King Zedekiah of Judah was the last king to reign in the Land of Israel. Nebuchadnezzar had appointed Zedekiah king at the age of 21, but he only reigned for 11 years, from 597 – 586 BC; at which time he was taken prisoner to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He refused to heed the warnings of the prophets of Israel and turn back to G-D.
The kingdom of David, as we knew it, ended at that time.
And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the Lord: ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation. (Jeremiah 25:10-12)
Adonai promised throughout Scripture that He would remember His covenant with His people and would one day restore Israel in her own land, as we see today.
Yet, for all that, though they may be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor will I despise them to destroy them completely and break My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the LORD. (Leviticus 26:44-45)
The Babylonians destroyed the First Temple built by King Solomon in the year 3338. As Jeremiah prophesied, the exiles returned from Babylon and built the Second Temple, which was then destroyed by the Romans in 3828. The following is a quote from Chabad: “Ever since then we have been waiting for the promised Messiah, a descendant of King David, to gather in our exiles and build the Third Beth Hamikdosh [Third Temple], never to be destroyed again. This prophecy, too, will be fulfilled as surely as the others.”
Ezekiel prophesies at the time Zedekiah was taken captive that the kingdom of Israel, as it was, would be overthrown until He comes whose right it is to assume the role of King of Israel.
‘Now to you, O profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose iniquity shall end, thus says the L-rd G-D: “Remove the turban, and take off the crown; nothing shall remain the same. Exalt the humble, and humble the exalted. Overthrown, overthrown, I will make it overthrown! It shall be no longer, until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him.” (Ezekiel 21: 25-27)
The prophet Daniel prophesied about the time that Messiah would come and why.
“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come (the Romans) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” (Daniel 9:26)
So, the Messiah, The Anointed One who is to come, is to be cut off from the earth or killed; but not because he did something wrong!
Isaiah declares: But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed…
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all…
He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of My people He was stricken…
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him…When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand…By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many. (Isaiah 53)
Hosea declares that Israel will be without a temple and without king for a long time; then He will come and all with be changed.
For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:
Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:4-5)
While the majority of our Jewish people are waiting for David our king, the Messiah, to come for the first time, we who embrace Yeshua as Messiah believe he has already come, in fulfillment of the prophecies regarding atonement for our sins. We continue to wait for His soon return as promised in the Scriptures, and look forward to His reign as our Righteous King over all Israel.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 [9:5-6 JPS])
May the Prince of Peace truly reign in your life and give you His strength throughout the coming new year.