Israel goes into Captivity
A. Prophecies regarding
God had laid down the choice to these people in the days of Moses, long before they were divided into two nations. Notice it in Leviticus 26:
“Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image … to bow down unto it: for I am the Eternal your God. Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Eternal” (verses 1-2).
[God had made a COVENANT with the Israelites involving the Sabbath (Exodus 31:12-17). The Sabbath was a SIGN by which the True GOD would be identified and one by which they were to be identified as HIS PEOPLE.]
Leviticus 26:1 ‘You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 26:2 You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the LORD.
In offering the following promises for obedience, or punishments for rebellion, in this key prophecy, only the TWO Commandments were mentioned — those against idolatry and Sabbath breaking.
Leviticus 26:3 ‘If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them,
“IF you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them …” God promised abundant production and wealth, national peace, and national dominance that would have led to world dominance (verses 3-13).
But, said God (verses 14-33), if they refused to obey those Commandments,
They would suffer sickness and disease, lose all prosperity for considerable amount of time, be invaded, conquered, and driven from their land as slaves to their enemies’ lands.
God does what He says he is going to do whether blessing or cursing.
B. Fulfillment and Causes for punishment
2 Kings 17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
The Why and How:
2 Kings 17:7 For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and they had feared other gods, [not the true God; this was a false or fake god]
2 Kings 17:8 and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. [The Israelites had not only been told what was wrong and what would happen –by God, but they actual got to see it first hand as well]
2 Kings 17:9 Also the children of Israel secretly did against the LORD their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places [we see the significance of this in a second] in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city.
2 Kings 17:10 They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree.
2 Kngs 17:11 There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the LORD had carried away before them; [this is the cause and effect; this is what eventually happens to nations and peoples that act this way; Israel knew better] and they did wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger,
2 Kings 17:12 for they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”
2 Kings 17:13 Yet the LORD testified against [both] Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.”
2 Kings 17:14 Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks [stubborn, obstinate, unwilling to be led; from stiffnecked animal like an oxen], like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God. [Long history of neck stiffening, this will continue into the future]
2 Kings 17:15 And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them that they should not do like them.
2 Kings 17:16 So they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
2 Kings 17:17 And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.
Now because of all of this notice what God did:
2 Kings 17:18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone.
God says here is what I want you to do and here is what I do not want you to do; here is what is right and wrong;
Do right and don’t do wrong;
If you do wrong this is what is going to happen;
Because you did what was wrong, you are going into captivity
2 Kings 17:22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam [After the division into TWO NATIONS — when the Kingdom of Israel made Jeroboam their king, the first thing this king did was introduce idolatry and changing of God’s days of worship…ones that as the Bible puts it that he devised “in his own heart”] which he did; they did not depart from them,
2 Kings 17:23 until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.
Israel went into captivity at the hands of the Assyrians in 721-718BC
C. After Captivity
Assyria was conquered by Babylon and fled to modern day Germany. The lost 10 tribes went further NW into the surrounding European countries.
Christ spoke of the “LOST sheep (tribes) of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6) 750 yrs later
Still existed, not completely assimilated so as to be lost forever
In James 1:1 James referred to all of Israel and Judah as “the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad”
The exiled Israelites did not return to the promised land because of their sins and the prophecies of Leviticus 26.
Leviticus 26:18 ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
Beginning with the Assyrian captivity God would withhold the birthright blessings for seven times or seven years (used interchangeably)
God’s blessing would be withheld for seven times 360 days, but since this is a prophecy and we have the principle of a day for a year as outlined in Ezekiel 4:4-6,
The blessing would be withheld for seven times 360 years, or 2,520 years.
The 2,520 years after the Assyrian captivity of the house of Israel began, which brings us to the beginning of the 1800’s. This is the time that Great Britain, and then the United States, became world powers with the Louisiana purchase and the Great Britain’s amassing of wealth and power.
Side point: For those who think that the Old Testament is irrelevant…tell that to the Israelites who were chastised for 2,520 years which put this pronouncement 1,800 years into New Testament times. If the Old Testament was done away with and everything is “nailed to the cross” all of its laws and commands….
Judah’s Captivity in Babylon
The ancient house of Israel went into captivity in 721–718 BC and it wasn’t for about another 120 years later (604-585 BC) by the hand of the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar that the house of Judah went into captivity for the same reasons that the northern tribes were deported; i.e., because of their persistent practice of disobedience to God.
A. Jeremiah even Prophesied it [c. 627-626 BC]
Jeremiah 17:21 ‘Thus says the LORD: “Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;
Jeremiah 17:22 “nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.
Jeremiah 17:23 “But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction.
Jeremiah 17:24 “And it shall be, if you heed Me carefully,” says the LORD, “to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it,
Jeremiah 17:27 “But if you will not heed Me to hallow the Sabbath day, such as not carrying a burden when entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.”‘ ” [a prophecy that is mentioned several times in the book of Isaiah]
Indictment against them for breaking “just” one command
B. We see the Fulfillment in:
2 Kings 25:1 Now it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and encamped against it; and they built a siege wall against it all around.
2 Kings 25:2 So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.
2 Kings 25:3 By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine had become so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land.
2 Kings 25:4 Then the city wall was broken through, and all the men of war fled at night by way of the gate between two walls, which was by the king’s garden, even though the Chaldeans were still encamped all around against the city. And the king went by way of the plain.
2 Kings 25:5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king, and they overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his army was scattered from him.
2 Kings 25:6 So they took the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they pronounced judgment on him.
2 Kings 25:7 Then they killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, put out the eyes of Zedekiah, bound him with bronze fetters, and took him to Babylon. [His last sighted memory; what a horrible thing this was…this is the fruit of war and captivity; and keep in mind that this is happening to God’s chosen people]
2 Kings 25:8 And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month (which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.
2 Kings 25:9 He burned the house of the LORD and the king’s house; all the houses of Jerusalem, that is, all the houses of the great [men], he burned with fire.
2 Kings 25:10 And all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down the walls of Jerusalem all around.
Just as Jeremiah had prophesied. Prophecy is a sure thing. Then and now!
C. Another Prophecy about the length of the captivity:
Jeremiah 29:10 For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.
The length of captivity was defined.
Many of the House of Judah returned to the Holy Land to rebuild the temple, and restore the worship there.
D. After Captivity
It was there that the prophet Nehemiah tells why they had been driven into captive slavery 70 years before:
Nehemiah 13:15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions.
Nehemiah 13:16 Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 13:17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, “What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day?
Nehemiah 13:18 “Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”
Sabbath was so important that to God that He:
- Punished His own chosen people by allowing them to be defeated in war
- Allowed them to being taken from their land
- Made them SLAVES in a foreign land!
How important then do you think the Sabbath is to God
Nehemiah 9:30 Yet for many years You had patience with them, And testified against them by Your Spirit in Your prophets. Yet they would not listen; Therefore [in other words because of this] You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
The House of Judah was really without excuse. They had been warned by the prophets.
Just above, in verses 13-14 we read how the Levites confessed their sins and the sins of the people—sins that led to their captivity—and how they made a covenant or contract with God to never practice these sins again.
Nehemiah 9:13 “You came down also on Mount Sinai, And spoke with them from heaven, And gave them just ordinances and true laws, Good statutes and commandments.
Nehemiah 9:14 You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, And commanded them precepts, statutes and laws, By the hand of Moses Your servant.
However, the people had not listened carefully. “They refused to obey” it says in verse 17. Skipping to verse 26: “They were disobedient, And rebelled against you, Cast Your law behind their backs And killed Your prophets.” Then in verse 34: “Neither our kings nor our princes, Our priests nor our fathers, Have kept Your law, Nor heeded Your commandments and Your testimonies.”
Because of their proclivity to fall back into their old ways, the leaders of their time came up with rules and regulations to try and keep everyone in line, so much so that by the time of Jesus’ arrival these man made laws had become a burden and Jesus had to set them straight in more than one instance.
To summarize the captivities of the Houses of Israel and Judah
They were both told what to do and what not to do and what would happen if they didn’t do what they were supposed to do.
They didn’t end up doing what they were supposed to do, so God eventually punished both Houses by taking away their freedom and enslaving them
God led them into captivity because they had consistently violated His laws and Sabbaths, both the weekly and annual ones.
Now that was the ancient Houses of Israel and Judah. The Bible has a lot more to say about the Houses of Judah and Israel. It reveals their future through prophecy and once again speaks about their Coming Captivity (of Modern Day Israel and Judah)
As we have already seen, Judah came out of captivity and returned to their homeland. But what about the Northern 10 tribes of Israel. Historical records show without doubt that after they were freed from their captivity by the ancient Assyrians and migrated to Western Europe and to the British Isles, where mainly the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh settled.
I just want to briefly note a prophecy about Ephraim and Manasseh
A. Who are they?
Genesis 48:1 Now it came to pass after these things that Joseph was told, “Indeed your father is sick”; and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
Genesis 48:4 “and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people, and give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’
Genesis 48:5 “And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they [Ephraim Manasseh] shall be mine. [the blessing of Abraham through Isaac, and through Jacob who became Israel was being passed on to them]
Genesis 48:13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near him.
Genesis 48:14 Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn.
Genesis 48:15 And he blessed Joseph, and said: “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has fed me all my life long to this day,
Genesis 48:16 The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them, And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” [the name of Israel is passed onto Ephraim and Manasseh]
Genesis 48:17 Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.
Genesis 48:18 And Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”
Genesis 48:19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.”
Genesis 48:20 So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will bless, saying, ‘May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!’ ” And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
So what we are seeing here is that the blessing of Israel was passed on from Abraham and Isaac as well as the name of Israel has been passed on to them and we see that the prophecy of :19 came to pass
Of course I don’t really need to spell out in detail who Judah is since they went back to Jerusalem after their captivity. Simply they are the Jews in the state of Israel
B. So what are the prophecies concerning modern Israel and Judah
Isaiah 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.
King Uzziah died on or very near 740 B.C. [around the beginning of the siege on Israel]
These ten tribes were led into captivity around 722-721 B.C.
Isaiah prophesied before the FIRST captivity of the ten tribes also known as the House of Israel.
But also prophesied about events that would have to occur later
Also: Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah who reigned from approximately 792 to 686 B.C.
Although Isaiah evidently lived in Judah, he nonetheless, also prophesied to the northern kingdom of Israel–the ten tribes of the House of Israel. His prophecies went far beyond his lifetime. They transcended the ancient captivity of either the House of Israel or the House of Judah
Just as Isaiah warned of captivity for the houses of Israel and Judah in the past, and those events occurred, so he speaks of a future captivity for the modern houses of Israel and Judah. Note this sobering prophecy given in Isaiah 11:11-12:
Isaiah 11:11 It shall come to pass in that day That the LORD shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar [Babylon], From Hamath and the islands of the sea.
Isaiah 11:12 He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel [which never happened], And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.
“In that Day” refers to a time just prior to the return of Jesus Christ
We are all familiar with how God freed the Jews from Babylon and allowed them to return to the Promised Land. The house of Israel, though, never returned. When Christ comes back to this earth, He will set His hand not only to free Judah the second time, but also modern Israel, as well, from captivity.
Since we are talking about a second time; Israel being gathered which they never were after they dispersed when their captors, the Assyrians, were taken over by the Babylonians; and because Judah is retrieved from the four corners which also wasn’t the case in their first recovery; and because Isaiah puts the prophecy “in that day” – we see that this has to point to a future time.
Notice how Isaiah 11:16 emphasizes where most of the captives will be held: “There will be a highway for the remnant of His people Who will be left from Assyria [modern day Germany which is why they are a focus of our attention now], As it was for Israel In the day that he came up from the land of Egypt.”
Isaiah 27:13 says that, at the time of Christ’s return, the house of Israel will be enslaved in the land of Assyria, while the Jews will be enslaved in the land of Egypt: “So it shall be in that day [we have the term again; the day of Christ’s return and His intervention]: The great trumpet will be blown; They [the house of Israel] will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria , And they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt [the house of Judah], And shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.”
Many more scriptures and it may be a little confusing since Isaiah started prophesying a little before the captivity of Israel, but let’s notice the timing of Ezekiel
Ezekiel was among the Jewish captives, more than a hundred years after Israel’s captivity.
Ezekiel 1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
Ezekiel 1:2 On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity,
Ezekiel 1:3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was upon him there.
The date described in these opening verses of the book of Ezekiel is approximately 593 B.C. The temple and the city of Jerusalem were destroyed in 586 B.C. This destruction occurred following several years of plundering wars fought in the land of Judah.
Ezekiel was given a message from God to the HOUSE OF ISRAEL (not the House of Judah).
Ezekiel 2:3 And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed [sin which is the transgression of the law 1 j 3:4] against Me to this very day. [this is why he is prophesying to the them]
Ezekiel 2:4 “For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’
Ezekiel 2:5 “As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse; for they are a rebellious house; yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.
Ezekiel 2:6 “And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house.
We see Ezekiel’s commission in Ezekiel 3:1
Ezekiel 3:1 Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.”
Remember now that the people of the House of Israel had already migrated north-west across Europe. But they did not stop in Germany. They went on farther west and north — into Western Europe — France, Belgium, Holland, the Scandinavian countries, and the British Isles — where they are to this day, except for the Tribe of Manasseh, which much later migrated to the United States.
The Prophet Ezekiel was commissioned to “GO” from where he was, among the Jewish people, to the HOUSE OF ISRAEL.
But Ezekiel never took that message to the lost House of Israel. He couldn’t. He was a slave and the House of Israel had been taken captive by the Assyrians more than 120 years earlier and In effect had ceased to exist as the readily identifiable ten tribes of Israel that Ezekiel could then easily contact with this message from God.
He couldn’t literally go to the House of Israel then so IT IS A PROPHECY for OUR PEOPLES TODAY! The modern nation of Israel [and who is that?] We are to be reading and heeding this NOW! If we only have an ear to hear
Let’s look at some of these prophecies now that indicate a future captivity.
Ezekiel 6:6-10 makes it very plain what will happen if they do not repent and return to God
Ezekiel 6:6 “In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, so that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, your idols may be broken and made to cease, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
Ezekiel 6:7 “The slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the LORD.
Ezekiel 6:8 “Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries.
Ezekiel 6:9 “Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations.
Ezekiel 6:10 “And they shall know that I am the LORD; I have not said in vain that I would bring this calamity upon them.”
And, in Ezekiel 37, we see a prophecy that has never found fulfillment concerning the Houses of Israel and Judah once again becoming one nation–with one king: [remember the time-line]
Ezekiel 37:21 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land;
Ezekiel 37:22 “and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and [note this part] one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. [further proof of the time line]
Ezekiel 37:24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. [this is what they hadn’t been doing and why they went back into slavery]
Jeremiah 1:1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin,
Jeremiah 1:2 to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. [c. 627-626 bc as we mentioned before this is after Israel went into captivity but before Judah did]
Jeremiah 1:3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
Jeremiah, once again, prophesies in a letter to Israelite exiles, pointing out that God will say to the nations and peoples of the modern houses of Israel and Judah:
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
Jeremiah 29:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.
Jeremiah 46:27 “But do not fear, O My servant Jacob, And do not be dismayed, O Israel! For behold, I will save you from afar, And your offspring from the land of their captivity; Jacob shall return, have rest and be at ease; No one shall make him afraid.
Jeremiah 46:28 Do not fear, O Jacob My servant,” says the LORD, “For I am with you; For I will make a complete end of all the nations To which I have driven you, But I will not make a complete end of you. I will rightly correct you, For I will not leave you wholly unpunished.”
Jeremiah 33:7 ‘And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first.
Jeremiah 33:8 ‘I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me.
Jeremiah 33:9 ‘Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.’
Jeremiah 33:10 “Thus says the LORD: ‘Again there shall be heard in this place; of which you say, “It is desolate, without man and without beast”; in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast,
Jeremiah 33:11 ‘the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: “Praise the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His mercy endures forever”; and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,’ says the LORD.
Jeremiah 33:14 ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah:
Jeremiah 23:7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’
Jeremiah 23:8 “but, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.”
In relationship to Jerusalem
This is not a spiritual captivity as some think:
Jeremiah 50:33 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “The children of Israel were oppressed, Along with the children of Judah; All who took them captive have held them fast; They have refused to let them go.
Jeremiah 50:34 Their Redeemer is strong; The LORD of hosts is His name. He will thoroughly plead their case, That He may give rest to the land, And disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.
Several more prophecies concerning this throughout these prophets as well as minor prophets as well (Zechariah, Amos, Hosea)
Prophecies in the New Testament
Luke 21:20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.
Luke 21:21 “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.
Luke 21:22 “For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
Luke 21:23 “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.
Luke 21:24 “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
How long will that be?
Revelation 11:2 reveals: “…[Jerusalem, the holy city] has been granted to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months [three-and-a-half years].”
Revelation 11:2 “But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.
Why Captivity Again?
What could upset God so much that he would do this to His chosen people? It is for all the same reasons
Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, You children of Israel, For the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy Or knowledge of God in the land.
Hosea 4:2 By swearing and lying, Killing and stealing and committing adultery, They break all restraint, With bloodshed upon bloodshed.
Hosea 4:3 Therefore the land will mourn; And everyone who dwells there will waste away With the beasts of the field And the birds of the air; Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.
Hosea 4:4 “Now let no man contend, or rebuke another; For your people are like those who contend with the priest.
Hos 4:5 Therefore you shall stumble in the day; The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night; And I will destroy your mother.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
In general we see it will be for disobeying all the various commandments of God.
The reason WHY God will be so angry becomes clear when we look at the: The Sins of the Modern Day Israelites we see why will God bring on such terrible punishment
It will be because of personal and national sins! Look at what is going on around us?
The reasons seem so obvious
The sad part is that this message will not be received today by these peoples just as it was not back in the days of Ancient Israel and Judah.
To suggest today that America and UK will go into slavery for not keeping the holy day’s and Sabbath as well as all the other commands of God would have us scoffed and ridiculed.
The captors—the modern Babylonian system—will have enslaved both Israel and Judah and will not want to let them go.
C. The Good News – Next Exodus
But the prophet Jeremiah is inspired to tell us that it is God who will eventually free Israel and Judah out of captivity and they will return to the land that God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Jeremiah 30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jeremiah 30:2 “Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.
Jeremiah 30:3 ‘For behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the LORD. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land [the Promised land] that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.'”
They will be reunited once again. This has to be in the future!
Jeremiah 30:4 Now these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah.
Jeremiah 30:5 “For thus says the LORD: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, Of fear, and not of peace.
[Once again we see the time setting]
Jeremiah 30:6 Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale?
Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble [Israel], But he shall be saved out of it.
This refers to the Great Tribulation and the day of the Lord, a 3 ½ year time period that is yet in the future and at the end of the age
Jeremiah 30:8 ‘For it shall come to pass in that day,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘That I will break his yoke from your neck [a yoke of slavery] And will burst your bonds [set you free]; Foreigners shall no more enslave them.
Jeremiah 30:9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, And David their king, Whom I will raise up for them.
Jeremiah 30:10 ‘Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,’ says the LORD, ‘Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, And your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, And no one shall make him afraid.
For three-and-a-half years the modern houses of Israel and Judah will be punished and the Gentiles will tread Jerusalem underfoot.
This time is especially identified as the time of Jacob’s trouble—referring to the modern house of Israel. We are told that God will save them OUT OF that terrible time—showing that they will have to first go through it!
Ezekiel 39, the prophet reveals that Christ will come to free the captives and bring them back into their land.
In Ezekiel 39: 21-29 Not only does this show that they will be in captivity but that God will deliver His people once again just as He has done in the past.
Ezekiel 39:21 “I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them.
Ezekiel 39:22 “So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward.
Ezekiel 39:23 “The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword.
Ezekiel 39:24 “According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them.”‘
Ezekiel 39:25 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name;
Ezekiel 39:26 ‘after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid.
Ezekiel 39:27 ‘When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations,
Ezekiel 39:28 ‘then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer.
Ezekiel 39:29 ‘And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord GOD.”
God drove them into slavery, and this is the good news
God will bring them back out of slavery at the time He pours out His Spirit over them. This has not happened yet—this is still in the future.
There is good news
The Houses of Judah and Israel were without excuse. They had been warned by the prophets.
The Houses of Judah and Israel are without excuse. They have been warned by the prophets.
The Israelites have a history of disobedience followed by slavery and that will continue in the future with the modern Houses of Israel and Judah (especially Ephraim and Manasseh; the US and British Commonwealth) and that they will again suffer national destruction and horrible captivity!
We have a job as the church in the end-time
Ezekiel Warning – WATCHMAN FOR THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
The church is to be functioning in this capacity