Why the Modern State of Israel is Related to End-Time Bible Prophecy
Dr. David Hocking
As we examine the content of many web sites concerning this question, we are keenly aware that good Bible students and scholars alike are not comfortable with such a theological position. One of the basic issues involved in this discussion is the nature and identity of Israel herself.
THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL
- The term “ISRAEL” is used 2,566 times in the Bible – more than any other subject next to the LORD Himself!
- Although not one of the 70 nations on earth after the worldwide flood, its existence is stated clearly in Isaiah 43:1, 7, 15 as a nation “created” by God. The Hebrew word is bara, the same word used in Genesis 1:1.
- Though not mentioned by the name “ISRAEL” in Genesis 12:1-3, God’s covenant and promise to Abraham involved the words “And I will make of thee a great nation.”
- In the particulars of God’s promised covenant to Abraham in Genesis 17, God said in Genesis 17:4-5 that Abraham would be a “father of many nations.” God referred to this promise in Genesis 17:7-8 as “an everlasting covenant” and that it would involve “all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.”
- The term “the children of Israel” is used 644 times in the Bible (14 usages in the New Testament), and its first usage that points to the twelve tribes who descended from Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, is found in Genesis 49:28.
- God’s everlasting covenant promised “a land that I will shew thee” which was described in Genesis 15:18 as a land that went “from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” Genesis 17:8 (as noted above) states that this land involved “all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.”
- To Abraham’s son, Isaac, God said in Genesis 26:3-4 that He would give “all these countries” to his descendants.
In Genesis 35:10-12 we read: “And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; and the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.”
- In Deuteronomy 1:7-8 we read these words from the LORD God:
“Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates. Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.”
- In Deuteronomy 4:1, Israel is addressed and exhorted to obey God’s statutes and judgments: “that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.” In verses 7-8 of that same chapter we read that Israel is addressed as a “nation” when it says:
“For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?”
- God refers to Himself as “the LORD God of Israel” 108 times, and as the “God of Israel 203 times. He never makes such a reference about any other nation or people!
- The uniqueness and position of Israel among the nations of the world is stated very clearly in Deuteronomy 7:6-9:
“For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But, because the LORD loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.”
God’s choice of Israel as an unique and blessed nation was based not on their performance or greatness but on the love and faithfulness of God Himself.
- 1,000 years after God’s promise and covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we read these words at the time of King David in Psalm 105:8-15:
“He hath remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, He reproved kings for their sakes; Saying, Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm.”
THE HISTORY AND IDENTITY OF ANCIENT ISRAEL
- Ancient Israel refers to its creation by God, and is identified as the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, specifically meaning the twelve tribes of Israel.
Genesis 49:28 &#“All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.”
- Ancient Israel refers to the nation that was given the Law of Moses with its 613 commandments.
Deuteronomy 4:1-2 – “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your father giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”
Deuteronomy 4:7-8 – “For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
- Ancient Israel refers to the nation that was scattered by God among the nations for their disobedience to God’s laws and their idolatry.
Deuteronomy 4:25-29 – “When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a grave image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke Him to anger: I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the LORD shall scatter ;you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you. And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”
- Ancient Israel was chosen by God above all people on the earth, and yet went into bondage in Egypt for over 400 years.
Deuteronomy 7:6-11 – “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations; And repayeth them that hate Him to their face, to destroy them: He will not be slack to him that hateth Him, He will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.”
- Ancient Israel went into captivity to Assyria, Babylon, and Rome, thus fulfilling the words of the Hebrew prophets, and the warnings of the Mosaic covenant about the judgment of God upon them.
Leviticus 26:27-28 – “And if ye will not for all this hearken unto Me, but walk contrary unto Me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.”
- Ancient Israel was told that they must confess their sins and accept punishment for their iniquity, but in spite of their sin, God would not break His covenant with them.
Leviticus 26:40-45 – “If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against Me, and that also they have walked contrary unto Me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if they their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity; Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised My judgments, and because their soul abhorred My statutes. And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.”
THE PROMISE OF OUR LORD YESHUA ABOUT THE SURVIVAL OF FUTURE ISRAEL
- Future Israel will survive all attempts to destroy her by the promise of the “New Covenant.”
Jeremiah 31:31-37 – “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant the I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgiver their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is His name: If those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever.”
- Future Israel shall survive events that Bible prophecy predicts will happen in the future.
Matthew 24:34-35 – “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.”
The word “generation” comes from the Greek word genos (used 21 times in the New Testament) and from the Greek word genea (used another 42 times) – a total of 63 times. The words “this generation” appear 16 times.
THREE MAJOR VIEWS OF “THIS GENERATION”:
- A reference to those who were listening to this prophecy of Jesus (preterist view) and saw the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 ad. However, it is clear that whoever is meant by the words “this generation” – they will exist until “all these things be fulfilled.” That cannot refer to the destruction of Jerusalem because some of “these things” did not occur at that time.
- A reference to those living at the time of the Great Tribulation (futurist view)
- A reference to the nation of Israel during the future Great Tribulation. Luke 11:50-51 – Why would the words “may be required of this generation” apply to first century Jews who were not responsible for the death of the prophets mentioned? It would make sense if it applies to the nation of Israel.
ISRAEL’S SURVIVAL IS BASED ON THREE MAJOR ISSUES:
Romans 11:2 – “God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew.”
Deuteronomy 7:9 – “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.
Psalm 89:33-34 – “Nevertheless My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips.”
Jeremiah 31:34 – “for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Ezekiel 39:22-29 – “So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward. And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against Me, therefore hid I My face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid My face from them. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for My holy name; After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against Me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide My face any more from them: for I have poured out My Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.”
Romans 11:25-27 – “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
CONCLUSION: It is clear from the Biblical evidence that the modern State of Israel is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The Bible makes it clear that God will NEVER cast away or forsake His people – the nation and its land will exist forever!
Isaiah 41:9 – “Thou art My servant; I have chosen thee, and NOT cast thee away.”
Isaiah 41:17 – “I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will NOT forsake them.”
Isaiah 44:21 – “for thou art My servant: I have formed thee; thou art My servant: O Israel, thou shall NOT be forgotten of Me.”
Isaiah 49:15b-16 – “yet will I NOT forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me.”
Isaiah 54:7-8 – “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.”
Isaiah 62:4 – “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee and thy land shall be married.”