Rav Richard

'Aharon'

Chaimberlin

The Times 
of the Gentiles
Comes to an EndIn June 1967, the nations of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria were threatening to destroy Israel. In the words of President Nasser of Egypt, they promised to "make Israel red with Jewish blood" and to drive the surviving Jews into the Mediterranean Sea. However, something miraculous happened in that war, which came to be called the Six Day War, because it only lasted six days! In only six days, the tiny nation of Israel defeated all of those nations that came against her. The common joke is that the Jews had to defeat those nations in six days so that they could rest on Shabbat!

     In that war, Israel gained the entire Sinai Peninsula, the so-called West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the Golan Heights. How-ever, the greatest prize of all was the old city of Jerusalem,[1] com-monly called East Jerusalem. In Israel's war of independence in 1948, Jordan con-quered East Jerusalem. Under Jordanian occu-pation, all 35 syna-gogues in East Jerusalem were destroyed, leveled to the ground in many cases. Most heart-breaking of all, the Temple Mount[2] and the Kotel (Western Wall) were captured, making it impossible for Jews to pray near the holiest site in Judaism. All of the Jews of Jerusalem were forced to flee or be killed. Jews left only with what they could carry. In many cases, they carried only a Torah scroll from one of the destroyed synagogues, leaving everything else behind.

     However, in 1967, after 19 years of Jordanian occupation, and 2,000 years of Gentile occupation (Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, British), the entire city of Jerusalem was finally returned to the Jewish people. Religious Jews had been praying, facing the direction of Israel everyday for thousands of years. After the Passover seder every year for 2000 years, Jews continue to say, "L'shana haba'ah b'Yerushayim (Next year in Jerusalem)."

     Perhaps now you can appreciate better the joy felt throughout Israel when the Israeli army recaptured Jerusalem. Each year, Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) is joyously celebrated throughout Israel. As a result of the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, Jews have rebuilt all of the ancient syna-gogues of Jerusalem. In the picture to the left, you see Israeli soldiers in June 1967, standing in awe by the Kotel (also called the "Wailing Wall") in east Jerusalem.

 

The following quoted reactions from IDF paratroopers as they arrived at the Kotel are a powerful re-minder of the place Jerusalem has held in the Jewish heart for centuries:

“The Wall was be-fore us. I trembled. There it was as I had known it - immense, mighty, in all its splendor. ...Overcome, I bowed my head in silence.” 

       – General Uzi Narkiss, Head of Central Command during the Six Day War

 

 “I felt truly shaken and stood there murmuring a prayer for peace. Motta Gur’s paratroopers were struggling to reach the Wall and touch it. We stood among a tangle of rugged, battle-weary men who were unable to believe their eyes or restrain their emotions. Their eyes were moist with tears, their speech incoherent. The overwhelming desire was to cling to the Wall, to hold on to that great moment as long as possible.”    Yitzchak Rabin [3]

     There is great prophetic significance to the recapture of the eastern part of Jerusalem. Ezekiel, chapters 40-48, describe the future Temple that will be rebuilt. This could not happen unless Israel were to have control over the Temple Mount. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 describe the future anti-Messiah taking "his seat in the Temple of God, displaying himself as being God." This could not happen unless there would be a Temple for him to enter. Some people consider this to be the "Tribulation Temple." However, the Second Temple was defiled in the times of the Maccabees by the Syrian-Greeks. After the Maccabees' victory, the Temple was cleansed and rededicated. I presume that this will happen again. The Third Temple described above will also be the Millennial Temple.

     In Luke's Gospel (chapter 21), Yeshua prophesies many terrible things that will happen. However, there will be a restoration also taking place. In verse 24, Yeshua said, "They (the Jewish people) will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." This was literally fulfilled on that fateful day in June 1967 when these brave Jewish soldiers re-conquered the old city of Jerusalem.

     Rav Sha'ul (Paul) also talks about the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles: "For I do not want you, brethren, to be ignorant of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."            (Romans 11:25)

 

     Isaiah 6:10 (NAS) also describes this spiritual hardening of the Jewish people: "Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, lest they see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed."

     This spiritual hardening lasted for as long as the Times of the Gentiles lasted. This time ended in June 1967, when the ancient city of Jerusalem was once again reunited with the modern city of Jerusalem. Many Jewish eyes and ears were opened to the Good News of Messiah Yeshua, beginning at that time.

     Since that time, Messianic congregations have opened around the world. This Messianic revival began in the United States. However, today there are Messianic congregations in Europe, Asia, throughout North and South America, Africa, and Australia. Messianic Judaism has also taken hold in Israel, with many dozens of Messianic congregations being established throughout Israel. Many Gentiles have also rediscovered the Jewishness of the Good News and have joined these Messianic congregations. Some of them, especially in Asia and Africa, might not have any Jews according to the flesh. On the other hand...  they might have Jewish ancestry that was lost, only to be rediscovered in modern times!

     If the Times of the Gentiles has ended, it stands to reason that the Times of the Jews has begun! One of the many ways that we see this taking place is in the headlines of newspapers and magazines around the world. The tiny nation of Israel receives an inordinate amount of coverage. When you listen to the news on television, Israel is almost always mentioned. It isn't always good. Even though Israel has the best human rights record of any nation in the Middle East, and conducts the most humane warfare possible against her enemies, Israel is constantly accused of human rights violations and even war crimes!

     However, despite all the terror attacks, BDS (Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions), and bad press, Israel continues to prosper. Even Israel's enemies benefit from Israeli advances in technology. Cell phones were invented in Israel, and most computer chips are either made in Israel, or manufactured with Israeli technology. Many medical advances were originally produced in Israel, as well as many agricultural advances. Yes, we are living in the Times of the Jews!

     Most importantly, however, is that the spiritual hardening upon the Jewish people has ended. Jews are coming to their Messiah, who is, of course, the Jewish Messiah. Jews are once again honoring the Messiah without non-Jewish cultural and religious baggage of centuries of de-Judaizing Yeshua. The spiritual hardening that happened to the Jewish people is over. The primary obstacles to Jews recognizing their Messiah are historical, such as centuries of "Christian" anti-Semitism.

     Even though we are living in the Times of the Jews, we also know that many more attacks will be coming upon the Jewish people, as described in Ezekiel 38 and 39, as well as Zechariah chapters 12 and 14. However, Israel will be victorious over all of her enemies! HaShem will be fighting for His people, and will judge all of the nations who come against her!  "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken... Then Adonai will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle."         (Zechariah 14:2-3)



[1] "West" Jerusalem began to be built in the late 1800s, next to the old city of Jerusalem. It eventually became the biggest part of Jerusalem.

[2] This is location where the First and Second Temples were located, and where the future Millennial Temple will be located.

[3] source: Hannah Nesher, www.voiceforisrael.net