Skip to comments.The Restoration and Conversion of Israel - Part II
Posted on 03/04/2011 1:57:03 PM PST by John Leland 1789
By Rev. Geo. A.B. Chamberlain, M.A. Vicar of Hook, Yorks.
No. 248, February, 1915, Vol. XXI., No. 2, pp. 19-22.
So many are the "divers portions" in which "God in time past spake unto the fathers by the prophets" with regard to the future Restoration and Conversion of their descendents, that it is somewhat perplexing to know exactly where to begin our exploration of this rich treasure-house of God's revelation. Perhaps the best course would be to take the prophets in their chronological order, and see what each has to tell us in connection the future dealings with the chosen seed. So we begin with
I. THE TESTIMONY OF AMOS.
"The words . . . Which he saw concerning Israel" were given to him "in the days of Uzziah King of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash King of Israel, two years before the earthquake," B.C. 689-687. He is the earliest prophet, and the burden of his "words" is the unfaithfulness of the Ten Tribes of Israel. His book closes, however, with some gracious promises of Jehovah and we may take them as an introduction to the whole of our subject.
It may be as well here to draw the reader's attention to the fact that predictions do not always stand in the order of their fulfillment, and it is well to remember this when considering the various passages connected with our theme. At first glance, for instance, it would seem, from Amos 9.12, that spiritual privileges were to be restored to Israel before their return to their own land (v. 14); in other words, that Conversion is prior to, and introductory to Restoration. But we shall see from other Scriptures that this is not so, and verse 12 supports our claim that Restoration must precede, for it is assuredly obvious that "the captivity of My people of Israel" must have been "brought again" ere they can "possess the remnant of Edom and of all the heathen that are called by My Name" (v. 12).
Now if we turn to the passage, Amos 9.11-15, we have certain promises direct from God; and promises which have never yet received fulfillment; and therefore the fulfillment of which is to be still looked for.
(1) "And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, And they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; And they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; They shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them" (v. 14).
(2) And not only is this gracious promise of restoration made to them, but the land is promised to them in perpetuity, for "And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God" (v. 15).
(3) And this, again, is followed by the promise of spiritual blessing in privileges: "In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: "That [to the end that, with this object in view,] they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen which are called by My name, saith the LORD that do at this" (vv. 11, 12).
Taking, therefore, the whole passage, we have promised:
(1) Restoration (v. 14), (2) Perpetual tenure of the land (v. 15), (3) The renewal of spiritual privileges (v. 11), (4) The possession of Edom and the nations (v. 12), (5) Great temporal blessings (v. 13).
And all this IN THE FUTURE.
We now pass on to
II. THE TESTIMONY OF HOSEA.
"The word of the Lord . . . came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel" (ch. 1.1). He began to prophesy in B.C. 689, and was contemporary with Amos, Isaiah, and Micah. He was a prophet to the Ten Tribes; and it is important that we bear this in mind, for if we find certain prophecies in his book concerning the return and conversion of those tribes, and know, as we certainly do, that such return and conversion have never yet taken place, we have a sure and certain foundation for looking for those important events in the future. And such we have assuredly reason to anticipate.
At the outset, it is interesting to note how the two houses or kingdoms of Israel and Judah are regarded as distinct and separate. "Though about Israel play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend" (four. 15); "Therefore shall Israel and Jeffrey M fall in their iniquity: Judah also shall fall with them" (five. Five); (Whenever freedom saw his sickness, and Judah his wound" (five. 13); "0F freedom, what shall I do want to be? What shall I do under the?" (Six. For). See also five. 14; 10. 11; 11. 12; 12. To. And let us note also that F freedom is used synonymously for Israel (six. 10; 11. Eight); and Samaria synonymously for Israel or F freedom (7.1; 10.6, seven).
The Book itself deals at length with the backsliding step-nakedness of the Ten Tribes. "The prophet had warnings for Judah also, as well as promises of future blessings" ("C.B." page 1208).
It is the first three chapters to which we would particularly call attention. Before, however, we consider these, there are two passages in the latter portion of the book, at which we ought to look.
"Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for He hath torn, and He will heal us: He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; in the third day He will raise us up; and we will live in His sight" (6.1, 2).
We know from such passages as Daniel 12.1, 2 and Ezekiel 37, that resurrection and restoration are looked upon as closely connected; by some, as identical. The early fathers applied Ezekiel's 37th chapter to a literal resurrection it is also customary with the prophets thus to join together a figurative and a literal resurrection (Dan. 12.1, 2).
Assuredly in the latter of the verses quoted we have a wonderful prediction that the third day "He will raise us (i.e. Israel) up"; first, in the Restoration of Israel in the third of those thousand years (2 Peter 3.8), which have elapsed since their captivity, B.C. 611. Also there may be a reference to the resurrection of our Lord on the third day, which is nowhere else in the Old Testament expressly predicted. And the grand and glorious truth of the final victory over death and the grave is still further foretold in ch. 13.14: "I will ransom them from the power of the grave (sheol): I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues, Ò grave (sheol) I will be thy destruction."
It is certainly impossible in the face of this declaration to limit the passage to Restoration. The belief of the Israelites generally in the resurrection; the use made of the latter part of the verse by the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15.55): "O death, where is thy sting? O grave (hades) where is thy victory?" preclude it. It is assuredly a great declaration of victory over death and gravedom, turned into a shout of triumph by the inspired apostle, and finding accomplishment when "death shall be swallowed up in victory"; when "death and hell (hades-sheol, the power of the grave) shall be cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20.14).
Let us now look at certain passages in the first three chapters. The terrible state of apostasy and departure from the living God is described by the "wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms" (1.2). Together they depict a truly awful state of affairs, "for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD" (1.2).
Gomer, the adulterous wife*, whom the prophet is commanded to marry (1.2) becomes the mother of Jezreel, a name having two meanings (1) May God scatter (Jer. 31.10); and (2) May God sow (Zech. 10.9). For historical reference to Jezreel----the place----see 1, 4, 2 Kings 9.22-37.
After Jezreel Gomer bears a daughter, 'Lo-ruhammah (not compassionated), so called by the direct command of God, for "I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, but I will utterly take them away" (1.6). Then a son is born. "Call his name Lo-ammi, for ye are not My people, and I will not be your God" (v. 9).
Taking the four names together, Gomer, Jezreel, Lo-ruhammah and Lo-ammi, we come to this point, "the measure of sin and apostasy is full; I will scatter them (the Ten Tribes); I will not have compassion on them, and they shall not be My people." And this exactly describes the state of Israel at the present time, whatever the declaration of 3.4, "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a King and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, without an image, and without ephod, and without a teraphim" may mean. It has been well said, "whatever may be the peculiar force of the several words here employed, the object of the prediction seems to be the utter dissolution of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah both ecclesiastically and politically."
But this state of things shall not always prevail, for "Afterward (no intimation of the length of time intervening) shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days;" from which we learn that not only shall the children of Israel, as a whole, RETURN, but they "shall seek the Lord their God," and this not only in penitence as described in Zechariah 12.10-14, but with acceptable worship. For all that is implied by the phrase, "seek the LORD their God," see Deut. 4.29; 1 Chronicles 16.10, 11; Psalms 105.3, 4; 2 Chronicles 12.14; 14.4; 15.12, 13, and many other passages.
They shall also seek "David their king." Jeremiah tells us the same thing; "they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them" (30.9). Ezekiel also tells us "I will set up one shepherd over them, My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd" (34.23). So in v. 24, "My servant David a prince among them," and 37.24, "And David My servant shall be king over them"; v. 25 . . . "And My servant David shall be their prince forever." From all which passages we gather that a certain one here named David shall rule over the restored and converted tribes.
Just as David, the son of Jesse, ruled in time past over the united Israel, so this David in like manner shall reign over the whole twelve tribes when they once more become united. Without questioning that David, Israel's former King, true type of Messiah, shall again be raised up, and may act as Messiah's vicegerent, have we not in these passages an assurance that the true David, the "Beloved" of God, "My beloved Son," shall in that day rule first and foremost over the united houses of Judah and Israel, according to the promise, Luke 1.32. "And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of His father David, and he shall rule over the house of Jacob forever (eis tous aionas) and of his kingdom there shall be no end"?
But we are further told that the children of Israel "shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days," a phrase which we may at once take as referring to the latter part of the Christian Dispensation. The expression "latter days" occurs 14 times in the Old Testament, Gen. 49.1. ("last days"); Num. 24.14; Deut. 4.30; 31.29; Isa. 2.2 ("last"); Jer. 23.20; 30.24; 8.47; 49.39; Ezek. 38.16; Dan. 2.38; 10.14; Hos. 3.5; Mic. 4.1 ("last"). "A study of them will show that the prophecy (Gen. 49.1), and "blessing" (Gen. 49.28), extends to, and embraces the days of Messiah, and His first and second advents" ("C. B." Notes on Gen. 49.1). The Septuagint rendering of this phrase connects it with (and shows it is synonymous with) the similar expressions in the New Testament, 1 Timothy 4.1; 2 Timothy 3.1; 1 Peter 1.20; 2 Peter 3.3; Jude 18; Hebrews 1.2 and 1 Jn. 2.18. As all these referred to what is commonly designated the Christian Dispensation, and as regards the fulfillment of certain events connected with Israel to the latter part of that dispensation, we look for it as still future. So all that is told us in Hosea 3.5 has not yet taken place, and if we wish to know what events lead to the grand consummation of acceptance with God the Ten Tribes we must look carefully in Hosea 2. The first 13 versus speak of God's indignation with, and punishment of the Ten Tribes, for their unfaithfulness. But at verse 14 the prospect brightens. "Therefore" (rather ought this to be "nevertheless" or "not withstanding") "behold I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably under her." What wilderness? Ezekiel answers the query: "I will bring you into the wilderness of the people and there will I plead with you face-to-face" (20.35). Does this not infer that it is while she is in a state of dispersion as a nation that God will "' speak comfortably unto' and' plead face-to-face' with Israel"; that in the land or lands of dispersion she shall find place for repentance and "the valley of Achor for a door of hope," and then the "prisoners of Hope" shall turn to the stronghold (Zech. 9.12). (For reference to the valley of Achor as a locality see Joshua 7).
In verses 19 and 20 Hosea's manner of predicting the restoration and conversion of Israel is very remarkable. It is under the figure of betrothal: "I will betroth thee unto Me for ever, yea I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee undo Me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the LORD." Now among the Hebrews a damsel betrothed and waiting for her husband was accounted as already a wife, and so Hosea depicts the Ten Tribes as set apart, abiding many days for Jehovah preparatory to being received into closer spiritual relationship. But after betrothal, marriage. "And it shall be at that day saith the Lord that thou shalt call me Ishi (my husband), and thou shall call me no more Baali (my Lord)."
Temporal blessings are connected with restoration and reconciliation, as we saw they were in Amos 7.13. Emphasizing the meaning of Jezreel as "whom God soweth," Jehovah goes on to say: "I will sow her unto Me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy, and I will say unto them which were not My people, "Thou art My people, and they shall say, Thou art my God." (See quotation of part of this verse by Paul in Romans 9.26 and by Peter in 1 Peter 2.10). Thus Lo-ruhammah (not pitied) becomes Ruhammah (pitied), and Lo-ammi (not My people) becomes Ammi (My people). A great and glorious consummation. The marriage of the Lamb is come, His wife hath made herself ready" (Revelation 19.7).
------------------------------------------------ Note on chapter 1.1 "I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, but will utterly take them away. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God. A prediction having reference to Israel's first banishment which was final, while Judah was not, but he was to return from it, and undergo a second." The word od here translated "no more" is of limitable meaning; as if to say, "I will not continue to have mercy."
*Some students do not find in chapters 1 to 3 so many biographical particulars as this interpretation allows; while others suggest a figurative meaning for some of the critical passages.
Mark for later read
Are you still in the USA?
Very different from the common view today that the restoration of Israel must await a time after the Christians are removed from the earth. The restoration of Israel was always seen in the context of the gospel age, when the Jewish remnant would be restored in mass to Christ along with the elect from among the gentiles. Scripturally speaking, the salvation of all Israel must be properly understood as the regrafting of natural branches into the root, along with the gentile wild branches. All this happens prior to Christ's return for His people.
Thanks for the ping!
You guys really do worship Israel. The other posts were correct. This is an unhealthy obsession
Thanks for being
SOOOOOOOOOO TERMINALLY WRONG
We recognize that currently Israel is apostate in a list of ways.
GOD is the one who has declared
HIS EVERLASTING PROMISES to the blood children of Jacob—REGARDLESS of their rebellions and idolatries
FOR HIS GLORY.
Try reading the Bible, it might become clear if y’all could buy a trailer load of fair-mindedness from Sam’s Club first.
Israel is to the Christian Church as the caterpiller is to the butterfly.
‘blood children of JacobREGARDLESS of their rebellions and idolatries’, yes and that is now given to the Gentiles. Or do you think you are descended from Israelites? Besides, I was talking about how many seem to worship the state of Israel.
“Israel is to the Christian Church as the caterpiller is to the butterfly” that is the biblical truth. The Jews are followers of the old covenant, we Christians are of the new covenant that replaces the old.