Israel Rising: Ancient Prophecy/Modern Lens, the captivating new book by author Doug Hershey, continues to build momentum, claiming the Number 1 spot on its fifth Amazon Best Seller chart, this time on the online behemoth's Best Sellers in Torah category.
Israel Rising, which was launched to celebrate the anniversary of the formal establishment of the modern State of Israel 70 years ago on May 14,1948, also popped back up into the Number 1 spot this week on Amazon's History of Judiasm and Christian Prophecy charts.
Q: Doug, thanks for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on the release of your new book which has recently been a #1 best seller on five separate Amazon charts in the Israel & Palestine History, History of Judaism, General Israel Travel Guides, Christian Books & Bibles: Prophecies, and Torah categories. Let's start with yourself, tell us a little about yourself.
Thanks! I currently live in Portland, Maine, and have four great teenagers that I'm proud of. I also own a travel company, Ezra Adventures, that specializes in customizing small group travel (between 6-12 people) to Israel and Jordan. We personally connect our travelers to the people and the needs in the region through service projects, adventure day trips and visits to unique biblical sites.
Q: For the sake of our readers who may not have read the book, briefly what's the book about?
A few years ago, I obtained over 2,000 old photos that were taken in the land of Israel between the 1880s and 1940s. With a professional photographer, we reshot the exact angles of those old photos to show how much the land has physically responded to Jewish sovereignty. This is paired with a prophecy in Ezekiel 36 that foretold how the land would be desolate and forgotten when the Jewish people were out of the land, but would physically revive when they returned.
Also included in the book are eyewitness accounts from Jews, Christians and Muslims from almost every century for the last 2,000 years, describing what the land looked like until the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948. This is more than just a "then and now" book-it showcases photographic evidence that the Scriptures are being fulfilled in our day, exactly as the Bible foretold.
Q: How and when did your interest in Israel begin?
A love for Israel was always something that was in me from an early age. When I first went to Israel over 20 years ago, it simply solidified what seemed to already be in my heart. The more I spent time in Israel, the more the Bible made sense and the more I wanted to get involved in the unfolding story that the Bible said would happen there.
Q: What is the significance of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Israel for those of us who are not Jews and who don't live in Israel?
After 2,600 years, God is fulfilling His words, exactly as He said He would. Not in a spiritual or allegorical sense, but in tangible and literal ways. If the modern nation of Israel has demonstrated anything, it is that God is faithful to His word, down to the literal descriptions of how the land would respond to the Jewish people's return. The most repeated promise in the Bible is that God will bring His people back to the land He promised to give them. After 2,000 years of exile, it's happening in our day. God has not forgotten His promises to Israel, and He will not forget His promises to us.
Q: What do you have to say to critics who think that there are different ways of understanding end time prophecies?
Everyone has their opinions about how they think things will unfold or what timeline we are on or who represents what in Bible prophecies. In the end, it's simply speculation, and I'm not really interested in entering those conversations. This book is not speculation. It's simply providing photographic evidence to what the Bible foretold. Ezekiel 36 says that when the people return, the branches will put forth fruit (you can go taste it for yourself), the land will be cultivated and sown (it's happening now in ways it never has before), the wasted and forgotten cities will be rebuilt and inhabited (I take my groups to have lunch in those growing biblical cities that have been historically empty and desolate for hundreds and hundreds of years). The land is responding to Jewish sovereignty exactly as foretold. There is no guesswork or speculation!
Q: The book is not only insightful, but it's very beautiful with many photos. Who was the photographer? And tell us a little about these gorgeous pictures.
Elise Theriault is a talented pro photographer based in Chico, CA (EliseMonique.com). I have seen lots of photos of Israel and she often captures views and angles that I had never seen before, which was why I chose her for this project. Her work in this book was stunning. I highly recommend your readers to find her online social media galleries or contact her for her services.
Q: Accompanying the book is a music CD. What kind of songs are featured on this CD?
The Israel Rising CD has 14 powerful songs filled with a heart for Israel. The listener will be taken on a musical and pictorial journey, blending Hebrew and English vocals with ancient, traditional and modern music. It is a compilation of artists from Israel and comes with a 20-page booklet that contains some of the best photos from the book.
Q: How will this book and its accompanying CD help us in our walk with the Lord?
After 2,000 years of exile, the Jewish people are returning and the land is responding just as the Bible said it would. God has not forgotten His promises to Israel and He will not forget His promises to us. I believe we are beginning to see one of the most dramatic displays of God's faithfulness that perhaps the earth has seen in thousands of years.
In the book, you'll read the prophecy in Ezekiel and 2,000 years of historical eyewitness accounts. You'll see for yourself the dramatic transformations in over 100 Then/Now comparison photos that point to the accuracy of the Ezekiel prophecy and the historical records. Surely God keeps His promises and the promise of the Lord's return to Jerusalem is not far behind!
For more information on Israel Rising: Ancient Prophecy/Modern Lens, visit IsraelRisingBook.com and make sure to watch Doug Hershey's four-minute Israel Rising video (youtube.com/watch?v=rp7fPkPkCAc).
For more information or to purchase the Israel Rising: The Land of Israel Reawakens music CD, and the Israel Rising 70th Anniversary Commemorative 14-month calendar (April 2018-May 2019), visit CityofPeace.com, GalileeoftheNations.com, or ezraadventures.com/store.