Netanyahu has just started talking to Abbas face to face about peace after a two year recess. Abbas of the Fatah's PLO group has a lot of demands. We have one major one; to be recognized as a state. This should come first before any stoppage of building in Judea and Samaria on our part, I feel. Hamas, a terrorist political group in Gaza, refuses to do so. They even caused four Israelis living in Judea to be massacred in their car yesterday as well as instigating another attack on two Israelis in protest of this peace discussion.
I've been told that we are nearing the time of the Messiah's coming. Isaiah 11:6 has a metaphor for the peace of that Messianic time. It's when the wolf will live with the sheep and the leopard will lie down with the kid; and a calf, a lion whelp and a fatling will walk together, and a young child will lead them. A cow and bear will graze and their young will lie down together; and a lion, like cattle, will eat hay. A suckling will play by a viper's hole; and a newly weaned child will stretch his hand toward an adder's lair. They will neither injure nor destroy in all of My sacred mountain; for the earth will be as filled with knowledge of Hashem (G-d) as water covering the sea bed. It shall be on that day that the descendant of Jesse who stands as a banner for the peoples, nations will seek him, and his resting place will be glorious. Jesse lived in the 11th-10th century BCE and was the father of King David. David was the grandson of Ruth and Boaz. The royal house of David is known as the "stock or root of Jesse."
It goes on to talk about the Ingathering of the exiles to assemble the castaways of Israel and to gather in the dispersed ones of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The oppressors of Judah shall be cut off. Judah and Ephraim will fly in unison against the Philistine to the west. (Ephriam was the younger son of Joseph and the name of a tribe in Israel, and is a name applied to the more northern of the two Israelite kingdoms. Judah is the name of the southerly of the two kingdoms into which Palestine was divided in 933 BCE after the death of Solomon. The northerly kingdom had been known as the kingdom of Israel.
It seems to me that we have already had an ingathering of exiles and that I was a part of this when I lived in Israel from 1980-1985. Circumstances caused me to return to the states. Since then the ingathering has continued. It was an amazing experience to meet so many people from so many different places, and we all davened (prayed) together.
To me the wolf is a metaphor of the Palestinians and the sheep Israel. We're already living together in Israel as there are over a million Palestinians living there. How about the state of Palestinine that Abbas wants to bring about in Judea-Samaria? Palestine is to be Juden-free; no Israelis at all. To this American this is very narrow-minded. USA and Israel are made up of people from many countries who came for freedom and to live without persecution. The teeny state of Israel is made up of Jews and others from over 70 countries. It only has about 6 million people.
Jerusalem is the major city of contention. Palestine wants it and Israel has it. It's been a part of our history for over a thousand years, but as recently as 1967 was in Jordan's hands and was not being treated kindly. Palestinians are not willing to believe our historical claims to the land. They want East Jerusalem. I've read that Netanyahu may give in on this point. We'll see.
As for the knowledge of G-d, I'm afraid that our two groups have radical differences as well as a few similarities. I don't see how this will be bridged. So are we in pre-messianic times? Is peace near? When these two radically different peoples can do all of the above, I guess there truly will be peace all over the world.
I don't think this time will come until humans are involved with teaching and creating an environment causing animals to behave in such a manner. By then humans might catch on and want to copy them and live in peace, also. We're living in precipitous times.
Reference: The Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
The Stone Edition of the Tanach (Torah/Prophets/Writing/The 24 books of the Bible) from the ArtScroll Series of Mesorah Heritage Foundation.