We get quite a bit of mail from people asking why we don’t support the political State of Israel. My education in this area of study is minimal. Dr. Douglas Jacoby, who is an expert on this subject, concisely expresses the problems with Zionism and what the Bible teaches about Jesus’ kingdom. I hope the following from Dr. Jacoby’s website will be helpful. –John N. Clayton
Teaching: Central to Yahweh’s plans which culminate in the heavenly Zion are political conditions in an earthly Zion. Israel is still in a covenant relationship with God. Jesus’ return is in some way connected with the conversion of all national Israel. Christians should support the State of Israel militarily. The Palestinians are not the people of God, but the enemy of America and Israel.
Biblical emphasis: God is sovereign over history.
Support: Joshua 21:43; Zephaniah 3:20.
Biblical error: When the modern State of Israel was created in 1948, many Palestinians (most were Christian or Muslim) were evicted from their homes, their land expropriated by the fledgling government. These actions did not fulfill prophecy. God did promise the land to Israel- which she received over 3000 years ago (Joshua 21:43). God also promised to bring her back from exile, in the event that she repented (Deuteronomy 30:4; see also Zephaniah 3:20). The Jews came back to their land in the 6th century BC, under the Persian king Cyrus (2 Chronicles 36:22-23), not in the years leading up to 1948. No national promise remains to be fulfilled. See also Matthew 3:7-11; 21:33-46
Further: The architects of modern Israel were mainly atheists and agnostics. The formation of the modern state of Israel was not accompanied by faith and repentance; it was a human undertaking. That is why the rabbis of Orthodox Judaism oppose Zionism for its atheism and humanism.
We have posted information from Dr. Jacoby on this subject before, and you can read it HERE. For more, go to his website www.douglasjacoby.com.
We have had several Israel-Palestine questions which are out of our field of expertise. Douglas Jacoby has a website in which he answers many important questions. Here is what Dr. Jacoby said in a recent post.
The politics of the crisis are complex. In the biblical period, the Promised Land, or Canaan, became Israel. It was named after the covenant name of Jacob, whose 12 sons became the 12 Tribes (Gen 32:28). The term was also used of the idolatrous breakaway Northern Kingdom of Israel, from 931 BC till its fall in 722. The “10 Lost Tribes” were lost, not by being removed to a distant location (like the British Isles, the US, or Central Asia), but by intermarriage with Assyrians and other foreign groups. Thus the 10 Tribes were lost forever — genetically. The southern kingdom of Judah remained until 587 BC when it was destroyed by the Babylonians.
When the Romans defeated the Jews in the war in 132-135 AD (the Bar-Kokhba Revolt), they renamed the land Philistia–after the perennial enemies of the Israelites, the Philistines. In English this becomes Palestine.
When the modern State of Israel was created in 1948, many Palestinians (most of whom were Christian or Muslim, rather than Jewish) were evicted from their homes, their land expropriated by the new government. In my view, none of these developments fulfill prophecy. The Jews came back to their land in the 6th century BC, under the Persian king Cyrus (2 Chron 36:22-23). The majority of the architects of modern Israel were atheists and agnostics, and Orthodox rabbis oppose Zionism for its atheism and humanistic emphasis.”
Today the Palestinian territories, consisting of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, are semi-autonomous –like a country within a country, separated from Israeli territory by walls, fences, checkpoints and lots of guns. In many (sad and unfortunate) ways, the Palestinians are stateless. Being pro-Israel typically means being anti-Palestinian–and vice versa. A friend of mine, a university professor and peace activist, declares, “If you’re pro-Israel or pro-Palestine, you aren’t pro-peace.” Think about it.
We appreciate Douglas Jacoby letting us share his post about Israel-Palestine questions. You can follow him at www.douglasjacoby.com
–John N. Clayton © 2017