Personal Apologetic: The Restoral Of National Israel – Pt 1

We’ve looked at a few Bible passages that deal with God’s punishment and preservation of the people of Israel over the millenia. There are plenty of additional prophecies similar to the ones mentioned. But I think the strongest prophetic evidence for the existence of God today comes from another related group of prophecies. These prophecies predict the restoration of the nation of Israel in the last days, and the conditions the Jews would find themselves in at that time.

We saw how Deuteronomy 28 accurately predicted the history of Israel to their dispersion throughout the world. But the story of Israel does not end in that chapter. Two chapters later we see God’s promise to gather His people together again into their homeland after all the curses have been completed:

It shall happen, when all these things have come on you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations, where Yahweh your God has driven you, and shall return to Yahweh your God, and shall obey his voice according to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul; that then Yahweh your God will turn your captivity, and have compassion on you, and will return and gather you from all the peoples, where Yahweh your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of the heavens, from there will Yahweh your God gather you, and from there he will bring you back: and Yahweh your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and he will do you good, and multiply you above your fathers. …

– Deuteronomy 30:1-5

For thousands of years, the Jews were a people without a homeland. Most thought they would never again have a nation of their own. Even in the church, many thought God was finished with His ancient people. In their minds, all of the promises of future blessing on Israel were transferred to the church, or to some Christian nation such as England or America (i.e. Anglo-Israelism). But some still believed God would literally fulfill His promise, and they patiently waited for the Jews to return to their homeland. In 1948, their faith was vindicated. God had kept His promise.

Deuteronomy 30 is not an isolated prophecy. The return of national Israel is one of the main themes of prophecy in the Bible. Here is a quick overview of some others:

The Dry Bones Prophecy

The hand of Yahweh was on me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of Yahweh, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass by them all around: and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and behold, they were very dry. He said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? I answered, Lord Yahweh, you know. …

– Ezekiel 37:1-3

The prophet Ezekiel saw in a vision a valley full of bones that had been dead for a long time. When God asked if the bones could live again, Ezekiel responded wisely, for what is impossible in the natural order is not so with God. If He wanted them to live, then they would live. God then told Ezekiel to prophecy over the bones:

Again he said to me, Prophesy over these bones, and tell them, you dry bones, hear the word of Yahweh. Thus says the Lord Yahweh to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will bring up flesh on you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.

– Ezekiel 37:4-6

As he spoke, the bones started to move on their own and connect with each other. (The well-known African-American spiritual Dem Bones was based on this prophecy.) As they assembled, tendons, muscles, and skin covered them until they became complete bodies. But they had no life in them.

Then he said to me, Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of man, and tell the wind, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Come from the four winds, breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.

– Ezekiel 37:9

When he did so, the bodies came to life… “an exceedingly great army.”

If the prophecy ended here, we could interpret it to meaning any number of things. But immediately after the bodies came to life, God explained the meaning so there would be no mistake:

Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off. Therefore prophesy, and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, my people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. You shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have opened your graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves, my people. I will put my Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land: and you shall know that I, Yahweh, have spoken it and performed it, says Yahweh.

– Ezekiel 37:11-14

The elements of the vision symbolized what would happen to the people of Israel in the last days. Those who were hopelessly scattered among the nations of the world (their ‘graves’), would be brought back to live in the homeland God gave them thousands of years earlier.

An important point about this prophecy is that it would be fulfilled in stages. The vision said there would be a time when the bodies would be whole, but without life (verse 8). This is the state of Israel at this time. It has been regathered, but it is not yet spiritually alive. I believe this will occur when Jesus visibly returns (Revelation 1:7, Zechariah 12:10, Jeremiah 23:6).

Other Regathering Prophecies

Here are more prophecies about the regathering of Israel to its homeland. This is by no means a complete list, and I have only quoted a portion of them. Please look up the complete passages in a Bible to read them in context.

I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and multiply. … Therefore, behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that they shall no more say, As Yahweh lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, As Yahweh lives, who brought up and who led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all the countries where I had driven them. They shall dwell in their own land.

– Jeremiah 23:3-8 (WEB)

I will bring you out from the nations, and will gather you from the lands where you are scattered, … I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, … Then you will know that I am the LORD when I bring you to the land of Israel, to the land I swore to give to your fathers.

– Ezekiel 20:33-44 (NET)

…'But you, mountains of Israel, will grow your branches, and bear your fruit for my people Israel; for they will arrive soon. … I will multiply your people – the whole house of Israel, all of it. The cities will be populated and the ruins rebuilt. … Then you will know that I am the LORD. I will lead people, my people Israel, across you; they will possess you and you will become their inheritance.

– Ezekiel 36:1-12 (NET)

…At that time I will lead you – at the time I gather you together. Be sure of this! I will make all the nations of the earth respect and admire you when you see me restore you," says the LORD.

– Zephaniah 3:14-20

"I (says the LORD) will strengthen the kingdom of Judah and deliver the people of Joseph and will bring them back because of my compassion for them. They will be as though I had never rejected them, … I will signal for them and gather them, …

– Zechariah 10:6-8

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good and his loyal love endures! Let those delivered by the LORD speak out, those whom he delivered from the power of the enemy, and gathered from foreign lands, from east and west, from north and south. …

– Psalm 107:1-43

At that time the sovereign master will again lift his hand to reclaim the remnant of his people from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the seacoasts. He will lift a signal flag for the nations; he will gather Israel's dispersed people and assemble Judah's scattered people from the four corners {literally ‘extremities’} of the earth.

– Isaiah 11:11-12

…in that time they will affirm them with 'I swear as surely as the LORD lives who delivered the people of Israel from the land of the north and from all the other lands where he had banished them.' At that time I will bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors."

– Jeremiah 16:14-15

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake that I am about to act, O house of Israel, but for the sake of my holy reputation which you profaned among the nations where you went. I will magnify my great name that has been profaned among the nations, that you have profaned among them. The nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the sovereign LORD, when I magnify myself among you in their sight. “‘I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries; then I will bring you to your land.

– Ezekiel 36:22-24

In the next part, we’ll look at more specific prophecies about Israel in the last days… prophecies that talk about the manner in which the Jews will return to their land, the condition of Jerusalem and the land, and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments Protected by WP-SpamShield Spam Plugin