See the Future – Look to Israel

Israel’s Future is Written in the Bible

The God of Israel controls the future. Here’s what the God of Israel says:

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.
(Isaiah 46: 10-11)

Israel's future

One of the most fascinating aspects about the people of Israel is their sacred book (which we call the Bible) and its mind-boggling prophecies. These are God-inspired predictions of events declared long before they happened, written by people who lived ages before the concerned generation even came into being. What people and what God does this? In a world of many religions, one cannot help but be amazed by the God of Israel’s bold declarations of the future. Today we see predicted events unfolding before our eyes, and especially those concerning Israel’s future.

Predictions Concerning Israel

When we trace a timeline of recent world events we find that many are closely linked to Israel. We see that Israel is increasingly the vortex of the world. For example, the following events are prophesied:

  • The return of the Jewish people to their homeland [commenced late 1800’s, ‘Aliyah’ continues today]
  • The liberation of Jerusalem from Gentile domination [commenced 1917, completed 1967]
  • Establishment of a Jewish homeland [commenced late 1800’s, legalized 1922]
  • Continuing persecution of Jews outside Israel [encourages ‘Aliyah’ today]
  • Attempted division of the Jewish homeland and Jerusalem [sought by the UN, the EU and the PA]
  • Establishment of the State of Israel [the Jewish nation was ‘born’ May 1948]
  • A World Government which opposes Israel [evolving today]
  • A false church that teaches Israel has been replaced by the church [Replacement Theology]
  • The blossoming of Israel in agriculture and horticulture [commenced in the 20th century]
  • Astronomical signs [recent blood moons coincided with Israel’s biblical feasts]
  • An essentially Islamic invasion of Israel [watch today’s Iran-Turkey-Russia alliance]
  • An all-nation war against Israel [at the return of Christ]
  • Christ will rule the nations from Jerusalem [the Millennial age]

The timeline below fills in some historical detail associated with these prophecies:

 

The timeline is best viewed on desktops, laptops and tablets.
If you’re viewing this on a mobile phone, click HERE for a PDF version


trusting in Jesus

Israel – A Timeline for World Events

world timeline
Israel: timeline for the world

Why look at Israel, or even think about this tiny little country? After all, Israel has only some 8 million people and is only the size of Wales. And isn’t stubborn little Israel a thorn in the flesh for the Palestinian people and a hard nut to crack for the UN politicians?

Yes – all that is true. But there is more to Israel than meets the eye – and the vast majority of the population fails to see it. A look at the facts, and a little reading of the Bible shows that Israel’s history and future are extremely important for the nations; she cannot be ignored. Like it or not, the milestones in Israel’s history and the prophesied milestones for the future are crucially important for the world. They affect all nations and all individuals.

The aim of this site is to be an eye-opener to the mystery of Israel. We want to spread the truth about the amazing role of Israel and how it can give us hope in an increasingly violent and chaotic world. Don’t walk away – this divine timepiece is running fast and events surrounding Israel will soon embrace the whole world. Whether you believe in the Bible or not, this site offers food for thought that you might find interesting and worth studying.

 

The timeline below is best viewed on desktops, laptops and tablets

If you’re viewing this on a mobile phone, click HERE for a PDF version

Israel’s End Time Milestones

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Prophecy fulfilled by Israel

Prophecy Fulfilled by Israel – Summary

About the times of the End, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamor and opposition.
[Sir Isaac Newton, 1642 – 1747]

Some claim that modern Israel a special nation amongst the nations of the world. And they claim that Israel will have an increasing role in the world as we near the end of this age. Prophecy fulfilled by Israel is a good test of these claims, and we need look no further back than the 20th century. During this time there are at least FIVE prophecies about Israel that have clearly been fulfilled: 1) the return of Jerusalem to the Jews, 2) the return of millions of Jews to their promised land, 3) the rebirth of the Jewish nation, 4) the protection of Israel against aggressors, and 5) the blessing of the land of Israel.

Here are Five Recent Examples of Prophecy Fulfilled by Israel

prophecy fulfilled by Israel

1917: General Allenby liberates Jerusalem from Turkish rule

prophecy fulfilled by Israel

Soldiers celebrate at the Western Wall, Jerusalem, 1967. Image: Courtesy Werner Braun/Jerusalem Post Archives

1. Prophecy Fulfilled: Jerusalem and the Times of the Gentiles

Historically, Jerusalem was under Jewish rule until the invasion of Judah and Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar around 600 BC, link. Although some Jews returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile, Jerusalem was always under some form of Gentile rule until the 20th century. Then, in 1917, things started to change when General Allenby liberated Jerusalem from Turkish rule. Jerusalem then came under the 1922 League of Nations (British) Mandate for Palestine – a mandate to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Scroll on 50 years and we see Jerusalem being fully liberated from Gentile rule after the 1967 6-Day War. At this point, all of Jerusalem came under Jewish rule for the first time in some 2,500 years and Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled:

Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled
(Lk 21.24)

2. Prophecy Fulfilled: the In-gathering of Jews from the Nations

In just 100 years the Jewish population of Israel has risen an amazing 7,700 percent (see Aliyah). Why this mass immigration to Israel? It is a fulfillment of prophecies which say that God will take His people from all the nations and bring them back into their own land (as promised to Abraham).

Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone … and bring them into their own land (Ezekiel 37.21)

Jews are coming from all over the world, from wherever they have been scattered amongst the nations. The first wave of immigration started in 1882 and particularly involved Jews from Russia and Romania. By 2008 the number of Jews living in Israel was more than any other country since the year 70 AD. Why this return? It is an end-time sign to the nations that God is about to intervene in world affairs:

He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth (Isaiah 11:12)

3. Prophecy Fulfilled: Israel – A Nation Born in a Day

prophecy fulfilled by Israel

Many prophecies foresaw the end-time gathering of the nation Israel from out of the Gentile nations – they were to come from the east and the west, the north and the south. This has happened over the last 100 years: in 1915 there were just 83,000 Jews in Palestine but this increased to over 6.2 million Jews in 2015, link, corresponding to an amazing 7400% increase! In comparison, over the same period the UK population increased just 55%. Equally amazing is the fact that the nation Israel was “born in a day” when the State of Israel was declared on 14 May 1948. This was fulfillment of prophecy:

Who has ever seen anything as strange as this? Who ever heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? (Isa 66.8, NLT)

4. Prophecy Fulfilled: Israel is the Apple of God’s Eye (ISIS don’t Touch!)

prophecy fulfilled by Israel

Israel’s Iron Dome Defense. Image: IDF & Nehemiya Gershoni Flickr, CC-BY-SA-3.0

In 1967 the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon (and later Iraq) attacked Israel with the goal “to wipe Israel off the map”. Israel defeated the attack in just 6 days even though the Arab armies had huge superiority in armour, aircraft and troops. After the war Israel held the Sinai, the Golan Heights, Gaza, the West Bank and all of Jerusalem. In fact, the area controlled by Israel after this war was the same area allotted to Israel for Jewish settlement under the 1922 Palestine Mandate!

In 1973 Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated attack on Israel in an attempt to win back territory lost in the 6-Day War. Iraqi forces soon joined the war, and Syria received support from Jordan. The Arab armies used up-to-date Soviet weaponry. The war was launched on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar when Israel is at rest and prayer, link. This took Israeli Defense Forces by surprise and Israeli causalities were heavy. Nevertheless, after just 20 days Egypt and Syria suffered military defeat.

In 2016 Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said their new Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile is capable of intercepting weapons bearing chemical, biological or nuclear warheads while they are still close to their launch pads. In other words, if a missile is launched from Iran it will fall on Iran!

These wartime victories against all odds, and superior anti-missile technologies are seen as fulfilled prophecy:

Whoever assails you will fall because of you … no weapon that is formed against you will prosper
(Isa 54.15,17)
I will be a wall of fire around her … he who touches you, touches the apple of (the Lord’s) eye
(Zech 2.5,8)

Did God Protect Israel against ISIS?

Early December 2016: Amidst increasing ISIS activity on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, Israeli soldiers stationed there reported that a literal pillar of cloud descended on the border. Reports say the strange storm (dust and rain) stopped on the border of Syria and was ‘unable’ to enter Israel’s Golan Heights area. It seems the storm cloud put a barrier between Israel and ISIS. Many believe God intervened on behalf of Israel to prevent ISIS from entering Israel, link, link.

5. Prophecy Fulfilled: Blessings of City and Land

prophecy fulfilled by Israel

Desertech, the annual agricultural expo for Arava agriculture. Image courtesy Central and Northern Arava R&D

Today, Israel’s industries include diamond processing, textiles, food processing, mining, agriculture and forestry. Despite the fact that more than half of Israel’s land is desert, Israel still manages to produce 95% of its own food requirements, link. Israel is also a major exporter of dates, avocados, olive oil, pomegranates and almonds, and is a world-leader in agricultural technologies, such as drip irrigation.

Israel’s scientific and technological advances are astounding: her industry now boasts many thousands of hi-tech companies in a wide range of fields such as computer science, electronics, genetics, optics, biotechnology, medical electronics, solar energy and electric cars. The majority of these companies are from startups. All major hi-tech companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel and Samsung now have R&D centers in Israel. In particular, cyber-security is big business there, link, involving some 200 Israeli companies and accounting for US$3 billion worth of anti-hacking exports in 2013.

The country has been described as an “economic miracle” since it has consistently had more companies listed on NASDAQ than all of Europe combined, and consistently scores as one of the top countries for patents per capita, see Venture Capital. According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel’s export of ‘goods’ (excluding services) has risen consistently over several decades, from $6 billion in 1980, to $31 billion in 2000 to over $63 billion in 2014.

Clearly, Israel’s cities and land are prospering. Why? Is it simply God’s end-time plan for Israel? Or is it a blessing from God because a majority of the Jews in Israel honour God by observing “halakhah” (the “Jewish Law”) e.g. by observing God’s feasts, keeping Shabbat, and praying once or twice a day? Or is it both? We are seeing the following prophecies being fulfilled:

Israel shall blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit (Isa 27.6)
If you observe carefully all His commandments … (then) blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country (Deut 28.1,3)

 

Prophecies about Israel – Abraham to the Millennium

Here are 54 Bible prophecies about Israel, many of which have been fulfilled.

 
prophecy fulfilled by Israel

Tiny Israel punches above her weight. Geographically she is just the size of Wales and she has less than ten million people, but she still stands unique amongst the nations. Why? The answer is that her existence (past, present and future) is mapped out in the scriptures. No other nation has such a well-defined timeline. Nations come and nations go, but according to the Bible, Israel will never disappear!

The following slides give 54 key Bible prophecies relating to the people and the land of Israel. They give a clear timeline of Israel – past, present and future. They clearly predict the present regeneration of the land itself, the recent discovery of natural resources, and the current unprecedented immigration (aliyah) to Israel. They also describe the future world government and how the nations will one day honour Israel. And prophecy describes a future harmony between Jew and non-Jews; they live at peace alongside each other in a Millennial age. That’s better than any “two-state” solution!

God’s People: Israel

God promised Abraham and his descendants (the people of Israel) all the land of Canaan (modern Israel) as an everlasting possession. He promised Abraham that he would become a great nation, and that this nation would be God’s own people, a unique people on the face of the earth. They are God’s chosen servant to be a witness to Himself and to make a name for Himself. Today, after 2,500 years of exile through disobedience, Israel is once more on the world stage as millions of Jews return to their own land. Today there is a State of Israel and she is becoming the focus of world attention as we approach the end of the age. God is leading them, just as a Father leads his little child.

Aliyah: the Ingathering of Israel

For a time rebellious Israel was forsaken by God and they were scattered (like dry bones) amongst the nations. But Ezekiel the prophet saw a valley of dry bones that became alive as God brought the people back to their own land. In these last days God has reached out to His people and wants to blot out their sin and unite them with Himself. So He is calling His people out from the nations, back into their own land, the land of Canaan. Jews call this ingathering or mass immigration back to their own land ‘aliyah’ or ‘ascent’. It has been underway now for over 100 years, drawing in some 8 million people. The Gentile nations cannot help but see an amazing thing: a nation born almost overnight. It is a very clear sign to the nations that the God of Israel is working in the world!

The Refining of Israel

Israel was scattered throughout the nations because she rebelled against her Creator. The prophet Ezekiel says she was like a captive behind bars, experiencing great suffering. But even when Israel returns to her own land, the vast majority of the Jews will still reject Yeshua, their true Messiah. So God brings them through a time of severe trial to refine them, like the refining of silver and the testing of gold. It is so severe that only one third survive. But this remnant at last sees Yeshua as their Messiah, and they mourn for their rejection of Him and how they pierced Him on the cross. God then pours out His Spirit upon this remnant, cleanses them, and writes His law on their hearts. From this time onwards, Israel is reunited with her God.

God’s Protection & Blessing of Israel

The refined remnant of Israel receive God’s protection and blessing. He protects them from their enemies and humbles those who have afflicted Israel. At the final assault on Israel, God causes great geological changes as the Mount of Olives splits in two (to provide protection for Israel). Israel then sees great blessings in both land and sea (possibly abundant gas and oil). Her well-watered hills produce abundant crops to fill the world with fruit and the formerly desolate land becomes like the garden of Eden. At last the nations acknowledge that Israel is God’s true witness of Himself and that His glory rests on the people of Israel.

Millennial Israel

Millennial Israel will live in peace, with the land divided equally amongst the tribes of Israel. The people will grow vineyards and build houses, and any foreigner (Gentile) will be treated equally as though they were God’s own people. Part of the land near Jerusalem will be set aside for Christ’s sanctuary, the seat of His Kingdom on earth. It will be a beautiful, glorious place. From there Christ will be King over all the earth and will the rule the nations with a rod of iron. Each year the nations will go up to Jerusalem to worship Him and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.


The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Summary of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

See also Israel’s Legal Borders and Two-State Solution?

The Jewish State of Israel occupies the land the Jews call Israel (and Christians refer to as the Holy Land). The Gentile world and the Arab nations also refer to this land as Palestine. The (so-called) Palestinians want to establish a Palestinian state on some (and preferably all) of the land called Israel. Hence the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Let’s summarize the facts.

Historical Facts

No Palestinian People: There is no historical Palestinian people. Despite the strong Muslim presence over the centuries, by the early 20th century Palestine was simply a mix of many peoples representing some 50 languages [1911 Encyclopedia Britannica]. ‘Palestine was ethnologically a chaos of all the possible human combinations’ [Richard Hartmann, historian], and so it did not share a common Arab identity. A ‘Palestinian people’ only came to prominence from the indigenous Arab population in response to increasing Jewish immigration after WWI.

It was not as if there was a Palestinian people in Palestine and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them … they did not exist [Golda Meir, Prime Minister, 1969]

No Palestinian Land or Country: Although referred to a ‘Palestine’ from Roman times, the biblical land of Canaan (today’s Holy Land) was not a ‘country’ and had no frontiers, only administrative boundaries [Prof. Bernard Lewis]. The term ‘Palestine’ was used as a general term to describe the land south of Syria, and it was applied to the territory placed under the 1922 British Mandate. Historically, there was no such country as Palestine:

There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not
[Arab Prof Philip Hitti (Princeton University), 1946]
Palestine does not exist at all
[Ahmed Shkari (PLO founder), 1956]

Birth of a ‘Palestinian People: Palestinian nationalism and an identifiable ‘Palestinian People’ emerged after WWI, probably in response to the threat posed by Zionism when waves of Jewish immigrants arrived in Palestine between 1919 and 1939. Prior to this time, these Arabs were citizens of the Ottoman Empire. A Palestinian identity was given further impetus with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. This was a political maneuver:

The Palestinian people does not exist … there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people [Zahir Muhsein, PLO, March, 1977]

The ‘Promised Land’: The Bible says that the Jews have been promised a land of their own. God made an unconditional promise to Abraham:

I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you … I will give to you and your descendants … all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God
(Gen 17.7,8)

Land Partitioning – a Two-State Solution: Under the 1917 Balfour Declaration Britain supported the creation of a Jewish home in Palestine, with the proviso that the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities were preserved. This Declaration was based upon the biblical promise to Abraham and was formalized by the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine, where Palestine was defined as the land west of the river Jordan, including Judea and Samaria (now called the West Bank). In 1947 nearly half of Palestine was owned by Arabs, nearly half was “Crown Lands” under the 1922 British Mandate, and about 8% was Jewish. In the same year UN Resolution 181 recommended that this area be divided equally into an Arab state and a Jewish state, and Jerusalem was to be ‘internationalized’. The Jews accepted the resolution but the Arabs rejected it. When the British left Palestine, the Palestine Mandate was absorbed into Article 80 of the UN Charter, and still stands today.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Palestinian refugees, 1948. Image: BlatantWorld.com via Foter.com / CC BY

Palestinian and Jewish Refugees: Since the two-state solution was rejected, immediately after the Declaration of the State in 1948 the Arab nations (notably the Egyptian and Syrian armies) invaded Israel. So Arab nations started the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which led to the refugee problem. In this so-called ‘War of Independence’, many Palestinians evacuated their homes under direction from Arab armies, hoping to return soon after the inevitable Arab victory, link. Instead, over 700,000 Palestinians became refugees that year in what is known as the Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe). A further 250,000 Palestinians fled to the West Bank or Gaza Strip during the 1967 war, link.

What is not so widely known is that this war also displaced Jewish inhabitants of East Jerusalem link, and between 1948 and 1951, over 800,000 Jews were effectively forced out of Arab countries by oppression and persecution. These also became refugees, link.

Israel’s Temporary Borders: After the 1948-49 war, the Arab countries refused to sign a permanent peace treaty with Israel and so the 1947 UN Commission proposals never received legal international recognition. Instead, Israel’s temporary borders were established along the so-called ‘Green Line’ of the 1949 UN armistice agreements. This line excludes Israel from the West Bank and Gaza. Its originators never intended it to be Israel’s permanent borders.

The Concept of ‘Land Occupation’: Since the 1967 Six-Day War, the international community (notably the media) has claimed that Israel is “occupying Palestinian land”. But in international law, a territory which has never been subject to the sovereignty of any state is declared terra nullius, and sovereignty over such territory can be legally acquired through occupation. This is the case of the West Bank and Gaza; neither have been legally recognized states and so legally cannot be occupied territories. So in the 1967 war, Israel simply took back Palestine Mandate land that was taken from her by war in 1948-49.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Today

Today, Israel’s legal borders are still defined by Article 80 of the UN Charter and span from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. According to Article 80, “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. The land of Israel was meant to be home for the non-Jewish peoples as well as home for the nation, Israel. Sadly this has not happened because the Arab leadership refused, and still refuses to accept the State of Israel and so peace cannot be achieved.

The revised Hamas Charter re-affirms the Palestinian long-standing hatred of Israel:

Hamas will not give up on any part of the land of Palestine no matter the reasons, circumstances or pressures, and no matter how long the occupation remains. Hamas rejects any alternative to completely liberating Palestine from the river to the sea.

The Hidden Spiritual War

In all the conflicts with Israel it is important to recognize that they are driven by unseen spiritual forces. The root cause of such conflicts is the relationship of Israel to Jesus (Yeshua):

the dragon (Satan) … persecuted the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the male child (Jesus) (Rev 12.13)

Put simply, the salvation of mankind comes through the Jewish Messiah, Jesus, link. This fundamental truth is why the enemy of mankind persecutes Israel. There is a spiritual war against God’s chosen people, Israel, and aggressive nations and leaders (including the UN and the Palestinian leadership) are simply Satan’s pawns. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is just one example of this hidden but very real spiritual war.

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Israel’s Future Borders

Borders of Israel: Summary

The current land disputes with Israel over the so-called “occupied territories” will be relatively short-lived. Bible prophecy points to a soon-coming age (the Millennium) when the people of Israel (Abraham’s descendants, the Jews) live at peace within the boundaries promised unconditionally to Abraham. Those boundaries span from the River Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean in the west, and embrace the disputed territories of the West Bank and Gaza. It is interesting to observe that the boundaries given to Moses as he was about to divide up Canaan for the twelve tribes (Numbers 34) correlate well with the Millennial boundaries given in Ezekiel 47.

Biblical Borders: The Future Borders of Israel According to the Bible

See also Israel’s Borders in International Law

The current borders of Israel are disputed by the international community, from the UN to the Arab leadership. But these parties insist on ignoring the true legal position, link. Even the US, Israel’s greatest ally makes misleading statements:

We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines [Barack Obama, 2011]

Obama gave US support for a future Palestinian state based on borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war. Thankfully, Israel’s border disputes will be short-lived. When this age ends and the 1,000 year ‘Millennial Age’ of earth begins, Israel’s borders will be firmly established by the God of Israel. In fact, Israel’s future borders are already clearly written in Bible prophecy (if only the world would read it).

The Promised Land: Israel’s Biblical Title Deeds

God promised that He would give all the land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants. He made a covenant with Abraham:

To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt (traditionally taken as the Nile) as far as the great river, the River Euphrates (Gen 15.18)
I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines (Gaza coast), and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates (Exod 23.31)

Despite Israel’s future disobedience, this promise was unconditional in that the land was to be theirs forever; no strings attached:

I will give to you and to your descendants … all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession (Gen 17.8)

borders of Israel

Fig.1: The 12 Tribes of Israel. Image: Biblical Maps. Enlarge

Where was Canaan, this “Promised Land”? Where did the twelve tribes of Israel settle? They settled mainly in the area currently referred to as Israel, including the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights, although the tribes of Benjamin, Gad, Reuben and part of Manasseh settled east of the Jordan (Fig.1). So there we have it: Abraham’s descendants, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve tribes of Israel are promised their own land, their own piece of real estate in the region we now call Israel.

Location of Israel’s Future Borders

Let’s try and identify the biblical geographic boundaries. As the Israelites conquered more territory the term ‘Canaan’ was gradually applied to all the lands west of the Jordan valley, and there are references to Canaanites living in the valleys and plains of this region (Num 13.29)(Josh 11.3)(Judg 1.27). In time the LORD gave more detail of the geographical boundaries. For example, in Num 34.1-12 we find the boundaries given to Moses as he was about to divide up Canaan for the twelve tribes. These are:

  • Western: the Mediterranean Sea
  • Eastern: from Kadesh-barnea, via Zin and the salt sea to Zedad and Hamath in the north
  • Southern: from Kadesh Barnea to the Brook of Egypt (probably not the Nile)
  • Northern: from the Mediterranean Sea (Mount Hor) to Hamath to Zedad

The boundaries defined in Numbers 34 are shown in Fig.2 and in Ezek 47.13-20 we find more boundary detail which confirm these boundaries. It is clearly stated that the Jordan is the eastern boundary (v18) and the western boundary (the Mediterranean Sea) goes north as far as ‘opposite Hamath’ (v20). The southern boundary is defined by a ‘brook’ in Num 34.5 and Ezek 47.19 and by a ‘river’ in Gen 15.18. Note that this is most likely not the Nile, link, link.

The significant point here is that many understand Ezek 47 (in fact, Ezek 40-48) to describe Millennial Israel. And it is interesting to see how the Old Testament boundaries in Num 34 align closely with Israel’s future borders in Ezek 47.

borders of Israel

Fig.2: Israel’s past and future borders. Image: Emmanuelm [CC-BY-3.0], Wikimedia Commons

Future (equal) land Division

Historically, the tribes occupied only some of this land and, as already mentioned, in addition occupied some land east of the Jordan (see also Israel’s History). Under Moses, the land was divided according to the size of each tribe (Josh 13) and so resulted in very unequal division e.g. the tribe of Manasseh took a large share. In contrast, Ezek 47 and 48 state that the land in Millennial Israel will be divided equally between the tribes, and in an east-west way (parallel sections):

The Sovereign Lord said, “These are the boundaries of the land that is to be divided among the twelve tribes … I solemnly promised your ancestors that I would give them possession of this land; now divide it equally among you. (Ezek 47.13-14)

So each tribe will have one portion, starting with Dan in the north and ending with Gad in the south, and all sections run east-west, Fig.3. There are several important points to note here.

Fig.3: Future equal land division between the 12 tribes of Israel. ENLARGE

borders of Israel

Fig.4: Future land allocation around Jerusalem according to Ezekiel 45,48 (sizes in cubits). The Holy Place denotes outer and inner courts, temple and altar. ENLARGE

The LORD’s Temple

Firstly, there will be a portion of land between the section for the tribe of Judah and the section for the tribe of Benjamin that is “set apart for the LORD” (Ezek 45.1-5, 48.8-22). Why? Recall that one day soon, in the Millennial age, the law will emanate from Zion (Mic 4.2). In the Old Testament, Zion came to mean Jerusalem, and the temple area in particular. This indicates that Christ will rule from some future temple and it’s surrounding area. In fact, Messianic Jews expect such a temple to be built in the near future, and we find a graphic description of such a temple in Ezek 40-48.

So the land “set apart” must include a holy place for the LORD’s temple or sanctuary. It’s precise dimensions are given in Ezek 45.1-5 and it is in the center of this special section of land (see Fig.4). It is the place of Christ’s throne on earth – a glorious place in the midst of the children of Israel. This is the place described as “THE LORD IS THERE” (Ezek 48.35).

Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever (Ezek 43.7)
The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; And I shall make the place of My feet glorious (Isa 60.13)

Israeli-Palestinian Problem Solved

We should also ask, “What of the non-Jewish population – those who currently war against the Jews?” In the coming age this conflict is resolved by the LORD. Israel is instructed by God to treat “the stranger” (non-Jews) as one of themselves and let them live in the land:

“… and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says the Lord God (Ezek 47.22-23)

This of course is nothing new. Thousands of years ago God instructed Moses to tell the people of Israel how they should treat foreigners (non-Jews). They were commanded to love “strangers” and to let them live normal lives amongst them (Deut 10.19):

When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall do him no wrong … (he) … shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself (Lev 19.33,34)

So under the new (Millennial) borders of Israel, God repeats this instruction via the prophet Ezekiel. During an interview in 1989, Arial Sharon was asked: “Do you think of Arabs as your friends, neighbours, your enemies?” He replied:

From my childhood, I have believed Jews and Arabs can live together, and I believe now they should live together. All the rights to this country, to the land of Israel – especially Judea and Samaria – are Jewish … but everyone who lives in the country should have all the rights of the country”. [Ariel Sharon, TIME, April 1989]

Unfortunately, as long as Arab countries refuse to recognize Israel and continue to attack her, such peaceful cohabitation is impossible. But it will happen in the Millennial age under Christ’s rule.

A Border Discrepancy?

At first sight it appears that there is some discrepancy in the northern boundary, since initially God told Abraham this boundary would be the River Euphrates, much further to the north (Gen 15.18). The kingdoms of David and Solomon did indeed stretch from the river of Egypt on the Sinai peninsula (not the Nile), across the Syrian Desert to Tiphsah on the Euphrates, but the Euphrates boundary is absent from Num 34 and Ezek 47.

A possible explanation is that God is giving boundaries for two time periods. At the Second Coming of Christ, link, there will be significant geological changes in the Middle East (Zech 14.4,10)(Isa 11.15,16) and one of these is the drying up of the Euphrates (Rev 16.12). So whilst the Euphrates served as a boundary for David and Solomon, it virtually ceases to be a landmark in the Millennium.

Comparison with Today’s Borders

It is interesting to compare the future biblical borders and land division with the current situation in Israel. Clearly, the future borders include both the Gaza strip and the West Bank! They also include significant parts of present-day Syria i.e. up to Hamath, and probably all of Lebanon. Are the politicians listening?


Jews

The Mystery of Israel the Fig Tree

 

Summary

The Bible liken’s the nation Israel to a fig tree. A fig tree produces both good and bad (inedible) fruit. So it was with the nation of Israel. Jews who were whole-hearted followers of God were likened to ‘good figs’, and rebellious Jews were likened to ‘bad figs’. The Bible also says that at the end of this age Israel will ‘blossom and bud’ and ‘put forth new leaves’ like a fig tree, and that this will be a sign of the imminent return of Israel’s true Messiah – Yeshua (Jesus Christ). Put simply, the Bible says that end-time events in the world will be closely linked to modern Israel.
Israel the fig tree

Go directly to an interactive timeline for Israel-related events HERE

Signs of the End of the Age and of Christ’s Return

When Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Mathew 24.3), He identified four types of end-time sign (see also Mark 13 and Luke 21):

  • Signs in the world – wars, earthquakes, famines, lawlessness, wild weather …
  • Signs in the church – worldwide gospel preaching, persecution, apostasy, false prophets …
  • Signs in Israel – invasion, severe persecution of Jews …
  • Signs in the heavens – fearful solar and cosmic disturbances, asteroids …

Jesus said that when we see these signs then “know that the kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21.31). He said these signs point to His imminent return and the establishment of His kingdom on earth. So Jesus stressed that it was important to watch for these signs:

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming (Mat 25.13)

After describing the above signs, Jesus gave a mysterious parable. He associated the observation of these signs with the Parable of the Fig Tree. Why? It turns out that understanding this parable is the key to unlocking the mystery of what is now happening in the world. The parable leads to a very important sign, and one promised by the prophet Isaiah:

He will set up a sign for the nations (Isa 11.12)

What is it?

An Important Sign: The Parable of Israel the Fig Tree

After describing some end-time signs to watch for, Jesus ends with the parable of the fig tree. He told His disciples:

Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors!
(Mat 24.32,33)

Why did Jesus associate a fig tree with the end time signs? Some argue that Jesus was just using a simple horticultural observation. Quite simply – the fig tree is one of the last trees to bud in the spring and so when it’s leaves are budding we know that summer is just around the corner! So, they argue, Jesus was simply saying; “when the fig tree buds you know that summer is near – likewise, when you see all these things happening, know that the end is near”. They deny that there is any positive association of Israel with a budding fig tree, link. On the other hand, Jesus used the concept of a parable, implying that underneath He was teaching a deep truth. Was He referring to Israel in the last days? Should we view the Parable of the Fig Tree as The Parable of Israel the Fig Tree?

Consider A Little Horticulture

Israel the fig tree

The common or edible fig (Ficus carica L.) is native to the Mediterranean/Israel region, where it can produce three crops per year, link, link. Breba figs develop in the Spring (May) on the previous year’s shoot growth. They are generally inferior to the main crop and are often discarded to encourage growth of the main crop, link. Two main crops follow in July-November, with pollinated (caprified) figs in August-September. Pollination (caprification) of the common fig can markedly increase fig size, link and is done by fig wasps transporting pollen from Capri fig flowers. In contrast to most fruit trees, the Autumn figs (the main crop) develop on the new wood that grows in Spring.

Ficus carica was cultivated for its fruit thousands of years ago and figs are often referred to in the Old Testament. It is interesting to note that the Bible also refers to three crops of figs:

  • ‘early, first ripe, first fruit before the summer, very good figs’ (Isa 28.4; Jer 24.2,3; Hos 9.10) – a relatively small crop with the best flavour, June-July
  • ‘sweetness and good fruit, the season for figs’ (Judg 9.11, Mk 11.13) – main crop, August-September. Made into cakes for winter use (1 Sam 25.18)
  • ‘green, bad, inedible figs’ (Song 2.13; Jer 24.2,3; Jer 29.17) – green or winter figs, small, unripened, unsweetened, inedible fruit, link, link

Spiritual Implication: the End-Time Budding of Israel

Israel the fig tree

Fig horticulture identifies good sweet figs, the first of the summer figs, and poor, unripe and often inedible figs. The significant point here is that the Bible associates these qualities with the people of Israel. For instance, the ‘fathers of Israel’ or Patriarchs are seen as the best figs – the first-fruits of the summer crop:

I found Israel .. your fathers as the first fruits on the fig tree (Hos 9.10)

God sees this minority of Israel as the first and best of the nation. These figs contrast with the green, inedible figs. Both types of fig symbolize the people of Judah before their deportation to Babylon; they are seen as good and bad figs:

The LORD said to me ‘What do you see, Jeremiah?’ And I said, ‘Figs, the good figs, very good, and the bad, very bad (Jer 24.3)

Israel the fig tree

Large ripe figs

Jeremiah 24.5-8 shows that God is referring to those Jews who are whole-hearted followers of God (the good figs), and to those rebellious Jews who had rejected God (the bad figs). Likewise, in the time of Christ, most Jews rejected Him and remained dead in their works and legalism. They were like green, unripened, unsweetened figs. Today, most Jews can be seen as green figs, whilst a few (the messianic Jews) are like sweetened ripe figs.

The consequences of rebellion against God is well illustrated in the incidence of the ‘Withered fig tree’ (Mat 21.18,19). Jesus found no fruit (apparently, not even the unripe breba crop), and so He cursed it and it died. This was prophetic, looking to the destiny of the Jews when they were to be scattered by the Romans in 70 AD. Like the cursed fig tree, the nation of Israel seemingly died. In contrast, Jesus gave an extremely important prophecy that applies to our time. To repeat:

Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors! (Mat 24.32,33)
Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom is near (Lk 21.29-31)

Israel the fig tree

Note that Jesus refers to the tender branch, implying new wood and the coming good summer fruit on the new wood. Since the fruit of the fig tree is established in the Old Testament as symbolizing the spiritual state of the people of Israel, many see this coming ‘summer crop’ as the restoration of the people of Israel (generically referred to as ‘Jews’) to their own land. The fruitless dead wood of scattered Israel is replaced by fruit on new wood. It is likened to a people drawn back into their own land and a nation that becomes a sign to the Gentiles. A remnant of this people become ‘the good, sweet crop’. This process has been underway now for over 100 years, link.

So when we refer to ‘Israel the fig tree’ we see both Old Testament Israel, and modern re-gathered or ‘budding’ Israel. The ‘good crop’ could include the 144,000 Messianic Jews drawn from the twelve tribes of Israel who will evangelize the gentile nations at the very end of this age (Rev 7.4-8). The result is the salvation of a countless number of Gentiles during the Great Tribulation:

I looked and saw a great multitude … of all the nations … clothed with white robes … these are the one’s who come out of the great tribulation (Rev 7.9,14).

The Message behind the Parable:
Regathered Israel is a Sign to the Nations

It seems that when Jesus spoke of the appearance of new shoots on the fig tree as signalling that summer is near, He was actually alluding to the restoration of Israel and His imminent return. He was saying that when we see Israel regathered in her own land and ‘budding like a fig tree’ then His return is near – even ‘at the doors’. This will be the time of the coming of the fullness of the Kingdom of God on earth.

Israel and the Timeline for the Last Days

In Luke 21 Jesus said ‘look at the fig tree (Israel) and ‘all the trees’ (the Gentile nations) and so observe the signs of the times. He implied that Israel will be the vortex of the nations. So let’s now apply the parable of Israel the fig tree to the observed world scenario and ask the question, ‘When did the fig tree (Israel) start to bud?’ ‘When did Israel emerge onto the world scene?’ When we trace a timeline of world events from this time we find that many issues of today are closely linked to Israel! We see that Israel is increasingly the vortex of the world.

 

The timeline below is best viewed on desktops, laptops and tablets.
If you’re viewing this on a mobile phone, click HERE for a PDF version


Jerusalem – Seat of Future World Government

See also Jerusalem in Prophecy
world government

Jerusalem Old City. Image: FreeIsraelPhotos

Historic Babylon and historic Rome were seats of power and authority over the world in their day. And today we see the ‘big five’ governments (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) in similar but larger seats of power. What do all these governments have in common? They were and are secular and Godless. Despite strong Vatican influence over Europe the EU has a ‘Godless Constitution’, and even ‘Christian America’ has a ‘Godless Constitution’, link.

What about a Future World Government?

There is much talk today about the coming (Godless) World Government. But in contrast to secular world governments, the final world government on earth will honour the God of the Bible. In fact, we know from prophecy who will lead this government. In the book of Isaiah (chapter 9) we read:

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders … There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace

This prophecy clearly states that the leader of this government will be Jesus Christ. Now let’s ask some pertinent questions:

  • Is this a ‘World Government’ in the modern-day sense? Yes. When Christ returns to earth (and that is soon) He will be “King over all the earth” (Zech 14.9)
  • Is this a strong government? Yes. Christ will rule the nations “with a rod of iron” (Ps 2 8,9)
  • What about the secular Godless government on earth when He comes? It will be dashed to pieces and no trace will be left (Dan 2.35)
  • How long will this government last? Christ will reign on this earth for 1,000 years (the Millennium) (Rev 20.4)

Lastly, where is this seat of His government? The prophets tell us that too:

Thus says the LORD, I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth … for the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem (Zech 8.3, Isa 2.3)

Yes – it is certain that Jerusalem will soon be the seat of the future and final World Government. The eyes of the nations will be focused on tiny Israel and her King.

GO DEEPER

Jesus and Israel: What’s the Connection?

The Connection between Jesus and Israel is Fundamental

What is written in the Christian Bible about Jesus and Israel is deep and mysterious. Yet this mystery will soon be revealed to the world through end-time world events. It will affect everyone. So with national Israel in world focus today, it is natural to ask:

Is there any connection with the risen Jesus Christ
and the Israel we observe today (the people and the land)?

In particular, some ask

  • What do Jews and Gentiles think of Jesus?
  • Will today’s Jews every recognize Jesus as their ‘Messiah’. If so, when?
  • Are there two biblical Covenants, one for Jews and one for Gentiles? Or does the covenant promise to Israel merge into the New Covenant given to the church?
  • What is Christ’s relationship to the nation, Israel?
  • Did Jesus’ teaching replace the laws of the Hebrew scriptures?
  • Does Jesus fulfill the promises of blessing given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Put another way, does Jesus and His church fulfill the role originally assigned to the nation of Israel – to be a light to the nations?
  • Has Christ’s church replaced Israel, as in Replacement Theology?
  • If Jesus and His church have taken the place of Old Testament Israel, what is the status and role of the nation of Israel today?
  • Is the modern State of Israel a product of man’s will, or a fulfillment of God’s prophetic word?
  • Does God recognize as ‘spiritual’ Israel all who respond in faith to follow Jesus?
  • Is the church related to the so-called ‘Ten Lost Tribes’? Are their descendants scattered amongst the Gentile church, link?
  • Did Jesus’ primary ministry (reconciliation of man to God) fulfill all that the Old Testament temple symbolized? Is a new temple in Jerusalem needed (as some maintain)?
  • Does the modern State of Israel have any claim to the land (Canaan) promised to Abraham and his descendants, noting that Israel failed to keep God’s covenant? Put another way, are modern Jews still the true heirs of the land promised regardless of their continued unbelief in Jesus?

Bible Prophecy Holds the Answer to many of these Questions

In his book Jesus and Israel: One Covenant or Two?, David Holwerda (professor of New Testament Studies, Calvin Theological Seminary) argues for a spiritual fulfillment of Bible prophecies, link. He rightly concludes that there is only one covenant and that “The way of salvation for both Jew and Gentile is the same because both must call on the name of Jesus to be saved“. But does a spiritual view of prophecy fit with the facts, with observed reality, with what we see happening in Israel today? Why can’t we take a pragmatic view of prophecies where the text is quite clear?

Jesus’ First Mission: He came primarily to His own people, the Jews (at that time, essentially from the tribe of Judah), but they rejected Him as their expected Messiah (the Moshiach):

He came to that which was His own [that which belonged to Him—His world, His creation, His possession], and those who were His own [people—the Jewish nation] did not receive and welcome Him (Jn 1.11, Amplified)

And He came not to abolish the Jewish Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill them (Mat 5.17).

Jesus’ Second Mission: Why does Jesus return to the Jews in Jerusalem and not to the politically important people in the UN or the EU, for instance? The answer is that prophecy explicitly states that Jesus returns to rule the Gentile nations with justice as King from Jerusalem (Zech 14.9,16,17). He returns to sit on the ancient throne of king David, who reigned 33 years in Jerusalem (Isa 9.7).

He returns to usher in the fullness of the Kingdom of God – a Millennial age of peace when the nations go up to Jerusalem to worship Him (Isa 66.23)! He returns to dwell with His chosen nation, the people of Israel (Ezek.37.26-27). Perhaps most important of all, Jesus returns so that His people recognize Him as their true Messiah, their looked-for Moshiach:

They (the Jews) will look on Me whom they pierced … they will mourn for Him … in that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem (Zech 12.10,11)

Again, these promises are difficult to spiritualize.

Jesus returns to Jerusalem: Bible prophecy says that Jesus will return at the end of this age. And the place of his return? Jerusalem! So at the outset, Jesus and modern Israel are inextricably connected via modern-day Jerusalem. Geologists have even discovered a fault line running through the Mount of Olives, as required for the mountain to split in two at Christ’s Second Coming (Zech 14.4). That is difficult to spiritualize.

Jesus’ return is Unexpected: It will be preceded by deception (false Christs), but his actual return will be sudden, unexpected, and globally observed. In the gospel of Mathew, chapter 24, we read:

Many false prophets will appear and fool many people … if people tell you, ‘Look, he is out in the desert!’ — don’t go there; or if they say, ‘Look, he is hiding here!’ — don’t believe it. For the Son of Man will come like the lightning which flashes across the whole sky from the east to the west

Who Takes Jesus Seriously?

Jesus and Israel

Most Jews are confused over Jesus

As the video implies, most Jews in Israel today reject Yeshua (Jesus) as their looked-for ‘Messiah’ or ‘Moshiach’. Apart from a minority, those who claim to be religious follow Judaism, not Yeshua. This is alarming – but a fulfillment of prophecy. According to prophecy, God’s people (generically, the Jews) will return in unbelief to the land promised to Abraham and his descendants. The New Testament says that these Jews are suffering a temporary spiritual blindness and a temporary hardening of the heart towards God and especially towards Yeshua (Rom 11.25). Only at the very end of this age, under tribulation, does the vast majority of Jews recognize Yeshua as their Messiah (Zech 12.10-14).

In an ever-darkening western world, skeptics claim that nobody of our era has seen Jesus of Nazareth as the person who lived some 2,000 years ago. Where is he? He died didn’t he? For example, a vast majority of young people in Europe now reject Christianity, link. Some 70% of young people in the UK identify with no religion.

Yet billions of people worldwide who call themselves Christians believe he is a living person, trust him, and hang on to every word he said, as written in the New Testament writings of the Bible. And it is these same scriptures that give shocking warnings to those who don’t believe and consciously reject him. The warnings are so radical that they are brushed off as delusional ideas of the disciples of this controversial personality. The warnings are seen as fundamentalist dogma.

Here’s a series of four thought-provoking exposés about Jesus of Nazareth, born in the land of Israel as a Jew and predicted to return to Jerusalem to become King of a world-ruling government.
 

READ ABOUT:
Jesus the man
Jesus the Jew
Jesus the Creator
Jesus the coming King

Jesus and Israel

 
 
Part 1:
Jesus the man: What the eyewitnesses said about him

Jesus and Israel

 
 
Part 2:
Jesus the Jew: This has deep implications for Israel

Jesus and Israel

 
 
Part 3:
Jesus the Creator: He died for His creation. Do you believe it?

Jesus and Israel

 
 
Part 4:
Jesus the coming king: He will rule the nations from Jerusalem


lies about Israel

Topical Issues – Interesting Facts

Scientific and Biblical Explanations of Topical Issues and Interesting Facts

Here’s some interesting snippets to get you thinking … For instance

What happens when Iran and her allies finally invade Israel?
Will they ever stop radioactive water from the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant from polluting the Pacific?
Is the European Union a good project, or a prelude to world dictatorship?
Who are the prominent personalities soon to appear on the world stage?
Is man-made (anthropogenic) CO2 really the cause of global warming?
Why do some see Britain as a “special nation”?
Why is the Jewish nation, Israel, still in existence after 2500 years of severe persecution?
Why was the design of Noah’s Ark close to modern naval practice in terms of stability, strength and comfort?
What caused mankind’s lifespan to decrease exponentially from around 2300 BC?
Assuming an evolutionary timescale of mankind, why aren’t there billions and billions of people on earth?
And to round off …
Why do politicians find the ownership of Jerusalem too difficult a problem to solve?

Dangerous World Situations

Jerusalem’s earthquake danger

topical issues

The Jordan/Dead Sea Valley is part of a ‘continental transform’ – a tectonic plate boundary between the Arabian and African tectonic plates, link. Running SW-NE across this transform are ‘geologic folds’ formed when the two plates collide – as in the fold running close to the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. Enlarge Map.

The World Health Organization (WHO) therefore places the Jerusalem area at “high risk” from earthquake, link. Check out Jerusalem’s recent quakes. Experts expect a major earthquake soon, link. Will this be the major quake seen in Bible prophecy, when the Mount of Olives “splits in two from east to west” (Zechariah 14:4)?


Iran’s threat to Israel

Iran has repeatedly said it wants to eliminate Israel, link:

You [Zionist regime] will not see 25 years from today [Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Sept. 2015]

This could involve Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, link:

Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, come from the Islamic Republic of Iran [Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, June 2016]

Iran has built up Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal on the Israeli-Lebanese border, and the IDF estimated this at 130,000 in 2018. Iran is also supplying precision missiles to Hezbollah. Invasion of Israel by Iran and her allies seems certain and imminent. Bible prophecy tells us what happens, link.


Global pollution was predicted

Plastic pollution, Ghana
Muntaka Chasant, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons. Enlarge

Radioactive fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster spread across Europe as far as North Wales. Radioactive water from the Japanese Fukushima plant (destroyed March 2011) is still pouring into the Pacific Ocean, link. The oceans we fish are choked with plastic waste, link. The air we breath is polluted with carbon monoxide (CO) from industry and vehicles. Over 90 percent of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits, link. Other common forms of pollution are streams full of toxic chemicals from industrial processes, rivers overloaded with nutrients from farms, and trash blowing away from landfills.

Land mines are another source of global pollution, affecting over 50 countries, link. As of 2017 there were an estimated 110 million land mines in the ground, link, and at the present rate of progress it would take over 1000 years to eliminate them! And then of course there’s the claimed atmospheric pollution and resulting global warming caused by man-made CO2. Global pollution (and the climate crisis, whatever the cause) is foreseen in Bible prophecy:

The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants … Isaiah chapter 24 verse 5 (NASB)


Asteroid Threat

NASA tracks potentially hazardous astronomical objects called “near-Earth objects (NEOs)”. The majority of NEOs are asteroids. A Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA), link, link has the potential to make close approaches to the Earth and is large enough (over 140 meters diameter) to cause very significant damage in the event of impact. If one landed in the ocean it will generate a huge tsunami, link. In fact, the book of Revelation mentions what could be taken as an asteroid impact in the ocean:

And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea … and a third of the ships were destroyed (Rev 8.8,9)

Such a catastrophic event is one of God’s judgments upon a rebellious sinful world. But there is a way out! More…


Coming Personalities on the World Stage

St Peter, Vatican. Image: Pixabay

In the near future the world will see the following personalities: A powerful secular, political world leader empowered by demonic forces (Rev 13:1). This despicable person probably emerges from Europe, link. He will be helped by a prominent but apostate ecclesiastical person (Rev 13:11), probably the pope (Rev 17). Contrary to current popular belief, John Wesley and many Protestant Reformers saw the pope as the Antichrist, link.

About the same time, an Israeli leader, probably a degenerate Jew, will make a Peace Treaty with the secular world leader (Dan 9:27). Although peace for Israel is urgently needed, this treaty turns out to be false i.e. deception! Moving on a few years, prophecy describes two people who are empowered by God to witness to the world (Rev:11). Not surprisingly, the world hates them. Finally we come to the most important personality of them all – Jesus/Yeshua. At the end of all these events, Jesus will return to rule the nations from Jerusalem (Zech 14:9).


Israel’s land “occupation”

Israel is accused of building on “occupied land”, an accusation that could easily morph into war, link. But according to international lawyers, all of western Palestine, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, including Gaza and all of Jerusalem remains legally open to Jewish settlement under the original British Mandate. They maintain that this right of settlement is protected by Article 80 of the UN Charter which recognizes the Trust (British Mandate) handed to it by the League of Nations, link. The Mandate also had built-in protection for the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, link:

…it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine

So what went wrong? Why the aggression? Why Palestinian refugees? Did it all start in 1947 when the Arabs rejected the UN two-state partition plan, link?


Is the EU bad news for Israel?

topical issues

Is the European Union (EU) a good project for mankind, or a dangerous development? Bible prophecy may have the answer. Daniel chapter 7 describes just four great secular empires that dominate (persecute) Israel in this age: the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman Empires. Since there are only four empires, prophecy implies a ‘revived Roman Empire’ will emerge at the end of the age. Like historic Rome, this final empire will dominate and crush all opposing factions. The EU has many of the characteristics of a Revived Roman Empire, link. And noting that the EU is now developing a European army, link, it could even head the prophesied invasion of Israel (Armageddon).


Climate Change: Is it CO2?

topical issues

Global Average Temperature. BerkeleyEarth. CC BY 4.0. Enlarge

Of all topical issues, this must be number one! Yes, the world climate seems to be changing. The mean global temperature has increased about 1°C since 1880, link, and the weather seems more erratic and extreme, link. Without exception the media follow the IPCC explanation: it’s caused by man-made (anthropogenic) CO2, link. But man’s contribution to atmospheric CO2 is only 4% of the total CO2, link, and about 95% of Earth’s greenhouse effect is caused by water vapour, not CO2, link. Other scientific facts don’t tie-up either, link. So is there a natural cause of climate change, as in the sun?

CO2 is not responsible for heating the earth, the cause is the activity of the sun [Professor Emeritus Giora Shaviv, professor of physics and the Swartzmann-Medvedi chair in Space Sciences at The Technion in Haifa]

Sun activity (or lack of it) could even cause global cooling. More to the point; isn’t it God’s weather anyway?


Earth-axis tilt increase?

The world’s climate and weather (note there is a difference!) is very dependent upon the tilt of earth’s axis. The generally accepted figure is about 23.5 degrees and this tilt gives us our seasons. But what would happen if this tilt increased slightly? For example, an increase from the nominal 23.5 degree tilt to 24 degrees could give hotter summers and colder winters. Some claim an increased tilt has already been observed, changing the climate, link. NASA doesn’t deny this claim, but argues that any tilt change is due to global warming, link. The prophet Isaiah says that in the last days “the earth reels back and forth like a drunkard”, link.


Now one of the major topical issues – ISRAEL

Israel’s Future Borders

topical issues

Israel’s past and future borders
Emmanuelm CC-BY-3.0, Wikimedia. Enlarge

The current land disputes with Israel over the so-called “occupied territories” will be relatively short-lived. Bible prophecy points to a soon-coming age (the Millennium) when the people of Israel (Abraham’s descendants, the Jews) live at peace within the boundaries promised unconditionally to Abraham. Those boundaries span from the River Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean in the west, and embrace the disputed territories of the West Bank and Gaza.

We note two important points:

  • the boundaries given to Moses as he was about to divide up Canaan for the twelve tribes (Numbers 34) correlate well with the Millennial boundaries given in Ezekiel 47
  • Both these borders are very similar to Israel’s current legal borders under international law!

More…


Amazing survival of the Jews

The Jewish nation, Israel has survived for over 3,500 years despite some 2,500 years of exile and severe persecution. In recent years Jews have been drawn out of the nations to come and live in the land (Canaan/Israel) promised to Abraham and his descendants. Out of the 14.5 million Jews in the world, 46 percent now reside in Israel, link. Moreover, the ancient Hebrew language has been revived, link, and is now the official state language of Israel.

Isn’t all this unusual for a nation? When King Louis XIV of France (1643-1715) asked Blaise Pascal, the great Christian philosopher to give him proof of God, Pascal answered, “Why the Jews, your Majesty, the Jews!“. As Winston Churchill remarked:

Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.

The Old Testament scriptures explain why. The prophet exclaimed:

And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went … to make a name for Himself (2 Samuel 7:23)


Israel’s Amazing Agriculture

topical issues

Israel’s Desertech

Jewish immigrants to Palestine/Israel in the 20th century embarked upon an extensive program of afforestation, making Israel one of only two countries in the world that began the 21st century with more trees than it had at the beginning of the 20th century! Then there’s agriculture. Although only 20% of Israel’s land is arable, today more than 40 percent of the country’s vegetables and field crops are grown in the Negev desert. Fish are also farmed in the desert. Today, fruit and vegetables amount to typically 50 percent of Israel’s total agricultural output. All this is possible due to Israel’s cutting-edge agricultural technology, link. Bible prophecy is coming true:

Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit (Isaiah 27:6)

More…


Who owns Jerusalem?

Jerusalem is perhaps the most contested city in the world, and the question ‘Who owns Jerusalem?’ is endlessly debated. UN GA Resolution 303 (Dec 1949) argued that Jerusalem should be administered by the United Nations as a “corpus separatum” (a separate body). Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion sharply rejected the concept:

Jewish Jerusalem is an organic and inseparable part of the State of Israel … Israel could not even conceive that the United Nations would attempt to tear Jerusalem from the State of Israel [David Ben-Gurion, Dec 1949]

Today, although corpus separatum has never been officially relinquished, the international community (the UN, the US and the EU) leans to a two-state solution i.e. Jerusalem should be the capital of both Israel and Palestine, link, link. That said, in December 2017 the US recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel!

The Bible clarifies the confused political situation. Jerusalem is mentioned more than 600 times in the Hebrew Bible. Why? Is this because Jerusalem is special to the Jewish nation and the God of Israel? More thoughts at Resolving Jerusalem.


The Mysterious Israel-Eden Connection

The land of Israel (ancient Canaan) appears to be unique. Detailed historical, geological and biblical studies indicate that the land of Israel could be associated with the biblical Eden described in Genesis. The name Eden means “delicate, delight, pleasure” – a pleasant place to be – a garden home. Geologically, Canaan appears to be part of the “Fertile Crescent” spanning from southern Iraq to Canaan. Abraham probably traveled the Crescent when he left the city of Ur.

Prophecy suggests that the nations will soon see a “modern Eden” in the center of Israel. This appears to occur during the coming Millennial age. During this time the land around Jerusalem reflects many of the characteristics of ancient Eden. For example, during this time God (in the form of the risen Jesus) walks with mankind on this earth, there is no hurt and no killing (the lion eats straw like the ox), there are beautiful trees and plants providing food for both man and animals, and around Zion there are “delightful” places in which to live (just like Eden). More …


A break from Topical Issues:
Strange Facts and Events

The Solar Eclipse – fluke or design?

Scientists say “it is a happy accident of nature”, “a striking coincidence”, “a sheer chance”, “a fluke of celestial mechanics”. They refer to the amazing geometry associated with the Sun, Moon and Earth. During a total eclipse the Moon casts its umbra (shadow) upon Earth’s surface so that the Sun is totally obscured. The Earth, Moon, Sun geometry is such that only the beautiful corona of the Sun is left (permitting astronomers to analyse the Sun’s atmosphere, link). Since the Sun’s diameter is about 400 times that of the Moon, the eclipse can only happen if the distances of Sun and Moon from Earth are just right. It turns out that this is the case and both Sun and Moon subtend virtually same angle such that they look virtually the same size in the sky. Do the maths here. Sheer chance, or God’s design?


Blood moons

strange events

Blood Moon. pixabay

In recent years there has been much interest in so-called “blood moons”. This phenomenon is caused by the scattering of red sunlight onto the moon as the earth passes between the sun and the moon (a lunar eclipse), link. Such events are entirely predictable, see NASA lunar eclipses. Even so, blood moons generate a sense of public awe, and for Jews their timing seems especially significant when they occur on a Jewish festival. For instance, during 2014-2105 four total lunar eclipses occurred as follows:

15-04-14 (Pesach), 08-10-14 (Sukkot 09-10-14), 04-04-15 (Pesach), 28-09-15 (Sukkot)

Note the near perfect correspondence of dates with Jewish festivals. In the past, such strange coincidences have been difficult times for Jews. A similar awesome scenario is prophesied at the end of this age, link:

I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes (Joel 2:30,31)


Noah’s Ark – a stable design!

According to the Bible, Noah was instructed to make an Ark according to the following specification:

The length of the Ark shall be 300 cubits, its width 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits … You shall make it with lower, second and third decks (Genesis 6:15,16)

A naval study in 1977 assumed the common cubit of 18 inches, making the Ark some 450 long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. This study concluded that “the Ark was extremely stable” when four major stability features were examined, even in 210 knot winds, link. Another naval study in 1993 used a cubit of 20.4 inches and concluded that the biblical dimensions were optimal for stability, strength and comfort, and that the Ark could handle 30 meter waves, link. So, in major design aspects, Noah’s Ark was as good as modern shipping!


Human Ageing Suddenly Got Worse!

strange events

Lifespan of the Patriarchs. Graph: Bible Student Chronology . Enlarge

Today man’s lifespan is about 70 years. But Bible records suggest that man lived much longer – hundreds of years. That is, until a certain date, link. Some claim that date was the time of a universal Flood, perhaps around 2300 BC, link. Does science have an explanation for such an exponential decrease in lifespan?

A major model of human aging is based on human cells and how the many proteins inside a cell coexist and interact. It is claimed that defective proteins result in aging and that ‘proper aging’ depends upon proper protein folding. Put another way, it is claimed that protein misfolding is strongly related to age-related degenerative diseases, and that misfolding, link, can arise from radioisotopes that speed up or slow down protein folding. Moreover, damage caused by radiation can be cumulative, link. So it is scientifically plausible that a significant increase in radioisotopes in the atmosphere after the Flood could cause the observed progressive reduction in the age of man after the Flood. More at lifespan change.


Why is earth’s population so small?

strange events

Homo_erectus. Reconstruction: John Gurche; photograph: Tim Evanson. CC BY-SA 2.0

Some claim that Homo sapiens appeared some 600,000 to 200,000 years ago. But isn’t it strange that after more than 200,000 years earth’s population was still only 7 billion by 2011? After all, it took only 207 years to increase earth’s population from 1 billion in 1804 to 7 billion in 2011! To explain the low population, some claim that a world-wide catastrophe may have occurred around 70,000 years ago, reducing the human population to maybe just 1,000 breeding pairs. Does this make sense?

Let’s do the maths on the ‘catastrophe’ theory. Starting with a population of No, after t years the population will have grown to N = No exp(rt), where r is the natural (non-immigration) percentage rate of population increase (r = birth rate – death rate). Typically, population growth rates are between 0.1% and 3% annually. For a conservative estimate we will take r = 0.1% and No = 1,000. Over a 70,000 year period we find N = 2.5 × 10 power 33. In words, earth’s population should now be some million, billion, billion, billion. It’s not of course. So either the population growth calculation is hopelessly wrong, or the theory of human evolution is suspect! On the other hand, taking the biblical data of just No = 8 people after the Flood (around 2,300 BC), we need a mean growth rate of r = 0.5% to achieve a world population of 7 billion in 2011.


Is Britain a “special” Nation?

UK Coat of Arms. wikipedia. Enlarge

Some see Britain as “special” in that she is seen to have strong historical and biblical connections to the lost tribes of Israel. One of these tribes (Judah) was to hold the royal scepter pertaining to the royal throne of David. It is held until Christ sits on David’s throne as King over all the earth (Gen 49:10, Zech 14:9, Mat 19:28, Mat 25:31). But where is this scepter now, given that Christ has not yet returned?

Some claim that there is strong biblical, archaeological and historical evidence that associates the British Isles with the continuing throne of David. For example, why does the British Coat of Arms bear a “unicorn” – a mysterious animal referred to nine times in the Hebrew scriptures? Why for centuries did a mysterious stone (“Jacob’s pillow?”) reside under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey, link. Why is it claimed that “Queen Victoria is of David”, link? And where is the “company of nations” as prophesied in Genesis 35:11 if its not the British Commonwealth? More….


Genesis 12 verse 3: a verse that shapes history

Summary

When God told Abram (Abraham) to go to “a land that I will show you” (Canaan), He promised to make him “a great nation”, and that in him “all families of the earth shall be blessed”. This was an unconditional promise: the nation turned out to be the Jewish nation, Israel, and through Abraham’s descendants came Christ, the Saviour of the world. God also said:

And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. (Genesis chapter 12 verse 3, NASB).

This verse has never been abrogated and since it refers to both Abraham and his descendants it is true today until the the end of the age. Some 3,500 years have now passed and, in accord with this verse, world history has been shaped by how individuals, people groups and nations have treated the Jewish people. Yes, they have suffered, but a remnant always survives:

All things are mortal but the Jews; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality? [Mark Twain, 1897]

Understanding Genesis 12 Verse 3

The Abrahamic Covenant is formally given in Genesis 15 and 17, but the elements are laid in Genesis 12:2-3. The covenant is wholly gracious and unconditional. The descendants of Abraham only had to abide in their own land to inherit every blessing. Unfortunately, verse 3 is often mistranslated from the Hebrew, so let’s look at a few English translations:

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee … (King James Version, KJV)

I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you … (New King James Version, NKJV)

And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses [reviles] you I will curse [bind under a curse] … (New American Standard Bible, NASB)

I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse … (English Standard Version, ESV)

And I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you, and I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonors, has contempt for) you … (Amplified Bible, AMP]

 

Working backwards from the English to Hebrew can be misleading, but let’s try it. Taking the NASB text and inserting the corresponding Hebrew word from Strong’s Concordance we get:

And I will “baruch” those who “baruch” you, and the one who “qalals” you I will “arar” …

Here, the Hebrew ‘baruch’ (Strongs 1263) means ‘to bless’, ‘to praise’, ‘to give thanks’. Now note that the two verbs ‘curses’ and ‘curse’ have different Hebrew roots; both Hebrew verbs ‘arar’ and ‘qalal’ can be translated “curse,” link. The Hebrew ‘‘arar’’ (Strongs 779) means to ‘execrate’ (express great loathing for), ‘bitterly curse’ or ‘bind under a curse’. In contrast, some take ‘qalal’ (Strongs 7043) to mean ‘make light of’, ‘treat as trivial’, ‘revile’ or have ‘contempt’ for. But is this translation correct?

Working forwards: Hebrew to English

Genesis 12 verse 3

As stated, working backwards from English to Hebrew can be misleading. The query concerns the root ‘qalal’ since it is the root for two Hebrew verbs. In its most basic form, L’hakel (להקל), it means to ‘make light of’ or ‘to belittle’ (as mentioned). But in its intensive form, l’kalel (לקלל), it means to curse or revile, link. The significant point is that Gen 12:3 uses the intensive form, link. See l’kalel.

Having identified the correct form of the Hebrew root ‘qalal’ in Gen 12:3, we can identify the more accurate translations. The ESV and AMP translations seem misleading, whilst the NASB with alternative meanings inserted seems more accurate:

I will bless those who bless you, and the one who reviles you I will bind under a curse … (Gen 12:3, NASB)

To revile means to criticize strongly, to hate, to be contemptuous, speak of abusively, or say unpleasant things about a person or people group e.g. Israel.

Application of Genesis 12 verse 3

Having a clearer understanding of the Hebraic background to this verse, we can now ask ourselves ‘to whom, and when, does this verse apply?’

First, the personal pronoun ‘you’ must translate to Abraham’s descendants; after all, Abraham himself was not made into a great nation, but his descendants were (see Gen 26:4). So God’s blessing applies to all those Gentiles who at least speak well of Abraham’s descendants, Israel, whether they have faith (Gal 3:7), or not. All Gentiles in the world, throughout history, should bless and befriend the Jews if they want to earn God’s favor (using today’s common terminology, ‘Jew’ is any descendant from Abraham, link). For example, Gentiles bless Israel when they “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps 122:6-9). Remember also that, through Abraham, “all the families of the earth” were to be blessed (Jew and Gentile) – a reference to the true Jewish Messiah, Yeshua (verse 3b).

Similarly, ‘the one’ must apply to all individuals, groups or nations throughout history. For example, in the millennial age rebellious nations are judged harshly for not honouring Israel:

the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you [Israel] will perish … (Isa 60:12)
And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them (Zech 14:17)

In summary, God’s warning was never abrogated and applies to all time dispensations. It applied during Israel’s exodus from Egypt, to Babylonian rule, to Germany and the holocaust, and to Arabic aggression against Israel today. In short, how nations and individuals treat Israel has shaped history, and still does. It is dangerous to severely criticize, treat with contempt, hate or try to eliminate the Jewish nation, Israel. To do so endangers God’s curse. History shows God’s curse for such lack of respect and disdain is to invoke harsh judgment. It is better to be blessed by God by blessing Israel His people than to come under God’s curse. ‘Blessing’ in the Old Testament essentially relates to divine bestowal of prosperity onto humans, link.

Genesis 12 verse 3 in History

Destruction of the Egyptian army

God sometimes leads Israel’s enemies against her in order to honor His name. This happened in the case of Pharaoh when He hardened his heart to chase the supposedly trapped Israelites at the Red Sea (Exod 14). It will happen again in the imminent Gog-Magog war (Ezek 38 and 39).

Pharaoh was clearly an enemy of the Israelites. It took nine plagues and then the death of Egypt’s first born for Israel to be released from humiliating slavery. But, it seems, Pharaoh needed one more demonstration of the power of the God of Israel. The Bible says that when Pharaoh’s army entered the dry land in the midst of the sea it was destroyed (Exod 14:26-31). Archaeological evidence for the biblical exodus is available, link, link.

The Defeat of the Amalekites

The Amalekites were an ancient biblical nation living near the land of Canaan, link. They are notorious since they were the first nation to attack the Jewish people after the Exodus from Egypt. It happened while the Jews were recuperating from their escape from Egypt (Exod 17:8-13). The Amalekites launched a vicious surprise attack on them — even though the Jews had no designs on Amalekite territory. In response, Moses asked Joshua to fight against the Amalekites, whilst Moses himself would stand on a hill top with the rod of God in his hand (v10).

The Amalekites were finally defeated, and subsequently God ordered Moses to record the treacherous attack of the Amalekites for everlasting memory. Today the Jews regard Amalek as representing the worst form of evil, link.

The Destruction of Tyre

Modern Tyre. Wikipedia. Ankara, Creative Commons

Ancient Tyre was in two parts. The first part was on the mainland and the second was on an island about a kilometer from the shoreline. Over time, the island portion of the city became very wealthy and heavily fortified. It also served as the city’s religious center, where they worshiped pagan gods, particularly the fertility god “Baal”. Despite pagan worship, God’s anger against Tyre appears to have been aroused only when she declared her aggression against Jerusalem:

‘Aha! She is broken who was the gateway of the peoples; now she is turned over to me; I shall be filled; she is laid waste.’(Ezek 26:2)

To this, God declared:

‘Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring up many nations against you … they will destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; and I will scrape her debris from her and make her a bare rock. She will be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea’ (Ezek 26:3-5)

This prophecy was fulfilled by Alexander the Great when he built a land bridge from the mainland to the island of Tyre in 333-332 BC. Alexander’s forces took rubble (stones, timber and soil, v12) from Tyre’s mainland and built a causeway to capture the island. Ancient Tyre (the island) is no more, see archaeological verification. Modern Tyre occupies the northern half of the island and also sprawls across Alexander’s causeway and onto the mainland, link, link, link.

Judgment upon Russia – Communism

Pogroms (antisemitic violence) erupted in Russia in the late 19th century and went on into the early 1920’s. Pogrom is a Russian word meaning ‘to wreak havoc’ and at this time Russian authorities initiated violence, including slaughter, against Jews.

But, in turn for Jewish persecutions, did God ‘wreak havoc’ upon the Russian people themselves by bringing in repressive communism? The Russian (or Bolshevik) Revolution took place in 1917 when working class people of Russia revolted against the Tsar. They were led by Vladimir Lenin and a group of revolutionaries and a communist government set in. Stalin came to power after Lenin in 1924. In the 1930’s Stalin’s communist terror engulfed the USSR, sending millions to labour camps or firing squads. He destroyed the remnants of individual freedom and failed to promote individual prosperity, link, link.

Stalin’s war against the Soviet Jews: A gradual liquidation of Jewish cultural institutions also set in with Stalin’s ascent to power, link. Part of Stalin’s antisemitism was to conjure up the so-called Doctor’s Plot, in which the Kremlin doctors, most of them Jews, ‘confessed’ under torture that they had deliberately misdiagnosed health problems of Soviet leaders. In fact, the doctors were released immediately after Stalin’s death and completely rehabilitated.

Genesis 12 verse 3

Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation. Wikimedia. Enlarge

Stalin’s timely death: Stalin suffered a stroke on February 28, 1953. Curiously, it was on the same day as the Jewish holiday of Purim. This festival commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia (Iran) from Haman’s plot to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews in a single day (see the Old Testament book of Esther). It was also on the same day that deportations to Siberia of more than one million Jews from Moscow alone and millions more from other parts of the Soviet Union were to begin, link. Was this the outworking of Genesis 12 verse 3 – God’s judgment upon those who hate the Jews?

Russia’s Jew-hate Today: It is claimed that today Russia is the global leader in Jew-hate (does the Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation imply this? See Israel’s enemies). Germany has by no means been history’s top purveyor of global antisemitism. That distinction goes to Russia, which has spread antisemitism more widely and durably, link. Will God’s judgment upon Russia for her treatment of Jews be completed in the imminent Gog-Magog war? Here Russia is totally defeated and humiliated.

Germany’s Jew Hatred

Hitler capitalized on antisemitic ideas that had been around for a long time. By blaming the Jews for the WWI defeat, Hitler created a stereotypical enemy. In the 1920’s and early 1930’s, the defeated country was still in a major economic crisis, but the Nazis argued that expelling the Jews was the solution. This political message and the promise to make Germany economically strong again won Hitler the elections in 1932.

After Hitler came to power, the laws and measures against the Jews steadily increased. Nazi anti-Jewish policy constituted legal measures to expel the Jews from society and strip them of their rights and property, while engaging in incitement, abuse, terror and violence, link. It ended in the Shoah, the Holocaust, the murder of six million European Jews, link.

As promised in Genesis 12 verse 3, it appears Hitler’s Germany experienced God’s curse for hating the Jews. At the end of the war Germany was in utter chaos, link:

Displaced Persons’ were roaming about the country, often looting as they went. Transportation and communication services had ceased to function. Agriculture and industry were largely at a standstill. Food was scarce and there was a serious risk of famine and disease during the coming months. And to crown it all there was no central government in being, and the machinery whereby a central government could function no longer existed [Field Marshall Montgomery, 1945]

The leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed (Isa 9.16)

Britain’s Blessing – Prosperity

In the 18th and 19th centuries you’d be hard pressed to find Bible teachers who weren’t defenders of the Jews, men such as Lord Shaftesbury, William Wilberforce, J.C. Ryle, Charles Spurgeon, John Wesley and more. Interestingly, this was an age of great evangelistic efforts, notably among the Jews, and particularly among the Jewish population of the East London of Charles Dickens, link.

When it comes to Britain’s leaders, the Jew Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881) twice served as UK Prime Minister and led the Conservative party for nearly three decades. It has been said “Many modern Conservatives look back on Disraeli as their prophet, high priest and philosopher rolled into one”. Notably, there was a lack of anti-Jewish violence in Britain in the 19th and early 20th century, link.

It was during these centuries that Britain prospered through the revolution of industry and transport, link. For a few decades in the 19th century British manufactured goods dominated world trade, link.

Britain’s betrayal of the Jews

In 1917 the British Foreign Office stated:

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people … it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine [A.J. Balfour, British Foreign Office]

This became known as the Balfour declaration. The 1920 San Remo Peace Conference gave Britain a provisional ‘Mandate for Palestine’ based upon the Balfour Declaration and this was formalized in 1922 by the Council of the League of Nations, link. The primary objective of the Mandate was to grant political rights in respect to Palestine to the Jewish people. The 1920 Mandate defined “Palestine” as spanning both west and east of the Jordan.

 

Britain Reneged on the Mandate

The 1922 League of Nations sub-division. Image courtesy Eli E. Hertz. Enlarge

The Peel and Woodhead commissions of 1937/38 recommended partitioning Palestine into a small Jewish state and a large Arab state, a proposal hardly honouring the Mandate. It was rejected by the Arab leadership. There’s worse. The British White Paper of 1939 was a statement of policy that severely compromised the British commitment to the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The White Paper limited Jewish immigration to Palestine to just 75,000 over a five year period. The policy therefore repudiated the Balfour Declaration and Britain’s commitments under the League of Nations just at the time of greatest need for a sanctuary for Jewish refugees, link.

It got even worse. In July 1947 the ship ‘The Exodus’ was carrying Jewish emigrants to British Mandatory Palestine, link. It carried 4515 men, women and children – most of whom were Holocaust survivors. The British navy attacked the Exodus to resist her landing in Palestine. When she did eventually land, some Jews were forcibly removed to be reloaded onto ships sailing back to Europe.

In Summary: Britain essentially failed in her charge to establish a Jewish homeland, and it was left to the UN and to the Jews themselves.

Did God Judge Britain for Betraying the Jews?

Some see Britain’s general decline commencing around 1947/48, when she finally reneged on her Mandate for Palestine and handed it over to the United Nations, link.

Britain’s Declining Navy: Britain once boasted the most powerful navy in the world. The British Navy steadily increased from the 1700’s to reach a peak fleet size in 1945 of some 800 destroyers and frigates, link. But by 1950 there had been a rapid decline to 250 destroyers and frigates, and by 2017 Britain had just 19!

Britain’s Declining Empire: Around 1920/21 Britain’s Empire reached a territorial peak, covering 24% of the Earth’s land area, link. It is interesting to note that this occurred when Britain was mandated with helping the Jews find a homeland in Palestine (1917, 1920, 1922). But between 1945 and 1965 the number of people under British rule outside the UK itself fell from 700 million to just 5 million, link.

The merits and sins of such an Empire are debatable, but the fact remains that Britain very rapidly lost her world influence from about 1945, and this continued to the close of the millennium.

Over the next decade, Britain’s pretensions to be a great power will evaporate … with rapidly shrinking military and diplomatic influence” [The Guardian, 2009]

For many, the transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997 marked the end of the British Empire.

Britain’s Declining Economy: In the early 1950’s Britain was an industrial giant, with an output per head 30% ahead of the six founder members of the EEC. But within 50 years it had been overtaken by many European and several Asian countries. Today, UK manufacturing accounts for just 11% of GDP. See “The Slow Death of British Industry: a 60-Year Suicide, 1952-2012” [NewStatesman, 2013].

Genesis 12 verse 3 Today

According the Genesis 12 verse 3, today’s institutionalized church is in danger of God’s judgement. Why? because in general it embraces some forms of Antisemitism. This is often in the form of antisemitic rhetorical speech or writing, or in social action and political maneuvering against the Jewish State.

The world will also see God’s anger vented upon Islamic nations who today revile, and in the the near future, war against the Jewish state.

Antisemitism in the Institutionalized Church

The World Council of Churches (WCC): The WCC is an ecumenical movement promoting Christian unity across many denominations, including Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Reformed churches and the United Church of Christ. It represents over 500 million Christians in more than 100 countries and territories. A key objective is the breaking down barriers between people and seeking justice and peace.

WCC’s flagship project on the Arab-Israeli conflict is called EAPPI, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel. Despite WCC’s noble objective of ‘breaking down barriers and seeking justice and peace’, the activities of EAPPI are biased against Israel. In particular, it is claimed EAPPI recruits activists abroad, sends them to Israel for three months and trains them to lead anti-Israel campaigns, link. In addition, NGO MONITOR claims EAPPI:

  • rejects the link between Israel and the Jewish people
  • rhetoric accuses Israel of ‘apartheid’ and ‘war crimes’
  • strengthens work on sanctions and suspension of US aid to Israel
  • encourages civil disobedience action
  • encourages churches to join campaigns for economic boycotts e.g. BDS
  • supports Palestinian ‘Right of Return’
  • stresses Israel’s ‘land occupation’
  • lobbies the EU to impose sanctions on Israel
  • supports the call for the UK to apologize for the Balfour DeclaratiOn

 

The Kairos Document: The WCC is a promoter of the Kairos Palestine document. This group of Palestinian Christians repeatedly claims Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, claims Israeli settlements ravage Palestinian land, claims daily humiliation of Palestinian workers, and stresses the ‘right of return’ of refugees. It is also claimed that Kairos characterizes terrorist acts of armed resistance as ‘Palestinian legal resistance’, denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms, compares Israel with the South African apartheid regime, and calls churches worldwide to engage in BDS.

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS): This is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. In 2005 the WCC encouraged its member churches ‘to explore ways of avoiding economic participation in illegal activities related to the Israeli occupation’, link. The BDS campaign is an example. It is claimed that major UK churches have adopted the anti-Israel BDS agenda, link.

Jewish Reaction: Given such activities, it is not surprising that the UK Jewish Board of Deputies has described the EAPPI (aka WCC) as ‘inflammatory and partisan’ and accused it of ‘creating a climate of hostility towards Israel within the Church of England’.

Given how the WCC reviles the Jewish people, it’s an open question as to how the God of Israel will enact Genesis 12 verse 3. Is the WCC (and the member churches that support its views) part if the apostate church of Revelation 17 which is eventually ‘burned with fire’?

Aggression from Islamic Nations

Some see today’s Arab-Israeli/Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be rooted in biblical history, namely in the hostile Amalekites. The nation of Amalek is long gone, but many Israelis see Amalek living on in their daily enemies, link. One such enemy is Iran.

Today, Islam repeatedly reviles the Jewish state. Israel is criticized in the most hateful way:

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it [Hamas Charter, 1988]

The very existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to humanity [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, August 2012]

Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor … that has to be removed and eradicated [Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, April 2018]

How will Genesis 12 verse 3 Apply? In the immediate future there will be an Islamic invasion of Israel from the north. Many see this as being headed by Russia and Iran. Meanwhile, the western nations simply standby and observe (Ezek 38:13). What happens? The invaders are completely defeated by the God of Israel (Ezek 38:18-23). They will “fall upon the mountains of Israel” (Ezek 39:1-8). Moreover, God will be magnified in the eyes of many nations (Ezek 38:23, 39:21), and Islam will be humiliated. Is this an example of the curse God places upon those who curse Israel?