A Quora Article. The Present-Day State of Israel as Preparation for the Future King
The Question was:
In the Bible, does it state that the Israelites will be brought back by the Messiah? If so, does that mean that the Israelis today are not the Israelites?
I do not know what you based your assumption on. The indications of Scripture and of Rabbinical understanding are that first there will be an initial ingathering and after that the Messiah will appear. At present the ingathering has began. The Messiah may will be coming soon after. We shall wait and see. We shall see whether the Messiah does indeed come soon or whether he will tarry and not come for a good while afterwards.
Either way he shall arrive.
Here are sources from the Bible, or based on the Bible, or from Great Jewish Sages who understood the Bible.
They indicate that we may well be within the Messianic Era.
Excerpts from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, "A Handbook of Jewish Thought," Israel, 1992, vol.2, ch.24:
In the excerpts below the signs [ ] indicate that in the original text Rabbinical sources are given.
# There are numerous traditions that the Jewish people will begin to return to the land as a prelude to the MessiahÂ [Midrash quoted in Sheviley Emunah 10:1 (124)].
The ingathering will begin with a measure of political independence [ ], and according to some, with the permission of the other nations [ ]....
There is a tradition that the ingathering of the exile and the rebuilding of Jerusalem will go hand in hand as the two most important preludes to the coming of the Messiah.
According to this tradition, first a small percentage of the exile will return to the Holy Land, and then Jerusalem will come under Jewish control and be rebuilt.
[At present, Jerusalem is under Jewish control. It is not however being rebuilt since the majority of its inhabitants are non-Jewish Morsels and Arab Christians.
The modern city of Jerusalem which is Jewish is NOT the Jerusalem of the Bible but rather an adjunct built up on its periphery.]
Only then will the majority of the Jews return to their homeland. it is thus written, "God is rebuilding Jerusalem; [and then] He will gather the dispersed of Israel " (Psalms 147:2). [ ]
There is a tradition that the land of IsraelÂ will be cultivated at that time, after a long period of desolation [Cf. Isaiah 41:18-20, 49:18-22. Jeremiah 33:10-11].Â This is based on the prophecy, "O mountains of Israel, let your branches spout forth; yield your fruit to my people Israel, for they
are at hand to come" (Ezekiel 38:8). [ ]
Rabbi Kaplan goes on to bring other matters pertinent to the coming of the Messiah. One of them is the return of Prophecy and the Appearance of Elijah who will announce that the Messiah is coming ("Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet perforce the coming of the great and awesome day of God," Malachi 3:23).
Concerning Prophecy Rabbi Kaplan informs us:
# Prophecy can usually taker place only in the Land of Israel, and not in any other land .... Before prophecy can exist in the Land of Israel, it must be inhabited by the majority of Jews in the world .
We Assume that by "Jews" only the people of Judah are intended and the presence of the Ten Tribes is not required initially. At present a majority of Jews may still be outside of Israel. The statistics however are not certain. Even if the majority of Jews are not really in the Land of Israel the proportion is far from it.
We may well be close to the time of the Messiah!
At present the number of Jews is estimated at ca. 15 million.Â Less than 7 million live in Israel. There are even more Jews who do not declare that they are Jewish or are not aware of it. Most Jews today live in Israel and the USA.
Jewish population by country
The world's core Jewish population was estimated at 14,511,000 in April 2018, up from 14.41 million in 2016. Demographer Sergio DellaPergola proposes an "extended" Jewish population, including people identifying as partly Jewish and non-Jews with Jewish parents, numbering 17.3 million globally, and an "enlarged" Jewish population figure that also includes non-Jewish members of Jewish households totaling 20.2 million. Additionally, the total number of people who hold or are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, defined as anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent, and who does not profess any other religion, is estimated at around 23 million, of which 6.6 million were living in Israel as of 2015. Figures for these expanded categories are less precise than for the core Jewish population.
While dozens of countries host at least a small Jewish population, the community is concentrated in a handful: Israel and the United States account for 83% of the Jewish population, while a total of 98 countries host the other 17%.
With just over 6.5 million Jews, Israel is the only Jewish majority and explicitly Jewish state. Jewish population figures for the United States are contested, ranging between 5.7 and 6.8 million. (The core global total of Jews jumps above 15 million if the highest American estimates are assumed)....
In 1939, the core Jewish population reached its historical peak of 17 million (0.8% of the global population). Due to the Holocaust, the number was reduced to 11 million in 1945. The population grew to around 13 million by the 1970s, and then recorded near-zero growth until around 2005 due to low fertility ratesand to assimilation. Since 2005, the world's Jewish population grew modestly at an annual rate of around 0.78% (to 2013). This increase primarily reflected the rapid growth of Haredi and some Orthodox sectors, who are becoming a growing proportion of Jews.
The Prophesied Rejuvenation of the Land and People of Israel
Isaiah (NASB) 41:
18 I will open rivers on the bare heights
And springs in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water
And the dry land fountains of water.
19 I will put the cedar in the wilderness,
The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree;
I will place the juniper in the desert
Together with the box tree and the cypress,
20 That they may see and recognize,
And consider and gain insight as well,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Isaiah (NASB) 49:
18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
All of them gather together, they come to you.
As I live, declares the LORD,
You will surely put on all of them as jewels and bind them on as a bride.
19 For your waste and desolate places and your destroyed land
Surely now you will be too cramped for the inhabitants,
And those who swallowed you will be far away.
20 The children of whom you were bereaved will yet say in your ears,
The place is too cramped for me;
Make room for me that I may live here.
21 Then you will say in your heart,
Who has begotten these for me,
Since I have been bereaved of my children
And am barren, an exile and a wanderer?
And who has reared these?
Behold, I was left alone;
From where did these come.
Jeremiah (NASB) 33:
10 Thus says the LORD, Yet again there will be heard in this place, of which you say, It is a waste, without man and without beast, that is, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast,
11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say,
Give thanks to the LORD of hosts,
For the LORD is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
and of those who bring a thank offering into the house of the LORD. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first, says the LORD.