We live in a day when the political powers that be want to strip Israel of their identity and their right to the capital city of Jerusalem. This is nothing new and history shows us that in 135 AD, the Romans wanted to strip the land of its Jewish identity, so they named the land Palestina which is the Roman translation (pronounciation) of Philistia. Then the Arabs conquered and settled around 638AD and there were waves of invasions. The land was called Philistine under the Turks and wasn’t called Palestine until the British conquered it in 1917. Does Israel have claim to Jerusalem? Do they have a claim to the Temple Mount (see final thought below)? Are they evil settlers? What does history and the Bible show us?
In the history of the world there has never been a country called Palestine. As a matter of fact, there has never been even an Arab province that has ever laid claim to Jerusalem as their capital. Even though Arabs live in the land, they were never called Palestinians, they were Arabs. The first time an Arab was called Palestinian was in 1964.
What about the West Bank? The term “West Bank” is an artificial term that was made up to delegitimize the Jewish claim to the land. This way they can call them evil settlers but there are Israeli settlements in West Bank and there are no Arabs in sight. Is that because they are evil settlers? No, it’s because it is desert and no Arab would want to live there. History also shows us that Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth would have been considered an evil settler because he was a third generation settler in Nazareth. Nazareth was settled only about 100 years before he was born.
Israel is not a recent people. Their history goes back over 3500 years. They were formed in the crucible of Egypt, fashioned in the desert, and then brought into the land. Scrolls have be found in Israel, written in Hebrew, that date back thousands of years. The people of Israel returning to the land does not make them a foreign colony or evil settlers, but a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.
The Bible tells us that in the seventh month on the fifteenth day, we are to celebrate Sukkot (Feast of Booths) for seven days (Sunset October 16, 2016 – Sunset October 23, 2016). The first day and the eighth day are a Sabbath (October 16-17, 2016 & October 23-24, both sunset to sunset). It tells us that the reason for this feast is to remind the generations that the people of Israel dwelled in booths when God brought them out of the land of Egypt (Leviticus 23:33-43 & Nehemia 8:14-16).
As we celebrate this feast, let us remember what Jeremiah said in 16:14-15. “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave their fathers.” Wow! THIS IS HAPPENING TODAY! Then Amos says in 9:14-15, “I will return the captivity of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them on their land and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them, says the LORD your God.”
They are not, in fact, evil settlers but rather they are returning to their home land and fulfilling biblical prophecy. Archaeological discoveries continue to back this up. This Sukkot, let’s not only remember how God brought them out of the land of Egypt, but how He is returning them from their captivity and bringing them home. And He promises that they will never be uprooted again.
One final thought: The Israelites have a deed of purchase for the four most contested properties in Israel. They are found in:
- Genesis 23 – The Cave of Machpelah – burial site of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah…Abraham bought this for full price
- Genesis 33:19 – Shechem – Jacob bought this land
- 2 Samuel 24:24 & 1 Chronicles 21:25 – The threshing floor of Araunah – David bought this…this would become the site of the Temple in 2 Chronicles 3:1, and is know today as the Temple Mount
- 1 Kings 16:24 – Samaria – Omri, King of Israel, bought this land