A Second Exodus?
The Bible says there will be a second exodus that will pale the exodus from Egypt into insignificance. How will this happen?
Ever since I was a child, Cecil B. DeMille’s epic 1956 movie The Ten Commandments has been shown on television this time of year. And I plan to watch it again, as the movie is timeless.
Although there are several inaccuracies in the movie, one can still get the essence of the time and the enormous magnitude of that first exodus. Some 2 million Israelites left Egypt by mighty miracles from God.
Yet the Bible says another exodus will occur, and it will be even more incredible than the first (Jeremiah 16:14-15). What does the Bible say about the second exodus?
How Israel came to be in bondage
Prior to the first exodus, the ancient Israelites were forced into hard bondage by a pharaoh who did not remember Joseph (Exodus 1:8).
Joseph was the one who had saved Egypt from a severe famine many years before. God had caused the pharaoh of Joseph’s time to have dreams, and He revealed their meaning through Joseph (Genesis 41:1-7, 15-32). Pharaoh then made Joseph prime minister of Egypt (verses 37-41).
Shortly thereafter, Joseph brought his extended family to Egypt (Genesis 45:9-11). By the time of Moses, these 70 Israelites had grown into perhaps 2 million people (600,000 men and their families, Exodus 12:37) dwelling in Egypt’s fertile land of Goshen.
But as the number of Israelites increased, the leaders of Egypt became concerned that the Israelites would turn against them and become allies with Egypt’s enemies (Exodus 1:8-14). And so the descendants of the patriarch Israel, whose son Joseph helped save Egypt, became slaves in Egypt.
Will history repeat itself?
Careful study shows that the modern descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel include many in the northwestern European countries. The descendants of Joseph include many of the English-speaking countries today, most notably the United States and Britain and some of Britain’s former colonies, such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Just as Egypt was blessed by God because of Joseph, many nations have been blessed through Joseph’s modern descendants, who have been the recipients of God’s birthright blessings of Abraham.
But just as Egypt did, the Bible says some of these nations will turn against the modern descendants of Israel and make slaves of them.
Why another captivity of Israel?
The Bible shows that in the end times the United States and Britain will go into captivity because our people have rejected the moral standards of the God of the Bible!
Moses was the human leader of the ancient Israelites. He said of their descendants, “You will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29).
Sin—breaking God’s 10 Commandments—is growing worse and worse today, as greed, lying, cheating, stealing, violence and murder increase and are even glorified in modern entertainment.
The morality of the Bible is being rejected more and more. Sex outside of biblically defined marriage is being condoned and even celebrated. Currently the leaders and Supreme Court of the United States are discussing the rights of those engaged in same-sex marriage—which is, God told ancient Israel, an abomination (Leviticus 18:22).
God went on to tell our ancestors that the inhabitants of the land He was bringing them to committed such abominations and were being removed from that land by Him (verses 25-27).
And God says that if the descendants of Israel commit such abominations, He will cast them out of the land He brought them to (verse 28).
Therefore, since our modern nations have committed abominations and have forsaken the moral standards of the God of the Bible, He will bring an end-time punishment on us that no other people have ever endured (Leviticus 26:18, 24, 28; Ezekiel 5:7-9).
The coming time of Jacob’s trouble
God says He will first bring famine and pestilence, destroying a third of the people, on the modern nations descended from Joseph (bearing the name of “Israel” in Bible prophecy; see Genesis 48:16-20). Then God will bring military defeat that will kill another third. The third that is left will be scattered around the earth and become slaves and captives (Ezekiel 5:12; Deuteronomy 28:68; Jeremiah 30:8; Revelation 18:11-13).
“A day of trouble is near. … My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will repay you according to your ways” (Ezekiel 7:7-9).
The second exodus
At the end of this Great Tribulation, the modern nations descended from Israel will have been humbled. Like their ancestors, they will be crying out to God for deliverance (Jeremiah 31:7-9; 50:4-5). And God will rescue them.
But when Jesus Christ returns, He will gather this remnant of Israel and bring them to Jerusalem. This will be the second exodus!
“It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people … and will assemble the outcasts of Israel … from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:11-12).
“I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside. … I will whistle for them and gather them, for I will redeem them; and they shall increase as they once increased” (Zechariah 10:6-8).
And, just as He did with those in the first exodus, God will make a covenant with all the tribes of Israel (Ezekiel 20:33-36). But this time God will offer His Spirit and salvation to them (Ezekiel 36:24-28). This remnant will become the model nation on earth. “‘At that time I will bring you back. … For I will give you fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I return your captives before your eyes,’ says the LORD” (Zephaniah 3:20).
Yes, the second exodus of millions of Israelites will dwarf the 2 million of the first exodus both in size and scope!
So, as I watch The Ten Commandments again, I will not only think of that first exodus so long ago, but also about the second exodus not too long from now that will be even more miraculous.
Read more about the good news that will follow that time in our article “Best News Ever.”
Topics Covered: Prophecy