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Volume 28 - Page 92 of 217 Index | Zoom | |
One of the most remarkable features of the new Palestine is the amount of building
that is going on. More than 2,500 years ago, Isaiah gave a graphic picture of what will
yet take place in Palestine:
"And they shall build the old wastes, and they shall raise up the former desolations,
and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations" (Isa. 61: 4).
The time for the fulfillment of this prophecy is the "acceptable year of the Lord",
when Israel shall be named "The priests of the Lord". This time has not yet come, but the
great rebuilding of which Isaiah speaks is being anticipated by the people who are
returning to their land now in unbelief. The "old wastes" are indeed being built again.
The prophecy of Ezek. 36: 33-35 is much to the same effect:
"The wastes shall be builded, and the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay
desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate
is become like the garden of Eden: and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are
become fenced and are inhabited."
This however, will not be fulfilled until the day when "clean water" shall be sprinkled
upon them "and they shall be clean". A new heart is also to be given them at this time.
We are therefore under no delusion about the building activity that is going on in
Palestine by unbelieving Israel at the present time. The very activity, however, indicates
that the "dry bones" are moving, even though they may not yet "live" in the sight of the
Lord (Ezek. 37:).
In the early days of Jewish colonization, it took about 60 acres of land to support a
family. To-day, with irrigation and intensive cultivation, only 5 acres are needed. Jaffa
(the "Joppa" of Scripture) is already famous for its oranges, and millions of boxes of this
fruit are exported yearly.
A vast amount of building is actually going on in Jerusalem itself. This city has
suffered 46 sieges and has been razed to the ground 17 times, yet it still exists and is
growing daily. It is tolerably certain that most people, if they were shown a view of
modern Jerusalem, would not recognize the city from the photograph.
Jeremiah, in the same chapter that introduces the New Covenant, forecasts the extent
of the Jerusalem of the future:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the city shall be built to the Lord from the
tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner. And the measuring line shall yet go forth
over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath. And the whole
valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron,
unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the Lord: it shall not
be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever" (Jer. 31: 38-40).