Israel’s Victorious Six-Day War: Foundation for Fulfilling Prophecy

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Israel’s Victorious Six-Day War

Foundation for Fulfilling Prophecy

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Fifty years ago on Monday morning, June 5, 1967, Israel launched a preemptive air attack against coalition of three Arab nations. explains what led to the conflict: “Increased tensions and skirmishes along Israel’s northern border with Syria were the immediate cause of the third Arab-Israeli war. In 1967, Syria intensified its bombardment of Israeli settlements across the border, and Israel struck back by shooting down six Syrian MiG fighters.

“After Syria alleged in May 1967 that Israel was massing troops along the border, Egypt mobilized its forces and demanded the withdrawal of the U.N. Emergency Force from the Israel-Egypt cease-fire lines of the 1956 conflict. The U.N. peacekeepers left on May 19, and three days later Egypt closed the Strait of Tiran to Israeli shipping. On May 30, Jordan signed a mutual-defense treaty with Egypt and Syria, and other Arab states, including Iraq, Kuwait, and Algeria, sent troop contingents to join the Arab coalition against Israel” (

Many Israelis saw this growing coalition against them as an existential threat. With the specter of the Holocaust only 25 years before and troops amassing on their borders, Israel realized war was imminent.  

Their surprise air attack destroyed virtually the entire Arab air force before they had a chance to leave their  airfields. In less than three hours, about 500 Arab planes were destroyed, with Israel’s loss at fewer than 40. This virtually destroyed the Egyptian, Syrian, and Jordanian air forces.

Victory on three fronts

Israel then attacked on the Egyptian front with three main tank battle groups rolling West into the Sinai, smashing what remained of the Egyptian army in three days. More than 5,000 Egyptian soldiers surrendered.

The Jordanians had set up extensive bunkers and defenses on their border with Israel. One of the several pitched battles that took place was on Ammunition Hill, which had been a British ammunition fortress protecting east Jerusalem. Israeli paratroopers successfully captured the hill, experiencing terrible casualties.

With Ammunition Hill now in Israel’s hands, the Jordanians were outflanked and retreated. The Israelis captured the Old City of east Jerusalem all the way to the Western Wailing Wall, the last remnant of the second Temple. It had not been in their control for almost 1,900 years. The liberation of Jerusalem forced the Jordanian army to vacate the entire West Bank.

Using many of the same troops that fought in the Sinai and Jerusalem, they then launched a third major battle. “To the north, Israel bombarded Syria’s fortified Golan Heights for two days before launching a tank and infantry assault on June 9” (ibid.).

The Golan was considered an impregnable fortress. It had a triple-layer system of mines, bunkers, artillery and machine guns built into the higher ground. “After a day of fierce fighting, the Syrians began a retreat from the Golan Heights on June 10” (ibid.). Israel finally captured the peak of Mount Hermon, and the entire Golan fell under Israeli control.

By the end of the three-front war, Israel sustained about 700 dead and 2,000 wounded. This decisive victory left the Arab coalition weaker and humiliated.

Is peace possible?

“On June 11, a U.N.-brokered cease-fire took effect throughout the three combat zones, and the Six-Day War was at an end. Israel had more than doubled its size in the six days of fighting.

“The U.N. Security Council called for a withdrawal from all the occupied regions, but Israel declined, permanently annexing East Jerusalem and setting up military administrations in the occupied territories. Israel let it be known that Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights . . . would be returned in exchange for Arab recognition of the right of Israel to exist and guarantees against future attacks.

“Arab leaders, stinging from their defeat, met in August to discuss the future of the Middle East. They decided upon a policy of no peace, no negotiations, and no recognition of Israel, and made plans to zealously defend the rights of Palestinian Arabs in the occupied territories.

“Egypt, however, would eventually negotiate and make peace with Israel, and in 1982 the Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in exchange for full diplomatic recognition of Israel. Egypt and Jordan later gave up their respective claims to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to the Palestinians, who beginning in the 1990s opened ‘land for peace’ talks with Israel. The East Bank territory has since been returned to Jordan. In 2005, Israel left the Gaza Strip. Still, a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement remains elusive, as does an agreement with Syria to return the Golan Heights” (

Newfound strength

Winning the war and reuniting Jerusalem helped the struggling Jewish nation to gain new momentum and to expand in population as well as economically and militarily. The amazing victory of the small Jewish state on the verge of annihilation changed the mindset of many in Israel. Jewish history and Jewish destiny converged, changing the perspective of many both within the country and without.

“A whole new viewpoint of Israel opened in the world. The Jews were enormously proud while many non-Jews had enormous resentment. In the United Nations and other diplomatic arenas, a great deal of that resentment spilled over. It became fashionable not to look at Israel favorably. Aware of the change, (Prime Minister) Golda Meir famously stated that given a choice between the world’s sympathy and Israel’s survival she would always choose Israel’s survival . . .

“Nevertheless, in terms of what was achieved at that moment it was one of the high watermarks of the generation. It was an indication of the capabilities and hidden resources of the unity and strength that lies within the Jewish people” (Middle East Institute: A blog by the editor, June 5, 2014).

Renewed national vigor

This short war’s impact continues to be felt today. Jewish presence in Israel is stronger than ever and is projected to continue to grow. But before the 20th century the regathering of the Jews to Israel seemed impossible. The Jewish people had been scattered for some 1,900 years, and the Islamic Ottoman Empire controlled the territory. The Jews did not have the military power, unity or backing of other nations to return to their former land.

Even when the fledgling nation formed in 1948, it was questionable if the nation would survive for long. And there seemed to be very little prospect that the Jews would ever control all of Jerusalem. The 1967 Six-Day War dramatically changed all that “The population of Israel had continued to grow, mainly by immigration; by 1967 it stood at some 2.3 million, of whom the Arabs formed roughly 13 per cent. Its economic strength had increased, with the help of aid from the United States, contributions from Jews in the outside world, and reparations from West Germany. It had also been building up the strength and expertise of its armed forces, and of the air force in particular” (Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples, 2002, pp. 412-413).

According to the Jewish Virtual Library today’s population is 8.63 million. “The Jewish population makes up 6,450,000 (74.8%); 1,796,000 (20.8%) are Arabs; and, those identified as ‘others’ (non-Arab Christians, Baha'i, etc) make up 4.4% of the population (384,000 people). When the state was established, there were only 806,000 residents and the total population reached its first and second million in 1949 and 1958 respectively. Judging by current population trend data, experts predict that the population of Israel will reach 10 million by 2025 or sooner” (

The percentage of the world’s Jews living in Israel continues to grow as well. It was only 6 percent when it was founded, and now it has grown to 43 percent of the roughly 14.3 million Jews worldwide (, “New Census: 43 Percent of World's Jews Now Live in Israel” May 10, 2016).

The end-time prophecies

The success Israel secured in the aftermath of the Six-Day War gives us an indication that we could be coming close to the time of Christ’s return. Prophecies in the books of Joel, Zechariah and elsewhere in the Bible indicate an organized Jewish presence in Jerusalem before Christ’s second coming. For example, the prophetic book of Joel talks about the terrible time of destruction during the “Day of the Lord”—a time of dramatic events just before Christ returns. And notice it is addressed to “Zion, the mountain of the Lord,” which is a biblical name for Jerusalem.

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the LORD is coming, for it is at hand” (Joel 2:1 emphasis added throughout).

For this prophecy to make any sense and to be fulfilled, there will need to be an organized group of Jewish inhabitants in the land. Later in the chapter they are instructed to gather a wide variety of Jews, such as elders, priests, children, bride and bridegroom (Joel 2:16-17). A huge invading army will come over the land leaving it desolate: “. . . A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations” (Joel 2:2; see also Joel 2:3-11 and Joel chapter 1).

The third chapter of Joel also describes this huge army that will come down to the area of Jerusalem to fight the inhabitants. An army of this size would probably be overkill if the military strength and population size in the area were small and insignificant. So it seems from context that there will be a large army in and around the city preceding this major end-time battle.

Israel certainly has grown into a strong military power today. She has the second most powerful military in the Middle East—16th in the world—next to Egypt, according to the international defense site Global Firepower (,

The Israeli Defense Forces have mandatory conscription of men and women. Its structure emphasizes close relations between the army, navy and air force. Some estimate they possess between 80-400 nuclear weapons. And according to Global Fire Power, Israel today has 3 million people fit for military service. It has more than 4,000 tanks, more than 10,000 fighting vehicles, 650 self-propelled guns, 300 towed artillery, 48 multiple-launch rocket systems and 65 ships or defense crafts (

Major military force moves in

By the time this final battle occurs toward the end of the three-and-a-half years of the Great Tribulation (Daniel 9:26-27; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11-13; Revelation 13:5; Revelation 14:14-15) another major military apparatus will have moved into the region. The major power the Bible calls the “Beast” and “King of the North” will have moved its operations to Israel. “He shall also enter the Glorious Land (Israel), and many countries shall be overthrown . . .” (Daniel 11:41) in the Middle East. He has a fierce powerful military. The world will stand in awe and fear of his military strength: "They worshipped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" (Revelation 13:4).

Other prophecies for Jerusalem

After more than a half century with Jerusalem united, a clear marker is now set for when future prophecies will begin to be triggered. One such prophecy we can expect is a dramatic and traumatic division in the city: “. . . Half of the city shall go into captivity . . . Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east” (Zechariah 14:2-4).

Earlier he reveals details of this horrific final siege of Jerusalem: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:2-3).

Jesus Christ must intervene in this final battle to cut it short to prevent the complete annihilation of all of mankind (Matthew 24:22). He will powerfully intervene on behalf of His people. “In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem . . . It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:8-9).

"Just when it seems that all hope is gone, 'then the LORD' himself appears as 'divine warrior' and delivers his beleaguered people.... But who is this 'LORD'? When one compares this scene, including (Zechariah 14) v. 4, with [that of the coming of Jesus Christ in] Acts 1:9-12 and Revelation 19:11-16, it would appear certain that 'the LORD' here is ultimately the Messiah" (Expositor's, note on Zechariah 14:3-5).

Christ confirmed these prophesied major battles in and around Jerusalem at the time of the end: “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near” (Luke 21:20).

Then there will be major heavenly signs that occur just before Christ returns (Luke 21:25-26). “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:27-28). He also warns the residents to flee when war is imminent (Luke 21:22-24).

This final battle is popularly called the Battle of Armageddon. “Armageddon” simply refers to a plain, called Megiddo, 55 miles north of Jerusalem where those armies gather. The battle will be stirred up behind the scenes by powerful evil spirits. “For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14).

“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon” (Revelation 16:14-16).

But the battle is not fought there—they only gather there and then head south to fight the armies in and around Jerusalem just as Christ returns with His spiritual army. Seeing this invading force, they turn and fight Christ and His spiritual saints as they enter the area. “Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle” (Zechariah 14:3). “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15).

Jesus' weapons of war

The powerful weapons Jesus will use in this final battle are more powerful than any ever devised by man. “And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the LORD will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand” (Zechariah 14:12-13).

His intervention occurs just as He returns to earth to stop the madness and end the sadness by setting up His Kingdom (Zechariah 14:4-5).

Acts 1:11-12 shows that Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives on the east side of Jerusalem. This is where He will also return.

“And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—‘The LORD is one,’ and His name one . . . The people shall dwell in it; and no longer shall there be utter destruction, but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited” (Zechariah 14:9–11).

These climatic events, battles and destruction are necessary for Christ to clear the earth of the stiff-necked rebellious. Unfortunately many will stubbornly refuse to repent and accept Christ as king (Revelation 9:20-21; Revelation 20:4). His reconstruction of the war-torn earth will begin with people who have been humbled. This will ultimately help bring about a wonderful, peaceful environment for a thousand years.

“Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3). Christ must intervene to save humanity from total destruction. The humble and teachable who remain will help build the new world order of peace, abundance and happiness for all.


  • Rod Hall

    Hi Jim,
    Thank you so much for your input. I agree with your point. The Roman Empire and Europe are indirectly referenced in the book of Daniel. By tracing the historical empires that follow Babylon, identified as the first empire, we can identify the remaining empires.
    Daniel gives God’s inspired interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon’s vision. It is found in The Amplified Bible Footnote D.
    D. “Daniel 2:32 Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream outlines the further history of Gentile world power. The four metals of which the statue was made represented four successive empires, each with the power to rule the inhabited earth—though each stopped short of that. They were: (1) Babylon (Jer 51:7); (2) Medeo-Persia; (3) Greece under Alexander the Great; and (4) Rome. The latter power was divided first into the two legs, corresponding to the eastern and western Roman Empires, and then (after a very long time apparently) into the ten toes, a loosely associated confederacy made up largely of European nations (7:24-27).”
    God inspired Daniel to see the future empires. The final earthly kingdom will arise shortly before Christ returns (Dan. 11:44, Rev. 17:12).

  • Skip Miller

    Hello Jim, Let me try a different tack. Is the USA included in Bible Prophecy? It obviously did not exist (as such) when the prophecy was written. But it had progenitors. There are some nations today with approximately the same names as 1000s of years ago. If we only work with Bible names then we will have to limit prophecy. Perhaps you know (but maybe you don't) of the extensive work done by UCG (and its progenitors) concerning the origin of many modern nations. Please read "The US and Britain in Prophecy" to begin to understand why we see Rome and the EU as significant.

  • Reverend Jim

    All we read and know about end-time prophecy must be in accord, and there must be scriptural evidence and support that harmonizes with them. If Rome, Europe, or the USA are found in prophecy there must be supporting scriptures to validate it, but there isn't. Not one verse of prophecy supports such a connection. The descendents of Japeth likely populated Europe and I don't see an end-time connection, progenitive or not, to support any Western country anywhere. I haven't read "The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy," but it likely refers to Abraham and Joseph's descendants or maybe about how "Israel" refers to the United States or Britain. Sorry, but I don't accept that teaching. The southern kingdom of "Judah" may at time refer to Israel today, and Israel typically implies the nations and descendents of Israel or even Christians, and that in no way implies the EU or USA. Some people teach that "Gomer" is Germany and Meshech is Moscow and Tubal is Tobolsk. Every nation mentioned in Ez. 38-39 is found in Turkey today and maybe some of the 'stan' countries to the north and east. Psalm 83's nations are all Islamic. You'd be hard pressed to show me otherwise.

  • Reverend Jim

    What gets me is that the UCG says that Rome and the EU will produce the demonic duo...anti-Christ and false prophet. However, every nation mentioned in bible prophecy is Arab, Persian, and Islamic today.

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