Again there shall be heard / Od yishama
In the cities of Judah / be'arei Yehuda
And in the streets of Jerusalem / uvechutzot Yerushalayim
The voice of joy / kol simcha
The voice of gladness / kol sason
The voice of the bridegroom / kol chatan
And the voice of the bride! / v'kol kala!
Just learned this classic oldie on the guitar (chords here), as performed by classic 1970s Messianic Jewish music group Kol Simcha. (Quite a fitting song for them!)
This song is based on a the prophecy from Jeremiah, part of the famous “new covenant” prophecy of Jeremiah 33:
Here is what Adonai says: “You say that this place is a wasteland, with neither people nor animals in the cities of Y’hudah, and that the streets of Yerushalayim are desolate, without people or animals — no inhabitants.
Yet there will again be heard here the sounds of joy and gladness and the voices of bridegroom and bride, the voices of those who sing, ‘Give thanks to Adonai-Tzva’ot, for Adonai is good, for his grace continues forever,’ as they bring offerings of thanksgiving into the house of Adonai.
For I will cause those captured from the land to return, as before,” says Adonai.
Notice the before-and-after condition:
Israel a wasteland, but then Divine reversal: sounds of joy, gladness, bride and bridegroom.
Desolate and empty, but then a mass return to the land.
Thinking on this for a moment, isn’t it true that this actually come about in the modern age? I think it has. Consider this:
Barren: Not 100 years ago, Israel was a wasteland. Mark Twain visited Israel in the late 19th century and described it aptly,
….. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”
Twain’s play-by-play: Barren, desolate, not a human in sight.
Jeremiah’s prophecy: Wasteland, desolate, no people or animals.
Then, in 1948, after a several decades of God stirring men’s hearts towards a love for the land of Israel -- Zionism -- and just 3 years after the horrific events of the Holocaust forced those in exile to rethink their status among the nations, after the Holocaust which conditioned the hearts of leaders around the globe to sympathize with a Jewish return to Israel, then, a mass return to the land. Israel becomes a state.
I think that’s from God.
And I think it’s a fulfillment (or perhaps, a partial fulfillment) of that ancient prophecy that the land of Israel would be divinely transformed from barren wasteland to a land filled with kol simcha.