27 July 2014

The Third Messianic War

29 Tamuz 5774
Erev Rosh Chodesh Av

There is an amazing prophecy in the Book of Yeshayahu that comprises only one pasuk, but which may very well describe what I call a "messianic war." To my mind, a "messianic war" is defined as one which brings us closer to the fulfillment of our destiny and includes the restoration of Jewish sovereignty over significant parts of our land.

For instance, the War for Independence in 1948 was the first so-called Messianic War. It brought us sovereignty over the Land of Israel once again after almost two thousands years of exile.  The Six Days War of 1967 was the second Messianic War. It restored Jewish sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and, more particularly - Jerusalem.

Are you beginning to see a pattern here? It's called "levels of kedushah." Everyone knows that the Land of Israel has more kedushah than other lands and that Jerusalem is another step up in kedushah from the Land of Israel as a whole. So, what is the next step up after that? You got it! The Temple Mount! 

It should be clear to all by now that despite the words of the revered General Mordechai Gur, a"h - "Har Habayit beyadeinu!" - it's really not. On 25 July, an Arab flag was hoisted over it and the Israeli police station there was set afire.

Therefore, the Third Messianic War should give us complete sovereignty over the Temple Mount and result in the eventual construction of the Third Temple. So, is this Third Messianic War really described by the Prophet Yeshayahu? It begins in chapter 11 and identifies the time period as being when "He will gather in the dispersed ones of Judah from the four corners of the earth." Unlike in Yeshayahu's own time, when we were divided into two kingdoms - Israel and Judah - we will be united as one people upon the land...
They will fly in unison against the Philistine (Palestinians) to the West (Gaza), and together they will plunder the people of the East ('Palestinian Territories'); their hand will extend over Edom and Moab, and their discipline over the Children of Ammon (Jordan).  (Yeshayahu 11:14)*
If I have understood correctly, The Third Messianic War will begin with the re-conquest of Gaza and will ultimately end with our occupation of Jordan. We can easily imagine how this could happen even today as some unexpected occurrence in the current conflict in Gaza expands to rioting in the 'West Bank' and moves on to Jordan where a reported 75-80% of the population identifies as "Palestinian." That country becomes destabilized and the kingdom falls and to prevent the take-over by ISIS, who is waiting in the wings, Israel must rush to fill the vacuum. 

With the Jordanian WAKF out of the picture, we will have complete sovereignty over the Temple Mount restored and we will yet again be in possession of more land area, as happened in 1967.  This will also fulfill a promise made by the Prophet Yirmiyahu...
And I will return Israel to its abode, and he will graze in the Carmel and in the Bashan; and in Mount Ephraim and in the Gilead his soul will be satiated. (Yirmiyahu 50:19)
Carmel and Mount Ephraim are on the west bank of the Jordan River. Bashan and Gilead are on the east bank of the Jordan River. See also...
...days are coming - the word of Hashem - when I will make the alarm of war heard in Rabbah [capital] of the Children of Ammon; it will become a heap of ruins and its surrounding towns will be burned down in fire; then Israel will inherit its inheritors, said Hashem. (Yirmiyahu 49:2)
Click to enlarge
With all this in mind, can it be at all coincidental that this week's parshah also alludes to this?
See! I have given the Land before you; come and possess the Land that Hashem swore to your forefathers, to Avraham, to Yitzchak and to Yaaqov, to give them and to their children after them. (Devarim 1:8)
On this and the surrounding pasukim, the commentary says the following...
After almost a year at Mount Sinai, God gave the order to begin the journey to the Land. Among the regions listed are the lands of Ammon, Moav and Seir (Edom), ...but none of them are within the boundaries delineated in Bamidbar 34:1-12. These regions were among those promised to Avraham...and they would have been part of Eretz Yisrael if the Jews had gone directly to the Land at this point, as God commanded them. Because they sinned in the affair of the spies, however, these parts of the oath to Avraham were withheld from them. These additional lands will become part of Eretz Yisrael only with the coming of Mashiach. (The Stone Edition Chumash)
May we see it speedily and soon! And we should all bear in mind the final admonition of this week's parshah - Parshat Devarim...

You shall not fear them, for Hashem, your God - 
He shall wage war for you!
* In prophecy, directions are determined from Jerusalem.