I know this subject has probably been beaten to death, but as Catholics can we be sure that the modern state of Israel is “biblical” or holy in any way? I personally don’t believe that God’s covenant with the Jewish people ended with the coming of Christ. But does the Bible call for a Jewish state in the Holy Land before the second coming? Many say yes, many say no. In the Old Testament God used foreign nations over and over again to “chastise” Israel - and even condemned his people some tine for resisting. Does that still happen in modern times? I sometimes think that Israel acts like any other secular state, and so should perhaps be treated that way. But as Christians how can we ignore that Israel is the nation of God’s people?
We are not required to support the actions of the Israeli state, however, there is no denying that an ongoing link between that piece of real estate and the Jewish people remains.
The formation of Zionist Israel was not governed by a “Divine-inspired process” but by a human one. But God makes use of human events.
There do seem to be (second and third level) Biblical references to the current Israel.
Really don’t know how this kind of fundamentalist, heretical Protestant thinking infiltrates into Catholicism. Israel was founded by atheists steeped in the milk of pure materialist determinism. Moreover, the whole notion of the Bible demanding a new state of Israel in order for the Second Coming to happen is dangerous heresy of the kind found in dispensationalism. Whether or not a new Israel has to be founded for the coming of Christ is a matter of indefference; He’ll come when He comes, and it’s no part of our function to create conditions for His arrival. The Protestant position requring support for Israel, even if it were true (which is highly contentious) is little more than an attempt at sorcery, calculated to “force” God back into the world. Israel is like any other state; judge it by the same criteria as you would the US, Britain or the Former Yogoslav Republic of Macedonia.
If God had a special covenant with the people constituting us or the FYROM, you’d have a point.
Those who believe God’s hand can be forced by the Israelis are not numerous.
Whatever covenent God does or doesn’t have with the Jewish people, it has nothing to do with the modern state of Israel. I really cannot understand the mentality which upholds the doctine that “thou shalt not steal, murder or bear false witness, except when establishing or expanding the state of Israel”. That’s not any part of Catholicism. Jewish blood is not any better than Palestinian.
Many People attribute Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 to a fulfillment of prophecy, basing it on scriptures like the ones below.
I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet–a vast army. Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”
and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.
I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.
Amos prophesied about 200 years before the Babylonian captivity, while Ezekiel was contemporaneous with it. Ezekiel’s writing was finalized by his disciples only about 20 years before the beginning of the second temple period (530 BC-70 AD) after the Hebrews’ return from Babylonian exile. Thus, it appears that Ezekiel the priest was prophesying about the imminent restoration of temple worship to Israel after her return from exile.
As to the current efforts at repatriation of, for example, Soviet Jewry to Israel so as to “fulfill prophecy”, I believe that evangelicals are indeed trying to force God’s hand - which hand has already acted in the creation of the second temple period. That same second temple period was ended upon the fulfillment of the prophecy of Christ, Who raised up the temple of His Body after three days.
The entire matter concerning the current (and secular) “State of Israel” is based on the private interpretation of biblical prophecy, which is written against by Peter in his second letter.
Thanks for the replies. I rend to agree with those who say that the Old Testament verses about the retunr of Israel had to do with those times (babylonian , captivity, etc) not the 20th Century. The Israeli state was founded by “secularists”, that is a fact. But if one believes in a God that plays a role in the affairs of man, and if one believes that there is srill a covenant between God & the Jewish people, then modern Israel is either part of the biblical “plan” or an affront to God - no?
I have hear that the temple must be built again to fulfill prophecy… for the “end times”. Is this not the case ?