San Remo Centenary

The Spiritual and Prophetic Significance of San Remo – San Remo 100 (part 6)

Hugh Kitson - 11 May 2020

This series previously mentioned more than once that the San Remo Resolution, and the Mandate for Palestine that resulted from it, enshrined the title deed that Almighty God gave to the Hebrew Patriarchs into international law. Perhaps this was not obvious at the time, but I believe this was what God was doing behind the scenes 100 years ago in April 1920. 

At that time Great Britain, along with the empire that was attached to it, was the ‘world superpower’ of the day, although in decline by then.  In the decades to follow, the United States of America would accede to that position.

Nevertheless, Great Britain and its empire was responsible for the Balfour Declaration, the dismembering of the Ottoman Empire and the implementation of the San Remo Resolution.

The Decree of Cyrus

‘Cyrus Cylinder’, British Museum. Photo: Hugh Kitson

This wasn’t the first time in recorded history that the ‘world superpower’ would be responsible for facilitating the restoration of the nation of Israel. The Bible records that the head of the Persian Empire, King Cyrus, was given a similar role during the Babylonian exile in the 6th century BC.  What happened is recorded in a number of books in the Hebrew Scriptures, notably 2nd Chronicles chapter 36, as well as the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  The Hebrew Bible, which has a different configuration to the Christian Old Testament, actually concludes with the Second Book of Chronicles, and it closes with the decree of Cyrus: ‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: “All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all of His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!”’ (2 Chronicles 36:23)

One could say that this decree from the Persian king was ‘the international law’ of its time. Not only do we find it in the Bible, but it is also inscribed on the ‘Cyrus Cylinder’, which dates back to 538 BC, and today resides in the British Museum! For those who neither believe in the authority nor accuracy of the Bible, God provides extra-Biblical evidence of something that so many today seek to deny: the Jewish historic connection to Jerusalem!

“For those who believe in neither the authority nor the accuracy of the Bible, God provides extra-biblical evidence of something that so many today seek to deny: the Jewish historic connection to Jerusalem!”

Restoration and the Coming of Messiah
So why was the return of the Jewish people and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple so crucial back then? There could be many answers to that question, but I would like to offer just one: to prepare the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish people for the First Coming of Messiah – the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

More than two thousand years after the Cyrus decree, the Lord raised up another great empire – the British Empire – which was the most extensive empire the world had hitherto seen. Apart from taking the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth, the British Empire would assume its Cyrus role to facilitate the restoration of Israel to its ancient homeland. Sadly, many British people today hold the former British Empire in contempt in the same way that they hold the gospel and the rebirth of the Jewish State in contempt. While there were atrocities committed in the name of the empire – after all we are a fallen humanity – nevertheless the Lord had His purposes for rise the rise of the British Empire, just as in the days of Cyrus.

Some years ago I produced and directed a documentary film, which was largely the vision my historian friend Kelvin Crombie, who presented it.  It was entitled “The Destiny of Britain” and you can view a trailer (8 minutes) here. It examines how Britain’s Christian heritage led to the Balfour Declaration.

San Remo – the Modern-Day Cyrus Decree
The San Remo Resolution, which raised the Balfour Declaration to the status of an international treaty, could be likened to the ‘Cyrus Decree’ for the modern era.

As was pointed out in the earlier article looking at the San Remo Conference in some detail, the territorial extent of the Jewish National Home was discussed, and while the actual boundaries were not finalised then, the intention was expressed that it should incorporate the area of Israel’s domicile during the reigns of King David and King Solomon. Included within that is the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, and particularly Israel’s historic capital, Jerusalem.

And so why is this latter-day Cyrus Decree so crucial in the purposes of God? I would suggest that it is to prepare the Jewish people, who have been largely scattered across the face of the earth for two millennia, the Land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem for the Second Coming of Messiah. His mission this time?  To rule and reign over the whole earth from the throne of David – His throne – in Jerusalem.

“The San Remo Resolution, which raised the Balfour Declaration to the status of an international treaty, could be likened to the ‘Cyrus Decree’ for the modern era.”

The City of the Great King – not ‘Al Quds’
The Lord Jesus once referred to Jerusalem as “the city of the great King” (Matthew 5:35) – in reference to Himself. Through the prophet Zechariah, He declared:  “I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain.”  (Zechariah 8:3)  Clearly, the Lord Jesus is not going to return to ‘Al Quds’ (the Arabic name for Jerusalem) as the capital city of an Islamic Palestinian state. And therein lies the heart of the Middle East conflict – the onslaught of the demonic spiritual powers of darkness against the declared purposes of God.

San Remo 90

Photo from the ECI San Remo Conference in 2010. Third from left is Danny Danon, then Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, and now Israel’s Ambassador to the UN. Photo: European Coalition for Israel

Ten years ago the European Coalition for Israel organised a commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the San Remo Resolution on 24th and 25th April 2010 at the Villa Devachan in Sanremo, which is where the original conference took place 100 years ago. The gathering included some international lawyers and around 30 intercessors from different nations, including the UK. At the conference there was repentance for the nations – particularly Britain – for ‘breaking the covenant’ made there, and a new declaration was signed affirming the original San Remo Resolution. The official report from the gathering records: ‘We felt that Sunday (25th April) would be a day which we would dedicate to the Lord and His purposes for Israel. We read out His promises from the Word of God as we lifted up His name in worship.’ The Guest of Honour to witness all of this was the then Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Danny Danon. Today he is Israel’s Ambassador at the United Nations.

That gathering ten years ago seems particularly significant now because all of the centenary commemorations everywhere have had to be cancelled or postponed indefinitely, including those in Sanremo itself, because of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Perhaps the Lord is giving us opportunity to allow this 100-year-old ‘Cyrus Decree’ to be more widely known as it spills over to the 101st anniversary?

The Time for Repentance
There are many intercessors here in Britain who carry the Lord’s burden for repentance in both the Church and the Government over our betrayal of San Remo and the Mandate, and there are some who believe this centenary year could be our last chance. Real repentance is not just a question of apologising to Israel for our betrayal, but re-aligning our foreign policy with what our then Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, was intending at San Remo back in 1920, and which was unanimously endorsed by the international community. Otherwise we remain on a collision course with the God of Israel.

The Lord, speaking through the prophet Joel, gave us a dire warning: “For behold, in those days, and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgement with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations.  They have also divided up My Land.” (Joel 3: 1 & 2)

It is a very sobering thought that the choice of whether we, as a nation, go to the left with the goats, or to the right with the sheep, as in the Lord’s parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25) is dependent on our being prepared to repent before the Lord of our past actions, and once again to re-align ourselves with His purposes for Israel, as in the days of San Remo.


Find out more by watching Episode 10 of ‘Whose Land?’


This article is the final installment in a six-part series exploring the significance of the San Remo Resolution for today. This series was first published Prophecy Today UK and published with permission.
>>Overview of this series

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