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 part two, we explained how the Bible predicted the regathering of the Jewish people back to Israel and how this prophecy found fulfillment in the establishment of the modern state of Israel. We also showed how the Bible predicted that the world would hate Israel and the Jewish people, and that Jerusalem would be at the center of world conflict. We discussed how the Bible also predicts a future day when Israel turns to her Messiah in faith, and Jesus returns to Jerusalem to defend the Jewish people against her surrounding enemies.
In this article, we will discuss Israel and the nations’ glorious future as described in biblical prophecy. There is a coming day of peace when Messiah Jesus will reign from His throne in Jerusalem, Israel will serve as the center of worship, and the Gentile nations will stream in and out of it to worship the King of Kings. This future Kingdom is good news for Israelis, Palestinians, and all peoples.
The return of Messiah will usher in God’s glorious kingdom, centered in Jerusalem. The Scriptures paint a picture of Jerusalem serving as a city of praise over the entire earth, with nations streaming to Israel to worship the Lord:
Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war. (Isaiah 2:2–4)
Similarly, the prophet Isaiah described the following picture:
In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:23–25)
These Scriptures paint a beautiful picture of a world where Israel and the nations worship together peacefully. Nations maintain their distinct and unique identities, yet all are united in their worship of the one true God, just as men and women (and Jewish people and Gentiles) are distinct yet one in Messiah (Galatians 3:28).
This picture lies in contrast to those who claim the church is the “new” or “true” Israel. If Israel is the church, then who are the nations who flock to Israel to worship Jesus? New Testament scholar Dr. Darrell Bock, commenting on Isaiah 19, explains:
Here we have a highway running from Egypt to Assyria. People will travel back and forth, interacting openly in all kinds of ways. Those nations will worship together. Assyria and Egypt, former enemies, will bow alongside of Israel to God. . . . Egypt will be blessed as my people. Assyria will be affirmed as the work of God’s hands. And God’s inheritance, Israel, will also be blessed in the land/earth. Nothing in this language foresees the absorption and disappearance of Israel as a people and nation. . . . The picture is of a reconciliation between peoples whose identity remain even in the midst of their gathering together as one.
Jesus’ Jewish apostles knew the Scriptures and understood these future promises of God, foretelling Israel’s dwelling securely in her land with Messiah reigning from Jerusalem and the nations of the world flocking to Israel to worship Him. As a result, before Jesus ascended to heaven, His disciples asked Him, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Jesus had just spent three years and forty days explaining His kingdom and the hope of the Scriptures to them. They understood the Messiah did not cancel those promises to Israel but confirmed them.
Jesus neither corrected nor rebuked the disciples. Instead, He affirmed their question by saying it was not for them to know when the Lord would accomplish the task and instead to focus on preaching the good news of His coming kingdom to the world (Acts 1:7–8).
Two chapters later, Peter confirmed this understanding in his sermon to his Jewish brethren:
The things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Messiah would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Messiah appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. (Acts 3:18–21, emphasis added)
In other words, Peter told his Jewish hearers God would fulfill all the remaining promises to Israel when Messiah returns. What are those promises? According to Peter, one only needs to go back and read the prophets to find them. Bock explains, “Peter’s exposition in Acts 3 is a reflection of what they learned from the Acts 1 exchange with Jesus. . . . Nothing Peter says indicates that anything promised [in the Old Testament] has been changed, including what is said about Israel.” Instead, we can expect God will fulfill prophecies concerning His second coming, especially as they relate to Israel, just as He accurately fulfilled prophecies concerning His first coming.
What does all this background mean for the conflict in the Middle East, especially in light of the current Israel-Hamas war? When we view the conflict through a biblical lens, we realize both Jesus and the Hebrew prophets predicted Jerusalem would be a “cup of reeling” and “trampled by Gentiles” until the “times of the Gentiles” are fulfilled. Scripture predicted Israel would be the center of world conflict and hated by her surrounding nations until the return of Jesus.
This period will precede the future time of blessing and refreshing for Israel and the nations, as predicted by the Hebrew prophets—one in which Messiah defeats the nations intent on destroying Israel, sets up His Kingdom in Jerusalem, and fulfills His covenant to Israel. Israel will respond in faith to her Messiah, Jesus, and bless the nations by serving as the center of worship in God’s Kingdom.
We look forward to this coming day of peace when believers from all nations—including Palestinians and Israel’s surrounding Arab nations—dwell peacefully with Israel in worship of Messiah Jesus, and justice reigns in the Middle East.
Until then, we must make every effort for peace and justice and pray for peace in the Middle East (Psalm 122:6). We pray for the end of terror attacks, like Hamas’ heinous attacks against Israelis on October 7, 2023. We pray for the end of antisemitism. We pray for Israel to treat Palestinians with respect and dignity. We pray for Israelis and Palestinians to love their neighbors and enemies as they love themselves, as Messiah has called us to do. Finally, we pray for all in the region to come to a saving knowledge of the Prince of Peace, Messiah Yeshua.
by Jennifer Miles
 Darrell Bock, “Biblical Reconciliation between Jews and Arabs,” in Israel, the Church, and the Middle East: A Biblical Response to the Current Conflict, ed. Darrell L Bock and Mitch Glaser (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2018), 178.
 Ibid., 175.