Israel's incredible 'Babylonian' exile has its roots in the great schismwhich divided the Jews and Benjamites from the other ten tribes just after the death of Solomon. It began when the 10 Israeli tribes (termed by the prophets 'the tribes of the north') were conquered and carried away by Assyria about 200 years before Babylon captured and exiled the Jews.
Scripture shows that these two exiles were spiritual as well as physical and that they would be followed by an even later physical dispersion far more momentous -- one so enduring that it has lasted well into the current century. This unyielding dispersion the prophets termed a 'captivity to Babylon', copying the terminology of the earlier 70-year Jewish diaspora.
Jesus declared that the captivity was a spiritual captivity to sin and that the only way to escape it was to convert into God's offer of reconciliation which He had come to announce.
The 2000-year spiritual captivity has been accompanied by a protracted physical Jewish absence from the lands of Palestine, underscoring the unviolability of the diaspora promised by scripture.
According to the Bible, this dispersion cannot completely end until the Prince of Persia comes at the world's end and announces its conclusion, just as Cyrus the Persian announced the end of the Jewish captivity 2500 years ago.
The '70-year' period is, of course, metaphoric. It stands for the lifetime of a man, showing that our birth on this sinful planet has placed us under Satan's dominion. The only release from this 70-year captivity is a spiritual journey undertaken in the Gospel of Christ.
The world's physical grasp on the House of Israel could not be broken physically. It had to be dissolved spiritually. That is because the true captivity is internal. Our real captor is sin. And here the prophecy is absolute.
Because God's offer of reconciliation has been sealed in a treaty of peace (Christ on the cross), it will persist as long as the treaty remains legally in place. Thus the current moratorium holds back the wrath long enough for the people who choose to follow Jesus to leave in safety,
The only mechanism scripture has defined for the breaking of this treaty (for shattering the treaty of Christ on the cross) is the decree of the 'Prince of Persia'. (2 Chron.36:19-21).
That edict will accompany the 'Abomination of Desolation' described by the prophet Daniel. According to prophecy, the decree will be issued on Christmas day by the Great Rebel whom John has identified as the eighth head of the Beast, immediately after the erection of the desecrating sacrilige.
As soon as the Persian proclamation is issued, the people of Israel will no longer be bound to a captivity in Babylon. All will be free to return to Jerusalem in Palestine. However, conditions at the time will be so violent and chaotic, and the war on faith so persistant that few will even contemplate such a return.
It is at this juncture that Michael will arise and lead the final contingent of Christians from a Babylon ruled by a Nero-like beast back to Jerusalem.
1. 'The Clock of God', Chapter 16, 'The Mortal Wound'
2. 'The Clock of God', Chapter 24, 'Pairs by Opposites'
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