Israel continues construction in the “West Bank”. Riots on the Temple Mount. The brutal murder of an Israeli yeshiva student. Israel mourns the destruction of the first and second Temples on Tisha B’Av — the 9th of the month Av. It’s all happening this week in Israel. Welcome to Bible in the News, this is David Billington.
Temple Mount riots remind us how delicate the situation can be in Israel and where the center of the conflict lies. The remembrance day of Tisha B’Av and the destruction of the Temples confirms that the center of the conflict is the Temple Mount, then Jerusalem and then the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. The newly approved construction in Judea and the international reaction and the brutal murder of the Yeshiva student in Gush Etzion, just south of Jerusalem in Judea remind us of this. As it says in the prophet Joel, “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.”
In this passage in the prophecy of Joel, the regathering of the Jewish people to Judah and Jerusalem is directly connected with the gathering of the nations to Armageddon. Again this week, we see a clear demonstration that this is not just a local flash point, but an international one.
Israeli Construction in Judah and Samaria.
The civil administration in Israel advanced plans for about 2000 homes in the areas of Judah and Samaria, called by many outside Israel as the West Bank. The administration also approved a plan for 6,000 housing units. However, no details of the plan were made public.
The proposed construction was subsequently slammed by the United Nations and European Union. The Israeli left-wing paper Ha’aretz reported, “UN Slams Israel’s 'Effective Annexation' of West Bank After 2,000 Settlement Units Approved”
There is no question, that this is an international issue, just as the prophet Joel prophesied so many centuries ago. On the Times of Israel website, there was a report this Saturday, August 10, concerning the US Peace Envoy to the region, Jason Greenblatt’s comments about there not being an “international consensus” on the Mideast conflict. Back in July Jason Greenblatt “...delivered a fiery speech in New York at the Security Council, in which he lambasted what he called “fictions of international consensus” on the conflict, including that the Palestinians were entitled to a capital in East Jerusalem.” As a result he faced criticism from the German ambassador to UN, regarding his comments and the whole American approach to the Mideast conflict, saying that Washington had “left the international consensus.". This Friday he shot back at the German Ambassador saying, “There is no international consensus on this conflict, people reflexively try to pretend that an international consensus exists as to how to resolve the conflict. That’s not true.” He went on, “In fact, we couldn’t even get an international consensus to condemn Hamas. Hamas is a terror organization that subjugates 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, vows to destroy Israel, shoots thousands of rockets at Israel. If there’s no international consensus on that, there’s no international consensus on a resolution here.”
Just as we would expect from the prophets, we have Europe and Russia supporting the Palestinian cause and the United States on the opposite side. The center of the conflict is the Temple Mount, Jerusalem and the Biblical Heartland of Judah and Jerusalem.
Along with the new proposed construction in the contested areas, the Jerusalem Post reported that four “outpost settlements” were to be officially approved by the government. "The four outposts to be approved as neighbourhoods of existing settlements are Ibei Hanahal, Givat Sal’it, Haroe Haivri and Brosh.” Last year while in Israel I happened to visit Ibei Hanahal, which is right next to the Land of Israel network farm. This is an amazing and strategic area, deep in Judea, with views of the Dead Sea. In fact the most easterly Jewish settlement in the area. It sits right next to Tekoa where the Hebrew prophet Amos was from. It is on the edge of the wilderness of Zif, where David fled from Saul. One cannot deny the Hebrew, Jewish connection to this land. 98 of the new homes are to be built in the neighbouring community of Ma’aleh Amos, named after the prophet Amos.
All four of the approved communities are strategic in nature, deep into the contested areas of Judea and Samaria. “Peace Now” an Israeli organization funded in a large part by foreign European governments, which monitors Israeli construction in contested areas, recognized the significance of this latest move by Israel, stating that, “...approvals such as this latest one could make partitioning the West Bank under a future peace deal with the Palestinians practically impossible.” These controversial and momentous questions, regarding Jerusalem and Judah, continue to be a sensitive and volatile international issue. This was seen beforehand, by the light of scripture, by John Thomas, in a booklet later republished as “Exposition of Daniel”. Here he stated while looking forward to when the breakers of Judah would themselves be broken, that, “The time, however, fast approaches; and the nearer it arrives, the more important do all questions become bearing upon Judah’s land, and Zion, the city of their king.”
The time has definitely come, when the questions bearing upon Judah’s land, and Zion, the city of their king, are the most important questions agitated in the world! Come back next week, God willing to www.bibleinthenews.com