Category: Israel

Archaeologists astounded by tablet that ‘revealed first ever image of Tower of Babel’

ARCHAEOLOGISTS were astounded at being given unfettered access to a previously unseen site that revealed the “first ever image of the Tower of Babel”.


PUBLISHED: 20:45, Wed, Aug 4, 2021 | UPDATED: 20:45, Wed, Aug 4, 2021

The Tower remains one of the most mysterious stories contained in the Bible. For years, whether or not the Tower was a real, physical thing was open for discussion. Many believed it was simply symbolic, acting as a message to the Bible’s dedicated followers.

Others claimed it was merely folklore or legend.

The fragile remains of the ancient city of Babylon, in modern day Iraq, have revealed many secrets; the greatest of all the discovery of a vast structure which ancient records suggest was the Tower of Babel.

These texts, as well as others found all around the Middle East – where Christianity originated – have given scholars some idea of what the building might have looked like.

Yet, none have given researchers a clear outline or description bound in solid imagery.

Things changed in 2017 when academics were given access to a privately owned tablet.

The artefact was explored during the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary, ‘Secrets: Tower of Babel’.

Here, the narrator said: “Inscribed on the tablet is an image that sensationally reveals exactly what the Tower of Babel looked like.”

Dr Andrew George, an expert in ancient texts at SOAS, University of London, said: “This is a very strong piece of evidence that the Tower of Babel story in the Bible was inspired by this real building.”

The remarkable tablet, which had never been filmed before, dates to the 6th century BCE, and was discovered in Babylon over a century ago.

Yet, no one had realised how important it was until Professor George was given the slab, and went on to decipher the inscriptions.

He explained: “At the top part there is a relief, depicting a step tower.

“And here, a great figure of a human being carrying a staff with a conical hat on.

“Below that relief is the text which has been chiseled into the monument, and the label is easily read: it reads, ‘The temple tower of the city of Babylon’.”

As the narrator noted: “This tablet provides the first-ever image of the real Tower of Babel.

“It confirms the building was a Mesopotamian stepped tower and illustrates the seven tiers of the ancient megastructure.

“Significantly, it also clearly identifies the man behind it: Mesopotamia‘s most famous rule, King Nebuchadnezzar II.”

While the images are extraordinary, the tablet’s ancient text also revealed a detailed account of the tower’s construction.

And, more importantly, it goes on to tell of how Nebuchadnezzar went about building it.

Professor George translated the text for the documentary, and said: “It reads from the Upper Sea, which is the Mediterranean, to the Lower Sea, and that’s the Persian Gulf, ‘The far-flung lands and teeming people of the inhabitations I mobilised in order to construct this building of this ziggurat of Babylon’.”

The ancient account is identical to the Biblical story of how the Tower of Babel was constructed.

For scholars, the tablet offers further proof that the Tower wasn’t just a work of fiction, but an actual building from antiquity.

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USS Ronald Reagan on scene after fatal attack on ocean tanker, Iranian drone thought to be culprit

By Jack Davis, The Western Journal
Published August 1, 2021 at 10:15am

After a deadly attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman, the USS Ronald Reagan is now involved.

In the wee hours of Friday morning, the tanker, MT Mercer Street, was hit by what officials believe was a drone, according to The Times of Israel.

The attack killed two crew members – one British and one Romanian

Israeli officials blamed Iran for the attack. In recent months, Iran and Israel have each had their ships fired upon and blamed the other for the attacks.

Although past assaults have damaged shipping, this is the first attack in which crewmen aboard the vessels have been reported killed.

U.S. Navy has boarded MT Mercer Street. It’s telling that USS Ronald Reagan, which is escorting the ship now, was dispatched to help U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan. Another lesson why withdrawing from Middle East to pivot to Asia remains a pipe dream.

— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) July 30, 2021

The ship has an Israeli connection because it is operated by Zodiac Maritime, owned by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer. The Liberian-flagged vessel has a Japanese owner, Zodiac Maritime said.

The Ronald Reagan is now escorting the ship, U.S. Central Command said in a statement, according to Reuters.

“U.S. Navy explosives experts are aboard to ensure there is no additional danger to the crew, and are prepared to support an investigation into the attack,” Central Command said.

“Initial indications clearly point to a UAV-style [drone] attack.”

BREAKING: Israeli and American sources have told Channel 13 and Walla, respectively, that Iran used a suicide drone to strike the M/T Mercer Street.

— Michael Starr (@Starrlord89) July 30, 2021

Senior political figures: Israel will soon respond to the attack on the Mercer Street ship by Iranian suicide drones, the response will be military on Iranian targets. At the same time, Israel launched an international campaign demanding that Iran be punished for its attack”

— ELINT News (@ELINTNews) July 31, 2021

According to a U.S. Navy statement, the guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher is also escorting the Mercer Street.

An unnamed U.S. official confirmed the attack blew a hole in the top of the tanker’s bridge, The Associated Press reported.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted late Friday that he talked to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab about the “need to respond severely” to the attack and Iranian terrorism.

“Iran is not just an Israeli problem, but an exporter of terrorism, destruction and instability that affects the whole world,” Lapid wrote. “We can never remain silent in the face of Iranian terrorism, which also harms freedom of navigation.”

Iranian TV discussed unnamed sources who said the attack was in response to a suspected Israeli attack on the Dabaa airport in Syria, Reuters reported. The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations said the ship was in the Indian Ocean when it was attacked.

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In the days to come, The Mount of Hashem‘s House Shall stand firm above the mountains And tower above the hills; And all the nations Shall gaze on it with joy. Deuteronomy 28:10 (The Israel BibleTM)

Sometimes, prophetic visions can appear in plain sight and still go largely unnoticed. Such was the case when a post appeared on Tik Tok showing the eastern retaining wall of the Temple Mount, an area bordered by a major thoroughfare.

The ancient stones of Jerusalem host a variety of plant life including the prolific Throny Caper. Batya Vagshal, a religious Israeli woman, was shocked to see that the plants had grown to form the shapes of letters. The letters seemed to be ‘written’ in ktav ashuri, the calligraphy style used in writing sacred texts. Three letters were clearly seen: י (yud), ה (heh), ו (vav). These are, of course, the first three letters in God’s ineffable four-letter name (minus the final ה (heh).

Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, ascribed the appearance of the letters to a verse in Deuteronomy:

And all the peoples of the earth shall see that Hashem‘s name is proclaimed over you, and they shall stand in fear of you. Deuteronomy 28:10

“This verse is clearly describing being able to see God’s name in Israel in the end of days,” Rabbi Berger said, explaining that this vision was also described by the Prophet Isaiah:

In the days to come, The Mount of Hashem‘s House Shall stand firm above the mountains And tower above the hills; And all the nations Shall gaze on it with joy. Isaiah 2:2

“God’s name will become visible, undeniably in front of everyone’s eyes, Jews and non-Jews,” Rabbi Berger said. “We have seen in so many ways recently that the ways of nature are no longer sufficient. Nature is now becoming a stage to reveal God’s hidden nature. These are the signs and the wonders that are just a taste of what is to come.”

“It is remarkable that this is appearing just as Israel is preparing to open its borders to tourists. God willing, by the time the tourists from the nations begin to arrive, the final heh will grow in. Very soon, all the nations will be coming to Jerusalem and will be able to see this, something they were not able to do for more than a year.”

Rabbi Berger emphasized that such signs will begin to be more common.

“It is not surprising that bushes will grow and spell out the name of God,” Rabbi Berger said. “The pandemic, all of the recent tragedies, are preparing us to be ready to see the messages that are appearing. Anybody can go outside in the morning and see the Name of God spelled out in clouds, hear it in the wind or the birds’ song. These things were always there but now they are becoming even clearer.”

“This is God’s mercy. It is impossible to see God’s name and not want to repent, to come closer to him. It is difficult to believe but even today, when we see unprecedented events, wonders and tragedies, there are those who refuse to call out to Him.”

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Early next day, Yerubaal—that is, Gidon—and all the troops with him encamped above En-harod, while the camp of Midian was in the plain to the north of him, at Gibeath-moreh. Judges 7:1 (The Israel BibleTM)

For the first time: an inscription from the time of the biblical Judges and relating to the Book of Judges has been recovered from excavations at Khirbat er-Ra‘i, near Qiryat Gat. The rare inscription bears the name ‘Jerubbaal’ in alphabetic script and dates from around 1,100 BCE. It was written in ink on a pottery vessel and found inside a storage pit that was dug into the ground and lined with stones.

The site, which is located at the Shahariya forest of the KKL-JNF, has been excavated every summer since 2015 and the current excavation season is its seventh. The excavations are being conducted on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority, and Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, under the direction of Prof. Yossef Garfinkel, Sa‘ar Ganor, Dr. Kyle Keimer and Dr. Gil Davies. The program is funded by Joseph B. Silver and the Nathan and Lily Silver Foundation, the Roth Families Sydney, Aron Levy, and the Roger and Susan Hartog Center for Archaeology at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology.

The inscription was written in ink on a jug – a small personal pottery vessel that holds approximately one liter, and may well have contained a precious liquid such as oil, perfume or medicine. Apparently, much like today, the vessel’s owner wrote his name on it to assert his ownership.

The inscription has been deciphered by epigraphic expert Christopher Rolston of George Washington University, Washington DC. It clearly shows the letters yod (broken at the top), resh, bet, ayin, lamed, and remnants of other letters indicate that the original inscription was longer.

Prof. Garfinkel and Ganor explain, “The name Jerubbaal is familiar from biblical tradition in the Book of Judges as an alternative name for the judge Gideon ben Yoash. Gideon is first mentioned as combatting idolatry by breaking the altar to Baal and cutting down the Asherah pole. In biblical tradition, he is then remembered as triumphing over the Midianites, who used to cross over the Jordan to plunder agricultural crops. According to the Bible, Gideon organized a small army of 300 soldiers and attacked the Midianites by night near Ma‘ayan Harod. In view of the geographical distance between the Shephelah and the Jezreel Valley, this inscription may refer to another Jerubbaal and not the Gideon of biblical tradition, although the possibility cannot be ruled out that the jug belonged to the judge Gideon. In any event, the name Jerubbaal was evidently in common usage at the time of the biblical Judges.”

Inscriptions from the period of the Judges are extremely rare and almost unparalleled in Israeli archaeology. Only a handful of inscriptions found in the past bear a number of unrelated letters. This is the first time that the name Jerubbaal has ever been found outside the Bible in an archaeological context – in a stratum dated to around 1,100 BCE, the period of the Judges.

“As we know, there is considerable debate as to whether biblical tradition reflects reality and whether it is faithful to historical memories from the days of the Judges and the days of David,” say the archaeologists. “The name Jerubbaal only appears in the Bible in the period of the Judges, yet now it has also been discovered in an archaeological context, in a stratum dating from this period. In a similar manner, the name Ishbaal, which is only mentioned in the Bible during the monarchy of King David, has been found in strata dated to that period at the site of Khirbat Qeiyafa. The fact that identical names are mentioned in the Bible and also found in inscriptions recovered from archaeological excavations shows that memories were preserved and passed down through the generations.”

The Jerubbaal inscription also contributes to our understanding of the spread of alphabetic script in the transition from the Canaanite period to the Israelite period. The alphabet was developed by the Canaanites under Egyptian influence in around 1,800 BCE, during the Middle Bronze Age. In the Late Bronze Age (1,550–1,150 BCE), only a few such inscriptions are known of in Israel, most from Tel Lachish near present-day Moshav Lachish. The Canaanite city of Lachish was probably the center where the tradition of writing the alphabet was maintained and preserved. Canaanite Lachish was destroyed in around 1,150 BCE and remained abandoned for
about two centuries. Until now, there was considerable uncertainty as to where the tradition of alphabetic script was preserved after the fall of Lachish.

The newly-discovered inscription shows that the script was preserved at Khirbat er-Ra‘i — roughly 4 km from Lachish and the largest site in the area at the time of the Judges — during the transition from the Canaanite to the Israelite and Judahite cultures. Additional inscriptions, from the time of the monarchy (tenth century BCE onwards), have been found in the Shephelah, including two from Khirbat Qeiyafa and others from Tel es-Safi (Tel Tzafit) and Tel Bet Shemesh.

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Biden Admin Walks Back U.S. Recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli Territory

State Department pushes back on signature Trump admin foreign policy decision

The Biden administration is walking back the United States’ historic recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the contested Golan Heights region along Israel’s northern border, a significant blow to the Jewish state and one of the Trump administration’s signature foreign policy decisions.

The Trump administration declared the territory—seized by Israel from Syria in 1967 and later annexed by the country—to be wholly part of the Jewish state in 2019. Then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo took a trip to the area in 2020 and reaffirmed that America formally abandoned a decades-long policy of considering the area occupied.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken first raised questions about the Biden administration’s view on the matter in February, when he would not say if his State Department continues to abide by the former administration’s decision. At the time, Blinken would only say the Golan Heights “remains of real importance to Israel’s security,” but that its formal status remains unclear. Pressed on the issue by the Washington Free Beacon, a State Department official said the territory belongs to no one and control could change depending on the region’s ever-shifting dynamics.

The shift in policy is already causing outrage among Republican lawmakers who backed the Trump administration’s decision and hoped to see it continue. It is also likely to rankle Israeli leaders of all political stripes, the plurality of whom say the Golan Heights is absolutely vital to Israel’s security in light of persistent threats from the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon and other militant forces stationed in war-torn Syria.

“The secretary was clear that, as a practical matter, the Golan is very important to Israel’s security,” a State Department official told the Free Beacon. “As long as [Bashar al-Assad] is in power in Syria, as long as Iran is present in Syria, militia groups backed by Iran, the Assad regime itself—all of these pose a significant security threat to Israel, and as a practical matter, the control of the Golan remains of real importance to Israel’s security.”

Recognizing Israel’s control as a “practical matter,” however, falls far short of the formal policy change ordered by the Trump administration, which became the first government to recognize Israel’s complete control over the territory. As it stands now, U.S. policy on the matter is unclear, at best.

Pompeo, who was central to formulating and advancing the Trump administration’s decision on the Golan Heights, told the Free Beacon that the current administration is jeopardizing Israel’s security at a time when Iran-backed militants continue to plot attacks on the country’s northern cities.

“The Golan Heights are not occupied by Israel, they are a part of it. The Israelis have a right to it as sovereign land,” Pompeo told the Free Beacon. “To suggest that these lands should be returned to Syria, even if conditioned on changes in the Syrian regime, is inconsistent with both Israeli security and the international law.”

The State Department’s “suggestion that if Assad falls and the Iranians leave Syria, the Golan Heights should be given to Syria misreads history and misreads the eternal security needs of the state of Israel,” Pompeo said.

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.), who introduced a bill earlier this year to lock in the U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, told the Free Beacon that it is now incumbent on GOP leaders in Congress to stop the Biden administration from reversing the recognition.

“These comments [from the State Department] should serve as a call to action,” Gallagher said. “It’s time to pass legislation I’ve introduced with Senator [Ted] Cruz [(R., Texas)] that ensures that the U.S. will continue to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, regardless of who is in the White House.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R., N.Y.), who pressed United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the Golan issue during a congressional hearing on June 16, said the Biden administration is being intentionally vague about its policy, generating pressing questions on the international stage.

“I pressed UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing about the administration’s position on recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and she acknowledged that the Trump administration policy recognizing Israeli sovereignty is unchanged as of now,” Zeldin said after reviewing the State Department’s most recent comments on the matter. “However, Secretary Blinken and the Biden Administration need to stop beating around the bush, and unambiguously commit to maintain recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights permanently.”

Former U.S. diplomats who worked on the Golan Heights issue also expressed concern over the Biden administration’s comments to the Free Beacon. David Milstein, former special assistant to the U.S. ambassador to Israel under Trump, said walking back U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the area signals “an unconscionable betrayal of our close ally Israel.”

“Our allies depend upon the United States keeping its commitments,” Milstein told the Free Beacon. “But now Secretary Blinken has re-injected the dangerous and delusional idea the U.S. could support pressuring Israel to give up the Golan Heights in the future.”

“In one of the most dangerous regions that can go from bad to worse in an instant, the Golan Heights is crucial for Israel’s security, providing a strategically necessary defensible border to help Israel counter threats to its north,” Milstein said. “This is why there is clear support across Israel’s political spectrum for Israel forever maintaining sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

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BY JNS | JUN 24, 2021 | IDF

When you take the field against your enemies, and see horses and chariots—forces larger than yours—have no fear of them, for Hashem your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt, is with you. Deuteronomy 20:1 (The Israel BibleTM)

The target of an attack in Karaj city reported by Iranian media on Wednesday was a factory producing aluminum blades for uranium enrichment centrifuges, according to Israel’s Channel 13.

Contrary to the Iranian reports, which said that the “sabotage attempt” near Tehran had been thwarted and resulted in no casualties or damage, Channel 13 claimed that the factory did suffer damage, setting back Iran’s nuclear program.

The facility, known as the Iran Centrifuge Technology Company, or TESA, is one of the main manufacturing centers for the centrifuges used at the nuclear facilities in Fordow and Natanz, according to The New York Times, which cited an anonymous senior intelligence official. According to the Times, the attack was carried out by means of a small quadcopter drone apparently launched from a location not far from the site.

The report further claimed that the TESA site was on a list of targets presented to then-U.S. President Donald Trump in 2020 by Israel, along with the Natanz enrichment facility itself and chief Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Israel pressures parents to vaccinate kids

The Natanz site suffered a massive explosion in July of that year, and Fakhrizadeh was killed on the outskirts of Tehran three months later. Iran has accused Israel of responsibility for both incidents. Another explosion tore through the Natanz nuclear facility on April 11, setting Iran’s nuclear program by some two months.

Iran has not yet accused any party of responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, saying only that the incident remains under investigation. Iran’s aviation agency announced on Wednesday that a new law will require all civilian drones to be registered with the government within six months, the Times reported.

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I will curse those who curse you Genesis 12:3 (The Israel BibleTM)

US President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign promise to reopen the US consulate in East Jerusalem that was closed down during the former US President Donald Trump era. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett opposes the move reports Channel 12 correspondent Amit Segal. The East Jerusalem consulate, which was initially established to serve the ‘Palestinian’ population exclusively, would erase Trump’s historic accomplishment of recognizing a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

A consulate in East Jerusalem would relations between Washington and Jerusalem eight years back to the Obama era when Washington recognized Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem, as Israel’s capital.

After Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Biden now needs Israel’s consent to reopen the consulate. But according to the report, Bennett also would rather avoid embarrassing Biden. The issue is currently under discussion between the two parties.

Upon hearing about the development, chairman of the Religious Zionist party, Bezalel Smotrich wrote on Twitter: “As part of Biden’s efforts to erase Trump’s accomplishments, Biden is moving forward with a plan to reopen the American consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem and therefore, nullifying the recognition of a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Smotrich believes that Bennett will agree to Biden’s aims adding: “As of now, the leftist government of Bennett-Lapid-Abbas is going with the flow and is dividing Jerusalem.”

Clear signs of a shift in US attitudes toward the status of Jerusalem were reported on Tuesday by Israel365 News when a dual citizen who was born in the Judean town of Efrat had their place of birth on their passport changed to ‘West Bank’ upon renewing their passport.

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The land shall yield its fruit and you shall eat your fill, and you shall live upon it in security. Leviticus 25:19 (The Israel BibleTM)

As the sabbatical year approaches, many experts warn that the earth’s bounty will not suffice to feed the world. But prophetic messages and rabbinic wisdom putting the looming crisis in a redemptive framework paint a different picture. 


Last year, many experts were predicting severe global food shortages. In November 2020, the United Nations  World Food Programme (WFP) reported that 690 million people were undernourished and 130 million additional people risked being pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of the year. But these dire predictions were exacerbated even further by the pandemic. 

“Ironically, there will be record yields for many grains this year, but the disruptions in the supply chain caused by the pandemic as well as the global climate crisis and increasing conflict in several countries is leading to a hunger pandemic as well,” Danielle Nierenberg, President and Founder of Food Tank, told IPS. Abby Maxman, Oxfam America’s President & CEO, gave a similar message in an interview with IPS .

“We’re hearing the same refrain all around the world,” Maxman said. “Families are very worried as they are forced to make impossible decisions – do they risk catching the disease as they go out to earn money to buy food? Or stay home and watch their children go hungry?”

One of the challenges facing the global food market is the closing of borders due to the pandemic. Other shortages threaten the intricate web of food delivery. CNN recently reported that up to 25% of oil trucks are not moving because of a lack of qualified drivers which has translated into shortages of fuel at some gas stations. Modern agriculture is gasoline intensive, relying on heavy machinery.

Most calculations predict a global food crisis by the year  2050 when the world’s population is expected to reach 9.1 billion. At that point, in order to meet global demand, the world will need to produce 70% more food than today to feed all those people.

These dire predictions were put in an even dimmer light by Gro Intelligence founder and chief executive Sara Menker who noted that previous calculations, such as the ones put out by the UN, focused on mass and weight and not nutritional value. According to her nutritional value-based calculations,next year, the year 2023, will be the crossover point when we will no longer be able to produce enough food to feed a growing population. She has estimated that by 2027, there could be a 214 trillion calorie deficit. At that point, China, India, and Africa will make up more than half of the global population and will need to import food. But according to her calculations, even if all the surplus produce from countries in Europe, North and South America was solely exported to those three hotspots, it would not suffice. 


Menker’s prediction of an imminent global food crisis mirrors a prophetic vision credited to Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, a renowned 18th-century Jewish scholar and leader known as the “Alter Rebbe”. While reading from the Torah scroll,  the Alter Rebbe had a vision that the Messiah would come after the year 5775, six years ago. His vision was based on the Jewish tradition that the world was given a general amount of sustenance to last 4,000 years from creation. When that sustenance ended, the Messiah would come. It is taught in the Talmud, the book of Jewish oral law, that the Messiah can come anytime between the year 4000 and the year 6000, according to the Hebrew calendar. His vision came while reading the section of the Torah dealing with the half-shekel taken from every Jewish male, each year. The half-shekels from the 600,000 Jews in the desert (Numbers 1:46) equaled one hundred talents of silver, with each talent composed of 3,000 full shekels of silver. But the Bible lists an additional 3,550 half-shekels (1,775 full shekels), from which Moses made the silver hooks at the top of the pillars used to set up the screen surrounding the Tabernacle in the desert. The Alter Rebbe explained that those 1,775 shekels of silver given to the tabernacle gave the world another 1,775 years of sustenance.

This sustenance, as pointed out by the scientific experts, is quickly running out.


Just such an impending agricultural crisis was predicted by Rabbi Yekutiel Fish in March based on a Midrash which states that in the Hebrew month of Nisan in the year before the Shemittah (the sabbatical), a great snowstorm will cause widespread global famine in order to raise in the collective consciousness that the Messiah is indeed imminent. Such a snowstorm did indeed appear in Israel as well as a massive and devastating polar vortex that crippled the middle of the US.

Next year is, in fact, a Shemittah (Sabbatical) year, beginning on Rosh Hashanah 5782 which will fall on September 6, 2021. The Shemitah comes every seven years, making it a form of Sabbath that occurs on a yearly, rather than a weekly, cycle. The Sabbath is generally characterized by a cessation that signifies accepting God’s greater authority in the world. Practically during the weekly Sabbath, this means a cessation of labor, showing that despite spending six days working for the material, we stop on the seventh day to show that God is the true master. The same is true for the Shemitah year. We work the land for six years, and on the seventh, we leave the land fallow and the fields are left open for anyone to come and take of the fruit.  The Shemmitah has a special significance relating to the Messiah.  There is a possibility, perhaps even a probability, the Messiah will come the year after the Shemitah.

The Babylonian Talmud in the Tractate of Sanhedrin, 97a, brings the verse from Amos 9:11:

“On that day, will I raise up the fallen booth (Sukkah) of David.”

This verse comes in the context of a prophecy about God bringing the nation of Israel back from exile among the nations. Amidst descriptions of the days preceding the Messiah, the Talmud says:

“As it is written, in that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen. Our Rabbis taught: in the seven-year cycle at the end of which the son of David will come-in the first year, this verse will be fulfilled.”

The Talmud is saying explicitly that the Messiah will come in the first year after the Shemitah.  It should be noted that the Talmud describes the days before the Messiah in-depth, and they are especially difficult times.


Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s tomb on Mount Zion, cited a verse in Leviticus as promising a bountiful harvest in the year preceding the shemittah that will suffice until the year after the shemittah. 

I will ordain My blessing for you in the sixth year, so that it shall yield a crop sufficient for three years.Leviticus 25:21

“Observing the shemittah is an expression of faith that God will keep his promise,” Rabbi Berger said. “God has kept all of his promises, as witnessed by the Jews’ return to Israel. He will, of course, keep this promise as well.” “But the shemittah is only inside Israel. The world expresses their faith in God’s promises through how they treat Israel,” Rabbi Berger said. “That is being tested now, more than ever.”

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Israel: The eye of the hurricane

Exclusive: Greg Laurie notes Jerusalem ‘occupies center stage in God’s drama of the ages’

By Greg Laurie
Published May 21, 2021 at 7:09pm

The little sliver of land known as Israel is practically in the headlines every day – and even more so in recent weeks as the nation has been under attack. Hamas, an Iran-backed terrorist organization, fired thousands of rockets into Israel, hitting population centers.

If it weren’t for the Iron Dome defense system stopping 90% of those rockets, the damage would have been far worse. Let’s pray that the cease-fire agreement holds.

What is it about Israel, and specifically Jerusalem, that draws the focus and attention of the entire world?

The answer is quite simple. Israel is the eye of the hurricane of the great event of the end times. God predicted this long ago. Israel occupies center stage in God’s drama of the ages, and we see that playing out before our very eyes.

God gave Abraham a special promise: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). One of the reasons that God has blessed the United States of America is because of our support of the nation Israel. It’s also why it’s a big mistake to move away from that.

Take a look at history, and you’ll see that it turns out badly for any nation that raises its hand against Israel or the Jewish people. Nations such as Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Rome, and, in more modern times, Spain and Germany, have turned against Israel and paid a price.

Ironically, the very name Jerusalem means “city of peace,” yet more wars have been fought at her gates than any other city on Earth. In fact, God predicted that Jerusalem would be the hot spot of the globe.

Jerusalem became the capital of Israel under King David and was actually known as the City of David. It was in Jerusalem that the first and second temples were built. Also, it was in Jerusalem at Mount Moriah, which is the area we know today as the Temple Mount, that Abraham was willing to offer his son Isaac to God.

After the modern state of Israel was declared in 1948, a war of independence left Jerusalem divided, with Jordan maintaining control over the Old City, including the Temple Mount and most of the historic sites.

But during the Six-Day War in 1967 (when Israel was attacked), they were able to regain control of the entire city. And for the first time in many centuries, Jerusalem was under the control of the Jewish people again. And the prophetic clock was ticking.

The Bible tells us that the final conflict of humanity will not be fought over Paris or Rome or Los Angeles or New York City. It will be Jerusalem. That’s why the Bible tells us to pay attention to Jerusalem.

Jesus said, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near” (Luke 21:20 NKJV).

Speaking through the prophet Zechariah, God said, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples” (Zechariah 12:2–3 NKJV).

Today we have leaders like the president of Iran who frequently speak of wiping Israel off the map. You might dismiss this as ridiculous, but they are developing nuclear weapons in Iran right now. Therefore, Israel is in a very difficult situation, and they take these threats seriously.

The Bible speaks of a large force, known as Magog, from the extreme north of Israel attacking her. And it’s very clear in pointing out this will happen in the last days (see Ezekiel 38).

From the Scriptures we know that Magog was the second son of Japheth. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Magog settled north of the Black Sea. Then there were Tubal and Meshech, the fifth and six sons of Japheth, whose descendents settled south of the Black Sea. These people came together and were known as Magog. And in Ezekiel 39, verse 2, God says they are to the north of Israel.

Any map today would show you that Russia sits to the extreme north of Israel. So is Russia Magog? No one can say with certainty. But there are some interesting things developing that cause us to wonder.

The Bible also mentions allies that will march with Magog against Israel.

Until very recently, there was no real alliance to speak of between Russia and Iran. However, Russia recently signed a billion-dollar deal to sell missiles and other weapons to Iran. And there are a thousand Iranian nuclear scientists who have been trained in Russia by Russian scientists.

So while no one can say with absolute certainty that Magog is Russia, this much we know: a force known as Magog from the north of Israel will attack her. And when they attack, God will step in and save Israel. Five-sixths of this invading force will be turned back, and then the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon Israel, and a great revival will sweep the nation.

But this cannot happen until something else happens first. God has been working in this era theologians call the Church Age, waiting to bring those last few believers in before he pours out his Spirit upon Israel.

The apostle Paul spoke of this, writing, “I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters. … Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ” (Romans 11:25 NLT).

Once that last person comes to Christ, God will catch all Christians up into Heaven in the Rapture. Then He will pour out His Spirit upon Israel – but not before.

In the meantime, we need to be alert. We need to wake up to the fact that Jesus Christ is returning and that time is short. And we need to be praying for the peace of Jerusalem.

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When all the nations of the earth gather against her. In that day, I will make Yerushalayim a stone for all the peoples to lift; all who lift it shall injure themselves Zechariah 12:3 (The Israel BibleTM)

After a cabinet meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara late Monday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a media conference in which he called on the UN, UN Security Council, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and other international organizations to take action focusing on wrestling Jerusalem away from Israel.


“At this point, we believe there’s a need for a separate arrangement on Jerusalem. To achieve lasting peace and tranquility in Jerusalem, which contains the indispensable religious symbols of Muslims, Jews, and Christians, everyone must make sacrifices,” Erdogan said.

“In today’s circumstances, it would be the most correct and consistent course of action for Jerusalem to be administered by a commission of representatives from the three faiths. Otherwise, it doesn’t appear it will be easily possible to achieve lasting peace in this ancient city,” he added.

Erdogan has frequently made disturbing claims on Jerusalem as a Turkish birthright, perhaps based in the area once being part of the Ottoman Empire  from 1516 to 1917.

“In this city that we had to leave in tears during the First World War, it is still possible to come across traces of the Ottoman resistance. So Jerusalem is our city, a city from us,” he said in a major policy speech in 2020. “Our first qibla [direction of prayer in Islam] al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem are the symbolic mosques of our faith.” In his speech on Monday, Erdogan referred to Israel as a “terror state.”

“This terror state, that has encroached on the privacy of Jerusalem on the one hand, while ruthlessly bombarding civilians in Gaza and leveling a colossal building housing media groups on the other, is Israel,” said Erdogan.

“But, you [Israel] are using disproportionate force, and you are dropping bombs on Gaza with your warplanes. Does Gaza have warplanes? No. Yours are countless, with which you strike.”

“The declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by the US and other countries following it towards the end of 2017 has increased the appetite of this murderous state to spill blood,” Erdogan said.

“Those who have no interest in the deaths of Palestinian children by bombs are terrified that Israeli children are frightened by the sound of missiles. Look at this! One should remain silent when children are put to sleep, not being killed,” he said. Erdogan also criticized President Joe Biden for signing an arms deal with Israel.

“Today, we saw Biden’s signature for the arms [sale] to Israel. And, we found that this was an approval to sell 850,000 very very important weapons. When it comes to talking, they speak of disarmament,” he said.

“Mr. Biden, you sided with the Armenians on the so-called Armenian genocide. Now, unfortunately, you are writing history with your bloody hands in these events of seriously disproportionate attacks on Gaza that have caused the martyrdom of hundreds of thousands of people,” Erdogan added.

He also condemned Austria for flying an Israeli flag from its Chancellery building.

“Flying a flag of a terrorist state from an official building amounts to living under the projection of terrorism. The Austrian state seems to be trying to make Muslims pay for genocide to which it subjected Jews,” he said.

Erdogan has a central position in the OIC, an organization with 57 members. The OIC held an emergency meeting on Sunday due to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, calling for international intervention. “These efforts should also include physical protection through forming an international protection force with military and financial contributions of willing countries,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during the virtual meeting, emphasizing that his country is willing to lead the effort.

This announcement led to a wave of posts on social media depicting armed Turkish troops moving towards Gaza.

These images were quickly debunked as being old and not depicting any real events.

It is interesting to note that İbrahim Kalin, Erdogan’s chief adviser, was also critical of Israel:

“Israel targeted the international press, adding a new one to human rights violations and war crimes in the Palestinian territories,” Kalin tweeted. We condemn Israeli cruelty, which knows no values ​​and borders. Our struggle with this malignant power will continue until the occupation is over and all Palestine is liberated.”

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