God Will Bring Again the Captivity of Israel Study No. 251
id you know that the Second Exodus is a major theme of Bible prophecy? Why is this momentous event so little talked about in Church of God circles? What does it mean, “bring again the captivity of Israel”?
Some misunderstand the Bible because they do not understand their own language. When properly translated and spiritually understood, the Bible is very precise and clear. But the problem is often that our vernacular language has been corrupted, and we are so familiar with speaking and listening to a corrupt language, that we cannot understand clear language. The famous scripture from Zephaniah 3:9, is not merely predicting the time when the earth will return to a pure language, but along with a pure language will be a pure people, who mean what they say and say what they mean. Today, if the whole world had only one language, there would still be a Babylon of confusion, because men of corrupt minds corrupt their own language.
In addition to turning the people to a pure language, God will remove pride and leave only an afflicted, humble people who trust in the name of the Lord, verses 11-12. The remnant of Israel will not do iniquity, nor speak lies, and have no deceitful tongue, verse 13. Who is the Remnant of Israel? Those God gathers, who are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, the wrong observance of God’s sacred appointments, verse 18.
“At that time,” the time of the Second Exodus, “will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord,” verse 20. See also Zephaniah 2:7.
What does it mean, “turn back your captivity”? In Jeremiah 33:7, God says, “And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.” In Amos 9:14-15, we read, “And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land, which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.”
On an Internet forum, one individual said that Jeremiah 33:7 and Amos 9:14 have the same “Masoretic error,” as translated by the KJV. To him, these verses say the situation of captivity to Israel will happen again, contradicting the context of the verses that they will receive freedom from an earlier captivity. He states that the Septuagint translation has it correct: “And I will turn the captivity of Judah, and the captivity of Israel, and will build them, even as before,” (Jeremiah 33:7); “And I will turn the captivity of my people Israel,” Amos 9:14. Not realizing that the “captivity” is a noun, referring to those taken captive, he fails to realize that “cause the captivity to return,” and “bring again the captivity,” mean exactly the same as “turn the captivity.” Not only does he malign the Masoretic text, but he adds a conspiracy theory by stating, “We can see from both KJV renditions that someone purposely changed the meaning of these verses.” There is no conspiracy here; his lack of understanding is the problem.
There is no Masoretic error here. The “captivity” is a noun, not an adverb or adjective, and refers to the people taken captive. When God “brings again” these people taken captive (the “captivity”), they are returned to their own land. These scriptures refer to the Second Exodus, one of the most important Bible prophecies.
Many scriptures refer to a future exodus from a future captivity of Israel. 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.” Resurrected David will be their king, verse 9. See also verses 10-11. Here are more references to the Second Exodus: Jeremiah 3:18, 15:20-21, 16:14-15, 23:3-4, 7-8, 29:14, 31:1-13, 16, 23, 27-28, 32:37-44, 33:7, 11, 24-26, 50:4-5, 8, 19-20. Why captivity? Jeremiah 15:2-4, 10:18; Ezekiel 36:19, 39:23; Amos 5:27; Micah 5:7, 8, 6:2. Judah and Israel are taken captive together, Jeremiah 50:33.
Moab will also return from captivity, “Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the Lord,” Jeremiah 48:47. See 49:39, “But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam.”
Other “Second Exodus” verses: Leviticus 26:44-45; Deuteronomy 30:3-5; Nehemiah 1:6-9; Psalm 14:7, 53:6, 85:1-2, 126:1-6, 147:2-3; Isaiah 6:13, 10:20-22, 11:11-16, 14:1-3, 19:20-21, 23-25, 27:6, 12-13, 35:8-10, 37:31-32, 41:8-9, 43:1-2, 5-8, 45:20, 22, 23, 46:3, 48:20, 49:8-9, 52:11-12, 54:7-8, 60:21, 61:4; Lamentations 2:14; Ezekiel 11:16-17, 19, 14:22, 20:33-38, 42-44, 28:25-26, 34:11-14, 36:24-27, 35-36, 37:21, 22, 39:23, 25-29; Hosea 1:10-11, 6:10-11, 11:11, 14:7; Joel 3:1; Micah 2:12; Zephaniah 3:20; Zechariah 8:7-8, 10:8-11; John 10:16.
— by Richard C. Nickels W