Despite the fact that it created a swirl of political controversy, the recent passage of the nation-state law in the Israeli Knesset is seen by many Bible-based Jews and Christians as affirming the Biblical connection between the Land of Israel and the Jewish people. Additionally, it has messianic implications, according to at least one major redemption-oriented rabbi.
The current nation-state law, which passed on July 19, 2018, echoes multiple Biblical verses, such as Exodus 6:8 and Deuteronomy 30:5, when it says, “The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established.”
And Hashem your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers. Deuteronomy 30:5
David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, referred to this Biblical history when, in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, delivered on May 14, 1948, he famously said, “The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.”
Thirty years earlier, in 1917, the exact same connection between Israel and the Jewish people was made in the Balfour Declaration. In it, the British government announced their support for the re-establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.
Just before its passing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this about the current nation-state law: “This is a law of the highest importance, to ensure the core of Israel’s existence as the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
These various statements, made by secular government officials, are merely reiterating the Jewish connection to Israel that Bible-based Jews and Christians accept as a given.
Is there any significance to the fact that the nation-state law passed just months after the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?
Prolific author and end times expert Rabbi Pinchas Winston thinks that both events are linked to the process of redemption. He told Breaking Israel News, “Redemption, explained the Vilna Gaon (major 18th century rabbinic figure), is kind of two-steps forward, one-step back process. But, even the step backwards, he added, is really a step forwards as well, when everything is taken into account. It just looks to us as if it is backwards.
“What this means is that history can be difficult to read, from a redemption point of view. It can be hard, even impossible to properly interpret everyday events, and what they ultimately mean to the redemption process.
“Therefore, it cannot be downplayed when, at such a late stage of history, and especially while liberalism is so strong around the world, that America acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, or that a secular Israeli government is bold enough to declare Israel first and foremost a Jewish state.”
Rabbi Winston warned the redemption-oriented individual not to get caught up in the political debates, but rather to focus on the bigger picture. “It is easy to let them [the nation-state law and the recognition of Jerusalem by the American government] get buried among the many issues impacting world history today, but the person with an eye to redemption knows that they are the sign of the times,” he explained.