The Puritans on the restoration of ethnic Israel: Resources?

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Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't see support for Israel as the primary motivation for US action in Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc. The First Gulf War was primarily fought on behalf of Kuwait, and the membership of many anti-Israel states, such as Saudi Arabia, in the coalition evidences that support for Israel was not the primary factor. The second Gulf War was over WMDs or something like that, though a love for senseless invasions seems to have been the primary factor. The US had had a desire for vengeance against Ghadaffi since the Reagan era, given his sponsorship of terrorism, so that didn't have much to do with Israel either, and of course we're involved in Syria because of ISIS, which never posed much of a threat to Israel, but did launch a number of successful attacks in the west.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
Again, this isn't a discussion about a return to a physical land; I think the discussion is getting off the point; at least the question I had intended. (Maybe I didn't make it clear enough). I do not believe Scripture says anything about the Jews "as a nation" or as it relates to the land of Palestine; I think those are Zionistic elements. What I was intending to speak about was Scripture's promise of a widespread conversion of ethnic Israel in the latter days. There are many texts that speak to this but Romans 11 is the most well known.
That's fair enough and I don't want to distract from what you intended. To be fair the title of the thread includes "restoration of ethnic Israel". That, to me, suggests the establishment of a nation state. How else could there be a "restoration"?
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
They are the only democracy in the area though. Except for Egypt, think rest of the Islamic nations still want them to be driven into the sea.
It's not our duty to prop up every "democracy" in the world (and their treatment of the Palestinians is pretty abhorrent).

I don't see support for Israel as the primary motivation for US action in Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc. The First Gulf War was primarily fought on behalf of Kuwait, and the membership of many anti-Israel states, such as Saudi Arabia, in the coalition evidences that support for Israel was not the primary factor. The second Gulf War was over WMDs or something like that, though a love for senseless invasions seems to have been the primary factor. The US had had a desire for vengeance against Ghadaffi since the Reagan era, given his sponsorship of terrorism, so that didn't have much to do with Israel either, and of course we're involved in Syria because of ISIS, which never posed much of a threat to Israel, but did launch a number of successful attacks in the west.
I would disagree. I think it's the overarching reason why we, especially America, is involved in that region.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break:_A_New_Strategy_for_Securing_the_Realm
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
It's not our duty to prop up every "democracy" in the world (and their treatment of the Palestinians is pretty abhorrent).



I would disagree. I think it's the overarching reason why we, especially America, is involved in that region.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break:_A_New_Strategy_for_Securing_the_Realm
The Plo and the other groups still wanted Isreal to be wiped off the map, do think they have been very lenient and restrained, as they are not the ones shooting misdles into schools and blowing up school buses.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
That's fair enough and I don't want to distract from what you intended. To be fair the title of the thread includes "restoration of ethnic Israel". That, to me, suggests the establishment of a nation state. How else could there be a "restoration"?
They have been restored to the land, but yet to be restored to God, as that happens at second coming.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
But my question would be where is the promise that they were to be restored to the land?
Hi Alexander,

I've been staying out of this discussion since my last post because it was said that the topic of Israel being a political Nation was off the subject. So I won't say much more here and no more hereafter.

But I did notice that you never answered my post number 22, where I quoted Luke 21:24. I also talked about how interpreting prophecy often has more to do with waiting to see what God had in mind than determining ahead of time what He is planning. You might want to look over my posts and respond unless you thought they were useless and make no valid argument at all.

So I ask you, what is the meaning of Luke 21:24 where it is said that Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the gentiles until a point in the future? Let me quote Jesus' words in context.

Luke 21:20‭-‬24 ESV
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."​

What else could it mean but that after a long time, called the time of the Gentiles, the nation would be restored? If I say to you I will not eat anything until next Friday, doesn't that imply strongly that I will eat next Friday. Besides, since they have become a nation again, doesn't that prove the interpretation of Luke is correct? It seems that Friday has come and you can see now that I am in fact eating.

If you think that this thread is not appropriate for your answer, you could write to me privately to continue this discussion. But as I said, I will not speak of this again in this thread.

Ed
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
But my question would be where is the promise that they were to be restored to the land?
Peter in Acts stated that Jesus will one day return and when the Jews receive Him then as their Promised Messiah, how much more of a blessing will that be when they get restored back to God. Lines up with Paul, as we are Gentiles, but they are natural branches that did not need to get grated in as we did.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
I wasn't meaning to refer at all to the Zionism elements of the physical land of Israel. I'm just talking about the restoration of ethnic Israel to faith in the Messiah.
That position is not at all controversial or unique. Perhaps the best that can be said about those who try to say it is "Not Reformed" is that they are overreacting to dispensationalism and that they aren't familiar with what the WLC means (i.e. the "original intent") and with what older divines have taught.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
They are the only democracy in the area though. Except for Egypt, think rest of the Islamic nations still want them to be driven into the sea.
Well, maybe the Saudis want that eventually. If so, they are certainly taking the long view. Despite the lack of a treaty and despite what their official position may be, they've been an informal ally of Israel for years and it is more open now than ever. At the present time, with the rise of the Shiite theocracy there, Iran is seen as the greater enemy. Jordan also has a peace treaty with Israel and hasn't wanted any part of war with them since 1967. Perhaps a regime might arise in Egypt that would want to disavow the treaty? Things will change in Saudi Arabia if the Saudis were to be overthrown by an Al Qaeda or ISIS type group.

I've known of some Reformed people who have said they'd like to see Israel wiped out by the Arabs because it would discredit dispensationalism. I trust that this mentality is not widespread.

As far as puritan writings on the conversion of Israel, George Hutcheson's Commentary on the Minor Prophets is a good place to start. For a single section to start with, the commentary on the last few chapters of Zechariah discusses the eschatological conversion of the Jews.
I think it was Dr. Vern Poythress who said that if he were to defend premillennialism, Zech. 14 would be a good place to start. Whether you take everything there "literally" or not, surely it isn't simply referring to a few brands snatched from the fire here and there throughout this dispensation, and it isn't a picture of humanity in general with no national distinctions.
 
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alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
Hi Alexander,

I've been staying out of this discussion since my last post because it was said that the topic of Israel being a political Nation was off the subject. So I won't say much more here and no more hereafter.

But I did notice that you never answered my post number 22, where I quoted Luke 21:24. I also talked about how interpreting prophecy often has more to do with waiting to see what God had in mind than determining ahead of time what He is planning. You might want to look over my posts and respond unless you thought they were useless and make no valid argument at all.

So I ask you, what is the meaning of Luke 21:24 where it is said that Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the gentiles until a point in the future? Let me quote Jesus' words in context.

Luke 21:20‭-‬24 ESV
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."​

What else could it mean but that after a long time, called the time of the Gentiles, the nation would be restored? If I say to you I will not eat anything until next Friday, doesn't that imply strongly that I will eat next Friday. Besides, since they have become a nation again, doesn't that prove the interpretation of Luke is correct? It seems that Friday has come and you can see now that I am in fact eating.

If you think that this thread is not appropriate for your answer, you could write to me privately to continue this discussion. But as I said, I will not speak of this again in this thread.

Ed
Apologies my not-answering your question was an oversight rather than a snub. I don't see in that verse a promise that Jerusalem will be restored to the Jews at this time in the future. And what does it mean "until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled"? When the last of the Gentiles have been brought in? Is that this time? Clearly not. But the Israeli state has existed for 70 years.

Is this prophecy not eschatalogical? I would see it as coinciding with "all Israel shall be saved" which I take to mean all the elect.

Peter in Acts stated that Jesus will one day return and when the Jews receive Him then as their Promised Messiah, how much more of a blessing will that be when they get restored back to God. Lines up with Paul, as we are Gentiles, but they are natural branches that did not need to get grated in as we did.
Can you give me a reference so I know to what you're specifically referring? Again, though, I'm not seeing a mass conversion of Jews being dependent on a restoration of a Jewish ethnic state. And we also need to ask: who are modern Jews and are they the same people as the Jews of the time of Christ? There are some who are direct descendants but I would say the great bulk of modern Jewry is not ethnically descended from the Jews of 1st Century Palestine. Are these promises only to ethnic Jews? In which case the Zionist state which is comprised of a Jewish ethnicity which is very mixed (not to mention all the other groups which inhabit that land) would not seem to be an appropriate recipient of these promises. Or is it to anyone who adheres to Judaism? Surely not.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Well, maybe the Saudis want that eventually. If so, they are certainly taking the long view. Despite the lack of a treaty and despite what their official position may be, they've been an informal ally of Israel for years and it is more open now than ever. At the present time, with the rise of the Shiite theocracy there, Iran is seen as the greater enemy. Jordan also has a peace treaty with Israel and hasn't wanted any part of war with them since 1967. Perhaps a regime might arise in Egypt that would want to disavow the treaty? Things will change in Saudi Arabia if the Saudis were to be overthrown by an Al Qaeda or ISIS type group.

I've known of some Reformed people who have said they'd like to see Israel wiped out by the Arabs because it would discredit dispensationalism. I trust that this mentality is not widespread.



I think it was Dr. Vern Poythress who said that if he were to defend premillennialism, Zech. 14 would be a good place to start. Whether you take everything there "literally" or not, surely it isn't simply referring to a few brands snatched from the fire here and there throughout this dispensation, and it isn't a picture of humanity in general with no national distinctions.
There does seem to be something God has in mind that involves Israel in the Future, not as Dispensational theology states in full, but not as some hold that He has nothing to do with them either any more.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Apologies my not-answering your question was an oversight rather than a snub. I don't see in that verse a promise that Jerusalem will be restored to the Jews at this time in the future. And what does it mean "until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled"? When the last of the Gentiles have been brought in? Is that this time? Clearly not. But the Israeli state has existed for 70 years.

Is this prophecy not eschatalogical? I would see it as coinciding with "all Israel shall be saved" which I take to mean all the elect.



Can you give me a reference so I know to what you're specifically referring? Again, though, I'm not seeing a mass conversion of Jews being dependent on a restoration of a Jewish ethnic state. And we also need to ask: who are modern Jews and are they the same people as the Jews of the time of Christ? There are some who are direct descendants but I would say the great bulk of modern Jewry is not ethnically descended from the Jews of 1st Century Palestine. Are these promises only to ethnic Jews? In which case the Zionist state which is comprised of a Jewish ethnicity which is very mixed (not to mention all the other groups which inhabit that land) would not seem to be an appropriate recipient of these promises. Or is it to anyone who adheres to Judaism? Surely not.
Acts 1:6-7/Acts 3:21
 
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