Question 13: Does Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza fulfill any of the prophecies?

Answer:  The withdrawal from Gaza is not dealt with prophetically. It is not a specific fulfillment of a specific prophecy. What it does bear out is the basic principle in Scripture concerning Israel and the land. This principle teaches that two covenants must be held in balance. The Abrahamic Covenant teaches that ownership of the land is unconditional. This means Israel always belongs to the Jewish people, whether they happen to be living in the land or not. However, the Land Covenant of Deuteronomy 29-30 teaches that enjoyment of the land is always conditioned on obedience. For that reason, even in biblical times, the Jewish people never lived in all of the promised land. As we read the Old Testament from Joshua to II Chronicles 36, we will notice that in different periods of history, the Jewish people would sometimes inhabit more of the land and sometimes less. The borders were the widest under David and Solomon, but even then, the Jewish people did not possess all of the land. When they came back from the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, they inhabited much smaller areas of the land than before, and finally, they lost even that during the dispersion under Rome. Since 1948, we can see the same principle repeating itself: Sometimes, the Jewish people inhabit more of the promised land and sometimes less. Israel will never have all of the land until the Jews become a believing people, and only then will Messiah return. He will then give them all of the land that had been promised to them millennia before. Until then, the basic principle will continue: sometimes more, sometimes less. In light of the Gaza Strip withdrawal, they have less. Again, this is not fulfilling any specific prophecy, but it does fulfill the basic principle discussed above. The land the Jewish people do inhabit will be under constant attack and in constant turmoil, as has been true since 1948. It is this very aspect that will ultimately lead Israel to make a covenant with the Antichrist, which will in turn trigger the tribulation.

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.