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Isaiah & the re-gathering of Jews to Israel

Probably the most influential book in the Prophets (Nevi’im = נְבִיאִים ) of the Tanakh is Isaiah,  named after the human author – Isaiah – who lived in the First Temple Period around 750 BCE.  The figure below shows where he sits in a historical timeline.  This timeline is taken from History of the Jews, zoomed to the two Temple periods.

Historical TImeline with Isaiah and other writers of Tanakh

The Welcome article highlighted the curious fact that Jewish history is like a dance between The Book (Bible), the Land (Israel), The People (Jews) and other Nations.  No other nation has such a complex dance.  If Moses’ Blessings & Curses have controlled the broad movements of this dance for the last 3500 years, Isaiah’s prophecies are guiding its precise steps into our times.  Isaiah also added a new partner into this dance (though he is not the first to do so, but this new partner takes prominence in Isaiah).  This is seen in his far-reaching vision of history in Isaiah 11.

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:1-2)

Jesse was the father of King David who founded the city of Jerusalem about 1000 BCE. When Isaiah wrote these words Jesse had been dead 300 years but through David the royal dynasty from Jesse was ruling in Jerusalem in Isaiah’s lifetime. Isaiah prophesied that this dynasty, like a tree felled by an axe, would one day be reduced to a ‘stump’, i.e., the kingdom would fall. But then after this dynasty a ‘Branch’ would ‘shoot’ up from that very same stump. This Branch was a ‘him’ (male human) who would ‘bear fruit’. Who would this Branch be?  What kind of ‘fruit’?

As Isaiah continued it is not immediately clear whether he was speaking metaphorically or literally.  But then he wrote what, for us in the 21st century, should make us sit up and take note:

10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the Sea.

12 He will raise a banner for the nations
and gather the exiles of Israel;
he will assemble the scattered people of Judah
from the four quarters of the earth. (Isaiah 11: 10-12)

Isaiah predicted a re-gathering of the Jewish people (as Moses did in his Blessings and Curses) but Isaiah wrote that this would be for the ‘second time’.  Below is the Timeline from History of the Jews with the re-gatherings of Jews to Israel (in green) and Isaiah in red.  You can see there have been two different re-gatherings of Jews from the nations back to Israel, both after he lived.  From Isaiah’s time (750 BCE) you might think that he was writing about the re-gathering of Jews to Israel from the Babylonian captivity but because he specifically wrote of the ‘second time’ we know he is looking beyond that re-gathering.  The ‘second’ (and only other) re-gathering is the one that is happening now, as part of the re-birth of modern Israel.  His description of the re-gathering from the ‘four quarters of the earth’ (i.e. from North, South, East, West) precisely describes what is occurring today as Jews from every continent on the globe are now doing Aliyah to Israel in a precise and literal fulfillment of what Isaiah wrote 2700 years ago.

Historical Timeline of the Jews – featuring their two periods of exile

Some of the countries he lists are obscure because he is naming countries in 750 BCE.  But the countries he specifically lists: Elam (= Iran today), Cush (= Ethiopia today), Babylonia (= Iraq today) along with Egypt are countries almost emptied of Jews making Aliyah to Israel since 1948.

Isaiah continues with further details surrounding this ‘second’ re-gathering.  To help us identify countries Isaiah mentions, a map compares countries named in his passage with those today.  Isaiah continues:

Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish,
and Judah’s enemies will be destroyed;
Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,
nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.
They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west;
together they will plunder the people to the east.
They will subdue Edom and Moab,
and the Ammonites will be subject to them. (Isaiah 11:13-14)

Map of Israel + Judah and surrounding countries in 750 BCE (1st Temple Period) vs. map of Israel and countries of today

You can see that in the 1st Temple Period the Jews were politically divided into two rival kingdoms – Judah & Israel. The situation then was like Koreans today who are one people divided into two opposing countries – North & South Korea.  The rivalries between the two Jewish countries in the 1st Temple Period are detailed in the Tanakh in the books of Kings and Chronicles.

Re-gathering to one nation

When Isaiah looked into the future and wrote

Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim (v 13)

He meant that when the Jews re-gathered for the 2nd time from this world-wide exile they would not be politically divided anymore, but united into one nation. That was not a foregone conclusion when he wrote in 750 BCE but it happened in 1948 when a United Nations resolution birthed one single modern Jewish state: Israel.

Israeli & Six-Day War

Looking closely on this map of the nations in Isaiah’s day we see Philistia on a coastal strip between Judah and the Mediterranean Sea and Moab, Edom and Ammon directly to the East. Note the states in the corresponding places today and we can see that they are Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan. The West Bank was captured from Jordan in the six-day war of 1967. Knowing this Isaiah’s prophecy makes sense to our modern ears.

They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia (i.e. Gaza) to the west;
together they will plunder the people to the east.
They will subdue Edom and Moab,
and the Ammonites will be subject to them.

Isaiah foresaw the Israelites returning from that second, far-in-the-future and world-wide exile and predicted the birth of the one Jewish state.  Then, he predicted, the Israelites would ‘swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west’.  He foresaw a very quick (‘swoop down’) incursion of Israel into Gaza – just as it happened in the Six-Day war.  In that same war the West Bank was won from Jordan, resulting in the ‘subduing’ of the people of Edom, Moab and Ammon – the modern-day Israeli control of the West Bank. It is like Isaiah was 2700 years ahead of events of our time.

Perhaps you agree with me. Or perhaps you think I am reading way too much into Isaiah. But the fact is that Isaiah was part of a very select group whose writings are in the Tanakh.  This theme of predicting the fortunes of Jews, the land of Israel and surrounding nations run through the other writings in the Tanakh and indicates that Isaiah is not just some lucky historical coincidence.  The theme that began with Abraham, was developed by Moses, is now extended by Isaiah.  The prophets of Tanakh hardly ever met since they lived several hundred years apart. You can imagine the immense difficulty in coordinating a consistent theme with others you have never met. Look at the difficulties our political leaders are having in coordinating a consistent response to all the events today – and they communicate regularly.

But so what anyways? So what if Isaiah foretold details of the modern-day re-birth of Israel.  So what if he and other writers of the Tanakh foresaw the global re-gathering of Jews? What difference does that make to you and me?

Isaiah and the other writers of Tanakh never claimed to have innate powers of foresight. He claimed that G-d, blessed be He, who created our planet and the universe, who is sovereign over all states, both Jewish and non-Jewish – revealed this to him. And if he was right about these things visible today then we have reason to take him seriously about his Source.

Even so, much remains still to be understood about what Isaiah wrote.  He began this passage with a coming ‘shoot from the stump of Jesse’ which would coincide with the ‘second’ regathering of Jews to Israel.  How is this ‘shoot’ to be understood?  Before we take up that question it will be worthwhile to see what another writer of the Tanakh wrote about the dance between Jews and the land of Israel.  The prophet Ezekiel, who lived 200 years after Isaiah described in exact detail the time of this re-gathering.  From where we sit, during this re-gathering, we can check if what he prophesied was accurately predicted.  We do this next.

9 thoughts on “Isaiah & the re-gathering of Jews to Israel”

  1. The war was never with the Arabs it was with Israel’s imagination it was not believed there were many Arabs and thought they arrived from Russia and taught a few words of Arabic as the others Hebrew it was theater and a staged production understandable and tolerated to be the last visit from the north east ancesteral home to every city home and bed on the planet the priesthood of every generation stood defiant to Russias illusions and the reality it fostered the Germans a small group after generations of abuse were not responsible for the final solution only the ghosts within to cloth that American Jewry illuminated the community bet there is not any possibility of soviet Jews and profited and took another bet that by Israel’s 69th anniversary no matter how many times it is explained not one citizen of Israel would understand the Torah completely we won.

  2. Russia is a culture of performance and its society characters of bewitchment, Israel without any hesitation was all Russian from where they arrived with characters prepared to choose personalities to suit Israel as theater, Jewish Arab Druze Palestinian German Rabbi Soldier pauper picking sides designing religions and ethnicities for the stage in preparation for Israel’s new opening, Independence day once upon a time for what seemed a musical with songs galore and stories that were comical if not performed with a folkdance and unending holiday themes some to enjoy and others to observe its intriguing symbols that needed an academic degree to explain not its purpose but its explanations and then of course the Circus and their master of the lines not hung over the ring but the phone lines. Russian culture is what Israel is on stage seen at a distance and offstage everyone’s not invited guest attempting to debate their performers that only hear the scripts and an impossibility of any concern. It is time for Israel the theater district of the planets Middle East to blink its lights and applauded for the expected final performance, From the beginning and only the truth.

    The musical continues Jerusalem Day a war of reunification,

    Jerusalem and the Temple without any connection to the Torah the core scripture of priesthood was another Israel prank making idiots of the United States the Arabs and Africa having people bless a foreign capital and their Temple the first second and third of their cult, espionage hidden by prayers and hymns predated

  3. The short explains historical importance of biblical prophecy, prophets (seers) and the source of inspirations as God head.
    Its references to historical and biblical allusion created values and attention in the minds of the readers. It mention of ancient running into the modern day and every day events, names,location culture and discovery maybe e.g part in red sea,crossing river Jordan are mystical one may say its mathematical, mechanical constructions relevant to modern day invention necessary in advancement, in creation oneness,unity of independent state and upholding same state.
    If the source according to writer is divine,the talks of the seers are fulfilled. He does not actually mentions what made them diaspora.
    When they come together in triumph to form a state,dominating, is there any warning either to the left or right caution.
    Now if the Tanak is visible, understandable, it’s mentioned that not all Jews comprehended these establishments. This course,like other prompted this question is the new testament has any place in the Tanak?
    Read more:

  4. Having gone through Abraham tree diagram, its not enough to say Abraham descendants finally got a resting place or state,otherwise some questions may creep in: Abraham was from where, had he wife, how many,?
    Could it not propel conflicts to say Abraham’s descendants regained lost Land.
    Where are other off spring of Abraham Haggai Genesis 16:12
    Abraham Sarah Genesis 18:
    Abraham Genesis 21:12
    If descendants are back to the land Arabia,its their genealogy
    If only the writer is making us to understand Isaac begat Jacob and Israel.
    This is distinct. One of Jerusalem above the other of Jerusalem below. Now,if Israel left its place and glory for sin sake. His long time experiences must have broadened horizon to repentance and others.
    The two personalities are claiming superiority as to the great.
    If the lost sheep now returned to the land,without doubt there will be many contenders, the blues,long experiences and discoveries could pave way for victory.
    Note ,He that keepth Israel neither sleep nor slumber, so the returned.
    Israel should be very wise and cautious in administration not to fail and fall.
    I pray that the God glory in Israel shall never fail.

  5. From May 14, 1948 to the present, what a wonderful time in history to be alive. The Dead sea’s scrolls now complete giving the complete “Old Testament minus Esther” , curious , Dr. Wise said that 1000 scrolls were counted at one time ( now down to around 900) in the long hidden history so did the book of Esther ever exist? ( maybe it is because God is not mentioned but she does pray)

  6. This “shoot” is the Messiah during his first coming
    to estaish the redeemed basis for his second coming to establish his eternal kingdom on the “new Earth”.

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