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Israel’s first captivity was to “Chushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia,” the old name of Babylon which means “land between the two rivers.” (Judges 3:8). By the Law of First Mention, the first captivity is the pattern-setter for all the other captivities. It is most important because it was a captivity to a king of Babylon, which was originally known as Mesopotamia. Babylon, of course, figured very prominently in a later captivity in the time of Daniel and Jeremiah. Mystery Babylon is the final form of captivity before the great deliverance at the end of the age.
Israel’s captivity to the king of Mesopotamia lasted just eight years. Israel had crossed the Jordan in 2488 (years from Adam), and the captivity came 42 years later in 2530. The eight-year captivity, then, ended with Israel’s first Jubilee in the land of Canaan (42 + 8 = 50).
These eight years of captivity established a more long-term pattern in terms of eight cycles of Cursed Time (8 x 414 years). If you study my book, Secrets of Time, chapter 10, you will see that this captivity was dated from the year 2530 to 2538 (years from Adam).
By converting the years from Adam to our present way of reckoning on our modern calendar, the captivity began in 1365 B.C. Two cycles of 414 years later came to 537 B.C., the year that Babylon fell in Daniel 5. Another six cycles of 414 years brings us to the year 1948 A.D., the year that the Israeli state was founded.
From the fall of old Babylon until 1948 the dominion mandate was passed down to Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the extensions (“horns”) in various forms until 1948, when the Israeli state was formed. That state was established at the end of this particular pattern of Cursed Time. So what is the prophetic connection? To understand the modern state of Israel, one must know the history of Esau-Edom.
The ancient book of Jasher, mentioned twice in Scripture when referring to historical source material, tells us that Nimrod founded the city of Babylon and (in chapter 27) that Nimrod was finally killed by Esau, the brother of Jacob. Jasher says that Esau took Nimrod’s garment—the symbol of his authority by which he ruled—and fled from Nimrod’s bodyguards and arrived home tired and famished. That was when he sold his birthright to Jacob for some soup.
The significance of this is that it set a prophetic pattern for the future, when Esau’s descendants (Edom) would assume authority over Mystery Babylon in 1948. The Babylonian system of “beast” rule, as defined by the beast empires listed in Daniel 7, had been given “seven times” (7 x 360 years) in which to rule the earth. This would not end until 2017, as I explained in Daniel, Prophet of the Ages, Book 2.
As it turned out, Edom assumed authority for the final years that these beast systems had been allotted in prophecy. In doing so, the Israeli state took upon itself the position of the last ruler of Mystery Babylon with all of its liabilities and responsibilities.
Jacob and Esau had fought each other since before they were even born (Gen. 25:21-23). Esau was the first-born, and so he had the lawful right to receive the birthright. However, the prophecy given to their mother during her pregnancy was that “the older will serve the younger” (Gen. 25:23). This created an apparent conflict between the law and prophecy.
In Genesis 27, when Isaac thought he was nearing his time of death, he decided to pass down the blessing to his son, Esau, in accordance with the law. But while Esau was out hunting, Jacob pretended to be Esau in a case of identity theft; and because his father was blind, he succeeded in tricking his father into giving him the blessing. Jacob (and his mother) did not have the faith to believe that God could fulfill His earlier promise, so he tried to help God by lying to his father. Clearly, that was an unlawful way of fulfilling prophecy.
When Esau returned and discovered that the blessing had already been given to Jacob, he appealed to his father. Isaac then gave him a prophecy in Gen. 27:40 (KJV), saying, “when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his [Jacob’s] yoke from off thy neck.”
In other words, the day would come when Jacob would have to give back the birthright and blessing to Esau in order to allow the process to occur in a lawful manner. That would involve breaking Jacob’s yoke (authority), which implies that Esau would rule Jacob for a season.
In 1948 Esau was given the dominion mandate, which was the “scepter” portion of the birthright. Since Jacob had taken the dominion mandate from Esau by lying and by identity theft, Esau had a valid case against Jacob in the divine court. Hence, the dominion had to be returned to him at some point in history in order for justice to be done.
This did not occur during Esau’s lifetime. Jacob later passed the scepter to Judah (Gen. 49:10) and the rest of the birthright to Joseph (Gen. 49:22-26; 1 Chron. 5:1, 2). This situation continued for many centuries, even while Israel was exiled to Assyria (721 B.C.) and Judah was exiled for 70 years to Babylon (604-534 B.C.).
After Judah returned from Babylon, Edom was its neighbor for about 300 years. Then conflict erupted between them, and the descendants of Esau-Edom were conquered and absorbed by the Judeans under John Hyrcanus in 126-125 B.C. Virtually all history books agree on this historical fact. The first-century Jewish historian, Josephus, tells us in Antiquities of the Jews, XIII, ix, 1,
“Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea [the Greek name for Edom], and subdued all the Idumeans, and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would be circumcised and make use of the laws of the Jews; and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of circumcision and the rest of the Jews’ ways of living; at which time therefore, this befell them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews.”
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia states more plainly on page 587,
“The Edomites were conquered by John Hyrcanus who forcibly converted them to Judaism, and from then on they constituted a part of the Jewish people.”
The Jewish Encyclopedia, under Edom, confirms this, saying,
“From this time the Idumeans ceased to be a separate people.”
Hence, the descendants of Esau, later known as “Edom” (Gen. 36:8), came to be called by the Greek name Idumea. They ceased to be a nation separate from the Jews in 125 B.C. This merger of Judah and Edom had huge prophetic implications, for at that point the Jews themselves had two sets of prophecies to fulfill—one for Judah itself and the other for Edom.
Of course, if either group had come under the New Covenant through Jesus Christ, they could have become a new creation, avoiding the judgments written in Scripture. No doubt some did so. But most have remained under the Old Covenant and to this day are subject to the prophecies of the cursed fig tree of Judah and the prophecies of Edom in Obadiah, Isaiah 34:6-10, and Mal. 1:1-4.
The year 1948, being the end of 8 x 414 years dating back to Israel’s first captivity, was an extremely important turning point in prophetic history. It marked the point where Esau-Edom received the dominion mandate from Babylon, having “killed” Nimrod, so to speak. The state of Israel has never claimed to be the regathering of the lost tribes of Israel, but by taking the name of Israel, they were able to deceive the church into making that claim on their behalf.
In actuality, the law of tribulation in Lev. 26:40-42 makes it clear that God would not allow the Israelites to return to the land until they confessed their hostility to God (Christ). They did not do so (as a group) prior to 1948, so they could not return under the banner of either Israel or Judah. The only way they could return was under the banner of Edom in order to fulfill the prophecy in Mal. 1:4,
4 Though Edom says, “We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins;” thus says the Lord of hosts, “They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the Lord is indignant forever.”
This prophecy revealed the manner in which God would give the birthright back to Esau, as Isaac had implied in Gen. 27:40 (KJV). Justice was thus given to Esau through his descendants who had merged with the Jews. This was accomplished through another case of identity theft, in that Edom now pretended to be Jacob, taking advantage of blindness in the church (“Isaac”). By taking the name of Israel, they took the birthright back, and God decreed this in order to give them time to prove themselves unworthy, as the law demanded.
At the same time, by taking the dominion mandate that was part of the overall birthright, they were given dominion over Mystery Babylon as well. Hence, they were able to displace “Nimrod” and carry on the secretive rule of “Mystery” Babylon in its final allotment of years until the end of 2017. When the “seven times” of beast rule ended (as explained in detail elsewhere), the world system began to be overthrown, and it is disintegrating at the present time (2019).
From 1948 to the present time, Esau has had dominion even over Mystery Babylon and is accountable to God for its rebellion and sin-culture. Foreseeing this coming judgment and final calamity against Jerusalem, Jesus warned the Jewish rulers not to be identified with the prophetic "feet” of the beast empires—unless, of course, they were able to bring forth the fruit of the Kingdom that God required. We read in Matt. 21:42-44,
42 Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief cornerstone;’ this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes?’ 43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it. 44 And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomsoever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”
Jesus was referencing two separate prophecies about the stone. The first was in Psalm 118:22, 23, which speaks of the Stone (Christ) being rejected by the Jews. The second is in Dan. 2:35, where we read that the beast nations will be crushed by the stone at the end of the age. The first prophecy was fulfilled in Christ’s first appearance; the second is fulfilled near the time of His second coming.
The Zionist movement satisfied the claims of Esau-Edom on the old land, based on the fact that Jacob had taken it in an unlawful manner by identity theft. At the same time, the prophecies about the cursed fig tree of Judah were also fulfilled, in that the fig tree did indeed bring forth more leaves (Matt. 24:32-34). Jesus cursed the fig tree by decreeing it would never bring forth fruit (Matt. 21:19). Hence, the Israeli state has brought forth only leaves, which was the same condition found in the cursed fig tree in Jesus’ day. Leaves are no substitute for fruit, and fig leaves have been a problem since Adam (Gen. 3:7). Leaves are a man-made covering for sin.
By understanding the big picture and how Israel’s first captivity to the king of Mesopotamia set the pattern even for the latter days, we are able to see through the “mystery” of secret governments in the latter days. The eight-year captivity to Mesopotamia (Babylon) was a small picture of a much larger captivity lasting 8 x 414 years to 1948. Then God took up Esau’s case in the divine court and ruled in Esau’s favor, returning to him the birthright and dominion mandate for a season to see if he would use it to bring forth acceptable fruit.
They failed to do so by the deadline in 2017, and so judgment on Jerusalem is now impending, as prophesied in Jer. 19:10, 11. The city has been destroyed before, but it was always rebuilt. Hence, the prophecy has yet to be completed. I believe the destruction of the city will coincide with the overthrow of Mystery Babylon, as the great stone begins to grind the image to powder, starting with its “feet.”
The “feet” are the final manifestations of the beast system before the Kingdom of God is established.