He replied, "Your Majesty, I will give you one word -- Jew! If there was nothing else to prove the truth of the Bible, the history of the Jews is sufficient."
The survival of the Jews is a miracle. Scattered among the nations, despised by kings and generals who tried to destroy them, they have endured as a people. Why?
So the future of the Jews has always been sure. Efforts to destroy them as a race have been futile because they are destined to play an important role in end-time events. Actually, the Jews have been and still remain the most secure race on earth. The Hamans and Hitlers of history have come and gone, but the Jews remain. That is consistent with the message of the Bible: "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" (Jeremiah 30:11).
This tiny scattered people, moving through the nations of the world, has had such a definite date with destiny that no power on earth could destroy them.
Further, the future of Israel was pronounced by Jeremiah to be as certain as the laws of the universe:
"Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord"(Jeremiah 31:35-37).
The ability of the Jews to remain a people apart while scattered throughout the world is another evidence of the divine plan. Minister and author Walter Brown Knight once wrote, "Through the centuries, the Jew has maintained his racial identity. Like Jonah in the belly of the great fish -- undigested, unassimilated -- the Jew has remained unassimilated, unamalgamated, undigested though he has wandered among all nations."
The Jews have been on a journey to Jerusalem for nearly two thousand years. Although at times some have lost sight of that destination in spite of their "Next year at Jerusalem" at Passover, the story of their sojourn through many lands and their ultimate return to the land of their fathers has been told again and again by the prophets.
"The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army" (Ezekiel 37:1 -- 10).
What an experience! The prophet was taken to a cemetery, a great valley full of bones. Exposed to the wind and sun, the bones had become dry and bleached. Ezekiel looked upon a valley full of skeletons, certainly not a happy sight, And while looking, he was asked: "Can these bones live?" In faith, he replied, "O Lord GOD, thou knowest."
Ezekiel was then given the responsibility of prophesying about these dry bones. He actually spoke to them and informed them that they would receive flesh, breath, and life. While he was speaking, there was a great noise and a shaking as the bones came together, attaching properly bone to bone. Finally, the skeletons, covered with flesh and given life, stood to their feet and became a great army. Further explaining the frightening experience, the prophet said:
"Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, 0 my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, 0 my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord" (Ezekiel 37:11-14).
Ezekiel's strange vision can be interpreted in this way: The bones represent Israel. Their disconnectedness and dryness indicate the people of Israel's scattering and lack of hope. The graves are the nations in which they dwell. The imparting of sinew, flesh, and breath is a miracle timed for the last days.
The Jews are to come out of their graves, i.e., the nations to which they have been scattered. They will return in unbelief and without spiritual life, but finally after being settled in their land, there will come a time of conversion -- new birth:
"And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, 0 my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord" (Ezekiel 37:13,14).
Understanding Ezekiel's vision is not difficult. But is it finding fulfillment in our day? Is there a point in time at which it can be reasonably said that the bones of Ezekiel's vision began coming together?
Following the ascension of Alexander III as Czar of Russia, thousands of Jews fled west in hope of finding freedom from persecution. Others turned their minds to nationalism. The ancient hope of a return to their homeland began to surface. To many, the thought seemed farfetched because Palestine was under Turkish control. Nevertheless, the desire of the Jews for a sanctuary moved them to establish two organizations, the purpose of both being the setting up of a Jewish homeland in the land of Palestine. Both groups were formed in 1882.