No doubt, if you travel in Torah-observant circles, then you’ve heard about the Greater Exodus. No doubt, you’re also aware that in Hebraic thought, history repeats itself, and previous stories in the Bible help teach us what happens in the latter days. Well today I decided to be like the Bereans and study this out for myself, to make sure that there is a biblical precedent for the “greater exodus”. So, I took all of the verses used to support the “greater exodus” and this is what I found:
Jer 23:7-8: “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when they will no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 8 but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil.”
Another verse used by the “greater exodus” crowd is Jer 16:14-15 which says the same thing. Sounds good. But let’s check the context to be sure.
The passage in question, Jer 23:7-8, starts off with the word “therefore,” which means it is related to the previous verses. So let’s see what the previous verses say in order to get the correct context and meaning…
Jer 23:5,6 “The days are coming,” says Adonai when I will raise a righteous Branch for David. He will reign as king and succeed, he will do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, Israel will live in safety, and the name given to him will be Adonai Tzidkenu (Adonai our righteousness).
The context is during Yeshua’s reign, after He has gathered everyone in redemption at the end of this age of worldly authority and government. This will not happen before. We are not to take it upon ourselves to plan a trip to Israel and gather ourselves because He is the one who gathers us.
Also, this greater exodus is supposed to occur during troublesome times; i.e. tribulation. But the above verses speak of a time of living in safety and that’s because the correct context is when Yeshua is reigning, not during tribulation.
Deut 30:1-5 When the time arrives that all these things have come upon you, both the blessing and the curse which I have presented to you; and you are there among the nations to which Adonai your God has driven you; then, at last, you will start thinking about what has happened to you; 2 and you will return to Adonai your God and pay attention to what he has said, which will be exactly what I am ordering you to do today – you and your children, with all your heart and all your being. 3 At that point, Adonai your God will reverse your exile and show you mercy; he will RETURN and gather you from all the peoples to which Adonai your God scattered you. 4 If one of yours was scattered to the far end of the sky, Adonai your God will gather you even from there; he will go there and get you. 5 Adonai your God will bring you back into the land your ancestors possessed, and you will possess it; he will make you prosper there, and you will become even more numerous than your ancestors.
“Return and gather” is key here. Does this have anything to do with what WE are to do? Or does it say that Adonai will return and Adonai will gather? I noticed in almost all major translations, the word “return” is removed and I’m guessing that this was no accident. Most translations are corrupted. The omission of the word “return” causes confusion as to the timing. I use the Complete Jewish Bible which is the most accurate and thorough translation of the original Hebrew text.
So if Yeshua is coming (or returning) and we’re going on foot, then how we can reconcile the two? Is he going to gather us like the Bible says, or are we to make a mass pilgrimage?
So again, the context is the end of the age, when Yeshua returns and gathers His people and the righteous dead. Also, when Yeshua comes He brings His rewards with Him (which the land of Israel and New Jerusalem are a part of; i.e. our inheritance). If we decide to go on our own, then our mass exodus before the appointed time means we get Israel as an inheritance – along with all the terrorism and bloody murder. Claiming our inheritance before the appointed time is no inheritance at all. That’s like giving someone a broken gift. Our rewards and inheritance are not ours to take. Yeshua will give them to us when He returns and gathers us, just like the Bible says.
So what starts this mass exodus? Most Torah-observant teachers will say when the lawless one defiles the holy place (Dan 11:31), or starts building an altar in order to defile it, then you are supposed to flee to the mountains. These teachers give Matt 24:15 as their reference. While virtually everyone agrees that this already happened with the destruction of the temple in AD 70, there is a belief that this scenario will play out again in the future, and this is what kicks off the greater exodus. They also believe that this event dovetails into Yeshua’s coming 3 ½ or 7 years later. And that this “trial” or “tribulation” which they’re going through is similar to what Israel went through when Yahweh freed them from Egyptian bondage. But here’s the problem I have….
Israel fled Egypt AFTER the plagues. The Greater Exodus people seek to flee BEFORE tribulation. The scenarios don’t match up.
Israel wandered 40 years. The Greater Exodus people haven’t given a time as to how long they are to wander. If it’s 3 ½ yrs or 7, it still doesn’t match up.
Matt 24:21 says “For there will be trouble then worse then there has ever been from the beginning of the world until now, and there will be nothing like it again!”
But Matt 24:37 says: “For the Son of Man’s coming will be just as it was in the days of Noach. 38 Back then, before the Flood, people went on eating and drinking, taking wives and becoming wives, right up till the day of Noach entered the ark; 39 and they didn’t know what was happening until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be just like that when the Son of Man comes.”
So in one scenario we have the worst time period in the history of the world. In the second scenario, the people will be carrying on as usual and even be surprised when destruction comes. This doesn’t match up. There are clearly two different events at two different time periods here.
There are a few others verses given to support this “greater exodus” theory but I’ve already read them and found no evidence of this being so. Instead, I found that those verses also were taken out of context. I don’t believe that history will be repeating itself like in Egypt because the scenarios are not the same, like I stated and listed before. Add to it that our redemption is going to be a worldwide redemption. Not a regional one like in Egypt. The general idea of redemption is there, but there’s no reason to suppose that things will work out in exactly the same way. Same with the defiling of the altar or temple – two different time periods. I also don’t think we will be led by pillars of clouds and fire like Israel was in the first exodus, because again, Yeshua will gather us when He returns at the end of the age, just like the Bible says.
Something else…those that are planning on taking food supplies and tents and whatever else might want to think about this verse:
Jer 17:5 A curse on the person who trusts in humans, who relies on merely human strength, whose heart turns away from Adonai…7 Blessed is the same who trusts in Adonai; Adonai will be his security.
Did Israel have time to plan and prepare? No. They left so quickly, they left with no leaven in their bread – which is why we celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So how is it that we’re supposed to be prepared and have all the accoutrements necessary for our comfort and survival? You might say you’re trusting Yahweh, but are you really?
I know this is a hard thing to accept but please, be like the Bereans and do your own study. I’ve spent so much time searching all of these scriptures and honestly, I don’t feel like typing out everything because it’s just too long. But, I used to believe in this greater exodus too, until I searched it out for myself. I was surprised at what I found. Things just didn’t add up. There were too many discrepancies and too much eisegesis (reading into the scriptures) by people who should know better.
Update: I found another verse that speaks to the timing of this gathering/exodus…
“For then, at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehosophat (Adonai judges), I will enter into judgment there for my people, my heritage Israel, whom they scattered among the nations; then they divided my land”. Joel 3:1.
Read the context before it – this is during the Day of the Lord when the armies are loosed from the abyss to raise heck and then Israel turns to Him and they are restored. The Word of God stands against this greater exodus myth.