When we read Scripture in Context it becomes evident that the time of “Jacob’s Trouble” is the entire time the nation of Israel remains divorced from God. It cannot simply be the “Great Tribulation” of Revelation as so many assume. Hosea depicts Israel as the unloving, unfaithful wife of Jehovah God. Hosea details Israel’s infidelity, divorcement and reconciliation with the Holy One and lives it out as an illustration in his own life.
Hosea prophesied from about 770 to 725 B.C. His ministry ceased a few years before God’s discipline* began to fall on the Northern Kingdom…Israel…who was carried away into captivity by the Assyrians. God says to Israel that their tribulation for their infidelity will be so great that,
“. . . thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see” (De 28:66-67 KJV).
*See Leviticus 26:17-39 for a discipline of God’s “Cycles of Discipline!”
Despite their unfaithfulness, God promises to bring them back to the land and end their estrangement,
“Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again (end) the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these [are] the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, [that] I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them” (Jer 30:2-9 KJV).
The name Jacob is often used in scripture to refer to Israel in her unbelief and the name Israel usually represents the nation in faithfulness.
This may sound strange: Jacob’s trouble is exactly that. It is “Jacob’s Trouble.” It cannot be what we call the “Great Tribulation” of Revelation,which is God’s judgment upon all the Nations – it is God’s judgment upon all “that dwell on the face of the whole earth” Luke 21:35 (Re 6:10; Re 13:14; Re 14:6; Re 17:8). Because of Israel’s disobedience to God and violation of the covenants He made with them, Jacob’s Trouble began with the Assyria conquest of Israel, the Northern Kingdom, in 740 B.C., and then intensified in 587 B.C. when Chaldeans conquered Judah, the Southern Kingdom. “Jacob” was removed from the land and Jerusalem seized. Jacob’s Trouble reached a crescendo in the “great tribulation” inflicted by the Roman devastation of the nation in 70 A.D. Jacob’s Trouble continues through the centuries. After Christ, an irrational, demonic disdain for Jews took root throughout the earth – hatred of the Jews by the early (so-called) Church – their persecution in each of the nations to which they fled – the Spanish inquisitions – the holocaust – their humiliation by the Russians – abdominal treatment by the British who turned them back from the Holy Land as they fled Auschwitz, Dachau, and other Nazi concentration camps – and on and on through their final purging in the End-Time Great Tribulation. Today, Jews are being driven back to Israel by antisemitism and economic hardship throughout the world.
This irrational, demonic hatred of Israel will not end until the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) comes to its close; not until Messiah’s second coming. It will not end until Israel finally acknowledges her Messiah and proclaims, “. . . Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,” (Matt 23:39 KJV). The regathering of Israel back into her land by God…still in unbelief…is an End-Times prophecy being fulfilled in our day. When Nehemiah returned to the land after the Babylonian captivity, it was with only a small remnant of the Jews to rebuild the Temple. The end-days regathering, of Ezekiel 37, began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the restoration of the Hebrew language. It was realized in 1948 with the declaration of a nation Israel. We live in an age of prophetic fulfillment. Jews are returning to their homeland (the Aliyah) in increasing numbers.
“And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity (end), and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee” (Deuteronomy 30:1-3 KJV).
For those who are faithfully keeping watch (Matthew 24:42), Israel is our calendar and clock for unfolding prophetic events. They are God’s calendar of prophecy. Today are the last days of this “Late, Great Planet Earth”* as we know it. The “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) is waning. A new day is dawning. Israel, by God’s hand, will lead the way.
*The Late, Great Planet Earth, Hal Lindsey, 1970 by Zondervan
Jeremiah 30 is a guide to the general course of history with Israel as the focus. Verse 7 talks of a day of persecution so “great” that there is none like it—Nothing in history, not even the German holocaust, can compare to the suffering and destruction of Judea by the Roman Empire when the Jews had nothing else to eat but their dead and their own young.
The Jews, in the year threescore and ten, about forty years after the passion of Christ, were destroyed by Titus, and Vespasian his father, (who succeeded after Nero in the empire) to the number of eleven hundred thousand, besides those which Vespasian slew in subduing the country of Galilee. They were sold and sent into Egypt and other provinces to vile slavery, to the number of seventeen thousand: two thousand were brought with Titus in his triumph; of whom, part he gave to be devoured of the wild beasts, part otherwise most cruelly were slain. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, 1981
In Isaiah 50 and 51, God reveals Israel’s rejection of Messiah; Cup of trembling; Restoration to the Land; Day of the Lord. In both Isaiah 51:22-23 and Zechariah 12:2, the cup is passed from Israel and given to the Nations. Surly, what goes around, comes around.
“Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out” (Isaiah 51:17 KJV).
“Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7 KJV).
And so, as we can see by taking Scripture in Context, that “Jacob’s Trouble” has extended for over 2000 years.
Exploring Scripture~because it matters-it really does!