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Israel in the Bible

What does the Bible say about Israel?

A Timeline View of Israel – Unbiased – Straight from the Bible!

“Israel was not created in order to disappear – Israel will endure and flourish . . . It is the child of hope and the home of the brave” [ John F. Kennedy ]

See also The Future of Israel

Mandated land for Israel

The 1922 League of Nations
sub-division for Jewish Palestine. Image: Eli Hertz

  • A Great Nation: God’s unconditional and everlasting covenant with Abraham was to make his descendants a great nation and in him all the families of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3, 17:7). This blessing came through the Jew, Jesus Christ  (John 4:22)
  • Israel’s Land: Under the same covenant God promised Abraham’s descendants “all the land of Canaan” – essentially ancient Palestine (Genesis 17:8). This covenant was established with Abraham’s son Isaac and not with Ishmael (Genesis 17:21, 26:1-5)
  • Birth of Israel: God renamed Jacob, Isaac’s son, as “Israel” and he and his descendants inherited the covenant promises given to Abraham – promises of a great nation in their own land (Genesis 35:11-12)
  • God’s Special People: God made the nation of Israel His very own people, for ever. So the Hebrew God, the only true God, is known as “God, the God of Israel” (Genesis 33:20, Exodus 5:1). He did this in order to make a name for Himself in the world (2 Samuel 7:23-26, Isaiah 43:1), and for the nation to be His witnesses and servant (Isaiah 43:10)
  • Conditional Blessings: God promised Israel that if she kept the Mosaic Covenant (the Law), then out of all the nations she would be His ‘treasured possession’ (Deuteronomy 5:2-3, 6:16-18, Exodus 19:5-8)
  • The Scattering: God warned Israel that if she failed to keep His commandments and statutes (the Law) then she would not receive His blessings and would be scattered amongst all the nations (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). This happened (the “Jewish diaspora”)
  • God’s Compassion: Whilst in this ‘scattered state’ (James 1:1), the disobedient tribes of Israel reflect upon, and return to God’s commandments. Then God will have compassion upon them and gather them from all the nations where they were scattered (Deuteronomy 30:1-3)
  • The In-gathering: God promises to bring the nation Israel back to their own land (Ezekiel 37:21), not for their sake, but for the sake of His holy name (Ezekiel 36:16-24). It will be like a “marriage restoration”, and Israel will be brought to Zion – Jerusalem (Hosea 2:14-16, Jeremiah 3:14)
  • Israel’s Borders: Israel’s future borders are clearly defined in prophecy, the eastern boundary running along the Jordan. These borders are almost identical to the borders of ancient Israel given to Moses (Ezekiel 47:13-20, Numbers 34:1-12)
  • A Sign to the Nations: Israel then becomes “a banner (signal, flag) for the nations” (Isaiah 11:12). Israel’s return will be evident to all and nations will recognize the hand of the God of Israel (Ezekiel 36:23)
  • A Beautiful Land: The land of Israel, the land promised to Abraham, will prosper and be blessed: desolate land becomes “like Eden” (Joel 2:21-27, Isaiah 51:3, Ezekiel 36:35). Zion will be beautiful and glorious (Isaiah 60:13)
  • Israel Suffers: The regathered nation goes through great suffering (Jacob’s trouble, Jeremiah 30:7) but a remnant is saved (Zechariah 13:9) as God pours His Spirit upon them and they recognize Christ as their true Messiah (Matthew 24:22, Zechariah 12:10-14, Joel 2:28-32)
  • Israel’s Messiah Returns: Israel’s recognition of Christ as their Messiah is like the natural branches of an olive tree being grafted back into their own olive tree: Israel’s blindness is removed and their sins forgiven. Jew and Gentile will be “one flock” in Christ (Romans 11:24-27, Hebrews 8:8-12, John 10:16)
  • Christ Reigns: Christ returns “with all His saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:13, Jude 14) to Zion and reigns from Jerusalem as ruler and King over all the nations (governments) of earth (Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 9:6, Zechariah 14:9, Matthew 5:35 ). Jesus is ‘the truth’ (John 14:6) and Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth (Zechariah 8:3)
  • The Millennium: The saints reign with Christ for 1000 years, the earth will be at peace, Jews will be revered, and nations will go up from year to year to worship Christ in Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:20-23, 14:16, Isaiah 11:6-9, 66:18-23, Revelation 20:4-6). And non-Jews (strangers) living in Israel will be treated just like native-born Israelites (Ezekiel 47:22-23)
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