The surviving kingdom of Judah, known as the Jews, were eventually captured and partially assimiliated by the Babylonians in the 5th century BC. They survived their captivity in Babylon and later by the Medo-Persians, only because they were allowed to return to their own land by Artaxerxes.
In Ezekiel's day, there way no land called Israel, and had not been a place called such for 150 years and would not be a place named “Israel” for another 2520 years, for the time of the Jewish people being returned to their land, they were ruled by Rome, and the land was called Palestine. But Ezekiel's prophetic writing speak of a future land of Israel, one that he describes as “the people that are gathered out of the nations” (Ezekiel 38:12)
Here Ezekiel writes of the regathering of Israel to her own land in the last days. In Ezekiel 37, the prophet is shown a valley full of dry bones. God prophesied to Ezekiel that these dry bone would be restored to their ancient land in the last days. At the time of this writing, it would be six hundred years before the remaining Jews were scattered again by the Romans, but the Lord said Israel would be restored.
21 “And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
Historically, in 1897, the first Zionist Congress petitioned the British Crown to allow the in-gathering Jews to set up a state in what was the British colony of Uganda. At the time, Palestine was in the hands of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. The British told them they should ask the Ottomans to let them have their historical homeland and turned the Uganda request down. Ezekiel prophesied that they would return to their own land, not a land in Africa that was not their ancient land, but return to the land God had given them by a promise made to their forefather , Abraham.
8 “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” (Ezekiel 38:8)
Abba Ebban, one of Israel's Founding Fathers, wrote in his book, 'Personal Witness' that, right up until the last moment before issuing their 1948 Declaration of Statehood, they were quibbling about what to name the new Jewish State.
Some liked 'Zion' others 'Judea' -- and it was only at the last minute, AFTER Ben-Gurion had already requested the new state be recognized by Washington, that they decided on the name 'Israel'.
Ezekiel foretold all this two and one half millennia before it happened. He said his prophecy was for "the latter days." (38:16)
Some will look at a passage in Ezekiel that says that the people of Israel will be in a “ land of unwalled villages” and wonder about the wall that Israel has built to protect themselves from terrorist of the PLO. In Ezekiel's day, moats and walls to protect against invaders was a common strategic option. For this reference to a “land of unwalled villages” was a generally interpreted as a metaphor for a condition of peace, rather than a literal condition, although in Israel the peace is fragile as they have Muslim terrorist that fracture the national peace. The only other modern equivalent would be the Berlin wall but was built to keep people in, rather than keep people out.
But Ezekiel's walls are clearly defensive -- the whole 38th chapter is about a war of invasion against Israel. And today, 2500 years after Ezekiel foretold it, and more than sixty years after Israel's restoration, the Israelis are building a defensive wall around their country. Most of it is complete, but Israel continues to build. It is proving its worth, as the threat of terrorism has been drastically decreased, but it equally certain that the wall will come down during the coming Tribulation.
The entire world community opposes it (although they are having a hard time explaining why) and is why Israel did prepare to mount its defense at the trial before the World Court in The Hague to justify its continuation. And so at the present, the wall stands.
THE INTERNATIONAL MADNESS POINTED AT ISRAEL
2 “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
-1991 31 October
The prophet Daniel, and both Paul and John foretell a peace agreement with Israel that kicks off the Tribulation Period. Daniel says that a leader of the revived Roman Empire confirms a peace covenant between Israel and her enemies, which he breaks halfway through.
The literal fulfillment of prophecies penned tens of centuries ago continue to unfold in our generation. Right down to details such as Israel's Tribulation status as a 'land of unwalled villages'.
"And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28)
And brothers and sisters, the signs are all around us, screaming of their coming fulfillment. Be not those who slumber, but keep alert and watching, for our Lord will come when they least expect it.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, proclaiming the nearness of our Lord. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, contact me at email@example.com, or visit me online for more biblical messages at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com. God bless you all.
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET.