Israel’s Restoration

Outline IX

(from your Bibles read Deuteronomy 30:1–10)

Is the Establishment of the State of Israel the Fulfillment of Prophecy?

Very significant is the fact that in its journey around the globe—a journey generally from the East to the West, just like the sun—the gospel has made great progress, and this especially during the last century. Just as meaningful, however, is the fact that in the world of today and even in so-called “Christendom” of today there are various conditions that will make it much easier than heretofore for Antichrist to achieve world-dominion. That the stage is being set for the great apostasy can hardly be doubted. Such things as these should be considered signs of the times.

Many sincere Christians arc convinced, however, that there is still another sign, a very clear and unmistakable indication that right now Christ’s return must be very, very near. That sign, as they see it, is the establishment., May 14, 1948, of the state of Israel. According to one author: “The re-establishment of that nation in its own land, even in unbelief, is significant, indeed.” By calling it “significant,” he means that it is a clear fulfillment of prophecies. One such prophecy would be the passage which you have just read, namely, Deuteronomy 30:1–10.


In our own circles, too, all kinds of kindred ideas are afloat; for example, that according to prophecy the Jews will go back (or: have gone back) to Palestine, that large numbers of them will be converted just before Jesus returns, and that when this happens we shall know thereby that the return of Christ is just around the corner.

Two ideas, accordingly, must be discussed. The one is Israel’s restoration as a nation, specially favored by God; the second is lsrael’s conversion. The present Outline deals with the first matter. The next Outline will deal with the second.

However, since at present the attention is focused so generally upon the established fact that a certain number of Jews have actually established the nation called Israel, the first question will be cast in this form, “Is the Establishment of the state of Israel the fulfillment of Prophecy?”


a. No one denies that there are many restoration prophecies; that is, many predictions of the return of the Jews to their land and their re-establishment as a nation (for example, Deut. 30:1–10; I Kings 8:46–52; Jeremiah 18:5–10; Jer. 29:12–14; Ezekiel 36:33; Hosea 11:10). The point is, however, that insofar as these prophecies pertain to the literal restoration of the Jews as a nation, then were fulfilled when (in stages) the Jews returned from their Babylonian-Assyrian captivity, and were re-established in their own land. All this took place long, long ago, before Jesus was born.

That point is so easy to grasp that it is strange that many fail to see it. Let me illustrate. Say that here is a criminal, a Mr. Smith, who has been sentenced to a year in prison. His friend, Mr. Brown, visits him in prison and comforts him with the thought that he will be released from his imprisonment. Now, does Mr. Brown actually mean this, “Smith, you will be released thirty years from today, after you will have served another term in jail”? Such comfort would be nonsense. Similarly, you may be sure that when the Old Testament prophets predicted the release of the Jews from their captivity, their return to their own land, and their reestablishment as a nation, they were talking about a close-at-hand deliverance from Babylonian-Assyrian captivity, and not a home-coming from dispersion more than two thousand rears later! (Re-read Outline II. Old Testament prophecies must be studied from the point of view of their Old Testament historical background.)

b. God does not reward disobedience but obedience. Hence, the deliverance predicted in the prophets was conditional in character. What the prophets meant was, “Israel will be restored if it repents. In that case its sins will be blotted ant, and it will be permitted to return to its country.”

See this for yourself in the passages which were mentioned a while ago: Deuteronomy 30:1–10; I Kings 8:46–52; Jeremiah 18:5–10; 29:12–14; Ezekiel 36:33; and Hosea 11:10. The language is as follows.

“And it shall come to pass when thou shalt return unto Jehovah thy God, that then Jehovah thy God will turn thy captivity.”

“Jehovah will again rejoice over thee for good, if thou return unto Jehovah thy God with all thy heart.”

“If they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and make supplication to thee saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have dealt wickedly, if they return unto thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who carried them away captive, then hear thou their prayer and their supplication, and forgive thy people, and show them compassion.”

“If that nation turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.”

“When ye shall search for me with all your heart, I will be found of you, saith Jehovah, and I will gather you from all the nations . . . and I will bring you again unto the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.”

“Thus saith Jehovah, In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places to be builded.” . . . “They shall walk after Jehovah and the children shall come trembling from the west.”

That this spirit of repentance was actually present at the time of the return from the Babylonian-Assyrian captivity is c1ear from such passages as Daniel 9:1, 2, 5, 6; Ezra 3;5, 10, 11, 6,16–22, 7,10, 8:35, 10:11, 12, Nehemiah 1:4–11; Haggai 1:12, 13, etc.

But the Jews who, on May 14, 1948, established the state of Israel had not repented! By and large their religion is that of humanism. It is a dependence On self, a “religion of labor.” I am in wholehearted agreement, therefore, with Dr. C. Ch. Aalders when he says:

“Whatever has happened in Palestine of late and whatever may still happen there has nothing whatever to do with divide prophecy.”

A. Question, Answered in the Outline

1. What significance do many people attach to the establishment, May 14, 1948, of the nation of Israel?

2. To which release from implement did the prophets naturally refer?

3. Show from Scripture that the promised blessings to Israel were conditional in character; that is, that God rewards obedience, not disobedience.

4. Does the present state of Israel fulfill the condition?

5. Accordingly, can if be logically maintained that the present state of Israel is a fulfillment of prophecy and that its establishment is a sign of the end of the world?

B. Additional Questions

1. How many Jews are there in the world today? Where are most of them living? Are the Jews happy in the State of Israel? Are many of them leaving again? If so, is that perhaps also a fulfillment of prophecy?

2. What happened to thousands upon thousands of Arabs when the Jews established the nation called Israel? Do you think that was right?

3. There are those who maintain that such passages Isaiah 11:11 (“the Lord will set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people”) show that there is national restoration of the Jews that belongs to the New Testament era. In the light of the context show that Ih is is not at all what the prophet meant. Verse 16 clearly indicates what he meant by the two restorations.

4. Did Jeremiah in chapter 29 predict a restoration that is still future? See Jeremiah 29:10 and Daniel 9:2.

5. Does Daniel 9:27 (note especially the last part of that verse) support the idea that the Jews will again become God’s favored people? Who are today God’s highly-favored race? See I Peter 2:9, 10.