Jewish Restoration: Herzl to Homeland 1881-1948
We begin with a couple of verses in the Old Testament just to remind us why Israel is important. Deuteronomy 7:7, 8, "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God: the LORD your God has chosen you to be a special people to himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people: but because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn to your fathers, has the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt." In other words, God's selection of Israel had to do with His own purposes in history, not with their value, not with their intelligence, not with their contributions, but because God's purposes were such that he could accomplish them best through the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Jeremiah 31:35-37, "Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea and its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: if those ordinances depart from before me, says the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever." In other words, the ordinances related to creation, if they disappeared only then would the seed of Israel cease to exist. Their continuation, their existence is as certain as the existence of the heavens and the earth. "Thus says the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD." The heavens above are immeasurable and the foundations of the earth cannot be understood, so God will not ever cast away Israel. That is what this is saying. It is a great passage talking about the certainty of Israel's future.
The Ottoman Turk empire continued up until 1918 after World War I and then the area was under the control of Britain and the British mandate that came out from the League of Nations up until World War II. Then after WW II there was the establishment of the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan, and Jordan had control of part of the west bank, especially after 1948 and the Jewish war for independence. The Jordanians took control of the west bank and then Israel finally took control of much of that area in 1967 when they captured Jerusalem in the six-day war. That is the modern period.
We move on to the Ottoman empire which was the situation in 1880. To the north of the Ottoman empire was Russia, and Russia was the location of approximately 75 per cent of the Jews in the world at that time. By 1900 half of the Jews lived there, so there was a tremendous population explosion that occurs among the Jewish people in the patter part of the 19th century.
The move to return the Jews to the land is referred to as Zionism, the realization that the Jews should have home in their historic homeland. That is the meaning of the term. Unfortunately the term has picked up some additional connotations in recent years, not unlike fundamentalism in Christianity. Being a fundamentalist Christian is a good thing, it means belief in the infallibility of the Scripture, the virgin birth, the substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross, miracles, and the literal second coming of Jesus Christ. That is what a fundamentalist is historically, but today people have pressed that, the liberal media pushed a lot of stuff into that which makes it sound like its something quite horrible, and the same thing with Zionism. Zionism is the belief the Jews should have a safe secure homeland in their historic land that God gave them.
In the late 1870s we have seen that there was the rise of a number of almost social clubs throughout the area of western Russia up from the Ukraine to the Baltic states and part of Poland which was called the Pale of Settlement. About half the Jews in Russia lived in that area. There was the development throughout all the Jewish settlements a group which taught Hebrew, learned about their history, were oriented toward sending immigrants back to the land to establish agricultural settlements in Israel. They played a vital role over the next 20 years or so.
Then in 1881 the assassination of Czar Alexander II (1855-1881). There was a Jew involved in this and that sparks riots called pogroms. Official pogroms developed throughout Russia. It is a form of riot directed against a particular group whether ethnic, religious, or other. It is characterized by destruction of their homes, businesses, and religious centers. The Jews were blamed for what took place and these pogroms broke out. Historically there were these programs taking place going back to the mid-twelfth century in England but it didn't reach the level of intensity that it did in Russia and eastern Europe in the middle of the 19th century. What is interesting is that it is in the 19th century that Jews begin to build up a real head of steam in terms of assimilating into European culture and just try to blend into the background, as it were, and become part and parcel of the culture. Preceding this period in Russia from about 1860 up through 1881 and the assassination of the Czar the Jews had a period that was known as a Jewish Enlightenment or haskelah. In this time period they thought that they could actually become part of Russian culture and part of Russian society and be fully accepted. It is believed that as they were moving in that direction, rather than just allowing disappearance into the melting pot of ethnic groups in eastern Europe God raised up these pogroms in order to raise their Jewish consciousness to realize they couldn't just disappear into the woodwork, that no matter what happened they were always going to be identified as Jews and hated and despised by Gentiles. The second thing the rise of the pogroms did was up until the 19th century there was no mass movement, no rationale given for Jews to go back to the land. The primary teaching among the rabbis was that the Messiah had to come before they could go back to the land. Now there were those who were beginning to say they needed to go back to the land first and then the Messiah would come. Then what happened was the setup of structures for people moving back to the land, and as the pogroms developed what took place was as if they were being driven out and back to a homeland in Israel.
Now if they were going back to a homeland they had to have a language. The native language, of course, was Hebrew but Hebrew was functionally a dead language. It wasn't a conversational language, it was a biblical and theological language but it wasn't a day-to-day conversational language or romance, business or literature. So it had to be resurrected, and the man who brought it out from the grave, as it were, was Eliezer Perlemen, or Eliezer ben Yehuda. He was the one who restructured the linguistic framework of Hebrew and brought it back into life. In 1881 he and his wife boarded a ship for Israel and they pledged together to speak nothing but Hebrew ever again, and they never broke that pledge. They had to come up with vocabulary for things in the modern world and many other things in day-to-day language that were not present in biblical Hebrew. All of the ancient Hebrew we have is what is in the Bible and that is a rather limited vocabulary in terms of commerce and day-to-day life. So he had to study and learn all of the semitic languages for semitic roots and then develop new vocabulary. This was a massive undertaking. In 1904 he began to publish the first volume of a Hebrew dictionary. Before he was done he published three more volumes and eventually this extended to seventeen volumes. In 1915 as a result of his work forty per cent of the population that lived in the land of Israel spoke Hebrew as their first language. When he died in December of 1922 thirty thousand people escorted his body to the grave and they observed three days of official mourning in the land of Israel.
Another key figure at this time was Leo Pinsker. He was the author of a crucial book called Auto-Emanzipation. The central thesis of this book was that normal dealings within peoples was founded on mutual respect, and he concluded that it was unlikely that Jews would gain this mutual respect because they lacked national equality. They had no national homeland, no national government, no center of gravity, no official representation. They were perceived by Europeans as just a phantom people and even though they might have some of the features of nationhood they lacked the key ingredient which was their own land and their own country. So he was writing to challenge people to go back to the land and to establish a national homeland.
At this time with the rise in persecution in Russia there was the first Aliya. This comes from the Hebrew word meaning to go up, and this is the first Aliya, the first massive emigration of Jews back to Israel. The dates for the first Aliya are 1882-1903. It actually occurs in two parts, the first in 1882 and 1884 as a result of the pogroms following the assassination of the Czar. The second part was in 1890-1891. During the first Aliya approximately 35,000 Jews emigrated to Israel. About half left within a few years because it was so rugged they just couldn't make it. Some groups survived because of outside help. In the case of one it was Edmund de Rothchild who was approached and he provided the funds for them to dig a well and for them to be able to purchase goods. He did it on the condition that no one would know who he was (everybody knew who he was), and he was known as the unknown benefactor. Other aid came from the Christian missionaries, from the London Jews Society in Jerusalem who had bought some land, and they were providing a place for them to farm, a place for these immigrants to survive.
In the 1890s we come to the most influential figure in the history of Zionism, and that is Theodore Herzl. He is raised in Vienna. He had a tremendous amount of self-assurance and confidence bordering on arrogance. He was born in 1860 in Budapest. His family was more secular Jewish than religious Jewish. He went to the University of Vienna, to their law school and received his doctorate of law in 1884. For a short time he worked for the Ministry of Justice and then he went into the career of his real love which was writing. He wrote plays, literary essays, and he was hired to write for the leading Austrian newspaper. He became the Paris correspondent for that newspaper in 1891 and in 1892 he went to observe and report on the trial of a French captain by the name of Alfred Dreyfus who was accused (falsely) of selling military secrets to the Russians. Dreyfus was vilified by the French press and the French public because he was a Jew, not so much for what he had allegedly done but because he was Jewish. So this vitriolic, horrible anti-Semitism came out of this cultured French republic and it just floored Hertzl. He was never the same again. He was absolutely astounded by the blatant, overt anti-Semitism of the onlookers who shouted, "Death to the Jew." He came to understand that assimilation was not the answer. That was really the theme. What happened at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century was that there was a new Sanhedrin formed in Paris who sought to assimilate, and by the end of the century there was this recognition that assimilation would never work.
So he went home and began to write a journal, and he thought and meditated, and a plan began to form in his mind that he needed to challenge and organize and stimulate people with a vision of going back to the land. In 1986 he wrote a book called "The Jewish State" and in 1897 he called for a general Zionist day which evolved into the Zionist conference. This laid the ground work for a mass movement, and not just from eastern Europe. Up to this time a lot of what had gone on had been coming out of Russia and eastern Europe and now it was going to go into western Europe and across to the United States of America within the Jewish community. So he was the founder of the World Zionist Congress and the father of Zionism.
The World Zionist Congress met in 1897. Herzl was the chair person. The statement came out of the first Congress that Zionist seeks for the Jewish people a publicly recognized, legally secured homeland in Palestine. It was to be publicly recognized by the governments of the world. They weren't going to go and steal it from the Ottoman empire. They had a second Congress in 1898 and a third in 1899. The fourth Congress met in London in 1900 and on through the first decade of the 20th century. So this laid the ground work: organization, pulling together the people with money, establishing schools of education and agriculture and things of this nature so that a structure is laid for a society in Palestine to receive Jews who were moving there.
Then there was the second Aliya, and the dates are 1904 to 1914. Again this is stimulated by a pogrom, the Kishnia pogrom which begins to drive another large group of Jews to the land of Israel. Mostly young people go this time. This was 15-20 years prior to the Bolshevik revolution, so there is a lot of social turmoil going on in Russia, and a lot of idealistic Jews who have bought into Marxism and socialist ideals. They move to the land and when they come to the land of Israel they establish nationalist farms and it is during this time that the first Kibbutz (a collective farm) is established. In order to protect themselves from marauding bands of Arabs and Bedouins the Hashomer, The Watchman's Guild, a Jewish self-defense organization was established. It was an elite fighting force. They were well trained. They had to be expert horsemen, expert marksmen, and they had to be able to fight and defend, and this begins to lay the ground work for the later Jewish army of Israel. During the second Aliya 40,000 Jews emigrated to Israel but over half leave. It is still just a rugged place to live.
In American at this time there was the start of the rise of Christian Zionism. These are evangelicals who want to help support Jews who in their return to the land, and this is motivated at least in part of William F. Blackstone, a well-known popular dispensational writer in the late 19th century. He was on the speaking circuit with men like C.I. Scofield and Louis Sperry Chafer. He wrote a number of books. One of his most well known was "Jesus is Coming, God's Hope for a Restless World." It had a foreword in a reprint version by John F. Walvoord who at the time was president of Dallas Theological Seminary. In his book Blackstone says, "Perhaps, you say, I don't believe the Israelites are to be restored to Canaan and Jerusalem rebuilt. Dear Reader, have you read the declarations of God's Word about it? Surely nothing is more plainly stated in the Scriptures." Then he goes on for sixty or seventy pages just listing scripture after scripture that speaks of Israel's return to the land. He concludes by saying, "We might fill a book with comments upon how Israel should be restored but all we have desire to do is to show that it is an incontrovertible fact of prophecy and it is infinitely connected with our Lord's appearing, and this we trust we will have satisfactorily accomplished."
In 1891, just a year before the Dreyfus affair, Blackstone had obtained the signatures of 413 prominent Americans and sent this document to President Benjamin Harrison. It was a petition to support the resettlement of persecuted Jews in Russia to a new homeland in what was then called Palestine. Part of this petition read: "Why not give Palestine back to them [the Jews] again? According to God's distribution of nations it is their home, an inalienable possession from which they were expelled by force. Under their cultivation it was a remarkably fruitful land, sustaining millions of Israelites who industriously tilled its hillsides and valleys. They were agriculturalists and producers as well as a nation of great commercial importance, the centre of civilization and religion. We believe this is an appropriate time for all nations, and especially the Christian nations of Europe, to show kindness to Israel. And millions of exiles by their terrible suffering of piteously appealing to our sympathy, justice and humanity." Once, the motivation behind Zionism was evangelism, the societies for promoting the gospel among the Jews. The London Jews Society didn't settle on any prophetic scheme or eschatology, they were motivated by the desire to get the gospel to the Jews. Later on there is a motivation not just of evangelism but humanitarian motivation, that these people were in positions of being persecuted and suffering and they needed to go somewhere and have a homeland where they can be secure. It was not motivated by a dispensational theology. In many cases it is not even motivated by a pre-Millennial theology, and many of the politicians that became involved were not motivated by a pre-Millennial or dispensational approach to history.
Blackstone went on to say, "This is an appropriate time. Let us now restore them to the land from which they were so cruelly despoiled by a our Roman ancestors." Among the 413 signers listed by their cities—Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington—were the opinion-makers of the day: the editors and publishers of leading newspapers and religious periodicals. At least 93 newspapers in all signed on. The mayors of Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore, as well as other officials, leading churchmen, rabbis and businessmen. In Washing the speaker of the house, T.B. Reid, the chairman of the house committee on foreign affairs, Robert Hitt, and William McKinley of Ohio who would later become president, were ardent Zionists in support of a return of the Jews to the land.
That brings us up to the period right before World War I. Remember, before WW I there was no Saudi Arabia, no Jordan, no Trans-Jordan, no Syria, no Iraq. These were all creations after the war. What there was just the Ottoman empire. There was the region of Syria, Palestine, but that was a territorial designation and not an actual state.
The next major event that occurred as we get into WW I is that an English diplomat gets together with a French diplomat and they work out the post-war organization of the Middle East. This comes to be known as the Sykes-Picot agreement. The basic significance of this treaty is that France and Britain decide how they are going to divide up the administration of the destroyed Ottoman empire. The area that included Lebanon and Syria went to the French and the southern area came under the administration of Britain, and they set aside the land of Israel as an international zone but it would still come under the hegemony of the British.
In 1918 the British Government publishes the Balfour Declaration as an addendum to guarantee a homeland for the Jews. This is crucial. This really shakes things up, it is the most important governmental statement to come out of dealing with the history of the Jews because it states that they are going to have a specifically designated piece of real estate. How did this come about? Arthur James Balfour was reared in a Christian home. He was from Scotland and he was raised in a home where he was trained in the Old Testament. As he grew up he developed an intellectual admiration and sympathy for certain aspects of Jewish philosophy and culture. As a result of this he wrote a book later on in his adult years on Christian philosophy and theology. His thinking is embedded in the Scriptures. He was a career politician statesman. In Britain he held many high offices in the British Government, including that of Prime Minister before WW I. His interest in Jewish restoration was biblical rather than imperial. He really wasn't interested in expanding British rights, though that is a part of it for many other Britons.
Later on Balfour's sister wrote, "Balfour's interest in the Jews and their history was life-long. It originated in the Old Testament training of his mother and in his Scottish upbringing. As he grew up his intellectual admiration and sympathy for certain aspects of Jewish philosophy and culture grew also, and problem of the Jews in the modern world seemed to him of immense importance. He always talked eagerly on this and I remember in childhood imbibing from him the idea that the Christian religion and civilization owes to Judaism and immeasurable debt, shamefully ill repaid."
In 1906 during the rise of the Zionist movement itself Balfour met a chemist, Dr Weisman who became a British subject and was one of the most vocal proponents of Zionism next to Herzl and a world-class chemist. Balfour met him and was impressed by his Jewish patriotism. Going into WW I, after many attempts, Balfour was finally able to persuade all the British war cabinet that the time had come to issue a declaration of British support for Jewish restoration to their homeland. The Balfour Declaration was adopted. Balfour at the time was the Foreign Secretary, David Lloyd George was the Prime Minister, as of 1916. On November 2nd 1917 the Balfour Declaration was passed and was addressed to Lord Rothschild, and it reads: "His Majesty's Government … favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavor to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."
When this came out the impact was tremendous within the Zionist movement. Since Britain was on the verge of controlling Palestine at the end of WW I it provided a tremendous step on the road to Israel's becoming a nation. Before they passed it though and made it official they wanted to make sure that other nations would be on board, and that included Woodrow Wilson. As they provided the text to Wilson, Wilson responded by saying, "I welcome an opportunity to express satisfaction and progress since the Declaration of Mr Balfour on the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and its promise that the British Government would use its best endeavors to facilitate that object. All America will be deeply moved by the report on the founding of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with the promise that bears of a spiritual rebirth." Woodrow Wilson was a Zionist. He was Presbyterian, he believed the Jews had a right to their homeland, but his motivation wasn't eschatological, it was simply humanitarian. The Jews had a right to have a place to go to escape persecution.
The other key figure in the British restoration at the time was David Lloyd George (1863-1954). He was the British Prime Minister from 1916-1922 when the Balfour Declaration was made. He and Balfour had been life-long friends. The one thing that they shared in common was that they were both raised in strong evangelical homes. They were taught the Bible at their mothers' knees, they imbibed the stories of the Old Testament, they both had a tremendous respect for the Jewish people and welcomed this opportunity to do something to establish them in the land. Lloyd George made a number of statements during his career concerning his biblical upbringing and how that influenced his approach to government. He recalled later on his first meeting with Weisman again in December 1914. Weisman was important because later he becomes the first president of Israel in 1948. He was a world class chemist and he worked out a procedure whereby acetone could be developed in the laboratory—this was a key ingredient in cordite which is necessary to make explosives—and it gave Britain a major advance. And part of the motivation by Lloyd George and Balfour was towards Weisman and his Zionism. So this element comes into play as well in the background.
In 1919 the League of Nations then met and mandated that the British govern Egypt, Arabia, Palestine and what is now Israel, Jordan and Iraq. This is what is known by the term "The British Mandate." It is an authorization by the League of Nations for one nation to administer and govern a territory or another country. The British mandate covered Egypt, Arabia and Palestine and what is now modern Jordan, and the French mandate which covered Lebanon and Syria and parts of Turkey and Iraq. On the original map of the British Mandate included all of the east bank as well as all of what is now modern Jordan. This was all to go to the Jews, but the Arabs revolted. We need to learn that little chorus, "And the Arabs revolted," because that is what happens again and again and again through this period. Every time anything happens the Arabs revolt. So a deal gets worked out by T.E. Lawrence and Winston Churchill who was very much in favor of a Jewish homeland but the political realities of the Arabs here and because of the gratitude that the British had to show for the Arabs and give the land to the Hashemites, Feisal got the land after WW I and it becomes what will later be the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan after WW II.
After WW I there is another Aliya. The population in the land of Israel fell to 55,000 Jews by the end of WW I because it was so tough under wartime conditions, but by 1919 that population has fully recovered and this mass movement to the land of Israel is triggered by the October revolution in Russia. As the communists come into power many Jews leave and they pour into the land of Israel at the rate of 1000 per month, and between 1919 and 1923 37,000 Jews emigrated from Russia into Israel.
In order to pay off the debts to the Arabs the British established the Trans-Jordan, including Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and they give this land to the Arabs. So the Jewish homeland is divided and they are restricted to the area just west of the Jordan. During this time the Arabs learn new techniques for getting their way with the West. On April 14th 1920 several hundred Jews and Arabs are killed when the Arabs riot in Jerusalem. As a result of this Arab revolt the Jews realized the need for self-defense. They take the remnants of the old Watchman's Guild organization and build up a new defense effort in order to provide a defense for their people. It was called the Hagenah. Then in 1921 there are Arab riots in Jaffa which causes Jews to all leave Jaffa and they establish and Tel Aviv grows from 3000 to 10,000 Jews. Then as things devlop through the 1920s the Arabs revolt and riot again which leads to the beginnings of the establishment of the Ministry of Defense among the Jews. There were massive riots, in fact a borderline war, from 1936 to 1938, and again hundreds of Jews and Arabs are killed during this particular time. Also from 1921 through 1936 more and more restrictions are placed on the mandate. The Jews continue to pour into the land. By 1929 was the fourth Aliya. Most of these Jews came from Poland due to the increased anti-Semitic policies of the Poles. They came from the middle class, they were the artisans and the shopkeepers and manufacturers, and so this strengthened the middle class in the urban areas in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and Tiberias and other cities. Eight-two thousand Jews came to the land; twenty-three thousand left. Then in 1932 to 1935 we have the fifth Aliyah which is triggered by Hitler's rise to power. The population doubles from 185,000 to 375,000 Jews. It impacts the large urban centers of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Tiberias, Jerusalem. By 1940 250,000 had come in under this fifth Aliyah and the population reaches 450,000 Jews. In just 20 years it had gone from 55,000.
In 1946 after World War II the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan was created. Then on 29th November, 1947 the UN again restricted the amount of land for Israel. By a two-thirds vote the UN comes in and they partition western Palestine now into a Jewish and Arab state. Remember they had the whole country in what is now Israel and Jordan, then they just get the western bank, and now that is going to be cut down. The Arabs rejected this vote completely. The Mufti of Jerusalem Haj amin al Husseini (Mufti = Mayor of Jerusalem), the one who developed Arab terrorism, the first to promote Arab terrorism, had a nephew by the name of Arafat. Al Husseini went to Germany, hob-knobbed with the Nazis during WW II, and was a gross anti-Semite. He rejected this further partition of the land because they couldn't let a Jew be there. So he declared a holy war against the Jews, calling for the murder of all the Jews.
In May 1948 Israel declared their independence and five Arab nations—Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq—invaded. Jordan captured and held the west bank after 1948. Jordan and Jerusalem had been designated to be under Jordanian rule in UN resolution 81. So the Jordanians get the west bank until 1967.
Then came Harry Truman. Truman was a man for his time. He was a Democrat, a Baptist, not a dispensationalist and probably not even a knowledgeable pre-Millennialist. He is determinative in what happens to Israel. Truman grew up in Missouri in a devout Christian home. When he was born his parents were going to a southern Baptist church. His father was a strong Baptist and his parents raised him in a conventional Baptist tradition. When he was six they moved to a Presbyterian church which he attended every Sunday until he was sixteen. When he turned 18 he moved to Kansas city, joined a Baptist church by baptism and remained a southern Baptist for the rest of his life. He said: "I am a Baptist because I think that sect gives the common man the shortest and most direct approach to God. While growing up Truman read the Bible through twice by the age of twelve, and two more times by the time he was 14. So he knew the Bible, he knew the stories, and he knew the Jews. According to his daughter Margaret, Truman preferred most after a book on biographies which he loved, the Bible. It was his second most favored book. There was even indication that he considered going into the ministry when he was a young man. All of this emphasizes that he had this biblical background.
Though he had this biblical background he really didn't have much of a theological understanding. He wasn't committed to any particular eschatological scheme. Even though pre-Millennialism dominated the southern Baptist denomination at that time there was no evidence that he was a pre-millennialist. Certainly there was no evidence that he was a dispensationalist. But because of his background in the Bible he had a strong respect for the Jews. His Christian Zionism came into play during two great decisions that he had to make during his presidency. The first: How should the US vote on the partition of Israel, i.e. in 1947 which would result in the creation of the new Jewish state, and he voted on the side of Israel. The second question: Should the US diplomatically recognize the newly-formed nation when David ben Gurion declared the birth of Israel on May 14th 1948. The state department said no, all of his cabinet said no, and it took him about eight minutes to walk out on the south lawn of the White House and state that the United States recognized the existence of Israel. Because of that the Russians weren't going to be left out so they recognized the existence of the state of Israel. Then Europe did. Roosevelt would never have done that. Those who have studied this recognize that if he had lived Roosevelt would never have recognized Israel. So God had to take out Roosevelt so that Truman would rise to the presidency, probably for the sole reason of recognizing Israel's independence.
After his presidency his long-time Jewish friend Eddie Jacobson introduced Truman to a group of professors by saying, "This is the man who helped create the state of Israel." But Truman corrected him: "What do you mean 'helped to create'? I am Cyrus." He understood the Old Testament significance. He viewed himself as the one to bring that about.
In 1967 the Jews take control of Jerusalem from Jordan and captured the temple mount. But Moshe Dyan who was a secular Jew didn't want to create a problem so even though the Jews regained control of the temple mount he gave rights back to the Moslems to deal with what goes on on top of the temple mount. In the early seventies there was the Yom Kippur war, the Lebanon war in the eighties, and then the rise of modern terrorism in the nineties up to the present. That brings us up to where we are today. The next question that we have to answer is, What does God say about Israel's future? Is this return that we have seen just a coincidence of history or can we say that it has prophetic significance, that God is working in this, that all that has happened in the last 170 years is under God's control and is setting the stage for future events?