'Jacob Sheep' Return to Israel: 'Precursor' to Third Temple and Second Coming of Christ?

Jacob Sheep are shown in this handout photo provided by the Friends of Jacob Sheep in Abottsford, British Columbia, Canada, on March 1, 2016.Reuters

The arrival in Israel this month of an ancient breed of sheep has been called a "prophetic precursor" for the building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

In turn, the building of this temple is said to be one of the prophesied events leading to the Second Coming of Christ.

Exactly 119 sheep reportedly descended from Jacob's flock have returned to their biblical homeland—the first time the sheep have stepped on Israeli soil since biblical times, the Times of Israel reported.

The breed received the name "Jacob sheep" based on Genesis Chapter 30, where Jacob talks about leaving his father-in-law Laban's home and taking part of the flock as his payment for years of service. "I will pass through all thy flock today, removing from thence every speckled and spotted one, and every dark one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and of such shall be my hire," he is quoted as saying in Genesis 30:32.

The path taken by the sheep was the same path taken by Jacob who went to Canaan and then Egypt.

When the Jews returned to Israel, the uniquely speckled sheep did not return with them.

As described in a Charisma News report, the sheep are "small, piebald and crowned distinctively with four horns." They are a "heritage" breed, which means mean they retain many of their genetic traits and remain relatively unchanged from their origins.

Gil and Jenna Lewinsky, the Jewish couple who brought the sheep to Israel from Canada, plan to open a Heritage Park in the Golan Heights in northern Israel as a tourist attraction to enable people to see the biblical sheep for themselves, according to Breaking Israel News.

Gil Lewinsky said they have another, much loftier purpose for the proposed park.

"There will be a woolery at the Heritage Park which will turn the raw wool into religious clothing, shirts and prayer shawls. The horns can be crafted into shofars," he said.

The biblical instrument known as a shofar, still in Jewish ritual use today, is commonly made from the horn of a ram (male sheep). In the Book of Joel, the shofar is associated with the arrival of the Messiah.

"Sound a shofar in Zion and sound an alarm in My holy mountain; all the inhabitants of the land shall quake, for the day of the Lord has come, for it is near." (Joel 2:1)

Furthermore, Lewinsky said, "once the Beit Hamikdash (the Jewish name for the Third Temple) is built, the sheep can be sacrificed there, being the original sheep of our ancestors. In fact, the sheep is a central animal for Temple service; without it, it cannot function."

According to Lamb & Lion Ministries, "there is definitely going to be a third temple" and that "the Antichrist will desecrate this temple in the middle of the Tribulation."

The website said, "The Third Temple will be destroyed at the Second Coming of Jesus."

"In Jerusalem it will result in the provision of a very large level area where the Millennial Temple will be constructed. This is the temple from which Jesus will reign over all the earth. It is described in detail in Ezekiel 40-46," the website said.