Although Israel as we know her today is only a little more than 65 years old, the Jewish nation is actually one of the oldest on Earth. These people and their land reach back to the time of Abraham’s prophetic pilgrimage and the covenant promise of God to him and his descendants (see Gen. 17:4-8). But after what many considered to be a silence of 2,000 years, this land has been reborn. Israel is once again the showpiece being displayed before the eyes of the world. All the more as I have declared that in these very days, the Middle East would be a boiling cauldron. Click here to read the article.
Brief Historic Overview
Let’s take a peek at the past to be able to have a proper view of the future. How could a remnant of scattered and persecuted Jewish people, who went through their darkest hour in Hitler’s Holocaust, come forth all at once as a sovereign nation within their age-old boundaries? Not without divine intervention, for sure, although many Israelis today believe they did it all on their own. Let’s sketch this history briefly.
On Nov. 29, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution requiring the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. Israel was then reborn the following May 14, in 1948.
Just a day later, on May 15, this creation had barely come forth, when five Arab nations assaulted the newborn Jewish state. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq (40 million Arabs, 1.5 million of them armed) attacked Israel in what became known as the Israeli War of Independence. The war continued for eight months with heavy casualties on all sides. The miracle is that Israel, which had just been reborn, could not be destroyed (see Is. 54:17).
In 1967 the Six-Day War also should have ended in disaster for Israel, but God’s mercy again prevailed. Sinai, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan Heights were occupied by the Israelis in only six days. This conflict also saw the notable capture by the Jews of the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem and the remaining Western (Wailing) Wall of the Temple. All holy Jewish and Christian sites were controlled by the Israelis at that point.
And consider the outcome of the surprise 1973 Yom Kippur assault. The Arabs, backed by one of the world’s two nuclear superpowers, the former Soviet Union, attacked on two fronts. But Israel, coming close to major defeat, again came out the victor. Taken by surprise on their highest holy day, the Israelis were pushed back as the Arabs made territorial gains. Yet by what I believe was divine intervention, Israel regained all her land. Once again the hand of God, working in part through the agency of human beings, protected the outnumbered and despised Jewish nation.
What is the lesson to learn here? God has done it before, He will do it again!
The history of God’s divine protection of Israel since it was reborn as a nation in 1948 is a brilliant study in its own right. So let’s take a quick look at some significant Old Testament prophecies regarding Israel’s dispersion and regathering.
Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, glimpsed through the lens of time that Israel’s faithful, covenant-keeping God would offer His stretched-out wings as a place of divine protection to His people during their ingathering to the Promised Land:
Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare in the coastlands afar off, and say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock” (Jer. 31:10).
We find three truths contained in this one verse from Jeremiah. First, it was God Himself who scattered Israel from her own homeland. Second, the same God who scattered Israel will regather her to her own land. And third, God will not merely regather Israel but keep her and put a divine hedge of protection about her as she is regathered.
Hosea 1:10 reads: It will come about that, in the place where it is said to them, “You are not My people,” it will be said to them, “You are the sons of the living God.”
This piercing prophetic statement was given concerning the condition of the house of Israel at a time when she was in a state of rebellion and sin (“You are not My people”). But God’s critical word of judgment did not end there.
This one verse speaks of physical restoration and relocation and also of the spiritual rebirth or revival that will take place among God’s covenant people when they are returned to their covenant-given land. A miracle of major proportions is being declared here. What a reflection of the awesome faithfulness of our Father!
Two Regatherings Predicted
With the needed foundation in place of God’s grace and His faithfulness, let’s trace a few more steps back in history and glance at the topic of the Diaspora (the dispersion) of the Jewish people in history.
The First Regathering
It is my understanding that Scripture speaks prophetically beforehand that the Jews would suffer two major dispersions, or scatterings, from their own land, followed by two regatherings.
The first was in the years when the prophets Daniel and Ezekiel were exiled in the land of Babylon, that period in which the Jews of the Judean (southern) kingdom were displaced from their country after the destruction of the Temple, Jerusalem and commonwealth by Nebuchadnezzar (see Dan. 1:1-6). It was around 605 B.C. when Daniel and his associates were carried away. Their restoration to the land began in 538 B.C. (see 2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4), and the Temple remained unrestored until 515 B.C. (see Ezra 6:15), about 70 years after its destruction in 587 B.C.
Daniel, a prophet of the one true God, was in captivity with the children of Israel in Babylon, a foreign land with a foreign culture and foreign gods and ways. It was perhaps in their 63rd year of captivity, while meditating on the Word of God (see Dan. 9:2), that Daniel received a revelation based on the prophetic promises of Jeremiah:
“This whole land shall be a desolation and a horror, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then it will be when seventy years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,” declares the Lord” (Jer. 25:11-12).
“Thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place'” (Jer. 29:10).
Not only did Daniel believe the word and declare it as revealed to Jeremiah—that at the end of 70 years of Babylonian captivity, the children of Israel would be released from their enslavement and return to their own land—but Daniel sought the Lord for any reasons or blockades that could stand in the way of the prophetic promise being fulfilled (see Dan. 9:3-19). Daniel then responded by confessing the sin of his people as his own. The verse that summarizes his confession is Daniel 9:19:
“O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Thine own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name.”
The fact that the word of the Lord happened precisely as had been declared through the lips of Jeremiah, and knelt upon by the prophet Daniel, gives us an example of prophetic intercession at its best. At the end of 70 years, the Israelites were released into the beginning of fulfillment of the prophecy of their first return to their covenant land.
The Second Regathering
That was not the only dispersion and regathering prophesied by God’s watchmen. Isaiah 11:11-12 states that the Lord would set His hand a second time to recover a remnant of His people:
It will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He will lift up a standard for the nations, and will assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth (emphasis added).
Let’s make it simple: The Scriptures explain that there would be a regional dispersion followed by a regional regathering. Then there would come a second worldwide dispersion followed by a second worldwide regathering. When did the second dispersion occur? It began around 70 A.D. under the Roman ruler Titus, when the Jewish people once again fled their homeland and ran for their lives. For many hundreds of years, they scattered—for almost 1,900 years they were banished from their homeland to the four corners of the earth.
A warrior angel came and stood at the end of my bed one year ago. All it said was,“Attention! Be on the alert!”
Are you alert right now as a watchman on the walls?
From my vantage point, that is exactly what I is see is needed in the Middle East today. We need the Spirit of wisdom and revelation concerning His prophetic calendar for Israel, so that His heart for Jerusalem and the people of the Middle East will beat in our own heart. Join me as together we help give birth to God’s purposes through the power of prophetic intercession.
Join me on the walls, watchmen, and let’s lift a cry for Israel for such a time as this!
Dr. James W. Goll is the president of Encounters Network, director of Prayer Storm and coordinates Encounters Alliance, a coalition of leaders. He is director of God Encounters Training—an e-school of the heart, and is a member of the Harvest International Ministries apostolic team. He has shared Jesus in more than 50 nations worldwide, teaching and imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry, and life in the Spirit. Goll is the prolific author of numerous books—including The Prophetic Intercessor, from which this article is adapted—and has also produced multiple study guides and hundreds of audio and video messages.