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The "Setting Aside of Israel" and Their Return to Zion
A response by John of AllFaith, August of 2006
Question: Re. the National setting-aside of Israel apparent in the Bible since the 'Times of the Gentiles' were instituted and until the times be fulfilled, does a particular Scripture(s)mention same or do we simply rely on inference?
Also, concerning the Palestinian situation and the Israeli-Arab problem in general, are verses like those found in Deut 28 adequately specific to explain what we should expect to happen or are they too general? Are there any verses more pertinent to the Palestinians?
John of AllFaith's Answer:Hi,
There's tons of scriptural evidence on this subject. The only difficulty is in condensing it to fit here.
Luke 21:24 And they [the Jews] shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
The fig tree is Israel; the other trees are the Gentile nations. Matt. 24 is a bit clearer. Rebbe Yeshua, Jesus, speaks of this in Matt. 24 in connection with signs of the last days:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Both prophetically and contextually, Israel is the fig tree in this parable. It began to to put forth leaves in 1948. "This generation" will not pass until all the prophecies are fulfilled. Those born in 1948 are now 58 years old.
Consider Isaiah 52:1: Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
In order to understand Isaiah, one really needs to study it chapter by chapter as many of its themes run through the entire book. However, in a study such as this we must begin somewhere, so letís start here at 52:1.
Israel is being called here to "awaken," and to clothe themselves in splendor etc. Something in this prophecy has radically changed; it's a new day! Jerusalem is in the hands of the Chosen People at last and will never again be controlled by Gentile powers (vs.1). We are obviously speaking of a future time (from Isaiah's perspective) because this situation didn't exist until 1948 when Israel again took control of part of the Holy Land (or perhaps until the 1967 Six Day War when Jerusalem was unified under Israeli control.
2. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
3: For thus saith יהוה: ye were sold for naught; and ye shall be redeemed without money.
4: For thus saith יהוה: My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
5: Now therefore, what do I here, saith יהוה, seeing that My people is taken away for naught? They that rule over them do howl, saith יהוה, and My name continually all the day is blasphemed.
6: Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore they shall know in that day that I, even He that spoke, behold, here I am.
7: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings, that announceth peace, the harbinger of good tidings, that announceth salvation; that saith unto Zion: 'Thy Elohiym reigneth!'
Isaiah is looking into the future, to the day when Israel will be restored and never again be subjected to Gentile rule (it is for this reason that we know the prophecy is not about the brief Hasmonean Dynasty).
Beginning with verse 3 we see how the Jews have suffered throughout their generations and how יהוה has taken note of it and will, in due time, redeem His people as promised. As part of this, the Chosen People, the Jews, will learn His Name, they will again take up His Laws and observe His precepts (verse 6). There is a time set when יהוה will deliver His people (the Jews). This is the topic of this chapter.8: Hark, thy watchmen! they lift up the voice, together do they sing; for they shall see, eye to eye, יהוה returning to Zion.
9: Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for יהוה hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem.
10: יהוה hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our Elohiym.
Verse 8 points to this time as being the day when the Jews are resettled in Israel and when יהוה Himself returns with them. Those who incorrectly teach that the Christian Church or Islam have replaced Israel as the Chosen of יהוה do not speak the truth! When the Jews were cast out of the Holy City in 70 CE יהוה went with them! Greek temples, and later Muslim shrines, occupied the Holy Mount however יהוה was not there! He was with His people in the Diaspora, in Poland, in Germany, in Russian, in the US, in Czechoslovakia, in Bulgaria, everywhere... except in Jerusalem. At this future time Isaiah is discussing, the Jews are still the Elect of יהוה and so will they ever be, just as יהוה promised Abraham and so many others.
Note that this message is on the lips of many people not just one, as would be the case if it referred to the Messiah. These "Watchmen" are religious Jews who have watched for this day throughout their generations and who have now returned and re-entered the Land, even Jerusalem (vs.9). Living in Jerusalem, יהוה again comforts His people, and at the proper time, He will redeem them as well.
Continue reading this chapter. The Suffering Servant, Israel, returns successfully unto Zion (Jerusalem), they will repent (Isa 66:8), Messiah will come and a theocratic Israeli government will rule the earth to the blessings of all.
Isa, 35:10 "And the ransomed of יהוה shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."Isa 54: 4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
5 For thy Maker is thine husband; יהוה of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
6 For יהוה hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith יהוה thy Redeemer.
9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith יהוה that hath mercy on thee.
11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
13 And all thy children shall be taught of יהוה; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of יהוה, and their righteousness is of me, saith יהוה.
In that day, the Christians and other Gentiles will finally realize that God is with the Jews:
Zech 8:23:Thus saith יהוה of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
The return of the Jews to Israel is one of the most frequent and essential topics in the Bible.
Indeed, the Jews and their return to Zion is the reason Messiah will come:
Matt 24:21:For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Under the reign of the coming world leader or "Anti-Christ" (i.e. the Dijal), things will go so badly for the Jews, that "in a single day" they will repent and turn to יהוה lest they face complete genocide. Facing annihilation, יהוה will send Messiah to save the Elect, the Jews, lest they be utterly destroyed for this He can not abide.
God promised Abraham that through Isaac all the nations of the world would be blessed. What יהוה proposes ALWAYS comes to pass. Through the Jews All THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH WILL BE BLESSED.
Paul tells us that the Gentiles were "grafted on" to the Tree of Israel for a time (i.e. about 2000 years) but that in the end, they would be cut off and Israel would be restored to its former glory. This is what we are seeing today. The Church is falling into hypocrisy, judgmentalism and legalism while the Jews are beginning to seek YHVH. Beginning... there is still a long way to go thus far.
THE story of the Bible is יהוה leading His people, them (and everyone else) rejecting Him... Paradise Lost... and finally the Jews repenting and being delivered... Paradise Restored... just as יהוה said in Genesis 3:16.
As for the Arab Muslims, the biblical teaching is that due to Abraham and Sarah's lapse in faith, they conspired to fulfill the Promise of יהוה with Sarah's maid Hagar (biblically speaking she was Sarah's maid despite what Islam teaches). Hagar gave birth to Ishmael from whom the Arabs, and the "Palestinians" arose. God promised to bless these people and to make them a mighty nation (Gen 21:13) but the promise, the Messiah, the redemption of the earth, would come through Isaac, the Seed of Abraham:"12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
13 And also of the son of the bondwoman [Hagar and Ishmael] will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
The Muslim Ummah is a great nation, but the Promise is with the Jews. Nothing in the Torah, the Tanakh or the New Testament says anything different from this.
Hope this answers your question, if not feel free to write back.
~ John of AllFaith
Very comprehensive and sound. I gather, then, the 'national setting-aside' of Israel is something gleaned through consideration of a whole body of Scriptures rather than a specific verse(s) that says: 'Israel set aside as a nation!'
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