Martin M. van Brauman
Then the Lord, your God, will bring back your captivity and have mercy upon you, and He will return and gather you in from all the peoples to which the Lord, your God, has scattered you. If your dispersed will be at the ends of heaven, from there the Lord, your God, will gather you in and from there He will take you. The Lord, your God, will bring you to the Land [Eretz Yisrael] that your forefathers possessed and you shall possess it; He will do good to you and make you more numerous than your forefathers. The Lord, your God, will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, to love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Deuteronomy 30:3-6.
The words of “will bring back your captivity” means that God will return with your captivity, implying that God’s Presence will return from exile with the Jewish people to Israel during the ingathering of the exiles. God will “circumcise your heart;” in other words, He will help to remove the spiritual hurdles and the forces of Evil to achieve total repentance. The “circumcision” is the removal from humanity of the natural desire to sin.
In the parable of the valley of the Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37:1-14, the promise of resurrection of the dead from their graves refers to the resurrection of the Jewish People as a community upon the Land of Israel.
He said to me, “Son of Man, these bones – they are the whole House of Israel, Behold, they are saying, ‘Our bones are dried out and our hope is lost; we are doomed!’ Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus said the Lord Our God: Behold, I am opening your graves and raising you up from your graves, My people, and I will bring you to the soil of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and when I raise you up from your graves, My people, and when I put My spirit into you, and you come to life, and I set you on your soil. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken and I have fulfilled – the word of the Lord.” Ezekiel 37:11-14.
Ezekiel 37:21 speaks of the ingathering of the “Children of Israel from among the nations to which they have gone; I will gather them from all around and I will bring them to their soil.” God brings the ingathering of the Jews first for the redemption of the people with the Land before the coming of the Messiah.
Zechariah 8:4-8 speaks of God’s rescue of the Jewish People from the lands of exile and that normal life in the land of Israel will be restored when:
Old men and old women will once again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with his staff in his hand because of advanced age; and the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets. Thus said the Lord, Master of Legions: Just as it will be wondrous in the eyes of the remnant of his people in those days, so will it wondrous in My eyes – the word of the Lord, Master of Legions. Thus said the Lord, Master of Legions: Behold, I am saving My people from the land of the east and from the land where the sun sets; and I will bring them and they will dwell within Jerusalem. They will be a people unto Me, and I will be a God unto them, in truth and in righteousness.
The day of old men and women leisurely siting in the streets of Jerusalem with children playing has arrived in Israel.
Many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek out the Lord, Master of Legions, in Jerusalem, and to supplicate before the Lord. Thus said the Lord, Master of Legions: In those days it will happen that ten men, of all the [different] languages of the nations, will take hold, they will take hold of the corner of the garment of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you!’ Zechariah 8:23.
Many Evangelical Christians understand the significance of Zechariah 8:23, but most traditional Christians and especially mainline Christian dominations are blind to God’s teachings, such as demonstrated by the anti-Israel actions of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and others who still preach various forms of replacement theology with new-style anti-Semitism.
The Jewish kingdom will prevail over the neighboring Arab kingdoms and all those who try to rob the Jewish people from their Land of Israel, for God will execute judgments upon them.
When I gather in the House of Israel from the peoples among whom they were scattered, then I will be sanctified through them in the eyes of the nations, and they will dwell on their land that I gave to My servant, to Jacob. They will dwell upon it in security and build houses and plant vineyards and dwell in security, when I execute judgments upon all those who despoil them from all their surroundings; then they will know that I am the Lord, their God. Ezekiel 28:25-26.
The Arab-Israeli wars of 1948, 1967 and 1973 strengthened, rather than shattered, the spirit of the Jewish people. For Jews continue to make Aliyah to Israel even as the war with Gaza was bringing down rockets upon Israel. Diaspora Jews continued to immigrate and enlist in the IDF to defend Israel, while they leave their safe homes in the U.S. and other Western democracies. The world does not understand that God is calling the Jewish people back to Israel for their redemption with the Land, in spite of rocket attacks from the enemies of God.