Israel and Palestinians: in my previous post I began to explain why Christians in Britain and America (some of them highly influential on foreign policy in both places) came to support the re-establishment of the state of Israel in the early 19th century.  I pick up the discussion there, with another excerpt from my book Armageddon: What the Bible Really Says About the End (Simon & Schuster, 2023).  This one too veers into a direction I imagine you won’t expect.


For years evangelical Christians had been convinced that Scripture predicted Jews were to return to the Holy Land to reestablish themselves there as a sovereign state.  After all, the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah had reported God’s words to his people Judah: “I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you … and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you to exile” (Jeremiah 29:14).  If the end was near, as indicated by the events in France, then the eschatological restoration of Israel must be at hand.  Between 1796 and 1800 this view was advanced in fifty some books published in Britain. Many evangelicals were thrilled when Napoleon’s army invaded Palestine in 1799, declaring that Jews were “the rightful heirs” of the land.  As one commentator put it in 1812, “We know that the latter times approach, and that the Jews must and will be restored; these things greatly animate us in exertion and enliven our hearts in labor.”[1]

It was at just this time

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