One development whose crucial character remains beyond question was the . . . Balfour Declaration. This was indeed an event of paramount national, international and historic significance. The promise it held out went far beyond the formal undertaking of the British Government to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine: implicit in this Declaration and herein lies its deeper import—was the promise of a general international recognition of the historic rights of the Jewish people in Palestine, a recognition to be realized a few years later in a decision of the League of Nations.

David Ben-Gurion was aware of one important fact overlooked generally by Jewry. In an article on the Balfour Declaration, published November 14 in "Der Yiddish Kampfer," the organ of the Poale Zion movement in America, he said:

A miracle happened and the broken vessel was made whole again.... England has not restored our land to us. Precisely now at this moment of triumph, it should be emphatically stated: it is nor in England's power to return our land to us. Not because the land is not, or not yet, in her possession. After the entire country, from Beersheba to Dan, is conquered by the British, it will not be ours even with their consent, and even if all the nations of the world agree to it. No people can establish title to a land except through its own toil, creative effort and settlement.

England has done a great thing: it has recognized our existence as a political entity and acknowledged our right to the Land. But the Hebrew people itself must transform this into a living fact. Through its own efforts of body, soul and material assets it must set up its national home and complete its national redemption.

The American Zionists did not receive Ben-Gurion's words favorably. To many in Jewry the Balfour Declaration was the end of the matter, the Balfour Declaration was eternal, and whenever any Hebrew felt dis-posed to go back to his homeland the opportunity would be there with iron-clad guarantee.

The British were the first to observe that the Jewish people were not in a hurry to return. Aryeh Pincus, Chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive observed: "Between 1917 and the Churchill White Paper of 1922—severing Transjordan from the Jewish National Home—there was abundant room for fast and widespread colonization. But aliya came in trickles, and the small numbers spread out over the years could not prevent the consolidation of Arab complicity. This failure made it easy for the British to high-light the fact that Transjordan was not essential to Jewish national aspirations."

Lord Arthur James Balfour told Dr. Weizmann after the approval of the Balfour Declaration and the decision on the British Mandate at the San Remo Conference: "Now you have got the signal to start, but you yourself will have to do the running." Failure on the part of Jewry the world over to press into the land shows that few of them were in touch with reality. While those in Russia were sealed within the Bolshevik bastion, those elsewhere—free to return—found it difficult to be more than spectators and were unprepared to "run" to the land of promise.

The Balfour Declaration did start a small return of Jewry to Palestine and the work of rehabilitation and reclaiming the land was under way. "For who hath despised the day of small things." (Zech. 4:10) Ironically, the Nazi persecution, which was bent on destroying world Jewry and came near to its goals in Europe, became the very force that guaranteed the survival of Israel. Ben-Gurion said,* "Jews from Germany provided the country with know-how, ability, capital and initiative." David Ben-Gurion also observed that in 1933, immigrations "rose to 30,377, in 1934, to 42,259, and in 1935, 62,000." This fact reminds us of Psalm 76:11: "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee; the residue of wrath shalt Thou gird upon Thee."

Those living in the new state of Israel need no convincing of the importance of the Balfour Declaration. It was the only constructive outcome of World War 1. The Balfour Declaration was overshadowed by the Bolshevik Revolution, but often truly great events go unheralded. The violent always captures world recognition.

The Balfour Declaration was made November 2, 1917. It was not a world-shaking event, but a small political concession at a time when the world was on fire. It excited no one except a few men with Zionistic hopes. But even here, it was only a conversation piece, because few Jews took seriously any thought of returning to Palestine. However, per-secuted Jewry in Russia was coming to the end of its rope. The plight of the Jews in Russia was the main argument by which the faint heart of the British were finally persuaded to give the Jew his homeland. The war had brought an end to the emigration of Jews from Russia to other lands and in view of their pitiful plight, the British gave their consent for a homeland in Palestine.

November 7, 1917, five days later, the Bolshevik Revolution erupted and invalidated the main argument of the Balfour Declaration. The Revolution sealed the Jewish population within Russia where they remain until this time. Needless to say, despite the claims of com-radship, the Jews are still identified as Jews in Russia and they are discriminated against. Zionists in Russia must wait until the Lord fulfills His promise to bring them "from the land of the north." (Jer. 16:15) The important thing is that the Russian Revolution came five days too late to prevent the Balfour Declaration. Nor can the children of Abraham be detained within the boundaries of Russia very much longer. The Lord will regather His people from the land of the "north."

The Bolshevik Revolution unleashed a force in the world that will help bring the nations to an end, while Israel rises to shine. A destructive force is at one hand and a building force at the other. We are living at this transition time. At ancient Israel's decline, the Gentile powers, by divine grant, were given dominion. The Babylonian captivity ended God's kingdom nation and gave rise to universal Gentile dominion. Daniel's concern was for his people. Daniel saw Babylon devour his nation. He then saw Babylon fall and Medes and Persians assume dominion. He knew Israel must wait. His interpretation of Nebuchad-nezzar's dream indicates that four successive empires would hold world dominion. As long as the Gentiles held dominion it would not be Israel's. But there was hope. Summing up the vision, Daniel said: "And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; nor shall the kingdom be left to another people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, but it shall stand for ever." - Dan. 2:44

"7 Times" (Years) — There is a scriptural parallel in Israel's punishment and Nebuchadezzar's madness both involve "7 times." The Lord punished Nebuchadnezzar with madness 7 literal years for his pride and failure to acknowledge His sovereignty. (See Dan. 4:16, 23, 25, 32; in Masoretic Dan. 4:13, 20, 22, 29) God threatened Israel with "7 times'' of punishment if they disobeyed Him. (Lev. 26:21, 24) What meaning is there in these time parallels'? in Ezekiel 4:6 is found the basis for figuring time: "forty days, each day for a year, have I appointed it unto thee.''

The degradation of Nebuchadnezzar was typical of human degrada-tion under the four beastly governments during seven symbolic "times" or years - a year for a day, 2520 (7 x 360 = 2520) literal years. It is interesting to note that this time period parallels the period when the crown was taken away from Israel and it ceased to be an independent kingdom nation. The last king of the two-tribe kingdom of Judah was Zedekiah. Upon removing him the Lord said: "O wicked one, that art to be slain, the prince of Israel, whose day is come, in the time of iniquity of the end; thus saith the Lord God: The mitre shall be removed, and the crown taken old: this shall be no more the same: that which is low shall be exalted. and that which is high abased. A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, will I make it; this also shall be no more, until he come whose right it is, and I will give it him." Ezek. 21:25-27

The removal of the crown marked the end of a kingdom nation identified with God. This was forecast at the very outset when God outlined the possibility of blessing and the alternative of cursing that might befall His people. In Leviticus 26, after speaking of the possible blessings, God warned: "And if ye will not yet for these things hearken unto Me, then I will chastise you seven times more for your sins." In vs. 21 and 24 the Lord repeats the same threat of 7 times of punishment for sin. If the clue of Ezekiel is followed, the 7 symbolic times (7 x 360 = 2520) comes to 2520 actual years. The period of Gentile rule is depicted by Nebuchadnezzar's madness, the time also of Israel's punishment and humiliation. Gentile dominion starting with Babylonian conquest of Israel under Nebuchadnezzar to World War I measures 2520 years. The figures being correct, we could expect 1914 to be the beginning or the end of Gentile dominion and the beginning of Israel's ascent. And so it was As the Gentile dominion crumbled with all its ruling houses of splendor, so the Balfour Declaration lighted the star of David in Palestine. The Bolshevik Revolution guaranteed the continued consumption of Gentile power.

World War 11 ended with the atomic holocaust, leaving the world frightened as it looked on the awesome powers poised to destroy the human race. The second war brought the world into an inescapable whirlpool drawing them to Armageddon. The only good that came of the World War 11 debacle was the subsequent partition of the land of Palestine and the birth of Israel in 1948. For the rest of the world the loss was staggering and ended forever the dream of returning to the status quo. The consuming process will continue upon the Gentile powers. The nation of Israel can only ascend in influence. In Jeremiah 30:11 the Lord's intentions concerning Israel are declared as well as his intentions concerning those nations wherein His people have been dispersed: "For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have scattered thee, but I will not make a full end Of thee; for I will correct thee in measure, and will not utterly destroy thee."

The Balfour Declaration and the Bolshevik seizure of power, dis-similar though they were, have special lessons for world Jewry today. Joel Carmichael, in an article in the Jerusalem Post, Nov. 2, 1967, said:

"In terms of human material the kinship between the Russian revolutionaries and the Zionist activists was striking . . . The relationship between movements, was, indeed, a sort of intellectual rivalry. This was heightened all the more because of the great preponderance of Jews in the Russian revolutionary movement, at least before 1905. Restless Jewish youths, infected by enlightenment and wide open to all the ideas of world reform currently corroding traditional society, very naturally tended to slip into the Russian movement. Since traditional Jewish society was also being attacked by the new ideas, any Jew abandoning traditional Jewish values without becoming assimilated had a very natural set of alternatives—socialism, or the new Jewish nationalism called Zionism.... The tug of war between cosmopolitan socialism— which gradually came to be predominantly Marxism—and Zionism for the souls of Jewish youth was thus a very natural, as it were organic, development. It was also a tug of war in which the major forces appeared to be on the side of the socialists, or more particularly the Marxists.... Yet it was intellectually often difficult for Zionist debaters to withstand the sweeping claims made by socialists and especially by Marxists. The Marxists, who after all took all human society and all human history as their arena, naturally tended to look down on Zionists. ... it required great character and devotion for early Zionists, the debates that raged between the two movements for so many decades, to insist on the really quite simple-minded proposition that they chose to remain Jews.... Zionism in its essence really did no more than proclaim the fact of Jewish identity, the significance of Jewish continuity, and the determination to restore that identity and continuity in a certain way in a certain place. One can easily visualize the painful condescension the early Zionists had to put up with from their Marxist adversaries...."

He goes on to observe the contrast in results: Marxism, on the other hand, which in its prostate days did have valuable things to say, has been simplified, institutionalized and dogmatized, i.e., made compulsory. It has been, in fact magicalized, and its magic has been made an accessory of sanctified authority....

"It is probably Zionism and its offspring, the State of Israel, that now provide ... the sole rallying-point for the whole of the Communist world, now divided on so many other issues. It must be deeply embittering for the many Jews living in Israel to be forced to contemplate the perversion of all the ideals of the Russian Revolution, forced to witness not merely the anti-Israel political tactics of the Soviet Government but the recrudescence of vulgar anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union itself. It may be a consolation for them to reflect that many of the ideals of the Russian revolutionary movement, what may in fact be called its human core, have been transplanted to the soil of Israel."

The Jewish people have always been amenable to ideals, high ideals, but all too often they have been trying to give themselves to the world, thinking it too parochial to give themselves to Zionism and its embodi-ment—the State of Israel. They overlook the fact that the more they have tried to give themselves to the world the less they have endeared themselves with the world and, in the end, the more they have contrib-uted to the suffering of their kinsmen.

Their heritage is a parochial one. Abraham, their father, was the heir of a parochial promise—"in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." The end result would embrace all men, the promise was parochial only in designating the seed.

Abraham forsook Ur of the Chaldees for the parochial promise of God. Moses forsook the world embodied in Egypt and chose to identify with the descendants of Abraham. These did not give themselves to the world, but through God's providence, they gave the world some of its great treasures. In like manner, all who are of the line of Abraham, marked with the pen of Moses, need not give themselves to the world— but the world shall seek them. "Ten men shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew saying: we will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."—Zech. 8:23

While the day has not yet come when the world seeks Israel, neither has the day come when Israel's people seek the Lord with all their heart. But, the day of God's favor has already dawned upon this nation. The fulfillment of prophecy is unfolding before our eyes—moving progres-sively toward the fulfillment of God's promise to bless all the families of earth.

"Thou wilt arise, and have compassion upon Zion; for it is time to be gracious unto her, for the appointed time is come." (Psa. 102:14) There is a visible scale of observation in our time on which we may begin to measure the fulfillment of prophecy.

(I) The Ingathering of the Exiles. Isaiah 43:5, 6 is one of many prophecies that foretells the regathering of the Jewish people to the promised land. It reads: "Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north: Give up, and to the south: Keep not back, bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the end of the earth." The Jewish people have been gathered from the four corners of the earth. Nearly 3 millions are assembled in the land of their fathers, coming from 75 different countries. Still the work continues. For God said: "As the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the countries whither He had driven them; and I will bring them back into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks."—Jer. 16:15, 16.

The Zionist movement compares to the fishing method of gathering. The Zionist activities provided the land with a vital nucleus of people that enabled it to become the new state of Israel. The "many hunters" would be those persecuting forces that led the Jews to face the necessity of return to Palestine. The early persecutions of the Jews in Russia and Europe served to turn many faces toward the homeland. The early Nazi persecution forced a considerable number of educated and talented Jews to Palestine. These brought the necessary technology and human re-sources to prosper Israel. In that the fishing and hunting referred to by Jeremiah was with the view to bringing the children of Israel home, did the later Nazi persecution also fit this purpose? It was more than persecution. It was a diabolical attempt to destroy the "seed of Abra-ham" and to make void the promise of God. Even the Nazi attempt to drive eastward in Africa to take the Holy Land indicates that a superhuman attempt was being made to frustrate the Divine Plan. It is clear the Nazi's plan was to annihilate the whole race of Jews, not after they conquered the world, but while they were engaged in doing so. Even when they knew the war was lost, they kept the incinerators going until the last moment of defeat. The failure of the Christian churches to protest and their willingness to cooperate with the Nazi insanity has raised many eyebrows. How could Christian nations look the other way while the slaughter went on? The scripture still has not lost its meaning: "I will bless them that bless you and I will curse them that curse you." (Gen. 12:3) God is a God of judgment. (I Sam. 2:3) This is one truth the modern generation will not own. The time of reckoning is here.

(2) The Reclamation of the Land. Amos 9:14 describes the work of the regathered people in their land—"they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them: and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them."

In 1905 the Prime Minister of the Netherlands observed, "The Jews have come in vain. Only God can check the blight of the inrushing desert." A miracle has happened. Miles of malaria-infested "no-man's land" have been drained; deserts have been irrigated and the land is being transformed into an Eden of citrus-bearing trees. The barren hillsides and the dried-up desert wastes are taking on new life, returning to the fertility of old. The work goes steadily on.

The land reclamation is an observable feature as the beginning of the fulfillment of prophecy, a small beginning, but one that shall grow and "fill the whole earth."

We bypass the opportunity to mention the many and varied accom-plishments in Israel because of lack of space. But since the 1967 war an especially interesting beginning of fulfillment focuses on Isaiah 35:1, 2. The prophet here said that the "Arava will rejoice and blossom as the rose." The "Arava" is not "wilderness" in general, but that specific desert valley that lies between the Dead Sea and Eilat. Drilling in the Arava has brought in artesian wells flowing with sufficient quantities of good water to irrigate large fields. Through the season vegetables now grown in the Arava are flown regularly to Europe, and the quantity is expected to increase so much that vegetables shall be shipped by refrigerated ships, while the strawberries and roses will be Gown out as exports. Truly, the Arava is blossoming as the rose, as prophecy marks its beginning of fulfillment.

(3) "And Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem" (Zech. 12:6). Up until the victory of 1967 the Jerusalem that belonged to Israel was the new part of the city. True to this prophecy, the Lord did not intend to divide the city of Jerusalem, but his intention was that Jerusalem would again be in its own "place, even in Jerusalem." Here is an almost incredible fulfillment.

The context of Zechariah's prophecy indicates the role Jerusalem shall play as the nations "burden" themselves with the Holy City. The Lord says, "I will make Jerusalem a stone of burden for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it." (Zech. 12:3) That Jerusalem should come into the hands of the Israeli has been an embarrassment even to those sympathetic with the cause of Israel. The nations are burdened with this problem. Instead of accepting this matter as the Lord's doing the nations are intent upon getting involved. Yet Jerusalem's destiny is certain. Though the nations gather against it, they only stand to be wounded in the process. They cannot remove Jerusalem from its rightful owners nor the owners from their rightful possession. Powerful kings and popes have long coveted the Holy City, sending Crusades one after another to take the city. They always failed. These world leaders were prepared to make enormous sacrifices to get this city. If they could have fulfilled their purpose they would have made its streets of gold and its gates of pearl. If they could have possessed this city, how it would have strengthened their claims to be the Kingdom of God. However, with all the power and wealth these world leaders were mocked in all their claims to be the Kingdom of God. Why? Because who does not know that when God's kingdom is established, "Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:2, 3) The kingdom of God will be Israelitish. Jerusalem will be its seat of government.

(4) Return of People to God. The turning of the hearts of the Jewish people to their God is somewhat lacking. Oh, yes, there are many who believe in God, but who have not the faith of Abraham who believed God. Religious Zionism was not the main incentive for the great regathering. Political Zionism, practical Zionism and persecution provided the main motivations for the present exodus. But this is in itself a (fulfillment of prophecy. Political and practical Zionism will yet develop religious roots. Ezekiel 20:32-37, specially directed toward the assimilationist Jew, reads: "that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all; in that ye say: we will be as the nations, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone. As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand . . . and with fury poured out, . . . will I . . . gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, . . . and there will I plead with you face to face.... And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant." The Lord says he would "plead" with the people during the regathering—it is a "face to face" encounter, indicating the Lord's face is upon them. The purpose is to reach the heart of his people. The work of cleansing shall however be accomplished after the regathering into the land.

In Ezekiel 36:24-28 God says: "I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; . . . A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep Mine ordinances, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God." Such being the case, we need not look askance at those returning to the Holy Land in an unclean state of heart. It is after the regathering that the Lord has promised to "sprinkle clean water upon" them.

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