Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Joel's Right-on Prophecies of the Ingathering of Exiles-Jews' Return to Israel

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                     

Lately it's been an interesting search to find what prophets had to say about the present happenings to Israel..  I found that in Joel 3:2-4:21,  were some amazing statements.
For in those days and at that time, when I will bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all of the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat and I will contend with them there concerning My people and My possession, Israel, ...Israel, that they dispersed among the nations, and they divided up My land.  (After the Assyrians attack in 721 BCE and took 10 of the 12 tribes as slaves,  as well as the Babylonians in 597-586 BCE, we come to 70 CE when Rome attacked and did just this.)  They cast lots among My people; they gave boys for harlot's fee, and they sold girls for wine and drank it. The implication here is that Israel has done you no harm, so you cannot claim that you are repaying them or G-d for past wrongs. ...and you have sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem to the children of the Greeks in order to distance them from their border.  (The Jewish people were sold into slavery by the Romans who went so far as to change the name of Judah to Palaestina in order to erase the memory of the  Jewish presence of the land).  We can see that history repeated itself with the Jews.  We can't forget that the children of Jacob went into Egypt only to become slaves and emerged 400 years later with Moses at the beginning of their history from c 1671 to 1271 BCE when Moses died.

Finding the exiles:  I (G-d) will rouse them from the place to which you sold them, and I will return your requital upon your head.  I will sell your sons and daughters into the hands of the children of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabaeans, to a distant people.  Announce this among the nations;  prepare for war;  arouse the mighty men; let all the men of war approach and ascend.  Beat your plows into swords and your pruning forks into spears;  even the weak one will say, "I am mighty."  Let all the surrounding nations hurry and come and let them gather together;  there G-d will demolish your warriors.  Let the nations rouse themselves and go up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will  sit to judge all the nations from all around.  (This has been happening with the wars of 1948-1956-1967-1973-1982, and the present against Israel.  It's been the many nations against the one; Israel)  

My holy mountain:  Jerusalem will be holy, and aliens will no longer pass through her. ...Egypt will become a desolation and Edom will become a desolate wilderness;  because of the robbery of the children of Judah, for they shed innocent blood in their land.  Judah will exist forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.  Though I cleanse, their bloodshed I will not cleanse, when G-d lives in Zion (Jerusalem.)  this is understood to mean that though G-d will cleanse the nations by forgiving many of their sins, he will not forgive them for the bloodshed they perpetrated against Israel.  When "G-d lives in Zion, at the End of Days,  they will be punished.  

  Edom, or Idumea, was a country in SE Land of Israel, also called Mount Seir.  It was a mountainous land and easily fortified and had fertile land.  It lay south of the Dead Sea and bordered on the Red Sea at Elath and Ezion Geber.  The Edomites were of Semitic origin, traditionally descendants of Esau, and lived by hunting.  They had fought against King Saul and were defeated by King David.  

Joel lived possibly as early as the 9th century BCE, and more probably as late as the 4th century BCE.  He wrote of when G-d will restore his people from captivity and punish their enemies in the Plain of Jehoshaphat.  This was the place where G-d will gather all nations and plead with them for His people Israel.  From the 4th century, this was identified with the central part of the Kidron Valley, which contained the "Cave of Jehoshaphat" wrongly believed to be situated in the tomb-cave near "Absalom's Tomb". The Kidron Valley separated the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem.  It's importance has always been in defending the city from the north and east.  Jerusalem's only spring, the Gihon, rises in the west flank of the Kidron Valley.  in 2nd Temple times, the Kidron was crossed by one or maybe, two bridges.  The necropolis of ancient Jerusalem was cut in its lower flanks where Absalom's Tomb is. It goes across the Wilderness of Judah and its steep borders housed many hermits' caves and monasteries, the most famous being that of Mar Saba.    The Last Judgment was consequently located there by both Christian and Moslem tradition.

Jehoshaphat was a king of Judah, son of Asa who ruled from 874-850 BCE.  He was the first king of Judah to make a treaty with the kingdom of Israel.  He strengthened the ties by marrying his son, Jehoram to Athaliah, daughter of Ahab of Israel.  He fought unsuccessfully with Ahab against Aram and, with Ahab's son, Jehoram against Mesha of Moab.  He tried to revive sea commerce, but his boats were wrecked at Ezion-Beber.  He is praised for his piety.

There are those who disclaim our Jewish history in the area.  Little do they know.  Ask Joel about that!

The New standard Jewish encyclopedia
Tanakh, the Stone Edition

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