Scriptures Dealing With The Gathering Of The Tribes
There would have been no requirement for a ‘universal re-gathering’ of the exiled Twelve Tribes of Israel, without a preceding exilic ‘scattering’ of them in the first place. Both these events have been prescribed in advance, as Divine Retribution and ultimate Reconciliation of the ancient nation of Israel, according to their state of compliance with the declared Will of the creator God of Israel. (If you are not acquainted with the historical facts of Israel’s Exile since the 8th century BCE, you can find a short summary by clicking here – chapter 12).
The Scriptures following below, have been selected from a great variety in the Tanach (O.T.) which confirm God’s repeated Promises to ‘save’ Israel from this Exile and to return them to the Land of Israel. For purposes of this discussion, and to properly identify the True Saviour, readers should consider carefully from this Scriptural evidence:
- Who exactly it is, that lays claim to being the Saviour of Israel;
- what this ‘salvation’ will entail, and
- what the Divine requirements are.
A concise summary of the reasons for the Divine election of the nation of Israel; their rejection and their ultimate reconciliation is found in the Book of Leviticus which lists the Divine Laws underlying the Covenant which YHVH presented to Israel. The time setting of this Scripture is some 3250 years ago, when Israel was still unified as 12 Tribes, according to the descendants of the 12 sons of Jacob, during their Exodus from Egypt in their Wilderness experience, on their way to the Promised Land of Israel.
Leviticus 26:14 (following on the announcement of the conditions for Divine Blessings) “But if you do not listen to Me … if you refuse My Laws and disregard My Customs and break My Covenant by not observing each one of My Commandments, then I will deal in like manner with you (then follows a list of Curses to befall the nation: terror, defeat by enemies, famine, disease, etc.) verse 32 “I, yes I (YHVH) will make such a desolation of the Land that your enemies who come to live there, will be appalled by it. And I will scatter you amongst the nations (all 12 Tribes); I will unsheathe the Sword against you … verse 44 Yet this is not the End. When they are in the land of their enemies, I will not so abhor them as to destroy them altogether and break My Covenant with them, for I am YHVH their God. For their sake, I will remember the Covenant I made with those first generations that I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I would be their God, I YHVH.”
Deuteronomy 30: 3-4 “If you return to YHVH your God, if you obey His Voice with all your heart and soul in everything I enjoin on you today, you and your children, then YHVH your God will bring back your captives, He will have pity on you and gather you once again out of all the nations where YHVH your God has scattered you. Had you wandered to the ends of the heavens, YHVH your God will gather you even from there, He would come there to reclaim you and bring you back to the Land your fathers possessed, so that you in your turn can make it your own, prospering there and increasing even more than your fathers.” (also Nehemiah 1:7-9)
- How the return of the exiles is linked to their return to Him in faithfulness and obedience to His Law (which are merely the terms of His Covenant, refer The Old and Renewed Covenant.
- Their ‘return’ is linked also with a return to the Land of their fathers.
- He Himself, YHVH God, would fetch them from wherever they might be in the world.
Isaiah 11:11 “YHVH will hoist a Signal for the nations and assemble the outcasts of Israel; He will bring back the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
- That this Ingathering will serve as a Divine Sign to the nations.
- This ingathering affects both ‘Israel and Judah’.
Isaiah 43:5 “I (YHVH) will bring your offspring from the East, and gather you from the West. To the North I will say; ‘Give them up!’, and to the South, ‘Do not hold them!’. Bring back My sons from far away, My daughters from the end of the earth – all those who bear My Name (also through Baptism), whom I have created for My Glory, whom I have formed, whom I have made. Bring forward the people that is blind (for the Truth), yet has eyes, that is deaf and yet has ears. Let all the nations muster and assemble with every race. Which of them ever declared this or foretold this in the past? Let them bring their witnesses … so that they may say, ‘It is true’. You yourselves are My witnesses – it is YHVH Who speaks – My servants whom I have chosen, that men may know and believe Me and understand that it is I. No god was formed before Me nor will be after Me. I, I am YHVH – there is no other Savior but Me … it is YHVH Who speaks – and I, I am your God. I am He from Eternity.”
- How the Ingathering brings His elect to the realization of Who He really is – the Only God and Savior. Refer Several studies on the Oneness of God
- This realization of His Oneness, will draw them back to the Original Hebraic Faith.
Jeremiah 29:14 “… I will bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.”
Jeremiah 32:37 – 44 “I mean to gather them from all the countries where I have driven them in My Anger … I will bring them back to this place … I will make an everlasting Covenant with them … and I will plant them firmly is this Land with all My Heart and Soul … for as I have brought this great disaster on this people, so I am going to bring them all the good I have promised them. People will buy fields in this Land of which you say. ‘It is a wasteland … given over into the power of the Chaldeans. People will buy fields, pay money, draw up deeds and seal them, and witness them in the Land of Benjamin in the districts around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah – for I am going to restore their fortunes.”
- How pertinently settling of the Land of Israel (Jerusalem and Judea) is part of the Return of exiled Israel. How YHVH is in control of the re-settling.
- Bear in mind that this Ingathering refers not only to the Tribe of Judah (the Jews) but to all 12 Tribes of Israel, 10 of which historically went ‘lost’, from seven centuries BCE to date.
Ezekiel 11:17 “The Lord YHVH says this: ‘I will gather you together from the nations; I will bring you all back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the Land of Israel … I will give them a single heart, and I will put a new Spirit in them. I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies, and give them a heart of flesh in stead, so that they will keep My Laws and respect My Observances and put them into practice. Then they shall be My People and I will be their God.”
Note how that observance of His Laws is linked to the Return from exile and being sealed again into the Renewed Covenant. This is confirmed even clearer in:
Ezekiel 36:24,27 “Then I am going to gather you together from all the foreign countries and bring you home to your own Land … I shall put My Spirit in you and make you keep My Laws and sincerely respect My Observances … and the nations around you will know that I, YHVH, have rebuilt what was destroyed … I, YHVH, have spoken and I will do it”.
- How the Divinely purposed re-gathering of the Tribes of Israel is repeatedly and specifically linked to the physical settling of the Land;
- The repeated re-emphasis of the terms of the Covenant i.e. Law observance as a necessary condition;
- This is all to serve as a witness to the surrounding nations of the faithfulness of God to His Covenental Promises
Micah 2:12 “I am going to gather all Jacob together. I will gather the remnant of Israel.”
Note that this Ingathering refers to all 12 Tribes of Israel, not just Judah (the Jews), as confirmed in:
Zecheriah 10:6-10 “And I will make the House of Judah mighty, and the House of Joseph victorious. I am going to restore them, for I have taken pity on them, and they shall be as if I had never cast them off. Ephraim will be like a hero …I shall lead them into the Land of Gilead (Jordan) and Lebanon and even that will not be large enough for them.”
Isaiah 49:14 “For Zion (God’s Holy Mount in Jerusalem) was saying, ‘YHVH has abandoned me, the Lord has forgotten me,’ Does a woman forget a baby at the breast or fail to cherish the son of her womb? Yet, even if these forget, I will never forget you (Zion) … (verse 18) Look round about you, all are assembling (the Returnees), coming to you, and your devastated country will now be too small for all your inhabitants … (verse 22) Thus speaks the Lord YHVH: ‘I beckon to the nations and hoist My Signal for the nations (His Sign to the nations of the Ingathering). They will bring back your sons … and daughters (verse 25) I Myself will save your (Zion’s, the Land’s) children … Then all mankind shall know that I, YHVH, am your Saviour, and that your Redeemer is the Mighty One of Jacob.”
- How ‘Salvation’ is related to the Return to the Land, according to the terms of the Covenant. Refer also: The Authentic Gospel of the Kingdom
- How this Ingathering will exalt YHVH and make Him known to mankind as the Saviour and Redeemer of Israel.
- How living space in the Land will be a problem – as confirmed by the current struggle for land in Israel. The total land area of Israel currently is less than the size of a province in many other countries.
Jeremiah 31:35-37 “YHVH Who provides the sun for light by day, the moon and stars by night … says this: ‘Were this established Order ever to pass away from My Presence, only then would the race of Israel also cease to be a nation in My Presence for ever. Were the heavens above ever to be measured, only then would I reject the race of Israel for all that they have done.”
Zechariah 8:3-8 “YHVH Sabaoth says this: I am coming back to Zion and shall dwell in the middle of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be called Faithful City and the mountain of YHVH Sabaoth, the Holy Mountain … Now I am going to save My people from the countries of the East and from the countries of the West. I will bring them back to live inside Jerusalem. They shall be My people and I will be their God in faithfulness and integrity”
Note the great emphasis on the Divine Purpose to establish His People in the Land of Israel. We will now consider a more in-depth review of certain Scriptures on our topic of the Ingathering of Israel as an identification factor for the True Messiah.