From 1517 to 1917 the Ottoman Empire ruled in Palestine and the surrounding area of the world. It was the Turkish Emperor who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem which are still there today. This is in part a fulfilment of the words in Isaiah 60:10. "The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls…".
The Walls of Jerusalem
The Golden Gate
The Emperor ordered the closing up of The Golden Gate, which faces the Mount of Olives on the east. This could be seen as a fulfilment of the prophecy in Ezekiel 44:1-2. "Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces towards the east, but it was shut. And the Lord said to me, "This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut".
When Suleiman the Magnificent ordered it to be bricked up, The Lord God of Israel had already entered by it when He walked in Jerusalem as the person of Yeshua the Messiah. When He returns the gate will once more be opened. The Ottoman’s placed a Moslem grave yard in front of The Golden Gate in the hope that this will prevent the Messiah from coming. In Jewish law dead bodies bring defilement. The graveyard will not prevent the Messiah from returning.
The Ottoman Empire ruled for 400 years. The same number of years that the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt.
The coming of the First World War was the catalyst which was to change everything in the Middle East.
Before the coming of the First World War Jewish persecution rose throughout the Russian Empire. Two million Russian Jews fled to the United States between 1880-1914. Some settled in Great Britain. In 1881 25,000 Jewish people escaped to Palestine and laid the foundations of what was to become the rebirth of the Jewish homeland.
The Almighty always has a man with a plan at the right time.
Ninety years before the rebirth of the State of Israel, Eliezer Perelman was born in Luzki Lithuania. After being raised in the orthodox tradition he became a "free thinker". At the age of 17 he had an overwhelming revelation which was to decide the future course of his life. He said, ‘It was as if the heavens had suddenly opened and a clear incandescent light flashed before my eyes, and a mighty inner voice sounded in my ears: the renaissance of Israel on its ancestral soil’. This vision remained with him, as he wrote, ‘The more the nationalist concept grew in me, the more I realised what a common language is to a nation.’ Thus he dedicated himself to this goal. ‘Yisrael b’artzo uvilshono’ the rebirth of the nation of Israel in its own land, speaking its own language.
Eliezer Ben Yehuda
Eliezer Ben Yehuda at his desk in Jerusalem
Eliezer changed his surname to Ben-Yehuda and in 1881 immigrated to Palestine. His life’s work was dedicated to reviving the Hebrew language and he was the author of the first modern Hebrew dictionary. He had much opposition and sadness throughout his life, but in 1948 when Israel was reborn as a nation, one man’s vision and determination had given the people what all other nations had, a common language for everyday life. Ben –Yehuda died in 1922. After his death his widow and son continued publishing his manuscript which was completed in 1959 and was 17 volumes in length.
Another man who was raised up to become the father of modern political Zionism was Theodor Herzl. He was born in 1860 in Budapest Hungary. Whilst working as a Paris correspondent for a Viennese newspaper, he witnessed the notorious Dreyfus affair and mass rallies in Paris where people chanted, "Death to the Jews". He became convinced that Jewish assimilation was not the answer, the Jewish people needed their own homeland. In 1895 Herzl wrote Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State). It was published in 1896.
Rev. William Hechler
On March 10th 1896, the Reverend William Hechler, an Anglican minister to the British Embassy visited Theodor Herzl. William Hechler fervently believed what the Bible said about the regathering of the Jewish people back to the land of Israel, and after reading Der Judenstaat, he was firmly convinced that Theodor Herzl was the man to help make this happen. William Hechler opened the door for Herzl to meet Frederick I, Grand Duke of Baden in April 1896, who was convinced from scripture by Hechler, to support the concept of a Jewish State in Palestine. William Hechler had published his book "The Restoration of the Jews to Palestine according to Prophecy" in 1882. The Grand Duke arranged for Herzl to meet the German Kaiser Willhelm II when he was visiting Constantinople in October 1898. William Hechler also introduced Theodor Herzl to important people in the British establishment, some of whom were sympathetic to the cause of a Jewish homeland.
After the first Basle Congress in 1897, Herzl wrote in his diary, "Were I to sum up the Basle Congress in a word- which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly - it would be this: ‘At Basle, I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. If not in 5 years, certainly in 50, everyone will know it.’" Fifty years after he spoke those words, in November 1947 the United Nations voted for the creation of a Jewish homeland and on 14th May 1948 Israel was reborn as a nation.
Theodor Herzl, did not live to see that day. He died a broken man in 1904 at the age of 44 years. From 1904-1949 his body lay in Vienna, Austria. In 1949 his remains were flown to Jerusalem where he is now buried on Mount Herzl. A hero of the Jewish State.
In 1918 William Hechler warned the Jewish community that a terrible calamity was coming and that they should return to Palestine. His words were largely ignored. He died in 1931 in The Mildmay Hospital where he had been working and was buried in an unmarked grave in New Southgate London. On January 31st 2011 thanks to the dedicated work of Jerry Klinger who is President of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation a gravestone was placed on William Hechler’s grave. The inscription reads:-
"When The Lord Shall Build Up Zion, He Shall Appear in His Glory" Psalm 102:16. Reverend William Henry Hechler 1-10-1845 to 30-1-1931. A Lover of God, His Word and His Ancient People. Tireless Adversary of Anti-Semitism. Friend and Counselor of Theodor Herzl. Has God Rejected His People? By No Means! Romans 11:1
The Ottoman Empire was overthrown by the British and their allies in 1917. When General Allenby walked into the City of Jerusalem as a pilgrim rather than a conqueror, the Mandate for Palestine passed into the hands of the British. Four Hundred years of Turkish rule ended and the way was being prepared for the event which would take place 31 years later, the rebirth of the Jewish State.
Just over a month before the momentous events in Jerusalem on 11th December, Lord Balfour issued the famous Balfour Declaration stating that the British Government would look favourably on the plans for a Jewish Homeland.
Of course Israel had never ceased to be the national homeland for the Jewish people in the eyes of the Almighty. It had been renamed Palestine (taken from the name Palestina) by the Romans to try to eradicate all Jewish connections with the land.
Throughout the 1920’s the fight never stopped to try to prevent the ultimate return of the Jewish people to their land.
In January 1933 Adolph Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany, and his Nazi party brought in draconian measures for the Jewish people and others who he considered inferior and a threat to the Third Reich.
In 1938, "The night of the Broken Glass" was to bring horror to the lives of many Jewish people and shock to the world.
On the 1st September 1939 Germany invaded Poland. Two days later Great Britain and France declared war on Germany. The Second World War had begun.
Because the British had the mandate to rule in Palestine it would have been a wonderful thing for Jewish people trying to escape the darkness and evils of Hitler’s Europe, that they be allowed entry to their homeland. Even entry to any other country would have been a dream. Some refugees were taken in, but strict quotas were put in place. The world on the whole closed its eyes and its ears to the Jewish Holocaust.
After the Second World War ended in 1945 the world saw the dreadful images of the Nazi concentration camps and the starving emaciated survivors.
The calls were echoing for a homeland for the Jewish people. On 11th July 1947 the SS Exodus set sail from France with 4515 Jewish Holocaust survivors. This included 655 children. The heartlessness of the British ruling government at the time shocked the world, when the Jewish survivors were not permitted to enter Palestine, but were turned back to the shores of Europe. On board the SS Exodus -1947 was John Stanley Gruel a Methodist Minister and an American Christian Zionist leader. Grauel’s mission was to get the story of the Exodus 1947 ship out to the whole world.
Grave of Rev. Grauel
He gave a direct testimony before the "United Nations Special Committee on Palestine". His firsthand testimony was extremely effective in eliciting sympathy and understanding for the cause of unrestricted Jewish refugee immigration to Palestine. Golda Meir, a later Prime Minister of Israel, observed that Reverend Grauel's testimony and advocacy for the creation of the Jewish State fundamentally and positively changed the United Nations to support the creation of Israel. Grauel said that his testimony before the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine was given more credence because he was a Christian, rather than a Jewish crew member. (Quote from Wikipedia). Reverend Grauel died in 1986 and is buried in Jerusalem Israel.
On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations met in New York to vote on the partition of Palestine. 33 nations voted for a Jewish homeland. 13 voted against and 10 nations abstained. To our shame the United Kingdom abstained. Within a few short years the United Kingdom of whom it was once said, that the sun never set on it’s Empire, had lost it forever. The Biblical promise still stands, "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you;" Genesis 12:3.
Inside the United Nation Building
The Palestine Post announcing the rebirth of the State of Israel
On 14th May 1948 with the termination of the British mandate about to happen, Jewish leaders assembled in Tel Aviv to hear David Ben Gurion proclaim the establishment of the Jewish State.
News reached the United States of America that the declaration had been made. A statement from the White House was issued:
This Government has been informed that a Jewish State has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the Provisional Government itself. The United States recognises the Provisional Government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel.
Several countries followed in their recognition of the new State. These included The Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslavakia, Yugoslavia, Ireland and and South Africa. The Government of the United Kingdom was silent. It was said by Chaim Weizmann that Ernest Bevan, the British Foreign Secretary was bringing pressure to bear on the British Dominions and Western Europe to withhold recognition of the fledgling State.
"Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labour, she gave birth to her children". Isaiah 66:8.
On the 15th May 1948, five Arab armies from neighbouring countries invaded the new Jewish State. The armies were from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Transjordan and Syria. Israel survived and survives still.
The so called "West Bank" is the whole heartland of biblical Israel. Today it is contested land and the Israelis are told they are occupying it illegally, after regaining the territory in the Six Day War. However the truth is slightly different as found on Wikipedia….
Jordanian occupation of the West Bank refers to the occupation and annexation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) by Jordan (formerly Transjordan), during a period of nearly two decades (1948–1967) in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.[ During the war, Jordan's Arab Legion, conquered the Old City of Jerusalem and took control of territory on the western side of the Jordan River, including the cities of Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus. At the end of hostilities, Jordan was in complete control of the West Bank. Jordan formally annexed the West Bank on 24 April 1950. The annexation was regarded as illegal and void by the Arab League and others. It was recognized by the United Kingdom, Iraq and Pakistan.The annexation of the West Bank more than doubled the population of Jordan.
Today there is a call for a State of Palestine to be established in the "West Bank" and Gaza. This would include East Jerusalem which is the biblical old city of Jerusalem.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob says in Ezekiel Chapter 36: 1- 15, "And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God: "Because the enemy has said of you, ‘Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession,’ therefore prophesy, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: "Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people"— therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around— therefore thus says the Lord God: "Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with wholehearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country."
"Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, ‘Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations." Therefore thus says the Lord God: "I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame. But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of children."
‘Thus says the Lord God: "Because they say to you, ‘You devour men and bereave your nation of children,’ therefore you shall devour men no more, nor bereave your nation anymore," says the Lord God. "Nor will I let you hear the taunts of the nations anymore, nor bear the reproach of the peoples anymore, nor shall you cause your nation to stumble anymore," says the Lord God.’
The Messiah of Israel will return to His people as He has promised. His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives and He will be King over the whole earth. Zechariah 13:3-9
Zechariah 8:1-3. Again the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying, "Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; With great fervor I am zealous for her.’ "Thus says the Lord: ‘I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the Lord of hosts, The Holy Mountain.’
After these events have taken place, including the time of the Great Tribulation, The Messiah will reign on the earth for 1000 years. (See Revelation Chap. 20).
During the 1000 year reign of the Messiah on the earth Ezekiel’s Temple as described in the book of Ezekiel Chap. 40 – 45 will be built.
Isaiah 2: 1- 4 speaks about those days when the nations of the world will go up to the mountain of the Lord.
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
Many people shall come and say,
"Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths."
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
And rebuke many people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.
• 587 BCE – 538 BCE Babylonian Empire
• 538 BCE – 333 BCE Persian Empire
• 333 BCE – 63 BCE Greek Empire
• 63 BCE - 313 AD Roman Empire
• 313 AD – 636 AD Byzantine Empire
• 636 AD – 1099 AD Arab Rule
• 1099 AD – 1291 AD Crusader Period
• 1291 AD – 1516 AD Mamluk Period
• 1516 AD – 1918 AD Ottoman Empire
• 1917 AD – 1948 AD The British Mandate
The allotment of land given by the Almighty to the Twelve Tribes of Israel can be read about in Joshua Chapter 13 – 22.
The land allotted to Israel by the UN in 1947 leaves out most of what was biblical Israel. At it’s narrowest point the country is only nine miles wide.
Allotment of land to be given to the Twelve Tribes of Israel during the 1000 year reign of the Messiah on the earth, which is yet to be fulfilled. Ezekiel Chapter 47 - 48.
"It is manifestly right that the scattered Jews should have a national centre and a national home and be reunited, and where else but in Palestine, with which for 3000 years they have been intimately and profoundly associated?"
Winston Churchill, 1920
"Who can challenge the rights of the Jews in Palestine? Good Lord, historically it really is your country. What a wonderful spectacle that will be when a people as resourceful as the Jews will once again be an independent nation, honored and complacent, able to make its contribution to needy humanity in the field of morals, as in the past."
Yusef Diya al-Khalidi, Mayor of Jerusalem, 1870 -1876 & 1878 -1879