Israel in prophecy has several key points which have been fulfilled:
- Destruction of Israel by Rome
- Israel to become a wasteland
- People of Israel to be exiled, scorned, ridiculed
- Israel to be inhabited by enemies
- People of Israel to never cease being a nation to God
- Exiled and scattered people of Israel will one day return
- Land of Israel will once again become fruitful
Destruction of Israel – Deuteronomy 28:49-52
49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. 51 And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you. 52 “They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the Lord your God has given you.
This prophecy was fulfilled by Babylon in 586 BC and by Rome in both 67 AD and 132 AD.
Israel to become a wasteland – Deuteronomy 29:23
23 ‘The whole land is brimstone, salt, and burning; it is not sown, nor does it bear, nor does any grass grow there, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and His wrath.’
This was fulfilled from about 135 AD to the 1800’s. Here is what Mark Twain wrote about Israel in 1867:
Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes… the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies… Palestine is desolate and unlovely… It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land.
People of Israel to be exiled, scorned, ridculed – Deuteronomy 28:36-37
36 “The Lord will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods—wood and stone. 37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the Lord will drive you.
This prophecy has been fulfilled many times throughout history, being conquered by Babylon, Assyria, Seleucids, and Rome. There was much persecution against Jews in the Middle Ages, including forced conversions and massacres, reaching an apex during the Crusades of 1096 and 1147. Jews living in Muslim lands had to pay a special “dhimmi” tax. The Caliph of Baghdad imposed a law in the 11th century requiring Jews to wear yellow badges on their heads and a girdle around their waists; women had to wear one black shoe, one red shoe, and have small brass bells that signaled their presence, and mobs used to regularly beat Jews in the streets of Baghdad. All Jews were banished from England in 1290, and 100,000 Jews were expelled from France in 1396. In the 1300’s, Jews were blamed for the Black Death, partially since their rituals of handwashing before eating in large part kept them safe from contamination and made them suspected of being the root cause of the epidemic. In 1348, 900 Jews were burned alive in Strasbourg, and in persecution also went on in India and South India between 1500 and 1700. Space does not permit the full story of the persecution of the Jews throughout history, but suffice it to say that the Holocaust claimed the lives of over 6 millions Jews, and persecution of Jewish people goes on today, particularly in the middle east and Russia. Read more about Persecution of the Jews here.
Israel to be inhabited by enemies – Leviticus 26:31-32
31 I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas. 32 I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it.
This prophecy was fulfilled by invasions from Assyria, Babylon, Rome, and during this time others took advantage of the displacement and moved in. To this day, the Jewish people are surrounded by enemies, and live among them.
People of Israel will never cease to be a nation of people – Jerimiah 31:35-36
Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The Lord of hosts isHis name):
36 “If those ordinances depart
From before Me, says the Lord,
Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
From being a nation before Me forever.”
The prophecy is fulfilled in many ways – uniquely, the Jewish people are the only people who, after being displaced from their homeland thousands of years ago (via Babylon 2600 years ago, and Rome 1900 years ago), still retain their original language, culture, and religion, even when exiled from their homeland.
Exiled and scattered people of Israel will one day return – Jerimiah 32:37-41
37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. 38 They shall be My people, and I will be their God; 39 then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. 41 Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.’
This prophecy was fulfilled during the last 200 years. Many skeptics of the Bible used to use these verses to prove that the Bible was not accurate or God’s word – until it started to happen. Jeremiah wrote the words of this prophecy approximately 2600 years ago; currently there are approximately 6 million Jews in Israel.
Land of Israel will once again become fruitful – Zechariah 8:12
‘For the seed shall be prosperous,
The vine shall give its fruit,
The ground shall give her increase,
And the heavens shall give their dew—
I will cause the remnant of this people
To possess all these.
Written about 520 BC, this prophecy has been fulfilled all over Israel during the past 100 years – as of 2001, there had been 200 million trees planted in Israel. One small example of the fruitfulness of Israel is Gush Katif; before it was evacuated in 2005, the sum of exports from the greenhouses of Gush Katif came to 200 million dollars a year.
These are just a few of the prophecies concerning Israel which have been fulfilled, against enormous odds. See more fulfilled prophecies about Israel here.