Israel's 1967 Miracle

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The stage was set for war and Israel's enemies prepared for victory. They remained convinced they could "drive the Jews into the sea."

But what was about to transpire would not only stun Israel's enemies, confound military experts but transfix the world. Many believe what happened in the six days following June 4, 1967 was nothing short of a miracle.

On June 4, 1967, the infant state of Israel found itself on the brink of annihilation. Israelis still lived with the agonizing memory of the Holocaust.

What is the biblical significance of numbers such as 10 and 40? How does all of these relate to the times of the Gentiles being fullfilled?  Click play to watch Pat Robertson's teaching of the day on the Six Day War, following this report.

Now the Arab nations surrounding Israel vowed to make the blue Mediterranean run red with the blood of Jews.

"We were thinking in terms that the Israelis are going to be thrown to the water," Ret. General Eitan Ben-Eliyahu said.

On the morning of June 5, 1967 Ben-Eliyahu flew one of the first missions against Egyptian air fields in the Sinai.

"This is a matter of life and death," he said. "This is a matter of Israel is going to be destroyed. This is matter like this is the third chapter of our Independence Day, '56, and now '67."

"The people were in panic, people were talking about the imminent destruction of the State of Israel, of a war in which there will be an enormous number of casualties; at least 10,000 people will be killed," Ret. General Shlomo Givas said.

Rabbis in Jerusalem anticipated so many deaths they actually designated all of the public parks in Jerusalem as cemeteries.

Just before the war, the joke in Israel was: "Last ones out, turn off the lights." But this black humor didn't mask the fear that many Israelis genuinely anticipated a catastrophe. Why?

Israel found itself outnumbered and out-gunned on three fronts, Egypt to the south, Jordan to the west and Syria to the north. The Soviet Union had poured $2 billion worth of arms into the Arab nations. Israel's enemies brought twice as many soldiers, three times as many tanks and four times as many airplanes to the battlefield.

But just before the war, Egypt, Israel's main enemy suffered a series of major mistakes and mishaps.

"There was this miscommunication between Nasser and his top generals," Channel 2 Military Correspondent Ehud Yaari said. "And everything didn't work to what they thought. And when the war broke, you could see and hear, which we did. We heard them. You could see and hear that the Egyptian high command was not in control."

Egypt's high command also dismissed warnings by mid-level Egyptian intelligence officers of an imminent Israeli air attack.

The night before the war, Egypt's commander-in-chief, Abd al-Hakim Amer gathered his high command for a party at an air base far away from the front lines.

"They were caught by surprise, totally," Yaari said. "I mean some of them tried to get into the air in order to join their units. They couldn't do it."

Two weeks before the war, Egypt replaced all of its commanders in Sinai with officers unfamiliar with the terrain.

On the morning of June 5, Jordanian radar detected the Israeli air force taking off.

They sent a red alert to Cairo but the decoding officer used the wrong day's code and failed to decipher the vital information. The warning never came.

Instead, the Israeli Air Force decimated the Egyptian Air Force on the ground, the key to the outcome of the war.

Author Sarah Rigler, who's written about the Six Day War, believes that series of Egyptian mistakes revealed the work of an unseen hand.

"You can say, what a lucky coincidence or you can see the Divine Hand," she said. "You can see God arranged all these things to happen the way they did because He wanted the Israeli strike to succeed. He wanted us to win. He wanted us to regain our holy places."

To some, the confusion in the Egyptian command just before the war evoked memories of the biblical story of Gideon routing the enemies of Israel. Instead of annihilation, Israel won one of the most decisive victories in military history.

Many Orthodox Jews and Christians believe the Jewish nation had witnessed a miracle.

"For evangelical Christians, the Six Day War was a huge moment of seeing God's Hand intervene on behalf of the Jewish People," Joel Rosenberg said. "That's what was so extraordinary, that you had this moment where Arab/Islamic leaders were saying we're going to throw the Jews into the sea and it looked like another holocaust was immanent. Suddenly, in six days, the Jewish people defended themselves, destroyed their enemies, tripled their land; recaptured control of Jerusalem for the first time in 2,000 years and on the seventh day they rested. That just sounded way too Biblical for evangelicals all over the planet and they rejoiced with the Jewish people."

"In the immediate aftermath of the war, everyone, both religious and secular alike recognized that this was from God because it was just so implausible," Rigler said.

She added, "It was like this is a miracle. Even Moshe Dayan, who was the commander of the Israeli forces and who was a very secular person. He went to visit the Western Wall the day after it was liberated and there's a tradition to put notes to God in the wall. So he put a little note to God in the crevices in the wall. And of course as soon as he left, the newspaper men in their typical discreet way ran and took the note out and read it. And what did it say? It was a line from Psalms that said; 'This is from God. It's wondrous in our eyes."


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CBN News
Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief

In a time where the world's attention is riveted on events in the Middle East, CBN viewers have come to appreciate Chris Mitchell's timely reports from this explosive region of the world. Mitchell brings a Biblical and prophetic perspective to these daily news events that shape our world.