The Bible: Jews, Jerusalem and the Nation of Israel
A scholar was once asked what proof he could offer that the Bible is true. His answer: "The Jews, my friend, the Jews."
It is extraordinary that the Jews remain a unique and identifiable group of people after being dispersed throughout the world for nearly 2000 years following the conquest of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Normally, as centuries pass, people acculturate to their new environment. They mingle, intermarry, and lose their unique identity.
It's not that anyone has a great deal to gain by remaining Jewish. The persistence of antisemitism and persecution through thousands of years seems inexplicable. Thousands of years! Why? People should be judged as individuals, based on the content of their character, not as members of any racial or religious group. Not only is antisemitism alive and well after millennia, most people seem completely blind to it! I was shocked that soon after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, even friends of mine immediately blamed the Jews! That response has echoes down through history.
Not only are Jews still around, they have a nation, exactly as prophet after prophet predicted thousands of years ago. Here are some Bible prophecies that predicted a Jewish nation:
- Therefore say: "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again." (Ezekiel 11:17)
- "So there is hope for your future," declares the Lord. "Your children will return to their own land." (Jeremiah 31:17)
- I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God. (Zechariah 8:8)
Notice the word again in Ezekiel 11:17. Some Jews returned to the land after they were captured and removed by the Babylonians. Some people assert that the prophecies of a return to the land were fulfilled at that time. That doesn't explain the word again.
The Old Testament even said how this prophesied event would occur, in a moment. On May 14, 1948, at precisely midnight, Israel became a modern nation.
- Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? (Isaiah 66:8)
When Israel became a nation, many people started to take a deeper look at the Bible, especially after seeming miracles occurred during subsequent wars. Israel was attacked immediately after independence with overwhelming force by five Arab countries vowing genocide. Israel won the war and gained control of about half the land originally planned to an the Arab state of Palestine. In 1967 Egypt and Syria joined forces to eliminate, subjugate or disperse all Jews in the land. Israel's leaders promised not to attack Jordan if that country stayed out of the war and Jordan's king agreed. He broke his promise and attacked. In just six days, Israel, fighting for its very survival, gained control of the Western Wall, Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula. In 1973, the Yom Kippur War began with a surprise Arab attack on the highest Jewish holy day. Israel moved to defend itself and would have conquered Cairo and Damascus had the U.N. not intervened to demand a cease-fire. (It is curious that the U.N. doesn't intervenes when Israel, a member nation, is being attacked! It invariably intervenes as soon as Israel appears to be winning!)
Despite incessant Arab terrorist attacks against Israel, U.N. condemnations have been completely unbalanced. Of 370 U.N. condemnations issued through 1997, Israel was condemned 370 of the 370 times! Arab nation were not condemned once! Despite the Palestinian Liberation Organization's history of terrorism, its support for jihad, and its open refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist, the U.N. issued not a single condemnation! Incidents such as the killing of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Summer Olympics by Palestinian terrorists are quickly forgotten, whereas the misbehavior of a single Jew is generalized to condemn all Jews for all time!
In 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians everything they demanded except the city of Jerusalem and the return of all Arab refugees and their descendants to Israel as voting citizens. Had he agreed to that, Arabs could have "democratically" expelled or eliminated all Jews. Yassir Arafat refused Barak's offer and did not present a counteroffer. Soon afterward Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount with permission of the Muslim authorities. The result was a violent uprising and hostilities that continued for years. Clearly, the Palestinians want something other than a nation of their own and an opportunity to peacefully coexist! It should be clear to everyone by now who is the primary aggressor, but it is not clear.
Interestingly, Jerusalem was not an especially important city to Muslims until early in the 20th century, when Jews began to return due to oppression in eastern Europe. The Dome of the Rock was built on the Temple Mount centuries ago, but the story of it being the site of Muhammad's ascension to heaven is recent. That story is not in the Quran. It is based on the following Quranic verse, Sura 17:1, which is not among the many verses inscribed in flowing Arabic on the walls of the Dome of the Rock.
Glory to God who did take his servant for a journey by night from the sacred mosque to the farthest mosque whose precincts we did bless, — in order that we might show him some of our signs: for he is the one who heareth and seeth all things.
The end times events predicted in Revelation could not have literally occurred prior to the reunion of Jews in Israel as a nation. Prophecy at least seems to have been fulfilled by the reconstitution of Israel as a homeland for Jews.
There are people who disagree that the return of Jews to Israel has anything at all to do with Biblical prophecy, even people who assert that no Biblical prophecy has ever been fulfilled. If someone like Nostradamus had written thousands of years ago that the Swiss people would be conquered and dispersed throughout the world hundred years after he died, that they would retain their identity and not assimilate while wandering for 2000 years, then be regathered from all over the world and regain sovereignty in their original homeland thousands of years after he died, and it actually happened, I expect most people would acknowledge that he had a window into the future! Why the double standard?
Related articles on this web site:
- Is Evolution True?
- Is the Bible True?
- Whatsoever Thing Are True (a book I wrote a few years after the articles above)
Source: www.SusanCAnthony.com, ©Susan C. Anthony