Israel’s story is a phenomenal one. It’s the story of a country that was founded 70 years ago in the middle of a desert, with few natural resources, and a backdrop of relentless war and terror. And yet, against all odds, Israel managed to build a nation that is not only strong and democratic, but is also one of the most innovative and creative nations of the world today.
Israel’s story is entirely unique. There is no other nation like it in the world. What better time to celebrate that than on the 70th anniversary of the country’s founding. Israel will celebrate 70 years of independence this year, and Culture Minister Miri Regev on Monday promised a massive party, as she revealed some of the plans for the anniversary events.
“I thought it would be appropriate to implement a concept of ongoing events, beginning with the Independence Day ceremony on Wednesday and ending on Saturday evening: 70 hours of Israeli festivity that will bring citizens together across the country in varied and joyous events,” Regev said at a press conference where she unveiled the official logo for the nation’s 70th anniversary to be held under the tagline “A Legacy of Innovation.”
A number of exciting events will take place to celebrate Israel and the IDF’s 70th Independence Day. The IAF will hold an aerial show featuring a collection of aircraft from the IAF, Israeli commercial airlines, the fire-fighting unit, and Israeli Police. The IDF’s Paratroopers Brigade will also parachute from the planes, landing on the beaches of Tel Aviv, Haifa, and the Sea of Galilee. During the aerial show, the IAF’s main bases will be open to the public to view a variety of exhibitions. The IDF’s military partners will also join the IAF aerial show, including fighter planes from Greece and Italy, and cargo aircraft from Poland, Canada, England, and Austria.
“You have turned my mourning into dancing; you took off my sackcloth and clothed me with a garment of joy.” (Psalm 30:11)
After decades of struggle and strife to regain a right to live in our ancient homeland, Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948.
On the Hebrew calendar, this day fell on the fifth of Lyar, which begins tonight. But today, before the festivities begin, we have been honoring those who died to help establish and maintain this tiny, free Jewish nation.
The Significance of 70
To better understand the number 70 in God’s prophetic plan, we first need to understand the number seven, which also has great meaning in Israel.
“The words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.” (Psalm 12:6)
The number seven is so prominent in Scripture that even scholars who do not give much weight to Biblical numerology recognize its importance.
Seven is the Divine number of completion, fullness, and spiritual perfection, typifying holiness and sanctification.
Seven is such a favorite number in Judaism, in fact, that the Midrash (Rabbinic literature) states, “All sevens are beloved.” (Vayikra Rabbah 29:9)
Sheva (seven) shares the root (Shin-Bet-Ayin) with oath (shevua) and, therefore, is related to commitment.
There may be no better picture of this commitment than looking at God’s promises to Israel through its exiles and regatherings, even to the end of time.
And the number 70 plays a significant role in His plan.
When the clans of Jacob and Joseph established themselves in Egypt after a long famine in Canaan, Scripture says that altogether there were “70 souls.” In the Hebrew, souls is actually written in the singular (soul) to suggest great unity amongst these clans (Genesis 46:27).
After 400 years in Egypt, God brought the Israelites into their own land. Over time, they lost that privilege and entered into exile in Babylon for a total of 70 years.
But God did not leave them without hope. He made this commitment:
“When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:10–12)
That hope for a better future includes the regathering of the people to Israel:
“I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.” (Ezekiel 11:17)
That hope also includes the rebirth of the nation of Israel:
“Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be delivered in one moment? Yet as soon as Zion was in labor she delivered her children.” (Isaiah 66:8)
Today, all of us can celebrate the perfect faithfulness of God as Israel enters its 70th year as a strong, secure, prosperous, sovereign, modern nation that blesses the world with its agricultural, technological, medical, and scientific advancements.
And let us also celebrate how ancient Israel gave the world the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures), Brit Chadashah (New Testament), and of course Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).
However, we know that Israel is not yet perfect or complete; this miraculously reborn nation has more of God’s promises to look forward to — and it involves another 70.
The number seven is not only associated with completion but also rest. The Shabbat, for example, is the seventh day of the week that we set apart from all other days, for God has declared it holy.
It is a day to rest from the work we do during the other six days of the week and focus on Him.
This sanctified day is especially meaningful when we realize it is only a small picture of the final rest that all Believers, Jew and Gentile, will enter when Messiah Yeshua reigns over His Messianic Kingdom.
We are given a clue as to when this will occur in the Book of Daniel.
While in Babylonian captivity, Daniel received an incredible mathematical message from the angel Gabriel that clearly identified the timing of the coming of the Messiah as well as the completion of all things through a prophecy concerning 70 weeks of years.
“Seventy ‘sevens’ [490 years after the captivity in Babylon ends] are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.” (Daniel 9:24)
Most evangelical scholars who study the Book of Daniel and other end-time Scriptures, have concluded that these seventy weeks have been divided into two time periods.
Sixty-nine weeks saw the death of the Anointed One, Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).
The final 70th week will commence with the arrival of the anti-Messiah, who will make peace for 3 1/2 years as well as make terrible tribulation for the last 3 1/2 years. (Daniel 9:27, 11:31; Matthew 24:15)
That time of Jacob’s Trouble, as it is known, will end with the earth-shattering arrival of Messiah who will bring in a new, perfect order to all things, according to His glorious righteousness.
The Apostle John wrote how this transition from tribulation to Messiah’s reign will happen:
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. …
“I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Yeshua and for the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands.
“They came to life and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:1–6)
God’s promise to bind Satan for 1,000 years so we can rest with the Prince of Peace, Messiah Yeshua Himself when these 70 sevens comes to a close reveals that God’s hand is on history and that we all have a hope and a future.
“Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” (Isaiah 9:7)
Israel’s rebirth in 1948 is nothing short of miraculous! Moreover, it is a testimony to the love and faithfulness of God.
Although Israel is the only country in the world whose right to exist and defend itself is continuously challenged, and although Israelis continue to be plotted against and murdered just because they are Israelis, and although peace remains a dream, the miracle of the rebirth of the ancient Jewish homeland points to the soon fulfillment of Israel’s promised spiritual rebirth in the Messianic Kingdom to come.
It also points to the return of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) and the setting up of His kingdom with His throne in the New Jerusalem.
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:15)
Remarks by Vice President Pence at Israel’s 70th Independence Day Celebration
The Embassy of Israel to the United States
7:20 P.M. EDT – Issued on: May 14, 2018
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, members of the Cabinet, members of Congress, all of tonight’s honorees, and to all of you who’ve come from near and far. It is deeply humbling for me to stand here tonight with all of you on this extraordinary day as we celebrate 70 years of Israel’s independence. (Applause.)
And I bring greetings and congratulations from a leader who has done more to bring our two countries closer together in a year than any President in the past 70 years. I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
And, Mr. Ambassador, it is my distinct honor to accept this unique recognition, from the State of Israel, for President Donald Trump, a man who I believe is the greatest defender the Jewish State has ever had sitting in the Oval Office. (Applause.)
I know the President is honored by this expression of the high esteem and great affection of the people of Israel. And I’ll make sure that medal is on his desk first thing in the morning.
The President asked me to be here tonight because, as you are all no doubt aware, earlier today, the First Lady underwent a long-planned medical procedure. And I’m pleased to report the procedure was a success and Melania is already on the mend. (Applause.)
And I know I speak for people everywhere when I say Mrs. Trump is on our hearts, we’re praying for her speedy and full recovery, and look forward to her returning to her work making a difference in the lives of our nation’s children.
As people across the country and this world have come to appreciate, Melania Trump is a remarkable woman, and the United States of America is blessed to have her as our First Lady. (Applause.) So get well soon, Melania.
We gather here to celebrate nothing less than a miracle of history: the day when the Jewish people ended the longest exile of any people, anywhere, and reclaimed a Jewish future and rebuilt the Jewish State.
As we look at Israel today, it is extraordinary to behold all the progress she’s made and the example she sets. The truth is, today, the modern State of Israel is not just 70 years old; Israel is 70 years strong. And the world marvels at her strength. (Applause.)
The United States of America was proud to be the first nation in the world to recognize the State of Israel seven decades ago.
And just as President Truman made history then, President Trump made history now. And thanks to the President’s leadership, almost exactly 70 years to the minute from the rebirth of the Jewish State, the American Embassy officially opened in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel, today. (Applause.)
It was just over five months ago, on December 6, our President officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. And it was my honor to stand with him on the day that he made that announcement to the world. Today, that recognition became concrete reality.
From King David’s time to our own, President Trump has now etched his name into the ineffaceable story of Jerusalem. And as the President said just this morning, today is nothing less than a great day for Israel. (Applause.)
And our administration was proud to send a remarkable delegation to mark this milestone — a delegation of 250 leaders in Congress; leaders from our administration; the President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump; and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
And to Jared, who’s on his way home as we speak after an unforgettable day, let me just say: Jared, your moving remarks this morning will stand forever as a testament, not just to our country and the Jewish people, but to you and your family. (Applause.)
And as Jared said this morning, so I say now, what the world saw in high relief today is, when President Donald Trump makes a promise, he keeps it. (Applause.)
By finally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States has chosen fact over fiction. And fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace. And as President Trump made clear this morning, “Our greatest hope is for peace.”
And as Jared also said, the United States of America “is prepared to support a peace agreement in every way [that] we can.” We believe that peace “is possible for both sides to gain more than they give, so that all people can live in peace, safe from danger, free from fear, and able to pursue their dreams.”
Jerusalem is a city whose very name means peace. And as for me and my family, and for millions around the globe, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, that “those who love her be secure,” that “there be peace within [her] walls, and security within [her] citadels.” And we will keep praying that until peace finally comes to Jerusalem. (Applause.)
And while any peace will undoubtedly require compromise, you can know with confidence: Under President Donald Trump, the United States of America will never compromise the safety and security of the State of Israel. (Applause.)
Since Israel’s rebirth, 70 years ago today, there has hardly been a day when the people of Israel have not lived — or have lived without war, or the fear of war, or the grim reality of terror.
The United States and Israel have long stood together to confront the evil scourge of radical Islamic terrorism. And today, we renew our pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder as we drive that menace from the face of this Earth.
As we demonstrated last week, the United States is once again leading the free world in standing up to the leading state sponsor of terror when President Trump withdrew America from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. (Applause.)
As the President said just a few days ago, the Iran deal, in his words, “didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.” In fact, Iran’s unprecedented missile attacks on Israel last week only confirmed the President’s decision. And this dangerous act of aggression only strengthened our resolve.
And so, today, let me assure you all the United States of America will never allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. (Applause.) That is our solemn promise to Israel and the world.
For 70 years, we’ve marveled at all the Jewish State and the Jewish people have endured and accomplished. How unlikely was Israel’s birth. How more unlikely has been her survival. And how confounding, against the odds, both past and present, has been her thriving. In 70 short years, Israel has become one of the freest, strongest, and most prosperous nations on Earth.
Its booming, hi-tech, start-up nation has turned Israel into a global economic powerhouse that has benefitted the whole world with untold innovations in agriculture, medicine, information, nanotechnology, and so many other areas of human endeavor.
The citizens of Israel have awed the world with the strength of their will, the nobility of their character, and the steadfastness of their faith.
They have, in a very real sense, over the past 70 years, turned the desert into a garden, sickness into health, scarcity into plenty, and despair into hope.
And what has been true for the past 70 years I know will be true for the next. One unalterable truth stands in evidence at this gathering and all across the world: As it has been in the past, so it shall be in the future: America stands with Israel. (Applause.)
We stand with Israel because her cause is our cause, her values are our values, and her fight is our fight. We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, and good over evil, and liberty over tyranny. We stand with Israel because that’s what Americans have always done. For in the story of Israel, we see the power of faith, and the promise of hope.
Today and every day, the Jewish State of Israel, and all the Jewish people, bear witness to God’s faithfulness, as well as their own. And on this 70th anniversary of Israel’s rebirth, I say again, along with the Jewish people everywhere: Shehecheyanu, v’kiyimanu, v’higiyanu la’z’man ha’zeh. (Applause.)
So thank you for giving me the honor of sharing this evening with you, and accepting this well-deserved recognition from the State of Israel for President Donald Trump. And on behalf of the President and all the American people, on this big day for Israel, we say, Mazel Tov. (Applause.)
It’s a day of celebration, so I’ll let you get back to it. And I’ll leave here today absolutely confident with the unwavering support of all of you, the American people, and all who cherish the U.S.-Israel relationship, with the leadership of President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, I know Israel will go from strength to strength. Her first 70 years will just be a glimpse of what’s to come, and the United States and Israel will meet our glorious future together.
God bless you. God bless Israel. And God Bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
7:32 P.M. EDT
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