What Does the Bible Say About the Israel-Hamas War?
In part one of this series, we discussed the biblical view of war and just war theory related to the Israel-Hamas War. We explained how war is a result of living in a fallen world, how the Bible promises, one day, war will be no more, and how just war is condoned biblically when war is unavoidable.
In this article, we will show how the Israel-Hamas War fits into the overall picture Scripture paints concerning Israel’s future. The Bible predicted God would regather Jewish people from the Diaspora back into their ancient homeland, and the surrounding nations would hate Israel and try to destroy her. The Bible also predicts Jesus will return to Israel and defend Jewish people against their enemies when they turn to Him in faith. Then, He will set up His kingdom on the earth, where Israel and the Gentile nations will live in eternal peace with one King-Messiah, one God, and one capital—Jerusalem.
Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, God continually reaffirmed His unconditional, eternal covenant with Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob (renamed Israel). In this Abrahamic Covenant, God promised Abraham an heir (ultimately the Messiah) through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. He also promised Abraham’s physical descendants a specific piece of land—the land of Israel. The Lord told him:
On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. . . . I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 15:18, 17:8).
Although the land promise was eternal and unconditional, Israel’s blessing and security in the land remained dependent upon her obedience. The Lord told the people of Israel He would scatter them from the land throughout the earth for their disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:64–66). This worldwide scattering, known as the Diaspora, began with the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions in 722 and 604 bce.
But because of God’s faithfulness, He swore He would once again regather the people of Israel from the four corners of the earth back into their land, even in a state of unbelief and disobedience:
Therefore say to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,’ declares the Lord God, ‘when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land.’” (Ezekiel 36:22–24)
Note the Lord emphasized He would bring Jewish people back to the land of Israel because of His faithfulness, not the people’s. He said He would bring His people back to the land He promised, even though Israel was profaning His name among the nations. He said He would do this so the rest of the world would see the regathering of Israel and know the God of Israel is the one true God, and He keeps His promises.
The only time in history this type of regathering occurred was around the middle of the twentieth century in the aftermath of the Second World War, culminating in the establishment of the modern State of Israel. This prophecy in Ezekiel cannot refer to the return of Jewish people from Babylonian captivity since it was only from one nation—Babylon—and only 42,360 Jewish people returned to Israel (Ezra 2:64). Scripture clearly foretold of a worldwide scattering and a worldwide regathering of Jewish people back to the land.
The Bible also prophesied the world would hate Jewish people and hate the nation of Israel. Psalm 83:3–4 says, “They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said ‘Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’” According to the book of Esther, Haman attempted to wipe out Jewish people around 479 bce. Hitler tried to eradicate Jewish people in the Holocaust of World War II. Most recently, Hamas is striving to wipe out Israel today. Antisemitism, “the world’s oldest hatred,” is nothing new.
Why does the world hate Israel and Jewish people? Because the world often hates what God loves. God calls Israel His “own possession among all the peoples” (Exodus 19:5), “the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8), and “beloved for the sake of the fathers” (Romans 11:28). Satan also desires to thwart the fulfillment of God’s future promises to Israel and the return of the Messiah, so he inspires nations to hate and murder God’s chosen people. But we know his plans will ultimately fail.
Scripture predicts Israel will be the center of world conflict in the time leading up to the return of Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew), with many nations intent on destroying her. God said, through the prophet Zechariah:
Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. (Zech 12:2–3).
Chapter 12 concludes with the return of the Messiah and the salvation of Israel, both spiritually and physically.
Jesus likewise predicted, “Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24, emphasis added). Here, Jesus predicted the conflict for Jerusalem between Israel and the Gentile nations would be temporary. Following a period of Gentile domination, ethnic Israel will experience a restoration, bringing the “time of the Gentiles” to an end and a fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, God often brought the Gentile nations against Israel to judge her for her sins, but He then judged those nations for how they treated Israel (e.g., Jeremiah 30:11; Joel 3:2; Obadiah 1:15–21). Scripture says God will do the same concerning Israel’s enemies in the future when Messiah Jesus returns to the Mount of Olives:
For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley. . . . And the Lord will be king over all the earth. (Zechariah 14:2–4, 9a).
In this passage, the Lord warns He would bring the nations against Israel for battle, but then He would defeat those nations intent on destroying Jewish people. He will then reign as “king over all the earth.” The angels at Jesus’ ascension into heaven on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem likewise told His disciples to expect His return at the same place where He ascended (Acts 1:11–12).
Zechariah 12 also paints this picture of the return of Jesus to a Jewish-occupied Jerusalem surrounded by enemy nations. Jesus returns “to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” and then “[pours] out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:9–10). God pours out His spirit on Jewish people to repent and recognize the long-awaited Messiah, Yeshua, the “one whom they have pierced.”
The apostle Paul also wrote about the future salvation of Israel:
A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins” (Romans 11:25b–27, emphasis added).
While the church age consisted mainly of Gentiles believing in Jesus, Paul anticipated this future day when national Israel would turn to Messiah. God will fulfill His promise to Israel to dwell in the land securely when she turns to Him in faith, and then the “times of the Gentiles” and trampling of Jerusalem by the nations will be complete (Luke 21:24). Israel will say to her Savior, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (13:35).
In part three, we will look at what the Bible says about the glorious future that awaits Israel and the nations and how this truth reconciles Jews and Arabs in the Middle East.
by Jennifer Miles
 Harold A. Sevener, Israel’s Glorious Future: The Prophecies & Promises of God Revealed (New York: Chosen People Ministries, 1996), 1–2.
 Ibid., 11–12.
 Scripture also prophesies the remnant of Jewish people will be regathered “a second time” from “the four corners of the earth” back into the land of Israel (Isaiah 11:11–12). This regathering will culminate in Messiah’s return and His setting up of His Kingdom over a believing Israel (Ezekiel 37:21–28).
 Darrell L. Bock, “Israel in Luke–Acts,” in Darrel L. Bock and Mitch Glaser, The People, the Land, and the Future of Israel (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2014), 109.