7 Before she was in labor, she gave birth;
before her pain came, she delivered a son.
8 Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?
Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?
Shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor,
she brought forth her sons. (Is. 66:7-8)
Zion is a place in the Bible used as a synonym for Jerusalem. It was this city that gave birth to sons (a nation). I know many evangelical Christians believe the nation that was born in one day is the ‘state’ of Israel in 1948. I was also taught this and I believed it myself. But many years later I was presented with a different interpretation that in context makes more sense. See more here.
Notice there are 2 different births, one before labor of a man child & another one of Jerusalem giving birth during labor time, but this it’s a nation. The ‘son’ on vs 7 is no doubt Jesus the Messiah (Isa.7:14, Rev.12:5), but the nation born in one day was His Church, born on the day of Pentecost, in Jerusalem (Lk 24:49, Acts 1:4-5, 12-14 & 2:1-14). But because it is a spiritual birth not physical, it is from above, is heavenly (John 3:3), made of people from all nations, tribes & languages (Rev.7:9, Is.56:7, etc).
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” 1 Peter 2:9.
Why would the prophecy of Isaiah talk about Jesus & then skip almost 2,000 yrs later to mention the birth of a mostly secular nation (https://www.timesofisrael.com/religion-has-outsized-role-in-israel-yet-most-of-its-jews-arent-really-observant/) that wants nothing with Him?
But let us see more reasons why the 2nd interpretation makes more sense:
Notice there was no strip at the time of Jesus, all that land was part of Judea. I was told that the strip were descendants of the Philistines (God’s enemies). Even it’s true that 1,200 yrs or more before Jesus, a small north part of that land belonged to the Philistines (Goliath), but it’s also true that many generations had already passed, & there were no more Philistines there, & all the inhabitants at the time of Jesus were living in peace, as well as the people on that land before the UN division, even there were different cultures & different religions practiced at the time it was divided.
The new strip that we know today was formed in the 20th century, 1947-1948, when the UN divided the land (that was under Britain) into 2 states & a 1 neutral capital Jerusalem, that with its many different religious communities, would become an “international city” governed separately, but that today it’s under Israeli leadership.
The interest for a return to the land started after the Reformation in the 17th century. Contemporary Israeli historian Anita Shapira suggests that England’s Z1on st evangelical Christians “passed this notion on to Jewish circles” around the 1840s. But the idea really started to take shape in 1882 when the lands of Palestine (& also Patagonia, Argentina) were considered as candidates for Jw settlement by T. Herzl, (1), who later founded the World Z1on st. Org. in 1897.
Also in the 1880’s British banker Lionel Walter Rothschild & other family members got involved, bought some land & made small Jewish settlements, & in 1917 British Gov. declaration was send to him promising to create a “national home” for the Jewish people within Palestine. It took the plan many years, & during WWII because of the Holoc things were expedited.
The British handed the issue over to the newly (2 yrs.) established UN. Out of 56 UN members (Nov.1947) 33 of them approved the partition, & this caused a civil war in the land. Then when Britain withdraw, Polish D. Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the WZO declared the establishment of the Isr. state on May 1948, but this caused even a bigger war. Ben-Gurion from the beginning said in several occasions that the partition would be a first step to “possession of the land as a whole”. Then, all this history shows that this ‘state’ or nation wasn’t born in one day or at once. Check also Micah 3:9-10, truly there is nothing new under the sun. Check God’s answer to what they did, in vs. 12.
Jews that believe in the Old Testament know they are forbidden to have their own state until the Messiah comes & restores them (which the Antichrist will counterfeit). Reason why many of them until this day still oppose the state. Please pray for them who are also persecuted.
The Word of God says about the capital, which today is under ‘Israeli’ leadership:
“Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled“. Lk 21:24.
The time of the Gentiles ends when the Church leaves. So we won’t be here when the earthly city of Jerusalem wont be trample by Gentiles anymore. For some time I wondered why is there a ‘heavenly Jerusalem’ (Rev.3:12, 21:2, etc.). See Lk. 21:20 earthly Jerusalem will be destroyed again. (Remember that city will be the Antichrist’s HQ & he will destroy other religions, which means there will not be Jewish temples, Christian churches or mosques in that place, but only 1 unique new temple where he will seat. It’s very possible that some may start preparing the way for him).
It’s ok to love Israel & Jerusalem, but let us be very careful, we humans have a tendency toward idol worship & sadly many who consider themselves Christians some times create idols out of relics that were part of Christian history. Also keeping into perspective let us not forget how the city is called at the end in the book of Revelation, when the 2 witnesses of God are killed by the Antichrist “Their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” Rev.11:8.
It is important to know the Scriptures, so you wont be easily deceived. They also say in Gal.4:24-26.:
“24 These things are an allegory, for these are the two covenants. The one is from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to bondage; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and represents the present Jerusalem, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem which is above is free, which is our mother.“
So the mother who gave birth to the children of a new covenant (a holy nation) is Jerusalem but from above. Because the earthly Jerusalem is still in bondage with her children. -Our eyes & hearts should not be put on earthly & material things, but on Jesus (Heb.12:2) & in spiritual things which are eternal (Titus 2:13, 2 Cor.4:18).
Today that land is still divided into 3 parts. To me a ‘state‘ is not necessarily a nation, but a division within a nation. And we know for sure God didn’t want His land to be divided (Joel 2:1-3), to the point He will judge the nations that did this. For that reason I doubt it was God’s hand behind the 1948’s division. That God has been bringing them back before 1948 & still after, there is no doubt, He still may bring more of them back later in order to deal with them again in that land. But God doesn’t need help from men, remember what happened when Abraham tried to help God. We humans are experts in messing things up.
I found out recently that the land were Jesus was born, Bethlehem, it belongs today to Palestine, would Jesus be considered today a Palestinian? to most people in that land He would be, or a Jew, or both? But, these material things are of a lesser importance, because we know He came from heaven, He is the Son of God & His kingdom is not of this world (Jn.18:36). Sadly many of them still reject Him & His Church (1, 2). But again, when the fullness of the Gentiles comes to an end, then their partial blindness of their hearts will be no more (Rom.11:25) & then the ones left, a remnant, will be saved.