Volume 42, Issue 4 ________________________________Bible Prophecy Ministry

Embarking Upon the Time of Jacob's Trouble"

Jan. 20th, 2002 marks the 60th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin, at which top officials of the German Reich, including Adolph Eichmann, Haj Al Amin-Husseini, and others discussed the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question." Their plans laid out a time of terrible holocaust and trouble for the Jewish people in Europe and the mid-east. Together, the Nazi's and Pan-Arabic axis powers intended to exterminate Jewry from the Eurasian region. The WWII years were a time of intense trouble for the Jewish people. But it was not the time of trouble that Jeremiah, and Jesus alluded to. That time of trouble is depicted by Jesus own words as recorded in Matthew 24 :21-22 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of “Jacob's Trouble”; but he ( Israel ) shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7). The chapter in which this verse is found is decidedly prophetic of the end-times. Down through the centuries, theologians have viewed the passage as speaking of the seven-year Tribulation Period, or the 70th week of Daniel, through which Israel must face a world gone mad with hatred. Jeremiah said that there had never been a time like it, nor ever will be again. Jesus made the same prediction in his Olivet Discourse hundreds of years later, adding that for Israel's sake, the time of trouble would be interrupted ( shortened ) by his literal return to save his people from their encircling enemies..

During the holocaust of World War II, the slaughter of Jews led some to believe that Germany's persecutions actually marked the “Time of Jacob's Trouble.” After the war was over, some thought that “Jacob's trouble” had ended and the Jews would never suffer in such a way again. But Orthodox and Hassidic rabbis today fear that rising tensions in the Middle East may be the “real beginning” of “Jacob's trouble.” They cite the uprising of the Palestinians on September 29, 2000, ( the Temple Mount Intifada ) and the imminent threat of a regional war with Arab states as the cause for their concern.

It is the belief of Focus on Jerusalem that “Jacob's trouble” still lies yet in the future. We have not yet entered the time of the biblical “Tribulation Period”, though it may not be far off. The importance of the signs pertaining to the era of Jacob's trouble points up the nearness of the actual time when the wrath of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world. The events we have witnessed since September 11 could be some of those preliminary developments leading up to the future “Battle of Gog and Magog.” Rabbinic scholars believe the Battle of Gog and Magog will bring the Messiah and usher in the kingdom promised to Israel. They equate the battle with John the Revelator's portrayal of the final conflict referred to as Armageddon .

Jeremiah, chapter 30, gives us a prophetic overview of Israel and Judah in the “latter days.” In the first three verses, the Lord tells Jeremiah to write the prophecy in a book so that the specific generation to which it is given might read and understand that God is speaking directly to them. That generation will know who they are because they are the ones who will “return to the land” of their ancient forefathers:

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. “For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it” (Jeremiah 30:1-3).

If this passage referred to the Babylonian captivity, God would not have included Israel along with Judah. The ten northern tribes (Jeremiah's “Israel”) were not taken to Babylon, but only Judah. Israel was destroyed by the Assyrian invasion in 722 B.C. Furthermore, those tribes did not return after the Babylonian captivity as Judah did. Israel never returned at all. In this passage, however, God refers to a future generation when both factions would return. The Lord makes that clear in verses 10 and 11:

“Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.”

For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished” (vv. 10, 11).

God further designates the timing of the prophecy to that day when He will make a “full end of all nations.” This can only refer to the final judgment. This is the awesome “end of the world” that Jesus and the disciples discussed in Matthew 24. That day will be marked with the Tribulation Period, the Battle of Armageddon and the spectacular return of Jesus Christ to this world, whereupon he will establish his throne in Jerusalem.

Jeremiah's use of the term “Jacob” specifically ties this prophecy to verse 7, which contains the reference to “Jacob's trouble.” Furthermore, “Jacob” refers to the genetic connection of the entire clan, Israel and Judah. In 1948, the nation was reestablished without the distinction between the two houses. Today, the nation is simply called “Israel,” a homeland for all Jews.

Jeremiah 30:18 further describes the terminal generation as a time when the Chosen People will rebuild their cities over the ruins of the ancient buildings:

“Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof” (v. 18).

“Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land” (Leviticus 26:42). In verse 11, Jeremiah takes note that the returning “Jacob” will rebuild their cities over the ruins of their ancient buildings. The excavations around Jerusalem today are proof that the passage is being fulfilled in this generation. The ruins of ancient Jerusalem can be seen throughout the old city. The area below the southern wall of the Temple Mount clearly shows the “frame of a city,” as it was described in Ezekiel's vision:

“In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south” (Ezekiel 40:2).

Jeremiah gives another important difference between ancient Israel and the future generation that will experience “Jacob's trouble.” Their politicians and leaders will not be from the stock of their royal family. Their “nobles” and “governor” will be selected from among the common people:

“And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the LORD.

“And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God” (vv. 21,22).

Today, there is no monarchy and no descendant from the house of David. Israel's government is selected by vote from among the general population. Such a thing was unheard of in Jeremiah's day. Yet, the prophecy is clear and strongly points to this generation as the one designated to experience “Jacob's trouble.”

Finally, Jeremiah speaks of God's judgment during this time:

“Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked. “The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it” (vv. 23,24).

There is no doubt that the chapter refers to the final judgment. God's anger will not be abated until His judgment is completed. Jeremiah concludes by informing us that these events will occur in the “latter days.” We have arrived at the defining moment in prophetic history. The nation of Israel is about to embark upon its fateful journey through “Jacob's time of trouble.” Tensions are running high in Israel. Israel is searching far and wide for peace with security! I Thessalonians 5:3 indicates that Israel will think that it has found a suitable arrangement for its peace and safety at the out set of the impending time of Trouble.

For when they shall say, Peace and safety ( Confirmed Covenant) ; then sudden destruction ( time of Jacob's Trouble ) cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Israel will soon advance into the Time of Jacob's Trouble.” Pray for Israel. The Day of the Lord is upon us. Israel will soon enter into a covenanted agreement with a false Messiah, and it will reverberate back upon their heads with the wrath of the Great Red Dragon ( Revelation 12 ) seeking their total annihilation. Satan has sought a Final Solution to the Jewish Problem throughout history, and he will exact his last effort towards that end during the Time of Jacob's Trouble!

Author: Darrell G. Young

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