What does the Bible say about Israel?

Israel flag on hill

The House of Israel is God’s Covenant People

He has founded his city on the holy mountain. The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the other dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are said of you, city of God“. Psalms 87:1-3

After reading one of the many sentences like this one in the Bible, it’s easy for Gentiles to feel like second-class citizens!  But (thankfully there is a ‘but’) God’s ultimate redemption plan is to bring all the nations into His Kingdom… but (oh dear, another ‘but’), there is an order, “salvation is from the Jews“. John 4:22

For more info, read this article, called “8 Biblical reasons to stand with Israel today”.

God’s Purpose for the Tribulation

The 7 years of Tribulation will consist of 21 Judgements culminating in Armageddon.  This period is God’s final attempt to convert as many Jews as he can to faith in Jesus as their Messiah. By the sheer extent of the horrors that will be inflicted on the earth, His exasperation and downright annoyance is obvious!

But when it’s all over, the one-third who remain will be converted. Zechariah 13:9 tells us: “two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it“. 

Israel was Born in a Day

There are not too many rules for becoming a country.

You need: a settled population, a defined territory, a government, and for another country to recognise you, which Harry S Truman (the US President at the time) did, and the State of Israel was born on the same day!

The USSR recognised it three days later. 

Countries that have never recognised Israel as a nation

Man holding Israel flagTo be a country, you don’t even need all countries to recognise you! Despite the State of Israel having been declared in 1948, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Comoros, Djibouti, Indonesia, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tunisia and Yemen, have never recognized Israel.

And then there is Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, which have never recognised Israel, and are also constantly at war with her. 

Countries that no longer recognise Israel as a nation

Other countries blow hot and cold.  These countries currently don’t recognise Israel as a nation but at some point, they did: Cuba, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Venezuela. 

There are others who currently recognise Israel, but at some point, they didn’t!  Wishy-washy, fair-weather friends, if you ask me!

What does the Bible say about Israel?

The people of Israel were warned, repeatedly, what would happen to them if they were wicked. Moses prophesied: “Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other.” Deuteronomy 28:64  But they did not listen!

The Israelites fought among themselves and kept on breaking God’s commandments.

what does the Bible say about IsraelThey split Israel into the kingdom of Israel in the south, and the kingdom of Judah, in the north.  Ten of the twelve tribes of Israel lived in the north.  After one of the many wars Israel has faced, Israel was defeated and the people were carried away as captives.  Some did manage to get away and lived in northern lands.

The south was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army about 100 years after that. Jerusalem, the capital, was destroyed in 586 BC and many more of the remaining two tribes were taken captive. In 536 BC, Cyprus, the king of Persia allowed the Israelites to return and some returned to rebuild Jerusalem, and the Temple.

In AD 70, Jerusalem was destroyed again, this time by the Romans. The Jews were scattered over much of the world, and remained so for hundreds of years.  There are many today who do not even know they are descendants of Israel.

A woman holding the Israeli flagGod promised that one day His covenant people would be gathered in Israel. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture“.  Jeremiah 23:3 

In Ezekiel 36:10, God promised the Jews “And I will multiply people on you, the whole house of Israel, all of it. The cities shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt“.  And further down chapter 36, chapter 24: “I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land

Since 1948, when Israel was declared a nation by David Ben-Gurion, the Jews have been returning to Israel in their millions.  

In 1948 the population of Israel was 806,000. In 2005 it was 6.93 million and in 2021, the population was 9,364,000.

There are 29 verses in the Bible about Israel being gathered.  Read them here

Reborn Israel will be prosperous, God promised, “I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations”. Ezekial 36:30 

Around 570 BC, Ezekiel prophesied that, in the end times, the Jews would be gathered from many nations to the land of Israel. They will be living in peace and security (Ezekiel 38:8) when, out of the blue, they will suffer a massive invasion by countries from the north who would set out to utterly obliterate the Jews.  Russia, Iran, Turkey, Sudan and Libya would be among them.

Israel living in peace and security is a prerequisite to this prophecy.  It’s a difficult one, though, Ezekiel only says they will be “living securely” in “the land that is restored from the sword“.  Compared to what Israel has been through, through the ages, this could even be now!

Israel has never really been able to relax. The constant conflict in the Middle East has regularly caused aspiring western leaders to broker a peace deal with the oil-producing Middle East and Persian Gulf region.

Remember that the Seven years of Tribulation will be ignited by the antichrist, signing a peace treaty with Israel?  One possibility is that the invasion is early in the Tribulation period, and Israel is living in peace because of that treaty having been signed.

The Bible is not clear where this invasion stands on the timeline.

The Battle of Gog and Magog

airplane, fire and a mountain explodingThe Bible uses the old names for the invading countries, which we know by a different name today.

  • Rosh is Russia, to the north of Israel.
  • Magog probably includes the former southern Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and north Afghanistan. 
  • Meshach and Tubal is Turkey.
  • Persia is the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • Ethiopia is Sudan.
  • Put is Libya, and maybe also includes Algeria and Tunisia.
  • Gomer too is parts of Turkey.
  • Beth-togarmah is also parts of Turkey, and possibly includes Azerbaijan and Armenia.

All these nations are Muslim. So, them forming a coalition to attack Israel is entirely conceivable, considering the general Islamic hatred for Israel. 

The Bible also tells us that Israel will be entirely alone when this attack happens. Some nations will show a bit of interest “Have you come to seize spoil” but nobody will offer any help.  By all intents and purposes, Israel will have zero chance! With that massive siege they should be annihilated! 


God is going to obliterate the entire invading army before any harm touches Israel. The Left Behind  movie, adapted from the first book in The Left Behind Series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins, gives a fabulous graphic interpretation of this invasion.

Ezekiel 38 and 39 gives amazing detail, in typical Revelation style, of this invasion.  First an earthquake will devastate a vast area and kill many of the invading troops and throw the operation into chaos.

The invading countries will fight against each other.  Whether because the earthquake has thwarted their plans and comms or whether something else sets them off, we don’t know.  We are only told that they will turn on each other and many more will die.

Next, disease will kill many more. The earthquake would have devastated the land and transportation will be severely compromised so moving the sick and dead, and getting in medicine, supplies will be impossible.

Huge hail storms fall on earth in a stormThe last plague in the prediction is “torrential rain, hailstones, fire and burning sulfur“. Sounds a bit like a volcano. God also promises to “send fire on Magog and on those who dwell securely in the coastlands“. Ezekiel 39:6 

Ezekiel goes on to tell us that it will take the Israelites 7 months to bury the bodies in the deep valley of Hamon-gog. After the seven months of work, another burial crew will check the land for bones. They will mark the spot where bones are found and grave diggers will move them to the burial site.

You have to admire the detail Ezekiel gives us!

The antichrist will sign a peace treaty, a covenant assuring Israel of 7 years of peace.  Signing this sets off the timer for 7 years of Tribulation. After 3½ years, which is halfway through this period, the antichrist will break the covenant by standing in the Holy of Holies, the Temple.

Israel suffers intense persecution after that, because not for nothing is the second half of the Tribulation called the Great Tribulation!

The Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. There has to be a temple and it has to be in Jerusalem to fulfil a bunch of Biblical prophesies. Read more on this page.  

But not until deep into the Tribulation when a spiritual awakening will occur. The 144,000 sealed Jews will evangelize the world and save many souls. Israel’s leaders will finally realise why the Tribulation has fallen on them, and they will be delivered, fulfilling the prophecy in Romans 11:26 

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