Doug Hershey’s book, Israel Rising: The Land of Israel Reawakens, aims to show the fulfillment of biblical prophecy in the Holy Land.
Hershey’s new book shows the visual transformation of Israel from desert to fertile land. Featuring 175 pictures taken by photojournalist Elise Theriault, each photograph shows geographic images of the region from the 1880s and 1940s through 2016.
The book was released ahead of Israel’s 70th anniversary and has reportedly already sold tens of thousands of copies on Amazon, where it has been ranked as high as No. 1 on several Amazon charts.
In Israel Rising, Hershey shows examples of the region’s agricultural and ecological repair, as well as technological advances, as it takes readers on a journey through over 2,600 years of Israel’s history. He also highlights the nation’s foreign rule under the Romans, Persians, Ottomans, Byzantine, Arab, and British Empires, leading up to its independence in 1948.
Along with being an author and conference speaker, Hershey, a resident of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is the founder of Ezra Adventures, a tourism company that helps people explore the Holy Land.
Below is an edited transcript of Hershey’s interview with The Christian Post.
Christian Post: What inspired you to go on this adventure of exploring fulfilled prophecy in Israel in this way?
Hershey: I own a company for small group travel to Israel called Ezra Adventures where we get off the normal tourism path and into some seldom seen regions in Israel. It was on some of these trips that I began seeing over a period of several months to a couple of years, certain desert regions begin to change from dusty and desolate landscapes to newly planted fields, to growing orchards and thriving vineyards.
Around the same time I had been reading Ezekiel 36 and began putting these two things together and wondered if this was the beginning stages of what I was witnessing. I had to know if this was really what I was seeing. That began my studies into history and these old photos.
CP: Why would you say this information is important for Christians to pay close attention to?
Hershey: While Ezekiel 36 is a lesser known prophecy, Israel Rising is very significant for Christians in a few ways. First, it shows the Bible is true and means exactly what it says. When it says that the land will be a desolate wasteland until the Jewish people return from the nations then the branches will put forth fruit, the waste and forgotten cities will be rebuilt and be inhabited — that’s exactly what it means and exactly what is happening. It shows that God is faithful to His Word.
Secondly, God’s everlasting promises to Israel are forever. No other people group in human history has been thrown off their historical homeland to return to the same land 70 years later. Then again be forcibly removed from the land, scattered to the ends of the Earth, then to again return to the same piece of real estate 2,000 years later, as an identifiable recognizable relatives to their ancestors who were removed 2 millennia before, returning with the same characteristics, scriptures, even speaking the same language.
And now the physical land is responding to their return. It has never happened before in human history. It just so happens it’s the same people group that the God of Genesis 1 said He made an everlasting covenant with between Himself, the people and the land.
But perhaps most importantly, if God means exactly what He says in the Scriptures and He is about to keep His promises over thousands of years, then we can expect that God will keep His promises regarding the return of Jesus in a very literal and tangible way. He will return to a Jewish Jerusalem as the Jewish King to defend and dwell with His people as well as to rule Israel and the world, just as the prophet’s foretold.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law