The Amazing Accuracy of Ezekiel
Vol: 27 Issue: 21 Tuesday, August 21, 2018
“And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates. . .(Ezekiel 38:11)
Some two hundred years after the political subdivision called the ‘Kingdom of Israel’ was destroyed by Sargon II, the prophet Ezekiel from the Southern Kingdom of Judah wrote from exile in Babylon.
When Sargon destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel, he did what conquerors did in those days; he transplanted the population of Israel to elsewhere in the Assyrian Empire, and then relocated elements of other subjugated people in their place.
The purpose of this was to keep the populations docile. A people without a land have little to fight for. After a generation or two, they assimilate, and the new land becomes their land.
This is how the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel were lost to history, and from the beginning of the 7th century BC, there was no place left in the world called Israel.
The surviving kingdom of Judah, known as Jews, was captured and partially assimilated by the Babylonians in the mid 5th century BC. They survived their captivity in Babylon, and later, the Medo-Persians, only because they were allowed to return to their own land by Artaxerxes.
In Ezekiel’s day, there was no place called ‘Israel’, had not BEEN a place called ‘Israel’ for 150 years, would not be another place called ‘Israel’ for 2,520 years, and besides, Ezekiel was a Jew from Judah.
But Ezekiel’s prophetic writings are filled with references to a future place called ‘Israel’, one that he describes as “the people that are gathered out of the nations” (38:12) and then further describes as “my people of Israel” (38:18)
Ezekiel wrote of Israel’s regathering in the last days. In Ezekiel 37, the prophet is shown a valley of dry bones. Those dry bones, the Lord explains, are the “whole house of Israel”(37:11) that the Lord says would be restored in the last days.
Six hundred years BEFORE the remaining Jews of Israel were scattered by the Romans, the Lord told Ezekiel of their regathering in the last days.
“Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land; And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.” (Ezekiel 37:21-22)
The fulfillment of this prophecy could not be more obvious. The Jews of the Diaspora have indeed ‘come from among the heathen’ from ‘every side’ and returned to the Promised Land.
In 1897, the first Zionist Congress petitioned the British Crown to allow the ingathering Jews to set up a state in what was the British colony of Uganda. At the time, Palestine was in the hands of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. The British told them they should ask the Ottomans to let them have their historical homeland and turned the Uganda request down.
Ezekiel prophesied that the regathering of Israel would be on their own land, “mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations” (38:8)
Abba Ebban, one of Israel’s Founding Fathers, wrote in his book, ‘Personal Witness’ that, right up until the last moment before issuing their 1948 Declaration of Statehood, they were quibbling about what to name the new Jewish State.
Some liked ‘Zion’ others ‘Judea’ — and it was only at the last minute, AFTER ben-Gurion had already requested the new state be recognized by Washington, that they decided on the name ‘Israel’.
Ezekiel foretold all this two and one half millennia before it happened. He said his prophecy was for “the latter days.” (38:16)
It is worth noting again that building moats and walls to protect against invaders was a common strategic option in Ezekiel’s day. For that reason, Ezekiel’s reference to a ‘land of unwalled villages’ was generally interpreted as a metaphor for peace, rather than a literal condition. The only modern equivalent would have been the Berlin Wall, but it was built to keep people from escaping, not to defend against invasion.
But Ezekiel’s walls are clearly defensive — the whole 38th chapter is about a war of invasion against Israel. And today, 2500 years after Ezekiel foretold it, and more than sixty years after Israel’s restoration, the Israelis are building a defensive wall around their country.
It is an iron-clad certainty that the wall will be built — it is already partially completed and is proving its worth. Areas protected by the wall are already experiencing fewer terrorist attacks. It is equally certain that the wall will come down.
The entire world community opposes it (although they are having a hard time explaining why) and Israel is already preparing to mount its defense at an upcoming trial before the World Court in The Hague to justify its continuation.
There will be no way the World Court can force the destruction of the wall without some kind of peace guarantee the Israelis can accept and the European diplomatic corps is hard at work trying to come up with one. So far, they’ve had little success, but it is not from lack of trying.
The wall is becoming a focal point of world attention, to the exclusion of the terrorism that created it, and it can only have one of two outcomes. Either the wall comes down before it is finished, or it will come down at some point in the future. There is no way the world community will learn to live with the status quo.
Once the wall is completed, the Palestinians will have their defacto state, Israel will retain the high ground and more defensible borders, and the Palestinians will have to achieve statehood the old-fashioned way. By building one. You know, like the Israelis did.
That will never be acceptable to the world community. They were the ones who created the Palestinians in the first place, and having created a people, it is incumbent upon them to provide them with a state.
Since the Israelis are not cooperating in giving up theirs, the plan is to create one beside Israel and force Israel to support it by providing jobs to the Palestinians.
Palestine had no independent status during the Ottoman Empire. As European powers expanded their foothold in the region and as Zionism brought Jewish immigrants to their ancestral homeland, no one could define Palestine’s contours. A picture emerged only in the early 1920s under the British Mandate, which extended from the Jordan River to the sea, from the upper Galilee to the Gulf of Aqaba.
The 1948 war created a de facto partition, but no Palestinian state. Jordan took the West Bank, and Egypt grabbed the Gaza Strip, filled with refugees from Israeli areas that now included 78 percent of the British Mandate territory.
When Israel captured the Egyptian Gaza and Jordanian West Bank in 1967, the ‘Palestinian people’ were created out of the displaced Arabs.
The prophet Daniel, and both Paul and John foretell a peace agreement with Israel that kicks off the Tribulation Period. Daniel says that a leader of the revived Roman Empire confirms a peace covenant between Israel and her enemies, which he breaks halfway through.
In context, one could assume the covenant involves a mutual defense agreement, since, after the walls come down, Ezekiel says a Russian-led Islamic alliance launches a sneak invasion against Israel. Ezekiel 38:13 says Israel’s ‘allies’ launch what amounts to little more than a weak diplomatic objection.
The literal fulfillment of prophecies penned tens of centuries ago continue to unfold in our generation. Right down to details such as Israel’s Tribulation status as a ‘land of unwalled villages’.
The same Guiding Hand responsible for Ezekiel’s unwavering accuracy and attention to detail also guided those prophecies that yet remain to be fulfilled. Don’t let anybody steal away your excitement! We are that special, chosen generation who ‘shall not pass away, until all be fulfilled.”
You are not grasping at straws, or following vague and ambiguous prophecies that can be explained away by calling them ‘interpretations.’ This is the real thing.
“And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)
Featured Commentary: A Most Unwelcome Leader ~Steve Schmutzer