Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

The Balfour Declaration

The Balfour Declaration was an official statement issued on behalf of the British government in 1917, announcing its support in principle of a proposed home for the Jewish people in Palestine.  It was drafted by British Foreign Minister Arthur J. Balfour in concert with prominent Jewish leaders and the British cabinet and was issued by Balfour in the following communication to the 2nd Baron Rothschild on November 2, 1917:

"I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of his Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations, which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

"His Majesty's Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.  It being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

"I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation."

This declaration, which Zionists interpreted as a promise for a Jewish state in Palestine, was formally approved by representatives of the Allied governments at Versailles in 1919 and was the basis of the League of Nations mandate for Palestine.

John Darby, whose Biblical teachings as to Israel being restored to their land influenced Balfour and others in the British government at the time, wrote this:

"A very clear prophecy of Israel's condition in the last days is contained in Isaiah 18.  They shall be restored by means of some powerful nation, outside the limits of their then national relationships; but Jehovah stands apart from His own relationship with them, though ordering all things.  Then, when Israel shall begin to bud as a vine in the land, they shall be given up as a prey to the nations.  Nevertheless in that time they shall be brought as an offering to Jehovah, and shall themselves bring an offering too."

From Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, by J. N. Darby.

In Planet Earth – The Final Chapter (published by Western Front), Hal Lindsey writes, "During World War I, a British scientist, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, developed a synthetic acetone that helped the British to develop new, smokeless gunpowder, which significantly shortened the war.  In gratitude, the British government offered to grant Weizmann a 'boon'.  Weizmann, a Zionist leader, asked for a homeland for his people.  His request resulted in the issuance of the Balfour declaration, which stated in part:  'His Majesty's government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object'.  Lord Balfour had become an avid believer in the literal interpretation of Bible prophecy, through the influence of John Darby's extensive ministry.  As a result, he believed that God could not lie to the Jewish people when He promised to return them to their own land and reestablish the State of Israel.  Lord Balfour, with the assistance of another Member of Parliament named Lord Lindsay, who also believed in the literal promises of Bible prophecy, had exerted considerable influence on their colleagues for the sake of seeking to help establish a Jewish homeland."
At a recent Bible prophecy conference (October, 1999), IDF Colonel Yehuda Levy, retired editor of the Jerusalem Post, had this to say:

"...  In the end, I believe that Israel has not had it yet, unfortunately.  We have to be prepared for the next war, whenever it will or it may come.  Because in the basis of our reality, it remains that the Arab world still does not agree with the existence of Israel in the heart of the Middle East.  They will talk peace with us as long as they will be convinced that we are too strong to be beaten on the battlefield.  And believe me that Israel is strong, but it can be never strong enough, without, of course, trusting our God and trusting the very vital support of the American people and the American Christians who are doing what you're doing on a daily basis, and I'm thankful for that.  God bless you all."

Here is the relevant passage in Isaiah 18 (verses 1-7):

"Ha! land shadowing with wings,
which art beyond the rivers of Cush,
that sendest ambassadors over the sea,
and in vessels of papyrus upon the waters,
'Go, swift messengers, to a nation scattered and ravaged,
to a people terrible from their existence and thenceforth;
to a nation of continued waiting and of treading down,
whose land the rivers have spoiled!
All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth,
when a banner is lifted up on the mountains, see ye,
and when a trumpet is blown, hear ye!'

For thus hath Jehovah said unto me:
'I will take my rest,
and I will observe from my dwelling-place
like clear heat upon herbs,
like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.
For before the harvest, when the blossoming is over,
and the flower becometh a ripening grape,
he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning-knives,
and take away and cut down the branches.
They shall be left together unto the mountain birds of prey,
and to the beasts of the earth;
and the birds of prey shall summer upon them,
and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.'

In that time shall a present be brought unto Jehovah of hosts
of a people scattered and ravaged, –
and from a people
terrible from their existence and thenceforth,
a nation of continued waiting and of treading down,
whose land the rivers have spoiled,
... to the place of the name of Jehovah of hosts,
the mount Zion."

Another relevant passage, concerning the subsequent establishment of Israel in 1948, is found in Isaiah 66 (verses 7-9):

"Before she travailed, she brought forth;
Before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child.
Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things?
Can a land be made to bring forth in one day?
shall a nation be born at once?

For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her sons.
'Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth?' saith Jehovah;
'I who cause to bring forth, shall I shut the womb?' saith thy God."


  • Arthur Balfour - biographical sketch of Arthur Balfour's political life and religious views.
  • John Nelson Darby - Wikipedia article about John Nelson Darby's life and teachings.

The Balfour Declaration