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TO CHEW ON: "I will sow them among the peoples,
And they shall remember Me in far countries …
And they shall return…
Until no more room is found for them." - Zechariah 10:9,10
The prophecy Zechariah is making here, has it already happened or is it still in the future?
My Bible's notes say about this passage:
"Though the covenant people be sown among the nations, God promises that they shall return. This prophecy was partially fulfilled in Zechariah's day in the return of the exiled Jews from Babylon. The prophecy will have its final fulfillment in the New Jerusalem, where not only Jews but all nations come to worship God" - David Warren Shibley, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1259.
Hmmm. I'm not finding the above totally convincing. On the hunch that Zechariah's prophecy is being fulfilled literally in our day, as Jews from around the world stream back into Israel, I looked around for statistics and found the "Latest Population Statistics for Israel."
According to the report, Israel's population growth was 2% in 2014, much of it from immigration. Top countries from which Jews are emigrating to Israel: Ukraine, France, Russia and the U.S. From the report linked above:
"A study performed by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that one in four Jewish individuals currently live in a country other than the one they were born in. In contrast, one in twenty Christians and one in twenty five Muslims live in a country other than that of their birth. This makes Jewish individuals the world's top migrants."
Another article from the "Word Population Review" says this about population projections for Israel:
"Atypical of the population growth rate for a developed country, the State of Israel has a rapid growth rate. Since the establishment of the State, the population has increased approximately tenfold, primarily as a result of the high immigration of Jews into the country."
Some prominent theologians believe that the church has replaced Israel in God's plan and that prophecies of a renewed Israel apply to the church, not literal Israel ("Replacement Theology").
The writer of my Bible's notes seems to tilt in that direction. From his "Introduction to Zechariah":
"Many Bible students believe the promises of a restored Zion are to apply primarily to a cleansed, invigorated church" - David Warren Shibley, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1248.
I don't agree. I believe these prophecies and promises also concern the literal Jewish people and are even now being fulfilled before our eyes. Let's continue to watch world events with an eye to how God is fitting things together in fulfilled prophecy in our time. And let's continue to pray for the country of Israel and the Jewish people.
PRAYER: Dear God, it's exciting to see things prophesied in the Bible happening before my eyes. I pray for Jewish people everywhere, especially in places where antisemitism is again on the rise. Most of all, may they find a home in Jesus. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.