Parts of a blogpost I shared two years ago…
Jeremiah 30 predicts a time of “Jacob’s Trouble”. Like all Israel’s prophets, Jeremiah prophesied not only for his own time but for the first and second coming of Christ. Jesus made it clear concerning this time of Jacob’s Trouble that it would be a period of tribulation so terrible, nothing as traumatic had happened previously nor nothing so traumatically should take place again after it. Hence the events of the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and the events of AD 70 can only be mere shadows of something still to transpire for the simple reason that events worse than 586 B.C. and AD 70 have since that time happened both to Israel and the Jews and to the Christian church. Thus the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 24:21 solidly indicates that this is an event still to come: “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will”.
What is more, the proportion of the Jewish population to be destroyed is two-thirds according to the prophet Zechariah. Indeed, two-thirds of European Jewry and one-third of global Jewry were killed in the Holocaust of the 1930s and 40s. But according to Zechariah the coming holocaust will be double those casualty figures and will not take place in Europe but in Israel and in Jerusalem.
These events will be accompanied by a seismic split in the Mount of Olives and climaxed with the literal return of Christ. Again, for these things to take place, the Jews must experience a literal restoration to the land of Israel and to Jerusalem. The prophecies of Jeremiah 31:8 indicate that the Jews must return to Israel from the remotest parts of the earth. The modern state of Israel consists of Jews arriving as both refugees and immigrants from over one hundred nations. This never transpired in the ancient world, but as certainly as predicted in Scripture has taken place in the modern world.
The return of the Jews from the Babylonian Captivity, much like the return of the Jews from Egypt in the Exodus, prefigure this eschatological regathering for the great Tribulation described as the period of Jacob’s Trouble and will be the penultimate fulfillment of the prophet Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37. In the character of the return from Babylon to await the first coming of the Messiah, Ezekiel speaks of a national rebirth of Israel when the Jews would be resurrected from near slaughter, arising as a nation and a people and coming back to their land. — Jacob Prasch, The Daniel Factor
For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it (Jeremiah 30:5-7 KJV).
This speaks of the Great Tribulation and the Battle of Armageddon. “All faces are turned into paleness” refers to Israel’s shock when she realizes that she had been played for a fool—the Antichrist is really not the Messiah but an imposter! Israel has been deceived—and there seems to be no way out of what looks like certain annihilation.
The glory of Israel’s restoration will be preceded by the horror of “the time of Jacob’s Trouble.” Jesus addressed this when He said it would be the worst that has ever been—so bad that it would never happen again.
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved (Matt 24:21-22 ESV).
For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished. 12 For thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. 13 There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines (Jeremiah 50:11-13 KJV).
Nations and empires to which the Jewish people had been scattered—like Babylon, Medo-Persia, the Grecian Empire, and the Roman Empire—despite their temporary might and power are no more. But Israel miraculously remains. Her “bruise” is “uncurable,” however, and cannot be cured by the world. Only Jesus can cure this grievous wound she bears.
On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness (Zech 13:1 ESV).
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until his is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the LORD Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming (II Thess 1:3-8 ESV).
Let Zion and her sons rejoice; behold the promised hour; her God hath heard her mourning voice, and comes t’ exalt his power. Her dust and ruins that remain, are precious in his eyes; these ruins shall be built again, and all that dust shall rise.
The LORD will raise Jerusalem, and stand in glory there; all nations bow before His Name, and kings attend with fear. He sits, a sovereign, on His Throne, with pity in His Eyes; he hears the dying prisoners’ groan, and sees their sighs arise. He frees the soul condemned to death; now, when His saints complain, shall it be said that praying breath was ever spent in vain. – Isaac Watts