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End Times Berean Watchman Report - Fulfilled Prophecies Regarding Israel - Part 4

End Times Berean Watchman Report
End Times Berean Watchman Report - Fulfilled Prophecies Regarding Israel - Part 4
By Dr. Christian Widener • Issue #25 • View online
April 15th, 2022
Happy Passover and Good Friday! Today we remember the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I think the crucifixion itself would have actually been on a Thursday afternoon before the eve of the Friday Passover that started Thursday night, but I still recognize Good Friday as our traditional day of celebration.
In keeping with that theme, we’ll look at the news in Israel, and continue with Part 4 of Fulfilled Prophecies Regarding Israel.

Fulfilled Prophecies Regarding Israel - Part 4
THE DIVISION AND RESTORATION OF JERUSALEM
In 1948, on the day Israel declared its independence, they were invaded by Egypt from the South, Jordan on the East, and both Syria and Lebanon in the North. This began Israel’s War of Independence (or the 1948 Arab Israeli War). When Israel’s neighbors invaded her, their stated intention was to put an immediate end to the newly declared Jewish state. Although the Israelis had no standing army and were greatly outnumbered, they were victorious against all odds. 
Against All Odds - Israel Survives
Against All Odds - Israel Survives
However, arguably the fiercest battle in the war was fought with Jordan over Jerusalem. At the end of it, the armistice line divided the city in half between the Old City and the New City. When the Jewish Quarter in the Old City fell, many were killed, others were taken into Jordanian captivity, and the rest were deported to the New City. Their homes were pillaged and set ablaze, and the synagogues were destroyed. And as one might expect, some of the women taken captive were also ravaged. When peace was finally made under the 1949 Armistice Agreement, Jerusalem was divided in half for the first time in its four-thousand-year history. 
For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. – Zechariah 14:2 NASB
The modern fulfillment of this prophecy is often overlooked. This verse clearly speaks of dividing Jerusalem in half prior to the return of Jesus Christ to the earth in power and glory. Many view this as a yet-future event, but the events described in verse 2 literally happened in 1948–49! The devastation of that time can be seen in this photo taken near the Tower of David after the armistice. Thus, we can compare historical events directly with the biblical account. And when we do, it’s very difficult to ignore the precision of the prediction. The fact that events that match Zechariah’s description have already occurred in recent history should not escape our attention. 
Ammunition Hill Museum Exhibits, Jerusalem, circa 1948-50.
Ammunition Hill Museum Exhibits, Jerusalem, circa 1948-50.
Furthermore, verse 3 accurately describes the military victories that Israel has had since that time. The miraculous victories Israel has experienced make a very strong argument that God has truly been fighting for them. This has been evidenced by Israel’s survival in the War of Independence and in all its wars since that time. Most remarkably, Israel unequivocally won both the Six-Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, where the odds were certainly not in their favor.
Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. – Zechariah 14:3 NASB
Therefore, we should consider that these events may have already been fulfilled in modern history and that we are now living in the days between verses 3 and 4. In verses 4 and 5 we see a picture of Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives that is split in two, so we know that those events are obviously still to come.
In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! – Zechariah 14:4–5 NASB
The phrase “in that day,” at the start of verse 4, can sound as though it is talking about the very same day as verses 2 and 3; however, the reference could easily apply to only the final battle of a series of wars, which are the subject of verse 3. In other words, if we understand that verse 3 is a long series of battles, where God delivers Israel victoriously from every one of them, then the events of verse 2 (Jerusalem being divided) don’t have to happen at the same time as verses 4 and 5. In fact, I doubt that even the future events described in the last two verses will happen at the same time (Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives, Jews fleeing into the wilderness, and Jesus returning with his holy ones to defeat the Antichrist). When you analyze it closely, there are too many disparate details to imagine that everything could happen in such rapid succession. Therefore, it is best understood as a picture of the last days, not a statement that everything will take place in twenty-four hours. Since the city really was divided in half, for the first time in Jerusalem’s four-thousand-year history, I think it is reasonable to conclude that 1948–49 already saw the fulfillment of that portion of the prophecy, and we can confidently affirm that verse 2 has been fulfilled and that verse 3 is still in progress.
ISRAEL’S NEIGHBORS AGAINST HER
Israel’s neighbors have a long history of being at odds with her; but who would have thought that 2,500 years later, the situation would be unchanged? For most of Israel’s history, the nations that have surrounded Israel have generally been her outright enemies. For short periods of time, there have periodically been peaceful relations with some of the nations; but down through the ages in the Middle East, there have perpetually been wars between Jews and Arabs. The prophet Jeremiah gave an exhaustive list of Israel’s enemies, prophesying that in the last days God was going to make the surrounding nations drink the cup of his wrath. We know from ancient history that this list includes virtually every ancient nation that surrounded Israel in the sixth century BC when Jeremiah was prophesying. But Jeremiah also says the kings of “the coastlands across the sea” will be there, the kings of the north “near and far,” and indeed “all the kingdoms on the face of the earth.”
So I took the cup from the LORD’s hand and made all the nations to whom he sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruin and an object of horror and scorn and cursing, as they are today; Pharaoh king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials and all his people, and all the foreign people there; all the kings of Uz; all the kings of the Philistines (those of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod); Edom, Moab and Ammon; all the kings of Tyre and Sidon; the kings of the coastlands across the sea; Dedan, Tema, Buz and all who are in distant places ; all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign people who live in the desert; all the kings of Zimri, Elam and Media; and all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other—all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshach will drink it too. Then tell them, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword I will send among you.’ But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, tell them, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: You must drink it! See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name, and will you indeed go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword upon all who live on the earth, declares the LORD Almighty.’”  – Jeremiah 25:17-29 NIV (emphasis added)
The rebirth of Israel as a nation immediately reignited that saga, and it has been an issue ever since. Just looking at the nations in the Arab League, there are a total of sixteen Arab league members that have refused to normalize ties with Israel or even acknowledge its existence. It is expected that more Arab nations will make peace with Israel and join the Abraham Accords, but it is unlikely that they all will. Furthermore, nations Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have similarly refused to recognize Israel and are not showing any signs that they will be ready to make a peace deal with Israel anytime soon, either. There are, however, some countries that have thankfully made peace with Israel. The first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel was Egypt in 1973. This was followed by Jordan in 1994. Both nations were bitter enemies prior to the treaties and had both participated in unprovoked attacks against Israel. Then remarkably, beginning in 2020, more nations began making peace with Israel under the Abraham Accords. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were the first to move forward, followed by Morocco and Sudan. And while that was an amazing step toward a new era of peace in the Middle East, the decades that followed the creation of Israel simply proved that nothing much had changed in the Middle East between Jews and Arabs—except for the nation names and the technologies available. 
Then, when we look beyond the surrounding nations, we also see that most of the world has turned against Israel. From the United Nations (UN), there have been consistently more resolutions condemning Israel than any other country in the world, three times more in 2020.
Israel most condemned by UN in 2020 – three times other nations | United Nations News | Al Jazeera
 And although they are clearly one-sided against Israel, they are generally approved by about 80 percent of the 193 member nations (member states, as they are called by the UN) when they go up for vote. After two thousand years, Jeremiah’s prophecy was not only correct about Israel’s neighbors, but also about how the nations of the world would react to her. The United States has consistently been the only country standing in the way to veto these corrupt resolutions, and I think America has been blessed for it (Genesis 12:3).
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. – Genesis 12:3 NIV
ATTACKS FROM GAZA AND LEBANON 
There is another prophecy that I believe foresaw the attacks on Israel in modern times from Gaza and Lebanon. Again, it’s the ancient names that are used, but the events in our present day are following the scenario described by Joel.
Why are you doing these things to me, Tyre and Sidon? Are you trying to get even with me, land of Philistia? If you are, I will very quickly repay you for what you have done! For you took my silver and my gold and brought my precious valuables to your own palaces. You sold Judeans and Jerusalemites to the Greeks, removing them far from their own country. Look! I am rousing them from that place to which you sold them. I will repay you for what you have done! I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah. They will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away. Indeed, the Lord has spoken. – Joel 3:4-8 NET 
Map of Israel Showing Philistia, Tyre & Sidon, and the Sabeans
Map of Israel Showing Philistia, Tyre & Sidon, and the Sabeans
At first glance, this prophecy may not seem related to today, but a quick look at a map (above) can shed some light on what is being described. Tyre and Sidon are in modern-day Lebanon, from where Hezbollah has been attacking Israel. Philistia was the area that the Gaza Strip mostly occupies today, from where Hamas has been attacking Israel. Furthermore, the Sabeans were from Arabia, which could then be understood to mean that Arabs would take over the areas of Gaza and Lebanon and use them as bases for attacking Israel. Although Hamas and Hezbollah have continued their periodic assaults on the state of Israel for decades, they have been repelled and subdued time after time. Each time, the destruction they planned is turned back “on their own heads,” as Joel declared. In many cases, rockets they have fired have even fallen back into their own territory. When you consider how closely this 2800-year-old prophecy matches the present situation, it sure looks like a fulfilled prophecy. 
Failed Hamas Rockets Falling Short in Gaza Killed 17 Civilians in Monday Incidents Before IDF Airstrikes, Says Security Official | Jewish & Israel News Algemeiner.com
ATTACKS FROM JORDAN
Did the Bible also foretell the modern-day attacks of Jordan on the country of Israel? I believe it did. Obadiah wrote a prophecy concerning Edom, an ancient kingdom that was mostly contained within the area of present-day Jordan. I think it proved to be amazingly accurate at predicting the Jordanian invasion of Israel in 1948 and their continued conflicts with Israel through 1967, and even beyond—to the present day under a cold peace. 
Israel's Cold Peace With Jordan | Sheldon Kirshner | The Blogs
Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever. On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them. You should not gloat over your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble.
You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor gloat over them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster. You should not wait at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives, nor hand over their survivors in the day of their trouble. 
The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.
Just as you drank on my holy hill, so all the nations will drink continually; they will drink and drink and be as if they had never been.  – Obadiah 1:10-16
While some may feel that the above passage is as clear as mud, there are several key statements that I think connect this passage with modern events. It describes the people of Edom: 1) doing violence against their brother Jacob, 2) conspiring with other nations to attack Israel, 3) gloating over Israel’s misfortune, 4) marching through their gates [Jerusalem], 5) ambushing the Israelites on the roadways, and 6) drinking on [occupying] God’s holy hill. 
To better understand how this passage reflects modern events, it is helpful to review the history of the conflict between Jordan and Israel from 1948 to 1967, and their relationship post-1967. First, Jordan played a key role in the first Invasion of Israel in 1948. They were joined by Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, along with volunteers from another three Arab nations. Following that war, Jordan remained an enemy of Israel from 1948 to 1967. They have also controlled God’s “holy hill” (the Temple Mount) since 1948, with only a short interruption of about ten days following the Six-Day War. 
The Astonishing Israeli Concession of 1967 - The Atlantic
Not only that, but while Jordan and Israel have had a peace treaty between them since 1994, it has remained for most of the time a cold peace. Jordan remains critical of Israel on almost all issues related to the Temple Mount and their politics regarding the Palestinians. The thrust of God’s message to Edom is that he is not pleased with what they have done to his people Israel. I think Obadiah’s words remain a potent warning to the Kingdom of Jordan today. God has again promised to return the evil deeds of Israel’s enemies back onto their own heads. 
But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and Jacob will possess his inheritance. – Obadiah 1:17
And interestingly, the next line of the prophecy (Obadiah 1:17) could also be read to mean that Israel would get back the Temple Mount, because it says that Mount Zion would be delivered and made holy, and “Jacob will possess his inheritance.” Perhaps, this too, came to pass (at least in part) on June 7, 1967, when Israel retook East Jerusalem, the Old City, and the Temple Mount. After about nineteen years, East and West Jerusalem were reunited. Jacob once again possessed his inheritance. Arguably though, this verse still partially looks forward to a future time, since Mount Zion (presumably God’s holy hill and the Temple Mount) has not yet been made holy and is still under the control of the Muslim Waqf; but we know that someday it will be. We also read that the lands of Moab and Ammon will be together in the last days. Both of those ancient lands are contained within present-day Jordan. Zephaniah prophesied that they would be hurling insults at the people of Israel, and that as a result their land would be made a wasteland. Jordan has remained in a general state of peace with Israel since 1967, and diplomatically since 1994, but they haven’t ceased their rhetoric against Israel, or their condemnations of her actions at every opportunity. 
“I have heard the insults of Moab and the taunts of the Ammonites, who insulted my people and made threats against their land. Therefore, as surely as I live,” declares the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, “surely Moab will become like Sodom, the Ammonites like Gomorrah—a place of weeds and salt pits, a wasteland forever. The remnant of my people will plunder them; the survivors of my nation will inherit their land.”
This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. The Lord will be awesome to them when he destroys all the gods of the earth. Distant nations will bow down to him, all of them in their own lands. – Zephaniah 2:8-11 NIV
ATTACKS FROM EGYPT
Joel also prophesied that Egypt would be attacking Israel again in the last days. And Egypt’s participation with Jordan is also implied in the prophecy because they are listed together. Also in the prophecy, we are told that their punishment will be observed in the days when “a spring will issue from the Lord’s house.” This means that the attacks from both Egypt and Jordan had happened before this time, which we know refers to the millennium. Thus, we understand that these judgments against Egypt and Jordan will be for sins against God and Israel that were committed in the days of tribulation or earlier.
In that day the mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with milk. All the streams of Judah will flow with water, and a spring will issue from the Lord’s house, watering the Valley of Acacias. Egypt will become desolate, and Edom a desert wasteland, because of the violence done to the people of Judah in whose land they shed innocent blood. But Judah will be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. I will pardon their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, for the Lord dwells in Zion. – Joel 3:18-21 HCSB
ATTACKS FROM SYRIA
We also read about attacks from Damascus (Syria) in the last days. Amos prophesied that they would thresh Gilead “with sledges having iron teeth.” On Yom Kippur in 1973, Syria invaded the Golan Heights. They brought a force of 1,400 tanks and 1,000 artillery pieces. When you consider Amos’ description, it’s not hard to see the potential similarities with a Syrian T62 tank (photo below). In ancient times, the areas of their invasion into Israel through the Golan Heights would have included Bashan on the north side and Gilead on the southern end.
This is what the Lord says: “For three sins of Damascus, even for four, I will not relent. Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth, I will send fire on the house of Hazael that will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad. I will break down the gate of Damascus; I will destroy the king who is in the Valley of Aven and the one who holds the scepter in Beth Eden. The people of Aram will go into exile to Kir,” says the Lord. – Amos 1:3-5 NIV
A Syrian T62 Tank from the 1973 Golan Heights invasion.
A Syrian T62 Tank from the 1973 Golan Heights invasion.
Valley of Tears: The Yom Kippur War
Syria has been hard pressed and a weakened nation since their defeat by Israel—even more so following the Syrian Civil War in 2011. Over six million Syrians fled their country as refugees and another nearly seven million were displaced within Syria. According to some sources, by 2021 there were over thirteen million Syrians in dire need of humanitarian aid. President Bashar al-Assad has also had difficulties maintaining full control over his nation, and while in 2021 he began showing signs that he may be able to reassert control over his country, his rule is still in jeopardy. Much larger players (like Russia, Iran, and Turkey) are all vying for some measure of control over Syria; so in its present state, the threat that the scepter could soon pass from the Assad dynasty remains real. This means that while we have certainly seen the fulfillment of most of this passage, there may yet remain some judgments to come.
Syria's Bashar al-Assad Returns to World Stage in Defeat for US, Win for its Foes
JERUSALEM, A CUP OF TREMBLING
Zechariah also prophesied that Jerusalem would be the center of attention (in a bad way) in the last days and gives a strong warning to anyone who would go against God’s people or his city Jerusalem. Who would believe that over 2500 years after those words were written, in this modern technological world of eight billion people, that Jerusalem would still be the city that the whole world was watching? I mean seriously! Is that something likely to be predicted without divine revelation?
I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. – Zechariah 12:2-3 NIV
Some might associate this verse with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, but one major detail doesn’t fit. God says, “I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations.” Because it was not “immovable” when the Roman armies besieged it, this must be about the last days. And if this verse is about the protection of Jerusalem in the last days, then it should make you wonder, “Will the Antichrist ever be able to truly conquer Jerusalem, even in the tribulation?” [I don’t have an answer for that one, it’s just a question to think about.] It is often assumed that it will be, but there are verses about judgment and salvation for Israel and Jerusalem throughout the Scriptures. Understanding the full meaning and timing of every one of them before they happen is not something we can know with certainty—but at least we know what to watch for.
Israel in the News...
The only sacrifice that the Jews are allowed in the Torah (first five books of the law written by Moses) to make without full ritual purity is the Passover sacrifice. Full ritual purity requires the ashes of the red heifer, which is actively being sought and prepared for as well. But, interestingly, that sacrifice should be offered across the Kidron Valley on the Mount of Olives, but all other sacrifices must be performed on the Temple Mount, because after Solomon built the temple there, it became God’s designated place for sacrifices to be offered. Well, the Jews have not given up on the idea of renewing the sacrificial service, as evidenced by an offered a reward of 10,000 shekels to any Jew who succeeded in offering a pascal lamb on the Temple Mount. No one did, but some were arrested for trying, or even planning to try.
Activists seek to offer Passover sacrifice at Temple Mount | Israel National News - Arutz Sheva
And even though nothing happened, the Palestinians used it as an excuse to start a riot on the Temple Mount early Friday morning. The action of the police to stop the riot and arrest the instigators was then called oppression by the Arab Israelis and has caused some of the Arab MKs to threaten to leave the present Israeli government. I think that might actually be a good thing, because it would either throw Israel back to elections, or create the opportunity for a conservative coalition for reform around Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu.
Temple Mount tensions: Hundreds arrested, Palestinian orgs. threaten - The Jerusalem Post
United Arab List threatens to topple government over Temple Mount | Israel National News - Arutz Sheva
And while it appears that the peace was eventually restored for Friday afternoon prayers, I’ll be surprised if the calm lasts for the rest of Ramadan.
Afternoon Ramadan prayers end peacefully at Al-Aqsa following morning melee | The Times of Israel
And while all that is going on, we still have the problem of Iran’s nuclear ambitions to deal with. Some think that the window to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program again may have already closed, but I doubt that. I can’t see Iran successfully pulling off a nuclear attack on the State of Israel, so I’m guessing that Israel will still somehow find a way to frustrate their plans, or God will intervene supernaturally on their behalf.
Lastly, Russia’s state-run media has begun declaring that World War III has begun with NATO. That could still be just talk, but I don’t think so. Especially since Russia also issued an official warning to Finland and Sweden to stay out of NATO.
'World War III has begun', says Kremlin state media after sinking of Russian warship Moskva
Russia makes nuclear threat to Sweden, Finland over NATO consideration | Fox News
Witnessing the End
I thought I was going to have my book uploaded and ready for pre-order today for hardback and paperback versions, but I ran into some snags on the typesetting formatting for Amazon, so I’ll be hopefully finishing up reformatting the book this weekend or early next week. The planned release date is still June 5th.
Until Next Week...
Thanks for checking in another week of the End Times Berean Watchman Report!
Blessings,
Christian
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Dr. Christian Widener

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