An open letter from
Christians to Christians
Never before was an ancient
nation destroyed, its people dispersed to the ends of the
earth-and yet for centuries remain a separate and distinct people.
Then, for that people to be regathered to its ancient homeland and
re-established as a nation after nearly 2,000 years is a
contradiction of time and logic. The rebirth of the Nation of
Israel in 1948 was an unparalleled miracle of history.
This miracle of rebirth actually
had its conception in 1878. David Ben Gurion observed that the new
State of Israel did not begin in 1948 but with the pioneering
efforts of Jewish immigrants that began in 1878 with the founding
of the Jewish settlement Petah Tikvah—which means "Door of
Hope."1 The year 1878 did mark the beginning of an
incredible fulfillment of a series of Bible prophecies related to
the miraculous restoration of natural Israel. In that year the ban
on Jewish immigration and Jewish Land purchase was eased. In
fulfillment of Bible prophecy, the massive return of the Jew in
Diaspora to his ancient homeland commenced (Jeremiah 16:14-16;
Isaiah 43:4-6). The purchasing of land itself was a fulfillment of
prophecy (Jeremiah 32:44). At exorbitant prices, barren desert and
malarial swamps were purchased from absentee Moslem landowners.
Miraculous climatic changes as well nourished the dry and thirsty
Land (Joel 2:21-24). The very heavens opened and "the early
rains," which for centuries fell only moderately, increased.
The "latter rains" awoke from centuries of dormant
slumber. As a result, the barren desert and malarial swamps began
to blossom "as the rose"—fulfilling the Divine
prediction of vineyards and gardens and roses (Isaiah 35:1; Amos
Then the birth pangs of the
Jewish State began. In 1929 the Arabs in Hebron massacred 67 Jews.2 In the 1930s under the direction of the Grand Mufti
a minority of Arabs in
Palestine, inspired by Nazi propaganda, plotted the
"stillbirth" of the Jewish State. These "spasms of
travail" were reflected in calculated acts of terror against
the Jewish settlements. Then in the 1940s the Mufti (who was Yassir Arafat's uncle4 joined with Adolph Eichmann
in Europe in the systematic extermination of the Jews.5 History has recorded this shameful event as "The
Holocaust." Finally, recognizing the enormous slaughter, the
guilt-ridden nations felt a moral obligation to grant the Jews an
independent state. In spite of the fact that the UN Partition Plan
of 1947 dismembered the Land of Israel, Arab nations were
determined to prevent the Jews from having any of it.
The Divine Physician, however,
prevented the "stillbirth" of the Jewish nation. During
the final travail, Israel's War of Independence, the Jewish State
was born—notwithstanding the fact it was outnumbered 100 to one
by the invading armies of six Arab states. The newborn State
developed by massive immigration. Land reclamation continued in
fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The miraculous Six Day War in 1967
added Israel's ancient territories of Samaria, Judea, East
Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights to the modern
State. All the while quoting Bible prophecies about Israel's
restoration, both Prime Ministers Menachim Begin and Yitzhak
Shamir systematically helped 130,000 Jewish settlers to flourish
in Samaria, Judea and Gaza. The sudden fall of Communism in 1989,
that was in itself a miracle, stimulated another miraculous growth
spurt by the massive influx of half a million Russian Jews to
Israel. Excitement was running high. Certainly one or two million
would shortly follow.
Israel's prophetic momentum,
however, seems to have stalled. In the 1992 general elections the
nationalist camp (Likud and the right wing parties) received the
majority of Jewish Israeli votes but the marginal Arab Israeli
vote put the Labor Party in power. The Labor government under Ben
Gurion and Golda Meir still had the Zionist ideal, that "the
Torah would go forth from Zion"—albeit in humanist terms.
Seemingly, the highest idealism inspiring the current Labor
government is a "common market of the Middle East" in
which Israel would be a tiny island in the midst of a sea of Arab
and Moslem nations. Furthermore, the immigration of Russian Jews
has slowed to a trickle. Giving up "land for peace"
appears a looming reality.
Thus with Israel's prophetic
momentum in fulfilling Bible prophecy seemingly grinding to a
halt, many Evangelical Christians are reconsidering their
prophetic expectations. Perhaps, they say, the traditional
churches were right—Israel has been permanently replaced by the
Christian Church. Perhaps the Palestinian claim of a large Arab
community in Palestine with a continuity reaching back several
thousand years is correct. Would not the World Powers be justified
then in pressuring Israel to give up Land? These doubts, however,
are without a Biblical foundation. Though Bible prophecy can be
demonstrated by the perspective of current events, Bible prophecy
cannot be determined by today's headlines.
One perspective overrides all
peace initiatives, compromises and accords: God's perspective. The
Judaic Christian Bible discloses not only God's perspective, but
His agenda for implementing His own incontestable peace plan. The
following presentation is an endeavor to document and submit for
consideration God's perspective:
God's promise to Israel that the Holy Land belongs to the Jews
forever had never been forfeited.
As prophesied, the Land would remain relatively
"desolate" for centuries during Israel's temporary
expulsion. Finally, at God's appointed time, the Jewish people
would return to their Land and this returning prosperity to the
Land would attract a large influx of Arabs from surrounding
God has indicted the Gentile nations who partitioned God's Land by
giving portions of it to the Arabs.
Regardless of the outcome of the "peace process," the
Scriptures seem to indicate a final Israeli-Arab war which would
yield the rightful borders to the Land of Israel.
The question of the size of the "remnant" of Israel is
Scripturally defined as large. The destination of the road to
peace will be reached in the final harmony of Israel and the Arabs
when God's Kingdom is established on earth with Jerusalem as its
Historic Rights -
An Overview of History
Divine Perspective of
The Arab Palestinians claim
historic roots and historic rights to the Land of Israel. But
there is a higher perspective of history—the perspective of the
One who writes history before it happens. The Bible, God's Word,
defines the actual boundaries the State of Israel is to possess.
These boundaries are based on God's promise to Abraham and his
"seed" or descendants. The promise was reiterated to
Isaac (not Ishmael) and then to Jacob whose name was changed to
"Israel." The children of Israel were promised to
possess all the Land "from the river of Egypt to the great
river, the river Euphrates" (Genesis 15:18).
The Greatest Grand Larceny in
Long before the revisionism of
Holocaust history, Christians made a revision of God's promises to
Israel. Afflicted with anti-Semitism for over seventeen hundred
years, the traditional churches quickly developed
"Replacement Theology," which is in reality
"revisionist theology." Early church theologians wrongly
concluded that Israel as a people was eternally rejected by God
for having rejected Jesus. The claim is that the church is now
spiritual Israel and, as such, has replaced natural Israel. This
"Replacement Theology" is still held by most mainline
Christian denominations and is now making inroads in Evangelical
churches especially in the charismatic movement under the banner
of "Reconstructionism." This theology also falsely
concludes that Israel has lost all claim to its Land. This attempt
to deprive the overwhelming majority of the Jewish people since
the time of Jesus of its glorious eternal destiny is the greatest
grand larceny attempt in history.
The King James version of the
Bible is replete with examples of "revisionist
theology." Chapter after chapter of Old Testament prophecies
contain promises of God's blessing to Israel and Jacob. The
publishers, who are revisionists, attempt to negate the Jewish
people in these chapters by arbitrarily adding chapter headings
which apply the verses to the Christian church. While at times
"Israel" can be symbolic of the Church, "spiritual
Israel," promises to "Jacob" always refer to
"natural Israel." Whole chapters of Divine blessings and
promises have been literally stolen from the Jewish people. This
is simply grand larceny. Isaiah 43, for example, God addresses His
promises to "O Jacob" and "O Israel." The
chapter heading arbitrarily reads in most King James Bibles,
however, "God comforteth the Church with His promises."
The anti-Semitic spirit of
"Replacement Theology" becomes evident when dealing with
the chapters in the Old Testament that refer to God's curses
against Israel. In these verses, spiritualizing the meaning of
"Israel" is not attempted. But whenever God's curses to
Israel appear, they are readily applied to the Jews. Above Isaiah
59 is added a heading, "The sins of the Jews." Yet in
the very next chapter, Isaiah 60, these very same Jewish people
are robbed by the revisionists of their God-given promise of
future glory. Note the false chapter heading in most King James
Bibles, "Glory of the Church." The historian James
But Christian theologians
divided it [the Old Testament] into the story of two people…the
virtuous Hebrews…had all the praise and the promises and the
wicked Jews had all the crimes and denunciations. This was the
interpretation [of Replacement Theology] repeated over and over
again, in every possible variation, and in every century from the
third century onward.
And the Early Church Fathers
What are the unfortunate origins
of "Replacement Theology"? This "revisionist"
or "Replacement Theology" had its roots in the
anti-Semitism of the so-called Early Church Fathers.
An early Church writing, the
Epistle of Barnabas, said that Jews had no future with any
God-given covenant. "Do not add to your sins and say that the
covenant is both theirs and ours," he insisted. "Yes! It
is ours; but they thus lost it forever."7
Justin Martyr, writing to the
Jewish leader Trypho (A.D. 138), quoted from the Jewish
Scriptures, which he referred to as "your Scriptures, or
rather not yours, but ours." He also stated that the
"prophetical gifts…formerly among your nation have been
transferred to us."8
In A.D. 387 John Chrysostom
ranted, "Since the deicide, the Jews have been delivered into
the hands of the demons…they are only fit to be
butchered…their behavior is no better than that of swine and
oxen in the gross lewdness…The synagogue is a brothel, a cave of
brigands, a den of ferocious animals…."9
He also argued that when
Christians beat and murder Jews, the Jews are to blame, not
the Christians who had acted through "God's will."10
Ambrose, Bishop of Milan,
ordered the burning of a synagogue in A.D. 388, "so that
there would be no place where Christ is rejected." In his
eyes, the synagogue "was destroyed by the judgment of
Theology" and Anti-Semitism
Theology" was begotten by the anti-Semitism of the Early
Church Fathers, so Martin Luther is an example of how the
acceptance of "Replacement Theology" can, in turn, beget
anti-Semitism. In an article entitled, "That Jesus Was Born a
Jew," dated 1523, Luther initially said:12
For they [the Catholics] have
dealt with the Jews as if they were dogs and not human beings.
They have done nothing for them but curse them and seize their
wealth. I would advise and beg everybody to deal kindly with the
Jews and to instruct them in the Scriptures; in such a case we
could expect them to come over to us. We must receive them kindly
and allow them to compete with us in earning a livelihood. . .and
if some remain obstinate, what of it? Not everyone is a good
When the Jews did not convert as
Luther expected, he wrote a pamphlet in his later years,
"Concerning the Jews and Their Lies," in which he listed
eight actions to be taken against the Jews:13
Burn all synagogues
Forbid Jews to travel
Destroy Jewish dwellings
Forbid Jews to charge interest on loans to non-Jews and
confiscate Jewish property
Confiscate the Jews' holy books
Force Jews to do physical labor
Forbid rabbis to teach
Expel the Jews from provinces where Christians live
theologians also, wrongly conclude that the Jewish people have
lost all rights to their Land. Accordingly, they claim all
prophecies—especially in the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah
concerning Israel's restoration to its historic Land—were
fulfilled with the return of Israel after the Babylonian captivity
(536 B.C.). Then, they say, any further promises of blessing after
536 B.C. would be conditional to their faithfulness and since they
proved totally unfaithful in rejecting Jesus, any further blessing
as a nation or people was forfeited.
What Do the Scriptures Say?
This revisionist concept of
Israel's forfeiture of their Land is refuted by the prophet
Jeremiah. "Thus saith the LORD…if I have not appointed the
ordinances of heaven and earth, then will I cast away the seed of
Jacob…for I will cause their captivity to return [Hebrew-return
from exile] and have mercy on them" (Jeremiah 31:35-37;
33:25-26). These two prophecies in Jeremiah together devastate
"Replacement Theology." Only when God's laws of the
universe cease to control day and night and the operation of
heaven and earth, only then will God cast off the seed of Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob. Then Jeremiah shows, "That the city [Old
Jerusalem] shall be built to the Lord" by the returned Jews
and furthermore, "It shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down
anymore forever" (Jeremiah 31:38-40). The descendants of
Israel (Jacob)—not Ishmael or Esau—will receive the city of
Jerusalem (including East Jerusalem) forever.
Zechariah was written after the
return from Babylonian captivity and during the building of the
second temple. Yet Zechariah prophesied a future dispersion and
final regathering of Israel to its Land—culminating in Jerusalem
becoming the capital of God's kingdom on earth.
saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the
east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them,
and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be
my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in
shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O
house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye
shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong."
the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall
come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the
inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go
speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I
will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to
seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass,
that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations,
even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We
will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you."
Certainly, the prophecies in
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Amos, and others, speak of Israel's
first restoration to its Land, after the 70 years'
desolation/captivity. But they also speak of Israel's final
restoration in the "last days" and in "those
days" which will culminate in God's Kingdom on earth. When
has a kingdom of universal peace, prosperity, happiness and
economic security ever been established (Isaiah 2:2-4; Jeremiah
31:29-34; Micah 4:1-7)? Isaiah reveals a set of prophecies
indicating that Israel will be restored to Divine favor—playing
a central role in God's future Kingdom on earth—long after the
death of Jesus.
Isaiah 2:1-4 "The word
that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of
the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains,
and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow
unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go
up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob;
and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths:
for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD
from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall
rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into
plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not
lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any
A Second Regathering
Although written before the
Babylonian dispersion, the Book of Isaiah speaks of the LORD
regathering Israel the second time. He had regathered them the
first time after the seventy years' desolation/captivity. Israel
was not dispersed again until A.D. 70—nearly forty years after
Jesus' death when the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem. The
regathering of the Jews to their promised Land in our era is the
"second time" regathering of Isaiah's prophecy.
it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall set his
hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people,
which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from
Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from
Hamath, and from the islands of the sea [the nations far beyond
Babylon]. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall
assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed
of Judah from the four corners of the earth."
This "second time"
regathering was predicted to be from nations far beyond Babylon.
Deuteronomy indicates Jews would be scattered to nations not known
to their fathers.
Because the Prophet Jeremiah quotes these
very words of Moses, the "fathers" Jeremiah refers to
must be a reference to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This prophecy
refers to the "fathers" before Israel entered the
Land—not as revisionists wrongly claim, the "fathers"
or leaders of disobedience who led them after they entered the
Land. Although Jeremiah lived before the 70 years'
desolation/captivity, he was already predicting the second
dispersion into a land that their "fathers" never knew.
This second dispersion would extend far beyond Babylon or the
Chaldees where "father" Abraham once lived. Therefore,
Jeremiah presents a thrilling prophecy of both a second dispersion
and the miraculous second regathering that is now being fulfilled.
LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over
thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers [Abraham
came from Babylon, Genesis 11:31] have known; and there shalt thou
serve other gods, wood and stone. And thou shalt become an
astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither
the LORD shall lead thee."
Another example of a prophecy written
before the Babylonian captivity with an end-time fulfillment is in
Zephaniah 3:8,9. This prophecy includes the time when God pours
out his wrath on all the kingdoms of this earth. Then He
"turns to the people a pure language [the true gospel], that
they may all call upon the name of the LORD with one
consent." Never in the past have "all" called upon
the Name of the LORD.
will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not,
neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods
day and night; where I will not shew you favour. Therefore,
behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be
said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out
of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the
children of israel from the land of the north and from all the
lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into
their land that I gave unto their fathers."
The same chapter wonderfully
deals with natural Israel's "end time" restoration and
Israel's leading role in God's kingdom:
These end-time prophecies obviously were
not fulfilled during the return following the Babylonian
captivity. The Jews have not been replaced or displaced from these
prophetic promises of God. These prophecies concerning modern
Israel's restoration are unequivocally sure of fulfillment.
at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save
her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will
get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to
shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that
I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all
people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your
eyes, saith the LORD."
"No More Pulled Up"
The Scriptures, furthermore,
speak of this final regathering as culminating in joy and blessing
that will never end.
This time is yet future when Israel,
restored to its Land, will experience an eternity of joy.
the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles
afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and
keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed
Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger
than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion,
and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat,
and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of
the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they
shall not sorrow any more at all."the height of Zion, and
shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and
for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the
herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall
not sorrow any more at all."
Such prophesies as these cannot be
logically interpreted in any symbolic sense. Israel is to be
literally planted again "upon their own land," the Land
of their fathers—Canaan. God had given them the Land by divine
promise to Abraham and his seed—an "everlasting
possession." This promise is from God Himself and must
eventually, therefore, be fulfilled. The original promise to
Abraham stands forever.
"And I will
bring again the captivity [return from exile] of my people of
Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them;
and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they
shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will
plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up
out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy
"No more pulled up"…"give
the Land forever"…"an everlasting
possession"—these phrases speak of Israel's future and
eternal possession of the Land. The LORD specifically promised
Canaan, "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after
thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of
Canaan, for an everlasting possession" (Genesis 17:8). The
Christian Stephen declared that Abraham never received the Land in
fulfillment of God's promise recorded in Genesis (Acts 7:5).
Stephen's logic is that Abraham will receive the Land in God's
Kingdom and all his descendants (the Jewish people) shall receive
the Land after him as an "everlasting possession."
Canaan is not in heaven. Canaan is on earth.
Genesis 13:14-17; 17:8
up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art,
northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the
land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed
forever, . . . Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it,
and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. . . . I
will give it unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land
wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an
All of these prophecies
harmonize with Apostle Paul's inspired reasoning in Romans
11:25-36. Contrary to Replacement Theology, "All Israel shall
be saved" from both Adamic death and the condemnation of the
Law—"for the gifts and callings of God are without
repentance" (Romans 11:29).
"Watchmen" in Israel
Possibly the most pertinent
scripture to the current Land issue and the "peace
process" is Jeremiah 31:5-10. In the context of the end-time
regathering of the Jewish people to their Land, the LORD says,
"Again [after their exile from the Land] you shall plant
vineyards on the mountains of Samaria [the so-called "West
Bank"]… watchmen on the Mount Ephraim [also the so-called
"West Bank"] shall cry, arise ye, and let us go up to
Zion unto the LORD our God." The Biblical Zionists are the
"watchmen" and many live on the mountains of Samaria and
Ephraim. The Biblical Zionists are calling the secular Israelis to
turn to the LORD and His Bible. A debate is raging in Israel today
between the Biblical Zionists and the secular Israelis.
However, vs. 7 stands out as
addressing Christians. "For thus saith the LORD [here
Christians, a class not represented in Jacob, are instructed to]
sing with gladness for Jacob [natural Israel] and shout among the
chief [Hebrew lit. "head"] of the nations [the U.S. is
the chief nation today]: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD,
save thy people, the remnant of Israel."14
are instructed to pray to God to save the people of
Israel—including those who are living in the mountains of
Samaria and Ephraim (the "West Bank"). Christians are
also instructed to "publish" to the United States what
God is doing. Is the U.S. cooperating with God's purposes? By
pressuring Israel to give up the West Bank, the U.S. is working
against God. The U.S. is working against the LORD who said,
"I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn [those
who live in Samaria]" (Jeremiah 31:9-12). The prophecy
concludes by revealing all nations should recognize that the Lord
is restoring Jacob, natural Israel, to its land.
The promises to natural Israel
have not been forfeited to Christians. These promises of return to
the Land do not refer to the return from Babylon, but to the
current miraculous restoration to nationhood. Israel now will no
"more be pulled up." Never.
Historic Rights -
An Overview of History
With the exception of the 70
years' Babylonian desolation/captivity, the Jewish people have
lived without interruption in the Land of Israel as a nation until
A.D. 70-135—ending a period of over seventeen hundred years. The
Jewish population of Israel peaked at two and one-half million
before the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and the
massive slaughter and expulsion of Jews for the Second Dispersion.
If the Jews have a God-given
right to the Land, why were the Jews expelled from the Land of
Israel by the Romans? Why was the door to "Palestine,"
as renamed by the Romans, generally shut to Jews for so many
centuries? Jesus gave the reason for this dispersion. Shortly
after presenting himself to Israel as king (in fulfillment of
Zechariah 10:9), he indicted Israel because they killed the
prophets and failed to accept him. Jesus said, "Behold, your
house is left unto you desolate" (Matthew 23:37).16
Similarly, Zechariah predicted
that the LORD would render "double" (Hebrew mishneh,
"an equal portion") because they did not turn to Jesus,
their "stronghold." Israel would need to experience a
period of disfavor equal to their period of favor from the Lord
Regarding that equal
portion of time in the disfavor of God, Jeremiah predicted that
God's "recompense [for] their iniquity and their sin
double" would be accomplished before the current massive
regathering of the Jews to their Land (Jeremiah 16:14-18,
especially vs. 18). The opening of the doors of the Land to the
Jews can be pinpointed at 1878 when, by the diplomatic skill of
Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli at the Berlin Congress of
Nations, Britain was given a protectorate over Palestine. Disraeli
had approached the Congress with the intention of achieving that
control over Palestine fully expecting a mass immigration of Jews
to reach "one million strong, speaking one language, and
animated by one spirit to achieve autonomy and independence."17
This turn of events finally eased
restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchase in Palestine.
Also at this time, Jews
established the first agricultural settlement—Petah Tikvah
"Door of Hope"—in the ancient Land of their ancestors.18
Here the reclamation of the Land by Jewish immigrants began.19
This regathering beginning in 1878 actually marked the first
tangible sign of God's favor returning to the Jewish people.
Jeremiah prophesied that
the Land would be restored to the Jews after it had become
"desolate without man and without beast" (Jeremiah
33:10-16). Again, how do we know that this promise of restoration
to the Land was not fulfilled with the return from Babylon?
Jeremiah, after all, wrote before the 70 years' desolation. Vss.
15,16, predicted a permanent restoration that will culminate in
the Messianic Age. "I will cause the Branch of righteousness
to grow up unto David. . .Jerusalem shall dwell safely."
Jerusalem did not dwell "safely" after the temporary
restoration from the 70 years' desolation/captivity. This
permanent restoration was to occur after the Second
Dispersion—which Jesus prophesied would be worldwide (Luke
From A.D. 70 until the
current regathering, God intended that the Land of Israel would
become barren of man and beast. Why? The Land then could receive a
mass influx of Jewish immigrants at the prophetic time. No nation
would be able to establish itself in Palestine during the interim
period. But here we are faced with a credibility gap between the
Bible and the Arab Palestinian claim. The Bible speaks of a
massive dispersion of Jews followed by centuries of a minimum of
inhabitants until God's regathering of Jews back to their Land.
However, the Arab Palestinians claim that from the conquest of the
Land by the Arabs (A.D. 640-1099), a thriving Palestinian culture
developed. Which of these two views of history do the facts
The Record of History
Although the expulsions of
Jews after A.D. 70 and 135 were massive, devotion to the Land of
Israel caused some to linger just outside the borders, wait for
quieter times and keep coming back. One of the so-called Early
Church Fathers, Origen, during his stay in the Holy Land from A.D.
231-254, observed that the Jews were still a majority in the Land
at that time. After the Roman Empire embraced Christianity in the
fourth century, a systematic dispersal of the remaining Jews
began. However, between A.D. 614-617, the Jews actually controlled
large parts of the Land:20
Another large-scale uprising
[of Jews in Palestine], supported by an invading Persian army,
was so successful that for three years the Jews seem to have
exercised control over large parts of the country including
Jerusalem and Tiberias (614-617).
After this interlude of three
years, the Persians were defeated and Jerusalem returned to the
Consequently, the population of
the Land was a "quilt" of minorities when the Arabs
acquired it in their conquest of Byzantine Syria in A.D. 640. This
quilt of people whose Land was dubbed "Palestine" by
Imperial Rome was composed of Jews, Samaritans,
dissident-Christians and the largest grouping-Syrian Orthodox
Christians-none of whom were Arabs.
Although the Arabs ruled the
Land from A.D. 640 to A.D. 1099, it is questionable that they ever
became the majority of the population. The historian James Parker
During the first century after
the Arab conquest [A.D. 670-740], the caliph and governors of
Syria and the Land [Palestine] ruled entirely over Christian and
Jewish subjects. Apart from the Bedouin in the earliest days, the
only Arabs west of the Jordan. . .were the garrisons.
In A.D. 985 the Arab writer
Muqaddasi complained about the large majority Jewish population in
Jerusalem and added, "The mosque is empty of worshippers. .
."23 Although Al-Hakim, Caliph of
the Arab Empire (A.D. 996-1021), ordered all non-Moslems in Syria
and the area called Palestine to convert to Islam or be expelled,
he later rescinded some of the restrictions and so the Arabs
remained a minority. The noted Arab historian Dr. Philip Hitti
observed that after almost four centuries after the Arab conquest
(about A.D. 1070), the Christians (non-Arabs) in Syria, including
Palestine, were still fully as numerous as the Moslems and that
the Moslems were by no means all Arab.24
The Crusader rule (A.D.
1099-1291) in the Land was followed by the non-Arab Moslem rule of
the Mamelukes (A.D. 1291-1517). The Arab historian Hitti observed
that there was a large exodus of Arabs during this period.25
The Arab historian Ibu Khaldun wrote in A.D. 1377, "Jewish
sovereignty in the Land of Israel extended over 1400 years. . . .
It was the Jews who implanted the culture and customs of the
Nearly 300 years after the Arab rule
in the Land, the noted Arab historian Khaldun (called one of the
greatest historians of all time by Arnold Toynbee) observed that
the Land still was permeated with Jewish culture and customs. In
A.D. 1400, nearly 300 years after Arab rule, there was still no
evidence of Palestinian roots or established culture.
During the period of the
Mamelukes as a consequence of the Black Plague, the population of
the Land west of the Jordan River dwindled down to 140,000 to
150,000 Moslems, Christians and Jews.27
After the Turkish conquest
in 1517 a census for tax purposes tabulated 49,181 heads of
families and single men liable to tax. Professor Roberto Bacchi
calculated that in the years 1553-1554 there were 205,000 Moslems,
Christians and Jews. From his travels in 1785, Francois Comte de
Volney's figures would leave less than 200,000 for the total
population of the land of Palestine.28 Both Dr. Philip K. Hitti
and Alfred Bonni agree that the total population was less than
200,000 in A.D. 1800.29,30 Some estimate the total
population of the Land at 150,000 by 1850. This total population
would include Jews, Christians and Arabs.
Then Jewish funds started to
flow into the Land by 1856 when Sir Moses Montefiore purchased
Land outside of Jerusalem to teach agriculture to the Jews in the
From about 1878, Edmond de Rothschild began to actually
finance the establishment of Jewish agricultural colonies.
At this time in history, an uninterrupted stream of Jewish
funds and Jewish immigration commenced to pour into
Palestine. This influx of resources resulted in an economic
upswing that attracted Arabs from surrounding countries.
Since the Land was at that time under Turkish Moslem rule,
Arabs throughout the Middle East had unrestricted access to
Palestine. By 1918 the Arab population increased to 560,000.32
In spite of restrictions on Jewish immigration, Jews and
Arabs continued to pour into the Land until the birth of the
State of Israel in 1948. Clearly, Jewish financial
investments and immigration—together with laborious
cultivation of the land—had put the Land of Israel on the
Arab Conquest or
What conclusions can be
drawn from the foregoing overview of history? The Jews lived in
the Land of Israel for seventeen hundred years virtually
uninterrupted until the Roman destruction of its national polity
in A.D. 70. At this point, Israel's population of over two and
one-half million was abruptly decimated by massive slaughter and
expulsion. But as late as A.D. 617, Jews controlled Jerusalem and
a large portion of the Land. After that time, even though Arabs
conquered the Land, they were only a minority. Then through the
centuries of Christian Crusader rule and the Mameluke period, the
Land was still dominated by Jewish culture and customs until A.D.
1400 even though the Arabs eventually became a small majority.
Because the Prophet Jeremiah had forecasted that during the Second
Dispersion the Holy Land would be forgotten and desolate, the Land
especially during the Turkish rule drifted into relative
obscurity. . .the backwaters of Syria. Thus, for centuries the
total combined populations of Moslems, Christians and Jews was
less than 200,000. Compared, therefore, with the Jewish population
peak of over a couple million, the Land did become relatively
"desolate of man and beast" as the Prophet predicted.
The Holy Land
1,700 years to
Roman destruction of Jerusalem, AD 70
entity with judicial system, commerce, etc., majority of
time. Population of 2½ million
AD 70 - 135
Rome began its
attempt to destroy or exile 2½ million Jews
AD 614 - 617
large parts of the country
AD 640 -1099
Arab conquest, but
not majority population
AD 1099 - 1291
AD 1291 - 1517
Land drifted into
relative obscurity under Turkish rule
AD 1856 - 1948
Influx of Jewish
funds and cultivation of Land attracting immigration of
Jews and Arabs
The Palestinian Claim
The Palestinian claim that
the Land for centuries sustained a thriving Palestinian culture is
not authorized by the facts of history. Yet the world community
has given this claim a receptive hearing. PLO Chairman Yassir
Arafat in his speech before the U.N. in 1974 declared, "The
Jewish invasion began in 1881 . . . Palestine was then a verdant
area, inhabited mainly by an Arab people in the course of building
its life and dynamically enriching its indigenous culture."
What happens when this
claim is compared with the personal observations of the following
recognized authorities? In 1738 Thomas Shaw observed a land of
"barrenness…. from want of inhabitants."33
Constantine Francois de Volney recorded the population of the
three main cities. Jerusalem had a population of 12,000 to 14,000.
Bethlehem had about 600 able-bodied men. Hebron had 800 to 900
men.34 In 1835 Alphonse de Lamartine wrote, "Outside the city
of Jerusalem, we saw no living object, heard no living sound. . .a
complete eternal silence reigns in the town, in the highways, in
the country . . . The tomb of a whole people."35
In 1857, the British consul in
Palestine, James Finn, reported, "The country is in a
considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its
greatest need is that of a body of population."36
This historic observation is a
remarkable confirmation of the Biblical predictions that
during Israel's "double" period of time of punishment and
dispersion, the Lord would cause the Land to become desolate
of man and beast (Jeremiah 33:10; Zechariah 10:12; Jeremiah
16:14-18). No wonder by 1857 it was just waiting for "a body
of population"! In the Lord's providence this needed body of
population—the Jewish people—began to return after 1878 at
the end of their Scriptural period of God's disfavor.
The most popular quote on
the desolation of the Land is from Mark Twain's THE INNOCENTS
ABROAD (1867), "Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over
it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and
fettered its energies….Palestine is desolate and unlovely…. It
is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land."
The records of history
confirm the Biblical predictions that during the Jewish dispersion
and "double" of God's disfavor, the Land of Israel would
become desolate awaiting the return of the Jewish people when its
period of disfavor ended in 1878. The records of history simply do
not confirm today's Palestinian claim of Palestinian roots and
culture in a "verdant area" since the Arab rule of the
land (A.D. 640-1099).
Southern Syria vs.
The Romans had changed the
name of the Land of Israel to "Palestine." But from A.D.
640 until the 1960s, Arabs referred to this same Land as
"Southern Syria." Arabs only started calling the Land
"Palestine" in the 1960s. Until about the eighteenth
century, the Christian world called this same Land, "The Holy
Land." Thereafter, they used two names: "The Holy
Land" and "Palestine." When the League of Nations
in 1922 gave Great Britain the mandate to prepare Palestine as a
national home for the Jewish people, the official name of the Land
became "Palestine" and remained so until the rebirth of
the Israeli State in 1948. During this very period, the leaders of
the Arabs in the Land, however, called themselves Southern Syrians
and clamored that the Land become a part of a "Greater
Syria." This "Arab Nation" would include Syria,
Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan as well as Palestine. An observation in
TIME magazine well articulated how the Palestinian identity
was born so belatedly in the 1960s:37
Golda Meir once argued that
there was no such thing as a Palestinian; at the time, she wasn't
entirely wrong. Before Arafat began his proselytizing, most of the
Arabs from the territory of Palestine thought of themselves as
members of an all-embracing Arab nation. It was Arafat who made
the intellectual leap to a definition of the Palestinians as a
distinct people; he articulated the cause, organized for it,
fought for it and brought it to the world's attention. . . .who
made the intellectual leap to a definition of the Palestinians as
a distinct people; he articulated the cause, organized for it,
fought for it and brought it to the world's attention. . . .
If there was an Arab Palestinian
culture, a normal population increase over the centuries would
have been expected. But with the exception of a relatively few
families, the Arabs had no attachment to the Land. If Arabs from
southern Syria drifted into Palestine for economic reasons, within
a generation or so the cultural tug of Syria or other Arab lands
would pull them back. This factor is why the Arab population
average remained low until the influx of Jewish financial
investments and Jewish people in the late 1800s made the Land
economically attractive. Then sometime between 1850 and 1918, the
Arab population shot up to 560,000. Not to absolve the Jews but to
defend British policy, the not overfriendly British secretary of
state for the colonies, Malcolm MacDonald, declared in the House
of Commons (November 24, 1938), "The Arabs cannot say that
the Jews are driving them out of the country. If not a single Jew
had come to Palestine after 1918, I believe the Arab population of
Palestine would still have been around 600,000. . ."38
Jewish contributions and Jewish
immigration continued to flow into the Land. The Jews created
industry, agriculture, hospitals—a complete socio-economic
infrastructure. As job opportunities increased, so did Arab
immigration. In fact, in 1939 President Roosevelt observed that
"Arab immigration into Palestine since 1921 has vastly
exceeded the total Jewish immigration during this whole
For one specific
example, in 1934 between 30,000 and 36,000 Arabs from the Hauran
Province in Syria left for "the better life" in
On the other hand, Great
Britain's White Paper of 1939 closed the doors of Jewish
immigration to their Land. Simultaneously, there was a large-scale
Arab immigration to the new Land of opportunity during World War
II.41 In 1946 Bartley C. Crum, a United States
Government observer, noted that tens of thousands of Arabs had
entered Palestine "because of this better life—and they
were still coming."42
The Testimony of Arabs and
Because Arabs until the 1960s
spoke of Palestine as Southern Syria or part of Greater Syria, in
1919 the General Syrian Congress stated, "We ask that there
should be no separation of the southern part of Syria, known as
Palestine."43 In 1939 George Antonius noted the
Arab view of Palestine in 1918:44
Faisal's views about the future
of Palestine did not differ from those of his father and were
identical with those held then by the great majority of
politically-minded Arabs. The representative Arab view was
substantially that which King Husain [Grand Sherif of Mecca, the
great grandfather of the current King Hussein of Jordan] had
expressed to the British Government. . . in January 1918. In the
Arab view, Palestine was an Arab territory forming an integral
part of Syria.
Referring to the same Arab view
of Palestine in 1939, George Antonius spoke of "the whole of
the country of that name [Syria] which is now split up into
His lament was that France's mandate
over Syria did not include Palestine which was under
As late as May 1947, Arab
representatives reminded the United Nations in a formal
statement, "Palestine is a…part of the Province of
Syria….Politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not
independent in the sense of forming a separate political
On May 31, 1956, Ahmed Shukairy
had no hesitation, as current head of the Palestine Liberation
Organization, in announcing to the Security Council the
observation, "It is common knowledge that Palestine is
nothing but southern Syria."47
Syrian President Hafez Assad
once told PLO leader Yassir Arafat:48
You do not represent Palestine
as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such
thing as a Palestinian People, there is no Palestinian entity,
there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian
people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is
we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of
the Palestinian people.
Assad stated on March 8, 1974,
"Palestine is a principal part of Southern Syria, and we
consider that it is our right and duty to insist that it be a
liberated partner of our Arab homeland and of Syria."49
In the words of the late
military commander of the PLO as well as member of the PLO
Executive Council, Zuhair Muhsin:50
There are no differences between
Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of
one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully
underline our Palestinian identity….yes, the existence of a
separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The
founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing
battle against Israel [emphasis ours].
The following are significant
observations by Christians of the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s:51
The Arabs themselves, who are
its inhabitants, cannot be considered but temporary residents.
They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their
places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it.
Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its
masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day
carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of
their passage through it.
Stephen Olin, D.D., L.L.D.,
called one of the most noted of American theologians after his
extensive travels in the Middle East wrote of the Arabs in
Palestine "…with slight exceptions they are probably all
descendants of the old inhabitants of Syria."52
The most authoritative Arab
statement, however, as to whom the Holy Land belongs is found in
the Koran, the Islamic Scriptures:53
The fact is that the Koran
agrees with the Bible that God (Allah) made a covenant with the
Sons of Israel and assigned the Holy Land to the Jews (See the
Koran, Sura V, "The Table"). The Koran also describes
the Land given to the Jews as "blessed" and foresees a
return of Israel to their Land at the end of days.
These testimonies confirm the
Christian Scriptures that God gave the Land to the Jewish people
as an everlasting possession. The relatively few Arabs who
wandered into the Land between A.D. 670-1878 were but temporary
dwellers. The truer perspective of history reveals that the large
recent influx of Arabs that paralleled the regathering of Jews has
no historic rootage in the Land.
The Verdict of History: Land
Before Jewish immigration and
Jewish investments spawned massive Arab immigration, Arabs were
actually leaving Palestine. Then the flow of traffic reversed.
". . .Palestine changed from a country of Arab emigration to
one of Arab immigration. Arabs from the Hauran in Syria as well as
other neighboring lands poured into Palestine to profit from the
higher standard of living and fresh opportunities provided by the
This phenomenon is confirmed by the Palestine
Royal Commission Report which observed that in the period
between the Balfour Declaration and the United Nations
Partition Resolution of 1947, Palestine became a land of
Arab immigration.55 As
further documented by Frankenstein, substantial Arab
immigration was a recent phenomenon:56
The early "lovers of
Zion" began the stimulation of Arab immigration. Some writers
have come out with the conclusion that in 1942, 75 percent of the
Arab population were either immigrants or descendants of
immigrants into Palestine during the preceding one hundred years,
mainly after 1882.
Indeed, the verdict of history
does more than confirm the Prophets. The population of the Land of
Israel would be minimal until the "double" of Israel's
disfavor ended in 1878 when the regathering of the Jewish exiles
began (Jeremiah 33:10; Zechariah 9:12 and Jeremiah 16:14-18). The
record of history testifies that the great influx of Arabs also
began after that date.
These facts of history explain
why the United Nations needed to develop a definition that a
"Palestinian Refugee" is any Arab who had been in
"Palestine" for only two years.57 This U.N.
definition, in fact, is incompatible with the assumption that the
Arab Palestinian roots go back one or two thousand years. The Jews
themselves have dominated the Land called "Palestine"
for the past two millennia. The Jews themselves are as much
"Palestinian" as the Arabs who claim to be Palestinians.
If any population has a right to the name Palestinian (if they
wanted it), it would be the Jews whose ancestors had their Land
The Nations Partitioned His Land
. . . and the
Lord was Angry
"When I bring again the
captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations.
. .I will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage
Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my
land." Joel 3:1,2
With the ending of
God's "double" of disfavor and punishment, God takes
issue with the nations responsible for hounding and scattering
"my people." Now during God's regathering of the Jews by
Divine Providence since 1878 to "my Land," He also takes
issue with the nations who have "parted My Land"—His
Land. How have the nations "partitioned" His Land?
World War I was the second
significant event in end-time prophecy regarding the regathering
of Israel. Turkey, with an expansive empire that compassed the
Middle East (including Palestine) and North Africa, fought with
Germany and the Central Powers against the Allies. At the breaking
up of the Turkish Empire by the victorious Allies, both Jews and
Arabs requested independent states. The world powers were generous
in the extreme to the Arabs by granting them twenty-two
independent Arabs states—encompassing 5,414,000 square miles.
The Jews asked for less than one percent of that vast territory.
The Allies agreed to this request (which included both sides of
the Jordan) in the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 San Remo
Conference of World Powers (See Map I).
For imperialistic interests,
however, in 1921 Great Britain reneged on the Balfour Declaration,
lopped off 77 percent of the Land promised in the Balfour
Declaration and set up the Arab Emirate of Transjordan (See Map
II). Then in 1922 the League of Nations gave Great Britain a
Mandate to prepare the remaining 23 percent of Palestine
(including Samaria, Judea, Gaza, Golan Heights and Eastern
Jerusalem) for a Jewish National Home. But under French pressure,
in 1923 the Golan Heights was ceded by the British to the French
mandate of Syria.58
They partitioned His Land and the Lord was
Oil was then discovered in
the Arab countries. Consequently, "oil diplomacy" was
instituted. British foreign policy simply appeased the Arabs. In
1939 the British White Paper banned further immigration to
Palestine. Also, with brutal callousness, the United Sates and
most nations refused to accept the beleaguered Jews of Europe.
Consequently, 6 million Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust.
How many millions of these
hapless victims would have found a haven in Palestine if
Britain had not reneged—with the silent consent of the other
nations of the world—on its own mandate obligations by
banning Jewish immigration? What a heinous, collective crime
of history! Lloyd George, the Prime Minister of Great
Britain when the Balfour Declaration was issued, went on
national radio to call the British 1939 White Paper, "an act
of national perfidy which will dishonor the name of
This time the nations actually
denied the Jews any of God's Land and the Lord was angry. Finally,
the gentile nations, guilt-ridden after defaulting on their
promise since 1922, felt a moral obligation to grant the Jews an
independent state. But, unfortunately, the UN Partition Plan of
1947 further reduced the size of the new Israeli State (See Map
III). They partitioned "My Land" and the Lord was angry.
When Israel became an
independent State in 1948, armies from six Arab nations invaded
the newborn State. Outnumbered 100 to one, Israel's ragtag army
pushed back the invaders and took more of its rightful Land.
Divine Providence was telling the world something about whose Land
Jordan Occupied East
However, the Arab State of
Transjordan captured East Jerusalem, expelled all Jews and
destroyed or desecrated all Jewish holy sites. This is the time
when Jerusalem became "occupied territory." In addition
to defying the U.N. Mandate, Transjordan also occupied the west
bank of the River Jordan. No longer limited to being
"Trans" (across) Jordan (the east bank), Transjordan
reduced its name to simply Jordan, now ruling over both the
occupied west bank and the original east bank of Jordan (See Map
But this annexation of the
"West Bank" by Jordan was not recognized by any nation
of the world—except Great Britain and Pakistan. Jordan was even
denounced by its Arab allies, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi
Arabia, who wanted to expel Jordan from the Arab League!60
It is claimed that 600,000 Arabs fled
"temporarily," but temporarily became permanently when the
Arab invaders failed to destroy the new State of Israel.
David Ben-Gurion adamantly argued that the 600,000 figure
was a lie. "The refugee issue is one of the biggest lies,
even among our own people…I have all the figures. From the
area of the State of Israel, only 180,000 Arabs left in
1948. There were 300,000 Arabs altogether in Israel and
In the 1967 Six Day War, under
the threat of being "pushed into the sea" by Egypt,
Syria and Jordan, Israel actually liberated the "occupied
territory" of Jerusalem and granted free access to Jews,
Christians and Moslems to worship at their respective holy sites.
Israel also liberated the "West Bank" and Gaza. How
easily recent history is forgotten. By comparison, Israel's
administration, despite its faults, has been much more humane. The
realities of the Jordanian and Egyptian occupation are conveyed in
the following quote from HARSH REALITIES:62
For 19 years, until 1967,
Jordan brutally occupied the renamed "West Bank" with
its 20 UNWRA refugee camps…. And when western Palestinians
rioted in December '55, April '57, April '63, Nov. '66 and April
'67, King Hussein sent in tanks which shelled city streets and
machine gunned people at random, killing hundreds of men, women
The Gaza Strip, as it was
known for the 19 years of harsh Egyptian occupation, had 8 UNWRA
refugee camps in which the Palestinians were forced to live in
overcrowded squalor. Egypt refused to absorb any refugees; kept
them stateless, denied passports, and forbade them to travel or
work in Egypt. [On the other hand, Palestinians were permitted to
work in Israel after 1967.]
For 19 years of brutal
occupation of their fellow Arabs, Jordan and Egypt kept these
areas in a deliberate state of economic stagnation and severe
unemployment. Average unemployment in the early Sixties ran
between 35-45%, and refugee unemployment hit a high of 83%. Yet
during this entire period, the world was silent. Only after
Israel's seizure of these territories in a defensive war in 1967,
did anyone discover the "legitimate rights and national
aspirations" of the Palestinian Arabs.
From a humanitarian
viewpoint, their situation improved immeasurably under Israeli
administration. Unemployment hovers around a mere 1% (1989) and
per capita gross income tripled in less than 20 years; infant
mortality rates dropped from the pre-1967 140 per 1,000 to only 30
per 1,000 today—at a time when the rest of the Arab world is
still at 80 per 1,000; 7 Arab colleges and universities were
established under Israel "occupation," where none
existed before 1967. Yet it is Israel that is now being attacked.
Had the Arab countries any
true intentions of helping their beleaguered brethren from western
Palestine, they would and could have absorbed them easily 4
decades ago, as the Israelites did of an even greater number of
Jewish refugees from Arab lands. The Palestinian Arabs share the
same language, religion and culture, and for 70% of them, the same
countries of origin just 3 generations before when their
grandfathers emigrated for economic reasons to Palestine from
surrounding Arab lands. But the 22 Arab countries, uninterested in
aiding in Palestinian brothers, preferred to use them as a
political weapon to wield against Israel, and the U.N. supported
this heartless human manipulation.
In the mid-1970's Israel
attempted to give the Palestinian Arab refugees in Gaza new and
better housing. The U.N. General Assembly, at the urging of the
Arab states, passed Resolution 32/90 condemning Israel for trying
to relocate these refugees and demanded they be returned "to
the camps in which they were removed." And yet, a senior U.N.
official came to Gaza in January 1988 accompanied by 10 TV crews
on a fact-finding visit and laid the entire blame for the
situation at Israel's feet. As if the U.N.'s own complicity in the
matter didn't exist!
The Refugee Problem
When the six Arab nations
invaded Israel at Israel's birth, many claim 600,000 Arabs were
displaced in that war. What is not well known is that
approximately 800,000 Jews, who were living in those six Arab
nations, had to flee for their lives because of Arab hatred. The
solution to this refugee problem was simple—a fair exchange.
Israel, at a terrible
economic cost, absorbed the 800,000 Jewish refugees But the Arab
nations refused to accept these Arab refugees—their Arab
brethren. Rather, they placed them in refugee camps, which became
dark holes of hate and misery, models for propaganda to turn world
opinion against Israel. They succeeded. How well they
When Israel inherited Judea
and Samaria (the "West Bank") and Gaza in the 1967 War,
Israel also inherited the Palestinian refugee camps that were
administered by a United Nations agency. Israel wanted to
negotiate both the refugee problem and a peace settlement, but the
Arabs refused. One cannot help but agonize for the poor refugee
pawns in this ploy. The deplorable condition of the Palestinian
refugees is especially pitiful because the situation was designed
and perpetuated by their own Arab brothers. No wonder the "intifada"
erupted. Many claim the Arab nations refused to alleviate the
refugee problem both in 1948 and in 1967.
Among many who have made
this observation is Col. Richard Henry Meinertzhagen, a
British Middle East expert. He asked a fellow dinner guest
at the home of a British diplomat, "Why do not you Arabs,
with all your resources from oil, do something for those
wretched refugees from Palestine?" The Lebanese replied,
"Good God, do you really think we are going to destroy the
finest propaganda we possess? It's a gold mine!" When
Meinertzhagen observed that this view was unkind and
immoral, the Lebanese replied, "They are just human rubbish,
but a political gold mine!" In slightly different language
referring to the same attitude about the usefulness of
Palestinian refugee camps, Meinertzhagen notes in his book,
"I received identical views from other Arabs."63
The Palestinians who have taken
to the streets, spoiling for trouble, are the new
generation-spawned in the refugee camps. From earliest childhood,
they have been taught hate.
The U.N. has now had the
audacity to call Jerusalem and the "West Bank"
"occupied territories" only after Israel regained them
in the 1967 War. In 1922 the League of Nations had recognized the
legal, moral and historic right of the Jewish people to a national
homeland in Palestine—including Jerusalem. If the Jews had a
right to Jerusalem recognized by the world community in 1922, that
right is still valid today. But since then, the vast oil reserves
were discovered in Arab lands. The nations are compromising
Israel's rights for their own oil interests! Consequently, today
the U.S. administration and the U.N. define East Jerusalem as
"occupied territory." But when Jordan occupied East
Jerusalem, it became "occupied territory." Now, in fact,
no part of Jerusalem is "occupied territory."
to Israel. The same logic applies to the "West Bank."
Unfortunately, Israel's government presently is too intimidated by
tremendous pressure from the U.S. and other world powers to insist
on its historic right to Judea-Samaria, the so-called "West
"They Partitioned My
What is the Lord's perspective
of all of these events? He is angry at the nations. Whose Land is
it that the world powers are now pressuring Israel to give to the
Arabs? During the current regathering of the Jews to Israel, even
before God's Kingdom is set up in Jerusalem, God refers to Israel
as "My people" and their Land as "My Land"
(Ezekiel 38:16; Isaiah 11:11). Because the LORD is angry with the
nations during Israel's regathering, He will bring them down to
the "Valley of Jehoshaphat" (symbolic of the great time
of trouble in Daniel 12:1 and Matthew 24:21), to be punished
because of their sins against Israel (Joel 3:1-2). The first sin
is "they have scattered" "My people" among the
nations and then during the regathering, "they parted
[partitioned] My land." To whom does the Land belong? The
Arabs? No! The Land belongs to God and He gave it to the children
of Israel. But the nations have the arrogance to partition God's
Land. They took 77 percent of it away from Israel, "My
people," and gave it to the Arabs, and now the United States
and the nations of the world are pressuring Israel to surrender
even more of their God-given Land to the Arabs (See Map inside
What is God's evaluation of the
actions of Israel in contrast to the actions of all other
governments including the Arabs? What is His respective judgment
of each? His intentions are revealed by the Prophet Jeremiah
For I am with thee (Israel)
saith the Lord, to save thee; though I make a full end of all
nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full
end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure and will not leave
thee altogether unpunished.
After the destruction
of their governments, the people of these nations will "seek
the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem" which will become the capital
of God's Kingdom (Zechariah 8:20-23). Instead of converging on
Israel and Jerusalem to partition the Land or take it, the nations
will come to Jerusalem to learn of the God of Israel so that they
may walk in His ways. Instead of coming to dissect Israel, they
will come to be taught (Isaiah 2:1-4).
Arab-Israeli Peace -
The Biblical Perspective
The road to actual peace between
Israel and the Arabs is full of land mines. Whether or not any
kind of peace is actually attained, the Scriptures indicate that
this current "peace process," will precipitate another
Arab-Israeli war. Bible-believing Christians view the "peace
process" with great prophetic interest. Those who have a
short prophetic time frame expect this peace process will position
Israel in the prophetic setting of Ezekiel 38:11—dwelling
"at rest," "without walls and having neither bars
nor gates." Then very soon Gog and his associates would
invade Israel resulting in the destruction of our world order
(Ezekiel 38 & 39). However, the Scriptures indicate another
war between Israel and the Arabs before this drama of Ezekiel's
prophecy can unfold. Therefore, whether or not peace is
temporarily attained, this "peace process" will set in
motion a series of events that will precipitate another
Arab-Israeli war….But an Israeli-Arab war need only delay Gog's
invasion by a matter of months.
The Rabin-Arafat agreement is at
variance with God's agenda in our prophetic time as "the day
for extending your [Israel's] boundaries" (Micah 7:11).64
This peace agreement is intended
to actually shrink Israel's boundaries. Consequently, this
agreement will not last. There is only one nation on earth
that has its boundaries decreed in the Bible. That nation is
Israel. Israel's ultimate boundaries are from the River of
Egypt to the Euphrates River (Genesis 15:18-21). These
boundaries will be fully attained in God's Kingdom after
this "time of trouble" or "great tribulation" which
terminates our world or age (Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:3,
21-22; Zephaniah 3:8,9). (Since the following prophetic
analysis deals with future prophetic details, these details are
presented in the spirit of dialogue. We will content ourselves
here with identifying the minimum territory Israel will evidently
occupy before the "time of trouble" is over and,
incidentally, deal with the immigration of Russian Jews as this
immigration is tied into the "Land issue" scriptures.)
The Israeli-Arab conflict
is graphically portrayed in Psalm 83. A look at a map of the
Middle East in Biblical times will identify the countries involved
today. These are the nations that are saying, "Come, and let
us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may
be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with
one consent; they are confederate against thee" (vss. 4, 5).
This confederacy, of course, is a reference to the Arab nations.
Although this Psalm is a prayer to God ("Keep not thou
silence, O God: hold not thy peace…") for the defeat of
these nations ("O my God, make them like a wheel; as the
stubble before the wind…")—the actual conclusion of this
conflict is not described. But the Scriptures reveal how this Arab
defeat is accomplished.
The same day Israel is
fortifying and expanding her borders, Micah also describes as a
severe time of trouble for the rest of the earth (Micah 7:11-17,
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD):
It will be a day for
building your (Israel's) walls. On that day will your boundary be
extended…And the earth will become desolate because of her
inhabitant on account of the fruit of their deeds…Nations will
see and be ashamed of all their might…They will lick the dust
like a serpent…They will come trembling out of their
fortresses; To the LORD our God they will come in dread.
What a fitting
description of the time of trouble! Sandwiched in this
time-of-trouble setting, the Lord is described (vs. 14) as feeding
(Hebrew "ruling"65) Israel in a territory that includes
"Bashan" (the Golan Heights) and "Gilead."
Half the tribe of Manasseh received all of "Bashan"
(Deuteronomy 3:3,4,13) and Golan was part of Bashan (Joshua 21:27)
and still is. And Gilead is a part of the East Bank of the Jordan
River (See Map VI). The current "peace process" in the
Middle East is negotiating the status of the Golan Heights and the
"West Bank." Can man negotiate with God on the status of
His promises to Israel? If Israel is forced to temporarily
compromise Land for peace, the Scriptures indicate that before the
"time of trouble" is over, Israel will again acquire the
Golan Heights and not only the West Bank—but the East Bank as
More Immigration from
Russia and the U.S.
An immigration of Jews from
"Assyria" and "Egypt" is described by
Zechariah that is so large that it will fill the land of Gilead
and Lebanon (Zechariah 10:10,11). Therefore, Lebanon (at least
southern Lebanon as described in the Book of Joshua) belongs to
Israel by Divine Right (Joshua 13:5,6). Israel already occupies a
buffer zone in southern Lebanon. But an immigration from Assyria
and Egypt is prophetically anticipated that will be so numerically
great that "place shall not be found for them." The
people will overfill the Land of Gilead (East Bank) and at a
minimum southern Lebanon.
is Iraq. There are fewer than a thousand Jews in Iraq and Egypt.
This number is hardly enough to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah.
"Assyria" must be symbolic. For example, in Micah 5:5-7,
Assyria invades Israel just before Israel becomes a blesser nation
(vs. 7). "Assyria" is repelled. Micah's prophecy is
evidently a parallel account of Gog's invasion (Ezekiel 38,39). It
is generally agreed that Gog and some of his associates mentioned
refer to Russia and at least some of the republics of the former
Soviet Union—including the Moslem republics. Therefore, the
massive immigration from a symbolic "Assyria" may be a
reference to the current wave of Jews from Russia and other former
Soviet republics. Also, evidently "Egypt" is symbolic of
the Christian world (Revelation 11:8). Where among the Christian
nations are there so many Jews that could converge on Israel?
There are over 5 million Jews in the United States alone.
In another prophecy in
Ezekiel, Israel's ancient exodus from Egypt is identified as a
microcosm of the exodus of Jews from all nations back to Israel at
the end of the Christian Age (Ezekiel 20:32-38). God is described
as bringing the Jews out of the nations "into the wilderness
of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like
as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of Egypt…"
In this original exodus
Israel had to cross a literal sea and a river in order to enter
the Promised Land. The smiting of the "sea" and the
"river" in Zechariah's prophecy (the Hebrew word here
does not mean the Euphrates but merely a river) seems to be
symbolic of removing obstacles that prohibited the Jews from
leaving the former Soviet Union (Zechariah 10:11). The main
obstacle was Communism. With the breakup of Communism, the massive
exodus began. Over a half-million have immigrated to Israel. This
continuing immigration of Jews is the largest from any country in
the world (Jeremiah 16:14,15).
Behold, the days come,
saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth,
that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
but, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel
from the land of the north (Russia) and from all the lands
whither he had driven them; and I will bring them again into
their land that I gave unto their fathers.
Process" Moves Towards War
Isaiah also prophesies the
smiting of a "sea" and a "river" (again-not
the Euphrates as some translations incorrectly read) in connection
with a large immigration of Jews from Assyria to Israel (Isaiah
11:14-16). The preceding verses show that Israel and Judah are
gathered together from the nations (Isaiah 11:10-12).
"Ephraim shall not envy Judah" (vs. 13) parallels
Jeremiah's prophecy where the ten-tribe "house of
Israel" (Ephraim) and the two-tribe "house of
Judah" become one in Diaspora and return "together"
to the Promised Land (Jeremiah 3:18).
Once in the Land, any peace
agreement will explode in a two-front war on Israel's southwest
and eastern borders. "They [Israel] shall fly upon the
shoulders of the Philistines toward the west [Gaza strip on the
southwest Mediterranean coast where the Palestinians now
reside]." The Hebrew word for "fly" literally means
"a flying attack from behind." The picture becomes even
more vivid since the Hebrew word for "shoulders," can
refer to a maritime coast, "the side [shoulder] of the
sea" (Numbers 34:11). Any Palestinian state or self-rule on
the Gaza Strip will be short-lived. Eventually, Israel by missiles
or planes will fly out into the Mediterranean and attack the
Palestinians from behind. What about the eastern front? "They
[Israel] will possess Edom and Moab. And the sons of Ammon will be
subject to them" (Isaiah 11:14, NAS).
These Old Testament nations
occupied territories that are now within the Arab nation of Jordan
on the East Bank of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea (See Map
VI). A war in which Israel defeats Jordan and occupies portions of
Jordan (Gilead, Ammon, Moab and Edom) could spark a wave of
worldwide anti-Semitism and precipitate a further mass exodus (vs.
16) from Russia and the former Soviet Republics, "And there
will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant of His people who
will be left…"
Gog is spoken of as coming
from the "northern parts" (Ezekiel 38:14,15). While many
prophecies speak of a regathering from all the nations, an
emigration "out of the land of the north" (which seems
to be the land of Gog, or the former Soviet Republics) is
particularly emphasized (Jeremiah 16:14,15; 31:7,8; 23:8; 3:18).
First, a small number would return, "one of a city, and two
of a family" (Jeremiah 3:14-18). From 1878 to the fall of
Communism in 1990, relatively few Russian Jews did return. A
prophecy in Isaiah contrasts this trickle immigration
("gathered one by one") with the time when "the
great trumpet shall be blown" and there would be a massive
return (Isaiah 27:12,13). What "great trumpet" is this?
The Jubilee Trumpet of old was a signal to return rights that were
lost (Leviticus 25). Today the trumpet blast of human rights
brought down Communism and over a half-million Jews fled to
Israel. What will precipitate this even greater immigration wave
from "the north"? The next massive immigration wave from
the former Soviet Republics to Israel might occur after the next
Arab-Israeli war as indicated in Isaiah 11:14-16. Time will reveal
if this conclusion is a valid assumption.
The decisive victory over
the Palestinians in Gaza on the west and Moab, Ammon and Edom on
the east already considered in Isaiah are paralleled in
Zephaniah (Isaiah 11:14 and Zephaniah 2:2-7). The setting is
during "the day of the Lord's anger" (vs. 2). A complete
defeat of the Philistines in the Gaza area is described. Of
course, the literal Philistines have long since passed off
the scene, but they are symbolic of the Palestinians who now
occupy that territory. Ironically, one of the fanciful
claims of the Palestinians is that they are descendants of
the Philistines while simultaneously claiming to be
descendants of Abraham. The origin of the Palestinians is
identified by Ezekiel (36:1-7). The Lord is angry with "the
people round about [Arabs]" the Land of Israel who came into
the land and made it a desolation. The Lord will punish
these self-styled Palestinians (see map on inside back
Zephaniah also indicts Moab and
Ammon for all their abuses towards Israel. "I have heard the
reproach of Moab and Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people
and magnified themselves against their [Israel's] border"
(Zephaniah 2:8). The Lord spared ancient Moab and Ammon during
Israel's wilderness journey, but not modern Moab and Ammon which
is the Arab nation of Jordan. During the Israeli War of
Independence in 1948, it was Jordan who captured the "West
Bank" and the Bible Jerusalem ("magnified themselves
against their borders"). It was Jordan who expelled all Jews
from the West Bank and East Jerusalem ("they have reproached
my people"). It was Jordan who occupied Judea and Samaria
(wrongfully calling them the "West Bank") until Israel's
victory in the 1967 War. It was Jordan who destroyed all Jewish
holy places in Jerusalem. Also it was Jordan with the Palestinians
who sided with Saddam Hussein during Desert Storm in the hope he
would fulfill his threat to "scorch half of Israel." Now
in the "peace process," King Hussein of Jordan with
dignity and poise knows how to say all the right things and the
past is forgotten. But the Lord has not forgotten. Because of
these sins, Moab and Ammon (parts of modern Jordan) shall become
"a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people [Israel]
shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people [Israel] shall
possess them" (Zephaniah 2:9).
Thus the Scriptures forecast
that before the invasion of Gog, Israel will gain more Land and
more people. What may precipitate these two factors would be an
Arab-Israeli war which would expand Israel's borders and
simultaneously stimulate world anti-Semitism. Worldwide
anti-Semitism, in turn, would precipitate a greater flood of
immigration to the Land.
The Remnant . . .
A Blesser Nation
After its decisive victory over
the Arabs (Isaiah 11:14; Zephaniah 2:4-10; Ezekiel 36:7), Israel
will dwell in peace and "unwalled villages" as
symbolized in Ezekiel (38:11). At this juncture, Gog and the
nations listed will invade Israel (Ezekiel 38:3-6). Here we
disagree with many of our "born-again" Christian
friends. We do not believe in a so-called "second
holocaust"—in which nine-tenths of the Israelis will be
eternally condemned when slain by the forces of Gog and only a
one-tenth holy remnant remain.
The Purpose of Gog's Invasion
Is the purpose of Gog's invasion
to once and for all teach Israel a lesson of God's sovereignty? Or
is it to teach the Gentile nations which attack the Land the
sovereignty of the God of Israel? The answer is "Yes" to
both questions. But the way God accomplishes this lesson is
different in each case. On Israel's behalf He fights for them as
He did in ancient times, "Then shall the LORD go forth and
fight against those nations as when he fought in the day of
battle" (Zechariah 14:1-3) In their spectacular deliverance
the LORD says, "I will bring again the captivity of Jacob and
have mercy upon the whole house of Israel…for I have poured out
my spirit upon the house of Israel…" (Ezekiel 39:25,29). On
the other hand, the way God will sanctity Himself "in the
eyes of many nations" so that "they shall know that I am
the LORD" is by defeating them (Ezekiel 38:23). They will be
so dumbstruck by Israel's extraordinarily outstanding victory,
that they will have no choice but to glorify God. "For I am
with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee, though I make a full end
of all nations [governments, not the people] whither I have
scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee…"
Actually, Ezekiel's prophecy
does not indicate how many Jews are killed during Gog's invasion.
But great emphasis is given to the Lord's destruction of the
forces of Gog. By contrast is Israel's prospect, "Now I shall
restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of
Israel" (Ezekiel 39:25, NAS). A parallel prophecy speaks of
half of Jerusalem being exiled (not destroyed) but the rest of the
people would remain (Zechariah 14:2,3). What becomes of those who
went into exile? The prophet Isaiah shows a further regathering of
Jews to Israel after the invasion of Gog (Isaiah 66:19,20;
60:4-9). The "half" who are taken into exile during the
invasion will return in this post-Gog invasion regathering.
The Scepter Over Israel
This concept of the destruction
of nine-tenths is based on the Revised Standard Version's (1952)
gross mistranslation of Ezekiel 20:37 which among several errors
implies the "rod" that Israelis pass under is a
shepherd's counting rod. The New Revised Standard Version has
corrected its former mistranslation and shows that the thought of
counting or numbering is not contained in the Hebrew text. The
Hebrew word "shebet" is translated "rod" in
the King James rendering of this text, but it can be translated
also "staff" or "scepter." The thought of
counting is not contained in "shebet" even though
"second holocaust" commentators unfortunately couple it
with tithing (Leviticus 27:32,33).
The Hebrew word "shebet"
(here rendered "rod") is often translated
"scepter" when the thought of a reigning king is in the
context. Actually the context of Ezekiel 20:37 presents God as
reigning over the Jewish people during their regathering (vs. 34).
That is why some Bibles have "scepter" in the margin as
an alternative rendering of "shebet."
In any case, under the Law when
every tenth animal was tithed—given to God (Leviticus 27:32,33)
the tenth animal was not to be inspected and determined better
than the rest. Even if the animal was bad, blemished or defective,
it was still the Lord's. This procedure does not fit as a picture
of "Jews of faith" as a tenth part being delivered out
of Gog's invasion as some claim.
Since every tenth animal in the
flock or herd was given to the Lord, what happened to the other
nine-tenths? Were they killed? No. They remained alive as the
flock or herd of the shepherd. Therefore, the nine-tenths of
living animals cannot portray the death of nine-tenths of Israel
in Gog's invasion. In fact, nothing in the description of Gog
indicates such a massive destruction of Jewish life. Rather the
outcome of the invasion will be glorious for Israel, "the
whole house of Israel" (Ezekiel 39:25, NAS).
Is the Holy Remnant Small?
The several Hebrew words
translated "remnant" mean "remainder, descendants,
survivors." The thought of a minority is not implicit in
these Hebrew words. The meaning for "remnant" can refer
to either a minority or a majority. When a tenth part of an ephah
(1½ bushels) of flour is given to the priest for a sin-offering,
he only used one handful of the flour as an offering upon the
altar. The leftover flour (still more than a bushel) is referred
to as a "remnant" (Leviticus 5:11-13; 2:3). Here the
"remnant" (Hebrew "yathar") is significantly
the larger portion.
Another example in the New
Testament of a remnant being the larger portion is in the Apostle
Peter's discourse (Acts 15:14-17). When the Apostle described the
"residue of men" who will seek the Lord in His Kingdom,
he quotes from the Old Testament which renders the phrase,
"remnant [Hebrew word "she'eriyth"] of Edom"
(Amos 9:11). In the Hebrew "Edom" means "reddish,
Adam or man." Conversely, "Adam" or "man"
means "reddish." Hence the phrase, "residue of
men," in Peter's discourse refers to the overwhelming
majority of the human race who will be on trial for eternal life
in the Kingdom. Since both of these Hebrew words ("yathar"
and "she'eriyth") are used in Scripture to refer to the
"remnant of Israel," obviously, the thought of "a
minority" is not inherent in the phrase, "remnant of
The Prophet Micah (2:12) gives
insight as to the size of the "remnant of Israel" in
three different instances:
I will surely assemble, O
Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel;
I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in
the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason
of the multitude of men.
always refers to natural Israel. Therefore, "O Jacob, all
of thee," whom the Lord assembles or gathers to the Land
equals the "remnant of Israel" in the next phrase.
This internal equation demonstrates "remnant" is not a
small 1/10 minority. Second, this "remnant of Israel"
is like a flock of sheep of Bozrah. Bozrah was not only noted
for large sheep but for very large flocks of sheep. Third, this
sheepfold is noisy because it is crowded with men. Therefore the
remnant must be a large flock.
The Rotherham translation speaks
of this "remnant" as "sheep in distress." This
rendering locates the context at the time of Gog's invasion when
Israel will be surrounded by enemies. The next verse shows how
these sheep of Israel are delivered (Micah 2:13):
The breaker is come up
before them: they have broken up [out], and have passed through
the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass
The Hebrew for
"breaker" is the "one who breaks out or
through." Their king will deliver them from the forces of
Gog. Only those who are "feeble" (Hebrew, "bend
the knee"), that is, turn to the Lord in prayers of faith
will be delivered (Zechariah 12:8). Those lacking this faith
will be killed (Ezekiel 20:38) and not immediately share in the
special blessings of the remnant or flock that are brought
through the trouble safely. But even these lacking faith who die
will come forth from their graves in the general resurrection of
the "unjust" to a fair trial or "judgment"
(John 5:28,29 NAS).
Only after their deliverance
from Gog's invasion will the Messiah or Christ reveal himself to
Israel by pouring God's spirit upon them (Zechariah 12:9-14).
Those who accept Christ at this time are described as "all
families [of Israel] that remain." Therefore, all the
"remnant of Israel," who are a large flock, shall
recognize their Savior who died for them…and there will be
"great mourning" throughout the Land. But the very next
verse shows a wonderful opportunity will be opened, "In that
day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to
the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness"
Further Regathering After
Not only is there a pre-Gog
invasion gathering of Jews, but also a post-Gog invasion
regathering. This further regathering after the destruction of Gog
is prophesied in Isaiah 66 & 60 and also Ezekiel 36. The
Isaiah 66 prophecy parallels the time after Gog's defeat when the
Gentile nations see the Lord's glory through the great destruction
He brings upon them (Isaiah 66:15,16,18 and Ezekiel 39:21). This
prophecy in Isaiah additionally explains that some Gentiles escape
"…I will send those that escape of them unto the
nations…and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. And
they shall bring all your brethren…out of all nations…to my
holy mountain Jerusalem" (Isaiah 66:19,20).
Similarly, the prophecy in
Isaiah 60 reveals that the Gentiles shall see God's glory upon
Israel and they come into harmony with God's Kingdom in Israel,
"and the Gentiles shall come to thy light." After the
trouble is over and the Kingdom is set up in Israel, there is a
further regathering, "Thy sons shall come from far" on
"ships" to Israel and "to the Holy One of Israel,
because he hath glorified thee" (Isaiah 60:2-9).
The parallel passages in Ezekiel
36 supply added details (vss. 23-38). Specifically, vs. 23 focuses
on the time after Gog's defeat, "I will sanctify my great
name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned
in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the
LORD God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their
eyes" (Ezekiel 36:23 and Ezekiel 39:21-23, 27). After the
heathen nations see the Lord in the miraculous deliverance of
Israel from their invading forces, a further regathering is
expected, "For I will take you from among the heathen, and
gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own
land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you and ye shall be
clean…" (Ezekiel 36:24,25). Significantly, it should be
noted that these Jews gathered after the invasion of Gog are
"cleansed with water" just as those gathered before the
invasion are cleansed in the "fountain…for sin"
(Zechariah 13:1). Also, at this time the newly gathered flock will
receive the Holy spirit as did the flock of Israel who was already
in the Land and delivered during Gog's invasion (Zechariah
The "remnant of
Israel" which was a large flock before Gog's invasion (Micah
2:12) is now increased in size to include these cleansed Jews
regathered after Gog's defeat. "I will increase them with men
like a flock." This combined flock that is now increased in
size is described as a "holy flock" (Ezekiel 36:37,38).
The "second holocaust"
commentators believe all of the Jewish people will return to
Israel before Gog's invasion. But the nine-tenths ratio of
judgment on the Jews in the Land during Gog's invasion becomes
meaningless if there are still Jews outside of Israel who will
return (also Isaiah 66:18-20; 60:4-9 and Ezekiel 36:23-28). The
nine-tenths destruction becomes even more pointless since during
Gog's invasion, "half of the city shall go forth into
captivity [exile]" (Zechariah 14:2). These recently exiled
Jews will be also part of the grouping of Jews who return after
Gog's invasion is over. They will have the opportunity to be
cleansed, receive the Holy spirit and be part of the "holy
flock" together with those who lived through Gog's invasion.
Both segments of this
flock—those that lived through Gog's invasion and those who are
gathered to Israel after Gog's defeat—accept the Savior, are
washed and receive the Holy spirit. Therefore, it is a "holy
flock," a sanctified flock, that is set aside to God's
service, God's destined purpose. For what service is the
"holy flock" sanctified?
The Destined Purpose of the
This large and cleansed holy
flock, the descendants of Jacob, is the earthly seed of Abraham
("sand which is upon the sea shore") which will work
with the spiritual seed, Christ and his Church ("stars of the
heaven") to bless all the families of the earth (Genesis
22:16-18; Galatians 3:16, 27-29). All the Land promised from the
Euphrates to the River of Egypt will then belong to these
descendants, the remnant of Jacob (Genesis 13:15,16; 15:18) for
Jerusalem will be the capital of God's Kingdom and the Land of
Israel its operational base.
"All Israel shall be
saved" then is not a gross exaggeration on the part of the
Apostle Paul (Romans 11:26). How are they saved? Israel is
"saved" by the Deliverer, the Christ, that comes out of
Zion, the Kingdom of God. The Deliverer saves them by turning
"away ungodliness from Jacob." By Christ's death they
are saved from Adamic death and the condemnation of the Mosaic
Law. Why are they saved? "They are beloved for the fathers'
sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without
repentance" (Romans 11:28,29).
Then the fathers of
Israel—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Samuel, Elijah and the
rest—will constitute the government of Israel and will be
"princes" on earth, "children" of the King and
of his Bride Psalm 45:10-16). God will restore (by raising from
the dead) their "judges as at the first, and thy counsellors
as at the beginning" (Isaiah 1:25,26). What will begin as
God's Kingdom on earth in Jerusalem and Israel will eventually
extend to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 2:2,3):
And it shall come to pass
in the last days, that the mountain [Kingdom] of the Lord's
house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and
shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow
unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us
go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of
Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his
paths; for out of Zion [the spiritual seed of blessing] shall go
forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem [the
natural seed of blessing].
The whole world—the Arab
peoples too—will come up to worship the God of Jacob in
Jerusalem. Peoples of all national tongues will come to pray to
the LORD God of Israel because they will understand God is
blessing Israel (Zechariah 8:3, 21-23):
…Jerusalem shall be
called a city of truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts
the holy mountain…O house of Judah and house of Israel; so
will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing; fear not, but let
your hands be strong….It shall yet come to pass that there
shall come people and the inhabitants of many cities,….saying,
Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD
of hosts…ten men shall take hold
out of all the languages of the nations, even shall take hold of
the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for
we have heard that God is with you.
God's own peace process
will succeed when man's has failed. The peace God will give
Israel and the whole world will be all-comprehensive and
permanent. All peoples, both Jews and Gentiles, even Israelis
and Arabs who faithfully drink of the "water of life
freely" and who overcome "shall inherit all
things" (Revelation 22:17; 21:7).
1 Speech on tenth anniversary of Israel's independence.
Baruch Goldstein's act is a
chilling reminder that retributive justice can be cruel.
Moslem head in Palestine.
name was Abd al-Rahman abd al-Bauf Arafat al-Qud al-Husseini. He
shortened it to obscure his kinship with the notorious Nazi and
ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini." Howard
M. Sachar, A HISTORY OF ISRAEL (New York: Knopf, 1976).
Eichmann's deputy gave
eyewitness testimony about Husseini's involvement: "The Mufti
was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of
European Jewry and had been a collaborator and advisor of Eichmann
and Himmler in the execution of this plan. He was one of Eichmann's
best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the
extermination measures." J. B. Schechtman, THE MUFTI AND THE FÜHRER:
THE RISE AND FALL OF HAJ AMIN EL-HUSSEINI (New York: T. Yoseloff,
James W. Parkes, END
OF AN EXILE: ISRAEL, THE JEWS AND THE GENTILE WORLD. (Marblehead,
MA: Micah, 1982).
Edward H. Flanney, THE
ANGUISH OF THE JEWS: 23 CENTURIES OF ANTI-SEMITISM (New York:
Macmillan, 1965), p. 31.
David A.Rausch, A
LEGACY OF HATRED: WHY CHRISTIANS MUST NOT FORGET THE HOLOCAUST
(Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1990), pp. 20-21.
"Controversy of Zion," JERUSALEM COURIER, Vol. 5, No. 5,
Dennis Prager and
Joseph Telushkin, WHY THE JEWS? (New York: Simon & Schuster,
1983), pp. 94-95.
Ibid., p. 95.
Max I. Dimont,
JEWS, GOD AND HISTORY (New York: Signet, 1962), p. 227.
Felushkin, WHY THE JEWS?
application of the "chief of the nations" would
be the U.N.
15 There were
Jews in the Land according to "Josephus," quoted in
Samuel Katz, BATTLEGROUND: FACT AND FANTASY IN PALESTINE (New York:
Bantam Books, 1973), p.106. According to another source, there were
3 million before A.D. 132-135. Dio Cassius, HISTORY OF THE ROMANS,
lxix, 12-14, cited by de Haas, HISTORY, p. 55; see also pp. 52-56;
also Theodor Mommsen, PROVINCES OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, I, p. 243.
16 See also Revelation 11:8. From
God's viewpoint, Christendom too is guilty of Jesus' death.
Abba Eban, MY PEOPLE
(New York: Behrman House, 1968), p. 323.
See Introduction, p. 1.
Barnet Litvinoff, TO
THE HOUSE OF THEIR FATHERS (New York: Frederick Praeger, 1965), p.
(Jerusalem: Encyclopedia Judaica, 1973), p. 872.
Abba Eban, MY
PEOPLE, p. 123.
James Parker, WHOSE
LAND? A HISTORY OF THE PEOPLES OF PALESTINE (Harmondsworth, Great
Britain: 1970), p. 66.
Erich Kahler cites
this statement from KNOWLEDGE OF CRIMES, p.167, in THE JEWS AMONG
THE NATIONS (New York: F. Ungar, 1967), p. 144.
Philip A. Hitti, A
SHORT HISTORY OF SYRIA (New York: Macmillan, 1959), p. 170.
Ibid., p. 622.
MIDDLE EAST PAST AND PRESENT (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall,
1970), p. 143.
Arieh L. Avneri, THE
CLAIM OF DISPOSSESSION (New York: Herzl Press, 1982).
Count Constantine F. Volney,
TRAVELS THROUGH SYRIA AND EGYPT (New York: E. Duyinck & Co.,
Hitti, HISTORY OF THE ARABS
(New York: St. Martin's Press, 1956).
Alfred Bonne, THE
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEAR EAST (London: K. Paul, Trench,
Trubner & Co., 1945).
ISRAEL: A PERSONAL HISTORY (New York: Herzl Press, 1972) p. 817.
Sachar, A HISTORY OF
Thomas Shaw, TRAVELS
AND OBSERVATIONS (Oxford: Printed at the Theatre, 1738).
THROUGH SYRIA AND EGYPT.
Alphonse de Lamartine,
RECOLLECTIONS OF THE EAST (Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard,
British Foreign Office
Documents 78/1294, Pol. No. 36.
TIME, January 3, 1994.
Irving Howe and Carl Gershman,
Ed., ISRAEL, THE ARABS AND THE MIDDLE EAST (New York: Quadrangle
Press, 1972), p. 178.Quadrangle Press, 1972), p. 178.
"Foreign Relations of the
United States: Diplomatic Papers."
LEAGUE OF NATIONS PUBLICATIONS,
V.I.A.MANDATES, 1935, 27th Session.
UNRWA Reviews, Infor.
Paper No. 6.
Anny Latour, THE
RESURRECTION OF ISRAEL (Cleveland: World, 1968), p. 318.
Michael Curtis, Ed.
THE PALESTINIANS: PEOPLE, HISTORY, POLITICS (New Brunswick:
Transaction Books, 1975).
George Antonius, THE
ARAB AWAKENING: THE STORY OF THE ARAB NATIONAL MOVEMENT
Howe and Gershman,
Ed., ISRAEL, THE ARABS AND THE MIDDLE EAST.
Ibid., p. 178.
Kamal Jumblatt, I
SPEAK FOR LEBANON (London: Zed Press, 1982).
Newspaper, Netherlands], March 31, 1977.
Felix Bovet, EGYPT,
PALESTINE, PHOENECIA: A VISIT TO SACRED LANDS (London: Hodder &
TRAVELS THROUGH SYRIA AND EGYPT (New York: Harper & Bros.,
JERUSALEM POST, June 11, 1994, p. 6.
Howe and Gershman,
Ed., ISRAEL, THE ARABS AND THE MIDDLE EAST, p. 178.
"London: His Majesty's
Stationary Office," Chapter 10, 1937.
JUSTICE FOR MY PEOPLE (London: Nicholson & Watson, ), p.
Joan Peters, TIME
IMMEMORIAL (New York: Harper & Rowe, 1984), p. 4.
ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT, (London: Weidenfeld & Nocolson, 1992), p.
RESURRECTION OF ISRAEL, p. 203.
HARSH REALITIES (Jerusalem: C. M. Israel Group Ltd., 1989), p. 19.
Howe and Gershman,
ISRAEL, THE ARABS AND THE MIDDLE EAST, p. 207.
Atland, HARSH REALITIES,
pp. 19, 20.
MIDDLE EAST DIARY:
1917-1956 (London, Cresset Press).
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD
(NAS), NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV).
THE STRONG'S EXHAUSTIVE
CONCORDANCE OF THE BIBLE, #7462.
That punishment was already
noted in Isaiah 11:13 and Zephaniah 2:3-7.