The Land of Israel as described in the Bible:
“ and He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” – Deuteronomy 26:9
“ Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel, and the ground which You have given us, a land flowing with milk and honey, as You swore to our fathers.” – Deuteronomy 26:15
7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills;
8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;
9 a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.
11 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today;
12 otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them,
13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies,
14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
15 He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint.
16 In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.
17 Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’
18 But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
19 It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish.
20 Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 8
What the Scriptures tell us:
That God was bringing the Israelites where they would have all they needed. The land was fertile and productive, water was plentiful, the minerals and natural resources were there and easily and readily available. God had provided not just what they needed to subsist, but to thrive and flourish and become wealthy. This would be true as long as they were obedient to God and walked with Him in His will and in His ways.
As we have already seen, because the nation of Israel became disobedient to God they were scattered throughout the world.
The question is: What became of the land in their absence?
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn tells us this:
“But when the Jewish people were driven into exile, the land withered away. Its forests disappeared. Its fields of grain and fruits became deserts. Its hallowed cities stood as ghosts of their former glory or else lay in ruins. The Promised Land was now a barren, lifeless, parched, desolate horror of a land.”
We need to realize: This desolation was prophesied by Moses as the result if the people of Israel became disobedient. In Deuteronomy 29 he said:
22 “Now the generation to come, your sons who rise up after you and the stranger who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it, will say,
23 ‘All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.’
24 All the nations will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’
25 Then men will say, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.
26 They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they have not known and whom He had not allotted to them.
27 Therefore, the anger of the Lord burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book; 28 and the Lord uprooted them from their land in anger and in fury and in great wrath, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’
A word that needs to be noted in the first verse of this passage: “Stranger”
Does this prophecy refer to strangers in general or a particular stranger?
As so often happens in Scripture the answer is: Both
Any stranger coming into the land at that time would doubtless have made that observation. The condition of the land was readily visible for all to see.
But the word stranger in the orgnl language is in the singular form denoting a particular stranger.
The timeframe is important. This desolation of the land would not take place right away due to the fact that, barring a catastrophic event such as a volcanic eruption or massive fire, it takes time for a land to go from productive to non-productive, from fertile farmland to barren desert.
A better translation of that first verse is found in Young’s Literal Translation which says:
“And the latter generation of your sons who rise after you, and the stranger who cometh in from a land afar off, have said when they have seen the strokes of that land, and its sicknesses which Jehovah hath sent into it”
Is there a time frame as to when this description by “the stranger” will take place?
The answer is: “Yes”. It all hinges on the word translated “latter”. This word, “akharone” in Hebrew, according to experts, means in the end times.
The same prophetic book of Deuteronomy also gives another sign of the end times saying in Chapter 30:
“So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you,
2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons,
3 then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.
4 If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back.
Next Weeks Study: The surprise identity of “the stranger”