Aliyah is the immigration of Jews returning to Israel from the diaspora. This first began in the late 1800s up until after World War II when Israel was founded. Since its foundation, about 3 million Jews have moved back to Israel. Is the Jews’ return to the land of Israel a fulfillment of Bible prophecy? Let us allow the Bible to answer this question:
God’s covenant to ancient Israel was conditional on their obedience to Him. The Lord declared, “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth” ( Deuteronomy 28:1 also Ezekiel 36:26-28).
The words, “Ye shall be my people, and I will be your God” (Ezekiel 11:20; Jeremiah 7:23; 11:4; 30:22), show the covenant relationship in which Jehovah had for Israel. This covenant included more than national independence and prosperity. It covered the entire plan to make Israel the spiritual center of a global missionary efforts.
Had the necessary obedience been done, Israel’s residence in its land would have been permanent. Jerusalem would have stood forever. From her would have gone out the message of peace and truth to all the world.
Sadly, Israel proved unfaithful, and accordingly lost the glorious calling that might have been hers, and the promises of the Lord’s covenant (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). Therefore, the Lord had no choice but to respect its freedom of will. And the nation was abandoned to the destiny it chose. And it received the curses of the Lord.
The Lord declared, “Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the LORD will send against you…” (Deuteronomy 28:47,48).
Before His death, Jesus declared, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate” (Matthew 23:37,38).
Consequently, Israel’s enemies conquered the nation. Their kings were taken into exile with the people (Jeremiah 9:15, 16; 16:13). And even when they returned from exile they again backslid greatly and their apostasy climaxed when they crucified the Son of God, the Savior of the world. The modern state of Israel never repented of killing Jesus Christ.
Although the people of Israel failed, God’s promised didn’t fail. God’s covenant was transferred to Christians who became “spiritual Israel” and heirs of God’s promises. Thus, God’s plan to save the world would no longer be dependent on the Jewish nation but on all (Jews and Gentiles) who believe in His Son. The “kingdom of God” was taken from the Jews and was “given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43). However, as individuals they may be saved by accepting Christ (Romans 11:23, 24).
The Jewish probation ended and they were finally utterly destroyed as a nation by the Romans in 70 AD. It boggles the mind how a nation once so blessed by God, should fall so deep in sin as Israel did (1 Kings 9:7–9; Jeremiah 18:15–17; 19:8).
In the future, God’s plan to save the world would no longer be dependent on the literal nation of Israel. In the New Testament, both Jews and Gentiles are brought into the family of God through submission to Christ. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26, 29).
Every one regardless of race can be saved through faith in Christ. “By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4 also John 1:12, 13; 3:3). God’s grace makes the believers “sons of God” (1 John 3:1), and so “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), and receivers of grace and of all the family privileges (Galatians 4:6, 7).
The Jews’ Return to Israel
Some misapply the prophecies of the Old Testament prophets of the Jews’ return from their Babylonian captivity (Jer. 25:11-12 also 29:10; Isaiah 43:5; Ezekiel 11:17) to their return today to the land of Israel. But these prophecies were already fulfilled by God in the Old Testament and they don’t apply to the New Testament times, especially when the Jews today don’t believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world.
Christ’s statement in Matthew 21:43 didn’t imply that the Jews would never create an independent political state. The present state of Israel is in no wise a fulfillment of God’s covenant. Nor would any mass return of the Jews to Palestine be a fulfillment of His promises. Jesus positively announced that through the New Testament Christian church, He will work to evangelize the world with the gospel of His Son and no longer through the Jews as a nation, since they have rejected Him in the past and have not repented of their sin.
The Bible declares that the real Jews are those who have the spirit and character that accomplish God’s purpose in calling them to be His special people to declare His truth. God separated them, not only to do certain external ceremonies, but to be a people consecrated in heart and life to show His power to change lives to the entire world (Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 30:14; Micah 6:8).
“For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God” (Romans 2:28, 29 also 9:6; Galatians 3:29).
In His service,