Ezekiel’s Vision of the Rebirth of Israel in 1948
Ezekiel’s prophecy of the rebirth of Israel in 1948 and its precise fulfillment in our generation on May 15, 1948 is one of the greatest fulfillments of Bible prophecy in history. Twenty-five centuries ago, while he was a slave during the Babylonian Captivity, (606 – 536 BC), the Lord revealed to the prophet Ezekiel, the precise year – 1948 – when Israel would finally be restored to the Promised Land.. The Jew’s eternal relationship to the Holy Land is a major theme of Bible prophecy. In the Bible, times were specified in precise detail regarding the duration of the time when the Jews were to be exiled from the Promised Land and when God will allow them to return to the Holy Land.
The First Captivity – (Egyptian) – 430 years
The Lord prophesied to Abraham precisely when the Jews would return from Egypt from their First Captivity that lasted 430 years of captivity in Egypt (Genesis 15:13; Exodus 12:40-41).
The Second Captivity (Babylonian) – 70 years
Similarly, the Second Captivity of 70 years in Babylon, as prophesied in Jeremiah 25:11, ended precisely in 536 BC when the Jews returned to Jerusalem as decreed by the Persian king Cyrus the Great.
The Third Captivity (Worldwide) – 2520 years
The Scriptures contain numerous prophecies about the final return of the Jewish exiles to their Promised Land in the "last days." Ezekiel was taken to Babylon as a captive. Ezekiel was aware of Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jeremiah 25:11) that the Jew’s captivity in Babylon would last seventy years.
However, Ezekiel received another prophecy concerning God’s judgment upon the Jew’s disobedience and the precise duration of the remaining Jewish exile from their Promised Land. "This shall be a sign to the house of Israel. Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year" (Ezekiel 4:3-6).
As Ezekiel lay on his right side for a few hours for 390 days and then for 40 days on his right side the Jews in Babylon learned of God’s remarkable prophecy. God revealed that every day stood for one biblical year. Therefore, Israel would be punished for a period of 390 years plus an additional 40 years as a result of their disobedience to God’s commands, totaling 430 years. God declared that Israel would be punished by a worldwide exile for 430 years (390+ 40 years = 430 years). However, as prophesied by Jeremiah, the seventy year long Babylonian Captivity, which began with Nebuchadnezzar’s capture of Jerusalem in 606 B.C., ended in the spring of 536 B.C., in the month Nisan (March/April), when only a small remnant of the Jews (42,360) returned to Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-3) under the decree of Cyrus the Great.
However, the vast majority of the Jewish exiles chose to remain in the pagan Persian Empire as colonists and tradesmen. Naturally, most Jews who were born and had grown up in Babylon had little desire to leave their farms and businesses to return to a desolate Jewish homeland. Most Jews in Babylon did not repent of their rebellion against God and chose to remain in the pagan Babylonian Empire.
Out of God’s total decreed future punishment of 430 years for Israel's and Judah's sins (390 years plus 40 years = 430 years). First, we must deduct the 70 years of the Babylonian captivity, which Ezekiel and the Jewish exiles were already enduring, which ended in the spring of 536 B.C. Therefore: (430 years minus the 70 years in Babylon = 360 years). This indicates that a further period of 360 years of additional exile remained for the Jews following the end of the Babylonian Captivity in 536 B.C.
Ezekiel’s Prophecy of the End of Israel’s Exile
However, a careful study of the history of Israel cannot reveal any significant event that corresponds to this period of 360 years of additional punishment, either at the end of the 430 years or at the end of the 360 years beginning from the end of the Babylonian Captivity in 536 BC. The majority (95%) of the Jews never returned from Babylon to Israel. In fact, even the minority of the 42,360 Jews (Ezra 2:64) who did return did so with very little faith or true repentance. Most of the Jewish exiles failed to repent of their spiritual rebellion against God and they chose to remain in pagan Babylon.
Ezekiel’s unusual prophecy revealed the precise duration of the Jewish exiles worldwide Diaspora and the actual time of their prophesied return to the Promised Land in May 15, 1948. The solution to this prophetic mystery was found in a divine principle revealed to Moses and recorded in Leviticus 26. In this chapter the Lord established definite promises and punishments for Israel based on Israel’s subsequent obedience or disobedience to His Divine commands. In four separate but repeated passages recorded in Leviticus 26, God warned Israel that: if, after being punished for her sins, she still failed to repent of her rebellion, the punishments previously declared by God would be multiplied seven times more (the number of divine completion).
Moses declared God’s Divine principle of judgment if the Jews would not repent from their sinful rebellion against God after already experiencing His Divine punishment: "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins" (Leviticus 26:18; 26:21, 23-24, 27-28).
In other words, if Israel did not repent of her sins after enduring God’s initial prophesied punishment; the punishments previously predicted would now be prolonged or multiplied seven times: The biblical record reveals that, tragically, even the 5 percent of the Jewish exiles who returned to Israel did not truly repent of their rebellion.
Therefore, according to the Divine principle of multiplying the previous Divinely declared punishment by seven times due to the Jew’s lack of repentance, God’s previously prophesied exile of 360 additional years to the unrepentant Jewish exiles, as recorded by Ezekiel, would now be multiplied seven times more (Ezekiel 4:4-6; Lev. 26:18).
360 years of Exile x 7 = 2,520 biblical years of additional Exile for the Jews
The Biblical-Prophetic Year of 360 Days
The length of a biblical – prophetic year is 360 days: not the 365.25 days of our modern Julian calendar solar year. In ancient biblical times, the Jewish year was a lunar-solar year, with 12 months of 30 days each, which contained only 360 days. The modern solar-calendar year contains 365.25 days. An article on Chronology in the Encyclopedia Britannica, states that Abraham continued to use the 360-day year of his Babylonian homeland when he migrated to Canaan.
The Genesis account of Noah's flood confirmed that the ancient peoples of the Middle East, including the Hebrews, used a lunar-solar year of only 360 days with 12 months of 30 days each. Genesis recorded that the five months from the beginning of the Flood on the 17th day of the second month till the day the Ark rested on dry land, on the 17th day of the seventh month, lasted precisely 150 days. The five months (30 days each) while the flood waters prevailed confirmed that the Bible used a 12 month year of 360 days. (Genesis 7:11; 8:3-4).
Sir Isaac Newton confirmed that the ancient biblical year of the Hebrews, Babylonians, and Egyptians had only 360 days. Newton wrote in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (6th ed) that “all nations, before the just length of the solar year was known, … in making calendars for their festivals, they reckoned thirty days to a lunar month, and twelve lunar months to a year, taking the nearest round numbers, whence came the division of the ecliptic into 360 degrees.”
To understand the precise fulfillment of prophecy, we need to calculate using the biblical lunar year of 360 days. For example, in the book of Revelation John described the last three-and-one-half years of the seven year Tribulation period when the Antichrist will persecute the “woman” (Israel) as lasting precisely 1,260 days (Rev. 12:6). John also described this period as: “a time and times and half a time” (Rev. 12:14).
A “time” equals a year of 360 days; “times” equals two years; and “half a time” equals half a year Similarly, “forty-two months” of 30 days each equals the same 1260 days (Rev. 13:5). The book of Revelation and Daniel’s prophecies (Dan. 7:25; 9:24-27; 12:7; 12:11) both confirm that the biblical year contained 360 days. Therefore, Ezekiel’s prophecy revealed that the Jew’s final restoration to their Promised Land would occur precisely 2,520 biblical years (of 360 days each) after the end of the Babylonian Captivity in the spring of 536 B.C.
The end of the captivity in Babylon, according to the Bible and other historical sources – including Flavius Josephus, occurred in the month of Nisan in the spring of 536 B.C. This date is the starting point for our calculations: 2,520 biblical years x 360 = 907,200 days. Converting this period of 907,200 days into our calendar year of 365.25 days: we divide the 907,200 days by 365.25 days and we calculate a total of 2,483.8 calendar or solar years. In these prophetic calculations we must keep in mind that there was only one year between Passover in 1 B.C. and the next Passover in A.D. l.
Remember: There is NO Year Zero B.C.
Therefore, Ezekiel prophesied that the end of Israel's worldwide captivity would occur after a period of 2,483.8 calendar years had elapsed following the beginning of the prophesied period of the Jewish exile in the Spring of 536 B.C.