Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Jews Some of the most amazing long-term predictions relate to the Jews. Before we can really appreciate all of these predictions, we need to remind ourselves what the Jews have gone through over the last two thousand years.

4. The Jews
Some of the most amazing long-term predictions relate to the Jews. Before we can really appreciate all of these predictions, we need to remind ourselves what the Jews have gone through over the last two thousand years.
A brief summary of the Jews’ story is as follows:
1. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 and many Jews were taken as captives to Rome
2. Following the suppression of Bar Kochba’s revolt in AD 135, many more Jews were dispersed from their homeland, which then
became desolate
3. They were persecuted by other nations throughout the next 1,900 years
4. During all this time without a homeland, they survived as an identifiable people
5. They returned to their old homeland and became a nation again in 1948, and the land once more became fruitful
6. The modern State of Israel has thrived and become a prominent player in modern politics
Bearing that in mind, we can look at what the Bible says. It is known that the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament into Greek was in existence at least 250 years before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70. So there is no possibility that the Old Testament predictions were written down after the events.
We shall now look at several Bible passages predicting these and other aspects of Jewish history over the past two thousand years.
As we look at these remarkable predictions, we must be careful to keep our own political views out of these considerations. The Bible tells us that some of the predicted events happened because the people concerned were not behaving in the best of ways. We are looking at the fulfilments of the predictions, not the rights and wrongs of the people or the politics involved.
a) Overthrow of the Jewish nation in AD 70
In this section we shall look mainly at the prophecies in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. These books were written at the time the Jewish nation was founded. They include a list of consequences for persistent rebellion against God. The rest of the Old Testament is a record of Israel’s continual disobedience to God. If these books come from a power greater than ourselves, we can expect to see the threats become reality.
Some of these threats aptly describe the Romans attacking Jerusalem in AD 70.
The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favour to the young.
Deuteronomy 28 v 49 and 50
Here we see the character of the Romans described:
1. They came from much further away than previous attackers
2. Their language was totally different from Hebrew
3. Their conquests were rapid, and their banner was an eagle
4. They were aggressive and merciless
The Arch of Titus in Rome (left) was built to commemorate the overthrow of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Roman general Titus.
The picture on the right is a close up of part of the Arch showing the seven-branched lampstand from the temple in Jerusalem being taken by the Romans.

Sketch of an early Imperial Roman
carrying the banner of the Roman Eagle
They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust,
come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout
all your land which the Lord your God has given you.
Deuteronomy 28 v 52
One characteristic of the campaign against the Jews by the Romans in AD 66 - 70 was the besieging and storming of towns. They had to fight their way through the land destroying one stronghold after another. The formidable Roman“battering ram” was used to breach the walls.

A Roman battering ram
You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters… I will lay
your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance
of your sweet aromas.
Leviticus 26 v 29 and 31
These verses describe the horrors of the siege of
Jerusalem in AD 70:
• The Jews ate their children
• The Romans destroyed nearly all the cities in Israel
• The splendid temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and all worship there ceased

A model of the ancient temple in Jerusalem
Pointing to the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus said:
Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon
another, that shall not be thrown down.
Matthew 24 v 2
Jerusalem was finally destroyed in AD 135. This followed the suppression of the last rebellion of the Jews against Rome under the Jewish rebel leader Bar Kochba. The very foundations of the temple were torn up and the land ploughed. Not even a ruin of the temple survives, as Jesus predicted.
And the Lord will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.
Deuteronomy 28 v 68
Though Egypt was not involved in the Jews’ overthrow in AD 70, it was involved afterwards, as this verse predicts. The historian Diodorus tells us that those who survived the Jerusalem siege were sent to the Egyptian mines and compelled to work day and night. The markets were swamped with Jewish slaves and the words of the quotation were fulfilled, “no one will buy you”.
We can see just how detailed are the predictions relating to this dreadful period in Jewish history.
  • The Jews were to be attacked by a powerful nation:
    • much further away than previous attackers
    • whose language was totally different from Hebrew
    • swift as an eagle
    • who would be merciless
    • who would besiege cities to conquer the land
  • The Jews would eat their own children in the sieges
  • The cities in the land would be destroyed
  • Not one stone of the magnificent temple in Jerusalem would be left in place
  • All places of worship would be destroyed
  • The Jews would be sold as slaves in Egypt
    b) Scattering of the Jews and desolation of their homeland
    After the destruction of their nation, the Jews were scattered throughout the vast Roman Empire.
    The *Atlas of Jewish History comments on page 17:
    By 300 AD, the Jews had settled in every part of the Roman Empire except Britain.
    After the fall of the Roman Empire, Jewish merchants played a leading part in trade and ended up dispersed all round the world.
    There are many references where the Jews are threatened that they will be scattered if they persistently rebel against God.
    I will scatter you among the nations…
    Leviticus 26 v 33
    Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other…
    Deuteronomy 28 v 64
    I will scatter them also among the Gentiles, whom neither they nor their fathers have known…
    Jeremiah 9 v 16
    (Gentiles are people other than Jews.)
    I will scatter you among the nations, disperse you throughout the countries…
    Ezekiel 22 v 15
    * The Routledge Atlas of Jewish History by Martin Gilbert.
    The desolation of the land of Israel before the Jews started returning can be seen from these pictures taken in 1940. The left picture shows one of the first tractors ploughing the land in the Huleh Swamp. The right picture shows workers in the same swamps with their heads covered with netting as protection against malaria-carrying flies.
    • The Jews were to be scattered throughout the world

    • The Jews’ land was to be desolate
    c) Hatred and persecution of the Jews
    There are many clear predictions that their constant rebellion against God would also result in
    terrible persecution for the Jews:
     But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments… I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you…And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
    Leviticus 26 v 14, 17 and 25
    Martin Gilbert in the preface to the Atlas of Jewish History says:
     … I was surprised, depressed, and to some extent overwhelmed by the perpetual and irrational violence which pursued the Jews in every century and to almost every corner of the globe. If therefore, persecution, expulsion, torture, humiliation and mass murder haunt these pages, it is because they also haunt the Jewish story.
    The picture below shows Jews being taken to Oswiecem Concentration Camp in Poland in 1943.
    This persecution by Adolf Hitler in the Second World War was typical of the persecution that the Jews have endured down the ages.

    This picture shows a group of Jewish
    men waiting to be killed in a gas van
    at the Chelmno death camp.
    And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see.
    Deuteronomy 28 v 65 to 67

    The story of the Holocaust that these words predict is, without exception, the most terrible and horrific in human history.
    Anti-Semitism still continues today. The “Jewish Virtual Library” website has a section called “Anti- Semitic Trends Throughout the World”, which reports incidents round the world each year. It remarks:
     The year 2000 was characterized by a significant increase in anti-Semitic activity of every kind
    The degree of persecution is shown in the report’s comments for the month of October 2000:
     180 attacks, attack attempts and violent incidents were recorded (not including threats, abusive slogans and anti-Jewish propaganda), most of them directed against synagogue worshippers.
    The level of anti-Jewish activity was most prominent in France with 62 incidents, Canada with 29 incidents, the US with 22 incidents and Britain with 20 incidents.
    And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the Lord will drive you.
    Deuteronomy 28 v 37
    The word “Jew” came into popular use in North America in the 1840s. “To Jew” means “to use questionable business practices”.
    • The Jews were to be hated and persecuted wherever they settled
    • They were to become a proverb
    d) Survival of the Jews away from their homeland
    Despite hundreds of years without a homeland, suffering dreadful persecution, the Jews are still a distinct nation.
    Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I
    will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly
    destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the
    LORD their God.
    Leviticus 26 v 44

    This is a clear promise that, despite their persecutions, the Jews
    would not be destroyed.

    A Jewish student

    A Jewish family
    celebrates the feast of Passover
    ‘For I am with you,’ says the LORD, ‘to save you; though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you.’
    Jeremiah 30 v 11

    Do not fear, O Jacob My servant,’ says the LORD, ‘for I am with you; for I will make a complete end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but I will not make a complete end of you.’
    Jeremiah 46 v 28

    The Jews are here promised that the nation will outlive all of its persecutors. Their history shows how the promise has been kept.
    Thus says the LORD: ‘If My covenant is not with
    day and night, and if I have not appointed the
    ordinances of heaven and earth, then I will cast
    away the descendants of Jacob and David My
    Jeremiah 33 v 25 and 26

    This passage compares the certainty of day following night
    with the certainty of the Jewish race continuing.

    A group of Jewish children
    The prophet Hosea adds another prediction about the Jews:
     For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince.
    Hosea 3 v 4
    For many centuries until 1948 the Jews had no central authority of any kind.

    The God of the Bible makes the bold statement that we shall know He exists if the Jews continue to
     For I am the LORD, I do not change;
    Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

    Malachi 3 v 6
    • Despite their persecution and lack of a homeland, the Jews would survive as an identifiable people
    • They would outlive their persecutors
    • They would survive a long time with no central authority
    e) Return of the Jews to their old homeland
    In 1948, the nation of Israel was re-formed. This was the first time the Jews had a national homeland since AD 135.

    The ship “Exodus” loaded with Jews in
    1947 - one of the many boats that brought
    Jews back to their old homeland
    Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land’.
    Ezekiel 37 v 21
    Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet …
    I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’
    Ezekiel 11 v 16 and 17

    The climax of the return of the Jews to
    Palestine was the declaration of the State of
    Israel in 1948
    Martin Gilbert’s Atlas of Jewish History shows that between 1652 and 1946 at least twenty other places round the world were considered beside Israel as possible Jewish homelands. But the Bible’s predictions were correct despite men having other ideas!
    And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them
    from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I
    will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys
    and in all the inhabited places of the country.
    Ezekiel 34 v 13

    The Knesset – The government building
    of the modern nation of Israel

    The modern city of Jerusalem
    And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
    Luke 21 v 24

    From AD 70 to 1967, Jerusalem was ruled by non-Jews (Gentiles).
    But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you,
    and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited
    and the ruins rebuilt.

    Ezekiel 36 v 8 to 10
    The picture above shows a farm in the Huleh valley in 1984. This contrasts sharply with the pictures at the top of page 13 which show the Huleh swamp in 1940.

    The left-hand picture shows an aerial view of the beachfront hotels at Tel-Aviv. This shows that the cities have indeed been “inhabited” as Ezekiel predicted.
    f) Jerusalem would become an international problem
    Two verses in the prophecy of Zechariah clearly talk
    about this:
    And it shall happen in that day that I will
    make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all
    peoples; all who would heave it away will
    surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of
    the earth are gathered against it.
    Zechariah 12 v 3
    For I will gather all the nations to battle
    against Jerusalem.
    Zechariah 14 v 2

    Jerusalem – centre of Middle East tension
    These two verses very clearly predict that Jerusalem would become the focus of world problems.
    We can see that situation developing now.
    • The Jews would be regathered from the nations where
      they had been scattered
    • They would return to their ancient homeland
    • The desolate land would become fruitful
    • Cities would be built
    • Jerusalem would once again be ruled by Jews
    • Jerusalem would become an international problem

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