By Moshe Gold
Since its inception as a modern state in 1948, Israel has desired to make peace with its Muslim neighbors. In 1960 the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Golda Meir, made a formal invitation in the UN General Assembly, inviting the Arab countries to a meeting to discuss peace. They all refused the invitation, choosing rather to increase their terrorist activities against Israel.
Then in 1964, the Arabs voted to form the Palestine Liberation Organization. Its purpose was to give legitimacy to the goal of destroying Israel and returning that landmass to Islamic control. This included the manufacturing of a history of the so-called Palestinian people that showed their rights to the land as the indigenous people of that territory.
In reality, the vast majority of so-called Palestinians trace their heritage to what is today Southwest Russia, the Balkans, and the Ukraine. The overall strategy of this inception was to have a means that would legitimize the goal of rebuilding the Umma, which is contiguous land dominated by Islam. The ultimate goal of which was to provoke the final battle between the Islamic world and the Infidels. This would bring about the lasting victory of Islam over the Infidels and usher in a period of world peace and prosperity.
National events leading to the Six-Day War
Meanwhile on a national level, Syria and Egypt continued their bellicose rhetoric against Israel while Jordan helped sponsor incursions against her with the short term goal of destabilizing the Israeli government by over pressuring it to respond to too many crisis’ at the same time. This was compounded by Egypt closing the Straits of Tiran, which provided Israel’s only sea route of navigation connecting it to Asia, via Israel’s southern Port of Eilat. This also eliminated Israel’s means of receiving weapons shipments directly to the south of its country. In itself this was an act of war according to international law.
During that time the Syrians were helping fund the PLO’s activities and took exception to Israel building their National Water Carrier system to bring water from the Jordan River and supply the country with fresh drinking water. As a result the Syrians continually rained artillery shells from their positions atop the Golan Heights down on the Kibbutzim within range. As a result, a generation of children spent some of their formative years living below ground in bomb shelters rather than in homes. Although complaints were made by Israel to the UN, nothing of consequence was done.
In 1965 the Egyptian leader Nasser stated that his army would not enter Jerusalem with sand on their boots, but rather with the blood of Jews. This was a clear reference to his desire to see the destruction of Israel. This intensified the situation of Israel having to defend herself against a combined foe made up of Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
The Six-Day War
This state of hostility continued until May 15th, 1967 when Egypt began massing troops and tanks in the Sinai along the Israeli border. On the 18th, Israeli warplanes challenged the Syrian air force over the Golan Heights shooting down six of their Russian supplied MIG fighters. As a result, in June of 1967 the Syrians and Egyptians began marshaling their armies along their border with Israel. The Egyptians called for the removal of the UN peacekeepers who occupied a no-mans land along that border. Egypt continued its buildup of troops and tanks in the Sinai. This put all four countries on a war footing. The final straw in this dance of escalation was a Russian message to the Syrians claiming that Israel was mobilizing its military for an attack. In response, Syria sought the aid of the Egyptians to launch a combined attack on Israel.
For its part Egypt sent a message to Jordan encouraging them to join in the war effort or miss out on reaping “the spoils of war.” At the same time Israel communicated to the Jordanians to stay out of the coming war and that if they remained neutral, then Israel would not attack them.
In response to the combined troop movement massed on her borders by both Syria and Egypt and sensing that an attack was imminent (Egypt had already called for and received assurance that the UN Peacekeeping force, in place on the Israeli Egyptian border since 1956, would be removed), Israel then surprised the world by launching a preemptive aerial attack first against Egypt, then Syria and finally Jordan.
The Jordanians had noticed a large air flotilla on radar and sent a warning to the Egyptians. This went unheeded because the previous day Egypt had changed its passwords to access its military communications and not informed her ally Jordan of this change. The ensuing Israeli air force attack resulted in the practical elimination of the air forces in each of those countries, giving Israel air superiority throughout the remainder of the war. In short order, Israel beat her adversaries back on every front.
The Aftermath of the Six-Day War
Israel’s victory was the result of brilliant strategic military command. And, to those with spiritual vision, the “oversight” of the war effort by God brought about the Israeli victory. The victory added all of the Sinai, the Golan and the area known as the West Bank, which is more properly referred to as Judea and Samaria to Israel.
On the 7th of June, due in large part to the silence of Jordanian weapons, the command was given to enter the Old City of Jerusalem, which quickly fell to the Israelis along with the rest of the adjacent area called East Jerusalem. This, also, was an act of God. The Jordanians had fled the Old City and adjacent areas expecting a direct and overwhelming assault by the Israelis.
Moshe Dayan’s Magnanimous Gesture
Now in control of more territory than they expected, including the Temple Mount, which is on the crest of Mount Moriah, Moshe Dayan, the leader of the Israeli military, gave the order to allow day- to-day supervision of the Temple Mount to the Wakf, the Muslim religious body that is in charge of Islamic holy sites. In this way he hoped to show the Islamic world that Israel was interested in peace not war.
As God “oversaw” the winning of the war by Israel, so He “allowed” Moshe Dayan to make a decision that has caused much grief in subsequent decades for Israel. Hindsight shows the unwise decision Dayan made, but God is using this to bring together His plans for Jerusalem and the world in the months and years ahead.
Although the Muslims were given and still have day-to-day oversight of the Temple Mount, Israel maintains sovereign control over it, the rest of Jerusalem and the so-called West Bank including East Jerusalem.
Luke 21:24, speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., says: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” The “times of the Gentiles” started with the Babylonian capture of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and won’t end until Jesus returns and establishes His kingdom over the earth, from Jerusalem, at the end of the Tribulation. During these years “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles.” Perhaps the reason God allowed Moshe Dayan to give control of the Temple Mount to the Muslims is because “the times of the Gentiles” being finished was still future.
The reunification of Jerusalem is important to future events in Scripture being realized. The question arises; is this the time for the return of the Lord and the establishment of His Kingdom? When one considers the events of 1947/48 and the rebirth of the nation of Israel, and the events of 1967, I believe the stage is being set for future biblical prophesied events to take place.
We know from Scripture that there will be another Temple, the third one, built on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which will be desecrated by the future world leader, called the Anti-Christ, when he demands that sacrifice and worship be directed to him (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14).
Simply put, there can be no Temple built and in use, without the Temple Mount being under the sovereign control of Israel. We also have it on the solid testimony of Scripture that this leader will orchestrate a peace treaty with Israel and her enemies for seven years. In the middle of that time he declares himself to be the embodiment of God (2 Thessalonians 2:4), demanding that he be the object of worship. He will also receive a life threatening head wound (Revelation 13:3), but is miraculously healed.
Jerusalem’s Future Destiny
The Scriptures repeatedly state that Jerusalem is the future place from where the glory of God embodied in the person of Messiah Jesus will rule over planet earth. His presence will be so radiant that He will outshine the sun by day and the moon and stars by night (Zechariah 14:7; Isaiah 60:19-22). All nations will come up to worship Him on a yearly basis and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. Nations that do not come to celebrate this feats will suffer from a plague. If, however, that nation is in a dry climate they will suffer from drought (Zechariah 14:12-19). Furthermore, the city’s topography will change. It will become a flat area instead of being on the top of a mountain. The millennial Jerusalem will also be much bigger than the present city; fifty miles square.
During the time of that Kingdom living waters will flow from the Temple in Jerusalem to both the Mediterranean and Dead Seas. While on the banks of that river fruit trees will grow and yield a new crop regularly. The leaves of those trees will be used for medicinal purposes (Ezekiel 47:12).
Bolstering this is the biblical reality that God has chosen Jerusalem as the place where His glory will reside forever (Revelation 21:1-22:5). It is, at the end of the Millennium, to be replaced by a ANew Jerusalem@ that will come down from heaven when the new heaven and earth are created. There will be no sacrifices offered in the eternal Temple of that city because the Lord God will inhabit that city.
In addition, His glory will be the source of all light. Until the Lord calls us to Him, we do, however, have a task; to declare to both Jewish and non-Jewish people that now is the time and today is the day of salvation through the Messiah of God, Jesus of Nazareth.
The importance of Jerusalem is seen in 2 Chronicles 6:6: “But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there.” It is the eternal city of God. When Jerusalem was united in 1967, it set in motion events that will ultimately lead to the King of kings coming back to earth, establishing His kingdom , and sitting on the throne of David in Jerusalem. This year is the 50th anniversary of that monumental event. Fifty years is the length of a Jubilee year, Leviticus 25:8-13,. At the Jubilee year the land was to return to its rightful owner. Is it coincidental that Israel re-united Jerusalem 50 years after the Balfour Declaration? Not to those who have spiritual sight and see the hand of God working in world events to consummate His plans as laid out in the Scriptures. Perhaps this Jubilee year (1967 to 2017), Jubilee only in the length of time, will be the time that Israel, somehow, regains day-by-day control of the Temple Mount and the Temple is rebuilt. Someday this will happen. Perhaps in 2017!