ISRAEL'S HISTORY

The Sea of Galilee Part One

Rabbis have said that Jehovah created seven seas, but the Sea of Galilee is His delight. Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian, called it “the ambition of Nature.”

The Sea of Galilee Part Two

On one of my early trips to Israel, I stood one blustery evening on the pier of Kibbutz Nof Ginosar on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee and watched as whitecaps…

The Garden Tomb

North of the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City is a peaceful burial cave called the Garden Tomb. A peasant first discovered it in 1867. In 1874 a German missionary…

Joppa, Down by the Sea

Jaffa is the modern name for Joppa, which was and still is a major sea-port on the Mediterranean. God gave the region to the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:40–46). The timbers…

Masada

Masada is spectacular. It’s a mighty fortress on a massive rock plateau. The mountain is about 1,500 feet above the shores of the Dead Sea. The fortification is about…

The Temple Tunnel

Above ground the Western Wall, or Kotel, measures around 187 feet long. But it actually runs another 1,350 feet underground, beneath homes in Old City Jerusalem. For centuries…

Valley of Jezreel

Standing atop the plateau of Tel Megiddo, the Valley of Jezreel (Megiddo Valley) stretches out like a verdant patchwork of farms, kibbutzim, and moshavim. Lying to the…

The Western Wall

Many people journey to Israel as pilgrims to visit the only place the Lord calls the “Holy Land” (Zech. 2:12). Others go there to see the reality of the Zionist dream birthed…

The Mount of Olives

One of the most spectacular places to visit in Israel is the Mount of Olives. The view from this elevation is breathtaking, and people gaze in awe at the Eastern Gate and…

Inside View Nov/Dec 2013

Every time I visit Israel, I see the modern miracle of the Jewish people. No other nation has ever been exiled and returned to its homeland to become a nation again. First the Jewish people returned…

Eye on the Middle East Nov/Dec 2013

It was merely a handshake. But it was no ordinary handshake. It was one of a kind, seen by millions around the world. It was proclaimed as the event that sealed the deal that would alter the…

It Is About Religion

The day held a unique significance for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat as he sat in a reviewing stand accompanied by a host of political, military, and visiting international dignitaries. It was…

Shout, O Israel! God Loves You!

They are a minority. They always have been a minority. Moses, their first national leader, described them as “the least of all peoples” (Dt. 7:7); and that assessment remains true today…

We Beheld His Glory

At Christmas we celebrate what may be the single most remarkable and mysterious event in all of history—the incarnation of Jesus Christ. God sent his Son to be born of a virgin, that He…

No Surprises, Please

On October 6, 1973, 40 years ago, Israel was wrapped in prayer shawls, observing the holiest of Jewish religious observances, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Radio was silenced…

The Jewish Family Promise

The call of Abraham in Genesis 12 is one of the most significant events in the biblical record. Although there is no way to know when the patriarch was born, scholars place his birth around…

Land Rights of the Patriarchs

For centuries people have argued over who has the legitimate claim to the land known today as Israel. The Arab-Israeli conflict has raged for decades, with both sides claiming exclusive rights…

Land Rights of the Kings

For 332 years (1375–1043 B.C.), judges ruled over Israel. When the prophet Samuel, Israel’s final judge, was old, he appointed his sons to take his place. However, the Israelites rejected Samuel’s…

Home from Babylon

As the prophet Jeremiah had foretold, the Jewish people remained captives in Babylon for 70 years. When they returned home, they no longer were subjects of a Jewish king. With the demise…

From Rome to the Turks

For hundreds of years, the Roman Empire ruled much of the known ancient world. Most of that time, Jewish people remained in their land. Then two major events occurred that resulted in their…

Buying Back Their Land

Whether or not the Jewish people were faithful to God, their behavior never invalidated their rightful ownership of the land of Israel. Disobedience cost them possession of it from time to…

The British Mandate

World War I (1914–1918) changed the map of the old Ottoman Empire in the Middle East. The region was split into two great sections. The northern half went to France (the French Mandate)…

The Arab Riots of the 1920s

A prevailing sentiment around the world seems to be that if Israel had never gained its independence, the Arabs would be happy; and there would be peace. But Arab terrorism started…

The Hadassah Hospital Massacre

In November 1947, the UN General Assembly passed a plan to partition what was left of British Mandate Palestine and establish separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem an international…

The Continual Jewish Presence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is convinced the phrase “2,000 years of exile” is inaccurate. It is used to describe the almost 2,000-year dispersion of the Jewish people between…

Jewish East Jerusalem

Is a ruin still a ruin when it is rebuilt? It is when the ruin is a synagogue located in the Old City in what today is called East Jerusalem. The Hurva (Hebrew, “ruin”) Synagogue was dedicated on…

Israel in the News Sep/Oct 2013

Now even Palestinians are fighting a recent European Union (EU) decision to boycott all Israeli businesses in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. A senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official who…

Introduction to Jeremiah

The prophet Jeremiah ministered from 627 to about 585 B.C., more than 100 years after the trauma of Assyria’s destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. Yet the consequences…

Bulla Lessons From Jeremiah 36

It’s a fact. The deeper archaeologists dig, the more Jewish history they find. With so much physical evidence to support the Bible, it’s amazing so many people remain unresponsive toward…

Judah’s Fatal Decision Jeremiah 40—43

In 586 B.C. the Babylonians captured Judah, destroyed Jerusalem, and deported the Jewish people to Babylon. Only a remnant of poor Judeans were left in the land to…

Comfort and Promise

God’s messages of hope are often embedded in warnings of impending judgment. At the conclusion of Jeremiah’s message to the Jewish inhabitants of Egypt, He promised His Chosen People…

Why Two Kingdoms?

People frequently become confused between the northern and southern kingdoms. Although both were Jewish, only one was Davidic. Originally, all the tribes of Israel were united throughout…

God’s Faithfulness to Israel

After the destruction of the second Jewish Temple in A.D. 70, a group of rabbis accompanied Rabbi Akiva up to Jerusalem. When they reached Mount…

John Henry Patterson

In 1898, English engineer John Henry Patterson was sent to Kenya to build a bridge over the Tsavo River. But two ferocious lions were terrorizing and eating his workmen.

Before the Silence

To understand the Intertestamental Period, it’s important to look at Israel’s postexilic history and see what happened to God’s Chosen People before the silence fell.

The Not-So-Quiet Years

Some people misconstrue the term silent years. They think the absence of a prophetic Word from the Lord meant the Lord was absent. That was not the case, as you’ll see.

Has the Dream Lost Its Luster?

When Zionism first appeared, it bore the dreams of a persecuted people and had the blessing of much of the Western world. A lot has changed over the years, as you’ll see here.

The Megillah Begins Esther 1—3

Almost 2,500 years ago, a Persian official wanted to wipe the Jewish people off the map. Sound contemporary? It’s in the book of Esther, where the story begins.

Dilemma and Decisions Esther 4

Ever been between a rock and a hard place, as the saying goes? It’s that terrible situation in which both choices that lie before you are bad. Queen Esther faced…

How the Megillah Ends Esther 6—10

Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot.” So says one of America’s popular comic-book superheroes. He could have added, “And they’re a proud lot, too.” Most villains are proud and arrogant…

Haman’s Main Problem Esther 5

Haman had it all. Yet Mordecai’s refusal to bow to him ruined everything, as far as he was concerned. That’s because he had two problems many still have today.

Israel Through the Prophets’ Eyes

Israel’s economy is booming. Every year thousands of evangelicals around the world contribute to that economy by traveling there. Israel’s demography is growing. Every year evangelicals donate millions of dollars to organizations…

Faith at Jericho Hebrews 11:30–31

After 400 years in Egyptian captivity, the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land. The Lord commanded Moses to send one representative from each of the 12 tribes to search…

Zvi Nov/Dec 2011

Miracles do not happen every day. But one happened recently while I was in a clinic waiting to see a doctor. Usually there are long lines, and it is difficult to speak to people.

Baptism and Indwelling

New Covenant believers must be careful not to look with disdain on what God did with His people in ages past. In fact, Yahweh proved Himself blindingly gracious under the Old Covenant…

The Great Enabler

Throughout the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is seen acting dramatically in the lives of people to enable those individuals to do that which, left to themselves, they could not do.

Service of the Heart

It was to be a day of trouble, rebuke, and blasphemy (2 Ki. 19:3). Assyria, the most powerful military force on Earth, invaded Judah. King Sennacherib demanded Jerusalem’s surrender, all the while mocking…

When the World Descended Into Madness

Hitler’s evil obsession once plunged Germany into barbarism and madness that afflicted the entire world. And what lies on the horizon may be more madness in the making.

The Jewishness of the Temple Mount

So prolific is Muslim propaganda that many Westerners today question the Temple’s historicity. So it’s time to review the evidence.

Muslim Backpedaling

Muslims today vociferously deny a Jewish Temple existed on the Temple Mount (Haram). However, their own literature affirms this fact and shows how they have changed their position to accomplish…

Rebuilding the City of Gold

Surrounded by trouble and enemies, Nehemiah forged ahead to repair and rebuild Jerusalem. If you think times have changed, you’re in for a surprise.

Archaeology Backs the Bible

In 2008 building remains from the first Temple period (eighth and ninth centuries B C.) were discovered in the northwest part of the Western Wall plaza that runs adjacent to the Temple…

Zerubbabel: Man With a Mission

Today’s Muslims claim the Jewish Temple of Jehovah never existed in Jerusalem. The Bible says differently, as you’ll soon see.

Ezra and the Restoration Period

When Ezra the scribe returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, he led a mar- velous revival. So why does he seem underappreciated? Read on!

O the Good Life!

When the United Nations voted to create the independent State of Israel in 1948, most of world Jewry rejoiced. Israel provided a safe haven for thousands of traumatized Jewish Holocaust survivors…

Silver and Taxes: So What Else Is New?

According to Bible prophecy, an inferior empire (symbolized by silver in Daniel 2:31, 39) would replace the gold kingdom of Babylon. The Medo-Persians conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. According to fifth-century…

Jewish Pseudo Messiahs

History is filled with people who envisioned themselves to be greater than they really were. Here are a number of Jewish men who either saw themselves as God’s promised Redeemer…

Making God Known

If you were to ask people to define the term missionary, they probably would tell you it means someone who goes to a faraway land to teach about Jesus. And they’d…

The Downside to Assimilation

Wanting to be like everyone else often comes with a price. And sometimes, as this article shows, it’s too high to pay.

Israel’s Primacy in God’s Program

For the past 4,000 years, Satan has incited hatred and persecution of the Jewish people with the objective of annihilating them. This article explains why.

The Hebrew Tabernacle Hebrews 9:1–10

Christ’s high priesthood is superior to the Levitical priesthood because it is based on a New Covenant and operates in a heavenly sanctuary. When referring to the heavenly sanctuary, the author…

Nimrod and Globalism at Shinar

In a way, the revolt that occurred after the ancient biblical flood seems very contemporary. God instructed Noah’s descendants, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Gen. 9:1). But…

History Through the ‘Apple of His Eye’

In the mid 1990s, Steven Spielberg produced a cartoon series about two laboratory mice. One was incredibly smart; the other was clueless. Each episode revolved around the smart mouse devising…

The Ghettoization of Israel

Inferior status, limited opportunity, and heavy restrictions. These are characteristics of ghettos. And they seem eerily like what the world is trying to impose on the free and democratic nation of Israel.

The Russian-Persian Alliance

The bear is back. He’s on the move. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. It’s all in the book of Ezekiel.

Who Is Melchizedek? Hebrews 7:1–10

First-century Jewish believers faced some perplexing questions concerning Christ’s high priestly ministry. Why wasn’t He called a priest while here on Earth? How could He be a legitimate high priest and how…

Looking Back to See the Future

The mantra of the moment embraces the idea that we should never look back because all hope and promise are found in looking to the future. Or, to quote Satchel Paige…

The Kingdom and the Power

Political turmoil, power struggles, wars and rumors of wars. The prophet Daniel lived through such times. And his record gives us hope while teaching an essential truth for today.

Daniel’s Long Life

The Jewish prophet Daniel was born to Judean nobility, probably during the time of King Josiah’s reforms (621 B.C.). As a boy, he endured Josiah’s tragic death at the hands…

Antiochus and the Antichrist

Some say the unspeakably evil man in Daniel is Antiochus IV only. That is not correct, and here is why.

The Great World Kingdoms

God ordained that four Gentile kingdoms will rule the earth before His Kingdom comes. He gave this amazing prophecy to Daniel, and everything is playing out exactly as Daniel wrote it.

That ‘Chunk of Dirt’ They Call Home

Does God really care where the Jewish people live? Why don’t they simply move their homeland to somewhere less controversial? Yes, God cares. And here’s why.

The Unpopular Truth

I’ve been to many churches during my lengthy ministry with The Friends of Israel. Most have welcomed me warmly. But I spoke at one recently that did not. Even the pastor…

The Promise

Have you ever thought of this? If God did not fulfill His promises literally, we would never have Christmas. See for yourself!

The Rest God Gives

Hebrews 4:1–13: Chapter 3 of Hebrews presents two types of rest: that of entering Canaan (the rest offered to Israel) and that which comes from a life of faith in Christ. All the Israelites 20 and older…

David, Bathsheba, and the Faithfulness of God

Just about everyone knows about King David’s sin with Bathsheba. But do you know why God did not cast David away, as He did Saul? The answer may not be what you think it is!

Solomon’s Fall from the Lord

The First Commandment proclaims, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex. 20:3). To that end, God’s Word provides instructions to light our paths and help us live. One of those instructions for believers…

Uzziah’s ‘Deadly’ Sin

History and literature often speak of the “seven deadly sins”: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. The Bible also lists seven sins and calls them “an abomination” to God: “a proud look…

Departed, to No One’s Sorrow

Good potential + bad choices = accomplishing little or nothing for God. But you can alter that equation. Read on!

The Inner Peril

Often it seems that the good kings of Judah had bad sons, and the bad kings had good sons. Most noteworthy of this perplexing phenomenon were good King Hezekiah—undeniably one of the most spiritually virile…

From Sin to Mount Moriah

God’s purposes are not thwarted by our sin. God used Jacob’s stubbornness to raise up the 12 tribes of Israel. He used Israel’s failure under the theocracy in the time of the judges to bring…

Avoiding the Sinkhole

Well begun is half done,” says the old adage. But we should be dedicated to finishing strong. The apostle Paul ran the race of life in order to win the prize (1 Cor. 9:24).

Jehoshaphat’s Big Mistake

Jehoshaphat played the fool by trying to travel two roads at the same time. And the admonishment God gave him back then still applies to us today.

Christ is Superior to Moses

Hebrews 3:1–19: Moses is a dominant figure in Israel’s history. Of all the Old Testament leaders, there is none greater. He is described as “the man of God” and “the servant of the Lᴏʀᴅ” (Dt. 33:1; 34:5).

Goodbye, Eli

Eli was basically a good man. However, God pronounced a terrible judgment on his house, and for good reason. Something had gone wrong, and Eli was not diligent to rectify it.

From Shepherd to King

God promised David the kingship over Israel. Yet it took more than 20 years for that promise to be realized. Born in Bethlehem of Judea, David was the youngest of eight sons

Modern Israel in Biblical Prophecy

Although many people, including some Christians, deny that Israel’s return to the land is biblical, they are wrong. It is extremely biblical. And here’s why.

God Is Moral Part Seventeen

The previous article examined the biblical view of two types of negative speech: lying and false witness. Now we will observe what the Bible says about other types of negative speech.

Israel: Still the Apple of God’s Eye Part Two

Many people who become Christians still struggle in their faith and have an inability to trust God earnestly. Mankind in general has a problem trusting God. Israel is no different.

His Shepherd Cyrus

World history is boring!” Did you ever hear such a thing? I know I did. Why learn the names of people and places you never heard of? What difference does it make?

The High Price of Disobedience

Samuel’s sons did not walk with the Lord. Therefore, the people wanted a king who would rule over them and fight their battles (1 Sam. 8:19–20). They wanted to be just like other nations.

Bound for Babylon

Tell 10 Jewish people they are the Chosen People of God and at least half will reply, “I wish He had chosen someone else!” While such an example of Jewish wit is amusing…

From Bill Sutter’s Desk May/Jun 2008

Widespread “Israel at 60” celebrations in Jewish communities this year are reminders of the certainty of God’s promises to the Jewish people. Christians who have been participating in these events realize they are expressing…

Israel’s Long and Hard War of Independence

Despite its military victories, Israel still does not enjoy peace. So the country’s anniversary celebration took a different turn this year—for a significant reason.

Israeli Economy Gallops Ahead

As Israel turns 60, its economy is moving ahead more rapidly than anyone would have guessed. Here are some facts and figures that probably will astound you.

Inextinguishable Israel

In a world stricken by the compulsion to forget and plagued with perpetually erratic behavior, it is not surprising that some people no longer see Israel as a little David struggling for survival…