The Time Of Jacob's Trouble
Jeremiah 30:7 "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."
Conclusion: This is a reference to the battle of Armageddon. (Revelation chapters 16 and 19)
All the armies of the world shall come against Israel, but he shall be saved out of it. How? By the Second Coming of Christ: (Zechariah 14:3-5) It says that all nations come against Jerusalem to battle, v.2.
Zechariah 13:9 "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried...." So we see that God will bring 1/3 of the Jews through the battle of Armageddon. Verse 8 says: "two parts therein shall be cut off and die..." 2/3 of the Jews, of course, will not survive the battle.
Jacob = the southern nation Judah only (3 tribes): The Jews.
Jeremiah chapters 1-29 deal with Theocracy = governed by God. Approximate date written: about 600 B.C. and after. Chapters 30 and 31 close this with the hope of restoration after the captivity, so it's a message of hope, restoration, and consolation. Now chapter 30 deals with all 13 tribes, but verse 7 specifically deals with Judah.
Jeremiah 30:3 For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again 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. 4 And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. Verse 3 is speaking of Israel and Judah..... it says that the Lord will cause them to return to the land (Palestine). Verse 4 these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and Judah.
Jeremiah chapters 30 and 31 deal with restoration of all of Israel in the Millennium.
All thirteen tribes will be restored in the Millennium. You have the 12 sons of Jacob. Joseph, which means "adding", was the 11th son, and he had 2 sons: Ephraim and Manasseh, and each of these inherited a portion with Israel. So Joseph was as the first born; he obtained a double blessing. His two sons took the place of the Levites, because the Levites did not receive a land inheritance.
So you have the 12 sons of Jacob, Joseph receiving the double blessing. Joseph = Ephraim and Manasseh. 1 Kings chapter 12 talks about the split of the kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms (Read). The 10 tribes went to the north, and the other 3 went to the south.
The northern 10 tribes went into captivity around 721 B.C. to Assyria, and they have not return to the land yet.
The southern three-tribe nation went into captivity to Babylon about 606 B.C. They returned to the land after their captivity in Babylon about 536 B.C. But not all returned, only a remnant returned. Less than half of Judah returned to the land after the captivity. The 10 lost tribes of Israel are still scattered.
The southern three-tribe nation after the Babylonian captivity consisted of Judah, Benjamin and Levi. They are the only ones that returned to the land of Palestine.
They have not been restored into one nation yet, that will happen in the Millennium. So this prophecy is concerning the restoration of both Israel and Judah being restored to the land that God gave to their fathers. But here in Jeremiah 30:7 the time of Jacob's trouble is speaking specifically to Judah (the southern three-tribe nation).
Verse 5 of Jeremiah 30 is speaking about how he feels when prophesying about the time of Jacob's trouble. This prophecy will bring fear; it's a voice of fear. Read Amos 3:8. This is exactly what they will do at the battle of Armageddon.
Verse 6 Ask? No! Man does not travail with child. They will be ready to die out of fear: Isaiah 13:6-8.
Verse 7 this is why they are ready to die out of fear: The time of Jacob's trouble. But, they are saved out of it! Why? Because Jesus will come. Romans 11:25-27. Verse 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. This is speaking of Jesus coming and stopping the battle of Armageddon, and then the Millennium commences. That's when Israel becomes one nation again under one king (Jesus Christ).
Right now they are called Jacob, which means supplanter or deceiver, they are not called Israel (prince with God) until the Millennium. They are called Jacob, because they have gone back to their old ways; they are not following God. They will not be Israel, as one nation following God, until they are untied again in the Millennium.
Verse 8 The Jews today have a yoke of bondage on them. They are ruled by the Gentiles; it's the time of the Gentiles (Romans 11). God will brake this yoke when the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. This will happen when Jesus comes and stops the battle of Armageddon to set up His Millennial Kingdom. It will be a lot different for Israel during the Millennium.
Verse 9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. David (Christ), read Luke 1:32,33. Verse 10 God promises restoration in the Millennium.
Verses 11-16 is a message to them of recompense.
Verse 11 I will make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished. God will end the nations that have persecuted them, yet He will not make a full end of them; but He will correct them in measure. Verse 12 -14 (Read)
Verse 15 It's because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee. Why criest? You should have known better: Galatians 6:7-8.
Verse 16 Judgment upon the other nations. And they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, etc. Spoil is a prize that is claimed in war; they shall take a spoil.
Verses 17-19 is speaking of restoration. The city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. Someday it will be a big city on top of the heap (the ruined cities). It will cause great thanksgiving.
Verses 20-22 Someday I will bring you all back, and your own people will rule over you. Ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Verses 23-24 Speaking of judgments again on the other nations. In the latter days ye shall consider it.
4 Reasons Why This Prophecy Is Important
1. Christ referred to the time of Jacob's trouble, therefore it is important (i.e., He referred to the event, but without naming it, (Matt.24:21,22). Romans 11:28 the elect = National Israel.
2. Misinterpreting this prophecy can cause misunderstanding of other end-time events such as the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the 70 weeks of Daniel. (i.e., misinterpreting the time of Jacob's trouble as the 7 year Tribulation period). But it says he shall be saved out of it.
3. The proper identification of "Jacob" is an essential part of understanding Bible prophecies addressed to national Israel. To correctly interpret these prophecies, it is necessary to correctly define names such as "Jacob," "Judah," "Jews," "Jerusalem," "Ephraim," "Israel," and "Samaria." (i.e., Jacob = Israel as well as others).
4. The event of the time of Jacob's trouble happens in the day of the LORD, the most important prophetic day in the Bible.
What The Name Jacob Refers To In Bible Prophecy: The southern three-tribes of Judah only
1. The history of the nation of Israel, whose monarchy split into two kingdoms that have never re-united to this day.
A. Judah is the only one who returned, the 10 northern tribes are still scattered. Judah is the only one in Jerusalem at the end time, the 10 northern tribes are not there at the time of the battle of Armageddon. (Jeremiah 3:18; 16:16; 23:7-8; 31:8; Isaiah 11:6-13; Zechariah 12:6-12).
B. They never were re-united: Ezekiel 37:21-24. This will not happen until the Millennium when Jesus Christ will be king over them. 1 king, 1 shepherd. They never had a king after the return from the Babylonian captivity (536 B.C.). Josephus, the Jewish historian, said they never came back (the 10 northern tribes).
2. Jacob is distinguished from Israel in this context (Jeremiah 30). (Jeremiah 30:3,4,10).
3. Jacob is equated with Judah in this context (Jeremiah 30). (Jeremiah 30:3,4,10).
4. The majority of parallel passages using the name "Jacob" refer to southern three-tribe Judah only.
Isaiah 48:1-20 (Jacob = Judah). Isaiah 42:24; 44:21 Jacob and Israel. Jeremiah 2:4;10:16; 46:26-27; Ezekiel 39:25; Hosea 12:1-2 Ephraim = Israel, Judah = Jacob. Micah 2:12; 3:1,9; Nahum 2:2.
Defining The Term Israel In The Bible: The correct meanings or applications for the name "Israel" in the Bible
1. Genesis chapter 32 the man, Jacob.
2. Jacob's sons and their offspring.
3. The thirteen-tribe nation before monarchy.
4. The thirteen-tribe nation during monarchy.
5. The northern ten-tribe nation before Assyrian captivity.
6. The northern ten-tribe nation while scattered among the nations.
7. The southern three-tribe nation before Babylonian captivity (both before and after the exile of the northern ten-tribe nation).
8. The southern three-tribe nation after Babylonian captivity.
9. The 144,000.
10. Regathered Judah (southern three-tribe nation) in Palestine at Armageddon.
11. Reunited Judah and Israel (thirteen-tribe nation) in the Millennium.
12. The New Testament church, in an allegorical sense.
Parallel Passages That Indicate Events Or Descriptions Of The Time Of Jacob's Trouble (all of which are found in the chapter), Which Show What Is Happening, And When The Prophecy Is Fulfilled
1. Both Judah and Israel will return to the land (Palestine) God gave the patriarchs. (Jeremiah 30:3). Ezekiel 39:25-28 it happens after the battle of Armageddon. In the Day of the LORD.
2. God will re-unite Israel and Judah into one nation. God will bring again the captivities of both Israel and Judah, re-uniting them into one nation. (Jeremiah 30:3).
Ezekiel 37:16-22 (Read). This is speaking about the Millennium, which is part of the Day of the Lord. It's God's Day, and He will re-unite Israel and Judah into one nation.
Verse 16 Ephraim = Israel, the 10 lost tribes, because Ephraim was the largest of the tribes, and Israel's first king was from Ephraim.
Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions; Judah had a remnant of children from each tribe of Israel.
So Israel speaks of the 10 lost tribes, and Judah speaks of the southern three-tribes only.
This is speaking of way down at the end time in the Millennium, because they have never been re-untied yet. (Isaiah 11:11,12; 43:5-6).
Josephus, the Jewish historian, says they (the 10 lost tribes) are still scattered.
And the New Testament also says they are still scattered. (James 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1; John 11:52; 7:35)
Ezra 1:5 also says this: Israel (the 10 lost tribes) did not come back. Also you can read Ezekiel 37:22, it says there will be one king. They have not had one king since the kingdom split into two kingdoms, but they will in the Millennium.
3. Ezekiel 37:23 says neither shall they defile themselves any more with idols, not with their detestable things, etc. This is certainly not true today, nor was it true after they returned from Babylon. It will not happen until the Millennium.
4. That day makes strong men as weak and defenseless as a woman in labor pains. (Jeremiah 30:5-6). This is speaking of the battle of Armageddon. Isaiah 13:7-8, this is speaking of the Day of the Lord (v.6), therefore, speaking of end time at the battle of Armageddon. Read Zep.1:14; Hab.3:16; Revelation 16:15-16.
5. The time of Jacob's trouble is a "great" day. Jeremiah 30:7; Joel 2:11,31; Hos.1:11, Jezreel is speaking of the battle of Armageddon. Zep.1:14; Mal.4:5.
6. That day is unique, unlike any other day. (Jeremiah 30:7). There's none like it! Zep.1:14-18; Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21,22.
7. That day is so characterized by "trouble" that it is a day of trouble and a time of trouble. (Jeremiah 30:7). Zep.1:15; Hab.3:16; Nahum 1:7; Job 38:22,23; Revelation 16:14,21 the battle of Armageddon; Jeremiah 2:26,27 speaking of the Babylonian captivity, a type of the battle of Armageddon; Jeremiah 14:8; Isaiah 33:2 w/ Zech. 12:10; Daniel 12:1.
8. Jacob will be saved out of the time of his trouble. (Jeremiah 30:7). Joel 2:12-20; Zech.12:7-10; Zech.13:7-9; 14:1-5 the Lord will fight for them. Mal.3:2-4 not all are killed. Zep.2:3,7 hid in the day of the Lord's anger. Ezekiel 7:1,16; Amos 5:4-15.
9. The yoke will be broken from off Jacob's neck, and Jacob shall no longer serve the heathen. (Jeremiah 30:8). Ezekiel 34:27,28.
10. Jacob will serve God and have David (Christ) as king. (Jeremiah 30:9). They shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. Ezekiel 39:22; Zech. 13:9; 14:9 David as king (Christ), Ezekiel 34:23,24; 37:24,25.; Hosea 3:5 David as king (Christ), speaking of the Millennium.
11. God will save both Israel and Judah spiritually. (Jeremiah 30:10,11). Joel 2:32; Romans 11:25-27 and so all Israel shall be saved.
12. God will completely destroy all the nations where He scattered His people, but punish Israel only in a measure. (Jeremiah 30:11). The time of Jacob's trouble: Amos 9:8,9; Jeremiah 4:27; 46:27,28.
Every description of the time of Jacob's trouble in parallel passages indicate when it is fulfilled. It's in the Day of the Lord; the battle of Armageddon.
Arguments against Jacob's trouble being interpreted as
1. The Babylonian captivity
2. The 7-year Tribulation on the church
3. The 7-year Tribulation on national Israel
#1 The Babylonian captivity
A. The prophecy is written regarding both Judah and Israel, but the Babylonian captivity involved only Judah. (Jeremiah 30:4).
B. Judah did not escape the Babylonian captivity, but this prophecy says that Jacob will be saved out of the time of trouble. (Jeremiah 30:7).
C. The Babylonian captivity of Judah was no worse than catastrophes that have happened to many nations, but this prophecy says that there is no other day like this time of trouble. (Jeremiah 30:7).
D. Following their return from exile in Babylonia, Judah was not ruled by kings, but this prophecy states that after the time of Jacob's trouble, David (Christ) shall reign as king. (Jeremiah 30:9).
E. Following the Babylonian captivity, only Judah returned to Palestine, but this prophecy states that after the time of Jacob's trouble both Judah and Israel return to the land. (Jeremiah 30:3,10).
F. Although the Babylonian nation was destroyed after bringing trouble upon Judah, this does not constitute making an end of all nations as this prophecy stipulates. (Jeremiah 30:11).
G. Judah was not scattered into all nations at the Babylonian captivity, but this prophecy refers to Israelites being scattered through all nations. (Jeremiah 30:11).
H. Following the Babylonian captivity, Judah served the heathen (such as Syria and Rome), but the prophecy says that after the time of trouble, Judah would serve God alone, not the heathen. (Jeremiah 30:8,9).
#2 and 3, the 7-year Tribulation period
A. The time of Jacob's trouble is an event for national Israel, but the Tribulation consists of persecution against the church.
B. The Antichrist overcomes the saints during the Tribulation (Rev.13:7), but Israel is saved out of the time of Jacob's trouble.
C. Israel is blossoming like a rose and is safe during the Tribulation (Joel 2:3; Ezek. 38:11,14), so it cannot be the time of Jacob's trouble.
Statements about the day of the LORD that are taught in the Bible (not necessarily in these exact words)
1. It is a great day
2. It is a day of trouble
3. It is a unique day; there is none like it
4. It is the time of Jacob's trouble
5. It includes the gathering of all nations against Jerusalem
6. It includes the destruction of all nations who fight against Jerusalem in the battle of Armageddon
7. It includes the Second Coming of Christ
8. It includes the regathering of both Judah and Israel to Palestine
9. It includes the re-uniting of Judah and Israel into one monarchy
10. It includes the ruler ship of Christ in the Millennium
11. It includes the saving of one-third of the Jews from death during the battle of Armageddon
Some extra scriptures that could apply to the time of Jacob's trouble: Jude 14,15; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Mal. 3:1-6; Isa. 48:1-12; Daniel 11:45; 12:1,2.