Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week created an uproar when he publicly endorsed the idea of equipping Israeli children with “microchips.” Most upset by the notion were Orthodox and Messianic Jews, the two sectors of Israeli society most inclined to view current events like this through a biblical and prophetic lens.
The word Netanyahu actually used in Hebrew was “sensors.” At last Monday’s press briefing, he said:
“I spoke with our heads of technology in order to find measures Israel is good at, such as sensors. For instance, every person, every kid – I want it on kids first – would have a sensor that would sound an alarm when you get too close, like the ones on cars.”
In other words, Israeli children would carry sensors in one form or another to aid in social distancing as they returned to school.
Israeli experts quickly dismissed the idea as impractical. But that wasn’t the story that got everyone’s attention.
Of much greater concern to Bible-believing Jews and Christian supporters of Israel was the perceived prophetic implication of Netanyahu’s suggestion.
Sensor or microchip?
Again, Netanyahu did not use the Hebrew word for microchip, שבב – “sh’vav.” He used the word for sensor, חיישן – “chaishan.”
Even so, most media outlets, in both Hebrew and English, chose to adjust the prime ministers words in order to claim he wants to “microchip our children.” It’s a bit of a stretch given the religious connotations carried by the notion of “microchipping” someone.
Netanyahu didn’t go into great detail, but he almost certainly was not talking about embedding sensors under our children’s flesh. Nevertheless, comparisons were immediately drawn between his suggestion and claims that Bill Gates wants to microchip American citizens in order to more easily identify them and even track their movements.
Mass population control
Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak, one of Israel’s more popular Sephardic rabbis, accused Netanyahu of trying to set the stage for “microchips and sensors to control the population and enslave them.”
“The goal,” continued Rabbi Yitzhak, “is to prepare the future generations for Bill Gates’ project.”
Another prominent rabbi, Daniel Asor, said this was the first step toward Netanyahu selling Israel out to a global shadow government, what Christians might call the “New World Order.”
Mark of the beast
In Hebrew-language Messianic Jewish forums, that was very much how many Israeli believers related to Netanyahu’s proposal. And given Bibi’s lack of popularity among a large portion of Israeli believers, some scoffed over the fact that a prime minister who many conservative Jews and Christians see as divinely-ordained would be the one to introduce this evil.
One participant, Lena Siegel, retorted that the entire conversation was giving credence to “fake news and efforts to put words in Bibi’s mouth. He said nothing of embedding microchips in people’s bodies. But I know many here dislike Bibi and want to imagine him as the bad guy.”
Others noted that the mark of the beast talked about in Revelation will be related to the ability to buy and sell, not preventing children from sneezing on one another at close range.
Still others fired back that while Netanyahu’s proximity sensors might not themselves constitute the mark of the beast, they are yet another stepping stone toward that eventuality.
In the end, everyone agreed that as believers we have little need to fret over such things growing closer. Even if Netanyahu himself ends up on the wrong side of the equation, our eyes should be on the Lord’s return.