We are given a glimpse of a golden age about to dawn for Israel.
In that age Israel will, in the language of Deuteronomy 28:13, be the “head and not the tail” of the nations. The political restlessness which has unsettled the nations for centuries as long as God’s earthly people were displaced will at last be over. In Jerusalem, the royal authority of the Lord Jesus as King of all the earth will be established. It will be the city of the great King and the center of worldwide government. Jeremiah reminds us that it will be called “the habitation of justice” (ch 31:23). According to ch 23:6, the King will be called “Jehovah Tsidkenu” and in ch 33:15, the city will bear the same name. What a change for Jerusalem when it takes its righteous character from the true King. How unlike the travesty of justice which prevailed on His previous visit to that city! This city which has seen more than its fair share of the misrule of Gentile powers then will be the royal residence of the true Melchisedec, King of Righteousness and King of Peace. This picture of true justice is expanded by Isaiah when he sees the world as included in the jurisdiction of its royal administration. “Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa 2:2-4). So it appears that in the millennial age, Israel, under the righteous rule of the Prince of Peace, and through the apostolic administration via its princes and tribes, will occupy a place of governmental and judicial authority over the world of Gentile nations. No longer will the nation be oppressed by foreign Gentile powers. As Jeremiah 30:21 foretells, “their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them.”
It will also be for the chosen nation a time of unequaled material prosperity. The days of famines and a land decimated by enemy invasions will all belong to the past. Again, Jeremiah tells us of bountiful harvests and peaceful flocks: “They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.” Both grain and grape harvests will reach levels of productivity never experienced before, and that well known picture of idyllic agriculture shall be fulfilled, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt” (Amos 9:13).
When God chose the nation of Israel from among the Gentiles it was, as Exodus 19:5 informs us, that they might be a “special treasure” unto Him and be a priestly nation communicating the knowledge of God among the Gentiles. Unfortunately, this goal was never fully realized in the past. It will however, receive its full expression in millennial times. Then the nation will discharge its missionary responsibilities. Enjoying, as it will, the presence, glory, and blessing of the Lord, the nation will become a standard-bearer among the nations of the world. Indeed, Zechariah 8:23 tells us that, “In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, we will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”
In a parallel passage, Isaiah tells of Gentiles flooding into the land to behold the glory of Israel’s God and the glory of God’s Israel. “The LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isa 60:2-3). In those times there will be a steady stream of Gentile visitors to what will then be truly “the Holy Land.” They will not come merely as tourists and sight seers, but as converts to and worshipers of the God of Israel and His Messiah. Then the nation will be a missionary to the nations and a guide to the Gentiles and the promise of the Abrahamic covenant will be fulfilled: “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen12:3).
It would be a great mistake to think of the Millennium only as a time of economic prosperity, social justice, political peace, and material blessing. Perhaps the most important aspect of this period for the nation of Israel and the nations at large is the great spiritual renewal which will characterize the times when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isa11:9). This knowledge will be disseminated through the restored and cleansed nation of Israel. Jeremiah depicts the implementation of a new covenant in which the houses of Judah and Israel will know the Lord, have His law in their hearts and enjoy the full forgiveness of their sins (Jer 31:31-34). Accompanying this spiritual regeneration there will also be the building of the millennial temple as depicted in the last section of Ezekiel’s prophecy. Though different in many respects from the temple of Solomon and the Tabernacle of Moses, this building will nevertheless become the focal point of the presence of the Lord in that earthly aspect of the kingdom and will make Jerusalem the religious, political, and judicial capital of the world. There, in that temple, the glory of the Lord will be resident and the presence of the Lord will beautify His people. The topography of the land of Israel will be adjusted to accommodate this new earthly Jerusalem as well as the new sanctuary and its name will fittingly be, Jehovah Shammah, “the Lord is there” (Eze 48:35). North of this central sanctuary space will be seven of the tribes of Israel with five tribes to the south. The geographical details of the future habitation of Immanuel’s land are in Ezekiel 48.
The millennial age will also be a time of great numerical increase for the nation. The Lord earlier promised the founding fathers that their seed would be as the sand and stars. At times the growth of the nation has been remarkable, as in Egypt. Throughout the centuries the survival of the nation has been a miracle, given the brutal attempts to exterminate it, and some of these sinister schemes of annihilation are ongoing. However, Jeremiah speaks in glowing terms of the coming growth: “I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as afore time, and their congregation shall be established before Me” (Jer 30:19-20). No more invasions. No more desolation. No more captivities. No more holocausts. No more decimation. All will be serenity and security. Further confirmation of this picture is given in chapter 33:22: “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David My servant.”
Let us give Daniel the prophet the final word. He tells us, after his review of the different forms of Gentile world dominion that, “the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High” (Dan 7:27). Not only will restored and redeemed Israel be given the kingdom, but they will enjoy the “greatness” of the kingdom. That will be greatness in every aspect: Greatness of pre-eminence, power, purity, piety, peace, praise, privilege, protection, prosperity, and permanence.