The Bible is mostly concerned with the affairs of God’s people — the Jews. Consequently, there are a lot of things said by the prophets about the future of this people.
At the beginning, Abraham was promised a land. In addition, he was promised that he would be blessed and be a blessing to others. While he had no children, he was promised offspring as the stars of heaven or the sand of the sea in number. Later, his descendants the Israelites were promised a city.
Eventually, the nation of Israel existed with their land and city (Jerusalem). Through the descendants of Abraham, came Jesus, who is a blessing to all people. The descendants of Abraham still exist as a people — the Jews — Abraham’s descendants are innumerable.
However, there is another prophecy regarding the people of Israel.
After the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews were scattered through the Roman Empire and beyond. They were forbidden to live in or around the city of Jerusalem and attempts were made to blot out any memory of the Jewish nation. Their land gradually became barren and lay waste. However, in their dispersion, often because of persecution, they did not become assimilated into the countries they lived in — they were still Jews. For several centuries, they were harrassed, massacred, or forced to relocate from one country to the next — yet they survived as a people. In 1948, despite the odds, Israel became a nation once again. And with the return of the Jewish people, life was also brought back to the land which now flourishes.
The Bible says this:
And the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other … and among these nations you shall find no respite, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot, but the LORD will give you a trembling heart, and failing eyes, and a languishing soul. (Deuteronomy 28:64-65 ESV)
And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will unsheath the sword after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste. Then shall the land enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate while you are in your enemies’ land, then the land shall rest, and enjoy its Sabbaths. (Leviticus 26:33, 34 ESV)
…I will make a full end of all the nations among whom I scattered you, but of you I will not make a full end. (Jeremiah 30:11 ESV)
Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in the countries where they have gone. Therefore say, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered and I will give you the land of Israel. (Ezekiel 11:16-17 ESV)
…it is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name… I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land… (Ezekiel 36:22,24 ESV)
Everyone agrees that the Old Testament was written before the time of Jesus and so it is obvious that these words were written several centuries before they were fulfilled. As it says in Isaiah:
‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he … I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no saviour, I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I am God.’ (Isaiah 43:10-12 ESV)
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