• View of the Mountains of Edom, on the Jordanian side of the border with Israel on January 2, 2018. Photo by Moshe Shai/Flash90

The secret of Israel (11) – Political developments

Rev Henk Poot - 19 March 2019

Gradually we are moving towards the Gospel. Maybe it is in our Bible only one white page, but in reality the period between the last words of the Prophets and the beginning of the Gospel lasts four hundred years. In those four hundred years many things happen. And a number of them are important for understanding the secret of Israel.

What happens between the Testaments?
To give an example: In the middle of the second century before Christ a fierce battle raged between the pious, orthodox believers and a group that tries to join the modern world of those days. Israel is a small state in those days, wedged between two large empires, led by families descending from Greek generals, the heirs from the prematurely deceased Alexander the Great, who created a Hellenic empire in just a few years.

To make a long story short: the king of the North, from Syria, a certain Antioch helps the modernists in Jerusalem, by launching a gigantic persecution against everything that is conservative, orthodox and pious. The Temple is desecrated with a statue of the Syrian king and pig sacrifices are made. Tens of thousands of people lost their lives.

Israel crawls into isolation
This dark time lasts seven years, but at the end of it the pious fraction did not only survive but actually got the better of her weaknesses. From that moment on, and that is important for us, the door to the outside world is firmly locked. The Jewish people isolates itself more than ever. It may well be that the old prophets spoke about the light that would shine towards the nations from Jerusalem. For the time being that is absolutely out of the question.

People are scared and grew rigid with fear, and a bridge to the world will not happen for some time! Whoever does try that meets with severe criticism. This will all play an important role when the Gospel will enter that world soon. Then the pious part of Israel will massively give up and object.

But the Jews not only conquer the modernization and they not only defeat the Syrian armies of Antioch under the command of Judah Maccabee. Gradually a new and large Jewish realm comes into existence. The so-called Hasmonaean kingdom will be bigger than the kingdom of David and Solomon.

An Edomite on the throne
It is important for us to know that Israel now also occupies Idumaea, the domain of Edom, Esau’s descendants. In this Idumaea are a number of prominent families that obtain great power through trade and political intrigue.

When in the middle of the first century before Christ Roman Legions occupy the Middle East, and also Jerusalem, the young people from Edom create closer links with the new rulers from Rome. One of them, a certain Herod, will receive the throne in Jerusalem from the Roman government. The Edomite, who will go down in history as Herod the Great, knows that he as a non-Jew is on the wrong “chair”.

He tries to hide this by marrying a daughter of the High Priest and by donating beautiful buildings to the Jewish people: the mausoleum in Hebron on top of the graves of the patriarchs and matriarchs and not to forget the embellishment of the Temple and the Temple Mount, that are generally considered as one of the Wonders of the World. All the same, a son of Esau is ruling the people of Jacob.

It is in his days that the Lord decides the Messiah to be born. The angel Gabriel announces His birth with the words: “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Jesus is born and the archangel calls his name not only Yeshua, but also Immanuel.

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