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The Last Days Duncan Heaster  
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Is. 12:2 speaks of how a latter day Israel will declare that Yahweh has become their salvation [i.e. they accept Jesus, Yah-who-saves], and on this basis they will witness of this to the Gentile world and bring the Gentiles to Zion (Is. 12:4,5). This sequence of thought shows how seamlessly the repentance of Israel and the associated acceptance of Jesus leads on into the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. Our study of latter-day typology in Section 1 revealed a consistent pattern of Israel being dominated by their Arab enemies in order to bring about their repentance.   There are a number of passages which speak specifically of Israel's complete turning back to God - which is an event that can only have reference to the last days repentance of Israel.   An examination of these passages reveal many links with the events which typify the last days, and confirms the general pattern which they suggest. The rising of the sun of righteousness (i.e. Christ's full revelation) will be " unto you (repentant Jews) that fear my name" (Mal. 4:2); the apocalypse of Christ must be preceded by at least some Jews coming to fear God's Name again. God's anger will be against Israel's Arab invaders for attacking the land " whereas the Lord was there" (Ez. 35:10). The presence of the Lord in His land will be through His presence among His true children who will then be living in it. This agrees with Joel's constant theme, that the final Arab invasion will only be destroyed when Israel have made some sign of repentance. This repentance of Israel will be associated with an opening of their eyes to God's word. " The Lord hath poured out upon (Israel) the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes (quoted in Rom.11:8 concerning Israel's blindness to Christ)...the vision of all (God's word) is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed...(but) in that day (of the Kingdom) shall the deaf hear the words of the book" (Is. 29:10,11,17,18). This will be when the book is unsealed at " The time of the end" (Dan. 12:4). It will be in our last days that Israel's blindness starts to be cured, thanks to a Word-based revival, led by the Elijah ministry. Solomon's prayer stated that when Israel properly repented, God would then " render unto every man according unto all his ways" (2 Chron. 6:30). Our Lord definitely applied these words to the work of His second coming, when " I shall give every man according as his work shall be" (Rev. 22:12). His allusion to Solomon's prayer should be proof enough that the time of His full apocalypse is related to the time of Israel's repentance. It maqy be that the revealing of the Lord at his first coming was only brought about by the repentance of Israel on account of John's work (cp. Elijah's). According to Acts 3:21,24, all the prophets speak of Israel's latter day repentance and the subsequent return of Messiah.

Thus the final three and a half year holocaust will be what brings about Israel's repentance. Hos. 6:1,2 seem to prophecy Israel's attitude: "Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn (at the hand of the Arab beast), and he will heal us... after two days will he revive us:  in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live" (cp. resurrection, and the vision of the dry bones coming to spiritual life in the last days, Ez. 37). We could paraphrase this: 'Let's repent, in 2 days we'll revive, and in the third day come to full life'. The Lord likewise rose up on the third day- as if they will come to fellowship his sufferings during their holocaust, and thereby his resurrection too. Gen. 49:10 then comes into play, speaking of how Messiah "will come to Shiloh, having the obedience of the peoples" (RVmg.).

However, although we speak at length in this Section about the repentance of Israel,  we should not think that the majority of Israel will repent: only a tiny minority will (Is. 6:13). The plagues on the earth / land prophesied in Revelation suggest that despite so much horrendous tribulation, "the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone and of wood; which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders... sorceries... fornication... thefts" (Rev. 9:20,21). There are at least 10 references here back to the sins of Israel in Old Testament times. The suggestion therefore is that as Israel failed to heed God's pleading with them in the past, both through prophets and judgments, neither will they (generally) in Jacob's final time of trouble.

There is, however, the definite Biblical teaching that a remnant will repent. The tragic, awful implication appears to be that all of natural Israel will die during the final tribulation, apart from those who repent. Just prior to the Lord’s return, Jerusalem will be taken, half the city going into captivity, but “the remnant [i.e. the faithful who repent] shall not be cut off from the city” (Zech. 14:2). And yet the “city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished”. The implication surely is that the repentant remnant will somehow barricade themselves in within the fallen city, and then at their utmost extremity, Christ will come to save them.

The Curses On Israel (Lev. 26;  Deut. 28)

These chapters are instructive as to how latter-day prophecy should be interpreted. Their prophecies of the curses to come upon Israel for their disobedience can be seen to have a continuous historic fulfilment over time, whilst also having reference to specific periods of Israel's punishment, e.g. at the hands of Babylon, Assyria, Rome and in the last days.   The huge amount of controversy over which interpretation of Revelation and other prophecies is correct would have been stillborn had this principle been truly understood.   Thus believers of the Truth throughout history have been able to find strength and encouragement from the study of Revelation by having had reason to believe that they were living the last days before the second coming.  Each group of believers at different points in history has therefore held different interpretations, all of which to some extent were correct.   As with Lev. 26 and Deut. 28, prophecy can have multiple initial applications, all of which point toward the latter-day complete fulfilment. However, there are prophecies of some latter day curses on Israel which have never been so far fulfilled. The last days will be the time when every prophecy has it's ultimate fulfilment (Lk. 21:22; Rev, 17:17). Therefore we are justified in seeing every prophecy concerning Israel and her Arab neighbours as having at least some latter day application.

We will now look at the various initial applications of the curses upon Israel, several of which we have previously shown to be typical of the last days.

The Assyrian Invasion

"The staff of your bread" being broken (Lev. 26:26) is quoted in Is. 3:1 concerning Judah's deprivation at the hands of the Assyrians.   The "rebuke" which God would send upon them (Dt. 28:20) uses the same word as Is. 30:17 concerning the collapse of Jewish resistance to Sennacherib's invasion: " One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one".   Israel's withdrawal into fenced cities which would then be taken (Lev. 26:25), was what happened in this invasion (2 Kings 18:13).

Having spoken of conditions during the prolonged period of Arab domination, Dt. 28:49 moves on to describe a final invasion by " a nation... as swift as the eagle flieth"- which Hos. 8:1 picks up with reference to Assyria.   This idea of a final invasion after a desolation period is in tune with much of our previous study of events typical of the last days.   This eagle coming " from the end of the earth" or 'land' confirms our definition of the 'earth/land' as that promised to Abraham, right up to the Euphrates.   Assyria was from the extremity of this 'land'.

In the context of the Assyrian invasion, Is. 10:20-23 prophesied that “the remnant of Israel”, those who survive it, will trust in the Lord alone and “in truth”, i.e. in covenant relationship with Him. It seems that all others of natural Israel will perish (as in Is. 4:2-4). This language of the remnant ‘returning’ unto the Lord is quoted in Rom. 9:23 about the repentance of the Jewish people and their turning to Christ. Israel were intended to repent because of Sennacherib’s invasion (Is. 37:31,32), and then “the consumption” of God’s plan could have happened. But the prophecy has been reinterpreted with reference to Israel in the last days, repenting finally as the result of the latter day Assyrian invasion.Isaiah 10 speaks of how Israel’s affliction by Assyria leads them to repentance; a “remnant shall return… unto the mighty God” (Is. 10:21)- and the “mighty God” has just been defined in Is. 9:6 as a title for the Lord Jesus. This will be a result of God using the Assyrian invader to “make a consumption… in the midst of all the land” of Israel (Is. 10:23). The “yoke” of Assyria “shall be destroyed because of the anointing” (Is. 10:27)- i.e. the coming of Christ, the anointed one, in response to the remnant returning unto Him.

Ben-hadad's Syrian Invasion

In the account of the great famine in Samaria which this invasion brought about, there is the extraordinary record of the two women arguing about the eating of their children (2 Kings 6:29).  The inclusion of this incident in the record must be to recall Lev. 26:29, where it is prophesied that this is exactly what would occur.   Ben-hadad's invasion is typical of the Arab onslaught of the last days - causing acute famine;  the leadership of Israel being revealed as useless (2 Kings 6:27) and the presence of Elijah as God's prophet in the midst of the crisis (cp. the latter-day Elijah).

The Babylonian Invasion

" Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long" (Dt. 28:32), points forward to the tragic picture of the old and helpless being left in the land after the Babylonian invasion - that is those not worth taking into captivity.   The reference to Israel's " king which thou shalt set over thee" being taken into captivity (Dt. 28:36) can only be applicable to the Babylonian invasion.   " I will break the pride of your power" (Lev. 26:19) is hard to make sense of apart from in a Babylon context; the same word is used in 2 Kings 25:13 concerning the breaking of the temple pillars by the Babylonians. That invasion truly " marred the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem" (Jer. 13:9) through desecrating the temple, their pride and joy.

The great emphasis on how famine and plague would lead to Israel's capture by their enemies rather than straight military defeat (Lev. 26:25), is especially relevant to Nebuchadnezzar's taking of Jerusalem (cp. Jer. 14:12).   " The pestilence" would consume them from the face of Israel (Dt. 28:21) - perhaps implying that latter-day Israel chose Arab captivity because of the extent of this problem.   Ezekiel's prophecies of the coming Babylonian tribulation have several references in Lev. 26:-


Lev. 26

" They shall eat bread by weight" (Ez. 4:16)

" They shall deliver you

your bread by weight" (Lev. 26:26)

" The fathers shall eat the sons in    

the midst of (Zion), and the sons    

shall eat their fathers" (Ez.  5:10).        

" Ye shall eat the flesh of your sons" (v. 29). This situation will be remedied by the latter-day Elijah (Mal. 4:6).

" I will make thee waste" (Ez. 5:14)     

" I will make your cities waste (v. 31, same word).

" ...draw out a sword after (you)"   (Ez. 5:12)

" I will scatter you among the heathen, and draw out a sword after you" (v.33).

This latter connection is based upon Ezekiel being told to shave his hair and split it three ways - to be burnt with fire, cut by the knife, and scattered to the winds.   This represents the three ways in which latter-day Israel will be punished (Ez. 5:1-4).   A very small amount of hair was to be hidden in Ezekiel's skirts, and then cast into a fire.   Ezekiel may well represent the latter-day Elijah, with whom the future remnant will be associated, although even they will be purified by the effect of the (literal) fire which will come upon Jerusalem (Zech. 13:9).

The Time of the Judges

We have frequently observed that the Arab incursions of this period are typical of the period of extended Arab domination which is yet to come upon Israel.   There is reason to think that this was the first time in which the curses of Lev. 26 and Dt. 28 began to be realized upon Israel.   " Your highways shall be desolate" (Lev. 26:22) is definitely picked up in Jud. 5:6, concerning the result of the Arab reign of terror in Israel.   The curses upon the land physically also found fulfilment in this period.

There is a most interesting connection between the curses for disobedience and the time of the judges in the words of Azariah to Asa.   He reminded Asa of the problems of weak leadership in that period, and encouraged Asa to learn the lesson from it, as a ruler of Israel.   He describes Israel at that time as being " for a long season...without the true God, and without a teaching priest (cp. 1 Sam. 3:1, Hebrew), and without law" (2 Chron. 15:3).   This is quoted in Hos. 3:4,5 concerning Israel's state before their final repentance.   Azariah continued:  " In those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in (an idiom for the rulers), but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants" (2 Chron. 15:5).   This is definitely alluding to Dt. 28:19,20:  " Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in...and goest out.   The Lord shall send upon thee...vexation" (same word in 2 Chron. 15:5).   " Nation was destroyed of nation" (2 Chron. 15:6) must be alluded to in Luke 21:10 concerning the situation in latter-day Israel.   And - for the enthusiast - 2 Chron. 15:7 = 1 Cor. 15:58 - a certain latter-day application.

The Roman Invasion

That this was a detailed fulfilment of some parts of these prophecies is well known and chronicled.  Our Lord's quotation of Dt. 28:26 in Mt. 24:28 (" thy carcases shall be meat unto the fowls of the air" ) is confirmation of this.

We have laboured the previous fulfilments of the curses at some length because each of the invasions referred to clearly points forward to those of the last days.   We can therefore reasonably look for a specific latter-day fulfilment of Lev. 26 and Dt. 28.   This would appear necessary anyway, seeing that the sufferings outlined there lead to Israel's repentance - which has not yet happened.   Further, there are certain elements of the curses which cry out for a latter-day interpretation rather than to anything which has gone before.      

" The land of your enemies shall eat you up" (Lev. 26:38) implies that Israel's enemies are to be seen as a beast.   This sort of language is quite common in the prophecies which speak of a latter-day Arab beast (e.g. Is. 49:19;  Joel 1:6).   Joel's likening of this invader to locusts (Joel 1:4) is perhaps based upon the prophecy that " locusts shall consume (the land)...the fruit of thy land shall the locust possess" (Dt. 28:38,42 A.V. mg.).   'Possess' invites us to see the locusts as representative of a group of invaders.   Following straight on from this, we read that " The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high" (Dt. 28:43).   This surely begs for an application to the Arab inhabitants of the [so called] Occupied Territories, who will no doubt join in with the 'locust' invasions, dominating the Jews as the Philistines did.

" Ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude" (Dt. 28:62) is hard to convincingly apply to any previous persecution - these have tended to be specific to one geographical area in the past.   From what we can ascertain, the population of world Jewry has not fluctuated previously in the dramatic fashion which this verse implies.   There must therefore be a world-wide persecution of Jews for this to come about;  this opens up the prospect of America and Britain systematically exterminating them, or, alternatively, deporting them to Israel or their Arab enemies.   This could easily come about by the Arabs tugging at the oil noose which they have around the West - perhaps by enforcing them to accept a nominal form of Islam if they want regular oil supplies?

The material prosperity of Israel, particularly the fertility of the land, was to be cursed if they disobeyed God (Dt. 28:16-18).   If this has a latter-day application, it follows that Israel must first have returned to their land in the last days and become prosperous before it can happen.   This is exactly the position today.   Their trust in " thy high and fenced walls" (Dt. 28:52) would have its latter-day equivalent in Israel's trust in its superior (nuclear?) military deterrent.

Nuclear war?

The curses to come upon Israel as a result of the Arab invasions are described in terms which are extremely apposite to modern warfare.   The plagues to come upon Israel as a result of the invasions are almost impossible to identify with anything presently known:  " a  consumption... a fever... an inflammation... an extreme burning... blasting... the burning ague that shall consume the eyes" (Dt. 28:22;  Lev. 26:16) all seems to echo the language of nuclear fall-out.   " They shall be burnt...and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction" (Dt. 32:24) is similar.

The release of complex chemical weapons, as well as nuclear detonation, would explain why rainfall patterns will be interrupted during this holocaust (Dt. 28:23).   The fall-out from such weapons would create the murderous rain of dust upon the land which Dt. 28:24 speaks of:  " The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust:  from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed" . 

It is twice emphasized that those in the land would suffer blindness (Dt. 28:28,29).   This has not yet happened;  the context invites us to read this as literal rather than figurative.   We know that the Arabs who attack Jerusalem will both fight each other and have their eyes rot in their sockets (Zech. 14:12), the implication being that they use their nuclear missiles against each other as well as against Israel.   Their earlier use of these weapons would account for this blindness coming upon Israel, and again we see the principle that what the Arabs do to Israel will be inflicted upon them. As Israel were punished with the curse of infighting (Is. 9:19), so the Arabs will be. As Israel will experience a great earthquake (Ez. 38:19), so will their enemy Babylon (Rev. 16:18,19); indicating that 'Babylon' will then be present in Israel? For other instances of the punishments upon Israel coming upon her latter day enemies, see Joel 3:6,8; Ez. 6:5 cp. 39:15.

The present development of nuclear weaponry which inflicts highly local damage (as opposed to the bombing of Japan in 1945) indicates the likelihood of these suggestions.   Israel having " emerods" , i.e. cancerous growths (Dt. 28:27), would then also be due to such weapons being used.   Previous fulfilments of this are hard to see.   It must also be significant that " I will make your cities waste" (Lev. 26:31), uses a Hebrew word which means 'wasted by intense heat' - i.e. nuclear fission?

There are a number of other hints at nuclear activity in other latter day prophecies which we will present at this point:

- " The towers shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground" (Ez. 38:20 exactly as happens in the wake of a nuclear explosion. These words correspond almost exactly with eye-witness accounts of Hiroshima's destruction in 1945. Compare Is. 25:4 " The heat, the a storm against the wall" .

- " Pillars of smoke" (Joel 2:30) is literally 'palm trees' of smoke (Hebrew)- an allusion to the mushroom cloud?

- The invading " northern army" will be driven " into a land barren and desolate" (Joel 2:20). The Hebrew root for " desolate" means to be stunned or numbed. A nuclear wilderness somewhere in the Middle East could certainly be called a numbed and stunned land.

- The latter day Assyrian will be destroyed with " fire (that) shall eat thee up like the cankerworm" (Nah. 3:15). Apart from nuclear, which other form of weaponry kills people by a mixture of intense fire and also cancer? This may speak of the Arabs using their weapons on each other. Likewise the destruction of Moab by Babylon in the last days is described in language which has nuclear hints: " They (of Moab) that fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon because of the force: but a fire shall come forth out of Heshbon, and a flame " (Jer. 48:45).

- The massive scale of destruction spoken of as occurring in the last days will be hard to achieve by the use of conventional weapons. The damage to the natural world which is prophesied rather precludes this: " I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea...and I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men" (Zeph. 1:3,17; cp. men's eyes melting away in their sockets in Zech. 14:12).

- " The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven (the sky) shall it come down upon thee" (Dt. 28:24) has never yet been fulfilled. Nuclear fallout would exactly fit the bill. Likewise Is. 29:6, describing the invasion of latter day Babylon / Assyria, has yet to be accurately fulfilled: " Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of Hosts with...great noise, with strom and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire" .

- The prophecies of Israel's latter day holocaust in Is. 24 and 25 are full of connections with Revelation and the Olivet prophecy. They have many references to a desolating of the land of Israel which may have more than a figurative application: " The Lord maketh the land empty, and maketh it waste (a reversal of creation)...the land shall be... utterly spoiled... the land mourneth and fadeth away...the land is defiled...therefore hath the curse devoured the land...the inahbitants of the land are the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a (mushroom) cloud" . There are several references in the prophets to the land of Israel being defiled by God's judgments; it would be appropriate, in the light of this, if the land was physically contaminated in the last days. There is a strong Biblical connection between the land and people of Israel (e.g. " the land rested from war" , Josh. 11:23, means the people did). The utter moral defilement of the people may therefore be physically expressed in the  state of the land. Thus Ezekiel's descriptions of a fertile and prosperous land are in the context of this being the outcome of a spiritual revival of Israel. The 'blossoming' of Israel's land since 1948 is not, therefore, a fulfilment of such prophecies (unless there has been an unperceived repentance of a minority).

- The latter day invasion from the Euphrates (i.e. geographical Babylon) will result in men being killed by fire, smoke and brimstone (Rev. 9:14,18)- nuclear language?

- " Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" (Rev. 13:4) will be the world's reaction to the Arab beast of the last days. Seeing that the West has nuclear weapons, this could imply that the Arab  beast either deprives them of their weapons (an Arab dominated and more politically powerful UN could achieve this), or that a new paradigm of weapons, worse than nuclear, are possessed by the beast and used to hold the rest of the world to ransom.

Final solution?

In Chapter 8 we mentioned the possibility of Israel's latter-day persecutors using similar techniques to those of the Nazis during the second World War.   There are certainly a number of word pictures among the curses which recall the scenes of Nazi death camps.   " They shall fall one upon another...when none pursueth" (Lev. 26:37 [i.e. not in military conflict]), creates the picture of mass extermination.   Their enemy " shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee" (Dt. 28:48) is surely the language of slave labour camps, working the Jews until they drop dead.   The words of Dt. 28:66,67 were clearly true of the Nazi persecution:  " Thou shalt fear day and the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see" .

Yet Israel's final holocaust will be greater than that of the 1940s; therefore there must be a similar system of death camps and mass extermination in the Arab countries around Israel, where they will be led captive.

It should be noted that the record of the curses in Lev. 26 splits them up into six sections, each introduced by a phrase like, " If ye will not for this hearken unto me...then..." more curses would come (Lev. 26:14,18,21,23,27,36).   It is tempting to associate this with the series of six judgments to be poured upon Israel and the Arabs as outlined in the six seals (Rev. 6) and six vials (Rev. 16), leading up to the seventh period, of Israel's repentance and Christ's Kingdom.   There are many other points of contact between the curses and the language of the seals and vials.  

The implication of this is that there are at least six periods of God's appeal to Israel to repent through their trials, which they will refuse to accept.   " If ye will not for all this hearken unto me" (Lev. 26:18) may suggest that God's word will be spoken to Israel along with the trials.   This again indicates that the Elijah ministry will operate within Israel during their period of Arab downtreading.   " If ye will not be reformed by me" (Lev. 26:23) uses a Hebrew word elsewhere translated 'to teach', defined by Strong as 'to chastise by words'.   This provides further confirmation of the idea.

Mental trauma

There is a tremendous emphasis upon the mental torment which will come upon Israel due to their persecution.   This is necessary to appreciate because it will be an important precondition for Israel's repentance.

During their holocaust, Israel will experience intense " terror" (Lev. 26:16), which would be enough to kill them (Dt. 32:24).   This extraordinary level of paranoia will be modelled upon that of Jacob as he faced Esau - representing Israel's confrontation with the Arabs in the last days (Jer. 30:5,7).   This state of fear will result in many Jews going to live in Jerusalem, as happened during the Babylonian and Assyrian invasions (Jer. 35:11).   Ezekiel had prophesied of this time:  " Terrors (an intensive plural - i.e. 'the one great terror') by reason of the sword shall be upon my people" (Ez. 21:12).   Likewise our Lord spoke of " fearful sights" being seen in latter-day Israel (Luke 21:11).

This fear will be true medical paranoia:  " I will make thee a terror to thyself" (Jer. 20:4) because of Babylon's invasion;  " ye shall flee when none pursueth you...I will send a faintness into their hearts...the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them" (Lev. 26:17,36).   " I will bring the land into desolation" (Lev. 26:32) uses a Hebrew word which implies stupefaction by fear.  This paranoia will be associated with a manic depression which will have its roots in a chronically bad conscience towards God, going back thousands of years to their national childhood:  " I will...cause sorrow of heart...they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity...and also in the iniquity of their fathers shall they pine away" (Lev. 26:16,39). Note how the land will be brought into this mental desolation. Frequently the land of Israel is paralleled with the people (e.g. Jer.19:14 cp. 26:17). The intense desolation of Jewry will be reflected physically in the state of their land.

The connections between the record of Job's experience of depression and those curses upon Israel (1) gives us a cameo of latter-day Jewry's position.  This 'confusion of mind' (Deut. 28:20, Hebrew), " madness...and astonishment of heart" (Dt. 28:28) will, not surprisingly, result in a complete collapse of leadership within Israel (Dt. 28:19), resulting in them fleeing a disorganized seven ways before their enemies (Dt. 28:25).   There is a sharp contrast between this and Israel's present nonchalance.

That such an intensely confused and paranoiac state of mind will come upon Israel, is reflected by the emphasis upon how a similar mental condition will afflict their Arab enemies, who will experience what they brought upon Israel.   Such fear and terror will come upon the Philistines (Zech. 9:5), the allies of latter-day Babylon (Rev. 18:10,15;  11:11), Babylon herself (Is. 21:4), and Israel's other Arab enemies (Isa. 19:17; 33:18, Hebrew).

The following verse-by-verse notes bring out a few more details:-

-  Lev. 26:16:  " I will even appoint over you terror" uses a Hebrew word which appears elsewhere concerning appointing officers over a land (Gen. 41:34), implying some form of Arab rulership over Israel during the desolation period.   Likewise Dt. 28:45 warns that " these curses shall come upon thee... pursue thee and overtake thee" , as if the curses are to be equated with the invaders.

-  " Ye shall sow your seed in vain...your strength shall be spent in vain:  for your land shall not yield her increase" (Lev. 26:16,20), not only confirms the many other hints that Israel's physical fertility will be ruined during this period, but also suggests that Israel will make a major effort to be agriculturally self-sufficient in the holocaust.   This may indicate a world-wide trade embargo against her, or an Arab blockade which the West refuses to challenge.

-  " I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle" (Lev. 26:22 cp. Dt. 28:31) speaks of the Arab raiding of Israel rather than direct occupation during the desolation period.   These " beasts of the earth/land" (Dt. 28:26) must refer to the Arab nations within the earth/land promised to Abraham.   If these are the nations involved in the desolation period, then the mention of North African Arabs in Ez. 38:5 would suggest that the invasion there spoken of has an application to the final Arab onslaught against Jerusalem.  

The use of cattle-raiding language in Ez. 38:12 would then show that these other nations think that they will grab some of the spoil which the nations around Israel have helped themselves to.

-  The reference to Israel serving the gods of the nations to whom they are carried captive (Dt. 28:36), gods which their ancestors abhorred, may refer to some accepting Islam. Indeed, Dt. 31:29 suggests that in the latter (Heb. end) times, Israel will specifically " do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands" . This is the language commonly used concerning Israel's worship of the idols of the surrounding lands; if they are to specifically do this in the time of the end, it would seem reasonable to guess that this may refer to an acceptance of Islam.

-  " I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours" (Lev. 26:31) refers to the incense of prayer not being responded to.   As can be imagined, there will be much Jewish prayer in the last days, but the majority of Israel will fail to accept that it is faith in Christ's mediation of prayer, rather than the mental intensity of supplication, which brings a response.   Spiritual Israel may have to re-learn this lesson at the same time.

This terrible catalogue of curses now leads on to its glorious climax:  " them that are left alive of you...shall fall when none pursueth...fall one upon another (in death camps? or is this the language of Gehenna?)...and they that are left of you...shall confess their iniquity" (Lev. 26:36-40).   This clearly demonstrates how the whole of Jewry will be destroyed apart from this righteous remnant - and that even they will be a remnant of a remnant.   This accords with our previous conclusions, that there will be a group within latter-day Israel who associate themselves with the remnant, but who do not fully repent.   They may well meet their final curse in the (temporary) fires of Gehenna, outside the city of their refuge.

The repentance of the diaspora

Lev. 26 and Dt. 28 speak largely, although not solely, of the position within the land of Israel.   There is ample indication that there will also be a repentant remnant amongst the present diaspora, and also those who will be taken from Israel into neighbouring Arab lands.

Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the temple is shot through with allusions to the curses upon Israel just considered:-

1 Kings 8

Curses Upon Israel


Lev. 26:17; Dt. 28:25


Lev. 26:40


Lev. 26:19


Lev. 26:16; Dt. 28:21

:37 " cities"

Dt. 28:52 (same word)


Lev. 26:34,44; Dt. 28:36,64


Lev. 26:40; Dt. 30:1

This evident modelling of Solomon's prayer upon Lev. 26 and Dt. 28, indicates that it must be given some application to the last days.   Its constant appeal for Israel to look back to the temple during their dispersion on account of sin, and to seek forgiveness through praying to God with it in mind, points forward to how latter-day Israel must look to Jesus, the true Temple in whom God's Name fully dwells.   Solomon stresses the need for Israel to pray for forgiveness during their dispersion (1 Kings 8:28,38,45,49), again showing how the repentant remnant of the last days will be characterized by intense prayer.

In response to this, God will " forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways" (1 Kings 8:39).   This is quoted in Rev. 22:12: " I come give every man according as his works shall be" , having reference to the Lord's 'return' in both A.D. 70 and the second coming.   It is therefore fitting that the source of this quotation is also in a last days context.   The implication of these two passages is that the Lord's second coming will be in response to Israel's repentance.

The prophecy of the diaspora's final repentance is further evidence that Israel must be taken captive into the neighbouring Arab states in the last days, and that due to this experience a remnant will repent.   " They shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives (language irrelevant to the present diaspora), and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely" (1 Kings 8:47).This verse is one of those in Solomon's prayer which Nehemiah alludes to in his prayer of repentance, spoken from Babylon:-

Nehemiah's prayer

Passages alluded to

   " Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant,which I pray...and confess the sins of... Israel, which we have sinned...remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandest thy servant Moses... If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad... but if ye turn unto me... yet will I gather (you) from thence, and will bring them    unto the place that I have chosen"

2 Chron. 6:40

1 Kings 8:29

Lev. 26:33

Lev. 26:39-42

These allusions to Solomon's prayer and the records of Lev. 26, indicate that Nehemiah's prayer has a latter-day application.   The Jewish captivity in Babylon therefore typified their future imprisonment in 'Babylon', the surrounding Arab states.   True to type, there will be a spiritual revival there, based upon the inspired words of God's servants, as the writings of Jeremiah and Daniel were the inspiration behind Nehemiah's revival.

Ezekiel 20

Ezekiel 20:33-43 provides more detail concerning the diaspora's repentance.   This passage is prefaced by Ez. 20:32: " That which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the (surrounding) countries, to serve wood and stone" .   The next verses show that through their regathering to Israel, this attitude will be ended - either by death or repentance.   It can therefore be taken as certain that just prior to Israel's latter-day regathering and repentance, there will be a period during which they try to assimilate into the nations around them, not least by worshipping their gods.   It is easy to imagine how the Jews will try to mix themselves with their Arab neighbours, accepting Islam to do so, in order to escape the rigours which will come upon them in the period of extended Arab dominance over Israel.

" I will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered" (Ez. 20:34) uses a Hebrew word also translated 'to break to pieces', recalling how the Arab feet and toes of the image are broken to pieces (Dan. 2:40).   The principle that the Arabs will receive what they do to Israel, indicates that these " countries" where Israel are " scattered" refer to the Arab states around Israel where the Jews will be taken captive in the last days.   Joel 3:2-4 prophecies a latter-day Arab 'scattering' of Israel.

The language of Ez. 20:34,35 recalls that of Eze. 20:10: " I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness...I will bring you out from the people...and I will bring you into the wilderness of the people" .   Thus Israel's leaving the physical persecution of Egypt and being brought into the spiritual testing of the wilderness, will have its counterpart in the Jews being led out of the lands of their Arab captors, to be spiritually refined in " the wilderness of the people" .

" There will I plead with you" , suggests that this " wilderness" is a specific country.   There is good reason to think that this will be literal Egypt:-

-  Dt. 28:68 speaks of the final curses to come upon latter-day Israel:  " The Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again" .

-  Isa. 19:18-25 indicates that there will be repentant Jews in latter-day Egypt.

- At the time of Israel's repentance, God will " break the bands of your yoke" (Ez. 34:27), using the language of their suffering in Egypt (Lev. 26:13). If they are literally delivered from Egypt, this would fit nicely.

-  " The wilderness of the people...the wilderness of the land of Egypt" (Ez. 20:35,35) will be the place of Israel's final latter-day refining.

-  " The wilderness of the land of Egypt" (Ez. 20:36) rather than 'and' shows that we are to associate Egypt and this " wilderness" of testing.

Thus Israel are brought out from their captivity in Arab lands, figurative 'Egypt', into literal Egypt, which will be the figurative 'wilderness' of spiritual testing.

Pleading with Israel

God will " plead" with Israel in this figurative wilderness, " face to I pleaded with your fathers" (Ez. 20:35,36).   God pleading " face to face" with Israel recalls how He did this in the literal wilderness through the person of Moses (Dt. 5:4,5;  34:10).   This suggests that there will be a great prophet with Israel during their time in Egypt.  Whether this is 'Elijah' or Jesus seems purposefully unclear, doubtless because it is impossible for us to exactly fit the return of Christ into the sequence of latter-day events.

The Hebrew for 'plead' does not necessarily imply an attempt to change someone's mind, but more a pronunciation of judgment.  Speaking of the same time we read, " I will plead with thee because thou sayest, I have not sinned" (Jer. 2:35).   Thus the 'pleading' is in order to highlight the extent of Israel's sins.  Is. 43:26 implies that such pleading is unnecessary if there is true repentance.  God's pleading with Israel mentioned in Ez. 20:35 is set in the context of Ez. 17:20, which speaks of people being taken captive to Babylon and being 'pleaded' with there by God, through the deprivations of captivity, to recognize their sin.   This would suggest that Israel's removal into Egypt will still be under Arab control, although manipulated by God.

During this period, the unworthy amongst the diaspora will be eliminated, probably at the same time in which the unworthy amongst the remnant left in the land will be destroyed: " I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me:  I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel" (Ez. 20:38).   The singular " country" must be Egypt;  it stands in contrast to " the countries" (plural) of v. 34, where Israel are initially scattered.   Thus as the unworthy of natural Israel left Egypt but failed to reach Canaan, so this will be literally true in the last days.   Some among spiritual Israel may have a like experience, according to the typology of Lot's wife leaving Sodom but failing to reach salvation.

" I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant" (Ez. 20:37) is shepherd language, hinting that Jesus may be back on earth at this point.   The picture of the good shepherd counting the sheep under the rod shows the importance of the exact number of the remnant.   As it comprised 7,000 in Elijah's time, so we can expect the existence of a certain specific number of truly righteous Jews to be the prerequisite for Israel's final deliverance.   Further evidence for this was given in our comments on the marriage supper parable.

Passing under the rod may be intended to connect with Lev. 27:32, which speaks of the tithe of the flock as being whatever passed under the rod.   This could mean that only a tenth of the diaspora, or those who go to Egypt, will finally enter the covenant.   The following points are worth pondering in this connection:-

-  " The virgin of Israel is fallen...the city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth (into captivity?) by an hundred shall leave ten" (Amos. 5:2,3) shows that only a tenth will survive the judgments spoken of.

-  " The cities (shall) be wasted without inhabitant (due to the captivity)...but yet in (the land) shall be a tenth, when it is returned, and hath been bruised" .   (Is. 6:11-13 A.V. mg.).   This indicates that a tenth of those carried captive by the latter-day Arab invaders will return after having temporarily suffered (" bruised" ).   These are the remnant -  " the holy seed" (Is. 6:13).

-  It is significant that a ten-man remnant would have saved Sodom (Gen. 18:32), representative of Jerusalem in the last days? (Is. 1:10).

Intensity of repentance

One of the greatest and most intense examples of human repentance presented in Scripure is that of David. There are a number of connections between the records of his anguish of soul and fulness of restored fellowship with God, and the prophecies of Israel's latter day repentance. This must be so that we can have some more precise picture of the extent of their repentance.



Killed a lamb (2 Sam. 12:3)

Ditto for Israel

Ps. 65:2

Is. 40:5

2 Sam. 12:11

The language of Dt. 28 about Israel's punishment in the last days

2 Sam. 12:13

Mic. 7:18

Ps. 38:7

Is. 1:6

Ps. 51:1

Acts 3:19

Ps. 51:10

Ez. 36:26

Ps.51:10-16: David's               

realization that the Law could

not save him, and subsequent

preaching of God's

righteousness to the world.

Ditto for Israel


(1)  See James and other studies (London: Pioneer, 1992).