– The Relevance of Israel in Bible Prophecy –
Does God still love the Jewish people? Are the promises made to the descendants of Abraham in the Old Testament still valid since the death and resurrection of Jesus the Jewish Messiah?
In his new book, Israel in Bible Prophecy: Past, Present, & Future – Dr. David Reagan explores the Biblical record in search of answers. As is typical for Dr. Reagan, he approaches the subject with an engaging style, a great deal of common sense, and plain spoken no-nonsenses. Over the years I’ve read many of Dr. Reagan’s books and I’ve come to appreciate his love for the Jewish people and the Bible’s prophetic record.
In this present work Dr. Reagan looks at the subject in Israel in Bible prophecy in the following three part format:
Part I: The Past
• Chapter 1: The Worldwide Dispersion of the Jews
• Chapter 2: The Relentless Persecution of the Jews
• Chapter 3: The Miraculous Preservation of the Jews
• Chapter 4: The Desolation of the Land of Israel
Part II: The Present
• Chapter 5: The Regathering of the Jewish People
• Chapter 6: The Re-establishment of the State of Israel
• Chapter 7: The Revival of the Hebrew Language
• Chapter 8: The Reclamation of the Land of Israel
• Chapter 9: The Resurgence of the Israeli Military
• Chapter 10: The Re-occupation of the City of Jerusalem
• Chapter 11: The Re-focusing of World Politics on Israel
Part III: The Future
• Chapter 12: The Redemption of Israel
Of these chapter 3, 5, & 12 really stood out to me.
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In the spirit of respectful criticism, there is one aspect of the book which I believe that Dr. Reagan failed to address in as thorough manner as is his typical style. What I’m talking about is the subject of Daniel 9 and the prophecy of 70 weeks. In this book Dr. Reagan uses the prophecy of 70 Weeks as foundational pillar in his explanation of the past, present, and future place the Jewish people have in YHWH’s redemptive plan. As such, I believe it deserves a much more thorough and congruent explanation than given in the present work.
For example Dr. Reagan makes the following claim. I quote from Kindle loc. 2508:
“In Daniel chapter 9, the prophet was given and amazing prophecy about the future of the his people and the capital city of Jerusalem. Daniel was told by the Angel Gabriel that God would accomplish all His purposes for the Jewish people during a period of 70 Weeks of Years (Daniel 9:24) starting with a decree to restore and the city of Jerusalem from its destruction by the Babylonians. The first 483 years of that period came to an end with the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem at the beginning of the last week of His life.”
Then concerning the six messianic goals of Daniel 9:24, Dr. Reagan has this to say:
“From a Jewish viewpoint, the Tribulation should be called ‘Daniel’s 70 Weeks of Years.’ This terminology refers to the fact that Daniel prophesied a period of 70 weeks of years (490 years) during which six goals would be accomplished among the Jewish people. The goals were (Daniel 9:24):
1) “To finish the transgression” (by accepting the Messiah).
2) “To make and end of sin” (the repentance of a remnant).
3) “To make atonement for iniquity” (the Messiah to die for sins).
4) “To bring in everlasting righteousness” (the establishment of the Messiah’s millennial reign).
5) “To seal up vision and prophecy” (fulfill all Messianic prophecies).
6) “To anoint the most holy place” (begin the construction of the Millennial Temple).
As you can see, only one of these aims have been fulfilled- the Messiah’s atonement for sin. All the rest remain unfulfilled. Four hundred eighty-three years of Daniel’s prophecy led up to the crucifixion of Jesus (Daniel 9:26). The last seven years remain, during which all the rest of God’s aims for the Jewish people will be met.”
From the quotes above Dr. Reagan rightfully believes that the 6 messianic goals of Daniel 9 are to be fulfilled within the 70 “weeks” of Daniel 9. Dr. Reagan explanation becomes problematic when he goes on to state that 69 of those weeks (483 years) were fulfilled with Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. The reason this is problematic is because this then leaves only the final 7 “years” during which the 6 goals of Daniel 9 can be fulfilled.
Daniel 9:24 is clear that these 6 goals are fulfilled within the 70 weeks. Jesus “atonement for iniquity” did not take place until His death and resurrection. By Dr. Reagans reasoning and the criteria of Daniel 9:24, this then means that Jesus “atonement for iniquity” took place after the 483 years and in the 70th Week of Daniel 9.
Dr. Reagan then contradicts this reasonable conclusion by claiming that “the last seven years remain, during which the rest of God’s aims for the Jewish people will be met.” In other words Dr. Regan places the 3rd goal of Daniel 9 after the 483 years but not within the final 7 years, thus adding to the length of the prophecy of Daniel 9. This is not possible because Daniel 9:24 plainly states that the 6 messianic goals are fulfilled in the 70 week period.
It is my hope that in some future writings Dr. Reagan will explain this apparent contradiction in his understanding of Daniel 9 and provide a more congruent and reasonable explanation.
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In closing my criticisms notwithstanding, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more sincere advocate of the Jewish people and their past, present, and future in YHWH’s redemptive plan for mankind. In this book Dr. Reagan does a wonderful job of illustrating that story in manner which is both accessible and thrilling. After reading this book I’d encourage you to open your Bible’s and see if these things be so.
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Author: Dr. David Reagan
Book Title: Israel in Bible Prophecy: Past, Present, & Future
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Book Reviewed by: William Struse