While the sequence of prophesied latter-day events seems to be fairly straightforward – the captivity and scattering of Yisra’ĕl; the tribulation of Ya’aqob’s Trouble; Yahweh’s intervention on behalf of the remnant of Ya’aqob; the Second Exodus back to the Promised Land; the reunification of Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah; Yahweh’s restoration and blessing of His covenant people – the exact timing is unknown. It is unclear when these events will begin, nor is it entirely certain how long their aggregate duration will be.
Even so, Yeshayah 27:13 gives a clue regarding when the Second Exodus will begin: “And in that day it shall be that a great horn is blown, and those who were perishing in the land of Ashshur and the outcasts in the land of Mitsrayim shall come, and shall worship YHWH on the set-apart mountain, in Yerushalayim.”
The context is “[the] children of Yisra’ĕl” being “gathered one by one” (verse 12). “They . . . who are about to perish” seems to refer to the peoples of Yisra’ĕl enduring the time of Ya’aqob’s Trouble. The turning point, then, and the beginning of deliverance, is when “a great trumpet will is blown.” The Olivet Prophecy correlates to this, for Yahushua Mashiach says,
“And then the sign of the Son of Adam shall appear in the heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of Adam coming on the clouds of the heaven with power and much esteem. 31 “And He shall send His messengers with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” Matthew 24:31-31
It is clear from this correlation that Yahushua will lead the remnant back to the land.
The trumpet is a symbol of considerable consequence in the First and renewed Covenants. In general, it can signify an alarm of war, a call to assemble, or a command to march (see Numbers 10:1-10). The fourth annual Set-apart day is the Feast of Trumpets, a “memorial of blowing of trumpets, a set-apart convocation” (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1) Psalm 81:3-5 indicates Yoseph was released from prison in Egypt on the Feast of Trumpets, making for rich symbolism regarding the future release of Israelite captives. Yahweh, through the prophets, often uses “Yoseph” to represent, not just Ephraim and Manasseh, but also all of Yisra’ĕl (see Yehezqel 37:16-10; Amos 5:6,15; 6:6; Obadyah 1:18; Zecharyah 10:6). In addition, Yahweh caused the walls of Yericho to fall after seven successive days of trumpets sounding (Yehoshua 6:4-20)
Various end-time prophecies show that a trumpet precedes the Day of the Yahweh (Yoel 2:1; Zecharyah 9:14-16), when Yahushua Messiah returns as Sovereign of sovereigns and overthrows the nations of this world, establishing the Reign of Yahweh on earth. The resurrection from the dead is also connected to a mighty trumpet blast (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16). While the book of Revelation tells of seven trumpets (Revelation 8:2-11:15), when the last one sounds, “And the seventh messenger sounded, and there came to be loud voices in the heaven, saying, “The reign of this world has become the reign of our Master, and of His Messiah, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Revelation 11:15, indicating He has returned.
This all shows that the timing of the Second Exodus in general corresponds to the return of Yahushua.
JUSTICE AND FAVOUR
After the peoples of Yisra’ĕl have endured the chastening of Ya’aqob’s Trouble, they will be liberated and brought back to the land promised to Abraham, Yitshaq, and Ya’aqob:
“And it shall be in that day,’ declares YHWH of hosts, ‘that I break his yoke from your neck, and tear off your bonds, and foreigners no more enslave them. 9 ‘And they shall serve YHWH their Elohim and Dawid their sovereign, whom I raise up for them. 10 ‘And you, do not fear, O Yaʽaqob My servant,’ declares YHWH, ‘nor be discouraged, O Yisra’ĕl. For look, I am saving you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. And Yaʽaqob shall return, and have rest and be at ease, with no one to trouble him. 11 ‘For I am with you,’ declares YHWH, ‘to save you. Though I make a complete end of all gentiles where I have scattered you, yet I do not make a complete end of you. But I shall reprove you in judgment, and by no means leave you unpunished.”Yirmeyah 30:8-11
In all of Yahweh’s dealings with Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah, and especially regarding the Second Exodus, we see His perfect application of justice and favour. He is just, because He does not allow their sin to go unpunished. We could not trust Yahweh if He did not hold to His promises of blessing and cursing (Numbers 23:19; Leviticus 26;Deuteronomy 28).
If He allowed Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah to sin with impunity, His laws would have no authority, and His words would be of no consequence. However, for the sake of what is best for Ya’aqob, Yahweh has to show him that He is serious about what He says. So His justice will be upheld as Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah are brought to the painful realization that they have forsaken Him and have been living the wrong way.
Yet, we can also see Yahweh’s unmerited favour in His dealings with His people. Today’s Western culture – a product of the nations of Yisra’ĕl – is not so very different from Sodom and Gomorrah. The same sins are committed in the same brazen manner. Our regard for humanity is so low that in the U.S. alone during the last three decades, an estimated 40-50 million pre-born children have been killed for the sake of convenience. Further, Yahweh has been systematically removed from schools, from government, and from public life. Europe has transgressed even further. Even Yerushalayim – the “Holy City”- has an annual “Gay Pride” parade, and is essentially secular.
Despite these atrocious sins, Yahweh will not utterly destroy Yisra’ĕl as He did to Sedom and Amorah. A number of latter-day prophecies of various peoples – the Edomites, for example – foretell that Yahweh will make a complete end of them (Yirmeyah 46:28). However, He has chosen not to do this with Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah, though not because they are righteous in any way.
He will show them favour because of the promises He made, not because they deserve it. Yehezqel 36 shows this clearly. Yahweh repeats several times that He is bringing Yisra’ĕl back for His name’s sake, and not for Yisra’ĕl’s sake:
“Therefore say to the house of Yisra’ĕl, ‘Thus said the Master YHWH, “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Yisra’ĕl, but for My set-apart Name’s sake, which you have profaned among the gentiles wherever you went. 23 “And I shall set apart My great Name, which has been profaned among the gentiles, which you have profaned in their midst. And the gentiles shall know that I am YHWH,” declares the Master YHWH, “when I am set-apart in you before their eyes. 24 “And I shall take you from among the gentiles, and I shall gather you out of all lands, and I shall bring you into your own land… 31 “And you shall remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good. And you shall loathe yourselves in your own eyes, for your crookednesses and your abominations. 32“Not for your sake am I acting,” declares the Master YHWH, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and blush for your ways, O house of Yisra’ĕl!” Yehezqel 36:22-24, 31-32
Yahweh would be untrue to His own promises if He annihilated Ya’aqob’s descendants—even though, by all accounts, it is exactly what they deserve.
PEACE AND PROSPERITY
After Ya’aqob is chastened, Yahweh will demonstrate His favour and providence:
“Thus said YHWH, ‘See, I turn back the captivity of Yaʽaqob’s tents, and have compassion on his dwelling places. And the city shall be built upon its own mound, and the palace stand on its right place. 19 ‘And out of them shall arise thanksgiving and the voice of those who are laughing. And I shall increase them, and they shall not diminish. And I shall esteem them, and they shall not be small. 20 ‘And his children shall be as before, and his congregation shall be established before Me. And I shall punish all who oppress them.” Yirmeyah 30:18-20
Yahweh will destroy the nations to which Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah are scattered, and He will correct Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah in measure, as verse 11 says. But when the punishment is done, He will bring His people back to the land that He promised them and give them rest and peace. A number of other prophecies concerning the Second Exodus relate how Yahweh will bless the land, which will once again produce abundantly. Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah will have the Promised Land, they will have peace – because this time their enemies will be completely destroyed, which Yisra’ĕl failed to do the first time – and they will have prosperity. They will also be blessed numerically, as the remnant begins to multiply.
But this time the peace and prosperity will last, because two factors will be different. First, Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah will have perfect leadership: Yahushua Mashiach will be Sovereign, and Dawid will be His prince (Yehezqel 37:24-25; Yirmeyah 23:3-7; Hoshea 3:5; Mikah 2:12-13). Corrupt or ambivalent leadership will no longer lead Yisra’ĕl astray; instead, the leaders will set the example of righteousness for the people to follow. Additionally, the twelve original apostles will be resurrected and sit as judges over the twelve tribes, ensuring that proper judgment is given (Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30).
Second, Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah will both make the New Covenant, meaning that they will be given the Ruach haQodesh, which will enable them to keep the law in its spiritual intent (Yirmeyah 31:31-34). They will be given a new heart, and will finally be able to know their Yahweh (Yehezqel 11:17-20; 36:24-29).
PEACE ON YAHWEH’S TERMS
Lest the grievous reality of Ya’aqob’s Trouble stray too far from his reader’s mind, Yirmeyah again cites the coming judgment for sin:
“See, the storm of YHWH shall go forth in a rage, a whirling storm! It bursts upon the head of the wrong. 24 The burning displeasure of YHWH shall not turn back until He has done and established the purposes of His heart. In the latter days you shall understand it.” Yirmeyah 30:23-24
These verses actually repeat Yirmeyah 23:19-20 almost word for word. This repetition is significant because Yirmeyah 23 is a warning against false prophets. In particular, it is about men, claiming to speak for Yahweh, who tell the people – whose lives deny Yahweh – that, “Yahweh has said, ‘You shall have peace.'” These prophets say to the people, who were walking according to the dictates of their own hearts, “No evil will come upon you.” In essence, they deny Yahweh’s justice, and the fact that sin has consequences. They are telling the people not to worry about Yahweh’s judgment upon them – everything would be fine; no change of course would be necessary.
However, the people, in reality, have declared war on Yahweh and His way of life through the conduct of their own lives. Whether or not they realize it, their carnal minds hold great enmity for Yahweh’s way of doing things. They can never have peace with Yahweh until they repent and change.
Yahweh always desires peace, but if the sinning party is unwilling to face reality and repent, then His response will be a painful one. There will be peace with Yahweh only when the sinner is broken and submits to Yahweh. Yet, the false prophets insinuate that Yahweh does not care and that it does not matter how one lives. Nevertheless, these verses show that Yahweh destroys those who promote the idea that sin does not have consequences, who say Yahweh’s justice is of little concern. These ideas keep getting Yisra’ĕl – indeed, all of mankind – into trouble.
The symbol of the whirlwind, then, represents Yahweh’s fury and anger. Just as no man can control or divert a tornado or hurricane, so Yahweh’s anger at the sin of the wicked cannot be resisted. It will continue until He has performed the intents of His heart. In the latter days, which we are in, Yahweh says we will consider it, meaning that Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah have not yet learned this lesson. However, when that chastening is over, Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah will be restored to the land, and, more importantly, they will be reconciled to Yahweh and able to live in peace.
A GOOD ENDING
Yirmeyah 31 continues chapter 30, and it contains the proverbial “good ending” as a humbled Yisra’ĕl and Yehudah are reconciled to Yahweh, who blesses them physically and spiritually:
“At that time,” declares YHWH, “I shall be the Elohim of all the clans of Yisra’ĕl, and they shall be My people.” 2Thus said YHWH, “A people escaped from the sword found favour in the wilderness, Yisra’ĕl, when it went to find rest.” 3 YHWH appeared to me from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I shall draw you with kindness. 4 “I am going to build you again. And you shall be rebuilt, O maiden of Yisra’ĕl! Again you shall take up your tambourines, and go forth in the dances of those who rejoice. 5 “Again you shall plant vines on the mountains of Shomeron. The planters shall plant and treat them as common.” Yirmeyah 31:1-5
After Yahweh performs the intents of His heart, as it says at the end of the previous chapter, and His wrath has consumed those He will consume, then peace in the relationship between Yisra’ĕl and Yahweh becomes possible because all of those who declared war on Yahweh through their conduct are dead. Yahweh does not believe in “peace at any price.” He works toward repentance, but if there is no repentance, the only solution is to destroy those in rebellion against Him. Yet, after the destruction, He promises once again to be the Elohim of all of Yisra’ĕl, and Yisra’ĕl will again be His people.
Verse 2 provides the qualifier that the remnant will be those who have survived the sword. Yehezqel 5:1-4illustrates this time:
“And you, son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber’s razor, and you shall pass it over your head and your beard. And you shall take scales to weigh and divide the hair. 2 “Burn with fire one-third in the midst of the city when the days of the siege are completed. And you shall take one-third and strike around it with the sword, and scatter one-third in the wind. And I shall draw out a sword after them. 3 “And you shall take a few hairs from there and bind them in the edge of your garment. 4 “And take again some of them, and throw them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire. From it a fire shall spread unto all the house of Yisra’ĕl.”
From these verses and the remainder of Yehezqel 5, it is evident that a great deal of violence will be done to the peoples of Yisra’ĕl, but when it is over, Yahweh will give them rest (Yirmeyah 31:2). The people who survive the sword will find favour. Yahweh begins to demonstrate His loving kindness and to rebuild and restore Yisra’ĕl. Yirmeyah 31:4 contains the imagery of a festive occasion with dancing, something that the Israelites probably will not have felt like doing for quite some time. There will be food in abundance, and the time of famine will be over (verse 5). On all counts, Yisra’ĕl’s outlook is brightening.
“For thus said YHWH, “Sing with gladness for Yaʽaqob, and shout among the chief of the nations. Cry out, give praise, and say, ‘O YHWH, save Your people, the remnant of Yisra’ĕl!’ 8 “See, I am bringing them from the land of the north, and shall gather them from the ends of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labour, together – a great assembly returning here. 9 “With weeping they shall come, and with their prayers I bring them. I shall make them walk by rivers of waters, in a straight way in which they do not stumble. For I shall be a Father to Yisra’ĕl, and Ephrayim – he is My first-born. 10 “Hear the word of YHWH, O gentiles, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Yisra’ĕl gathers him, and shall guard him as a shepherd his flock.’ 11 “For YHWH shall ransom Yaʽaqob, and redeem him from the hand of one stronger than he.” Yirmeyah 31:7-11
By the time these verses are fulfilled, something critical has happened. We do not know exactly how or when, but this passage hints that the peoples of Yisra’ĕl once again know who they are. They no longer believe themselves to be Gentiles. Israelites understand that they are Yahweh’s people, and this is cause for “singing with gladness” and giving praise.