Q. From other sources, I have read that Israel’s first captivity and return was when they were all released from Egypt after 430 years. This was their first re-gathering. When the Israelites were released from the Babylonian captivity after 70 years, it was their second re-gathering and the third re-gathering was the rebirth of Israel as a nation on May 14, 1948. However, quoting from one of your answers, “The re-gathering that officially began in 1948 and continues is the 2nd one. It will be completed after the Battle of Ezekiel 38. The first was after the Babylonian captivity.” Please share with me a clear explanation of your opinion on this matter.
A. The Exodus from Egypt cannot be Israel’s first regathering because prior to that time there had been no nation called Israel. The land had been promised to Abraham, but God had said he could not take possession of it because “the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” His descendants would be the ones to first take possession of it 400 years later (Genesis 15:12-21). Sure enough, 400 years later the nation Israel was “born” at the foot of Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:4-6) and after 40 years in the wilderness took possession of the land for the first time. Therefore this could not have been the first re-gathering.
The first time Israel was so totally dispersed that it ceased to exist as a nation came in two stages. First, Assyria took the Northern Kingdom away, after which the Babylonians did the same thing to the Southern Kingdom. For over 70 years after that there was no nation Israel in the Promised Land. When the Persians defeated the Babylonians and freed the Jews, the nation was re-gathered for the first time.
The second time Israel disappeared as a nation began in 70 AD and was complete by 135 AD. This diaspora as it is called lasted until 1948, when the words of Isaiah 11:11 were fulfilled. “In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant of His people.” In Isaiah 11:12 the prophet explained that in this regathering the Lord would assemble His scattered people from the four quarters of the Earth, not from Babylon. 1948 marked the official beginning of the 2nd re-gathering.