Prophecies of Israel's Resettlement in Northwestern Europe

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Prophecies of Israel's Resettlement in Northwestern Europe

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Many biblical scholars consider Amos, a prophet from Tekoa in northern Judah, to be the first to warn of the impending exile of “the remnant of Joseph” (Amos 5:15 Amos 5:15Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
American King James Version×
). But Amos also told Israel it would not be entirely lost from God’s view. “ ‘Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it [the kingdom of Israel] from the face of the earth; yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,’ says the Lord. ‘For surely I will command, and will sift the house of Israel among all nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve; yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground’ ” (Amos 9:8-9 Amos 9:8-9 8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, said the LORD. 9 For, see, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall on the earth.
American King James Version×
).

The Israelites would indeed be sifted among other nations. They first would be compelled to join scores of other ethnic groups in a cruel exodus from their homeland. Where would they be forced to go? “For the Lord will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River…” (1 Kings 14:15 1 Kings 14:15For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger.
American King James Version×
, NASB)—a river to their north.

These prophecies show that the exiled Israelites would be unable to remain in one cohesive group. They would scatter—break up into smaller units—and have to share their land of exile with other peoples.

In other passages the prophets reveal that these Israelites would eventually find themselves in a new location to the north and west of the Promised Land, from which they faced imminent eviction. It is from this direction they will return to their homeland in the Middle East after Christ’s return.

The most obvious verse that shows this is in the book of Isaiah: “Surely these shall come from afar; look! Those from the north and the west, and these from the land of Sinim” (Isaiah 49:12 Isaiah 49:12Behold, these shall come from far: and, see, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.
American King James Version×
; see also verses Isaiah 49:13-23 Isaiah 49:13-23 13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD has comforted his people, and will have mercy on his afflicted. 14 But Zion said, The LORD has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. 15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yes, they may forget, yet will I not forget you. 16 Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. 17 Your children shall make haste; your destroyers and they that made you waste shall go forth of you. 18 Lift up your eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to you. As I live, said the LORD, you shall surely clothe you with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on you, as a bride does. 19 For your waste and your desolate places, and the land of your destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed you up shall be far away. 20 The children which you shall have, after you have lost the other, shall say again in your ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell. 21 Then shall you say in your heart, Who has begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been? 22 Thus said the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. 23 And kings shall be your nursing fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers: they shall bow down to you with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of your feet; and you shall know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
American King James Version×
).

Since Hebrew has no expression corresponding to the English “northwest,” this verse may also be understood that Israel would migrate to a region to the northwest of the Promised Land.

But there are other biblical clues. One is Hosea 12:1 Hosea 12:1Ephraim feeds on wind, and follows after the east wind: he daily increases lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.
American King James Version×
: “Ephraim feeds on the wind, and pursues the east wind.” This expression implies Ephraim would migrate to the west (compare Hosea 11:9-10 Hosea 11:9-10 9 I will not execute the fierceness of my anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the middle of you: and I will not enter into the city. 10 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.
American King James Version×
).

Other passages suggest that Israel would ultimately be scattered and found in an island setting. After Jesus’ return “they shall come with weeping, and with supplications I [God] will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, in a straight way in which they shall not stumble; for I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn. Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock’ ” (Jeremiah 31:9-10 Jeremiah 31:9-10 9 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, O you nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd does his flock.
American King James Version×
).

Other references to an island or maritime location include Isaiah 24:15 Isaiah 24:15Why glorify you the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea.
American King James Version×
; Isaiah 41:1-5 Isaiah 41:1-5 1 Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment. 2 Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow. 3 He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet. 4 Who has worked and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he. 5 The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came.
American King James Version×
; Isaiah 51:5 Isaiah 51:5My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and my arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait on me, and on my arm shall they trust.
American King James Version×
; Isaiah 66:19 Isaiah 66:19And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.
American King James Version×
and Psalms 89:25 Psalms 89:25I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers.
American King James Version×
. Collectively, these passages indicate that the captive Israelites would eventually move on from their land of exile in northern Mesopotamia to ultimately settle in Northwestern Europe —the major maritime and coastal region north and west of their Middle Eastern homeland.

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