Israel in Prophecy

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Biblical prophecy concerning the descendants of Israel states that they shall own the gates, or entrances, of those who hate them. This was certainly true, at one time, for the United States, when they controlled the Panama canal, the Sandwich Isles, the Philippines and so on. England also, at one time, controlled many of the gates of the world - the Rock of Gibraltar, the island of Malta, the city of Alexandria, the Suez Canal, the passage near South Africa called the Cape Horn that allowed travel from one ocean to another, etc. God stated the following regarding Joseph (whose two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, were adopted into Israel).

Joseph (who was born through Israel's favorite wife Rachel) has the strength of a bull, the horns of a wild ox. His horns are Manasseh’s thousands and Ephraim’s ten thousands. With them he gores the nations and pushes them to the ends of the earth. (Deuteronomy 33:17)

God also states the following prophecy regarding his people Israel.

The nation of Israel is like a mighty lion: It doesn't rest until it has torn and devoured, Until it has drunk the blood of those it has killed. (Numbers 23:24).

God brought them out of Egypt; He fights for them like a wild ox (the KJV translates this word as Unicorn). They devour their enemies, Crush their bones, smash their arrows. (Numbers 24:8, see also Jeremiah 51:20, Micah 5:7 - 8)

The fact that Joseph-Israel becomes Christianized while cast out of their land is the reason for the following prophecy.

"Shake yourself from the dust; rise up! Sit, Jerusalem! Free yourself from your neckbands, O captive daughter of Zion, For thus says the LORD, "You were sold for nothing; and you shall be redeemed without money."" (Isaiah 52)

To be redeemed without money is a wonderful truth. This daughter of captivity journeyed to Egypt then had Assyria oppress her. It is to this woman that God says the following.

7 For one brief moment I left you (Israel); with deep love I will take you back. 8 I turned away angry for only a moment, but I will show you my love forever. So says the Lord who saves you . . . I myself will teach your people and give them prosperity and peace. 14 Justice and right will make you strong. You will be safe from oppression and terror. (Isaiah 54:7-8, 13-14)

Kingdoms of Israel and Judah Map
Map showing division of the promised land to Israelites
Map showing migration of the Lost Ten Tribes
What does the star of David symbolize?

God also promises that whoever attacks her will fall and that NO weapon will harm her. He also makes the incredible promise that HE will defend her and give her victory (Isaiah 54:15-17). There was a day when the Pharisees and chief priests met to decide what to do about Jesus since he was performing many miracles. The high priest Caiaphas heard the discussion and frustratingly told the group that was meeting what he felt was the simple truth of the matter.

49 One of them, named Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year, said, 'What fools you are! 50 Don’t you realize that it is better for you to have one man die for the people, instead of having the whole nation destroyed?' . . . he was prophesying that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish people, 52 and not only for them, but also to bring together into one body all the scattered people of God (John 11:49 - 52)

At the time of the High Priest's statement the children of Israel ('people of God') were scattered around the earth. Jesus was willing to die not only to fulfill prophecies such as Isaiah 53:8 but also to keep the promises made to the houses of Judah and Israel - to gather them back together and return them to the land. The apostle Paul spoke of the hope (Acts 26:6 - 7, 2Thessalonians 2:1).

The hope of this regathering was very much on the mind of Jesus' disciples. In fact, just before he ascended into heaven right before their eyes they asked Christ 'Lord, will you at this time give the Kingdom back to Israel?' (Acts 1:6). Jesus' answer was that it was not for them to know the exact time this will occur but that they need concern themselves with receiving God's power in just a few days. Later, on Pentecost in 30 A.D., right after Jesus' disciples received the outpouring of God's holy spirit, the apostle Peter spoke something profound.

God had made a vow that he would make one of David’s descendants a king, just as David was. 31 David saw what God was going to do in the future, and so he spoke about the resurrection of the Messiah when he said, ‘He was not abandoned in the world of the dead . . . (Acts 2:30 - 31)

King David did not expect Jesus to assume the throne until after his resurrection from the dead. Is Christ now on the throne of David? No, not yet. He shall return to the earth a second time to take his place of rule on David's throne. At the present time he is at God's right hand "Him has God exalted by His right hand to be a Prince and Savior" (Acts 5:31).

Yes, Christ will come back and rule the earth through the throne of his physical ancestor, King David of Israel. It was toward this hope that the angel Gabriel told Mary the prophecy that she would give birth to a King whose Kingdom would never end (Luke 1:32 - 33)!

Additional Study Materials
How can we understand prophecy?
Kings of ancient Israel and Judah Timeline
Why was the tribe of Dan left out of Revelation?
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