Ezekiel’s Vision of Israel’s Restoration Part 3 -- By: Merrill F. Unger

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 107:425 (Jan 1950)
Article: Ezekiel’s Vision of Israel’s Restoration Part 3
Author: Merrill F. Unger


Ezekiel’s Vision of Israel’s Restoration
Part 3

Merrill F. Unger

(Concluded from the October-December Number, 1949)

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 17–28, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–12 respectively.}

III. The Scope of the Restoration of Israel

Of this it may be said (a) it embraces the whole house of Israel. This bit of information that “these bones are the whole house of Israel” (v. 11) is the most important single statement given in the divine interpretation, and furnishes the key to the exposition of the whole passage. “The whole house of Israel,” of course, means all the twelve tribes, which are to be gathered back to their own land, and redistributed upon it in accordance with Ezekiel’s outline of the settlement in chapter 48. The term includes only Israelites living at the end of this age at the time of the nation’s rehabilitation, and does not include all or any Israelites who have physically died. That the godly of Old Testament Israel will be raised sometime before the Davidic Kingdom is set up is certain, for “many shall come from the east and from the west and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 8:11, Luke 13:28, 29); but it is a false invention to teach that all Israel, who have died physically, are to be raised before the kingdom age. If the Old Testament saints are not raised at the out-taking of the Church, as it seems certain they are not, they would assuredly not be resurrected until the decimating and destructive judgments of the great tribulation were over. The logical time for their resurrection would be at the second advent of Christ in glory, perhaps with the tribulation saints, who will have a resurrection at that time (Rev 20:4).

That “the whole house of Israel” will include the twelve

tribes is evident. But a problem arises whether the national restoration of Israel will include every individual Israelite living in the end time, or just the preponderating majority, some perhaps remaining in national death among the nations and failing to return in the great end-time exodus to Palestine. Concerning this it may be remarked that, if it is correct to take Daniel 12:2 to refer to Israel’s national revival, then the “many of them” (Daniel’s pe...

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