In 722 B.C. then in 586 B.C. God’s judgment for Israel’s idolatry came crashing down. The northern ten tribes succumbed to an Assyrian onslaught. The remaining southern tribes were devastated by Babylon. Yet this is not the end of the story of Israel. In 538 B.C. the return from exile began. But the return was only temporary. In 70 A.D. a new nemesis emerged. This time Rome dispersed the people of Israel among the nations and occupied the land. Yet, even this exile is not final. In fact, two world-wide returns of the Jewish people to Israel should be expected. Isaiah assumed this when he wrote:
Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, … And assemble the banished ones of Israel, And will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isaiah 11:11–12)
Is the first regathering underway? Let’s look at some facts. First, in 1948, after the reestablishment of the nation, just 6% of the world Jewish population of 11.5 million were in Israel. In 2018 46% of the world Jewish population of 14.5 million had migrated there. Second, the relatively high birthrates among Jews in Israel and the lower birthrates of Jews outside Israel are accelerating the trend toward more Jews residing inside than outside the nation. Third, the growing anti-semitism around the world is accelerating the immigration of Jews to Israel. Consider, for example, the rising trend of anti-semitism in Britain since Jeremy Corbyn has become head of the Labour Party. A survey of 10,000 British Jews showed that a third were considering leaving.
So these three facts do, in my view, indicate that the first world-wide gathering of Jews to Israel has been underway since May 14th, 1948 when David Ben-Gurion announced the establishment of the State of Israel. This sets the stage for the second, and final, regathering that Isaiah predicted.