Isaiah 11:11-16 is a great prophetic passage that describes the preliminary events of Israel's persecution by the Arab nations, even Islam, so notes Dr. Merrill F. Unger, the great OT scholar of years past. The verses tell us of the Jews returning to Zion, as Unger notes, beginning in 1948 with the founding of the state of Israel.
These prophesied events "will happen on that day" (v. 11). God "will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people who" have remained in the Arab lands after being scattered (v. 11b). They will return back to their Holy Land "from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands (the continents, along the shores) around the sea (v. 11c).
The Lord "will lift up a flag (a standard) for the nations, and will assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" (v. 12). The Jews will not fight with each other (the Northern kingdom-Ephraim, and the Southern kingdom-Judah) (v. 13). Unger writes that "the old rancor will be healed in the kingdom, and the unity of all Israel will become a blessed reality."
When the Jews are back in their Holy Land, they will "swoop down on the slopes of the Philistines on the west" (v. 14). They will secure their western borders and subdue the peoples who are the leftover of the Philistine tribes. The Jews will "plunder the sons of the east" (v. 14b) by possessing the Arab Muslim peoples near by: the Edomites, the Moabites, and the sons of Ammon (v. 14c).
Nature will be changed by the Lord (v. 15). He will "utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt (the Red Sea, Sea of Reeds); and He will wave His hand over the River (Euphrates)," today where we see Iran and Iraq. Men will walk "dry-shod" over the river-bed (v. 15b). And as the kingdom begins, the Lord will establish "a highway from Assyria for the remnant of His people who will be left, just as there was for Israel in the day that they came up out of the land of Egypt (under Moses)" (v. 16).
Several things must happen first: (1) the apostasy (which we see presently), (2) the rapture of the church, (3) the terrible seven year tribulation, (4) and then finally, when Christ comes to establish His kingdom reign. All events are drawing closer to fulfillment! We are closer than we can imagine!
--Dr. Mal Couch (9/11)