The Significance of Israel’s 70th

By Martin Sarvis
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Posted in UncategorizedZealous Magazine on April 29, 2018

Shalom! We have moved into a very special year in the Land. This spring Israel will celebrate her 70th anniversary! There is a sense here that because it IS the 70th, there is something incredibly important about the entire year. This anticipation is being felt across the globe: Israel is expecting more international tourists in 2018 than ever before. Already, many hotels are finding themselves overbooked throughout the year!

On May 14, 1948, a miracle occurred. The Hebrew people, who had for centuries been scattered throughout the world, were now, as foretold by their prophets, gathered back into their ancient land of promise. In their restored Hebrew language, David Ben Gurion read aloud the Declaration of the Establishment of the State (Declaration of Independence) that afternoon in a Tel Aviv hall, which included these words: “[We do] HEREBY DECLARE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE OF ISRAEL.” That evening at midnight, after over 2500 years, a nation under the sovereignty of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob once more came into being!

In 1948, May 14 fell on the 4th day of the 2nd month in the Hebrew calendar, the month of Iyar. Since then, “Independence Day,” as with other holidays and festivals in Israel, has always been celebrated according to the Hebrew Calendar rather than the Gregorian. While there may be other 70th commemorations on May 14, the 4th of Iyar falls on April 19, which is when the primary celebrations will take place.

Why is this 70th year so important? Why do so many people sense there to be something very significant about the number “70″? We certainly cannot explain all the reasons. But we would point out that the numbers “7” and “70” turn up at very significant times in the Hebrew Bible. Often the number “7” in Scripture appears to signify “completion” or “fulfillment.” And 70? It is recorded in the Book of Genesis (46:27) that the number of sons of the house of Jacob (Israel) who came down to Egypt in the days of Joseph was 70 (and 400 years later, they would depart a mighty nation). In the early days after the Exodus, God met with “70 elders of the people” (Exodus 24:9).

Is “70” a number related to beginnings and leadership which will expand? In Daniel 9:24, there is a mysterious prophecy of “70 weeks” for the Hebrew people and Jerusalem, which is related to “finishing transgression, making an end of sin, making atonement and bringing in righteousness.” In 605 BC, Daniel was among the captives of the southern kingdom of Judah when they were exiled to Babylon. They were released from captivity 70 years later and allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their Temple.

Might the completion of this first 70 years of modern Israel signal a time for release, of a new freedom in the area of worship? The last paragraph of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, signed 70 years ago this year, begins this way, “Placing our trust in the Rock of Israel, we affix our signatures to this proclamation…” This concept of Israel trusting in God as her Rock is very ancient. In the Book of Deuteronomy (Chapter 32), she was given a song in which over six times God is referred to as her “Rock”—her source of strength, anointing, salvation, and protection. In many of the Psalms (18:2, 31, 46; 19:14) King David declares the LORD to be his Rock—his Deliverer, and Redeemer. As Israel wandered in the desert before entering Canaan, the LORD provided water for His people out of a rock (Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:8). In the New Covenant Scriptures, Rav Sha’ul (Paul), a first century Messianic Jewish teacher, reveals that the Children of Israel had actually been strengthened during their wanderings in the desert by a spiritual rock which followed them—and that rock was their Messiah! (I Corinthians 10:4).

This brings me to a wonderful thing which has happened during these first 70 years of our nation. Many, many Jews in Israel are awakening to the identity of their Messiah. Today there are tens of thousands of Messianic Jews living in Israel. (A Messianic Jew is one who has come to believe that Yeshua/Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and Savior). Moving in the authority of their Messiah, believing Jews are rising into areas of influence within Israeli society—government, military, education, the arts. In the schools, believing Israeli children are learning to pray for each other, and to share their faith with their schoolmates.

One thing more about “70”! In Hebrew there is a numbering system made up of Hebrew letters. The letter signifying “70” is ayin. Besides the number 70, ayin is also the Hebrew word for “eye.” As we move through this “ayin” year, may the “eyes” of many Israelis be opened to recognize and trust in their Messiah, Yeshua—the true Rock of Israel, mentioned in their Declaration of Independence 70 years ago this year!

Martin Sarvis and wife Norma have lived in Israel almost 20 years. Along with writing and speaking engagements abroad, they help lead the Sukkot Hallel prayer house in Jerusalem. Their weekly Torah Portion and Israel Prayer Update contributions can be found on the MJBI website.

*Article reprinted by permission of the Polish magazine Nasze Inspiracje