If you simply mention the “End Times,” you’ll generate as many different opinions as people have favorite foods. The study of eschatology, or the study of the End Times, and the Bible’s apocalyptic writings certainly bring no end to various understandings of Israel’s role in the End Times. Truthfully, none of us know the specific details of the events that will happen or when. Even Jesus said that only the Father knows the precise hour or day of the eschaton, or the end of all things as we know them, specifically in Matthew 24:36.

While there’s much about the End Times that is unknown and falls into speculation or interpretation, one question remains: what about Israel? After all, throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, the nation of Israel is described as God’s “chosen people,” so where does Israel fit into God’s plan for the End Times? What does He have in store for Israel and the reward of eternal life at the world’s end? Is the existence of Israel’s current state a fulfillment of God’s promises to them?

Old Testament prophecies for Israel.

Several Old Testament prophets, including Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, prophesied about the restoration of Israel in the End Times, which includes Jewish people returning to Israel after a period of dispersion and exile, as detailed in Ezekiel 36:24-28. Some prophecies suggest that the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem is typically associated with the coming of the Messiah or a future period of spiritual renewal, as we read in Ezekiel 40:1-4. The promise of God to Abraham and his descendants about the land of Canaan, later known as Israel, is seen as a lasting covenant and the fulfillment of this promise is typically associated with End Time events, as detailed in Genesis 17:7-8.

This promise is introductory to the Abrahamic covenant and holds great importance in the biblical narrative. It’s often linked with End Time events and the fulfillment and restoration of God’s promises to Abraham’s descendants in the context of eschatology. Some interpretations within Christianity and Judaism see Jewish people returning to Israel as a sign of God’s faithfulness to this covenant and as part of His plan for the End Times.

New Testament prophecies for Israel.

In the New Testament, specifically in the Gospels and the book of Revelation, there are some references to Jesus’ return. Jesus’ return is typically connected to Israel’s restoration and salvation, as we read in Revelation 19:11-16. The book of Revelation has several passages that describe End Time events happening in Israel, including the Battle of Armageddon, which is seen as the final battle between the forces of good and evil as outlined in Revelation 16:16. It’s essential to note that interpretations of the Battle of Armageddon and its connection to Israel can differ among believers and scholars.

Some see it as a literal battle, but others see it more as a symbol representing the ultimate war between the forces of evil and righteousness in the celestial struggle for God’s kingdom. Some interpretations of Romans 11 suggest that there will be a future turning of the Jewish people to faith in Christ as the Messiah, leading to their spiritual restoration, specifically in Romans 11:25-26. Jerusalem is repeatedly mentioned in both the Old and Testament prophecies as the central location for End Times events and the future capital of God’s kingdom.

As you can see, these verses highlight the future role of Jerusalem as the primary location in God’s plan for the End Times. They emphasize the significance of Jerusalem as a place where God will live, where His law will prevail, and where all nations will gather. Additionally, they point to Jerusalem’s role in End Time events, including battles and the ultimate establishment of God’s kingdom.

Israel’s current state.

Israel’s name is derived from the name given to Jacob, Abraham’s grandson and Isaac’s son. Jacob’s 12 sons were the fathers of the 12 tribes that became the Jewish nation, or the nation of Israel. It’s easy to acknowledge the trials that the people of Israel, or the Jewish people, have survived over the past 4,000 years. They survived 400 years of slavery and exile in Egypt, then escaped only to roam in the desert for another 40 years before entering the “land of milk and honey.” Then, there were 70 years of exile in Babylon after Jerusalem’s defeat by Nebuchadnezzar. Then, there were another 2,000 years of exile and dispersion from their homeland under the rule of multiple empires.

The Romans are best known, but there were also the Persians, Babylonians, Greek Hellenists, Arabs, Byzantines, British, Ottomans, and even Christian Crusaders who came from Europe to capture the Holy Land. There was also dispersion throughout other lands, commonly called Diaspora, which could easily have resulted in the absorption of other cultures through simple assimilation or absorption and mixed marriages, yet that didn’t happen. Many nations didn’t willingly accept Jews into their countries. For example, Russia was known for its harsh treatment of the Jews, who didn’t have rights. Even during British rule, Jews suffered a great deal of cruelty at the hands of surrounding Arab populations.

Then, there was the Holocaust, where six million or more Jews were brutally executed, as much as 60 percent or more of the entire Jewish population. However, in 1948, against all odds, there was a homecoming to the Promised Land, the new state of Israel. The Jewish community reestablished Israel as a sovereign nation with a declaration of independence. At the time, several orthodox Jews and non-Jews worldwide were terrified and political clashes exist to this day. Still, with all of this, Israel’s people have endured. Against all odds, the Jewish people have returned to the land promised by God in Exodus and as exclaimed by several Old Testament prophets.

Zechariah 14 details a day when Jerusalem will be robbed by her enemies, which is foreshadowed in 2 Kings, when Nebuchadnezzar’s forces broke through Jerusalem’s walls, conquering the city. However, in verse 14, the prophet says on that day, Jesus’ feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, and it will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley with half of the mountain going north and half moving south. “That day” refers to the day of the Lord’s return to the same spot from where He ascended 40 days after His resurrection.

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