Paul Wilbur – Shalom Jerusalem
Jewish Prophets Of The Divided Kingdoms Of Israel And Judah
The prophets of the Old Testament were Jews. They received inspired messages from God that relate to Jews. Too many verses of scripture that were written by the Jewish prophets are understood by many to be specific to those whom are “other than Jews.” A verse’s context is important, and must be understood. With such a contextual understanding, a verse’s application can be properly understood. Consider the misapplication of the following verse.
Ezekiel 34:26 New King James Version (NKJV)
26 I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.
Consider the proper application of Ezekiel 34:26
34:26 My hill. A reference to Jerusalem and Zion in particular, where the Jews will come to worship the Lord. showers of blessing. Cf. the “times of refreshing” in Acts 3:19, 20, when the curses of Deut. 28:15–68 are lifted. (MacArthur Study Bible note. Provided by Bible Gateway)
The song, “Showers Of Blessing,” is sung each week in many Christian churches, with the thinking that the verse relates to the church, without having an understanding of the context of the verse to which the song relates. However, as the reference note states, the verse specifically relates to Israel during the millennium. Believers in Christ, whom will also be present during the millennium, will also benefit from God’s blessings to the Jews, whom are “God’s chosen people” (Deuteronomy 7:6). But, the key application of the verse is that of God’s blessings for Israel.
It is important for any reader of the Bible to know that without having an understanding of the books of Old Testament prophecy, no sense can be made of the remainder of the Bible, whether Old or New Testaments. Anyone can read from Genesis 1:1 through Exodus 20:26 without encountering too much confusion. But, once the reader begins at Exodus 21:1, and reads forward, the world of prophecy is immediately encountered. There is a definite prophetic path of scripture that begins in Genesis 3:15 and carries forward to Revelation 21:1-22:21, but that path is grossly ignored in many sermons and lessons. All too often, whenever sermons or lessons are taught from Old Testament books of prophecy, the design of the teaching is that of a church setting. The primary focus of a lesson, that is based on a book of prophecy, should be one of Jewish prophecy. Because of the lack of proper teaching on prophecy, there are many people whom are greatly ignorant of the application of such scriptures.
In the year 1000 B.C., preceding the deportation of God’s chosen people from their home lands, God gave the message of the Song of Solomon, through King Solomon, to be a love letter to the Jews. The message used the love in marriage, of a man and woman, to tell about the love of God for the Jews. Please understand that the Song of Solomon is not a “marriage how to do it book.” The common expression that is often seen in the faces of Christians whenever the Song of Solomon is mentioned, is that of a “smirk!” Please understand that God’s Holy Word is just that, “Holy!” There should never be “smirking” whenever God’s Word is read or discussed. People had been having children for the 3,000 years before the “Song of Solomon” was given by God to Solomon. Families had been having children, “quite well,” during those preceding years; nobody needed a technical manual on love. God knew that Israel would be dispersed from their home lands after the death of King Solomon. He knew of the dysfunction that would enter their lives and nation leading up to the first deportation of the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C. God also knew of the final deportation of the Southern Kingdom which would take place in 586 B.C. God knew that His chosen people would not return to their promised land until after the time of the rapture and tribulation. God chose prophets to encourage the Jews while they living in exile in foreign lands. His written Word is still used to encourage Jews, as well as believers in Christ, as to His plan for the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem (Isaiah 66:22; Revelation 21:1-2).
As was the case in Song of Solomon, the prophets of Israel were used as instruments of delivering God’s Holy Word to the Jews. Especially, while the Jews were dispersed, the love of God for “His chosen people” (Deuteronomy 7:6) was the key to their encouragement. Consider the following passages of scripture that God spoke to “his chosen people” through the prophets, “Isaiah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah”)
“I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 41:17, 712 B.C.)
“I will bring you back” (Zephaniah 3:20, 630 B.C.)
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;” (Jeremiah 31:3, 606 B.C.)
“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land (Ezekiel 36:24, 587 B.C.)
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: My cities shall again spread out through prosperity. The Lord will again comfort Zion, And will again choose Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 1:17, 520 B.C.)
It will be during the millennium that the covenant land of Genesis 15:18-21 will actually be occupied by Israel.
In the following Words of Christ (Matthew 24:29-31), He tells of the regathering of the Jews, which have been scattered throughout the world; the time frame is that of the second coming of Christ to Earth. The audience of people are His Disciples/Apostles on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The teaching relates to the Jewish people who will be present on Earth at the end of the great tribulation; they will have missed the rapture. “His chosen people” (Jews, vs 31)” are identified in Deuteronomy 7:6. In essence, this discussion is, “to Jews, about “Jewish things.” The passage of Matthew 24:29-31 is not about the rapture of the church.
Jews, of whom accept Christ as Messiah prior to the rapture, will be caught up to the Presence of God at the time of the rapture, and will be eternally secure in their holiness of body, soul and spirit (John 14:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54); they will spend eternity in the Presence of God in the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-2). Jews, of whom have not accepted Christ as Messiah prior to the rapture, will go through the tribulation. If any of those Jews are alive at the end of the tribulation, they will enter the time of the millennium. It is during that thousand-year reign of Christ that they will have the opportunity to accept Christ as Messiah. From that point in time, forward, those millennial Jews will be given a glorified body, soul and spirit and will also spend eternity in the Presence of God.
Matthew 24:29-31 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
29 “But immediately following the trouble of those times, the sun will grow dark, the moon will stop shining, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in heaven will be shaken.
30 “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, all the tribes of the Land will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with tremendous power and glory. 31 He will send out his angels with a great shofar; and they will gather together his chosen people from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
During this study, there will be a focused study of each of the prophets that are listed below. The focus will relate to the prophecies that God gave to each prophet. It is important to know that all of the prophets are Jews, and that they prophesied about things that relate to Jews. The effects of the fulfilled prophecies will affect everyone in the world.
Israel is the area where the ten northern tribes settled under the Kingship of Jeroboam in 931 B.C.
Judah is the area where the two southern tribes of Israel settled under the Kingship of Rehoboam in 931 B.C.
A discussion follows that relates to the prophets of Israel during the following time periods:
Diaspora, Pre-Exile, Exile, Post-Exile
Diaspora relates to the dispersion of Jews from their Northern and Southern homelands, beginning in 733-722 B.C. In many discussions, the term “exile” relates specifically to the time that the Jews of the southern kingdom were expelled from Judah/Jerusalem during the time period of 605-586 B.C.
After Cyrus, the Persian King, allowed the Judeans to return to their homeland in 538 BC, most Jews chose to remain in Babylon.
The book of Esther discusses the plight of the exiled Jews that remained in Babylon, after it was overrun by the Persians in 539 B.C. In 549 B.C., the Persian King Cyrus united Persia and Media. The Persian empire lasted from 539-331 B.C. Persia became present day Iran in 1935. In Esther 3:7 (474 B.C.), there was a plot to kill all of the Jews residing in Persia. Queen Esther, a Jewess, intervened and saved the Jews from being exterminated. Therefore, the Jews in Persia were saved by the courage of a Jew, whom God put in the position of Queen of that pagan country (Esther 2:16-17, 479 B.C.)
The Pre-Exile is a period of time that is often described to precede the 605-586 B.C. expulsion of Jews from Judah/Jerusalem to Babylon. However, the diaspora of Jews, as described above, is also included in the times of Jewish diaspora of 733-722 B.C. Prophets of the time of pre-exile are listed below the discussion of “Israel And World Empires.”
The term “exile” is normally used in relation to the time of the deportation of the Jewish tribes to Babylon, from Judah and Benjamin, of the southern kingdom of Israel. The forces of Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar used three deportations to remove the Jews of the area that was better known as Judah; the deportations lasted from 605 B.C. to 586 B.C. (2 Kings 24:1-25:21; 2 Chronicles 36:5-20; Jeremiah 52:27-30). The period of Jewish exile was prophesied by the Jewish prophet Jeremiah to last for seventy years (2 Chronicles 36:21; Jeremiah 29:10). In 597 B.C., Jeremiah sent a letter to the exiled Jews in Babylon. The letter told of God’s prophecy of the seventy year period of the exile. The exile of the Jews lasted until they were allowed to return to their home land. Prophets of the time of exile are listed below the discussion of Israel And World Empires. It must also be remembered that the Jews of the northern kingdom were captive during their time of Assyrian exile. Soon after the Jewish dispersal, the Assyrians began moving gentiles into the vacated lands of the northern kingdom.
The land that God to the Jews, whom are the covenant seed of Abraham, is shown in Genesis 15:18-21. That land mass is far greater than that which is shown on maps of our day. (See Ryrie Study Bible note)
The term “post-exile” relates to the time of the decree of the Persian King Cyrus, for the captive Jews to be allowed to return to their homeland. Jews began returning to Judah/Jerusalem in 538 B.C. The temple, and the walls of Jerusalem, had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. (2 Kings 25:9-10). The returning Jews rebuilt the temple, finishing it in 515 B.C. under the leadership of the Jewish prophets Haggai and Zechariah (Ezra 5:1-2; 6:13-14). Under the leadership of Ezra, the Jewish scribe and priest, and Nehemiah the Jewish Governor, the rebuilding of the walls of the city was finished in 445 B.C. The prophecy of the exiled prophet Daniel (Daniel 9:25; approximately 538-534 B.C.) to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, found beginning fulfillment in Nehemiah 2:3-8 (444 B.C.); that is when Persian King Artaxerxes commissioned Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem. The prophecy of the seventy weeks of Daniel (Daniel 9:25) found its starting point in 444 B.C. The seventy weeks are “weeks of years.” The prophecy provides a timeline that leads to the coming of Christ to Jerusalem shortly before His crucifixion, and the later tribulation. Prophets of the time of the post exile are listed below the discussion of Israel And World Empires.
Israel And World Empires
World Empires Of The Bible In The History Of Israel (Every Prophecy of the Bible, Dr. John F. Walvoord (Dec), copyright 1990, 1999, Chariot Victor Publishing, formerly The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook.)
Egypt – Genesis 46 – Deuteronomy 34. Jacob and his family resided in Egypt until the Exodus.
Assyria – 726 B.C.- 605 B.C. The northern ten tribes were taken into Assyrian captivity.
Babylon – 605 B.C. – 539 B.C. The two southern tribes were taken into Babylonian captivity.
Medo-Persia – 539 B.C. – 331 B.C. The captives in Babylon returned to Jerusalem and Judah. (Southern Israel) in 536 B.C.
Greece – 321 B.C. – 63 B.C. Israel was under the control of Syria.
Rome – 63 B.C. – 70 A.D. Israel was under the control of Rome. Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome in 70 A.D. The decline of Rome occurred during the church age. Rome will be revived after the Rapture.
Daniel’s prophecy shows the world empires of Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and Christ (Daniel 2:36-45; 7:1-28). (See Scofield Study Bible notes)
Jewish Prophets During Gentile World Empires. (See notes in MacArthur, Scofield and Ryrie study bibles. Everyone should own these three study bibles.)
Pre-Exile: Assyrian World Empire –
Jonah (790-770 B.C.)
Joel (790-770 B.C.)
Amos (780-740 B.C.)
Hosea (760-720 B.C.)
Isaiah (745-695 B.C.)
Micah (740-700 B.C.)
Zephaniah (639-608 B.C.) .
Nahum (630-610 B.C.)
Exile: Babylonian World Empire
Jeremiah (626-586 B.C.)
Habakkuk (606-586 B.C.)
Ezekiel (592-570 B.C.)
Obadiah (586-583 B.C.) .
Daniel (606-534 B.C.)
Post-Exile: Persian World Empire
Haggai (520-516 B.C.)
Zechariah (520-516 B.C.)
Malachi (450-400 B.C.)
Greek and Roman World Empires. There are no writings of Jewish prophets during the years of the Greek and Roman empires. Christ and His disciples were Jews. After the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ to heaven, disciples/apostles wrote the books of the New Testament about the teachings of Christ. The last apostolic writing was that of the Apostle John. His writing of “The Revelation,” which he received from the risen Christ, was transcribed in about the year 96 A.D.
The Jews were dispersed from their home land again in the year 70 A.D. The Nazi holocaust awaited the Jews, which took place from 1939-1945. https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005469
See the video in the link; it is mind shattering.
Yes! There was a holocaust.