrepresentation, and economic boycott.
in the destinies of nations. The responsi- Someone has said that if there is anything The tiny nation with a population of less
bility of government goes beyond mere we have learned from history, it is that we than four million occupies an area of less
calculations of economic or military ex- do not learn from history. than 8,000 square miles. In contrast, its
pediency. To sacrifice moral and spiritual hostile Arab neighbors number more than
principles on such an altar will never serve The Growth of Israel 150 million people living on five mil-
the best interests of any nation. It was said The rebirth of the nation of Israel was lion square miles. The armies of the Arab
that before 1948, the sun “never set” upon a miracle. But that’s not all. The growth League number nearly one million men,
the British Empire. That great nation was of that tiny, new nation has also been a while Israel’s army consists of 164,000.
in control of colonies on every continent miracle. In 1948, there were only 640,000 Nevertheless, the nation of Israel has con-
from Africa to the Far East. Since that time, Jews living in the land. Over the follow- tinued to grow and flourish. In the face of
however, the once great British Empire has ing ten years, however, they tripled their all their pressure, the Israelis plant and
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harvest — they build and manufacture.
Behind this lies one inescapable truth —
ownership is His. Whether man recognizes
the existence of God or not is irrelevant,
Israel’s survival is at stake. for in the final analysis God will lay claim This controversy was settled in Genesis
The very fact that Israel still lives today to His earth. He not only owns the world, 26:3-4. It is there that God narrows down
after all these years is a miracle without but also everybody in it. Among the con- the covenant to exclude the children of
equal. Of course, the key to understanding tinents, however, there is one special area Ishmael. It was to Isaac that God said:
this miracle can be found in the prophe- to which God lays a unique claim. It is the “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with
cies of the Bible. The regathering of Israel land of Israel. There are several places in thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and
is the central theme of biblical prophecy. the Bible where God calls the land, “My unto thy seed, I will give all these coun-
Those 2,500 year-old prophecies are com- land.” For instance, in Ezekiel 38:16 God tries, and I will perform the oath which I
ing to pass before our very eyes. Isaiah condemns the mighty Gog and Magog for sware unto Abraham thy father;
was right! the invasion of His land: “And I will make thy seed to multiply
“Who hath heard such a thing? who “And thou shalt come up against my as the stars of heaven, and will give unto
hath seen such things? Shall the earth be people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the thy seed all these countries; and in thy
made to bring forth in one day? or shall land; it shall be in the latter days, and I seed shall all the nations of the earth be
a nation be born at once? for as soon as will bring thee against my land” (Ezekiel blessed” (Genesis 26:3-4).
Zion travailed, she brought forth her chil- 38:16). God not only promised to Isaac the land
dren” (Isaiah 66:8). Here, God emphatically calls the land of called Israel, but He gave what the Scrip-
Israel His land. That claim is repeated in ture declares to be “all these countries.”
The Great Controversy Joel 3:2: In fact, He used the term twice in His
The restoration of Israel is one of the “I will also gather all nations, and will promise to Isaac.
most controversial political issues of the bring them down into the valley of Jeho-
century. Palestinians have claimed that the shaphat, and will plead with them there Jacob’s Inheritance
land is theirs, that the Jews have no right to for my people and for my heritage Israel, But wait a minute. Isaac had two sons
even one square foot of it, though the area whom they have scattered among the na- — both Jacob and Esau — and there is a
had been under the control of the Turkish tions, and parted my land” (Joel 3:2). good deal of evidence that the Palestinian
government for some 400 years — not Both of these verses pronounce a judg- people who live in the land today could
Palestinian control. Just who deserves the ment upon Gentile nations for their part in be descendants of Esau. Do they not also
land? Do the Jews? Do the Palestinians? denying the Jews a right to live in HIS land. have a claim to the land? God said no. He
Do Jews have a right to control the land Notice that God calls Israel, “My people,” narrowed the inheritance of the land to Ja-
in the so-called “occupied West Bank” ar- and He calls their land, “My land.” When cob and his descendants:
eas? Gentile nations challenge the integrity of “And God said unto him, I am God Al-
Though the United Nations established the land and its people, God steps forward mighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation
Israel in 1948, most of the world no lon- to proclaim His judgment upon them. and a company of nations shall be of thee,
ger supports the concept of Jewish sover- and kings shall come out of thy loins;
eignty. They regret ever giving them any
A Covenant With Abraham “And the land which I gave Abraham and
territory in the Middle East. The contro- God is the absolute Owner of the land, Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after
versy rages today as much as it ever did. and as such, had every right to evict the thee will I give the land” (Gen. 35:11-12).
The children of Abraham are still fighting Jewish people 20 centuries ago. But He The proclamation is clear. God has
it out! If the fate of the Israeli government also has a right to bring them back in this promised the land to Jacob and his descen-
were placed in the hands of any human century. God is Sovereign over the land. dants — namely the 12 tribes of Israel.
court, the verdict would probably be di- Let us review Genesis 17 — the days of When we consider these three covenants
sastrous. Time and time again the United Abraham — and determine God’s sover- together, the line of descent through which
Nations has taken the side of the Arabs eign disposition over HIS land. the land is promised is evident. In each
against Israel. “And I will establish my covenant be- case, God narrowed His promise of the
While dedicated Christians around the tween me and thee and thy seed after thee land — from Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob,
world are in favor of Israel’s existence, in their generations for an everlasting and then to his descendants after him.
their governments are not. The only politi- covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to
cal ally on the side of Israel is the United thy seed after thee. The Verdict
States — and many in Washington are “And I will give unto thee, and to thy In view of these covenants made by the
wavering. In light of these developments seed after thee, the land wherein thou art God of heaven with the people of Israel,
let us appeal to the court of heaven for the a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an we must declare a verdict in favor of the
final verdict in the case. everlasting possession; and I will be their Israeli nation. As a people of the book,
God” (Genesis 17:7-8). who claim to believe the Bible, we have
God Owns the Land There can be no doubt that such a cov- no choice. We stand without reservation
There is one verse of Scripture, which enant was declared and recorded 4,000 on the side of Israel. The psalmist wrote:
declares the absolute ownership of, not years ago. Ah, but the Arabs also claim to “He is the Lord our God: his judgments
only the Middle East, but of the entire be descendants of Abraham. They are chil- are in all the earth” (Psalm 105:7).
world: dren of Ishmael. Does not the land then Do you believe this? Then read what the
“The earth is the Lord’s, and the full- also belong to them? You may recall the psalmist wrote in the following verses:
ness thereof; the world, and they that dwell Arabs are descendants of Ishmael, while “He hath remembered his covenant for
therein” (Psalm 24:1). the Jews are descendants of Abraham’s ever, the word which he commanded to a
Since God created the earth, the right to other son, Isaac. Continued on Page 33
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Continued from Page 7 tries, and will bring you into your own that nation will eventually attain. It is also
thousand generations. land” (Ezekiel 36:24). true of Israel. God has given His Chosen
“Which covenant he made with Abra- This is clearly a prophecy concerning People just enough land to take care of Is-
ham, and his oath unto Isaac; the last days of world history when the rael’s intended ultimate population.
“And confirmed the same unto Jacob Jew will return to his land and the Messiah The apostle Paul said basically the same
for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting will come to establish a world kingdom. thing when he spoke to the men of Athens:
covenant: When God promised to bring Israel “And hath made of one blood all na-
“Saying, Unto thee will I give the land back to the land at the close of the age, He tions of men for to dwell on all the face of
of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance” still called it “your own land.” In God’s the earth, and hath determined the times
(Psalm 105:8-11). sight, the ownership of the land has nev- before appointed, and the bounds of their
The writer of this psalm emphasized two er changed and never will. He gave it to habitation” (Acts 17:26).
important points. First, he left no doubt as Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to his de- God has not only determined where the
to the line of descent through which the scendants — the people of Israel. nations shall dwell, but also when they
promise of the land is given. It is from shall dwell there. It all revolves around
Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to Israel. Sec- Amos God’s dealings with Israel.
ondly, he sought to establish the sacred Even the prophet Amos concluded his
and unchanging nature of God’s commit- book with a similar emphatic prediction:
God Has a Plan
ment to Abraham and his descendants. He “And I will plant them upon their land, God has a plan. It not only involves the
first spoke of the covenant as being God’s and they shall no more be pulled up out of restoration of the Jews to the land of Is-
“Own covenant.” He then called it “the their land which I have given them, saith rael, it involves every nation in the world.
word which He commanded.” He called the Lord thy God” (Amos 9:15). When Christ returns, His kingdom will be
it “His oath unto Isaac.” He called it “a Amos predicted that God will plant them a world kingdom. In fact, when Messiah
law,” and finally “an everlasting cov- upon “their land.” It is obvious to all who comes, He will judge the nations upon one
enant.” That’s a pretty powerful set of believe the Bible that the hand of God can basic criteria — how they treated God’s
words! How can one be more emphatic be seen in what must be considered as the Chosen People, the Jews.
than that? Furthermore, He declared the incredible miracle of this century — the This is the basic teaching throughout the
covenant “unto a thousand generations.” return of the Jew to his land. Bible. It is the central theme of the pro-
That would take at least 20,000 years. Yes, These prophecies were given from 2,500 phetic Scriptures and, therefore, has a very
we must conclude the land of Israel has to 4,000 years ago and cannot be modified practical application for the citizens of ev-
been given by God to the people of Isra- today by the United Nations, the PLO, the ery nation in the world.
el — to the descendants of Jacob. Psalm Arab nations, or even Russia. God has We cannot afford to stand aside and say
105 declares the land to be forever Israel. decreed that Israel is the land of the Jew. that Israel’s fate does not concern us. We
However, we know that the people were These Scriptures are extremely emphatic. cannot take a neutral stand on the issue,
evicted from their land by their Landlord, They don’t simply imply the restoration because the well-being of every nation is
God, almost 2,000 years ago. of Israel, they declare it. Perhaps God, at stake. Until Israel enters into its full in-
through His foresight, knew that such a heritance, the other nations of the world
The Prophets Are Consistent move would be vigorously opposed by the can never enjoy the blessings that God has
It is the prophetic Scripture to which we Arab world. Therefore, He emphasized Is- in store for them.
must look for the final disposition of the rael’s unalienable right to the land. One day God will bring an eternal peace
land — and the prophecies do not differ Why should He be concerned with such to the nations of the world. He will solve
from the original covenant. a small land — 40 miles wide and 220 the problems of famine, hunger, and pov-
miles long? First of all, He is a covenant- erty. He will eradicate all disease and
Jeremiah keeping God. When God promises some- death. He will create utopia. There will be
For example, Jeremiah wrote: thing, He follows through with it. If God no more war and bloodshed.
“For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, did not keep His covenant with Abraham, But that world cannot come and Mes-
that I will bring again the captivity of my Isaac, and Jacob, how could we expect Him siah cannot make His appearance until the
people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: to keep any promises to us? Secondly, that Jew is back in his land.
and I will cause them to return to the land little spot on the globe happens to be the To be sure, the restoration of Israel has
that I gave to their fathers, and they shall land-bridge spanning three continents — been — and will continue to be — accom-
possess it” (Jeremiah 30:3). Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is a strategic panied by great turmoil and strife. Many
There is only one area of land in all the location for political, as well as spiritual, peoples and nations will suffer. But that
earth that fits that description. It is the control of the planet. But there is yet an- too, is in the plan of God. Sin must be
land of Israel. Notice, please, God spoke other reason. It was given by Moses: judged and the sinner must be weeded out
of the captivity of “My people Israel and “When the Most High divided to the na- before God can restore paradise.
Judah,” and, further, He said they would tions their inheritance, when he separated
return to the land “that I gave to their fa- the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the
Had It Not Been For Israel
thers.” In fact, He said they would possess people according to the number of the Humanly speaking, we owe all that we
their land. children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 32:8). have and all that we are to Israel. If there
The Lord not only established the land had been no Israel, there would have been
Ezekiel of Israel for the Jew, but He has estab- no patriarchs, no prophets, no apostles, no
Then there was Ezekiel, who wrote: lished the borders of every nation under Bible, and no Savior.
“For I will take you from among the the sun. He chose the amount of land for In John 4:22 Jesus, Himself, summed up
heathen, and gather you out of all coun- each nation according to the population all of this in one simple statement. He said,
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“... for salvation is of the Jews.” Regard- disappointed and embittered. ficult for Gentile Christianity to admit that
less of our nationality or background, we On one occasion he wrote, “The Jews de- even the New Testament is a Jewish book,
owe a spiritual debt to the Jewish people serve the most severe penalties. Their syna- yet it is true.
that can never be calculated. Unfortunate- gogues should be leveled, their homes de- First of all, Jesus Christ, the most im-
ly, historic Christianity has never recog- stroyed, they should be exiled into tents like portant Person in the New Testament, was
nized its debt to Israel. the Gypsies. Their religious writings should of Jewish descent, and He did not lose His
From at least the fourth century for- be taken from them. Their rabbis should be Jewish identity after His death and resur-
ward, the Christian church consistently forbidden to continue teaching the Law. All rection. Fifty years after Calvary, Revela-
treated the Jewish people with prejudice, professions should be closed to them. Only tion 5:5 still referred to Jesus Christ, in
contempt, injustice, and cruelty. the hardest, coarsest work should be per- heaven, as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah,
Most Christians today are almost totally mitted them. Rich Jews should have their the Root of David.” He is still identified
ignorant of these historical facts. But it is fortunes confiscated, and the money used with the family of David, the tribe of Ju-
true that Christian anti-Semitism was a to support Jews who are willing to be con- dah, and the people of Israel. He is forever
warped form of theology held widely in verted. If all these measures are unsuccess- an Israelite.
the church for many centuries. ful, the Christian princes should have the Furthermore, well over 90% of the peo-
Historic Christianity has believed that duty of driving the Jews from their lands as ple portrayed in the New Testament are
the Jewish people were responsible for the they would rabid dogs.” Israelites. The only exceptions would be a
crucifixion of Christ and were thus guilty During the 1930s, the Nazis of Hitler’s few Gentiles, such as the Magi from the
of the most terrible crime of all — the Germany used such statements by Martin East, or the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s
murder of God, Himself. Luther to advocate their anti-Semitic poli- well, along with a sprinkling of Roman of-
On the basis of this theology, many cies. I guess we could say that the Nazis ficials and military personnel. Essentially,
Christians felt that the way to show their merely reaped the harvest that the Church the New Testament represents a record of
loyalty to Christ was to express their ha- had sown. No wonder the Jews have ill Israelites and their faith in the Messiah.
tred toward His murderers — that is, the feelings toward historic Christianity. The New Testament books were penned
Jewish people. It is time for us to denounce such anti- by Jews — with the one possible excep-
Semitism and to take our stand on the side tion being Luke. The 12 apostles were
Christian Anti-Semitism of Israel in fulfillment of the central theme Jewish. Paul, who became the apostle to
For instance, the fourth century theo- of biblical prophecy — the establishment the Gentiles, was likewise a Jew. Most of
logian, John Chrysostom, described the of God’s kingdom on earth. the co-workers of these great men were
Jewish people in his sermons as “lust- also Jewish.
ful, rapacious, greedy, perfidious bandits
Israel: The Central Theme The writer of Hebrews tells us that
... inveterate murderers, destroyers, men Geographically, the Bible is set in the the ultimate goal of all true believers is
possessed by the devil ... debauchery and land of Israel, and historically, its theme the “city which hath foundations whose
drunkenness have given them the manners is the people of Israel. It is a Jewish Bible Builder and Maker is God.” In Revela-
of the pig and the lusty goat. They know penned by Jewish men giving both the tion 21, the holy city, New Jerusalem, is
only one thing — to satisfy their gullets, history and the future of those children of described for us. On its gates are inscribed
get drunk, to kill and maim one another.” Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. On
On another occasion, Chrysostom said, “I For centuries Gentile Christianity has laid its foundations are the names of the twelve
hate the synagogue precisely because it has claim to the book declaring that Israel has apostles of Jesus. Every name inscribed
the Law and the Prophets ... I hate the Jews been dispossessed by God. Historic Christi- in the New Jerusalem is a Jewish name.
also because they outrage the Law ...” anity claims that the Chosen People are no I must say that no one with anti-Semitic
The most tragic thing about this is not longer chosen, that God has instead turned prejudice could ever feel comfortable in
that a renowned Christian theologian His back forever on the children of Israel. the New Jerusalem.
could espouse such sentiments toward the Though it is true that God has punished Why, then, does it seem strange — in
Jewish people, but that he had a profound the Jewish people over the past 3,000 years fact, almost unthinkable — to associate the
effect upon the attitude and theology of for their unbelief, it is not true that God has Jewish people with the New Testament?
Christianity for many centuries to come. cast away His people forever. The central The answer lies in what Christians perceive
During the Crusades of the 11th century, theme of Bible prophecy is the restoration to be the judgment of God. Because the
the soldiers massacred entire Jewish com- of the Israeli people — both to their land leadership of the nation had rejected Jesus
munities — sparing no one. When they and to their God. Christ as Messiah, the people of Israel were
reached Jerusalem, they found an entire The first 11 chapters of Genesis serve separated from their land. At the same time,
Jewish congregation gathered in a syna- as an introduction. They fill in the back- the early Jewish Christians were separated
gogue and proceeded to burn down the ground and set the stage for all that is to from their role as leaders in proclaiming the
synagogue killing the people. All this was follow. From that point forward, the Bi- Gospel and building the church.
done in the name of Christ and in the sign ble is essentially the history of Abraham This double break determined their
of the cross. and the nation that descended from him role in history for the next 18 centuries.
Nor were the leaders of the Protestant through Isaac and Jacob. The Bible is ba- They became a nation of exiles. Not only
Reformation free from the guilt of anti- sically the story of Israel embracing both were they exiled from their land, but they
Jewish prejudice. When Martin Luther the past and future. were also exiled from the very religion of
first published his teachings, he anticipated which they themselves were the founders.
that the Jewish people would be convinced
What About the New Testament? It seems as if God sacrificed the Chosen
by them and would convert to Christian- But what about the New Testament? People in order to bring the message of
ity. When this did not happen, Luther was Isn’t it distinctly Christian? It’s a little dif- salvation to the great masses of Gentile
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nations around the world. giveness of their sins. We have been drawn Isaiah indicated that the second disper-
to the foot of Calvary, and there we have sion of the Jews would be to all nations and
God Has Not Forsaken Israel found salvation. that when they returned one day, they would
We are the benefactors of that break in return from the four corners of the earth.
the continuum of history. Let us not forget,
His Millennial Reign Isaiah wrote in a day when the Israeli
however, that God has not forever forsaken Then, wrote Isaiah, “His rest shall be nation was divided. There was a split be-
His people. Just as Jesus rose again on the glorious.” Over the past 20 centuries Jesus tween the north and the south. Ephraim
third day, in like manner, the resurrection Christ has been lifted up to the throne of was the leading nation of the north, and
of Israel has been promised in the prophe- God and has been seated at the right hand Judah of the south. There was a continuing
cies of the Bible. Hosea wrote: of the Father in heaven. He is presently feud between the two factions. However,
“After two days will he revive us: in the awaiting the establishment of His earthly Isaiah wrote that in that day when the Lord
third day he will raise us up, and we shall kingdom, which shall last for a thousand reaches out His hand the second time to
live in his sight” (Hosea 6:2). years. It will come to pass in the seventh regather the people, there would be no di-
The 1948 resurrection of the Israeli na- millennium — the great Sabbath rest. Yes, vision among the tribes:
tion not only fulfills Hosea’s prophecy, but His rest shall be glorious. “The envy also of Ephraim shall depart,
is the central theme of each prophet in the and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut
Old Testament. For instance, Isaiah wrote
The Second Redemption of Israel off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Ju-
concerning the regathering of Israel: In verse 11, Isaiah tells of the redemp- dah shall not vex Ephraim” (Isa. 11:13).
“And in that day there shall be a root tion of Israel: How indicative of the Israeli nation to-
of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign “And it shall come to pass in that day, day! It is no longer a nation divided against
of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: that the Lord shall set his hand again the itself. Israel is one.
and his rest shall be glorious. second time to recover the remnant of his Surely this is the generation which
“And it shall come to pass in that day, people ...” (Isaiah 11:11a). marks the fulfillment of Isaiah’s great
that the Lord shall set his hand again the Isaiah wrote of a specified time, “in that prophecy. We have reached that point in
second time to recover the remnant of his day.” How do we know we live in that day? history. The Jew is back in his land and all
people, which shall be left, from Assyria, Because of the following words: “... the Lord the tribes are united.
and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and shall set his hand again the second time to
from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shi- recover the remnant of his people ...”
nar, and from Hamath, and from the is- Isaiah wrote in the days before the Bab- The next prophecy is fascinating:
lands of the sea. ylonian captivity, but he did not simply “But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the
“And he shall set up an ensign for the write that the Lord will set his hand to re- Philistines toward the west...” (Isa. 11:14a).
nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of cover the remnant of His people. He went This appears to be indicative of the 1956,
Israel, and gather together the dispersed of beyond that. He saw a second dispersion 1967, and 1973 Arab-Israeli Wars. What
Judah from the four corners of the earth. of the Jews from their land and wrote that happens in the rest of the verse, however,
“The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, “in that day the Lord shall set His hand is yet to be fulfilled. Isaiah wrote:
and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut AGAIN the SECOND time.” “... they shall spoil them of the east
off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Ju- I believe we live in that day. The return together: they shall lay their hand upon
dah shall not vex Ephraim. of the Jew to his land in this century does Edom and Moab: and the children of Am-
“But they shall fly upon the shoulders of not represent the first return or the third re- mon shall obey them” (Isaiah 11:14b).
the Philistines toward the west; they shall turn. The rebirth of the nation of Israel in According to Isaiah, Israel will obtain
spoil them of the east together: they shall 1948 marked the second return of the Jews an understanding with the Hashemite
lay their hand upon Edom and Moab: and to their land. Isaiah, then, zeroes in on this kingdom of Jordan. King Hussein once de-
the children of Ammon shall obey them” generation in the giving of his prophecy. clared that he would not negotiate with Is-
(Isaiah 11:10-14). rael over the future of the confiscated West
A Worldwide Return Bank. One Jordanian politician was upset.
The Root of Jesse In verse 11, Isaiah continues by giving He was in favor of negotiations and said,
These five verses contain some as- the locations from which the Jews shall “If we do not negotiate with Israel today
tounding prophecies, most of which have return: over the West Bank, we may eventually
already been fulfilled and others which are “... from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from have to negotiate with Israel over the East
yet to be fulfilled — perhaps in the near Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and Bank.” According to Isaiah’s prophecy,
future. First of all, Isaiah wrote in verse 10 from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the such an agreement will come to pass.
that the entire picture revolves around one islands of the sea.” (Isa. 11:11b).
person — the Root of Jesse. In the first dispersion, the people were The Potter’s Vessel
He will stand as an “ensign,” or a ban- led into Babylonian captivity, and when In Isaiah 43:1, the prophet again took up
ner, of the people, and to Him “shall the they returned, they returned from Baby- the theme of Israel’s restoration:
Gentiles seek.” Furthermore, Isaiah wrote, lon. But in that day designated for the far “But now thus saith the Lord that creat-
“His rest shall be glorious.” Jesus Christ future, the Israeli people will return from ed thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee,
fulfilled the prophecy of the Root of Jesse. many lands: O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed
And when He was lifted up on Calvary’s “And he shall set up an ensign for the thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou
cross, He became a banner for all the Gen- [Gentile] nations, and shall assemble the art mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
tile nations. outcasts of Israel, and gather together the In the previous chapter, Isaiah wrote
Since that day, Gentiles around the dispersed of Judah from the four corners about the judgment of God upon Israel.
world have found, through Christ, the for- of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12). But in this verse he turns from judgment
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to mercy and begins the verse by saying, I have formed him; yea, I have made him” Tar-no-pol’-sky, is in prison now. He is ac-
“But now ...” Oh, what a glorious prom- (Isaiah 48:5-7). cused of slandering the Soviet system, and
ise! God has not forever forsaken His Cho- Like the promises of chapter 11, Isa- soon he will be tried. But my papa is an
sen People! Please note two things Isaiah iah repeated that Israel will be regathered honest man. He has never lied. He is un-
wrote in this verse. from the four corners of the earth. Note the der arrest only because we are Jewish and
First, the Lord “created” the nation and, precision with which he gave the proph- want to leave for Israel.”
secondly, He “formed” the nation. When ecy. He said, “I will bring thy seed from In October 1983, Irina’s father had be-
He created the people of Israel, a flaw ap- the east, and gather thee from the west.” gun a hunger strike to protest the plight of
peared. Like the potter who remade his The “east” primarily refers to Asia and Jewish families who were denied permis-
broken vessel, the Lord is now in the pro- the “west” could represent the great con- sion to emigrate. They were referred to as
cess of restructuring the nation. First, He centrations of Jewish people in Europe, Af- refuseniks. He had been fired from his job
created them — today, it seems that He is rica, the United States, and South America. shortly after his application was turned
in the process of forming them: The verbs used here do not indicate any down. Later he wrote, “I am unable to for-
“When thou passest through the waters, particular opposition to the Jewish people get that in modern history only the Nazi
I will be with thee; and through the rivers, returning from either the “east” or the barbarians refused to allow Jews to emi-
they shall not overflow thee: when thou “west.” In fact — especially in regard to grate, persecuting them at the same time.”
walkest through the fire, thou shalt not the “west” — there seems to be the sugges- Slander, in the Soviet Union, was pun-
be burned; neither shall the flame kindle tion of a reluctance on their part to leave. ishable by a sentence of three years in a
upon thee” (Isaiah 43:2). However, when we come to the “north” labor camp or five years of internal exile.
Again, we can see the accuracy of bib- and “south,” we get a different picture: The Tar-no-pol’-sky family had had no
lical prophecy. The vivid phrases of this “I will say to the north, Give up; and to contact with him since his arrest the pre-
verse depict the history of the Jewish people the south, Keep not back: bring my sons vious March. And Irina received no reply
through a period of almost 2,000 years. They from far, and my daughters from the ends from Andropov. Such was the plight of the
have, indeed, passed through the rivers and of the earth.” (verse 6). Jews in the Soviet Union. Once again we
walked through the fire. There is only one How indicative of the “north!” The cry see both the accuracy and the authority of
explanation for their continued survival as a still goes out today, “Give up!” “Give up the Scriptures.
people. God has been with them: [My people]!” The “north” must repre- Finally, Isaiah wrote of God’s message
“For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy sent not only the former Soviet block of to the south:
One of Israel, thy Savior: I gave Egypt for eastern Europe, but Russia itself, as well. “I will say to the ... south, Keep not back:
thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. The former Soviet Union had a history of bring my sons from far, and my daughters
“Since thou wast precious in my sight, being extremely unwilling to permit Jew- from the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 48:6).
thou hast been honorable, and I have loved ish emigration to Israel. This makes the There are two southern areas to which
thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and message to the north especially appropri- this prophecy relates. The first could be the
people for thy life” (Isaiah 43:3-4). ate: “Give [them] up! Give up [My people; country of Yemen, where nearly 50,000
The great message, in these verses, is that let them come home].” Jews lived in 1948. Yemen is a fanatically
God loves Israel with a supreme love. This Let us not forget about the MIAMI HER- Moslem country, strongly opposed to the
is a revelation of tremendous importance. ALD (1983) newspaper story that pointed state of Israel. Who would have believed
God places a special value on His Chosen out the fact that there had been a strange that a country like that would have re-
People and, though He permits them to disappearance of more than 100,000 Jews leased almost its entire Jewish population
pass through the fire, He has a purpose in from the Soviet Union over a previous shortly after Israel became a state in 1948.
it. And Isaiah gives us the reason why: ten-year period from 1973 to 1983. Some In fact, 43,000 Jews were airlifted out of
“Behold, I have refined thee, but not 100,000 Jews were arrested when they ap- Yemen into Israel in what appears to be yet
with silver; I have chosen thee in the fur- plied for permission to emigrate to Israel. another fulfillment of Bible prophecy:
nace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10). No wonder Isaiah wrote that the divine “Ye have seen what I did to the Egyp-
Because He loved them, He tested them message to the “north” would be, “Give tians, and how I bare thee on eagles’ wings,
— just as Job was tested. In these verses, up [My people; let them come home].” and brought you unto myself” (Ex. 19:4).
God declares that His love for Israel has also After hearing about an American school The other southern country with a large
influenced His dealings with other nations. girl’s well-publicized letter to then Soviet Jewish population was Ethiopia. And
Premier, Yuri Andropov, which received since 1984, a continuing effort to rescue
East, West, North and South an answer, a 12-year-old girl in the Soviet the Falashas paid off with the massive air-
Finally, a distinction is given between Union wrote him a letter of her own. The lift in May 1991. All Ethiopian Jews are
those who return from the “east and west” content of the letter, however, was some- now safe in Israel!
and those who return from the “north and what different. Irina Tar-no-pol’-sky, of “I will say to the ... south, Keep not
south”: Kharkov, in the Ukraine, appealed to An- back: bring my sons from far, and my
“Fear not: for I am with thee: I will dropov on behalf of her father, a Jewish sci- daughters from the ends of the earth;
bring thy seed from the east, and gather entist who had been imprisoned on a charge “Even every one that is called by my
thee from the west; of slandering the Soviet state. His crime? name: for I have created him for my glory,
“I will say to the north, Give up; and to Applying for permission to leave for Israel. I have formed him; yea, I have made him”
the south, Keep not back: bring my sons Irina wrote, “Not long ago I came to (Isaiah 43:6-7).
from far, and my daughters from the ends know that an American school girl, Sa- Indeed, the return of Israel is the prevail-
of the earth; mantha Smith, appealed to you in a let- ing theme of all the prophets. Without them,
“Even every one that is called by my ter, and you answered her. So I decided none of the historic events in the twentieth-
name: for I have created him for my glory, to write you a letter, too. My father, Yuri century could have come to pass! u
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