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What prophecy are the Jews fulfilling in their returning to Palestine since 1948?

        Let us hear from Zephaniah on this point.

       Zephaniah 2:1, 2 -- "Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you."

        Let us note that the nation in question is to gather itself together suggesting that it was scattered. She is not desired; the anger of the Lord is to fall upon her; and that she is to gather herself together before the decree brings forth and before the anger of the Lord falls upon her.

       What makes this nation gather together? -- Certainly not the decree and not the Lord's anger, for these are to come upon her after she gathers together.  The "decree" certainly cannot be the two horn beast's decree, for there is not even a thought in the scripture that would so indicate; but it certainly points out that the decree is none other than the Lord's decree -- the fierce anger of the Lord in the day that passes as chaff.

         According to the verse that follows, this undesirable nation's gathering together, is a sign post to God's people, urging them to continue seeking Him so much the more:

         Zephaniah 2:3 -- "Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger."

         When this Judgment-bound nation begins to gather together then it is, if never before, that the meek of the earth need to seek meekness.

        The meek of the earth are those who have wrought the Lord's judgments, who have proclaimed the message of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  They are His people, His church.  The nation that is not desired, therefore, is one people, and the meek of the earth, the church, those who are hid in the day of the Lord's anger are another people.  The one is gathering together, the other is seeking meekness.  Definitely, then, the "nation" of verses 1 and 2 is not His church, but the people of verse three are His people, His church.

         Let us now read verses 1 and 2 connectively with verses 4 and 5, omitting verse 3, the verse which has reference to the church.

        Zephaniah 2:1, 2, 4, 5 --"Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you.... For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.  Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites!  the Word of the Lord is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant."

         The fourth verse definitely implies that the "nation" is to gather together in the cities of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Ekron, in the land of the Philistines, in the land of Canaan -- in Palestine.

         In view of the fact that this Scripture is now being unfolded, and also the fact that there is but one people, one nation (the descendants of the ancient scribes, priests, and Pharisees who rejected the Lord and who have not even to this day accepted Him, that are hardly desired anywhere in the world) that is now doing all she can to gather together in Palestine -- in view of all this, the present-day Jews are that undesired nation.  Upon her, therefore, the Lord's anger is to fall if she continues to deny Christ.  Yes, the universally hated Jew is the only nation that has been scattered throughout the Gentile world, and is the only one that is now gathering together in Palestine.

           “At the time when Jerusalem was destroyed and the temple in ruins, many thousands of the Jews were sold to serve as bondmen in heathen lands.  Like wrecks on a desert shore, they were scattered among the nations.  For eighteen hundred years the Jews have wandered from land to land throughout the world, and in no place have they been given the privilege of regaining their ancient prestige as a nation.  Maligned, hated, persecuted, from century to century theirs has been a heritage of suffering.” {Gospel Workers, p. 397}.

           Matthew 27:20, 23-25 -- “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.   And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done?  But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.  Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.”

           Moreover, in these verses, two truths stand out clearly: (1) that in vain the Jews seek to establish themselves in the Promised Land; (2) that we who are bearing the message of the great and dreadful day of the Lord are counseled to seek meekness and righteousness, for thus only shall we "be hid in the day of the Lord's anger," that is, merely to bear knowledge of the message will not save us, there should be corresponding deeds with it.

           Let us now connect verse 3 with verses 6 and 7, the verses that are applicable to the people of God, the meek.

           Zephaniah 2:3, 6, 7 -- "Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.... And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.  And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity."

           Now, the fact that the Lord is to destroy all the inhabitants in the land of the Philistines (Zeph. 2:5), and at the same time make it dwellings for "shepherds, and folds for flocks," shows that He is first to drive out of the land all the wicked, all those who are not seeking meekness, then He is to set up the "house of Judah" in it.

What prophecy are the Jews fulfilling in their returning to Palestine since 1948?  Let us hear from Zephaniah on this point.

           Zephaniah 2:1, 2 -- "Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you."

           Let us note that the nation in question is to gather itself together suggesting that it was scattered. She is not desired; the anger of the Lord is to fall upon her; and that she is to gather herself together before the decree brings forth and before the anger of the Lord falls upon her.

           What makes this nation gather together? -- Certainly not the decree and not the Lord's anger, for these are to come upon her after she gathers together.  The "decree" certainly cannot be the two horn beast's decree, for there is not even a thought in the scripture that would so indicate; but it certainly points out that the decree is none other than the Lord's decree -- the fierce anger of the Lord in the day that passes as chaff.

           According to the verse that follows, this undesirable nation's gathering together, is a sign post to God's people, urging them to continue seeking Him so much the more:

           Zephaniah 2:3 -- "Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger."

           When this Judgment-bound nation begins to gather together then it is, if never before, that the meek of the earth need to seek meekness.

           The meek of the earth are those who have wrought the Lord's judgments, who have proclaimed the message of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  They are His people, His church.  The nation that is not desired, therefore, is one people, and the meek of the earth, the church, those who are hid in the day of the Lord's anger are another people.  The one is gathering together, the other is seeking meekness.  Definitely, then, the "nation" of verses 1 and 2 is not His church, but the people of verse three are His people, His church.

           Let us now read verses 1 and 2 connectively with verses 4 and 5, omitting verse 3, the verse which has reference to the church.

           Zephaniah 2:1, 2, 4, 5 --"Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you.... For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.  Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites!  the Word of the Lord is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant."

           The fourth verse definitely implies that the "nation" is to gather together in the cities of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Ekron, in the land of the Philistines, in the land of Canaan -- in Palestine.

           In view of the fact that this Scripture is now being unfolded, and also the fact that there is but one people, one nation (the descendants of the ancient scribes, priests, and Pharisees who rejected the Lord and who have not even to this day accepted Him, that are hardly desired anywhere in the world) that is now doing all she can to gather together in Palestine -- in view of all this, the present-day Jews are that undesired nation.  Upon her, therefore, the Lord's anger is to fall if she continues to deny Christ.  Yes, the universally hated Jew is the only nation that has been scattered throughout the Gentile world, and is the only one that is now gathering together in Palestine.

           “At the time when Jerusalem was destroyed and the temple in ruins, many thousands of the Jews were sold to serve as bondmen in heathen lands.  Like wrecks on a desert shore, they were scattered among the nations.  For eighteen hundred years the Jews have wandered from land to land throughout the world, and in no place have they been given the privilege of regaining their ancient prestige as a nation.  Maligned, hated, persecuted, from century to century theirs has been a heritage of suffering.” {Gospel Workers, p. 397}.

           Matthew 27:20, 23-25 -- “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.   And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done?  But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.  Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.”

           Moreover, in these verses, two truths stand out clearly: (1) that in vain the Jews seek to establish themselves in the Promised Land; (2) that we who are bearing the message of the great and dreadful day of the Lord are counseled to seek meekness and righteousness, for thus only shall we "be hid in the day of the Lord's anger," that is, merely to bear knowledge of the message will not save us, there should be corresponding deeds with it.

           Let us now connect verse 3 with verses 6 and 7, the verses that are applicable to the people of God, the meek.

           Zephaniah 2:3, 6, 7 -- "Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.... And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.  And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity."

           Now, the fact that the Lord is to destroy all the inhabitants in the land of the Philistines (Zeph. 2:5), and at the same time make it dwellings for "shepherds, and folds for flocks," shows that He is first to drive out of the land all the wicked, all those who are not seeking meekness, then He is to set up the "house of Judah" in it.

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