The Return to Zion?

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Artwork by Elhanan ben-Avraham

To live outside the Law you must be honest.” – Bob Dylan

Many in Christendom have declared with their Replacement Theology – where the church has replaced the Jews – that this current return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is not the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. The prophecies that speak of the return, they say, were fulfilled in the return from Babylon. Is that true?

Here below is prophesied that YHVH would re-gather the Jewish people a second time- the first being from the dispersion in Babylon, the second in our day. The Exodus from Egypt was not a re-gathering. Jacob and his family of 70 went down to Egypt voluntarily, upon the invitation of their brother Joseph, who had made it big there in its leadership. It was when Joseph died and a new Pharaoh arose that things went sour for them. They were not scattered as a judgment or punishment from G-d, as the Torah had not yet been given as a standard of behavior. The later dispersion to Babylon was predicted by several of the Prophets who called Israel to repentance, especially Jeremiah. Israel did not heed, and so it happened. The return 70 years later under Cyrus and Ezra lasted until the dispersion by the Romans in 70 AD, for the same reason, as predicted by Jesus 40 years before – and lasting until 1948. If we can use many prophecies that were meant for their own time – like “the young woman shall conceive… Immanuel” to refer to a later Jesus, then we must not easily dismiss prophecies that fit within and beyond their own time:

“In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.” – Isaiah 11:11

And this from Ezekiel 36 does not refer to Babylon: “Instead they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and all the other lands to which He had banished them. For I will return them to their land that I gave to their forefathers.” Also, if you carefully read those prophesies mentioned of the regathering, you will note that the things written there did not occur at the return from Babylon.

Some Christians, ‘boasting against the branches,’ still insist upon declaring, “But to see what is there now as the covenantal nation as it was in the past? No.” Yes, even the names have not changed, nor the character of the reality we see in the Scriptures describing the people of Israel. All things are a process – including the outworking of the Gospel in history, as well as this return to the very Land of our fathers. The prophecy of the “dry bones” in Ezekiel 37 is not an overnight event, but a process from hopelessly dead bones to ligaments to flesh to a large standing army and finally to the quickening of the Spirit. Most Jews similarly cannot accept that Jesus is the fulfillment of messianic prophecies simply because of the unfortunate way it has looked for 2000 years. Let that sink in.

And I, Elhanan, was called directly from Heaven to return to the Land of Israel at this epoch, where I never for even a moment before that dreamed or wished to go, to recount to you these things.