Over the many centuries God had kept His people intact, even through their state of scattered exile. By the early 20th century He had prepared the way for their complete return and possession of the Land that He had given them in perpetuity. This was an amazing and varied lot; European Jews, Middle Eastern Jews, Jews from India and China and Africa. God was calling His people home. And it was all according to prophecy. All according to His unwavering Word!
PART V – ANOTHER EXACT FULFILLMENT
It is really an amazing story. Through all that time, a scattered remnant clung to the promises of Scripture that promised a return to the land and a coming Messiah. “I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God.” (Amos 9:14-15) But their lament was ‘How long must we wait?’ It is interesting that there is a prophetic answer. Many times, the precision of God’s prophecies cannot be appreciated until after their fulfillment. This is not self-fulfilling prophecy: As you will see, it is far too mathematically exact in its nature. Grant Jeffrey, in his book, The Signature of God, found one such astounding example.
There is found in the writings of the Old Testament, a prediction of the exact date of the re-establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948. Jeffrey looked at two main passages, in Ezekiel and Leviticus, to find the key to that fulfilled prophecy. Now we know that Israel was conquered and taken into captivity by the Babylonians in 606 BC. We know that Jeremiah had prophesied the length of that captivity as being exactly 70 years. “And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” (Jeremiah 25:11) History tells us the Jews were indeed released precisely 70 years later by King Cyrus, in 536 BC. Contemporary with these events, Ezekiel was given a revelation that spoke to the final re-establishment of Israel in the last days.[i] “This will be a sign to the house of Israel. “Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.” (Ezekiel 4:3-6)
First of all, we see that this prophecy is aimed directly at the nation or “house of Israel.” It pronounces sentence on the Jewish nation as punishment for their sins: 390 years followed by 40 years, – or a total of 430 years. The beginning point for the sentence is the month of Nisan, 536 BC, when the Jews came out of the Babylonian captivity. The problem was that once freed, a majority of the Jews refused to leave or repent. Instead they chose to remain both in Babylon and in their sin which had “…sent them into captivity in the first place”. But notice they had served only 70 years of their sentence of 430 years. Three hundred sixty years remained to be served. So what’s going on here? [ii]
That day too saw the exact fulfillment of another prophecy, Isaiah 66:8. “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children.” As Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948 the United States issued a statement recognizing her sovereignty. Only hours beforehand, a United Nations mandate expired, ending British control of the land. During a 24-hour span of time, foreign control of the land of Israel had formally ceased, and Israel had declared its independence, and that independence was acknowledged by other nations. Modern Israel was literally was born in a single day. The God of Israel was faithful indeed, Alleluia!The answer lies in Leviticus 26. In this chapter, the God of Israel pronounces both promises and punishments for the behavior of the Jewish nation. God addresses the punishments to Israel, “if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments.” (Leviticus 26:14) Repeatedly God warns Israel that if she did not repent, the punishments would be multiplied seven times. “And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins…. And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins…. And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.” (Leviticus 26:18,23-24,27-28) So we must apply the seven fold punishment to the remaining 360 years of the sentence: 360 x 7 = 2,520 years to be served. Ah, but these are Biblical years; – each is 360 days long. Grant Jeffrey did the conversion. It comes out to 2,483.8 calendar years. Starting from 536 BC and counting forward we arrive at May of 1948. It was May 14, 1948, to the sound of a shofar, an ancient ram’s horn, that Israel announced its independence. It was the exact fulfillment of Ezekiel.
[i] Grant R Jeffrey, The Signature of God, Frontier Research Publications, Toronto, 1996, pg 158
[ii] Grant R Jeffrey, The Signature of God, Frontier Research Publications, Toronto, 1996, pg 159