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 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.

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.

Isaiah 11:10–12:6

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).

Jeremiah 16:14–15

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.

Jeremiah 23:7–8

This second-exodus prophecy is almost a direct quote from Jeremiah’s earlier 6:14–15 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 include?

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.

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.


6 thoughts on “Understanding the Second Exodus

  1. Thanks for this article about prophecy/end-times,which is my favorite topic in the bible.
    But I have a question what is the difference between Greater Gentile believers and Remnant Israelites?
    You said only the remnant Isralites and dispersed Judah are the “One New Man,” how about the Greater Gentile believers.
    And who are the Greater(secular) National Judah and (secular) National Israel?
    Thanks and more wisdom about prophecies and end-times events,
    YEHOVAH will reveal to you,so that you can teach us & in turn we teach others,also.

    • Anyone who comes to Yeshua and is washed in his blood no matter their ethnic background—Jew, Israelite, Gentile or whatever—is part of the Israel of Elohim (Eph 2:11–19; Gal 3:29; 6:16). No one is excluded if they are IN Yeshua.

  2. The entire, original Exodus was also a picture of our salvation in Yeshua.

    The original Passover meal foreshadowed the communion meal or Last Supper in the New Testament. As is well-known, the Israelite nation leaving Egypt and passing through the Red Sea foreshadowed our baptism in Yeshua’s death and becoming a New Creation. The wilderness wanderings foreshadow our current earthly existence where we are sojourners traveling to a heavenly country and currently between countries. We have left the spiritual slavery of Egypt on our way to the New Heaven and Earth. The Promised Land foreshadows New Jerusalem as it is the “inheritance” of Abraham’s descendents/”seed”. The 2nd generation entering Canaan is a picture of the “born-again” New Man (the natural first, then the spiritual)

    Notwithstanding this, the New Exodus will be when the current, fallen creation becomes the new resurrected Creation with New Heaven and Earth at Yeshua’s 2nd Coming! This will follow the Divine Pattern of deliverance already designed by God the Father – which is the Exodus!

  3. Also, the New Exodus will be the fall of Babylon and the freeing of believers held captive through their fear of death. (i.e. RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD AT JUDGEMENT DAY).

    This event to come was foreshadowed by the release of captive Israelites by Cyrus (who foreshadows Yeshua at 2nd Coming). He conquered Babylon by diverting water from the Euphrates River (“drying up the Euphrates”), allowing him to enter and conquer Babylon.

    The freeing of captive Israelites (Babylonian captivity) historically by Cyrus foreshadows the 2nd Coming of Yeshua to restore the fallen creation. Note that the current World Age is referred to as Babylon in Revelation and Revelation 16:12 refers to “drying up the Euphrates River” as historically occurred at the time of Cyrus.

    Thus, the end of the Babylonian captivity historically foreshadows Yeshua’s 2nd Coming!

    • Again right on. Too many people think that the second exodus will occur before the second coming of Messiah, and before the fall of Babylon the Great. But this is incorrect. Such a scenario doesn’t follow the biblical pattern of the first exodus, which happened after the fall of Egypt (caused by the hand of Elohim), the return of the exiled Jews after the fall of Babylon by Cyrus, and the return of the scattered ten tribes of Israel back to the land Israel after the fall of Babylon the Great by Yeshua.

  4. Moderator’s comments:

    The comment below is a bit longer than we usually allow, but I’m approving it because it is thought-provoking, well-reasoned, charitable and balanced, though not from a traditional-Christian, New Testament. Rather it is from a secular-humanistic and an ecumenical, interfaith point of view.

    According the bio on Prof Allen S. Maller’s own website, the author of the piece below, he founded a Reform Jewish Temple in southern California in 1967 and was its spiritual leader until retiring in 2006. He is also a scholar and professor, and is the author of numerous magazine articles, several books and blogs for the Times of Israel.

    As noted above, Prof. Maller has a more secular humanistic view of who or what the Messiah is than that of much of the mainstream Christian church and the majority of this blog’s readers. He also defines the term “Messianic Age,” differently than I do, and, seemingly, either ignores or interprets differently the (Tanakh) OT and Testimony of Yeshua (NT) prophecies that speak of cataclysmic events occurring before the coming of the Messiah.

    Notwithstanding, I encourage you to read his article to gain an understanding of other viewpoints with regard to the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. This will help to broaden our understanding. —— Natan

    Is Now the Beginning of the End?
    Rabbi Allen S. Maller

    A May 2, 2012 Reuters Poll reported that “nearly 15 percent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime. “Whether they think it will come to an end through the hands of God, or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason, one in seven thinks the end of the world is coming,” said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs which conducted the poll for Reuters.

    Gottfried also said that people under 35 years old, were more likely to believe in an apocalypse during their lifetime or have anxiety over the prospect. Responses to the international poll of 16,262 people in more than 20 countries varied widely. Only six percent of French and eight percent of Great Britain residents believing in an impending Armageddon in their lifetime, compared to 22 percent in Turkey and the United States and slightly less in South Africa and Argentina. And among American Evangelical Christians three out of four felt we are living in the End Times, and with the election of Donald Trump many liberals may also become believers in 2019.

    Rabbi Allen S. Maller, a noted Messianic Age scholar, says that the world is not going to end in our generation; but it is going to be transformed according to predictions made by the Prophets of Israel, as explained by past and present rabbinic sages.

    Human society has changed more rapidly, violently and fundamentally in the last century of the second millennium than ever before in history. Doctors saved the lives of millions. Dictators sacrificed the lives of millions. Populations are exploding in Africa and birthrates are declining in Europe. Technology produces both worldwide prosperity and pollution at the same time.

    Knowing all this, should we look upon the first century of the third millennium with optimistic hope or with fatalistic trepidation? Is the world and our society heading towards a wonder-filled new age, or toward a doomsday? Or are both occurring almost concurrently because breakdown is always a prelude to breakthrough?

    Rabbi Maller states that the world as we know it will not come to an end. There will not be a startling worldwide increase in the number and impact of enlightened masters. Nor will earthquakes, floods and other plagues occur in much greater intensity or numbers. But that does not mean that 2019 will be just another average year. After all, not much of worldwide significance happened in the months and years following July 4, 1776; but that date did mark an important development in human history.

    So will the new world be a terrible catastrophe or a glorious redemption?. The way people react to varying kinds of predictions is usually influenced by the long tradition of trying to foresee the eventual goal of human history. This tradition started with the Prophets of Israel about 3,000 years ago.

    This Biblical vision of a Messianic Age uses the insights of the Prophets to provide guidance in understanding the social, economic, scientific and cultural upheavals that will sweep society as we approach the prophets visionary goal. Often it is the dramatic dangers of the pre-Messianic tribulation that are emphasized. Rabbi Maller focuses on the positive signs developing throughout the world that accord with the Messianic vision of the Biblical Prophets.

    In most religious traditions, redemption is defined in terms of individual enlightenment or personal salvation. However, the Prophets of Israel conceived redemption as a transformation of human society that would occur through the catalyst of the transformation of the Jewish community. This transformation, which will take place in this world at some future time, is called the Messianic Age. The transition to the Messianic Age is called the birth pangs of the Messiah.

    The birth of a redeemed Messianic world may be the result of an easy or difficult labor. If everyone would simply live according to the moral teachings of his or her religious tradition, our religious inspiration would enable us ourselves bring about the Messianic Age.

    But, if we will not do it voluntarily, it will come through social and political upheavals, worldwide conflicts and generation gaps. The Messiah (or the Madhi in Islamic tradition), refers to an agent of God who helps bring about this transformation.

    The Jewish tradition teaches that this agent of God (with several forerunners and many disciples) will be a human being with great leadership qualities similar to Moses or Mohammed. The arrival of the Messianic Age is what’s really important, not the personality of the agents who bring it about, since they are simply the instruments of God, who ultimately is the real Redeemer.

    Rabbi Maller claims that the Messianic Age is usually seen as the solution to all of humanity’s basic problems. This may be true in the long run; but the vast changes the transition to the Messianic Age entails, will provide challenges to society for many generations to come.

    For example, the Prophet Isaiah, 2700 years ago, predicted that someday there would be a radically new world in which Jerusalem would be fulfilled with joy for “no more shall there be in it an infant that lives only a few days.” (65:20) Before the mid 19th century the annual death rate for humans fluctuated from year to year but always remained high, between 30 and over 50 deaths per 1,000 individuals. Those elevated, unstable rates were primarily caused by infectious and parasitic diseases. The toll from disease among the young was especially high. Almost 1/3 of the children born in any year died before their first birthday; in some subgroups, half died. Because childbirth was hazardous, mortality among pregnant women was also high.

    A century ago, the infant mortality rate in Jerusalem (as in most of the world) was 25-30%. Now it is less than 1%. For thousands of years almost every family in the world suffered the loss of at least one or two infants; now it happens to less than one out of a hundred. If this radical improvement had occurred over a few years, it would have greatly impressed people. But since it occurred gradually over several generations, people take it for granted. Also, it seems to be part of human nature that most people focus on complaining about the less than 1% that still die (an individual family tragedy heightened by the fact that it is unexpected because it is so rare) rather than be grateful that the infant mortality rate has been reduced by over 95%.

    These improvements in human health are unprecedented in human history. Truly we will be coming close to Isaiah’s prophecy, “One who dies at 100 years shall be reckoned a youth, and one who fails to reach 100 shall be reckoned accursed.” (65:20). Such radical change will necessitate major changes in the way we think and act when faced with decisions about life and death. Yet who among us would want to return to the high mortality rates and early deaths of previous centuries? The challenges we now face are not those of survival, but of opportunity.

    The fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy has thus gone un-noticed and uncelebrated. But even when the events are rapid and dramatic, people rarely connect them to their Messianic significance for very long. The amazing 1991 covert rescue of 14,325 Ethiopian Jews in an airlift lasting less than 48 hours stirred and inspired people for a few weeks. Subsequently, the difficult problems the newcomers faced (similar to those of the 900,000 recent Soviet immigrants) occupied the Jewish media. Now both have long been taken for granted. The miracle has become routine.

    But if you had told the Jews of Ethiopia a generations ago that they would someday all fly to Israel in a giant silver bird, they could only conceive of this as a Messianic miracle. If you had told Soviet Jews a generation ago that the Communist regime would collapse, the Soviet Empire disintegrate, and hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews would emigrate to Israel, they would have conceived it only as a Messianic dream. In our own generation therefore we have seen the dramatic fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy:

    “I will bring your offspring from the (Middle) East and gather you from the (European) West. To the North (Russia) I will say ‘give them up’ and to the South (Ethiopia) ‘do not hold them’. Bring my sons from far away, my daughters from the end of the earth.” (43:5-6) Isn’t it amazing how people adjust to living in a radically new world and forget the past. Indeed, the Prophet Isaiah himself said, “Behold, I create a new Heaven and a new Earth, and former things shall not be remembered.” (65:17)

    Where does the Messiah/Madhi fit in with all of this? Rabbi Maller states that he will still have lots to do when he arrives. Most Orthodox Jews would not commit themselves to any individual as a Messiah unless he successfully rebuilds the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophecy of Zachariah, “He shall build the Temple of the Lord, and he shall bear the glory, he shall sit on the throne and rule, there shall be a priest before the throne, and peaceful counsel will exist between both of them.” (6:13)

    Now that a large part of the Jewish people have returned to the Land of Israel, and resurrected a Jewish State, one might think that rebuilding a temple on the site where Solomon originally built one almost 3,000 years ago, would be relatively simple.

    And it would, except for the fact that a Muslim Shrine, The Dome of the Rock, presently occupies the site. Often erroneously called the Mosque of Omar, it is not a mosque and it was not built by Omar. It was built in 691 by Abd-Al-Malik and it is regarded by Muslims as the third holiest site in the world. Any attempt to replace the Dome of the Rock would provoke a Muslim Holy War of cataclysmic proportions.

    There is, however, a lot of vacant land on the Temple Mount, and a Jewish house of worship could be built adjacent to the Dome of the Rock provided the Muslims would cooperate. Most observers agree that anyone who could arrange such Jewish-Muslim cooperation would really be the Messiah/Madhi Ruler of Peace (Isaiah 9:5) Christian support for such a cooperative venture would also be important, and anyone who can bring Jews, Christians and Muslims together in mutual respect and cooperation would surely fulfill the greatest of all Messianic predictions,

    “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning knives; nation shall not take up sword against nation, they shall never again teach war.” (Isaiah 2:4) Indeed, such Jewish/Christian/Muslim cooperation would not be possible without great spiritual leadership in all three communities.

    Thus, each community could consider its own leadership to be the Messiah/Madhi and this would fulfill the culminating verses of Isaiah’s Messianic prophecy as enlarged upon by Micah (4:3-5), “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning knives. Nation shall not take up against nation, they shall never again teach war, but every man shall sit under his grapevine or fig tree with no one to disturb him, for it is the Lord of Hosts who spoke. Though all peoples walk each in the name of its God, we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.” If each people truly follows the best of its own religious teachings the Messiah will surely have arrived, and God’s Kingdom will be established.

    Rabbi Maller’s blogs on the Times of Israel.

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