“The capture of Beersheba allowed British Empire forces to break the Ottoman line near Gaza and then advance into Palestine, a chain of events which eventually culminated in the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.”[1]

This remarkable statement is quoted from the text on the back of an Australia Post stamp  pack released this year.[2] The stamp pack is part of a joint stamp issue by Australia and Israel  to commemorate the Battle of Beersheba that was fought toward the close of the First World War.  Indeed, the eight hundred men of the 4th Light Horse Brigade of the Australian Imperial Force,  who charged the Turkish guns at Beersheba against apparently impossible odds, changed the history of the Middle East and the Jewish people in fulfilment of Bible prophecy.

Yahweh had declared through the prophet Ezekiel that He would “take the children of Israel  from among the heathen, whither they be gone …  and bring them into their own land” (37:21), and  the establishment of the state of Israel confirms  the certainty of God’s Word. The Battle of  Beersheba, therefore, was an important link in the  development of the purpose of God with His  people in the last days.

Part of a broad attack against the Turks in  Palestine, known as the Third Battle of Gaza, the Battle of Beersheba took place on 31 October,  1917. The plan involved shifting the attack away believing that a further assault would be made directly on Gaza.

For the British and their allies, the only water  for men and horses was in Beersheba and they  had little choice but to fight until they captured the town. As the day drew to a close, Lieutenant  General Sir Harry Chauvel ordered the 4th Light Horse Brigade to charge the Turkish trenches. The  action proved decisive and Beersheba was captured. This now famous charge is said to be the last great cavalry charge in military history. After Beersheba fell, the British-led forces steadily pressed forward and entered Jerusalem without resistance on 9  December 1917.

A few days after the Battle of Beersheba, the  British government issued the Balfour Declaration  on 2 November, 1917. In this well-known declaration,  Britain pledged her support for a Jewish national home in Palestine. A little over a month later, General Allenby walked into Jerusalem. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire soon followed, opening the way for a Jewish state in Palestine (Rev 16:12).

It is remarkable, however, that although the British government announced the Balfour  Declaration on 2 November, it had actually agreed to it on 31 October, 1917, the day of the Australian  Light Horse charge.[3] The coincidence is a reminder  of the wonder of the ways of providence in God’s dealings with His people in restoring them to their land in anticipation of the return of Christ. Many ordinary, seemingly unconnected events have brought about the return of the Jews to their land and the establishment of the state of Israel. “We  have also a more sure word of prophecy”, writes  Peter (2 Pet 1:19), and this is clearly demonstrated in the revival of Israel in our time.

References:

Robyn Van-Dyk, The Charge of the 4th Light Horse  Brigade at Beersheba, Australian War Memorial,  2007. http://www.awm.gov.au/blog/2007/10/30/  the-charge-of-the-4th-light-horse-brigade-atbeersheba/  Matthew Hughes (editor), Allenby in Palestine:  the Middle East Correspondence of Field Marshal  Viscount Allenby, June 1917 – October1919, Sutton  for the Army Records Society, 2004.

[1] Joint issue with Israel: the Battle of Beersheba, Australia Post, 2013.

[2] http://shop.auspost.com.au/collectables/stamps-issues/ji-australia-israel/sku/1770127

[3] British cabinet discussion on support for Zionism, 31 October, 1917 (War Cabinet 261, CAB 23/4) in T.G. Fraser,

The Middle East, 1914–1979, Arnold, 1980. p. 17–18.