Israel’s ‘Six-Day War’ and Protestant views on Israel in Prophecy

Israeli’s examine destroyed Egyptian aircraft in 1967 (יחזקאל (חזי) רחמים)


Today is the 50th anniversary of the start of the famous ‘Six-Day War’:

5 June 2017

The 1967 Six-Day War and its difficult legacy

The Six-Day War began 50 years ago: Israel attacked three of its Arab neighbors, who had threatened to annihilate the Jewish state. Effects of Israel’s victory are still felt in the region today.

“It felt like an existential threat to Israel,” Moshe Milo said about the time right before the war broke out.

Milo was 23 years old at the time and a radio operator for an Israeli paratroopers unit.

In the weeks leading up to the Six-Day War, Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser had threatened to wipe Israel off the map. Similar comments were made in Syria. The two Arab states had already fought two wars with Israel in 1948 and 1956. In 1967, Nasser posted his troops on the Sinai Peninsula and blocked the Straits of Tiran for Israeli ships.

On the morning of June 5, 1967, Israel’s air force launched a surprise attack targeting the troops in the Sinai. Milo was ready to march against the Egyptians on the southern front, “but suddenly our mission was changed and we were on our way to Jerusalem.”

Capturing the Western Wall

Fifty years later, Moshe Milo and Yoram Zamosch quickly walked along the Al-Wad Street in old Jerusalem’s Muslim district. Zamosch had been the young commander of Milo’s unit in 1967. Together, they had stormed the Lions’ Gate and entered the old town, which had been under Jordan’s control since 1948. The Six-Day War has left a lasting impression on the former comrades.

“Up until the war, we were considered a persecuted, weak people. The Holocaust had happened just 25 years ago,” Zamosch said. “And then we managed to re-take the Western Wall. We were back, standing on our own feet.”

June 5, 2017

Fifty years ago today, on June 5, 1967, we awoke to the news that the war we had dreaded was begun—and decided. …

In April, there had been conflict with Syria over the headwaters of the Jordan River; in May, President Nasser, of Egypt, brandishing new Soviet arms and claiming to support Syria, expelled United Nations peacekeepers from the Sinai and closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. By early June, Jordan’s King Hussein had thrown in with Egypt. We knew that the Israeli military would strike. I heard that students were contacting the Israeli consulate and volunteering—not to fight but to help with the summer harvest. On June 3rd, I surprised myself by doing the same. On the morning of the 5th, the Israeli Air Force destroyed the Egyptian Air Force on the ground. The rest, as my father put it, with uncharacteristic swagger, would be “a mopping-up operation.” Unopposed in the skies, Israel conquered Jerusalem on the 7th and rolled into the West Bank. By the 11th, it had taken the Golan Heights, from where Syrians had fired on the Hula Valley. I got to Tel Aviv on June 14th, to work, but mainly to celebrate.

Nothing prepared me for a country so close to general euphoria.

The Palestinians and various others have a view that is definitely other than euphoric about this. Notice also the following:

June 5, 2017

Fifty years ago this week, Israel fended off attacks by its Arab neighbors in the lightning quick Six-Day War and captured territory beyond its original borders — some still occupied by the military today.

The land in dispute is mainly comprised of the West Bank, which Palestinians want for a future independent state. It extends west of the “Green Line,” the 1948 demarcation between Israel and the Arab states it fought for independence, and named for the color of ink used to outline the Jewish state’s borders on a flimsy paper map.

The Green Line was supposed to be temporary, with final borders to be worked out in the future. Instead, in the half-century since the line was breached by the June 5-10, 1967, conflict, the Green Line represents a major divide over the terms of a lasting Mideast peace.

For Palestinians and some Israelis, the only viable solution to the conflict with Israel is to use the Green Line as the outline of a future Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

But Israel’s government, which insists that a united Jerusalem remain its capital, is unwilling to dismantle all the settlements where 500,000 Israeli Jews now live west of the Green Line on lands that were ruled by Jordan and populated by Palestinians between 1948 and 1967. It wants to negotiate new borders, which Palestinians might accept if the plan includes land swaps.

A visit to three sites along the Green Line reveals how blurred the Green Line has become 50 years after the war.

The situation between the Palestinians and Israel remains tense and often dangerous. Israel has more territory as the result of the Six-Day War, but still is facing problems.

Some believe that the taking of the rest of Jerusalem in 1967 has prophetic ramifications and that would seem to be so.

But some Protestants take the situation with Israel much further. They misunderstand the following statements from Jesus:

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.  33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near — at the doors!   34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. (Matthew 24:32-34)

Various Protestants believe that the declaration of the State of Israel in 1947 or its official existence in 1948 mark the beginning of the generation that Jesus spoke of in the Gospels.

Notice what Michael Bresciani has written:

September 13, 2013

How Much Time Does the ‘Fig Tree Generation’ Have Left?

Throughout the world a generation is held to be a period of between 25 and 75 years. The lowest number is derived from the idea that when one generation has spawned its offspring, the average age of those having children is about 25. The larger number is used by those who think that a generation is the entire lifetime of individuals. Nursing homes are the proof that some can go beyond the 75 year old mark, but a visit to the obits pages of any newspaper will show that on average most of us check out at around 70-75 years of age. Sorry, modern medicine.

The biblical record uses the longer number of years both in prophecy and in general. The figure used in scripture is often shaved by five years and is consistently shortened to 70 years. One example of this is found in Psalm 90: 10.

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

All we need to know now is when did the ‘Fig Tree Generation begin. There are only two possibilities. One is at the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Because Jerusalem, the spiritual capital of Israel, plays into all last days prophecy the year Israel took back that city in the six day war of 1967 is thought to be the starting date. Using either date provides some stunning conclusions when the simplest math formula is applied.

Let’s Do the Math

If the date of 1948 is used then we have 65 years from 1948 to the present (2013) which leaves five years to go until the fulfillment of all prophecy and the return of the Lord.

If we start at 1967, 46 years have passed which leaves 24 years to go to reach the end of the Fig Tree generation.

There is NO WAY that Jesus will return in 2018. The signs in Matthew 24 simply have not been fulfilled enough (for some details, check out the article When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?).

Here is something from another Protestant:

2017 to 2024 Tribulation Theory

November 19, 2015

This is a theory regarding the Tribulation beginning in Fall 2017 and ending in Fall 2024. …

If the UN mandate for the reestablishment of Israel in 1947 and the rebirth of Israel in 1948 are a beginning point of sorts, then 2017 and 2018 have been the big years to watch for all along.  Had 2014 or 2015 been the beginning of the Tribulation, then the perfect symmetry of 70 years (a Biblical generation according to Psalm 90:10) would have fallen around the time of the Abomination of Desolation… the time of antichrist’s greatest power, rather than the time of Christ coming for His Church.  The antichrist is not the star of the show.  Jesus is. …

Here is a rundown of reasons the Tribulation could begin in 2017:

1.) It is 70 years from the United Nations’ decree to reestablish Israel (Resolution 181).

2.) It is a complete Jubilee-cycle from the 1967 conquest of Jerusalem (1967 + 49 + Jubilee year = 2017).

3.) If the Tribulation starts in Fall 2017, then that is in the 70th Jewish year from the rebirth of Israel in 1948.  Alternatively, it is in the 69th biblical year from the rebirth of Israel, which would be a powerful symbol of the fact that the world would be about to enter Daniel’s 70th week.

4.) 2017 to 2024 offers the only timeline in recent memory where the Tribulation of 2550 days could begin unquestionably on a Fall Feast date and end on a Fall Feast date. …

9.) 12th-century Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel predicted 2017 as the year of Messiah. …

12.) The Shemitah year may actually be 2016/2017.  Though Jonathan Cahn found an amazing pattern, he was looking at when economic crashes began, not when they reached their worst point.  In the previous two cycles, the crashes reached their worst points in 2009 and 2002, respectively, not 2008 and 2001.  According to what many think is a more accurate Shemitah and Jubilee cycle, the next Shemitah year is actually 2016/2017 and the next Jubilee year is 2017/2018. …

13.) 2017 is 50 years (a full jubilee cycle) from 1967 (conquest of Jerusalem), 70 years (a complete generation) from 1947 (decree to reestablish Israel), 100 years ( two complete jubilee cycles) from 1917 (Balfour declaration), and 120 years (see Genesis 6:3) from 1897 (First Zionist Congress, the first Jewish government since 70 AD). accesseed 11/29/16

No, the Great Tribulation cannot start in 2017. For more information on that, check out the video: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?

Here are some statements from the famous Protestant prophecy-writer Hal Lindsey:

I believe that the Bible indicates that many of those of the generation that saw Israel become a nation in 1948 will still be alive at the coming of the Lord.
In Jesus, we see the answer to the dilemma.  He came once to die for our sins.  But He’s coming again to rule and reign.  To deny it is to call Him a liar because He talked at length about His second coming and the signs that would surround it.
The greatest of those signs is the re-establishment of the nation of Israel.  That happened in 1948.  In 1967, Israel retook Jerusalem as its eternal capital.  In other words, everything is happening as God said it would happen at the end of this age.
Jesus came to Jerusalem at the climax of His life and ministry.  He showed both His frustration and love for the city and its people when He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!  How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.” (Matthew 23:37 NASB)
They rejected Jesus just as Daniel and the other prophets predicted.  God used that very rejection for our salvation.  Romans 11:11 says, “By their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles.”
But that did not negate God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others.  Those promises began to be fulfilled in the 19th century when Jews started returning to the land in large numbers.  They were returning to the place deeded to them by God Himself — the Promised Land.  That led to the rebirth of Israel as a nation in 1948.  They would regain control of Jerusalem in 1967.
According to scripture, their return to the land portends another return — the return of Jesus.  Peace is coming to Jerusalem — peace to “The City of Peace.”

Like many others, Hal Lindsey seems to believe that the nation of Jews called Israel is ALL OF ISRAEL, along with Jews scattered around the world. As shown by other scriptures (e.g. Genesis 48:11,15-16,19-20; cf. 1 Chronicles 5:1-2), the name Israel was to be placed on the descendants of Joseph.

Yet he, and many others, overlook the fact that it was prophesied that most would call the Jews ‘Israel’:

1 Hear this, O house of Jacob,
Who are called by the name of Israel,
And have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah (Isaiah 48:1)

This has happened today, the Jews are considered to be Israel, and others not. Therefore, most overlook the scriptures that teach that there are other tribes of Israel in other places (e.g. James 1:1). The 19th century return of Jews to the area of ancient Judea is not the fulfillment of prophecy like Hal Lindsey claims.

The formation of the small nation of Israel, while important, has frequently been misunderstood.

Although this formation has prophetic relevance, it was not the ‘fig tree’ that many Protestant prophetic watchers have claimed as the start of the final generation (Mark 13:28-30). If we grant that a generation would last for up to 70 years (cf. Psalm 90:10), Jesus would need to return by 2018 for 1948 to be the starting point for “this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (Matthew 24:34; Mark 13:30).

Furthermore, the formation of Israel is NOT the final prophesied regathering. Here is some of what the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about this in 1948:

Not Prophesied Regathering

In God’s own due time the Jews are to be released from their persecutions, their harrowing trials, and be reestablished within Palestine IN PEACE! But this is not that prophesied regathering of Israel! This is merely a blundering human effort to do for themselves, before the time, what they will have to wait for God to do for them. And this present movement, setting up a nation of Jews and calling it “ISRAEL,” can only lead to more bloodshed and more troubles!

In the first place, the new nation that has declared itself in Palestine is not Israel at all—it is only a part of JUDAH! When the great prophesied exodus occurs, it will be Israel and Judah together. And they will not do it in their own defiant, embittered power and strength; they will be taken back, by Christ after His coming, from a condition of slavery and from the land of their enemies (see Ezek. 39:25-27). At that time they will take captive their captors and rule over those who had been ruling over them (Isa. 14:1-3—see especially Moffatt translation; Jer. 30:16; 31:11). It will be a greater exodus than the typical one under Moses—this one will be under CHRIST at His return! (Jer. 23:7-8.) They will go back to Palestine weeping, confessing their sins, loathing themselves for having ignored and transgressed against God, seeking the MESSIAH whom they have rejected (Jer. 50:4-5; Ezek. 20:34-43). They will then be converted, changed from sinners into Spirit-filled people living by God’s laws (Jer. 50:19-20; Ezek. 36:24-28). The Jews in Palestine, and this new nation, fulfill NONE of those prophecies! But what a strange dilemma!

The Jews Are Not Israel!

Most people today do not seem to know that the Jews are not Israel, but only a part of Judah. The first place in the Bible where the word “Jews” occurs, the Jews are at war against ISRAEL (II Kings 16:6). Four whole books of the Bible are devoted to showing the historic difference between the two nations Israel and Judah. There were twelve tribes of Israel, originally. But after Solomon died, the nation ISRAEL rejected her king, Rehoboam, son of Solomon, and made Jeroboam, of the tribe of Ephraim, king. Then the one tribe of Judah split off from the nation Israel and formed a NEW NATION of their own (just as they are trying to do again today), in order to retain Rehoboam as king. This new nation was called the kingdom of JUDAH. The tribe of Benjamin and a large portion of Levi then joined Judah, leaving the TEN TRIBES in the nation ISRAEL. (Armstrong HW. Plain Truth, June 1948)

And he was correct. The nation of Israel does not represent all the tribes of Israel. Notice also the following prophecies:

18 “In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers. (Jeremiah 3:18)

7 For thus says the Lord: “Sing with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O Lord, save Your people, The remnant of Israel!’ 8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child And the one who labors with child, together; A great throng shall return there. 9 They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn. 10 “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, And declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, And keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’ (Jeremiah 31:7-10)

That has NOT been fulfilled. The ‘land of the north’ has to do with end time Babylonian Europe (cf. Zechariah 2:6-7).

Because certain ones do not understand that the nation called Israel is not all Israel, they have also misunderstood the timing of prophecies such as Ezekiel 38. For more on the identity of the tribes of Israel, check out the article Who are the 12 Tribes of Israel?

I would add that Jesus said certain events would happen during a generation (Matthew 24:34), and unless a generation is to exceed 70 years, the formation of Israel in 1948 was not the start of the last generation. For more information on that, check out the video: Israel, 1948, and Prophecy.

As far as the Great Tribulation goes, it will not start in 2017, despite theories of some. For more information on that, check out the video: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?

All that being said, many in Israel are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the start of the Six-Day War and most of the Palestinians are not happy with what happened 50 years ago–the Palestinians seem to be prophesied to be involved in terror (see Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied?).

Prophetically, the situation in Jerusalem will change and one day, the Jews will lose lands to the Palestinians. For some details, check out the article: Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.
Israel, 1948, and Prophecy
Was the formation in 1948 of the nation of Israel prophetically significant? Was this event what Jesus referred to in His “parable of the fig tree”? Are most Israelites in the modern nation of Israel? Are most Jews in that nation? If the prophecies Jeremiah 23:3-6 and Ezekiel 34:13-30 do not point to 1948, when will those prophecies be fulfilled? Are there prophecies that will be fulfilled related to the nation of Israel? What was the first sign that Jesus said would be seen by a particular ‘generation’? When might that have happened? What are the signs that Jesus’ fig tree parable point to? This is a video.
Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this. There is also a video available: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors What are some errors that various Protestants hold to that will tend to prevent them from knowing when the Great Tribulation will begin? A related video is titled Ten Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors.
Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied? What does the Bible teach? Which nations may be affected? Here is a link to a related sermon: Terrorism, Christianity, and Islam.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi.
Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy What does the Bible teach about Gaza and the fate of the Palestinians? Here is a link to a related video: Gaza and Palestine in Prophecy.
Damascus and Syria in Prophecy Will Bashar Assad hold power as he has it? Does the Bible show that Damascus, the capital of Syria, will be destroyed? What will happen to Syria? Will the Syrians support the final King of the South that the Bible tells will rise up? Which scriptures discuss the rise and fall of an Arabic confederation? Does Islamic prophecy predict the destruction of Syria. This is a YouTube video.
Egypt in Prophecy Does Egypt have a special role in end time prophecy? Will Egypt rise up and then be defeated. What does God teach will happen to those in Egypt? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Egypt and End Time Prophecy.
Iraq, the King of the South, Armageddon, and Prophecy What will happen to Iraq? Is it the prophesied Mystery Babylon? What is Armageddon and how does that have to do with Iraq? Here is a related video Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy.
Iran in Prophecy Is Iran in Bible prophecy? If so, what does the Bible teach? What names, other than Persia, may be used to describe Iran? There is also a related YouTube video titled Iran In Prophecy.
Jordan in Bible Prophecy What does the Bible show will happen to the inhabitants of Jordan? Will they escape and then be punished?
A related video is titled Jordan, Petra, and Armageddon.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2026 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?

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