[Note: This series takes the reader through chapters 4 and 8 of Dr. David Reagan’s newest book titled Israel in Bible Prophecy. Order your copy today!]
The conservation and distribution of water has also played a key role in Israel’s reclamation of its land. The major need was to devise a method to transfer water from the Sea of Galilee in the north to the major cities in the south and to the Negev Desert in the extreme south.
In 1953 construction began on a water carrier that would transport water from the Sea of Galilee to the Negev Desert in a complex system of giant pipes, open canals, tunnels, reservoirs and mammoth pumping stations. The National Water Carrier was inaugurated in 1964, with 80 percent of its water being allocated to agriculture and 20 percent for drinking water.20
Another key element was the development of drip irrigation whereby flexible water pipes were spread out on the ground with holes in them to distribute the precious water at the base of each plant. This innovation stopped the waste of water that occurred through evaporation when irrigation was done by spraying water into the air.21
As immigrants have continued to flood into Israel over the years, the demand for water has greatly increased. The situation reached a crisis point in 2008 after a decade-long drought. Israel’s largest source of fresh water, the Sea of Galilee, had dropped within inches of the “black line” at which point irrevocable salt infiltration would flood the lake and ruin it permanently.22
Severe water rationing was imposed and low-flow toilets and shower heads were installed nationwide. Additionally, water treatment systems were developed that recaptured 86 percent of used water for irrigation — vastly more than the second most efficient country in the world, Spain, which recycles 19 percent.23
In 2009 the situation began to turn around due to the construction of desalination plants designed to convert sea water into fresh water. The first had opened in 2005 in Ashkelon, on the Mediterranean coast, 30 miles south of Tel Aviv. The second started operating in 2009 at Hadera, located on the coast about 25 miles north of Tel Aviv. The largest in the world, the Sorek Plant, opened in 2013 and is located ten miles south of Tel Aviv.24 It is capable of producing seven million gallons of potable water every hour!25
Desalination currently provides 785 million cubic yards of water per year — an amazing 55% percent of the nation’s water needs.26
The result of all these reclamation efforts has been phenomenal. The land that was desolate at the beginning of the 20th Century is now the bread basket of the Middle East. The nation is now agriculturally self-sufficient except for grain imports.27 It exports agricultural products to both the Arab countries of the Middle East and to the nations of Europe.
When people think of Jews, they normally think of people who have excelled in the area of finance. But modern Jews in Israel have made their mark in agricultural production, military prowess and, in more recent years, high-tech innovations.
Due to the diversity of the land and climate across the country, and all the efforts at reclamation, Israel is able to grow a wide range of crops. Field crops include wheat, sorghum, corn and cotton. Fruit and vegetables grown include citrus, avocados, kiwi fruit, guavas, mangoes and grapes. Additionally, tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, zucchini and melons are commonly grown throughout the country. Subtropical areas produce bananas and dates, while in the northern hills, apples, pears and cherries are grown.28
The dairies of Israel produce the highest amounts of milk per animal in the world.29 Israel is one of the world’s leading fresh citrus producers and exporters, including oranges, grapefruit and tangerines.30 The Israelis have developed the world’s first long shelf-life commercial tomato varieties.31 Overall, Israel is the world’s leader in agricultural research and development.32
Israel produces vast quantities of flowers for export. In fact, Israel produces 5 percent of the world’s flowers and is surpassed in production only by the Netherlands and Kenya.33 The process for picking, packing and distribution is so streamlined that flowers can be delivered to Europe via temperature-controlled jets within two days of their harvest.34
Today, Israel is focusing on the greening of the Negev Desert which constitutes 55 percent of the nation’s land. They have devised water conservation techniques to save the one inch of rainfall per year in the Negev. They have also genetically engineered plants to grow on the brackish water reservoirs that exist below the surface of the desert. They have even developed a strain of potatoes that thrive in a hot, dry climate like a desert and can be irrigated with salt water.35
As a result of these efforts, half a million Jews now live in the desert, in 250 thriving agricultural settlements.36 The American Society for Horticultural Sciences recently stated that Israel’s desert agricultural technology is “one of the most significant advances in food production in the past 1,000 years.”37 Today, over 10,000 Israeli brackish water specialists are training agronomists and farmers in 54 countries around the world.38
Perhaps the most amazing thing that can be said about the reclamation of the land and the agriculture it has produced is that the United Nations, which normally specializes in condemning Israel, has declared that Israel is “the most agriculturally efficient land on earth.”39
Can there be any doubt that Ezekiel’s astounding prophecy about the reclamation of the land of Israel in the end times has been fulfilled? Read it again (Ezekiel 36:34-35):
34) “The desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passes by.
35) They will say, ‘This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.'”
Or consider again this prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 51:3):
Indeed, the LORD will comfort Zion;
He will comfort all her waste places.
And her wilderness He will make like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the LORD;
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
Thanksgiving and sound of a melody.
Can there be any doubt that the detailed fulfillment of these prophecies proves that God is on the throne and that He is in control of history? Can there be any doubt that He has a very specific purpose for the Jewish People in the end times? And can there be any doubt that God is going to accomplish all His purposes among the Jewish people?
References are available in the References section at the end of the book.
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If you enjoyed reading this Chapter 8 sample of Dr. David Reagan’s newest book on Israel in Bible Prophecy, consider ordering your copy today! The books runs 256 pages in length.