2. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL
The most important prophetic event of the last 1,000 years was the establishment of the State of Israel in the year 1948. At that moment the American scholar William W. Orr named it “the greatest piece of prophetic news”1212 of the modern times, and this idea remained unchanged ever since. It was further confirmed through the conquest of Jerusalem in June 1967, which, according to John Walvoord, was “one of the most remarkable fulfillments of biblical prophecy since the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.”1213
The Old Testament often speaks about the banishment of the Israelite people and its regathering in the Promised Land. But the Israelites (the Jews) have been enslaved and liberated several times until the present day. So, it is unclear if the prophecies refer to random future events or to the beginning of the Messianic Age. In the Book of Genesis God promised Abraham that his descendants would have their own country between Egypt and Euphrates (Genesis 15:18). The same promise was made to Jacob, whose descendants would have Israel as their country, they would be spread across the entire world, they would influence the world and they would be regathered in the Promised Land (Genesis 28:10-15). Around 1400 BC Moses warned the Israelites that they would have to leave the country, they would be scattered and they would be killed (Deuteronomy 4:25-30; 28:36-37, 49-52, 64; 29:23). Then, around 750-686 BC the prophet Micah prophesied that the Jews would be hit by calamities (Micah 3:12). Between 520 and 518 BC Zechariah said that God would bring back the Jews from east and west to their country of origin, and that they would live again in Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:7-8). And last but not least, Isaiah wrote between 701 and 681 BC that the Jews would return to their country from all directions (Isaiah 43:5-6).