Summary: Jesus, Daniel, Isaiah and Revelation speak to the Times of the Gentiles. What is it? When is it?
THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES AND THE TIMES OF THE END
Jesus makes reference to the “times of the Gentiles” in Luke 21:24, “And Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” He made this prophetic statement in answer to His disciples’ questions about “What will be the signs of the end and when will they occur?” Jesus gave the disciple over a dozen signs to anticipate. One of the signs of the end-of-days, will be when Jerusalem is no longer being “trampled” upon and controlled by Gentiles (non-Jews). Paul gives a similar statement in Romans 11:25; “Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (ESV).”
One cannot have an accurate perspective or understanding of Biblical prophecy unless one puts themselves mentally and spiritually in Israel, in Jerusalem, and in particular, on the Temple Mount. Biblical prophecy makes necessary sense when viewed from that geographical and spiritual perspective. So when Christ spoke of Jerusalem being trampled by the Gentiles, He is referring to the time of non-Jewish control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount (Mt. Moriah). In the same Luke 21 teaching, Jesus began by looking across the Kidron Valley from the Mount of Olives, to the Temple and the Temple Mount less than a half-mile from where he was teaching the Disciples. He and the disciples had just walked from the Temple Mount to the Olivet location. He prophesied to the disciples that the temple area would be destroyed and not one stone would be on another. They looked at the marvelous architectural structure in front of them, and marveled, saying, “When”?
Historical Background. God created a people who were not a people (I Peter 2:10), the Jewish nation, to become the cradle and the family into which the Promised One would be born into the world to bless the nations. Yeshua was that One. For generations, the Jewish people were told of a coming Messiah that would be born of the line of David. However, many of the chosen people rejected Jehovah and even rejected Yeshua when He was born in Bethlehem two centuries ago. The prophets warned that rejection and rebellion of the Torah, Yahweh and the Anointed One, would and could result in many judgments and difficult times. It all came down as prophesied. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Iraq) overran Israel, killed most of the Jewish people that were still there after the Assyrian massacres, left the land desolate, destroyed the temple and Jerusalem and took about 4,000 (Jer. 52:30) remaining Jewish people into captivity to Babylon for 70 years. That destruction and captivity began in 606-605 BC.
The Jewish people have not ruled or controlled the Holy Land (Palestine or Israel) until 1948 AD; and the Jewish people have not controlled Jerusalem until 1967 at the conclusion of the six-day war. Gentiles “trampled” on the Holy Place for more than 2,500 years (605 BC – 1967 AD).
Many Biblical scholars will now conclude: The times of the Gentiles were fulfilled in 1967.
The Gentiles still control the world and Mystery Babylon of Revelation 18 (See my paper on Mystery Babylon), but that, too, will shortly come to an end when the Mighty King returns to reclaim and restore the kingdoms of the world to Himself. Mystery Babylon will go down in one hour! That occurs because the world (Gentile) economic system is interconnected and digitized electronically through the internet and the Anointed One will pull the plug. The economic, political and military power of Mystery Babylon will end when the plug is pulled. Nothing will work when computers don’t work.
Old Testament. The Old Testament does not contain this exact phrase, the time of the Gentiles, but there are references that seem to match up. Daniel’s (and Isaiah) series of visions deal with Gentile world powers and their role in God’s plan for the earth. Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay (Daniel 2:31–45) represents successive Gentile kingdoms that will dominate until the “time of the end”. Daniel’s vision of the four beasts (Daniel 7:1–27) likewise speaks of four kings, or nations, which will dominate for a time until Christ comes to rule forever. The vision of the ram and the goat (Daniel 8:1–26) gives more detail about these Gentile rulers and the time involved in their dominion. In each of these passages, the Gentiles have dominion over the world, including the Jewish people, for a time, but God will ultimately reestablish the Jewish people again in the land promised to them by the Almighty. The “Son of Man” will eventually subdue them all and establish His own kingdom once and for all. Each prophecy culminates with a reference to Christ's kingdom, so the “times” of these Gentile rulers would be all the years between the Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar and the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and their rule over Jerusalem. Ultimately, the glorious return of Christ to establish His Kingdom and millennial rule will be the final dating of the end of Gentile rule over the world.