Understanding the Second Exodus
In the book of Exodus, we read about the well known exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt. In Jewish thought, this is referred to as “the first redemption.” Interestingly and unbeknownst to most Christians, there is a second exodus that will occur at the end of the present age before the return of the Messiah. The ancient Jewish sages refer to this event as “the final redemption.” This is because numerous biblical prophecies speak of this final redemption or second exodus. When will this second exodus occur, who does it involve and what do these people leave and where to they go? That will be subject of the discussion below.
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.
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 16YHVH’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 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.