Facts about Israel in the Bible
Read an unbiased view of Israel – straight from the Bible!
Let’s extract from the Bible some important facts about Israel, both the nation and the land. And let’s present the biblical text without any particular prophetic interpretation. Simply let the Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth (John 16 v 13) interpret the texts to our hearts. Taken together, the Spirit will interpret the texts to reveal the big picture and the truth about Israel.
- A Covenant: God’s unconditional and everlasting covenant with Abram (Abraham) was to make his descendants a great nation and in him bless all the families of the earth (Gen 12.2,3 Gen 17.7)
- A Land: Under the same covenant God promised Abraham’s descendants “all the land of Canaan” (Gen 17.8)
- Line of Descent: This covenant was established with Abraham’s son Isaac and not with Ishmael (Gen 17.21 Gen 26.1-5)
- Israel Appears: God renamed Jacob, Isaac’s son, as “Israel” and he and his descendants inherited the covenant promises given to Abraham – a great nation and their own land (Gen 35.11-12)
- A Special People: God made the nation of Israel His very own people (for ever) in order to make a name for Himself in the world (2 Sam 7.23-26, Isa 43.1). God chose Israel to be His witnesses and servant (Isa 43.10)
- A Conditional Promise: God promised Israel that if she kept the Mosaic covenant (the Law), then out of all the nations she would be His ‘treasured possession’ (Deut 5.2-3, Deut 6.16-18, Exod 19.5-8)
- Israel Scattered: God warned Israel that if she failed to keep His commandments and statutes (the Law) then she would not receive His blessings and would be scattered amongst all the nations (Deut 28.15-68). This happened (the “diaspora”).
- God’s Compassion: Whilst in this ‘scattered state’ (Ja 1.1), the disobedient tribes of Israel reflect upon, and return to, God’s commandments. Then God will have compassion upon them and gather them from all the nations where they were scattered (Deut 30.1-3)
- Israel’s Restoration: God will bring the people of Israel back to their own land (Ezek 37.21), not for their sake, but for the sake of His holy name (Ezek 36.16-24). It will be like a “marriage restoration”, and Israel will be brought to Zion (Hos 2.14-16, Jer 3.14)
- Israel’s Borders: Israel’s future borders are clearly defined in prophecy, the eastern boundary running along the Jordan. These borders are almost identical to the borders of ancient Israel given to Moses (Ezek 47.13-20, Num 34.1-12)
- Israel a Sign: Israel then becomes “a banner (signal, flag) for the nations” (Isa 11.12). Israel’s return will be evident to all and nations will recognize the hand of the God of Israel (Ezek 36.23)
- Land Blessed: Canaan, the land promised to Abraham, will prosper and be blessed: desolate land becomes “like Eden” (Joel 2.21-27, Isa 51.3, Ezek 36.35). Zion will be beautiful and glorious (Isa 60.13)
- Israel – a Persecuted People: As foretold in the Abrahamic Covenant, Israel would be a blessing to the world (through salvation in Christ). But, because Israel ‘gave birth’ to Christ, she is in a continuous spiritual war with demonic forces trying to destroy her (Rev 12.13,17)
- Israel’s End-time Suffering: Regathered Israel goes through great suffering (Jacob’s trouble, Jer 30.7) but a remnant is saved (Zech 13.9) as God pours His Spirit upon them and they recognize Christ as their true Messiah (Mat 24.22, Zech 12.10-14, Joel 2.28-32)
- Israel’s Messiah: Israel’s recognition of Christ as their Messiah is like the natural branches of an olive tree being grafted back into their own olive tree: Israel’s blindness is removed and their sins forgiven. Jew and Gentile will be “one flock” in Christ (Rom 11.24-27, Heb 8.8-12, Jn 10.16)
- Israel’s King: Christ returns “with all His saints” (1 Thes 3.13, Jude 14) to Zion and reigns from Jerusalem as ruler and King over all the nations (governments) of earth (Isa 2.1-4, Isa 9.6, Zech 8.3,14.9, Mat 5.35 ). Jesus is ‘the truth’ (Jn 14.6) and Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth (Zech 8.3)
- Peace on Earth: The Saints reign with Christ for 1000 years, the earth will be at peace, Jews will be revered, and nations will go up from year to year to worship Christ in Jerusalem (Zech 8.20-23, Zech 14.16, Isa 11.6-9, Isa 66.18-23, Rev 20.4-6)
- Jews and non-Jews: In the future, non-Jews (strangers) living in Israel will be treated just like native-born Israelites (Ezek 47.22,23)
- The New Jerusalem: In a figurative sense, the twelve tribes of Israel, and the twelve apostles, are associated with the gates and walls respectively of the New Jerusalem on the future new earth. The implication is that the New Jerusalem is filled with the elect of God from all eras, and the distinct roles of Israel and the Church in God’s redemptive plan is retained into eternity (Rev 21.9-27, 2 Pet 3.7-13, Mat 19.28, Isa 65.17)
- Israel Forever: Just as the new heavens and the new earth remain forever, so the people and name of Israel will remain forever (Isa 66.22)
Having meditated upon these scriptures, try to answer these questions:
- Does the nation of Israel have a future and purpose under God, or has she been abandoned by God and ‘replaced’ by the church?
- Today, is Israel returning to her own land (as promised to her under the Abrahamic Covenant) or has she unlawfully occupied Palestinian land?