Scripture, especially prophecy, in light of history can be both interesting and daunting at the same time. Many people spend hours and hours attempting to link every historical item into the Biblical narrative. I call this method the Spend Hours Eagerly Linking Finds (S.H.E.L.F.) method. Others, like myself, who have finally tired of wracking our little minds and sweating bullets over this process, now subscribe to the K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, scholar!) method and have placed our former method on the shelf, as it were. (I now have a modicum of free time to enjoy life after switching methods!)
And it doesn’t get much simpler than viewing the Biblical narrative much like a baseball game, in which there are only two teams – The Jews and the Gentiles. The first two innings were played within the Jewish family, but the third inning saw a new team begin to play – the Gentiles. And since summer is here and it is time for baseball, let’s take a quick look at the Biblical baseball game and see what has transpired in each inning.
• Inning 1
Abraham’s children, Isaac and Ishmael, are the captains of the two teams at bat. Yahweh determines that His chosen team will be Isaac and his descendants.
• Inning 2
Jacob and Esau step up to bat. Jacob, of course, is Isaac’s son, and Yahweh continues to choose Isaac’s descendants as His team.
• Inning 3
Egypt is the first Gentile team to take the field. The inning is a long one, and Egypt appears to be winning. Abraham’s descendants are in slavery and bondage. But Yahweh has other plans. After all, Isaac’s and Jacob’s descendants, now known as the Jews, are His chosen team. Yahweh saves the day, and the Jews head for the Promised Land.
• Inning 4
The Jews are finally in the Promised Land, and Assyria now steps up as the main players on the Gentile team. Because the Jews are no longer listening to Yahweh, and bickering amongst themselves over which players are the best, he lets the northern players be deported.
• Inning 5
Babylon becomes the third nation to lend players to the Gentile team. Because the remaining Jews are still failing to listen to Yahweh, he also lets the southern half of their players be deported.
• Inning 6
Medo-Persian players run the Babylonians off the field, thinking they can do a better job and score more runs. The Jews return to the Promised Land but do not play an especially amazing inning. It’s a short inning.
• Inning 7
Now the Grecian players take their turn, running the Medo-Persians off the field, also thinking they can do a better job and score more runs. The Jews continue to play poorly. It’s another short inning.
• Inning 8
The Romans now step up to the plate. After many years, the Jews’ captain, Yeshua, arrives in person but the Jews refuse to accept him or listen to him. Yahweh calls a time out and benches the Jews.
Yahweh benches the Jews in 70AD. For the next 1878 years, the Jews are not in the game. In fact, most of their players aren’t even in the stadium, but have been dispersed to the four corners of the globe. The Gentiles, meanwhile, under their same captain, Satan, continue to hone their game, pulling in players from dozens of other nations. This period is generally termed the “Time of the Gentiles” or “Daniel’s Gap” between the 69th and 70th weeks. I call it the “Jewish Time Out”. Intermission lasts until 1948.
• Inning 9
1948. The Jewish Time Out is over, and the Jews return to the game. Both halves are present, and they are no longer bickering amongst themselves as to which half has the better players. At long last, they are a truly united Jewish team. After watching the Gentiles practice for nearly two thousand years, the Jews are hot to play. They’ve watched the moves and their jealousy has been aroused.
The Gentiles, meanwhile, realizing that none of the other nation’s players are worth their salt, once again start to re-form the Roman team. The game resumes, and for the last sixty-four years, both teams have spent the time warming up. Real play is just about to begin, but it looks like the Romans may be replaced by the Jewish family’s brothers and cousins. Once again, the game is becoming a family game: Isaac and Jacob are about to square off against Ishmael and Esau. It will be an exciting inning, with runs scored by both teams, but at the bottom of the inning, Captain Yeshua will come back to save the day and the Jews will win the game – Scripture guarantees this outcome.
Understanding prophecy can be a daunting task, especially prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled. Trying to place Gentile historical events into the Biblical narrative during the Jewish Time Out to see if any prophecies have been fulfilled, simply will not work. Scripture is all about Yeshua and how Yahweh is working with His chosen team – the Jews! If the Jews are not in the game, then whatever the Gentiles are doing is just warm up, is just honing their skills, is just practice. It is not, however, part of the actual game, even though practice can and does impact the game once play resumes. One team literally cannot play the game by itself, both teams must be present. From 70AD until 1948AD, the Jewish team was not in the game. Now that they are back, the game can continue until the ninth inning is finished and the winner declared.
Read More: Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 37, Daniel 7
Prophecy continues to unfold as foretold by the Hebrew prophets. The stage is being set. That being said, one can only ask: “How imminent is the return of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach?”