Q. I read your response to the question titled “should there be an Israel” and I was wondering about the last part of the verse you quoted. It says:
“Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD, “will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.”
Now I understand that there have always been Jews on the earth but this verse particularly says Israel will never cease to be a nation. However isn’t that exactly what happened after the destruction of the temple? Isn’t that why Israel becoming a nation is looked upon as such a big sign of the end times, since the nation ceased to exist until recently? Perhaps I have misunderstood what the verse is saying and I was hoping you could shed some light on the issue.
A. This verse says that God would always view the Jews as a nation. When the Romans scattered them abroad it fulfilled a prophecy from Daniel 9:26 which says in part, “The end will come like a flood.” The word translated flood is diaspora, a name by which the Jews living outside of Israel are known today.
What this means is like they were in Babylon, the Jews would become a nation in exile again. Although they’ve been scattered to the four winds, the Lord still thinks of them as a nation, even though the world thinks they disappeared and can’t understand why they’re back.
Whether we realize it or not, what constitutes the big sign for students of prophecy is that the nation has been regathered into its historic lands, fulfilling Isaiah 11:11-12, not that a nation who had stopped being one has become one again. As Jeremiah wrote, in God’s sight Israel never ceased being a nation.