Israelology – What is it?
Israelology is a field of theological research focused on the study of Israel from a biblical perspective. The term Israelology has been popularized by Arnold Fruchtenbaum. His book, Israelology: The Link in Systematic Theology, has served as an important work among many prophecy scholars who hold to a pretribulational view of the rapture and a literal view of a future Israel.
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Regardless of one's view regarding the end times, a study of Israel is important for all believers. For example, God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 of a people, land, and nation serve as the foundation for much of what takes place in the Bible. His people, the Israelites, would eventually come from Egypt to the Promised Land and form a nation called Israel. Israel's ancient capital city of Jerusalem was the throne of King David and King Solomon when they reigned in power over the nation. After the kingdom was divided following Solomon's death, Judah remained faithful longer than the rest of Israel, yet all of Israel eventually turned against the Lord. God's predictions to remove them from the land for 70 years came true, as well as a return to the land of Israel under the leadership of Nehemiah and Ezra.
Jesus was later born in Bethlehem in Israel, dedicated at the temple in Israel, and like the nation, came from Egypt to live in the land of Israel. He taught throughout the land and healed many, eventually being put to death by His enemies. He resurrected and ascended, promising to come again to Israel to reign.
Unfulfilled biblical prophecy also gives Israel a prominent role. Revelation 11 speaks of two witnesses who will preach for three and a half years before being put to death and resurrecting three days later, ascending to heaven. A great earthquake will take place in Jerusalem. At the end of the tribulation, Jesus defeats His enemies at Armageddon (in Israel) and then reigns upon David's throne for 1,000 years. Even the new heavens and new earth include a new heavenly city called Jerusalem (the same as Israel's ancient capital).
In addition to biblical information regarding Israelology, a study of Israel's history is important in order to learn from the past. The anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany led to devastating consequences for the Jewish people. Still today anti-Semitism is high in many parts of the world that shows the need for greater understanding and appreciation of the role this nation and people have played throughout history.
Though often neglected, the study of Israel provides important lessons from biblical history, offers insightful information for today, and notes many future prophecies worthy of our attention. As in all areas of Scripture, we are called to study to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15), knowing that God's Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12).
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