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The land of Israel

O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause
you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land
of Israel.      Ezekiel 37:12 NLT

Birth of a Nation

In 63 B.C. the Roman armies invaded the land of Israel
and made it part of the Roman Empire. Then Jesus came,
and in response to the Jews' rejection of him as their
Messiah, he predicted that the Jewish temple would be
completely destroyed (Luke 21:6), a prediction fulfilled in
A.D. 70. After a second revolt in A.D. 135, no Jews lived
in Jerusalem, and they became scattered through the

Then in the late 1800s, in response to anti-Semitism,
particularly in eastern Europe, a Jewish movement called
Zionism arose. In 1917 in an attempt to win Jewish
support for World War I, England issued the Balfour
Declaration, supporting the creation "in Palestine of a
national home for the Jewish people."

Following War World II, Britain turned the matter of a
Jewish state to the newly created U.N., which voted on
November 29, 1947 to endorse a plan to create separate
Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an
international zone.

The British Mandate was scheduled to end on May 15,
1948, at which time their troops would begin leaving. The
day before, a historic meeting was held in Tel Aviv. At
exactly 4:00 p.m. the meeting was called to order by
David Ben-Gurion. The audience rose and sang "Hatikvah,"
the Israeli national anthem. Then Ben-Gurion read in
Hebrew Israel's Declaration of Independence. Everyone in
the audience stood to their feet and applauded, many with
tears streaming down their faces. For the first time in two
thousand years there was an independent Jewish state of

The very existence of present-day Israel is a reminder to
us of God's faithfulness in keeping his promises.
(Ezekiel 37:1-13)

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Christian History by
E. Michael and Sharon Rusten (Tyndale, 2003), 

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