The children of Israel left Egypt on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and crossed through the Red Sea on the last or seventh day of this feast. This was the first exodus. But there’s more!
The biblical prophets speak of a greater or second exodus to occur in the last days where YHVH’s people who’ve been scattered throughout the nations of the world will be set free from their spiritual, economic and political enslavement in the nations, which are under the control of Babylon the Great. There is much to learn on this subject, and it’s an important subject to study, since it affects your spiritual destiny.
The following article is a comprehensive analysis of this topic, which explores all the biblical scriptures on the subject of the second exodus. It’s a long one article, but try to stay with it and read it to the end. It will help you to understand end times Bible prophecy in a way that only a privileged and enlightened few do. You have never read anything like this before. It will help you to understand where you personally fit into end times Bible prophecy!
A Look at End-Times Bible Prophecies Relating to the Second Exodus
By Ya’acov Natan Lawrence
The Issue in People’s Hearts
The Bible clearly teaches that the ten tribes of the ancient northern kingdom of Israel (known biblically by various names such as the house of Israel, Samaria or Ephraim) were exiled among the nations of the world because of sin (1). At the same time, the biblical prophets and Jewish sages over the past 2000 years have predicted that in the end times (at the coming of the Messiah), through a series of supernatural events, these tribes will be regathered and return to the land of Israel to be reunited with their Jewish brethren who are descended from the southern kingdom of Judah (2). Furthermore, there is clear biblical and historical evidence that the ten northern tribes of Israel collectively known as Ephraim are largely to be found among the Christian peoples scattered across the earth. I have attempted to prove this point from biblical, linguistic, archeological, historical and rabbinic Jewish sources in a previous work (3)) .
In these last days before Messiah’s second coming, more and more redeemed believers in Yeshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus) are discovering a new-found love for the Jewish people and the land of Israel. At the same time, they are awakening to the need to return to the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith by adhering to a more Torah-centered lifestyle and spiritual walk. It then follows that some are coming to the fundamental truth taught numerous places (4) in the Testimony of Yeshua (5) (the more biblically accurate name for the “New Testament”) that born-again believers are actually redeemed Israelites and are either the literal biological or are the “grafted in” descendants of Abraham. As such, many are beginning to see that the numerous promises YHVH (the LORD) made to Abraham and his descendants apply to them—especially the promises that the land of Israel is an important aspect of their promised future inheritance. With these revelations often comes a new-found zeal and enthusiasm about returning to the land of Israel. For many, it is a question of not if, but “when do we return?”
This is the question I will grapple with in the following study in attempting to determine the timing of the return of Ephraim to the land of Israel, often referred to as the second or greater exodus. This is a difficult and complex subject and many factors need to be considered. No one has all the answers and neither do I, but hopefully the presentation you are about to read will provoke thought and discourse that will move us all toward a greater understanding of this subject.
In this work, I will cover much ground in a panoramic manner without delving into the fine details of any one biblical passage. If my overall analysis is correct, then it is my hope that other biblical researchers will look at the evidence presented here and synergistically we can fine-tune the details and elucidate this subject.
Since there is no direct place in the Scriptures that tells us the exact year or date when Ephraim will be regathered and return to the land of Israel (although, many believe that the process will begin on a jubilee year ), we must examine many prophecies and prophetic scenarios in order to extrapolate from them the answer to our question. Before we take the plunge, let’s review some fundamental biblical truths.
Ephraim’s Return to the Land of Israel Is a Fundamental Truth of the Torah
As the very words of YHVH Elohim (the LORD God) dictated to and written down by Moses, the Torah (the biblical books of Genesis through Deuteronomy) is the bedrock of biblical truth upon which the rest of biblical revelation is founded. This is the place to begin when discussing the timing of Ephraim’s return.
In Jewish thought, Deuteronomy 30:1–10 is the embryo from which all the other scriptures discussing Ephraim’s return are birthed. Here YHVH promises to gather Israel from all the nations where he has scattered them (because of spiritual apostasy), and he promises to return them to the land of Israel. This prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, and nor is it referring to the Jewish captives who returned from their 70 years exile in Babylonian, since the term “all nations” is used in this prophecy. The ancient empire of Babylon is not “all nations”!
Here is the prophecy in its entirety:
And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations, whither YHVH your Elohim has driven you, and shall return unto YHVH your Elohim, and shall obey his voice according to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul; that then YHVH your Elohim will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the nations, wherever YHVH your Elohim has scattered you. If any of you be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will YHVH your Elohim gather you, and from thence will he fetch you: and YHVH your Elohim will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and he will do you good, and multiply you above your fathers. And YHVH your Elohim will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live. And YHVH your Elohim will put all these curses upon your enemies, and on them that hate you, which persecuted you. And you shall return and obey the voice of YHVH, and do all his commandments which I command you this day. And YHVH your Elohim will make you plenteous in every work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your land, for good: for YHVH will again rejoice over you for good, as he rejoiced over your fathers: if you shall hearken unto the voice of YHVH your Elohim, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if you turn unto YHVH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul.
The Jewish Sages Affirm That Ephraim Will Return
The biblical prophets predicted that all the tribes of Israel (including the ten tribes of the northern kingdom or Ephraim) would be scattered to other lands outside of Israel, and that YHVH would regather them in the last days and return them to the land of Israel. This has also been the dominant belief of the Jewish sages as recorded in their writings and in their oral traditions including the Talmud. For example, the Scriptures tells us about the scattering of the twelve tribes,
And YHVH rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land [eretz acheret], as it is this day.” (Deut 29:28)
The Babylonian Talmud, in Yevamot 17a (written ca. A.D. 500, The Soncino Talmud) confirms this when it states,
“[T]hey had declared them [i.e., the ten tribes of Israel, see rabbinic footnote below]19 to be perfect heathens [or gentiles]; as it is said in the Scriptures, ‘They have dealt treacherously against YHVH, for they have begotten strange children.’” A rabbinic footnote on this passage states, (19) ‘The ten tribes; (20) Hos 5:7.’”
The ArtScroll Tanach Series Bereishis/Genesis (an Orthodox Jewish commentary on Genesis) states, regarding Genesis 48:19, quoting Orthodox Jewish sage of the Middle Ages, Ibn Ezra:
Many nations will descend from him [Ephraim]. That is, the word, fullness, melo, connotes ‘abundance,’ the phrase meaning: ‘and his seed will become the abundance of the nations’ (Neter; Karnei Or, p. 2121).
According to Radak’s (R. Dovid Kimchi, a Torah scholar in the Middle Ages) commentary on the same verse,
This refers to the Exile when the lands of others will be filled with his scattered descendants. See also Hoshea 7:8: Ephraim shall be mingled among the nations (Ibid.).
Pertaining to the end-time regathering of the twelve tribes, the late well-known orthodox Jewish leader, Menachem Schneerson stated that the future King Messiah (Messiah Ben [Son of] David) will not only redeem the Jews from exile, but will restore the observance of the Torah-commandments to its complete state, which will only be possible when the Israelites are living in the land of Israel. At this same time, Schneerson who is quoting the notable rabbinic sage of the Middle Ages, Moses Maimonides also known as the Rambam, says,
[T]here will be an ingathering of the dispersed remnant of Israel. This will make it possible for the Davidic dynasty to be reinstated and for the observance of the Torah and its mitsvot to be restored in its totality. (7)
According to Jacob Immanual Schochet, the ten tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel will also return (as substantiation for his claim, he cites b. Talmud, Sandhedrin 110b) to serve YHVH (he also cites Ezek 20:32–37, 40–42).
Furthermore, The ArtScroll Bereishis, vol. 1(b) states in its commentary on Genesis 48:19 regarding Ephraim, R. Munk explains:
“[W]hile it is true that the dispersion [of the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh] was caused by the unfaithfulness and sinfulness of Ephraim’s descendants (Hos 7:8ff), Jacob’s blessing was not in vain for ‘they will return to [Elohim]’ and will have their share in the world to come ([Talmud] Sanhedrin 110b).” And R. Eliezer adds: “Even the darkness in which the Ten Tribes were lost will one day become as radiant as the day’ (according to the version of Avos d’Rabbi Nosson 36). And in the perspective of history, did not these exiled children of the Patriarchs enlighten the nations among whom they were scattered? They did so by teaching their conquerors the fundamental ideas of the knowledge and love of [Elohim], ideals they had never forsaken. Hence they too have a messianic vocation and their Messiah the Mashiach ben Yosef, Messiah son of Joseph (Succah 52a), also called Messiah son of Ephraim (Targum Yonasan on Exodus 40:11), will play an essential role in humanity’s redemption, for he will be the precursor of the Mashiach ben David, Messiah Son of David. It is therefore not surprising to find that the prophet Jeremiah (3:12) speaks affectionately of Ephraim. In this light, Jacob’s words, ‘his offspring will fill the nations,’ assume the significance of blessing.” (9)
The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash goes on to say quoting Samson Raphael Hirsch in regards to Deuteronomy 32:26 which says, “I said, I would scatter them into the corners …” (KJV),
This refers to the exile of the Ten Tribes, who were scattered to an unknown place where they have never been heard from again. (10)
On the phrase of the same verse, “I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men …” the same Chumash states,
This is a reference to the exiles of Judah and Benjamin, the Davidic kingdom from which today’s known Jews are descended.
It goes on to say that though the nations would seek to destroy Israel entirely, YHVH would never allow Israel to become extinct or disappear. Israel’s perpetual existence is a constant reminder of YHVH’s plan and eventually Israel will thrive and fulfill YHVH’s intention for it. (11)
The nineteenth century orthodox Jewish sage S. R. Hirsch in his commentary on the Pentateuch on the same verse translates the phrase, “I would scatter them into the corners …” as, “I would relegate them into a corner … ” and then says that the Hebrew here refers to the “extreme end of a surface, the side or corner …” He, too, relates this fate to the ten tribes who would be scattered “to some distant corner of the world, where, left entirely to themselves, they could mature towards serious reflection and ultimate return to Me …” (12)
What’s more, Abraham Cohen in his classic book, Everyman’s Talmud—The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages states with regard to the Messianic Era (Millennial period),
Another confirmed belief was that the Messiah would effect the reunion of the tribes of Israel. While we find the teaching, ‘The ten tribes will have no share in the World to Come’ (Tosefta Sanh. 13.12), the Talmud usually takes the opposite view. By appealing to such texts as Isaiah 27:13 and Jeremiah 3:12, the [Jewish sages] enunciated the doctrine of the return of the lost ten tribes (Sanh. 110b). ‘Great will be the day when the exiles of Israel will be reassembled as the day when heaven and earth were created’ (Pes. 88a). A law of nature will even be miraculously suspended to assist this great reunion. ‘In the present world when the wind blows in the north it does not blow in the south, and vice versa; but in the Hereafter, with reference to the gathering together of the exiles of Israel, the Holy One, blessed be He, said, ‘I will bring a northwest wind into the world which will affect both directions; as it is written, ‘I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back; bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the end of the earth’ (Isa 43:6)” (Midrash to Esther 1:8).
The regathering of the tribes will be preceded by another wondrous event, viz. the restoration of the Holy City. If a man tells you that the scattered exiles of Israel have been gathered together without Jerusalem having been rebuilt, do not believe him, for thus it is written, ‘YHVH doth build up Jerusalem’ (Ps 147:2), and then, ‘He gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.’ (13)
The Babylonian Talmud Megilah 17b (Soncino Press) states,
What was their reason for mentioning the gathering of the exiles after the blessing of the years?—Because it is written, “But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to your people Israel, for they are at hand to come.” 24 [Ezek 34:8] And when the exiles are assembled, judgment will be visited on the wicked, as it says, “And I will turn my hand upon you and purge away your dross as with lye,” and it is written further, “And I will restore your judges as at the first.” And when judgment is visited on the wicked, transgressors cease, 27 and presumptuous sinners are included with them, as it is written, “But the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake YHVH shall be consumed.” And when the transgressors have disappeared, the horn of the righteous is exalted, as it is written, “All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.” And “proselytes of righteousness” are included with the righteous, as it says, “you shall rise up before the hoary head and honour the face of the old man,” 33 and the text goes on, “And if a stranger sojourn with you. And where is the horn of the righteous exalted?” In Jerusalem, as it says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may they prosper that love you.” And when Jerusalem is built, David will come, as it says.”
The First Clue as to the Timing of Ephraim’s Return to the Land of Israel
Now that we know that the Torah and the Jewish sages aver that Ephraim will return in the end times, let’s now begin examining the pieces of the puzzle in the Scriptures pertaining to the timing of Ephraim’s return. As we do so, these pieces will begin coming together in your understanding, and a picture will emerge allowing us to pinpoint a time frame for Ephraim’s return to the land of Israel.
Our first clue can be found in Hosea 1:10–11.
Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, “You are not my people,” there it shall be said unto them, “You are the sons of the living El [God].” Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint [or make, set, ordain, establish] themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
At some time in the future, Judah (i.e., the Jews) and the children of Israel (i.e., Ephraim) will be gathered together and appoint for themselves one head (Heb. rosh), and they shall be regathered from the earth where they have been scattered in the great day of Jezreel (another name for the great and terrible day of YHVH’s wrath). This event has not happened yet anytime in Israel’s long history. This one passage gives us some powerful clues as to the timing of Ephraim’s return. It is after the proverbial “battle of Armageddon” (Rev 16:16 cp. 19:11–21), which occurs in the Jezreel Valley, where the armies of the east (Rev 16:12) and the kings of the earth (verse 14) gather together to battle against Elohim Almighty “on that great day” (verse 14) during the period known as “the wrath of Elohim” (verses 1 and 19). This event occurs at the return of Yeshua when, at his second coming, he will destroy Babylon the Great (the New World Order Antichrist system, see Rev 16:18–21; chapters 17 and 18; 19:11–21), at which time both houses of Israel (Jews and Christians) will (begin to?) accept him as their Messiah or head (Heb. rosh). Again, these events haven’t happened yet.
A corollary passage to Hosea 1:10–11 is the famous two sticks prophecy of Ezekiel 37:15–27. Here, YHVH tells the prophet to take two sticks or trees for the two houses of Israel and bring them together in his hand so that they become one stick with one king over them (a resurrected David), and united in a covenant between them and YHVH. At that time, YHVH will make his sanctuary or tabernacle among them, and together this united Israelite kingdom will worship Elohim. Clearly, Hosea’s and Ezekiel’s prophecy speak of the same event, which has yet to happen. Both prophecies are speaking of events surrounding the second coming of the Messiah, the resurrection of the dead and the establishment of Messiah’s millennial kingdom on earth.
The Second Clue: The Repeating Paradigm of Israel’s Redemption
Biblically, the concept of the return of exiled and scattered Israel (including Ephraim) to the land of Israel is tied to the idea of redemption. Biblically, the concept of redemption involves a stronger person (the redeemer) intervening on behalf of a weaker person (the enslaved, i.e., the one needing redemption), defeating the captor of the slave thus allowing the enslaved to go free.
The first biblical example of this process occurred when Elohim redeemed Israel out of Egypt. The biblical prophets compared this first exodus to a greater, or second exodus that is yet to occur in the future. In Jewish thought, the exodus out of Egypt is called the first redemption, yet the biblical prophets also speak of Israel going into captivity again — this time not to Egypt, but into the exile of the nations. From this place of exile and spiritual enslavement, Elohim promises to redeem Israel from slavery again, but this time in the last days. The Jewish sages refer to this momentous event as the final redemption.
In the prophecies of the Bible and in Jewish thought, the concept of the final redemption is synonymous with the idea of a second or greater exodus of Israel from its exile in the nations of the world. According to the Jewish sages, and based on their understanding of the biblical prophecies, this redemption of the tribes of Israel (including the ten northern tribes) will occur at the end of 6000 years, which they refer to as the Age of Messiah. This is to occur just prior to a time period they refer to as the Messianic Age, which the Book of Revelation says will last 1000 years, and which believers in Yeshua refer to as the Millennium.
Again, the concept of the final redemption has its origin in the promises of Deuteronomy 30:1–10 where we read (in summary):
YHVH your Elohim [will] … gather you from all the nations, whither YHVH your Elohim has scattered you. If any of you be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will YHVH your Elohim gather you, and from thence will he fetch you, and YHVH your Elohim will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it…
The Jewish sages teach, again based on their understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures, that the following notable events will occur in conjunction with the final redemption:
- There will be an ingathering of the dispersed remnant of Israelite exiles to the land of Israel including both the exiles of the ten tribes of the northern kingdom and those of the southern kingdom of Israel (comprised of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and part of Levi, collectively known as the Jews) from the lands where they have been scattered. (14)
- Messiah Son of David will assume rulership over the earth and the Messianic Age will be established upon this earth for 1000 years. The Torah will be imposed as the law of the earth.
- King David will rule over a reunited Israel (i.e., the tabernacle of David).
- The resurrection of the dead will occur at the coming of the Messiah.
The biblical prophets and Jewish sages view Israel’s redemption from Egypt as a precursor, antetype or prophetic model of Israel’s final redemption in the end times and as one of the events accompanying the coming of the Messiah Son of David. In Christianity, this is known as the second coming of Jesus (i.e., Yeshua).
As an aspect of the final redemption, an obvious question must be asked. How long will the regathering of scattered Israel back to their land take? Is the “day of YHVH’s wrath” a litteral day, or a time period, since the Hebrew word for day (yom) can mean both? The prophet Isaiah may give us a clue. In several places, he mentions “the day of YHVH’s vengenace” (or words to this effect). This is the time period when YHVH will judge the nations including Babylon the Great, which occurs at Yeshua’s second coming (see Rev 18 and 19). In three places, Isaiah indicates that the day of YHVH will last for one year (Isa 34:8; 61:2 and 63:4). Interestingly, in Isaiah 63:4, the prophet couples the idea of the day of YHVH’s vengeance being a year long with the jubilee year — “the year of my redeemed has come.” This occurs as the Messiah (the subject of Isa 63:1–6) judges the enemies of Israel (notably Edom) as he is at the same time about to redeem (i.e., regather and return scattered Israel to its Promised Land inheritance.) It appears that while Yeshua is judging Israel’s enemies at his second coming, he will at the same time be regathering the lost and scattered 12 tribes of Israel, a process that will take no longer than a year.
Following the example of the first redemption where Israel was delivered by the strong arm of YHVH the Redeemer, the biblical prophets and Jewish sages do not explain exactly how Israel will be redeemed the second time, but simply that she will be redeemed by the strong arm of YHVH when he defeats her enemies, sets her free and allows her to make her way to the Promised Land, as occurred in the first redemption of ancient Israel. Her being set free will involve mighty and divine judgments against Israel’s captors. As Israel was not set free from Egypt through her own efforts, except by having faith in YHVH and leaving Egypt when he opened the door, there is every indication in the biblical prophecies that the same will occur in the final redemption. As we shall discuss below, the people of Israel will first need to recognize that they are Israel, that they have turned from YHVH and his Torah, and that they need to repent of their sin and return to YHVH and the Torah.
While the Jewish sages view the final redemption as a precursory event to the coming of the Messiah at the end of the age, Yeshua and the apostolic writers teach us that this process of the redemption of mankind actually began with the first coming of Yeshua, and will continue until his second coming—a process that has been going on for 2000 years! This process can be summarized as follows:
The final redemption of Ephraim began 2000 years ago when ten men of nations took hold of the fringes of a Jew (Zech 8:23). As we have already noted, Ephraim is a biblical colloquialism for the ten tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel whose biological and/or grafted-in descendants largely comprise the Christian peoples of the earth today. The ten men of the nations is a prophetic reference to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (the ten tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel) who Elohim sent into captivity and who became scattered among the Gentile nations. This Jew, to which Zechariah makes reference, was Yeshua, the Messiah who declared that he and his disciples were sent to regather the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 10:6; 15:24), and whose gospel message has been going out to the nations of the world for 2000 years now. So, in reality, the final redemption started with the ministry of Yeshua and, in reality, has been going on for two millennia.
This redemption process, which involves the restoration of all things and the turning of the hearts of the children back to the fathers of their faith (Mal 4:1–6) just before the day of YHVH’s wrath, started in the 20th century and is picking up pace as more and more Christians are returning to the Hebraic roots of their faith.
The idea of the final redemption is tied to the biblical concept of Israel’s first exodus from Egypt and her future second exodus from the nations of the world. Let’s now examine the prophecies that pertain to this second exodus.
The Third Clue: Understanding the Second Exodus
The concept of the Messianic Age in Hebraic thought involves an understanding of the first and final redemptions, which are two separate events. The first redemption or first exodus occurred when the Israelites obeyed the Word of Elohim and placed the blood of the lamb on the door posts of their homes resulting in YHVH delivering them out of Egypt. It is understood by redeemed believers that Israel’s exodus from Egypt was prototypical of the one’s placing their faith in Yeshua (the Lamb of Elohim) who redeems them from sin’s death grip through his shed blood at the cross, and then leads them out of their spiritual Egypt of sin and worldliness toward the promised land of a new spiritual life in Messiah Yeshua.
By contrast, the final redemption or second exodus is a series of events that will occur at the end of the age prior to the return of Messiah Yeshua at the beginning of the Messianic Age (or Millennium).
For those who have placed saving faith in Yeshua the Messiah, at the final redemption, the redeemed believers will receive their spiritual or glorified bodies at the resurrection of the dead, which occurs at the second coming of Yeshua. After that, they will rule and reign with Yeshua for a thousand years during the Messianic Age. (15)
Now let’s explore some of the biblical prophecies that pertain to the second exodus. This will yield us more clues as to the timing of the return of Ephraim to the land of Israel.
Although consisting of two chapters, this passage of the Scriptures is part of the same prophecy and speaks about the coming of Messiah, and the regathering of the outcasts of Israel from the nations to which they have been scattered. Below is a list of the salient points that pertain to the second exodus along with my commentary.
- 11:10, The root of Jesse (the Messiah) will be an ensign or banner to the Gentiles of the nations. We know that Yeshua was that root of Jesse who commanded his followers to preach the gospel to the Gentile world. The gospel has gone to the entire Gentile world only in the 20th century via the means of modern travel and mass communications.
- 11:11, Here, the prophet seems to be talking about another group of people — a remnant of his people (the outcasts of Israel, verse 12) as opposed to the larger group of Gentile believers from among the nations (who have heard the gospel message) referred to in verse 10. YHVH will recover his people — the remnant of Israel — the second time (i.e., the second exodus) from all lands including the islands of the sea (North and South America, England, Australia, Japan, etc.).
- 11:12, YHVH will set up an ensign or banner for the nations and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah. Yeshua is that banner. Even though Yeshua is the ensign for the Gentiles of the nations and for the remnant outcast of Israel who are scattered among the nations, only the outcasts of Israel will be regathered along with the dispersed of Judah.
- 11:13, It is among this remnant group of scattered redeemed Israelites and dispersed redeemed Jews that peace between the two groups will occur. How may we ask are these two previously antagonistic groups brought together? This can only occur through a common adherence to Torah and a belief in Yeshua the Jewish Messiah who makes of Jews and Gentiles one new man (Eph 2:11–19). At the same time, the adversaries of Judah and Ephraim (the Edomites or Moslems and their Islamo-fascist terrorist allies [more on this later]) will be cut off.
- 11:14–15, Together, Judah and Ephraim will defeat Edom, the Philistines of the West Bank, and Moab. (Note that all these enemies of Israel are Moslem nations! Compare this with the prophecies of Obad 18 and Zech 9:13.) Perhaps there are two groups of Judahites and Ephraimites: the remnant and the greater group. It appears that greater or national (secular) Judah and national (secular) Ephraim will defeat Edom, as it seems less likely that a remnant of Yeshua-followers (the end times Torah-observant saints) will be the ones to do this.
- 11:16, The scene switches back to the remnant again where a highway will be formed for YHVH’s people to return to Israel from Assyria (the nation of their captivity). This second exodus will be similar to Israel’s leaving Egypt the first time. As YHVH led ancient Israel through the wilderness en route to the Promised Land, he will do the same in the last days when Israel will return to the land of Israel from the nations of her exile.
- 12:1–12, This chapter seems to describe a millennial setting. For example, verse three is understood in Hebraic thought to be a reference to Hoshana Rabbah, the last great day of the fall biblical Feast of Tabernacles (or Sukkot), which is a prophetic picture of the Millennium when the Spirit of YHVH will be poured out upon the earth.
Now let’s note Isaiah 11:10–12:6 in the broader context of the chapters following this passage. Perhaps there is some additional understanding to be found as to the timing of Ephraim’s return by examining the event foretold therein.
Chapter 13:6, 9, 13 speak of the day of YHVH’s wrath, which occurs at the end of the age when YHVH will judge the nations as described in the seven bowl judgments of Revelation 15 and 16. The wrath in Isaiah 13 is directed at Babylon, and in Revelation 15 and 16 YHVH’s wrath is toward the nations of the world as represented by Babylon the Great, which is a greater, world-ruling version of the original Babylon. Because of the proximity of Isaiah 11 describing the second exodus with chapter 13 prophesying the fall of Babylon, it would appear that these two events are related.
After this, chapter 14 goes on to talk about the fall of the king of Babylon with verses 13 through 20 and then curiously links this to Lucifer’s (Satan’s) rebellion against YHVH and his fall from glory and his being cast into a pit (verse 15). The Book of Revelation also speaks of similar events—Satan’s fall from heaven (Rev 12:7–9), Babylon the Great’s destruction (Rev 18) and Satan’s being cast into the bottomless pit (Rev 20:1–3). Are Isaiah and John’s prophecies speaking about the same events that are to occur at the end of the age, and to YHVH’s end times judgment of Babylon the Great with Satan the devil as its head (see Rev 13, 18, 19 and 20)? This could be the case.
In chapter 14, Isaiah then goes on to prophecy another judgment against the king of Babylon, then a judgment against the Assyrians, Philistines (Isa 14), Moab (Isa 16) and Syria (Isa 17) and America—a land beyond and due west of Ethiopia that is accessible only by ocean ships (Isa 18), and, finally, judgment upon Egypt (Isa 19–20).
Then chapter 21 readdresses the fall of Babylon where in verse nine the phrase “Babylon is fallen, is fallen” is repeated as if to say that Babylon fell once, but that it will fall again in the end times. Most people are familiar with this phrase from John’s Book of Revelation (Rev 18:2), but are unaware that John is actually quoting Isaiah. It’s as if John is calling our attention to Isaiah’s prophecy as a corollary antecedent statement that relates to his own prophecy.
Isaiah then goes on to pronounce judgment against Edom and Arabia (Isa 21), against Phoenicia (Isa 23) and then against the whole earth (Isa 24). Could these prophecies of Isaiah be what John is seeing in Revelation when he describes YHVH’s bowl judgments against the whole earth just prior to the return of Yeshua (Rev 15 and 16), which John refers to as the wrath of Elohim (Rev 14:19; 15:1,7; 16:2,19)? In the chronology of the Book of Revelation, the fall of Babylon the Great occurs after the bowl judgments of the wrath of Elohim are poured out upon the whole earth. After this, Yeshua returns to this earth with his heavenly army to bring final judgment upon the armies that have gathered at Armageddon (Rev 19 and Jude 14–15). At this time, Satan and his Antimessiah confederacy, who dared to exalt themselves against YHVH and his Anointed One, will be dashed to pieces and destroyed for good (Rev 19:11–21; 20:1–3)!
So we see from this series of passages additional clues as to the timing of the second exodus and the return of Ephraim to the land of Israel. As the first exodus of Israel from Egypt occurred in conjunction with Egypt’s judgment and demise, so it appears that similar events will surround the second exodus. YHVH will judge all the nations which are part of end times Babylon the Great, and the devil, who is the instigator of man’s rebellion against YHVH-Yeshua, and then the dispersed captives of Israel will be set free to return to her promised inheritance.
Perhaps this whirlwind tour of all these prophecies is overwhelming, and my analysis may seem to be too broad and speculative. But before jumping to any conclusions one way or the other, let’s continue to examine other biblical prophecies on this subject to determine if a pattern of events will begin to take shape that will shed light on the timing of Ephraim’s return. After you begin to see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together to form the whole picture, you will be in a better position to determine if there is enough evidence from the whole counsel of the Scriptures to support what I am proposing. As the Scriptures say, “Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things, hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess 5:20–21).
Another solid second exodus reference is found in Jeremiah 16:14–15. Here we read,
“Therefore, behold, the days come,” says YHVH, “that it shall no more be said, ‘YHVH liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, YHVH liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.’”
What stands out about this passage is that the second exodus will be much greater in scope than the first exodus, and will involve scattered Israelites being regathered from the countries north of Israel and from wherever else they have been scattered. It must be remembered that the lands of Babylon and Assyria into which ancient Israel was exiled was primarily east northeast of Israel, and not due north of Israel as this prophecy indicates. So this prophecy has yet a future fulfillment.
What’s more, in the future when these prophecies are fulfilled, YHVH promises to punish Israel for its iniquity (or Torahlessness, verse 17–18). This will happen when the Israelites who have been scattered among the Gentiles begin to wake up and realize that much of what they have been taught for religious truth is nothing more than worthless, anti-Torah lies (verse 19)! At the same time, they will come to know the name of YHVH (verse 21) — a possible reference to the restoration of the Hebrew-biblical names of deity, which is happening in our day among many who are rediscovering the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith.
This second-exodus prophecy is almost a direct quote from Jeremiah’s earlier 16:14–15 prophecy, which we have just discussed above.
It is interesting to note the timing of this prophecy’s fulfillment. This second exodus regathering corresponds with Yeshua’s reigning over this earth and executing judgment (verses 2–5) — something that will not happen until Yeshua’s second coming when he will defeat his enemies and establish his millennial kingdom on earth. So we see from this passage that the second exodus, when scattered Israel (including Ephraim) is regathered and returns to dwell safely in the land of Israel (verse 6), coincides with the second coming of Yeshua and the beginning of the millennium.
The First Exodus Compared to the Second Exodus
Let’s now examine the first exodus and compare it to the second exodus that many end times believers, and Jewish sages believe will happen at the end of the age, prior to the coming of the Messiah and arrival of the Messianic Age or Millennium. Perhaps, this will give us some more clues as to the timing of Ephraim’s return to Israel.
First, what are the similarities between the first and second exodus?
- The children of Israel could not leave Egypt as long as they were bound as slaves to that land. When YHVH brought judgment against Egypt and crushed that nation, Egypt no longer had the power to keep Israel enslaved who was free to leave at this point. This was Israel’s first redemption or first exodus.
- If the second exodus will follow the pattern of the first exodus, then in the end times, the world wide system known as Babylon the Great, which enslave men including scattered Israelites (Rev 18, especially note verse 13) economically, politically and religiously (Rev 13), will have to be judged first and destroyed before her captives are set free. Only after Babylon has fallen, when Yeshua destroys it at his second coming, will Israel will be free to return to the land of Israel en masse. This is when the jubilee trumpet of freedom will sound to proclaim liberty throughout the earth. In ancient Israel, the jubilee trumpet sounded every 50 years on the biblical holy day of Yom Kippur. Because of this and other reason, we believe that Yeshua will return to this earth on Yom Kippur. (16)
- Exodus 13:20, The first place the Israelites came to after leaving Egypt was Sukkot. Is this a prophetic indicator that Israel will largely return to the land of Israel on or during the fall biblical festival event known as the Feast of Tabernacles (or Sukkot)? The Israelites weren’t able to leave Egypt until that nation was judged and destroyed. Similarly, it would seem that only after Yeshua judges and destroys Babylon the Great during the seven bowl judgments, and at the battle of Armageddon, that Ephraim will be able to leave their captive nations for the land of Israel.
- Next, the children of Israel had to wander in the wilderness for awhile where YHVH refined out of them the spiritual corruption of Egypt. It was in the wilderness that he gave them his Torah, and formed them into a godly nation that was ready to enter the Promised Land. Similarly, biblical prophecies speak of the end times saints going through a wilderness en route to the Promised Land. There they will be spiritually refined. Those who refuse to follow YHVH’s Torah will be excluded, while those who do will be permitted to return to the land of Israel (Ezek 20:34–38). Additionally, other prophecies speak of a highway being made through the wilderness for scattered Israel to return to the Promised Land. For certain, the saints of end times Israel will come into her promised inheritance by way of the wilderness (Isa 11:16; 40:3–4 cp. 35:8; 43:19) as did the children of Israel.
- In the first exodus, Joshua (Heb. Yehoshua) led the Israelites into the Promised. In the second exodus at his second coming, Yeshua (short for Yehoshua) will lead the saints of redeemed Israel into the Promised Land in the end days according to Hebrews 4. This will commence a thousand year-long millennial Sabbath rest for the Israelite saints of YHVH (again see Heb 4).
- Judah was the tribe to lead the way into the Promised Land in the first exodus (Num 10:13–14). The Jews of the tribe of Judah have been the first to return to the land of Israel in our time. If the prophecies of the Bible are true, and I believe they are, then the rest of the tribes will follow after Judah. If they don’t, then the Bible lies when it speaks of all the tribes returning to the land of Israel in the last days.
- YHVH promised to go before Israel as a consuming fire to destroy her enemies who were illegally inhabiting the land YHVH had promised to Israel, and who were hindering Israel’s entrance into the land (Deut 9:3). In the end times at the second exodus, Yeshua will destroy with consuming fire all of redeemed Israel’s enemies who will be hindering her return to her promised inheritance (1 Thess 1:8–9; 2 Thess 2:8; Heb 10:27; Rev 18:8–10; 19:20; 20:10).
- Israel had to drive out the inhabitants of Canaan — at least those who were antagonistic against Israel (the Gibeonites were an exception) — under Joshua the warrior’s leadership. This feat Israel was able to do only with YHVH’s miraculous help (Deut 9:3; 11:23). End times Israel (YHVH’s warrior bride) under the leadership of Yeshua, the warrior-king will drive out and defeat her enemies (Edom and Babylon the Great) who will be preventing her from entering the Promised Land.
- As ancient Israel had to come into Torah obedience in preparation for entering the Promised Land (Deut 11:8), so in the last days, a return to Torah will be a precursor requirement for redeemed Israel to enter her promised inheritance in the land. Many biblical prophecies attest to this fact. The rebels and Torahless will not enter the land of Israel (Ezek 20:37–38).
Finally, what are the dissimilarities between the first and second exodus?
- The children of Israel went out of Egypt as a unified group in the first exodus, since they all lived in the land of Goshen in Egypt. However, in the second exodus of the last days, scattered Israel, by virtue of the fact that they have been scattered around the world, will not return to Israel as a single unified group. They will likely return in waves at various times from various places. Many from Judah have already returned to the land of Israel. The first wave of Ephraimites will likely include those resurrected saints who will enter into the Promised Land at his second coming. Thereafter and on into the Millennium, little-by-little, more lost and found Israelites (those of both Judah and Ephraim) will begin to make their way back to the land of Israel from the spiritual wilderness to where they have been scattered for so long. This will occur as little-by-little they realize that they’re Israelites (biologically or grafted in), repent of their sins, and return to the Elohim of Israel, and accept the Messiah and his Torah.
Remember, the first exodus involved the ancient Israelites coming out of Egypt. The Bible prophesies that the second exodus will involve the last days’ descendants of those ancient Israelites who have been scattered to the four corners of the globe returning to the land of Israel. As I noted above, the biblical prophets predicted this would occur, and this has been the consensus of many Jewish sages, including the Talmud, for nearly 2000 years.
If my analysis between the first and second exoduses is correct, it would seem that Ephraim will return to the land of Israel at or just after the second coming of Yeshua and after he has destroyed Babylon the Great, and not before.
The Fourth Clue: Ezekiel’s Wilderness of the Peoples Prophecy
Another clue as to the timing of Ephraim’s return to the land of Israel is found in Ezekiel 20:33–44. At this time, I recommend that you read this entire passage in your Bible. Below, I will present a verse-by-verse commentary on what you have just read.
- Verses 33–34, As YHVH supernaturally and with his outstretched arm of judgment brought the Israelites out from Egypt, so in the end times, YHVH will bring the house of Israel out of the captive nations where they have been scattered.
- Verses 35–36, YHVH will bring the house of Israel into “a wilderness of the people.” Is this a literal wilderness similar to what the children of Israel went through, or a spiritual wilderness where a remnant of faithful Israelites will exist isolated and rejected in the midst of the heathen peoples of the nations? I don’t know. Certainly, many modern day redeemed Israelites are sensing that they are currently in a spiritual wilderness where they feel alienated from the pagans around them, and, at the same time, have been rejected by their Jewish and Christian brothers. Perhaps YHVH has a physical wilderness experience in store for his people as well. Until we know for sure, we must watch and pray. In this wilderness of the peoples, YHVH will plead with Israel face-to-face like he did in the wilderness of Sinai. Here is yet another reference to a future second exodus.
- Verses 37–38, In that wilderness, YHVH will separate or purge out from his people the rebels from the righteous, and the Torahless from the Torah-obedient as he did with ancient Israel for 40 years. Those who refused to obey him died in the wilderness. Only those who were obedient to him were permitted to enter the Promised Land.
- Verses 38–39, During this time of testing and purging, the house of Israel will not be returning to the land of Israel until they have put away their spiritual idols (or false doctrines and unbiblical belief systems and vain traditions).
- Verses 40–41, After this process of spiritual purification and refinement occurs, “all the house of Israel” (both Judah and Ephraim) will be acceptable to YHVH and will serve him on his holy mountain (in Jerusalem). This prophecy obviously has yet to be fulfilled.
- Verses 42–44, “All the house of Israel” (i.e., Judah and Ephraim) will not return to the land of Israel until they loath their spiritual pollutedness (or state of Torahlessness). This prophecy has not yet been fulfilled either.
Possibly correlating with Ezekiel’s wilderness of the people’s prophecy is a verse in Revelation 12. There we find a prophecy about an end times remnant of Torah-obedient followers of Yeshua (verse 17) who, due to persecution, are forced to flee into the wilderness for three-and-a-half years (verses 6 and 14).
Another corollary passage to Ezekiel’s wilderness of the peoples prophecy is Hosea 2:14–23. Here YHVH speaks of alluring Ephraim into a wilderness where he will speak kindly to her. After that, YHVH will give her vineyards and the valley of Achor (meaning “trouble”) for a door of hope. Israel will go through a time of trouble (a likely to reference to “Jacob’s trouble,” which I will discuss below) before entering the Promised Land.
What is the significance of Achor? You will recall that it was there that Achan and his family were stoned to death because they brought sin into the camp of Israel (Josh 7:1–26). Israel was not able to go forward in its conquest of the Promised Land until the sin was put out of their camp.
In Ezekiel’s wilderness of the people, YHVH will deal with sin in the camp by passing his people under the rod of his judgment as a shepherd separates out his sheep. There he will purge out the rebels from Israel and those who are the transgressors or who walk in Torahlessness (Ezek 20:37–38) even as YHVH purged Israel of the sin of Achan before they were allowed to enter the Promised Land.
In his prophecy, Hosea likens this “second exodus” to the first exodus when Israel came out of Egypt with joy. The second exodus will be a time when Israel will become endeared to YHVH as a wife to her husband and he will take the name of foreign gods from out of her mouth. He will then make a covenant with Israel and will betroth himself to Israel forever. This is an event that the Bible clearly associates with the second coming of Yeshua. (17)
The Fifth Clue: Understanding Jacob’s Trouble
What is Jacob’s trouble? The phrase “Jacob’s trouble” is found in Jeremiah 30:7. There has been much speculation among Christian commentators as to the meaning of this phrase prophetically. Classical commentators see Jacob’s trouble as relating to the Babylonian exile of the Jews and their redemption from captivity. The error with this interpretation is that Jeremiah speaks of not only the Jews (the house of Judah, i.e., the southern kingdom), but also of the “people of Israel” (or the house of Israel, i.e., the northern kingdom, see verse 3 and 4). Furthermore, this prophecy (see verse 9) speaks of a resurrected David ruling over a redeemed Judah and Israel. Clearly this hasn’t happened yet!
On the other hand, many modern Christian commentators see Jacob’s trouble as a future end times event relating to the Jewish people, Daniel’s seventieth week, the great tribulation, the man of sin and the Antichrist. The problem with this interpretation is that although it takes the Jews (the house of Judah) into account, it too fails to take into account the house of Israel and a resurrected David ruling over both houses of Israel.
For context, I will cite verses two through nine. This is an end-times prophecy pertaining to both Ephraim and Judah.
2 Thus speaks YHVH Elohim of Israel, saying, “Write you all the words that I have spoken unto you in a book. 3 For, lo, the days come,” says YHVH, “that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah,” says YHVH, “and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.” 4 And these are the words that YHVH spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah. 5 For thus says YHVH, “We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask you now, and see whether a man does travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7 Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. 8 For it shall come to pass in that day,” says YHVH of Hosts, “that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and will burst your bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him. 9 But they shall serve YHVH their Elohim, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.”
Perhaps when Jeremiah spoke of Jacob’s trouble he had in mind an antecedent event that occurred in the patriarch’s life that could be prophetic of something that would reoccur in a broader scope to his future descendants — the twelve tribes of Israel. In other words, perhaps an understanding of Israel’s history will yield clues as to her future! The cyclical nature of biblical history — that is, biblical history repeating itself — is the paradigmatic view through which Jewish sages view many Old Testament events. For example, I have already discussed the cycles of redemption that have occurred in Israel’s history and that will occur in her future. Because Israel is under the hand of divine guidance, the prophets and the Jewish sages realize that this unseen heavenly hand deals in similar fashions with different generations of Israelites. This appears to be the case when it comes to understanding the meaning behind Jacob’s trouble.
With this in mind, what event in Jacob’s life was his darkest day and would merit the rubric of “Jacob’s trouble”? Doubtless, it would have been when he was returning to his home in Canaan after 20 years exile in Babylon under the servitude of Laban. After laboring hard and starting with nothing, he had gained two wives, many children and much wealth. Now Esau, his hate-filled brother, was seeking his life, and he was about to lose everything.
While I am not aware that the Jewish sages have connected this event in Jacob’s life with Jeremiah’s usage of the phrase “Jacob’s trouble,” they do have the sense that Jacob’s perilous encounter with his brother Esau (or Edom) foreshadows future experiences Israel would have with Esau’s descendants. They see Edom as an allusion to the nations in whose lands the people of Israel are currently exiled (18), and from which, I might add, captive Israel would be set free, enabling them to return to the land of Israel, even as Jacob did when leaving Laban.
Now let’s analyze Jeremiah 30 verse-by-verse to find more clues in helping us to ascertain the timing of Ephraim’s return to the land of Israel as it relates to Jacob’s trouble.
- Verse 3, This is a future prophecy concerning Israel and Judah involving their returning to the land YHVH gave their fathers.
- Verse 5, This period of time is a time of trembling and fear and of dread and terror (or terrorism?), and not of peace (Heb. shalom).
- Verse 6, It is likened to a woman’s birth pains.
- Verse 7, It is a time of Jacob’s trouble (the Hebrew word for trouble means “straits, distress, tribulation, affliction, adversity”); YHVH promises to save Jacob “out of it.”
- Verse 8, YHVH of Hosts promises to break the yoke off from Israel’s neck.
- Verse 9, YHVH will “raise up” [or resurrect] David and he will be king over a united kingdom. This sets the time period to that of the Ezekiel 37 valley of dry bones and the two sticks prophecies pertaining to Ephraim’s and Judah’s “resurrection” and reunification at the coming of the Messiah when David will rule over the united kingdom.
- Verses 10–11,17, YHVH will bring the seed of Jacob (or the outcasts, verse 17) back from afar from the land of their captivity and will judge the nations where he had scattered them. YHVH will completely destroy the nations in which he scattered Israel, but he will preserve Israel out of them, although YHVH will punish Israel as well. This is an aspect of Jacob’s trouble (see verse 7). Even as Jacob was wounded in his struggle with the Angel or Messenger of YHVH (Gen 32:22–32), so scattered Israel will be wounded or punished because of the multitude of their iniquities and sins (i.e., Torahlessness, verses 14–15).
Let’s now look at Jacob’s trouble in Genesis 32 to see if it will yield some clues pertaining to the timing of and the events surrounding the return of Ephraim’s end days return to the land of Israel.
Jacob’s Trouble: A Brief Commentary on Genesis 32
Genesis 32 is the story of Jacob’s return to Canaan after having been exiled from his homeland for 20 years. His exile occurred after he obtained his birthright from Esau through nefarious means resulting in his having to leave Canaan for fear of his life due to Esau’s desire for vengeance. Jacob found refuge in the realm of Babylonia at his uncle Laban’s home where he married Laban’s two daughters, Leah and Rachel. Genesis 32 recounts Jacob’s encounter with Esau who, along with his small army, physically stood in Jacob’s way from entering his promised homeland. This, I believe, is the “Jacob’s trouble” to which Jeremiah is referring.
The events of Genesis 32 seem to be a prophetic prototype of what will happen to Jacob’s descendants when they come back to the land of Israel in the end times after being exiled in the nations of spiritual Babylon. Why do I say this? It is because the biblical prophets predict events that will happen to Jacobs descendants that fit the scenario we see in Genesis 32.
For example, Jacob divided his family into two camps (Gen 32:3,7) in preparation for meeting Esau. In the end times, the descendants of Jacob will be divided into two camps (Judah and Ephraim) as they prepare to enter the Promised Land. But blocking them will the descendants of Esau or Edom — many of whose descendants comprise the modern Palestinian-Arab Moslems. Both camps are returning out of spiritual Babylon (as Rev 18:4 prophesies) where they have been in servitude to the Babylonish world system even as Jacob was a servant to Laban (who lived in the area of ancient Babylon). They will not defeat Esau through appeasement (Gen 32:20) as Jacob tried to do with Esau. Appeasement got Jacob nowhere except monetarily poorer, and the modern state of Israel (Judah) and the western Christian nations led by America (Ephraim, loosely speaking) are dealing with the Palestinians as Jacob did with Esau by giving in to their demands in exchange for a peaceful existence in the land. Appeasement didn’t work for Jacob, and it’s not presently working for his descendants today.
As our father Jacob did, so the end-time Israelites will have to “wrestle” with man (Edom and his allies) and Elohim (Gen 32:28) in the wilderness of the peoples (Ezek 20:33–41) in order to come into the Promised Land. End time Israel (both Ephraim and Judah) will have to prevail with YHVH and demonstrate to him that they are serious about wanting to possess their promised inheritance, and at the same time, overcome themselves (the carnal, rebellious, anti-Torah man within) with their pride and self-reliance, and the notion that they will return to the land of Israel by their own strength and prowess apart from YHVH’s divine direction and empowerment. Only after Jacob was brought low, after wrestling all night in the dirt with the Messenger of YHVH (the preincarnate Yeshua) did he wake up to his own spiritual inadequacy. It was when he was humbled and lay wounded in the flesh that he saw Elohim face-to-face, and he became a new man spiritually with a new name and a new identity.
Similarly, when YHVH’s end-time people will repent of their pride and die to “self” as a people-group (both Judah and Ephraim), this will please the Father and he will give his people victory over their enemies. Each will have to wrestle with Yeshua, the Messenger of YHVH. The Jews (Judah) will have to accept Yeshua the Living Torah as their Messiah, while the Christians (Ephraim) will have to accept the Written Torah, the Word of Elohim, which was the Word that became flesh. Yeshua has been a stone of stumbling to both houses of Israel, and only when they stumble and fall and are broken by him (Isa 8:14–15) will they be ready to enter the Promised Land.
The good news is that Jacob will be transformed into Israel. He will prevail with Elohim who will give him victory over his enemies who are attempting to prevent him from entering the land of his inheritance. How can I be so sure of this? Because IT IS WRITTEN in YHVH’s Word!
There seem to be some additional parallels between the steps Jacob or Israel took en route back to Bethel and the end times return of Israelites to the land of Israel. Please consider the following. After his showdown with and triumph over Esau (or Edom), which we will see more clearly below is prophesied to occur in the end times between greater Israel and greater Edom, Israel journeyed to Succoth (or Sukkot, Gen 33:17), and from there he went to Shechem where the son of the king of that city raped and kidnapped Dinah, the daughter of Israel. Simeon and Levi avenged their sister’s rape by killing all the men of Shechem, spoiling the city and taking the rest of the people captive (Gen 34). From there, Israel and his children went to Bethel where they made an altar to YHVH and made their residence. In ancient Israel, there were two towns by the name of Bethel: one was located 10 to 15 miles north of Jerusalem, and one (also possibly know as Bethuel) was located some distance southwest of Jerusalem in route to Beersheva where Abraham and Isaac dwelt. But the Bethel where Israel chose to abide was neither of these, but rather, one that was near Bethlehem, which is only several miles from the current Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount (Gen 35:16; 48:7). What is the prophetic significance of this in helping us to determine the timing of Ephraim’s return to the land of Israel in the last days?
As we shall below, the Scriptures seem to indicate that end times Ephraim will return to the land of Israel after he has been tested in a wilderness experienced, has overcome hateful and jealous Edom (with YHVH’s help) who is militarily blocking Israel’s entrance into the Promised Land. The Scriptures further seem to indicate that these events roughly coincide with the great and terrible day of YHVH’s wrath against the rebel nations of the world and the second coming of Yeshua, which immediately precedes the fall biblical Feast of Tabernacles or Succoth (also Sukkot), which is a prophetic picture of Yeshua’s millennial rule on this earth.
But after defeating Edom, Jacob still had to face Shechem, another aggressor, who this time hoped to defeat Israel politically through intermarriage and assimilation as opposed to Edom’s tactic of frontal military assault. Is it possible that the prophet Zechariah had this in view when he wrote concerning the day of YHVH that the nations of the world will come against Jerusalem and will take the city and rape the women (Zech 14:1–2). Is Dinah’s rape and capture a prophetic picture of this?
Zechariah then goes on to tell us that YHVH (Yeshua at his second coming) will destroy those nations and his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives. This is a clear prophecy pointing to Yeshua’s second coming. Of this event, the prophet Malachi says that YHVH’s Messenger (Yeshua) will suddenly come to his temple (Bethel or the House of El/God, another name for the Temple of Solomon). After Simeon and Levi defeated Dinah’s rapist and captors, Jacob led his family to Bethel where he chose to dwell with his family — the 12 tribes of Israel (Gen 35:1).
End-time Israel is following in their father Jacob’s footsteps leaving their exile and captivity in Babylon (false religious systems — both Christian and Jewish, which contain a mixture of both good and evil, see Rev 18:4), returning westward across the Jordan River into the land of promise, to their spiritual inheritance, which is defined in terms of YHVH’s covenants with Israel (Eph 2:12–14). YHVH is calling out a growing remnant of redeemed believers to do just that in our time. Jacob’s life is a prophetic road map of what each individual believer must go through to obtain his spiritual inheritance, as well as what all Israel collectively or nationally must go through to enter the Promised Land in the last days.
The Sixth Clue: Ephraim Refined Through Judgment Before Returning
We have just seen how YHVH called Jacob and his sons out of exile in Babylon and required them to go through a time of trouble (i.e, Jacob’s trouble) or spiritual refinement at the hands of Laban and Edom in order to prepare Jacob’s family to enter the land of Israel. Similarly, the biblical prophets tell us that history will repeat itself in the end days for the descendants of Jacob—Judah and Ephraim. For the Jews (Judah), the humbling process started in the Nazi holocaust. After that, they began returning to the land of Israel en masse. Ephraim will go through a similar humbling process before YHVH allows them to come back to the land of Israel.
As happened with Jacob, YHVH will drive the nations and people of Ephraim to a place where, in their state of spiritual apostasy, they will be forced to bend their knees before the Almighty Elohim. Most have forgotten who they are as YHVH’s people, they have forsaken their God and their spiritual heritage, and believe instead that their power, wealth, and world prestige has been gained through their own efforts. Out of the depths of spiritual, economic, political and military despair, these descendants of the patriarchs will be forced to look up to the Elohim of their forefathers and acknowledge that their blessings have only been a result of his grace and his promises to their forefathers. (19)
Getting Ephraim and Judah to acknowledge this will not be an easy task. They will both have to go through great hardships, and doubtless many will endure near annihilation before they acknowledge their sin of apostasy and repent and turn back to YHVH.
Before the people of Ephraim return to the land of Israel, they must first be judged for their apostate ways. The Christian nations and the Christian church have turned away from YHVH and his Torah, and YHVH chastens whom he loves (Heb 12:6). Of the lukewarm church, YHVH says he will spit them out of his mouth, unless they are refined in the fires of adversity to bring them to repentance and back to him. In these fires, their spiritual eyes and ears will be opened, and their spiritual nakedness will be covered with robes of righteousness (Rev 3:15–19; 7:14).
The purpose of YHVH’s judgments on Israel are not to destroy his people, but to bring them back to him spiritually. As a loving Father (Heb 12:5–11), YHVH wants to have a spiritual relationship with Israel. This cannot happen as long as his people are walking in sinful rebellion (or Torahlessness) against him. Like a loving parent who has to spank his wayward child to bring him back to the right path, our Heavenly Father will be true to his promises and redeem Israel and bring his people back into a covenantal relationship with him. Together Israel and Messiah Yeshua will rule over YHVH’s kingdom in the millennial or messianic age to come.
The process of redeeming apostate and scattered Israel is not an easy one. But the prophecies of the Scriptures are clear. Israel will be redeemed and be released from spiritual, economic and political captivity after which it will be free to return to the land of Israel in fulfillment of numerous biblical prophecies. Again, this will happen, for it is written in the Word of Elohim! It will require the infinite wisdom and sovereign power of the Almighty to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat, but YHVH, through his prophets has declared it so. After being brought low and humbled, the people of Israel will repent of their sins and return to YHVH their Elohim.
In Ezekiel 35:10–11, we read that YHVH will make himself known among Judah and Ephraim because of his jealousy over them, and through his judgment against Edom.
“Because you have said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess them,’ although YHVH was there, “therefore, as I live,” says Adonai YHVH, “I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them when I judge you.”
Good things will happen to Ephraim and Judah as a result of being brought to their knees nationally. Not only will YHVH glorify his name in their midsts because they have returned to him, and not only will YHVH give the Israelites victory over their enemies, but YHVH will regather Israel from the lands where he has scattered them and bring them back to the Promised Land — the land of Israel.
Hosea 11:10–11 declares that as a result of Ephraim’s (America and other Christian nations’) punishment, Ephraim will return to YHVH to walk after him. (This prophecy has not been fulfilled yet, for in times past, Ephraim never did return to YHVH.) Hosea then prophesies that the children of Ephraim shall tremble (be afraid or discomfitted, or come trembling, according to the NAS) from the west. What is west of the nation of Israel? Africa. West of that? The east coast of America! They will also come out of (spiritual) Egypt and Assyria or all the nations where they have been scattered.
“They shall walk after YHVH. He will roar like a lion. When he roars, then his sons shall come trembling from the west; they shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt, like a dove from the land of Assyria. And I will let them dwell in their houses,” says YHVH.
Zechariah 10 elaborates further on what will happen to Ephraim and Judah after they have destroyed their enemies. In verse five, we see that YHVH will join with Judah and Ephraim to tread down their common enemies.
They shall be like mighty men, who tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle. They shall fight because YHVH is with them, and the riders on horses shall be put to shame. (Zech 10:5)
Then in verse six, we see that YHVH will strengthen the house of Judah and the house of Joseph and have mercy upon them, and they shall be as if he had not cast them off (i.e., he will restore them spiritually).
I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph [or Ephraim]. I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; for I am YHVH their Elohim, and I will hear them. (Zech 10:6)
As a result of YHVH’s mercy upon Judah and Ephraim, they will rejoice in YHVH (verse 7), and he will whistle for them and gather them, for he has redeemed (ransomed, rescued, delivered) them.
I will whistle for them and gather them, for I will redeem them; and they shall increase as they once increased. (Zech 10:8)
YHVH will remember his people from all the far countries to where they have been scattered.
I will sow them among the peoples, and they shall remember me in far countries; they shall live, together with their children, and they shall return. (Zech 10:9)
YHVH will bring Israel back out of (spiritual) Egypt and (spiritual) Assyria (the places of their enslavement and captivity) to the land of Israel. There will be so many returning that there will not be room for them in the land of Israel.
I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, until no more room is found for them. (Zech 10:10)
They shall cross seas and rivers to get there. Just as the children of Israel passed through the Red Sea and the Jordan River on their way to the Promised Land, so when the second or greater exodus occurs, YHVH will bring his people back to the land of Israel supernaturally through oceans and rivers.
He shall pass through the sea with affliction, and strike the waves of the sea: all the depths of the river shall dry up. Then the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart. (Zech 10:11)
Before Ephraim and Judah return, Assyria and Egypt must be brought down. By the time Zechariah had written his prophecy, Egypt and Assyria had already fallen and were no longer empires. Likely, Zechariah’s prophecy was referring to end times nations that would be like Egypt and Assyria and hold Israel spiritually captive. This could be a reference to the end times coalition of nations the Book of Revelation refers to as Babylon the Great. Zechariah goes on to predict that the defeat of “Egypt” and “Assyria” will occur after Judah has trodden down her enemies (verse 5) with Ephraim’s help (Zech 9:13).
The prophet Ezekiel describes these happy events in the following prophecy:
4 “In those days, and in that time,” says YHVH, “the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek YHVH their Elohim. 5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, ‘Come, and let us join ourselves to YHVH in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.’ 6 My people have been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place. 7 All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, ‘We offend not, because they have sinned against YHVH, the habitation of justice, even YHVH, the hope of their fathers.’ 8 Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks.” (Jer 50:4–8)
Historically, these prophecies have not been fulfilled. They are future in nature and will occur just prior to the day of YHVH’s wrath upon the nations (Zech 14:1–3), and the return of Yeshua (Zech 12:10; 13:1; 14:4). In that day, many wicked will be killed, many of Judah and Ephraim will be saved, and many Israelites will return to the land of Israel. The return of Israel out of the nations of the world to their Promised Land is, as I have already noted, often referred to as the greater or second exodus (Jer 16:14; 23:7–8; Isa 11:11, 16; 27:13).
The Seventh Clue: Israel Must Begin Returning to Torah First
The biblical prophecies speak in unmitigated terms that a precondition for Ephraim’s return to the land of Israel will be its repenting of its sin (i.e., Torahlessness) which begins the process of Israel returning to the Torah. Let’s now document the scriptural evidence that confirms this truth.
The prophet declares that “backsliding Israel” (i.e., Ephraim, as opposed to “treacherous Judah,” verse 11) will acknowledge its iniquity (i.e., Torahlessness) against YHVH (verse 13) before she can return to Zion (verse 13). It might be said that Judah returned to Torah when the Babylonian exiles returned to the land in the sixth century B.C., but in reality, only a small remnant of Jews returned. However, to be sure, this prophecy has yet to be fulfilled with regard to the northern ten tribes of Israel (or Ephraim).
Ezekiel 36 is a prophecy to “the people of Israel” (verse 8) and to “all the house of Israel” (verse 10), which includes both Ephraim and Judah. Because of their spiritual declension, YHVH punished them by scattering them among the heathen and dispersing them throughout the countries of the world (verses 19–23). But happily, he promises to regather his people and to bring them into their own land (verse 24) where he will regenerate them spiritually resulting in their return to Torah obedience (verses 25–38).
Again, these prophecies have not been fulfilled heretofore in their fullest sense, since Ephraim has neither been regathered from its exile, nor has it yet repented of its Torahlessness in any major way, much less returned to the land of Israel. This is yet to come.
This prophecy is short, but packed with prophetic significance. The key players are Ephraim and Judah (5:3,5,9–14; 6:4,10,11) who became sick spiritually (or Torahless, 5:13) resulting in the kingdom of Israel being torn apart (when the kingdom divided under Rehoboam, verse 14).
YHVH then indicates that, in a sense, he will abandon them and return to his place (in heaven) until they acknowledge their offense (verse 15). Who but Yeshua left his people Israel on earth and returned to his place in heaven after his resurrection?
There Yeshua will stay until Ephraim and Judah acknowledge their offense (Ephraim has rejected the law of Moses or written Torah-Word of Elohim, while Judah has rejected Yeshua, the Living Torah-Word of Elohim).
In the mean time, both houses of Israel will go through affliction resulting in their seeking YHVH eagerly (verse 15). Jointly, they will acknowledge their offense, recognize that they are brother nations that YHVH had previously torn apart. Their epiphany or spiritual awakening will result in their seeking YHVH to heal the breach between them (6:1). Hosea then goes on to prophesy that after two days (or prophetically, 2000 years from the time that Yeshua left earth to return to his place, 5:15), YHVH will revive Ephraim and Judah spiritually. Then in the third day (or the third millennia after Yeshua’s first coming), he will raise them up (or resurrect them physically and spiritually), and together the two houses of Israel will live in Messiah’s sight, presumably during the Millennium.
Again, this unique prophecy is yet to be fulfilled, and the time frame of its fulfillment seems to be end times and pre-millennial.
In Hosea’s prophecy, we see the same old story repeating itself again: the people of Ephraim turn away from the Torah-based covenants of YHVH (Hos 8:1,12). To be true to his Word, YHVH is then forced to discipline his people by scattering them throughout the nations of the world (Hos 8:8). However, in his mercy, YHVH will regather them after they demonstrate a sorrowful heart (Hos 8:10).
For nearly 2000 years, Torah (or the “law of Moses”) has been a strange or foreign thing to Christianity (Ephraim). It has developed theological philosophies to alienate its adherents from serious Torah-obedience saying that the law has been done away with, nailed to the cross, is against us, and that since we are not “under” the law and are therefore free to break it. Never in the past has Ephraim acknowledged its Torahless state, but the day is coming when more and more Christians will acknowledge their Torahlessness and will repent and return to YHVH as prophesied by Hosea. This process is already beginning to happen as thousands of Christians worldwide are returning to Hebrew-Torah roots of their faith.
Amos reiterates what the other prophets have said vis-à-vis Ephraim. Because of sin (or Torahlessness), YHVH promises to punish the house of Jacob (verse 8) by sifting them through the nations of the world (verse 9). Those of the house of Jacob (both Jews and Christians) who refuse to repent of their sin (Torahlessness) shall die by the sword (verse 10).
After YHVH purges his people, he promises to raise up the tabernacle of David, which as I discussed above, relates to the regathering and reuniting of the two houses of Israel under a resurrected King David at the second coming of Yeshua (verses 11–15).
The Eighth Clue: Israel’s Captor Nations Must Be Judged First
YHVH brought judgment against Egypt and the captive Israelites were set free. A thousand years later, YHVH brought judgment against Babylon by the Persians after which the Jewish exiles were liberated and allowed to return to the land of Israel. In our time, YHVH brought judgment against Nazi Germany, and the Jews subsequently obtained an independent country to which they were free to immigrate in 1948. And in the near future, Yeshua, prior to and at his second coming, will bring judgment against Babylon the Great, and the captives of Ephraim will be set free to return to their promised inheritance in the land of Israel. Judgment on Ephraim’s and Judah’s enemies is a precondition for Israel’s return to the land of Israel. The Nazi’s may have been judged in World War II, but the world is still full of anti-Semitism and anti-Christian hatred. The Palestinians and many of their Moslem brothers still hate Jews and Christians and are currently engaged in Koran-inspired jihad against the people of Israel. Their aim is to destroy both America and Israel, and to take over Christian nations and impose Islamic law. The enemies of Israel are alive and well and gaining strength! The stage is being set for an end times showdown between these two groups as predicted by the biblical prophets thousands of years ago. But the enemies of Israel will be defeated.
The prophet Ezekiel describes these happy events in the following prophecy:
4 “In those days, and in that time,” says YHVH, “the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek YHVH their Elohim. 5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, ‘Come, and let us join ourselves to YHVH in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.’ 6 My people have been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place. 7 All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, ‘We offend not, because they have sinned against YHVH, the habitation of justice, even YHVH, the hope of their fathers.’ 8 Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks.” (Ezek 50:4–8)
But before the captives of Israel are set free, Babylon will be destroyed (Ezek 50:1–3,9–16,21–32,35–46; 51:1–49). Prior to this, YHVH will warn his people to flee Babylon and YHVH’s vengeance or judgments against her (51:6 cp. Rev 18:4).
This prophecy was fulfilled in part by the Persians as recorded in the Book of Daniel, but not completely. In Daniel’s day, only the house of Judah was liberated from Babylon. This prophecy, however, speaks of both the children of Israel (the house of Israel or Ephraim) the children of Judah (house of Judah), who both and together are repenting and seeking YHVH their Elohim (verse 4). This has not happened yet. So we await a future and greater end times fulfillment of this prophecy.
Numerous other biblical prophets speak of YHVH’s judgment falling on Israel’s captors resulting in the outcasts of Israel being liberated and allowed to return to the land of Israel. Israel’s first exodus came after Egypt was judged. The second exodus will occur after the nations of the world will be judged.
Historically, the end times judgment of the nations that numerous biblical prophecies speak about has not occurred. They are future in nature and will occur just prior to the day of YHVH’s wrath upon the nations (Zech 14:1–3) and the return of Yeshua (Zech 12:10; 13:1; 14:4). In that day, many wicked will be killed, while many people of Judah and Ephraim will be saved, and many Israelites will return to the land of Israel. As noted above, the return of Israel out of the nations of the world to their promised land is often referred to as the greater or second exodus.(20) As ancient Israel was held captive as slaves in ancient Egypt, so in the end times, the people of YHVH are being held captive by the nations where they live. They are political, economic and spiritual captives to a world wide new world order, Babylon the Great, Antichrist system that enslaves its inhabitants. Ephraim is not free to return to the land of Israel yet. If you think you are, just move to Israel and see how far you get if you can’t prove that you’re Jewish!
There are still more prophecies that speak of YHVH’s judgment against the nations who are Israel’s enemies.
Isaiah chapter 24 speaks of YHVH’s judgment against the whole earth. Since Noah’s flood, when has this ever happened? The earth will be turned upside down (verse 1). All people will be affected (verse 2). The earth will mourn and fade away (verse 4). Because of the man’s breaking the Torah-laws of Elohim (verse 5), the earth will be cursed, its inhabitants made desolate, and most will be killed (verse 6). Even Israelites who have been scattered to the isles of the sea will be punished (verse 15). The foundations of the earth will be shaken (verse 18), the earth will be broken down, dissolved and moved exceedingly (verse 19). It will reel to and fro like a drunkard (verse 20). On that day of judgment, YHVH will punish the leaders of the earth (verse 21), after which, YHVH of Hosts will rule in Zion and Jerusalem (verse 23). Does anyone reading this doubt whether this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled?
In chapter 25, Isaiah breaks into praising YHVH who has brought low the haughty nations and given strength to the poor (verses 2–4), and who has swallowed up death in victory and wiped away the tears and shame of his people (verse 8) who are now rejoicing in his salvation (verse 9) from their enemies (verse 10).
Chapter 26 continues the song of praise, and refers to YHVH’s judgments upon the earth’s inhabitants (verse 9) for oppressing YHVH’s people (verse 11). At this time, the nation of Israel will suddenly increase in numbers — presumably because the resurrection of the righteous dead (at the second coming of Yeshua) has just occurred (verses 14 and 19). But this happens only after the time of YHVH’s indignation has passed when the inhabitants of the earth are punished for their sins (verses 20–21).
Isaiah’s same prophecy continues into chapter 27, where YHVH’s judgment against the earth continues. YHVH shall slay the dragon that is in the sea (verse 1, this is likely a prophetic allusion to Satan’s Babylon the Great end-times world-ruling system that the books of Daniel and Revelation liken metaphorically to a dragon coming out the sea of the nations or humanity). Isaiah then goes into a discourse (verses 5–10) about Israel’s restoration to her land where she will experience spiritual revival and the land will yield an abundance of physical produce as well. What is the signal of the regathering of these exiled and scattered Israelites? Let’s read verse 13.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet/shofar shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship YHVH in the holy mount at Jerusalem.
What is this gathering of the children of Israel at the sound of the great trumpet, and when does it occur? In the previous chapters we see several dominate themes: judgment of YHVH against the nations — the enemies of Israel in whose lands where they have been held captive, Israel being restored to her land, and now, in this verse, a regathering of Israel at the sound of a great trumpet. Some believe that Yeshua’s prophecy in Matthew 24:27–31 is a parallel prophecy to Isaiah’s prophecy. Is Yeshua speaking about the regathering of Israel after the great tribulation (Matt 24:29), and after his second coming (Matt 24:29–30), at which time he will send forth his angels to gather his people Israel (literally, his elect, or picked out chosen ones) from the four corners of the earth at a great sound of a trumpet (or shofar horn, verse 31)?
Furthermore, is this sound of a great shofar the very same great blast of the shofar that would sound in ancient Israel every fiftieth year on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) signaling the beginning of the jubilee year when all the captives were set free, debts were forgiven and the land was returned to its original owners? The jubilee trumpet sounded and the jubilee year was consecrated on Yom Kippur (Lev 25:9–10), while the year of release (as the jubilee year came to be known) actually started during the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut 31:10; cp 15:1ff; Exod 21:2; 23:10). This seventh year release corresponds with the jubilee year, which begins at the end of the 49th year and at the beginning of the 50th year. Isaiah 61:1–2, in an apparent reference to a greater prophetic jubilee release of the spiritual Israelites captives to occur in the future, speaks of proclaiming liberty to the captives. This event occurs in conjunction with the day of YHVH’s vengeance or wrath, which occurs at the end of the age prior to the return of Yeshua. The day of YHVH’s wrath corresponds to the seven trumpets and seven bowl judgments that he will pour out upon the earth as prophesied in Revelation (chapters 8 through 12, 15 and 16). This is Elohim’a judgment against Babylon the Great and culminates when Yeshua, at his second coming, destroys this evil one-world system once and for all (Rev 19:11–21). Therefore, it would seem that Yeshua’s return will occur on an actual jubilee year. At that time, Babylon’s enslaved captives (Rev 18:13) will be liberated. Among these spiritual captives, there will doubtless be Israelites who will be set free, who will repent and return to YHVH, and whom he will regather and return to the land of Israel.
If my understanding of these scriptures is correct, then here is yet another clue that the regathering of Ephraim to its land inheritance occurs after the wrath of Elohim and the fall of Babylon the Great, which occurs at the second coming of Yeshua.
We have looked at Jeremiah 30 in our discussion above on Jacob’s trouble and the regathering of Israel and Judah and their return to the land of Israel, but verse 11 contains additional details we need to spotlight. Verse 11 reads,
“For I am with you,” says YHVH, “to save you: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered you, yet will I not make a full end of you: but I will correct you in measure, and will not leave you altogether unpunished.
YHVH says in verse 10 that he will save Israel from the far land of their captivity and that Jacob shall return and rest — but after he will “make a full end of all nations.” Through YHVH’s judgment of the nations, he will correct and punish Israel as well (verse 11, last part).This is an aspect of Jacob’s trouble (see verse 7). Even as Jacob was wounded in his struggle with YHVH, so scattered Israel will be wounded or punished because of the multitude of its iniquities and sins (or Torahlessness, see verses 14–15). Like Jacob, scattered Israel will be brought low spiritually en route back to the land of their inheritance (verse 14).
Once again, this prophet of YHVH picks up the sorry saga of Israel’s (both houses of Israel, verse 27) spiritual backsliding (verse 22), and its departure from the covenants of YHVH (verses 13–33). As punishment for its apostasy, Israel was scattered among the nations of the world from which YHVH promised to regather them (verses 8–10) — another prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled, since Ephraim has never in the past cried, “Arise, and let us go up to Zion unto YHVH our Elohim,” (verse 6). In the twentieth century, some of Judah (the Jews), have rallied and returned to Zion (the land of Israel). To date, Ephraim (broadly speaking, Christianity) has not. So for Ephraim, this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.
Then in verse 11, we read that YHVH has redeemed Israel from the hand of him that was stronger than him, after which Israel will return joyfully to Zion (verses 12–14). This verse was fulfilled in part when the Jewish exiles returned to Israel from Babylon, but not all aspects of this prophecy have been fulfilled. For example, under Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah only a remnant of the Jews and some Levites returned from Babylon. Not all the tribes of Israel returned from the north country, from the coasts of the earth, and from the islands afar off (verses 8 and 10).
Furthermore, the prophecy of verse 11 was fulfilled in part when the Jewish exiles were set free when YHVH judged Babylon, which fell to the Persians who then set the Jewish captives free to return to the land of Israel. But since there are aspects of this prophecy that have yet to be fulfilled, it becomes evident that in the end times YHVH will redeem enslaved Israel and set her free to return to the land of Israel after YHVH has judged the nations (as YHVH did to Egypt prior to the first exodus).
The timing of this redemption is fixed in verse 31 and 33 where YHVH speaks of entering into a marriage covenant with both the house of Israel (Ephraim) and the house of Judah (the Jews). Though Yeshua initiated this covenant at his first coming on Passover, this marital covenant has yet to be finalized as the writer of Hebrews indicates (Heb 8:8–13).
Zechariah further echoes his prophetic compatriots when he speaks of the houses of Judah and Joseph (i.e., Ephraim and Manasseh) being regathered from the nations and returning to the land of Israel (Zech 10:6–10). Zechariah dittos Jeremiah’s redemptive theme (verse 8) and links this with judgment against the nations that have held the people of YHVH captive (verse 11).
Though Zechariah prophesied while the exiled Jews were still returning from Babylon, many aspects of his prophecies are still future in nature. For example, the house of Joseph never did return with Judah, as he prophesies will happen (10:6). Furthermore, chapter 10 opens up with the well-known Messianic two-horses prophecy the first part of which was fulfilled when Yeshua entered Jerusalem triumphantly riding a colt (Luke 19:30–38). Yet the second part of this prophecy is as yet unfulfilled, but will be when Yeshua comes again — this time from heaven — riding a white war stallion to bring judgment upon the nations that have enslaved his people and oppose his rule (Rev 19:11–21). Zechariah’s prophecy seems to have in view a scenario where the captives of Judah and Ephraim will be freed or redeemed allowing them to return to Zion in conjunction with YHVH’s judging of the nations, which we know from the Book of Revelation occurs prior to and at the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah.
We find another piece of the puzzle as to the timing of Ephraim’s return to the land of Israel in Hosea’s prophecy to the northern kingdom of Israel (i.e., Ephraim). In chapter 11, the prophet picks up the lament of Ephraim’s pitiable spiritual backslidden condition and YHVH’s angst over the plight of his beloved people. To bring his people back to him, he will bring judgment against Ephraim (verses 8–10), but this will be in conjunction with his roaring like a lion, which a lion does when it is hungry (Amos 3:4) to send fear into the hearts of its enemies before attacking (Hos 11:10; Isa 5:29). When will YHVH “roar” like a lion? On the day of his fierce wrath, when he will judge not only apostate Israel, but the wicked heathen nations as well. When this happens, Ephraim will come trembling from the west (due west of Israel is North America) and from the lands of spiritual Egypt and Assyria where they have been held as spiritual captives (verse 12). Again, this prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. When the Jewish exiles returned from Babylon, they come from the east, not the west. Furthermore, those who returned to Israel from Babylon were almost entirely from the kingdom of Judah, and not from the northern kingdom of Israel, also known as Ephraim!
Once again, we see that YHVH’s judgments will come upon the apostate house of Israel as YHVH allowed them to be sifted through out all the nations (Amos 9:8–10). But restoration will occur! The tabernacle of David that has fallen will be raised up; that is to say, Judah and Ephraim will be regathered, return to the land of Israel and be reunited under a resurrected king David (see Ezek 37:15–28; cp., Jer 30:1–10, especially note verse 9). At that time, they will possess the lands of Edom and the heathens (verse 12). For Israel to possess the lands of its enemies means that YHVH has first destroyed her enemies.
The timing of this prophecy is millennial when the earth will yield its rich bounty, and YHVH will bring again the captivity of his people Israel back to the land of Israel (verses 13–15).
Before his death, Moses prophesied what would occur to Israel in the future. Some of these prophecies have been fulfilled completely, others only in part or not at all. For example, verse three says that YHVH will regather Israel from all the nations to which he would scatter them because of apostasy. True, this prophecy was fulfilled in part when YHVH regathered some of the Jews from the one nation of Babylon. But this hardly fulfils the full tenor of Moses’ prophecy when he speaks about all the tribes of Israel being regathered from all the nations to which they have been scattered.
Next, we note that this prophecy speaks about not only the regathering of Israel and her return to her land, but the spiritual revival of Israel (her returning to Torah, verse 8) as well — another part of this prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled in a major way. And Israel’s revival is tied to YHVH’s judging the nations into which Israel was scattered (verse 7), which, as we have seen above, occurs at the end of the age just prior to and at the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah.
More Clues as to the Timing of Ephraim’s Return
Ephraim’s Return to Israel Coincides With the Beginning of the Millennial Era
We have already presented evidence above in several places where the regathering of the northern kingdom or tribes of Israel (also known as Ephraim) comes after YHVH’s judgment of wrath against the nations of the world and the fall of Babylon, which occurs prior to and at the second coming of Yeshua. After this, Yeshua will set up his millennial kingdom on earth to last for 1000 years, and a resurrected David will be king over a regathered and reunited Israel at this same time. Micah the prophet discusses this time period with a special emphasis on the millennial era as a time of regathering for lost and scattered Israel. Let’s see what he prophesies in this regard.
Chapter four tells us the time setting of Micah’s prophecy: in the last days when the house of YHVH will be established in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount (verse 1). From this same spot, all nations will be ruled by Torah, and all nations will go up to Jerusalem to learn the ways of YHVH (verses 1–3). At the same time, peace will prevail on the earth, and wars will cease (verse 3). This clearly is a future, millennial prophecy. The timing is in the last days after the second coming of Yeshua.
In that same time period, YHVH promises to regather the remnant of his people Israel who were cast far off (or scattered, verses 6–8). Where will his people be delivered or redeemed from? They will come from a defeated Babylon, the enemy of Israel (verse 10)!
So once again, we see reiterated the scenario of YHVH redeeming and regathering his lost and scattered people after defeating her enemies which have enslaved her. The time frame of this prophecy is millennial—presumably after the second coming of Yeshua and not before.
Rest From Her Enemies
Another clue as to the timing of Ephraim’s return to the land of Israel can be found in an interesting phrase that occurs three times in the Tanakh (or Old Testament) and once in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
In Deuteronomy 12, YHVH instructs the children of Israel that as they go in to conquer the Promised Land, they must little-by-little defeat the heathens that are living there. As they are destroying the heathen idols, they are at the same time not to be walking in sin (i.e., Torahlessness, or “every man doing what is right in his own eyes,” verse 8). They are to be keeping his Torah commands (verses 1,5–7). In the process of Israel’s following YHVH’s instructions, he promises to give them rest from their enemies (verse 10, see also 25:19 and Josh 21:44; 23:1).
This idea of Israel receiving rest from its enemies is echoed elsewhere in the Scriptures, not only when Israel entered the Promised Land the first time under Joshua (Heb. Yehoshua), but in the end times when redeemed Israel will enter the same land under Yeshua (in Heb. Yeshua is the abreviated name for Yehoshua). In fact, the writer of Hebrews draws a parallel between the first Joshua and the second Joshua (or Yeshua) and ties the idea of entering the Promised Land to that of a seventh day Sabbath rest (see Heb 4:1–9).
What we see from this is that as the Torah-obedient children of Israel were given rest from their enemies after defeating them. Likewise, a similar scenario will occur in the end days when Ephraim returns to its promised inheritance in the land of Israel. The writer of Hebrews likens this to the seventh day Sabbath and seems to be suggesting that as man rests on the seventh day, so YHVH’s people will enter the promised land under King Yeshua in the seventh millennia of man’s existence on this earth. This rest will last for one thousand years, and is commonly referred to as the Millennium.
Ezekiel 33:21 to 39:29 — Chronology of Judgment and Restoration
The prophecies contained in these chapters seem to be a chronological summary of all that will happen to end times Israel just prior to her being regathered and restored to the land of Israel. It is a synopsis of the main points I have covered thus far in this study paper.
This prophecy begins in Ezekiel 33:21 (“in the twelfth year in the tenth month in the fifth day of the month”) and continues through the end of chapter 39 at which time Ezekiel receives another vision for another time. This prophecy admonishes the watchmen (the prophets and spiritual leaders) of Israel to be faithful to their duties to warn the city or the house of Israel (33:7,10,11,20) of impending danger should it come, and the judgments that will fall upon the house of Israel if they fail to heed the watchmen’s warnings to turn from wickedness (Torahlessness).
The Ezekiel 33 prophecy shows a progression of events that give us another indication as to the timing of Ephraim return to the land of Israel.
Let’s now look at this prophecy in an overview fashion:
- The prophetic watchmen warn the house of Israel to repent of the sin of Torahlessness (chapter 33).
- YHVH rebukes the shepherds or pastors of the house of Israel (in our day, this would refer to Christian pastors and spiritual leaders) who are self-serving hirelings and who are not ministering to, feeding or healing YHVH’s lost and scattered sheep (chapter 34).
- YHVH promises to raise up true shepherds after his own heart, and will eventually set (a resurrected) David as king over his sheep who have been regathered from among the heathen nations (chapter 34).
- YHVH will judge and make Edom, the perennial enemy of Israel, desolate (chapter 35).
- All the house of Israel (all 12 tribes) will be regathered from the nations where they were dispersed and will be restored to their promised inheritance in the land of Israel after the judgment of Edom (chapter 36).
- Spiritual revival will occur among the 12 tribes of Israel as YHVH continues to regather his people from the nations of the world, as they are spiritually regenerated, and repent of their Torahless ways (chapter 36).
- The land of Israel will become a garden of Eden as YHVH’s people serve and worship him keeping the biblical feasts (chapter 36).
- Ezekiel sees a vision of a valley of dry bones coming to life, which is the whole house of Israel (both Judah [the southern kingdom] and Ephraim, [the northern kingdom]) being physically resurrected and spiritually regenerated (chapter 37).
- Then Ezekiel gives his famous two-stick prophecy likening the two kingdoms of Israel (the house of Judah and the house of Joseph or Ephraim) to two sticks or tree trunks that will be brought together to become one tree in the hand of YHVH. David will rule over this reunited kingdom, and all will walk in the Torah ways of YHVH who will make an everlasting covenant with his people and will make his tabernacle or dwelling place among them (i.e., a picture of the Millennium, chapter 37).
- Finally, we have the famous Gog and Magog prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39. It is prophesied that in the latter days, many nations (currently Moslem nations and Russia) will come against Israel when it is dwelling safely in the land (verse 8,11,14) resulting in YHVH being sanctified in the midst of his people (verses 16,23). YHVH will answer the invasion of Gog with the fire of his wrath (verses 19–22). Fire and judgment will fall upon Gog (39:1–20).This could very well be a picture of the end times battle of Armageddon that will occur at Yeshua’s second coming (Rev 14:14–20 and 19:18). As a result, YHVH will be glorified in the eyes of the heathen because of his judgments against Gog and the house of Israel will recognize that YHVH is their Elohim (verses 21–24). YHVH will then bring back the captivity of the whole house of Israel (i.e, all 12 tribes, verses 25–29). If this is a prophetic picture of the famous battle of Armageddon then this is also a likely picture of the fall of Babylon the Great (Rev 18 and 19).
- We see from this chronological scenario that YHVH’s judgment falls on heathen nations or enemies of Israel (39:21). This occurs at the same time that lost and scattered Israel begins to wake up spiritually as to their true identity as Israelites (39:22), At the same time, the heathen shall know who the house of Israel is (verse 23), and YHVH will have mercy on Israel and regather scattered Israel to their promised land (verses 25–29).
Summary and Conclusion
In the above study, I have presented many scriptures that deal with lost and scattered Ephraim’s (i.e., largely those redeemed believers who are currently found within Christianity) return to the land of Israel. These same prophecies also give us clues as to when Ephraim will return to the land.
Tangentially, two facts jumped out as being amazing to me when compiling this study. First, for about a thousand years, the prophets of Israel discussed the subject of Israel’s dispersal among the nations, their regathering and subsequent return to the land of Israel. This was not a subject they neglected nor passed over lightly. Some of the books of the Latter (Minor) Prophets are devoted entirely to discussing the destiny of the two houses of Israel. Additionally, each of the Major Prophets allocate dozens of chapters to this subject. How so many modern biblical scholars and teachers can be so dismissive if not outright ignorant of this subject is impossible for me to comprehend!
The second fact that becomes apparent once one has studied the subject of Israel’s return is this: the biblical prophets form a unified choir of voices that were saying the same thing for a thousand years. Furthermore, they corroborate each other over and over again with regard to the events and timing of Israel’s regathering and return to their Promised Land.
The themes we see repeated include:
- Israel’s (all 12 tribes, i.e., the northern kingdom/Ephraim and the southern kingdom/Judah or the Jews) will be regathered and return to the land of Israel.
- The Scriptures reveal a repetitive cyclical paradigm of Israel’s apostasy and redemption.
- A second exodus from the nations is coming that will be like, but greater than, the first exodus from Egypt.
- Israel will go through a time of wilderness testing, or judgment to humble her, which will bring her to repentance for the sin of Torahlessness. Israel’s return to the Torah is a precondition for her return to the land of Israel.
- A confederacy of nations led by Edom will attempt to prevent Israel from entering the Promised Land. This is known in the Bible as Jacob’s trouble. YHVH will allow this to happen to discipline and refine his people, but will glorify his name in the midst of his repentant and returning people as he helps her to destroy her enemies.
- Only after YHVH gives Israel rest from her enemies and destroys those who have been holding her captive will she be free to return to her land inheritance. When this happens, she will have peace and dwell safely in the land of Israel with a resurrected David ruling over her, and Messiah ruling over the entire world. This is the Millennium.
- All of these prophecies occur in the last days, and coincide with the great and terrible day of YHVH’s wrath and the coming of Messiah to establish his kingdom on this earth.
On the basis of these facts, the conclusion seems inescapable that a series of events will transpire in the last days, coinciding with YHVH’s end times judgment against the nations of the world (known as the wrath of Elohim), just prior to the second coming of Yeshua, that will help to bring about the beginning of the return of Ephraim to YHVH and his Torah.
It seems that Ephraim’s repentance and return to the land of Israel will first involve at least two sub-groups of Ephraim. The first group is a small and faithful Torah-obedient remnant from Ephraim that has kept faith in Yeshua, and who comes through a wilderness experience time of testing just prior to Yeshua’s return. It is this group that Yeshua will lead into the Promised Land at his second coming. The 144,000 Israelites from all 12 tribes that are mentioned in Revelation chapters seven and 14, as well as those who have come out of the great tribulation (Rev 7:9–17). These same redeemed Israelites who are from all 12 tribes will return with Yeshua at his second coming as the warrior bride to destroy the enemies of Yeshua and his people (Rev 19:1–15; Jude 14).
The next and larger group of Ephraimites to return to the land of Israel will do so after the second coming and at the beginning of and during the millennial reign of Yeshua. This group will be comprised of scattered Israelites. Once Babylon the Great is defeated, Yeshua’s earthly kingdom will be set up in Jerusalem, and the Torah-Word of Elohim will go forth from that city (Mic 4:2; Isa 2:3), Ephraim will begin to learn who they are spiritually. A way will then be made for them to return to their spiritual and physical heritage in the land of Israel via a highway in the wilderness (e.g., Isa 11:16). This is likely the spiritual harvest of souls, which the fall biblical Feast of Tabernacles (or Sukkot) prophetically pictures.
Similarly, in modern times, not all of Judah (the Jews) returned to the land of Israel at once. It has been a slow process that started in the nineteenth century and is continuing until now. Presently, only half of the Jews are living in Israel.
The question for the reader then is this: if our conclusion is correct, which group will you be a part of — the smaller group of redeemed Israelites (which I refer to as Yeshua’ warrior bride) that returns to the land of Israel with Yeshua at his second coming, or the larger group or the lost-souls group that must go through all of Elohim’s end times judgments including the great tribulation and wrath of Elohim?
A Call to Action: What Can You Be Doing NOW?
The subject of preparedness is currently abuzz within the Hebrew Roots Movement. Many teachers are holding seminars and proffering advice on how to survive the coming economic and political hard times that they feel will befall believers. Some are even selling supplies on their web sites, while others are advocating the purchase and stockpiling of guns, gold and grub. While being a modern-day Joseph and preparing physically for the lean times ahead is always a wise move, more importantly, I would like to give you a list of suggestions on how to prepare spiritually for the wilderness times that YHVH’s end-time generation people will go through and You can insure that you will be ready to be apart of the first group of redeemed Israelites who will return to the land of Israel with Yeshua at his second coming.
- Repent of sin (i.e., breaking YHVH’s Torah commandments, 1 John 3:4). Bring your life into conformity to the Torah (YHVH’s instructions in righteousness as revealed in the books of the law and as elucidated throughout the rest of the Scriptures) to the greatest degree possible in your daily walk. This is YHVH desire for the end times saints (Rev 12:17; 14:12). Those who don’t will suffer YHVH’s judgment along with the wicked (Rev 18:4). In returning to Torah-obedience, you will be helping to fulfill biblical prophecy, since Ephraim’s return to Torah is a precursor to his returning to the land of Israel.
- Love YHVH-Yeshua the Messiah with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength by keeping his Torah-commandments (John 14:15; 1 John 2:3–6). In so doing, you will be on YHVH’s “right side” and not on his “wrong side,” and will be more likely to be the recipient of his divine protection and provision during the hard times to come.
- Recognize that if you are a faithful and blood-bought believer in Yeshua the Messiah, you are a part of redeemed Israel (Eph 2:11–19; Gal 3:29), and you are grafted into the spiritual olive tree of Israel (Rom 11:13–24). Embrace your spiritual identity as a one-new man Israelite and a son of Abraham!
- Understand how the restoration of the two houses of Israel is a necessary precursor to Yeshua’s second coming (see Acts 1:6–8 and 3:21).
- Ask yourself what you can do to help fulfil Yeshua’s command to help gather in the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 10:6; Acts 1:6–8)?
- Educate yourself from the Scriptures on what it means to be a redeemed Israelite. Start by reading the definitive book on this subject, Redeemed Israel, by Batya Wootten (available at www.keyofdavidmarketplace.com). Then share the truth of the restoration of the two houses of Israel with as many people as possible.
- Support the ministry work of those who are teaching about and reaching out to lost and scattered Israel. Support these ministries with your prayers, finances, your help and use your spiritual giftings to help advance the kingdom of YHVH.
1. The exiles of Ephraim were to be scattered and return to the Promised Land from the west (Hos 11:9–10), from the north (Jer 3:18), from the isles of the sea (Jer 31:9–10; Isa 24:15; 42:4; 51:4–5).
2. See The Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash, commentary on Deut 32:26, p. 1106.
3. See http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/migrations.pdf and http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/america.pdf.
4. See Rom 4:16; 9:8,11; 11:13–24; Gal 3:7,9,14,28,29; Eph 2:11–19; Rev 21:12.
5. In the Book of Revelation, John refers to the newly canonized Apostolic Scriptures (later known in Catholic circles as “The New Testament”) by the term “The Testimony of Yeshua,” while the “Old Testament” is called “the Word of Elohim/God.” See Rev 1:2,9; 6:9; 12:17; 20:4.
6. It is likely that Yeshua will return on a jubilee year when the great shofar sounds and the captives are set free. In ancient times, the jubilee shofar sounded on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), which many people (including the author) believe will be when Yeshua returns to this earth to defeat his enemies, which are holding his lost and scattered sheep captive.
7. I Await HIs Coming Every Day, by Menachm M. Schneerson p. 35.
8. Machiach, by Jacob Immanual Schochet, pp. 20–22, quoting from Sanhedrin 110b; Bamidbar Rabba 16:25; etc.
9. The ArtScroll Tanach Series Bereishis/Genesis, pp. 2121–2122.
10. Ibid., p. 1105.
11. Ibid., pp. 1105–1106.
12. The Pentateuch/Deuteronomy, p. 650.
13. Ibid., pp. 354–355.
14. For more information on the dispersion of Israel to the nations, and their prophesied return see http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/migrations.pdf.
15. Messiah vol. 2, pp. 186, 191–192.
16. For more information on Yom Kippur and the return of Yeshua, see my article on the subject at http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/yom_kippur.pdf.
17. See Rev 19:1–21, especially note verses 7–9 in this regard. Also see Rom 7:4; 2 Cor 11:2; Isa 54:5.
18. The ArtScroll Tanach Series Bereishis Genesis Commentary, vol 1b, p. 1406.
19. For more on YHVH’s end-time judgment against America and other Christian nations, see my paper entitled, “Is America in End-Time Bible Prophecy?” (http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/america.pdf).
20. See Jer 16:14; 23:7–8; Isa 11:11, 16; 27:13.