I have often heard people comment that if they had lived in "Bible times," it would be easy to believe in and obey God. It has been my experience that these people have failed to observe the many things that God is doing in their own generation. Many Bible prophesies have been fulfilled in the last century, unfortunately, few have realized their fulfillment because of their preconceived concepts, taught to them by Western "Pagan-based" Christianity.
IF YOU HAVE EYES TO SEE...then see!
The Presence of God in the Six Day War
The tenuous nation of Israel stands on alert and the brink of despair. All is quiet. Only a recognized entity for 19 years, the country faces not one, but four well supplied enemies. Outnumbered and under equipped, government estimates of causalities range from 10,000 to total annihilation. The day is June 5th, 1967.
Opposing the small nation is a sizable coalition of forces, supported and supplied primarily by the USSR and Britain. This combined army stands strong at roughly 465,000 troops, 2,880 tanks and 900 aircraft compared to Israel's 264,000 soldiers (of which 200,000 are reservists), 800 tanks, and 300 aircraft. (Israeli History, Six Day War). Days before the war, President Nasser of Egypt declares “The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel...to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations” (Liebler, p. 60)
Israel's one hope, its allies the United States and Britain, stay out of the conflict in both military might and support due to conflicting interests in the middle east and the stigma of the Vietnam war. To make this clear to the world, the US state department declares "Our position is neutral in thought, word and deed" (AP, June 5, 1967). Planning for the worst case scenario, Israel begins to convert its national parks into mass burial grounds and school children dig sand to protect their homes. The UN removes its troops from the Sinai and Israel stands alone.
This tense moment leads up to one of the most amazing victories even perpetrated, but why and how was God involved in this conflict? To answer that question we must look at the Bible and see what the future is for Jerusalem, the land of Israel, and the Jewish people as a whole.
Jerusalem and the surrounding area is the setting for much of the Bible. Most importantly, it was built by God's favored and appointed ruler, King David, who allied the previously scattered 12 tribes under the united nation of Israel. The city is also the home to the first temple, built by David's son Solomon. Thus, history and ancestry strongly connect the Jews to the area, as David and all his descendents are from the tribe of Judah. What connects Christians is that Jerusalem will be the future home of the most important Jew ever born, Jesus Christ, who will unite the tribes and the whole world under his rule and will build a temple that will NEVER be destroyed. This will represent the spiritual building of Jerusalem and the temple, just as David and Solomon fulfilled the physical building. Matthew 5:34 states that Jerusalem will be the “city of the Great King”, referring to Christ and this spiritual kingdom he will build there in the end days.
JUDAH STILL IDENTIFIED AS GOD'S PEOPLE! The Sabbath Covenant
The historically undisputable fact is that Judah has retained the seventh day Sabbath to this day, and are the most faithful observers of the Sabbath on the face of the earth! Will you be honest enough to take almighty God at His word, that keeping the Sabbath is the identifying sign between people that keep the Sabbath day and God their CREATOR. To deny this is to deny God's covenant promise to all true Sabbath keepers.
"Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."Exodus 31:16-17
Jesus Christ is making the statement that the Jews would not be condemned for the horrible sin that they had unknowingly committed. Because their refusal of the true messiah is all part of the plan set by Christ and God the Father since the beginning of creation (someone had to kill Christ), Judah still is identified as part of God's people, and qualifies to receive aid from heaven when God wills it. The Bible makes it even more apparent that God has a special plan for Judah in the last days. Judah's state of being, which obviously hasn't happened yet, is described in Genesis 49: 8-12.
"Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons will bow down to you. You are a lion's cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness - who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his (JESUS CHRIST)."
This leads us back to the setting of 1967 and the Six Day War. As we know, Israel is not destroyed by overwhelming odds. Instead, in a matter of six days, facing four competent enemies, the small nation miraculously quadruples its land and retakes many holy sites including Jerusalem and the temple mount. Israel reports 760 casualties, while the Arab deaths hover somewhere around 18,000 men (Bard, 1967 War). The conflict is filled with many first hand accounts of awe-inspiring happenings that are hard to explain even today, and bring to mind the scripture in Jeremiah 30: 16-17:
Even today, and especially in 1967, this scripture personifies how much of the world hates the Jews and all the rest of the tribes. They secretly detest God's people and especially envy Judah because they have been visibly blessed and protected by God. This is obvious when you see many of the miracles performed, that as a whole, cannot be explained by an other logical force than God's protection of his people and of his holy land.
One of these notable occurrences happens during the capture of the Arab city of Shechem which has been very important to Jews and Christians alike. This city is where God promised Abraham the land before him, the place where Joseph, the father of Ephraim and Manasseh is buried, and the place where Israel would go to accept their kings (Geographical Significance, p 2). Israel is prepared for a bloody and long battle when approaching Shechem. The city is heavily guarded and filled with tens of thousands of inhabitants, all prepared to fight occupation. According to Colonel Uri Banari the army was very surprised when instead they walked into the city unharassed. “At the entrance to Shechem stood thousands of Arabs who waved white handkerchiefs and clapped their hands. In our naiveté, we returned greetings and smiles. We entered the town and wondered: We are advancing and there is no disorder, no panic, the local armed guards stand by with rifles in their hands keeping order, and the crowds are cheering.Suddenly something happened which changed the entire picture in a moment. One of our officers wanted to disarm an Arab guard. When the latter refused, our officer fired a shot in the air. At that moment, all the crowds disappeared and streets emptied out. The Arabs began sniper fire...Only later, did I understand. The residents of Shechem thought that we were the Iraqi forces who were due to arrive from the direction of Jordan. The numerous enemy tanks were (uselessly) situated on the other side of Shechem. They woke up to their error too late" (Eye Witness accounts, Israeli National News).
In other towns, the same interesting pattern followed. Towns that should have take long bloody days to conquer fell in hours. Arab soldiers, veterans ofother wars, simply dropped their weapons and ran. "The Arabs were surprised; the fear of the Jews fell upon them. In Hevron, and in Shechem, in Jenin and in Jericho the Arabs were heavily armed. There was not even one small Arab village without arms. With great haste, the Arabs, however, hid their weapons and didn't consider using them. They raised their hands up, and flew white flags of surrender from every edifice. The fear of G-d fell upon hundreds of thousands of proud Arabs, who were filled with hatred and loathing for Israel. Only yesterday, they had sworn to fight until their last drop of blood" (HaTekufa HaGedola, p. 452). The Israelis “approached the heavily defended Kusseima outpost. As the Israelis drew near, they heard massive explosions. When they arrived they saw that the Egyptians, for no apparent reason, had destroyed their equipment and abandoned the base! As the day continued, it became clear that the Egyptians were hastily abandoning many of their outposts, some with all their supplies left behind” (June 5, Chabad).
Another reason for such a quick defeat of the Arab force was air supremacy by Israel. Even though the Jews had many fewer aircraft, on the first day of the war they destroyed most of the Egyptian air force in less than twelve hours(Six Day War, Leeds). Yet the details on how this was accomplished are even more mysterious and interesting. On the first day of the war, “a Jordanian radar facility detected an unusually large number of aircraft heading towards the sea. The officer on duty immediately sent a message, "Inab," the code-word for war, to Jordan military headquarters. The message was encoded and passed on to Egypt’s defense minister in Cairo. Miraculously, however, the Egyptian coding frequencies had been changed the previous day, and the Jordanians were not updated...Though Egypt had sufficient anti-aircraft ammunition to destroy all the attacking Israeli planes, miraculously, no order was given for these missiles to be launched” (June 5, Chabad). Thus the Israelis accomplished their air missions to destroy with practically no resistance after the first day.
In addition to the overwhelming fear by the Arabs, there are also many documented cases of large numbers of adversaries being inexplicably overtaken by just a few Jewish soldiers. In one such incident on the second day of the war, an Arab tank commander surrendered his obviously superior army to an Israeli force of 12 tanks. He later claimed that while only a few enemy tanks were present, a desert mirage made him see hundreds (The Six Day War: Recognizing the Miracle). Yisrael, a paratrooper sent to take the Tiran Straits recalls yet another incident.“The Israeli soldiers didn’t have to parachute out of the airplanes. They landed like spoiled tourists in the airport, because the Egyptian regiment which was on guard there fled before the Israeli trips were visible on the horizon. After landing, I was sent with another reserves soldier, an electrician, to patrol the area...(when) an Egyptian half track appeared before us filled with soldiers and mounted with machine guns on every side. We had only light weapons with a few bullets that couldn’t stop the half track for a second. We couldn’t turn back, so we stood there in despair, waited for the first shot, and for lack of a better idea, aimed our guns at them. But the shots didn’t come. The half track came to a halt, and we decided to cautiously approach it. We found 18 armed soldiers inside sitting with guns in hand, with a petrified look on their faces. They looked at us with great fear as though begging for mercy. I shouted ‘Hands up!’ ...I asked the Egyptian sergeant next to me, ‘Tell me, why didn’t you shoot at us?’ He answered, ‘I don’t know. My arms froze – they became paralyzed. My whole body was paralyzed, and I don’t know why (Eye Witness accounts, Israeli National News).
Israel also found that the Golan Heights of Syria, once thought to be impossible to overtake, fell easily into their hands despite the difficult terrain and strong Syrian fortifications. One such account tells how “Commander Musa Klein’s platoon had only twenty-five men at his disposal (after significant troop losses). But they continued up the Golan heights. When they reached Tel Fakhr, Klein ordered his men to charge the position, unaware that it was one of the most heavily fortified Syrian positions. It had bunkers, trenches and a double row of wire; an arsenal of antitank guns, machine guns and 82mm mortars. The handful of soldiers were worse off than sitting ducks... Syrian Captain Ahmad Ibrahim Khalili gave his men instructions not to fire until the Israelis reached the wire. In no time at all, however, it was too late. In the Syrians' own words: “The Jews are already inside and we’ve taken heavy casualties.” Commander Klein and his men were victorious, and continued up the Heights” (Israeli History, Six Day War). Even more incredible is the chronicle of Ammunition hill “which was captured by an Israeli scout by mistake when he accidentally fell into a Jordanian trench on a moonless night at 2:00 AM and started shooting from the hip.” Not only did this outcome seize the hill but was the critical event that lead to the capture of the old town of Jerusalem, including the wailing wall, only 30 hours later (Six Day War, Recognizing the Miracle).
There are many many more accounts to fill these pages, and perhaps one or two strange happens could be seen as chance. However, when we consider the sheer number of accounts of people who were able to succeed against a superior force against all odds or logic, it is at times overwhelming and suggests a miraculous nature. To demonstrate this point, think of one high ranking west point official who was asked why they do not study the tactics behind arguably one of the most impressive routes in history? He responded that “the US Military Academy studies wars fought throughout the world, they do not study the Six Day War because what concerns West Point is strategy and tactics, not miracles” (Six Day War, p2). Even historians struggle to explain the victory. As one secular newspaper said “Even a non-religious person must admit this war was fought with help from heaven” (Eyewitness Accounts, Arutz Sheva).
After all the amazing stories and evidence, one may still wonder why this is relevant to modern day Americans, who at times seem so far removed from the current nation of Israel? However the answer is quite clear. The Jews, be they a small group surrounded by hostile forces, are only a miniscule remnant of the 12 tribes and the only tribe who has not lost its identity. Because they obey God and have retained most of his laws (Sabbath observance, holy days, clean food, the laws of Moses) they have a special covenant to Jerusalem and God the Father that many Americans and people around the world have forgotten they possess. The Jews carry the lineage of the “Conquering Lion of Judah”, Jesus Christ and when Judah finally recognizes Christ, they will become one with him and the rest of Israel. Zechariah 12:8-13:1 describes the time when Judah will embrace Jesus Christ and accept him. “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo....On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.”
Because of this future repentance, which is already prophesied, Judah will continue to be blessed through Abraham’s physical inheritance, which has never been removed from them. It is important to remember however that the other 10 tribes are a part of that struggle and a portion of God's people too. Eventually the Israeli people, including ALL 12 tribes, will be a united people standing as a clear example that heavenly aid and victory come to those that God has set his hand upon. It is not a Jewish battle, it is our battle, for the place that God himself will inhabit.
Do you have ears to hear?
Isi Leibler, The Case For Israel, (Australia: The Globe Press, 1972), p. 60.
Six Day War, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War )
Associated Press, June 5th, 1967
Mitchell Bard, The 1967 War, (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/67_War.html )
The Six Day War: Recognizing the Miracle (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/ Articles/Article.aspx/7133 )
The Geographical Historical Spiritual Significance of Shechem, (http://Bible.org/article/geographical historical-spiritual-significance-shechem)
Miracles in the Six-Day War: Eyewitness Accounts, Arutz Sheva(http://www.israelnationalnews.comHYPERLINK "http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/122435" /News/News.aspx /122435)
HaTekufa HaGedola, Rabbi Menachem Kasher, Chap. Sichu B’chol Niflaotav, p. 452, 5761 edition
Six Day War, Leeds Wikihttps://wiki.leeds.ac.uk/index.php/HIST2530:_The_Six_Day_WarHYPERLINK "https://wiki.leeds.ac.uk/index.php/HIST2530:_The_Six_Day_War_1967" _HYPERLINK "https://wiki.leeds.ac.uk/index.php/HIST2530:_The_Six_Day_War_1967" 1967 )
June 5 War Begins, Chabad Jewish History (http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/timeline_cdo /aid/525321/jewish/June-5-Day-1.htm)