The Bible is overflowing with prophecies. Many of them revolve around the Messiah, how people will know when He comes and what He will do when He arrives on Earth. There are also a number of prophecies that state the signs that will indicate that the end of the world is near. The vast majority of biblical prophecies, however, revolve around one subject, Israel.
Israel and her people are the subject of most of the prophecies in the Bible. The Old Testament is dominated by tales of the Israelites attempting and failing to keep God’s laws. When they fail, the Israelites are usually warned by a prophet of the doom that is coming for them. These prophecies either come true or inspire the Israelites to return to a righteous way of life. Eventually, the Israelites more or less run out of strikes, and God brings down a final set of terrible prophecies upon them. These prophecies have been the source of fascination across the world for generations especially as many of those prophecies have already been fulfilled. Here are eight biblical prophecies about Israel that have come true already.
The Jewish people will be scattered...
The Bible states repeatedly that, because they angered God, the Jewish people will be scattered across the earth. They would be driven from their homeland and forced to live in foreign lands where they would be persecuted. This prophecy has clearly come true. The Jewish people were chased out of ancient Israel or carried away as captives. They lost their right to govern their homeland and instead had to make their homes in numerous foreign nations.
Many people think of the Jewish diaspora as beginning with the victory of Babylon and the resultant captivity of the Jews. In reality, however, the Jews were not truly scattered until the destruction of the Second Temple in A.D. 70. at the hands of Rome. It was after that event that the Jews truly began to be scattered to the winds. For centuries, the Jewish people had no homeland. Instead, they made their lives in foreign lands, and there are Jewish communities in nearly every country on the planet.
The people of Israel will be preserved amid their dispersion and persecution…
Few people have ever been as commonly hated or openly persecuted as the Jews. The Romans saw them as backwards, confusing and an endless source of trouble. Medieval Europe loathed them, and Jewish communities were leveled by both sides of the Crusades. Anti-Semitism was easily the norm well into the 20th century when it came to a vicious and bloody head during the Holocaust. Even that tragedy was not enough to shake off the specter of anti-Semitism entirely. Indeed, hatred toward the Jews is still alive and well in much of the world today, especially in the Middle East.
Despite being surrounded by enemies on all sides and often being badly outnumbered, Jews managed to preserve their cultural and religious identity for nearly 2,000 years without a homeland. Most cultures would have slowly died out as the people who practiced them assimilated into the country in which they lived. That is what happens with most immigrants who do not have large populations, support to help them preserve their cultural heritage and a somewhat isolated and insular community. Despite having none of these in most of the world, the Jewish identity was never forgotten.
The Jews will return together to the Promised Land…
The Bible promises repeatedly that, though the Jews will be driven out of the Holy Land, they will one day return to the land God promised them. According to Isaiah, “[God] will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” and allow them to return to their ancestral homeland. Today, there are Jews in every corner of the world, and increasing numbers of them have returned to live in Israel. In a mere 70 years, the Jewish population of Israel has grown from 500,000 to over 7 million. The descendants of Jacob are at last able to return to the land they were promised, and many of them have done exactly that. They make their way to Israel from almost every country on earth in fulfilment of the Bible’s prophecy.
The Holy Land will be restored…Biblical prophecies in the Book of Ezekiel imply that Israel would be in a sorry state when the Jews finally returned to their homeland. Towns would have been leveled and the land would be “desolate.” After the Jews returned, however, they would rebuild their cities and “the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by.” When the State of Israel was established, this was more or less the case. Two world wars had left most of human civilization damaged, and the actual land of Israel itself was truly desolate. A large percentage of the land was either desert or covered in swamps filled with malaria carrying mosquitoes. According to the prophecies in Ezekiel, however, the once ruined land would “become like the garden of Eden.” In terms of agriculture, Israel has done exactly that. Israel has some of the most advanced agricultural technology in the world, and the Israelis have used that technology to become one of the few counties that exports more food than they import.
Jerusalem shall be reclaimed…Jerusalem remained in gentile hands for over a thousand years after it was taken from the Jews for the last time. Jews remained living inside the holy city’s borders, but it remained under the control of other nations and people. For many years, it was ruled by Rome. Then, it was taken over by Muslims. After that, Jerusalem was held by Christian Crusaders. It went back and forth between Muslim and Crusader hands for some time. Later, it was held by Great Britain. Even after the establishment of the State of Israel, Jerusalem was not truly back in Jewish hands. It was not until June 1967 that the city that was the center of the Jewish world was once again controlled by those that built it. When the Israelis took back East Jerusalem from Jordan and reunited the city, it was the first time the city of David had been held by the Jews in nearly 1,900 years.
The Arabs will conspire against Israel…Anyone who does not know that the Arab nations of the Middle East loathe Israel with a frightening passion has been living under a rock. Less than 10 years after Israel declared its independence, its Arab neighbors had already gone to war against it three times with guerrilla style raids and bombings in between each war. To this day, the many Arab states speak openly about their desire for the destruction of Israel. Terrorists regularly attack Israeli citizens and tourists alike, rockets are launched deliberately at civilian targets and Palestinian organizations refuse to compromise with Israel during attempts at forming peace. Just as the Bible prophesized, the Arab world wants nothing less than the utter destruction of the Jewish state. In fact, the establishment of Israel is often called the nakba, “the catastrophe,” by many Arabs, and Israel exists in a constant state of readiness for their enemies’ next attack.
Jerusalem shall be a stumbling block for all people…The Arab world hates Israel in general, but it seems like everyone from every nation has an opinion on the handling of Jerusalem. Many feel that the holy city should be divided up as it was once before. Many others feel that, as a sovereign state, Israel has the right to choose its own capital just like any other nation. Officially, Jerusalem is the country’s capital, but many nations are reluctant to recognize it as such for fear of angering the neighboring Arab states. Jerusalem and Israel have become divisive political questions and serious matters of concern for international policy. Given the number of Arab states, the United Nations often comes down against Israel in decisions, but America has long been an ally of the Jewish state in part because Israel is the only functioning and stable democracy in the Middle East. This leads to constant tension both internationally and inside numerous countries whenever questions about Israel arise.
And the least of Israel shall be a warrior like David…
Israel is a tiny country surrounded by enemies who would like little more than to have the nation wiped off the map. As such, Israel has come to be the embodiment of the phrase “though she be little, she be fierce.” The Israeli military is widely considered to be one of the best in the world, and their Air Force is considered to be the very best. Their military technology is extremely advanced both in terms of defensive and offensive capabilities. Israel is known to have nuclear technology and is suspected of having hydrogen capabilities as well. The Iron Dome has successfully shot down scores of terrorist missiles and kept them from landing on their civilian targets. In each of the Arab-Israeli conflicts, Israel was outnumbered badly. In the Six Day War, Israel stood alone against the coalition of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the Lebanon that was supported by Algeria, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Sudan, Tunisia and the PLO. Israel suffered less than 1,000 casualties to the Arab coalition’s 20,000 and successfully captured the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights and reclaimed Jerusalem in six days. During the Yom Kippur War, Israel was once again badly outnumbered by another Arab coalition. Despite this, the Israelis repelled the Arab forces. In accordance with the Bible, each Israeli soldier truly has become as strong as David.
The fulfillment of biblical prophecies is not relegated to either a time thousands of years ago or some distant future. Instead, those prophecies are always valid, always working their way toward completion. Some of them have already been fulfilled, but others are still waiting to come true. Those prophecies that have already been fulfilled, however, have captivated the world. The fulfillment of some of the biblical prophecies concerning Israel leave those who are aware of the prophecies that remain uncompleted both eager and anxious so see the great events of the world unfold as they have been written.