THE HATRED OF THE JEWS
by Tom Flannery
Tuesday 10 October 2006, by Alain – Article used with permission
In a recent column, Victor Davis Hanson pointed out that the historic pathological hatred of the Jewish people is beyond human reason. Indeed it is — which is why it can neither be understood nor explained from a natural perspective, but only from a spiritual one.
God Himself created the Jewish race and separated the people to Himself in an everlasting covenant, then led them into the Promised Land and gave them that land as their eternal inheritance — all of which is recorded in the opening books of the Bible.
The fact that they have been divinely chosen and used by God to reveal Himself to the whole world would be reason enough for Satan to despise the Jews and devote himself to their utter destruction, but there is so much more….
First, all of the patriachs and prophets — the founders of the Judeo-Christian faith — were Jewish, from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob onward. As minister and author John Hagee has noted, “There wasn’t a Baptist in the bunch.”
Second, the Word of God (Holy Bible) was given to us by God through the Jewish people. Every writer of both the Old and New Covenants (what we call the Old and New Testaments) was Jewish, without a single exception. The only one that’s ever been in question is Luke, and his Jewishness can be thoroughly documented.
Most importantly, it was the Jewish people who gave us the Messiah — Yeshua, whom we call Jesus — as prophesied in specific detail throughout the entire Old Covenant.
Furthermore, we know that all of these Messianic prophecies of the Old Covenant were fulfilled no less than hundreds of years after they were recorded, since it is historically provable that the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament) was translated about 200 years before Yeshua, Jesus, arrived on the world scene.
It was foretold in the Old Covenant, for instance, that He was the One who would be born of a virgin. As God revealed through the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before it took place: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel [which means ’God with us’]” (Isa. 7:14).
Some critics will point out that the word for “virgin” in the original Hebrew is the word “almah,” which can also mean “young girl,” and they argue that this is how the verse should be properly interpreted (as opposed to a virgin birth).
The problem with that is it makes absolutely no sense in the context of the pronouncement itself. God promises that He Himself will give a sign to the world, which means that this sign will have to be so supernaturally powerful that the world will know it could ONLY be of God.
What kind of a sign from God would it be for a young girl to give birth? That happens all over the world every day. No, this was a virgin birth that was prophesied — so in the New Covenant the Greek word that is used to describe it is “parthenos,” which can only mean “virgin.”
God also foretold that Messiah would be “cut off” (put to death) but “not for Himself” (Dan. 9:26), for the full payment of the sins of the world. Isaiah was given a vision of His death hundreds of years in advance and described it in detail in Isaiah 53. In this chapter, God foretold through Isaiah that Messiah would be a Suffering Servant who would take our sins upon Himself and through His personal sacrifice make it possible for us to have peace with God.
Verses 4-5 tell us: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was laid upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
In other words, He didn’t deserve any of the punishment that was meted out. As verse 9 says: “He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.” He was God in human flesh, the One whom Isaiah revealed earlier in his book is called “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).
He was the Son of God (Proverbs 30:4, Psalm 2:12), yet equal to and one with God (thus, the titles Mighty God and Everlasting Father apply). Isaiah prophesied of Him: “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given” (Isa. 9:6) — the Child was born, but the Son was GIVEN by heaven’s grace.
As such, He was perfectly holy and sinless in every way, yet He was “despised and rejected by men” (Isa. 53:3), the stone that was spurned by the builders yet became the chief cornerstone just as Yeshua was rejected as Messiah by His own people but became the chief cornerstone of the church (Psalm 118:22, John 1:11-12, I Pet. 2:7).
Although both Jews and Gentiles played a part in His execution — so that the whole world stands guilty before God for the shedding of His precious blood (Romans 3:19, 23) — it is clear from Scripture that the One who sovereignly nailed God the Son to that tree was God the Father. Isa. 53:4 tells us that the coming Messiah would be “smitten by God.” He even goes as far as to say “it pleased the Lord [God the Father] to bruise Him [God the Son]” (verse 10).
Some use this as a basis to denounce God as cruel or heartless, but it actually proves the very opposite about Him. Because there was no other way for unholy and unjust man to be reconciled to a perfectly holy and perfectly just God, the Son came into the world to do for us what we could never do or even help to do for ourselves.
If there were any other way for us to be saved (good works, religious rituals, sacraments, the golden rule, other religions, etc.) then indeed it would have been barbaric for God to sacrifice His beloved Son (Gal. 2:21). But there wasn’t, because God is so perfectly holy that He cannot have fellowship with anyone tainted by the slightest stain of sin. He can only punish sin. Because of the fall of man, sin had entered the entire human race through Adam’s seed and thus separated us from God for good.
So Yeshua took our place on that tree — where He “suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust” (I Pet. 3:18) — as the Father poured out the fullness of His fiery wrath against Him there for all of OUR wickedness. He paid one perfect sacrifice for the full payment of all our sins forevermore, dying “once for all” (Rom. 6:8-10, Heb. 7:27, 9:12, 9:26-28, 10:10-14).
Isa. 53:6 declares: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord [God the Father] has laid on Him [God the Son] the iniquity of us all.”
The animal sacrifices instituted by God under the Old Covenant foreshadowed Yeshua’s future substitutional death. As we are told in Leviticus 17:11, “it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”
Yeshua was the Spotless Lamb who never spoke to defend Himself at His trial though He faced a horrific death (Mt. 27). Isa. 53:7 relates, “He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.”
Isaiah goes on to prophesy in verse 9 that Messiah would die with the wicked (Yeshua was crucified between two criminals) yet be buried with the rich in His death (Yeshua was buried in the tomb of a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea).
Some Jewish critics have labeled Isa. 53 as “The Forbidden Chapter” and either banned its reading or simply ignored it. Others have said the Suffering Servant predicted in this chapter is the Jewish people — but that cannot be so. After all, God declares that the Suffering Servant would die “for the transgression of My people” (vs. 8), and the only people God ever addresses as “My people” in Scripture (certainly in the Old Covenant) is the Jews. Thus, the Jewish people are not only referred to separately and apart from the Suffering Servant, but they are identified as the beneficiaries of the sacrifice He makes.
Remember, in the New Covenant, Yeshua not only says in John 4 that salvation is “of the Jews” (who gave us the Messiah who died for us, the Bible that reveals God’s truth, etc.), but the apostle Paul explained that salvation, God’s greatest gift to the whole world, is “for the Jew first and then also for the Greek [Gentile]” (Rom. 1:16). We as Gentile believers have been grafted into God’s covenant with the Jewish race like a branch into a tree and consequently come under the eternal blessings He gave first to them (Rom. 11).
God also gave a vision of Messiah’s substitutional death to King David, who wrote Psalm 22 from the point of view of Yeshua on the tree (cross) about 1,000 years before the fact: “I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint…They pierced My hands and My feet…they divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots, etc…”
Yeshua is also the One who was prophesied to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2); who was to reveal Himself to the world at a particular point in time (Dan. 9, which lays out a timeline that extends to the very day of Yeshua’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem); and whose birth, life, earthly ministry, death, bodily resurrection and ascension fulfilled so many other specific Old Covenant prophecies concerning the coming of Messiah — again, hundreds and even thousands of years after they were recorded — that He would die willingly (Isa. 50:6), that darkness would cover the land in daytime at His execution (Amos 8:9), that He would be sold for 30 pieces of silver which would eventually be used by the temple priests to purchase a potter’s field (Zech. 11:12-13), that God would raise Him from the dead (Ps. 16:10), and so on.
Besides all these prophecies, the Old Covenant contains numerous stories that uncannily foreshadowed significant events in the life of Yeshua — divine parallels, if you will. These are true accounts, every one of them, in which God orchestrated circumstances in the lives of Old Covenant saints like Moses and Joseph to reveal essential truths about the coming Messiah.
There was Isaac, the “son of promise,” whose supernatural birth foreshadowed the supernatural birth of Yeshua some 2,000 years later (Genesis 18, 21). There was also the Passover (Ex. 12), when all the first-born Jewish children were saved by the blood of a spotless lamb (representing a sinless, substitutional sacrifice). Three days later, the Jews were delivered from death by God when they came miraculously out of the Red Sea and through that deliverance made it to the Promised Land, just as Yeshua came miraculously out of the grave three days after His sinless substitutional sacrifice, delivering us from death and making it possible for each one of us to follow Him into paradise.
One of the most powerful truths that God conveyed through a divine parallel was when He commanded Abraham to take Isaac, his beloved “only son,” up on a mountain to sacrifice him (Gen. 22). When Abraham had Isaac on the altar of wood and was about to obey, God stopped him and revealed a ram whose horns were caught in a thicket (a crown of thorns). Abraham loosed Isaac and used the ram with the crown of thorns as a substitutional sacrifice as directed by God, just as Yeshua wore a crown of thorns and was a sinless substitutional sacrifice on a mountain for each one of us on the wooden altar of the tree, or cross. The Old Covenant states that “cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree,” and Yeshua literally became our curse upon that tree, the curse of our sin, and paid for it in full there.
Before climbing the mountain, Abraham told his servants that he and the boy would be returning together. That’s because God already assured him that the Messianic line would continue through his seed (Isaac, the first natural-born Jew whose descendants would include Moses, King David and ultimately Yeshua, the divine “Son of Promise”).
Now, Abraham had every intention of obeying God and sacrificing Isaac, as he demonstrated at the altar. So by telling his servants that the boy would be coming back with him, he was essentially saying he believed that God was going to raise his son from the dead (foreshadowing Messiah’s bodily resurrection).
In his book “Jerusalem Countdown,” John Hagee details 18 divine parallels between Moses and Yeshua — wicked kings tried to have them killed as infants, both were rejected by Israel for a time, both spoke with God after which their faces shone with supernatural glory, etc.
Hagee also lists eight divine parallels between Joseph and Yeshua, including that just as Joseph was rejected by his brothers and sold as a slave, Yeshua was rejected by His brothers (Israel) and sold for 30 pieces of silver; that just as Joseph was falsely accused and imprisoned, Yeshua was falsely accused and entered the prison of death; and just as Joseph rose suddenly and miraculously out of prison to the right hand of the most powerful man in the world, Yeshua rose suddenly and miraculously out of the grave and ascended to the right hand of the Father.
It’s no wonder, with all God has done through the Jews to reveal Himself, His salvation plan, and His Savior to the world, that Satan despises them and is devoted to their destruction. We see that clearly from even a cursory examination of past events.
But there’s also the future. You see, all of endtime prophecy centers on the reborn nation of Israel and the Jewish people, which is why Israel has been rightly called “God’s prophetic time clock.”
The Bible asks if a nation can be born “in a day” or “at once” (Isa. 66:8). That rhetorical question was answered with a resounding “Yes!” on May 14, 1948, when this endtime prophecy foretold by God through Isaiah was miraculously fulfilled over 2,000 years after it was recorded.
So was the question God posed to Ezekiel, when He took the prophet into the Valley of Dry Bones and asked him if the bones could live (Ezek. 37). God answered the question Himself by raising them to life before Ezekiel’s eyes.
God was foretelling that even though it would one day look as though He were finished with the Jews for their rebelliousness (in the Diaspora), He would raise them to new life as a people and as a nation in the last days. In verse 11, God tells Ezekiel that the bones represent “the whole house of Israel,” the Jewish people. They are “the apple of His eye.”
The Jews lament in verse 11 that “our hope is lost and we are cut off,” but God assures them of this coming period: “I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you [back] into the land of Israel” (vs. 12).
Has God cast off His chosen people and left them without hope? No, as He answers unequivocally here. In the New Covenant, Paul answers this same question forcefully by inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “Certainly not!…God has not cast away His people whome He foreknew” (Rom. 11:1-2).
So much for “Replacement Theology!”
His plan for the Jewish people is still unfolding, and more Jews are coming to saving faith in Yeshua today than since the time of Jesus and the apostles, when the entire church was Jewish and remained so for years.
History has demonstrated that any people displaced from their homeland for more than five generations will be absorbed by the cultures into which they’ve migrated and lose their national identity. The Jews were out of the land for some TWO THOUSAND YEARS during the Diaspora and, being persecuted wherever they went (often by those who claimed to be Christians yet violated the teachings of Yeshua and God’s Word by their heinous actions), they had every reason to abandon their identity. But they didn’t. God preserved them as a people just as He promised all along (Jer. 30:11).
God also promised that when He brought them back into their land, He would never allow them to be uprooted from it again (Amos 9:15). So God did indeed bring them back into their homeland, making them a nation again on that historic day in 1948 as He had promised, and since then He has upheld His promise in Amos by supernaturally preserving the people and nation through a litany of wars, intifadas and terrorist attacks launched by their Arab enemies (as He warned would happen in Zech. 12, foretelling Israel would be surrounded in the last days by enemies who would seek to destroy her but who would instead ultimately be destroyed by God).
True to His Word as always, God has consistently blessed His chosen people with victory through all these assaults over the past six decades, even when Israel was facing seemingly insurmountable odds militarily. He has also fulfilled all other promises He made to the Jews about what He would do once He brought them back into their historic homeland.
The first of these promises concerned the land itself. In the 1800s, Mark Twain — a devout atheist — traveled to the Holy Land and mocked the idea that it would ever be of use to anyone ever again. He wrote in his book “The Innocents Abroad” how it was a desolate, unlivable land where you couldn’t even find cactus growing.
So much for the Bible, he seemed to be saying.
Yet God had promised in the Old Covenant thousands of years earlier that He would make the land bloom once the Jews returned (Isa. 35:1-2), and that is precisely what He’s done these past decades — so much so that Israel is now a leading exporter of fruit to the world. As God foretold: “Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit” (Isa. 27:6).
Other key prophecies involved the restoration of the once-dead Hebrew language (Zeph. 3:9), and the return of Jews to Israel from around the world (Jer. 31:8-12, Ezek. 36:24, etc.), both of which have been miraculously fulfilled.
Once again, though, we have a madman who is giving prepared speeches about how he intends to wipe Israel and the Jews from the face of the earth. Which brings us to Iran.
As Hagee’s book documents, the Iranian president is pushing his nation toward the development of nuclear weapons. He admits openly that he intends to share this technology with other rogue states and use it to destroy Israel “in one storm.”
That’s NOT going to happen, for God has vowed to prevent it from ever happening. Yet because prophetic events conclude with the eternal judgment of Satan and all those who have rejected the free gift of salvation God offers to the world through Yeshua alone, Satan is doing everything in his extremely limited power to try to forestall the inevitable. If he could wipe out the Jews, all of prophecy would come to a screeching halt. That’s why we had the Holocaust and all the other pogroms through history, and the constant assaults against Israel since it was reborn in 1948, and why the Iranians are boasting about their plans to complete “the final solution.”
But the Jews will not be destroyed; although many will perish (as will many millions of Gentiles) in the coming “time of Jacob’s trouble” or tribulation period foretold in Scripture, the surviving Jews will be saved and spiritually restored as a people when Yeshua returns (Rom. 11:26-27).
God showed the prophet Zechariah this scene thousands of years in advance and revealed what will take place on that day: “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zech. 12:10).
Just as Joseph revealed himself to his estranged brothers on their third time into the land and copious tears were shed among them (Gen. 45), Yeshua is going to reveal Himself to His estranged brothers (the Jewish nation) now that He has brought them back into their land for the third time. And when He does, they will weep and mourn for Him as one would for an “only son…for a firstborn.” Yeshua is both God’s “only begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16-18) and the “firstborn from the dead” (Col. 1:18).
God’s self-references in this passage from Zechariah as both “Me” and “Him” underscore the truth of the Trinity — not three distinct Gods, but one true God in three distinct Persons. The word used for God in Gen. 1:1 is “Elohim,” which is not a singular word but is plural. Moreover, God goes on to address Himself, the one true Creator and giver of life in Gen. 1:26 by saying, “Let US make man in OUR image” (emphases mine). And in Gen. 11:7 again, “Come, let US go down…” (emphasis mine).
The gospel, which literally means “good news,” is the greatest good news that the world has ever heard, or ever could have hoped to hear. It is the message that God so loves each one of us personally and individually, despite all our sinfulness and rebelliousness against Him, that He came into the world and purchased an eternal pardon for every person (Jew and Gentile) — a pardon which we would never deserve and could never work in any way to merit, but that He offers us as a gift by His grace through faith alone in the completed work of Yeshua. In Romans we read that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and that “the wages of sin is death [physical death followed by spiritual death, or separation from God in a place of eternal isolation and torment and regret] but the free gift of God is eternal life in Yeshua Ha’Mashiach,” so that “all who call upon the name of Yeshua shall be saved!” (Rom. 3:23, 6:23, 10:9-10, 13).
He is the Suffering Servant whose glorious sacrifice was foretold so long ago, and whose truth explains the historic hatred and persecution of the Jewish people — not to mention the wars of extermination against them which continue to this very day.
Mr. Flannery writes a weekly political column entitled “The Good Fight” and a continuing religious column called “Why Believe the Bible?” for a hometown newspaper in Pennsylvania. His opinion pieces have appeared in publications such as Newsday, the Los Angeles Times, MovieGuide, Christian Networks Journal, on WorldNetDaily and Alainsnewsletter.com. He is a past recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism from News Corp/The New York Post and has won six Amy Awards from the Amy Foundation for his work.