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The Bible in the News
Israel a Trade Corridor between East and West
Ezekiel's prophecy coming into focus, heralding the soon return of Jesus Christ.
Saturday, September 16, 2023  Audio & Print versions

(Audio to be added later today.) On September 9, the G20 leaders unveiled an Israel-Saudi Arabia rail link plan, which is "part of a broader project to build a transport link between India, the Middle East and Europe,” according to the Globes news website. Globes explains:

"At the G20 summit in New Delhi today, the US, India, EU and Saudi Arabia announced the promotion of a major railway and sea transport corridor between India and Europe via the Middle East. The project includes a rail link between Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The summit was attended by leaders including US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modri, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and EU President Ursula von der Leyen, which demonstrates the importance that the leaders attach to the plan, which would strengthen economic ties between Riyadh and Jerusalem. ... Biden said, "The transportation corridor is designed to bring investments through shipping and railways from India, all the way to Europe, and through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel.””

The article continues and points out the projected impact on the entire region:

"In the world in general and in India in particular, great importance is attached to shortening supply chains, and such a connection in the Middle East will be great news not only for passengers, but also in terms of speed and costs of supplying goods. As reported by "Globes” last month, a rail link between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already referred to, is expected to impact the entire region."

The Biden administration has not continued the push for regional peace started by the Trump administration. The Biden administration has taken the more Catholic/European approach of putting the Palestinian issue before a regional peace. To put it another way, they take the approach that there cannot be regional Middle East peace until Israel gives up what they call the West Bank — the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. However, what is happening is that Russia is forcing their hand, as they are losing influence in the Middle East. The Globes article makes the point, "Biden did not mention this, but this is also a countermeasure to Russia's moves. About a week and a half ago, the first cargo train left Russia, via Iran - for Saudi Arabia as part of the “North South” transport corridor.”

This follows an announcement back in August 2021 as reported on the Israel Ha’Yom website, of a: "New fiber-optic cable project to link Israel with Saudi Arabia” It was reported that: "Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel and representatives from Google are expected to announce the official launch of the “Blue Raman" route that will link the two countries and which is part of a larger internet infrastructure project that will ultimately connect Europe with India… The 16 fiber-optic cables to be used in the Blue Raman project will be capable of transmitting massive amounts of data and will significantly upgrade Israel's digital connection with the rest of the world.”

The article stated that, "The Blue Raman route is expected to be completed in three years.” In which case it would be completed next year. Just like in ancient times, Israel is becoming a significant trade bridge between continents. The article continues:

"Beyond the technological aspects of the global project and the benefits it will provide in that regard, the selection of Israel as the "conduit” country is diplomatically and geopolitically significant.

"Officials familiar with the details told Israel Hayom that the project solidifies Israel's importance as a bridge country between Asia and Europe."

It is now 3 years since the Abraham Accords were signed, first with the UAE and Bahrain, and then with Morocco and Sudan. Today on the Israel Ha’Yom new site there was an article by Michael Humphries entitled, "3 years in, Abraham Accords yield warm peace through robust trade” Here are a couple of snippets from the article:

"Total trade between Israel and the four accords countries in 2022 was $3.43 billion, four times the trade with the Jewish state's veteran Arab peace partners.”

"Given the robust relations between Israel and its relatively new Arab peace partners, the Abraham Accords have indeed produced a warm peace – in stark contrast to Egypt and Jordan, who seem reluctant to trade with Israel despite decades of peace. From that vantage point, the Abraham Accords should be considered a significant economic success.”

Collectively these peace accords and projects are transforming the Middle East, creating a trade route through Israel, linking India, Saudi Arabia, Europe and the West.

At the same time as the Middle East is being radically transformed by these accords and infrastructure projects, Israel continues to build on the mountains of Israel. The Vatican and Europe have not been able to force Israel out. Again today, it was reported, this time on Israel National News, that Israeli member of Knesset, Bezalel Smotrich is being criticized for strengthening Judea and Samaria. The article points out that Smotrich, "has the majority of control over the Civil Administration, which overseas civilian affairs in Judea and Samaria.” The article continues,

“Since taking that role, Smotrich has moved to approve thousands of new housing units in Judea and Samaria and reduce the approval time for new construction in the area.”

Critics are saying that, “If Smotrich keeps this position for four years we will be at the point of no return”

Putting these events together, we see the words of Ezekiel the prophet just jumping off the page! The picture is coming together. The Jewish people have been “brought back from the sword”, they have “been gathered out of many people”, they dwell on “the mountains of Israel”, in the “midst of the land” and continue to build there, they have “gotten cattle and goods” and become prosperous. They are agriculturists and traders. Ezekiel prophecies what regathered Israel’s trading partners will say to Gog and his host in verse 13.

"Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?”

Sheba and Dedan were traders to the East of Israel on the Arabian peninsula. The ships of Tarshish were traders with Israel to the West. Israel was the trading bridge between these great regions.

Ancient Israel had “ships of Tarshish that went to the East, as far as India, as indicated by the cargo, 2 Chronicles 9:21 says, "For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks."

With the west, ancient Israel traded in tin and other metals. Ezekiel 27:12 says, "Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs."

About 175 years ago, before there was any return of the Jews to Israel, John Thomas was prompted by these scriptures to write the words in his book Elpis Israel:

"There is, then, a partial and primary restoration of the Jews before the advent of Christ, which is to serve as the nucleus, or basis, of future operations in the restoration of the rest of the tribes after he has appeared in the kingdom. The pre-adventual colonization of Palestine will be on purely political principles; and the Jewish colonists will return in unbelief of the Messiaship of Jesus, and of the truth as it is in him. They will emigrate thither as agriculturists and traders, in the hope of ultimately establishing their commonwealth, but more immediately of getting rich in silver and gold by  commerce with India, and in cattle and goods by their industry at  home under the efficient protection of the British power. And this their expectation will not be deceived; for, before Gogue invades their country, it is described by the prophet, as “ a land of unwalled villages, whose inhabitants are at rest, and dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates; and possessed of silver and gold, cattle and goods, dwelling in the midst of the land.” (Elpis Israel, First Edition, pages 396, 397)

It is truly amazing how these words are being fulfilled and how this picture described by Ezekiel is coming into focus. Come back next week, as we will once again, God willing, watch the signs of the times on This has been David Billington with you.

Printed:  Saturday, September 16, 2023


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