Chapter 9 - The Jews
For upwards of 4000 years, amid all civilizations and countries, conditions of government, there has existed a distinct people with laws, , habits and customs distinctively their own. The history of the Jewish race reads like a story from the Arabian Nights, and is without a parallel in human history. Though oppressed, downtrodden carried to other lands, scattered among the nations, like they have risen from the ashes of their dispersions, and appear now and again upon the page of history.
They are remarkable in the first place for their "Antiquity." No nation can trace back its lineage by the clear light of reliable history so far as they. In comparison with the Jews the nations which are making the history of the world today are young.
The "Golden Age" of Israel's glory was long before the palmy days of Greece and -Rome. Long before Socrates and Plato taught philosophy, or Herodotus wrote history; in the dim ages of which Homer's Iliad preserves traditions and memorials; before all other authentic and circumstantial records, the nation of Israel was an organized, civilized, and well-established people.
. They had a literature before most nations had letters, .a literature that today, in the Scriptures, is more widely diffused than the literature of any other people.
Assyria has perished, Babylon is in heaps, Rome has tottered and fallen, Egypt has become a "base" kingdom, but the Jew has outlived all his conquerors and walks unscathed amid the general wreck. Dispersed for centuries among all nations, without a national centre, capital, government, flag, or rallying point, secular or religious, he has never been absorbed by the nations, nor lost his identity or national peculiarities and characteristics, and we have the unique spectacle of a nation without a king, government, or land, retaining its national existence, and a land that seems to be under a curse, awaiting the return of its legal owners.
No nation has ever had such manifest and visible tokens of the "Divine Presence." For them the Red Sea was driven back and the Jordan parted. They were miraculously fed in the Wilderness, and divinely sheltered and guided by the Pillar of Cloud and Fire. At the blowing of rams' horns the walls of a besieged city fell, and the Sun and Moon stayed in their courses that they might have time to slay their enemies. The Angel of the Lord encamped about them, and one angel slew 185, 000 of the army of Assyria for their deliverance.
No nation has given to the world such a number of great men. Such a man of faith as Abraham; such a great leader and lawgiver as Moses; such statesmen as Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon; such a king as David, and wise man as Solomon.
No nation has produced such seers as the Hebrew prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel and no such man as that man above all men, the "MAN OF GALILEE."
In the first century there is no name that shines more resplendent than that of the Apostle Paul. And in modern days the men who have been and are, making history are Jews.
The preservation of the Jewish people is the "MIRACLE OF HISTORY."
When Frederick the Great asked the court preacher for an unanswerable proof, in one word, of the inspiration of the Bible, he replied 'The Jew, your Majesty." The emblem of the Jewish Race is a Bush Burning and Unconsumed.
How are we to account for the wonderful preservation of the Jewish Race? We can only account for it on the supposition that God had, and still has, some great work for them to do. We believe that God raises up individuals for special ministries. Why not a nation?
In the first place the Jewish Race was raised up to reaffirm and teach that there is but one God. In the days of Abraham the nations of the earth were given over to universal idolatry, pantheism and polytheism. For 2000 years (B. C. 1921 to A. D. 30) no other people but the Jews believed the "Unity" of God, or taught it. The Jews have been the teachers of "Monotheism" to the nations. No Gentile nation, untouched by Jewish influence, ever became Monotheistic.
In the second place the Jewish Race was raised up to be the Writers, Preservers, and Transmitters of the Holy Scriptures. To them were committed the "Oracles of God." Rom. 3:1, Rom. 3:2.
Every page and book in the Bible were written by Jews. The Jews took especial care to preserve the Scriptures and keep them from being tampered with, and if it had not been for them they would have been lost long ago.
In the third place the Jewish Race was raised up that God through them might give the world a-Saviour. Who was Jesus? A Jew. How carefully His genealogy has been preserved in the Scriptures from Adam to His Birth at Bethlehem.
In the fourth place the Jewish Race was raised up that they might save the world from moral putrefaction.
When Jesus said - "Salvation Is of the Jews," John 4:22, did He simply mean that from them should come the Saviour of the world-Jesus? Or did He mean when He said "YE Are the Salt of the Earth, " that the Jewish Race were to be the means of preventing the Moral Putrefaction of the world, and that if they became extinct as a nation, that God would destroy all mankind from off the earth, as He destroyed the Antediluvians when Noah and his family were safely shut in the Ark, or as He destroyed the "Cities of the Plain, " Sodom and Gomorrah, when Lot had escaped from them?
A careful study of Peter's speech, as quoted by James, at the First Church Council (Acts 15:13-15), and the words of Paul in his letter to the Romans (Rom. 11:1-3, Rom. 11:11, Rom. 11:12, Rom. 11:15, Rom. 11:17, Rom. 11:23-25) clearly show that Christ meant the latter.
That is, the Salvation of the Nations, morally and physically, and the preservation of the human race on the earth depends on the Preservation and Continuance of the Jews as a RACE.
The present degenerate condition of the world is owing to the fact that the Jews have lost their savor, as the salt its saltness, and until the Jews recover their savor degeneration will continue to develop until the time comes that the smell of decomposition of the decaying nationalities of the earth shall call for Divine interposition and the salt be resavored by the conversion of the Jews, and the Jewish nation again take its place among the nations of the earth.
Let us as briefly as possible trace the history of this people.
The Book Of Exodus
1. THEIR PAST
In the morning time of history, in B.C. 1936, 412 years after the Flood, God called Abraham, a Shemite, from Ur of the Caldees, to be the father of a new nation.
"Now the Lord had said unto Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy fathers's house unto a land that I will show thee; and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee, and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Gen. 12:1-3.
Notice that this is not a conditional promise, and there is not a passage in the Bible anywhere that revokes it.
Abraham was 60 years old when he was called, but tarried at Haran for 15 years until his father, who was an idolater, died, when he started for the "Land of Promise." God appeared to him 10 times. These appearances were called "Theophanies"
God's promises to Abraham were progressive. At Ur the promises were the "Land, " and that his seed should "become a great nation." Gen. 12:1, Gen. 12:2. At Shechem the promise of the "ownership of the land to his descendants." Gen. 12:7. At Bethel, all the land "thou seest, " and that his seed should be as the "dust of the Earth for number." Gen. 13:15, Gen. 13:16. At Mamre, that his seed should be for numbers as the "stars of the heavens, " and that the "Land" should extend from the "River of Egypt" to the "River Euphrates." Gen. 15:5, Gen. 15:18. And at Moriah the promise as to the number of his seed was repeated. Gen. 22:16, Gen. 22:17.
These promises were unconditionally confirmed to his son, Isaac (Gen. 26:1-3), and to his grandson, Jacob. Gen. 28:10-12.
When the descendants of Abraham had increased to about 70, in fulfillment of a prophecy made by God to Abraham that his seed should be as strangers in another land, where they would be afflicted for 400 years (Gen. 15:13, Gen. 15:14) ; and to prevent contamination by intermarriages, and to give them time to grow into a nation, God paved the way for their leaving Canaan, by sending Joseph down into Egypt to make provision for them when the famine He was going to send would fall on the land. There they were segregated in the land of Goshen.
The next great event in their history was the Exodus. When the time for their deliverance from Egypt came, God weaned them by increasing the hardness of their lot, and when they cried to God He sent Moses to deliver them. Within a year after their escape from Egypt the Law was given, the Tabernacle built, a sacrificial system of worship inaugurated and the "Jewish Commonwealth" set -up. But when at the end of the year they reached Kadesh Barnea and refused to go up and take possession of the Land, God punished them by compelling them to wander for 40 years in the Wilderness, where they were miraculously clothed and fed, and were divinely guided by the "Pillar of Cloud and Fire."
At the end of the 40 years, under the leadership of Joshua, they crossed the Jordan and entered the Promised Land and took possession of it.
Then began the third period of their history, the "Times of the judges, " which lasted about 450 years. The government was a Theocracy, administered at first through elders, and then by judges. The people, however, were not satisfied with being ruled by an invisible King, they wanted a king like the other nations around them had, so they went to Samuel the Prophet and asked him for a king. Samuel was displeased and felt it was aimed at his administration, but when he took the matter to God, God said-
"Hearken unto the voice of the people..... for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected ME." 1 Sam. 8:7.
Samuel then warned the people of what the king they would chose would do to them, but the warning did not avail and Saul was chosen. This was the fourth period of their history.
Saul reigned for 40 years and was succeeded by David, a man of God's choice, who also reigned 40 years, and was succeeded by his son Solomon, who in turn reigned 40 years. During the reign of Solomon the First Temple was built. His reign was most glorious, but its weak feature was that he married so many heathen wives, and permitted them to introduce at Jerusalem-idolatrous worship. This was a the beginning of the downfall of the Jewish nation.
After the death of Solomon, B.C. 975, the Kingdom was divided, his son Rehoboam retaining possession of two Tribes, Judah and Benjamin, and with them Jerusalem and the Temple; and Jeroboam, a usurper, as ruler over the remaining ten Tribes, set up his capital at Samaria. This division of the Kingdom, known as "Israel, " rapidly declined, and in B.C. 721 the Ten Tribes were carried captive to Assyria. The Two Tribes, known as "Judah, " survived over 100 years longer, but in B.C. 606 they were carried in Captivity to Babylon, and Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in B.C. 587. Thus ended a period of deadly tribal wars which was made illustrious by the ministry of a noble succession of great prophets.
With the Captivity of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem, began that long period which still continues, known in the Scriptures as "The Times of the Gentiles," and which is so fully outlined and described in the Book of Daniel. The fifth period of Jewish History began in B.C. 536, when the 70 years of the Captivity ended, as prophesied (Jer. 25:11); and some 40, 000 of those of the Captivity returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the City and the Temple. The Temple was not finished and dedicated until 20 years later, and the walls of the city were not rebuilt until 70 more years had passed by, B.C. 445.
But while the Jews were permitted to return to their own land, they never again secured supremacy. They remained subject to the different conquerors of their land, though for the most part governed by rulers of their own race, in fulfillment of the prophecy that the Sceptre should not depart from Judah until Shiloh came.
In B.C. 168 Antiochus Epiphanes, King of Syria, wrested Palestine from Egypt, twice took and sacked Jerusalem, desecrated and closed the Temple, and cruelly persecuted the Jews, until they became so incensed as to rise in rebellion under the leadership of the "Maccabees." This rebellion lasted from B.C. 166 to B.C. 40.
In B.C. 63 Judea became subject to Rome, and during the next 60 years the Roman Empire tightened its grip on the Holy Land. About this time, B.C. 5, many of the students of prophecy, knowing that the time set for the coming of "Messiah the Prince" by Daniel the Prophet (Dan. 9:25) was not far distant, frequented the Temple waiting for the "Consolation of Israel." Luke 2:25-26.
In December of that year Jesus was born at Bethlehem, was visited by the Shepherds, acknowledged a few weeks later in the Temple by Simeon and Anna, the Wise men from the East did Him homage, He was taken to Egypt, and returned to Nazareth where He spent His youth and young manhood, and at 30 years of age appeared at the Jordan, was baptized of John and entered upon His public ministry.
But His claim of being the Messiah was rejected by His own people. They joined hands with the Gentiles in crucifying the "Lord of Glory, " and in A. D. 70 the Roman armies came, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by Titus and the Jews were scattered among the nations of the earth.
II. THEIR PRESENT.
With the Crucifixion of Christ the sorrows of the Jewish race began. Their cry-His Blood Be on Us and on Our Children (Matt. 27:25) has been literally fulfilled.
In A.D. 50, 30, 000 were killed in Jerusalem in a tumult with the Romans, but their worst sufferings commenced in A. D. 66 under Gessius Florus, the Roman Governor of Judea. His oppressions led to a widespread revolt. Nero sent Vespasian, accompanied by his son Titus, with an army of 60, 000. He was met in upper Galilee by Josephus, a famous general of the Asmonean race, and a noted historian, who entrenched himself at Jotapata, but was finally overpowered, after a siege of 47 days, with a loss of over 40, 000 men. The subjugation of Galilee followed. Thousands perished in the war. Judea and Jerusalem were spared because Vespasian was called back to Rome by the death of Nero. When Vespasian was made King he sent his son Titus to complete the subjugation of the Holy Land and capture Jerusalem.
It was in April, A. D. 70, that the Roman army, numbering 100, 000 men, marched against Jerusalem. The city was poorly prepared to stand a siege. Rival factions disputed among themselves for control. The city was surrounded by a triple wall, defended by 90 towers. The siege lasted 4 months. Great engines of elastic timbers, aided by the twisting of great cables, hurled huge stones against the massive walls. Within the city famine reigned, wives snatched food from their husbands, children from their parents, mothers from their babes, and some mothers, lost to all sense of motherhood, killed, cooked and ate their own children. Many fled from the city to meet a worse fate, for being captured by Titus, they were crucified as a warning outside the city walls. So horrible became the condition of the besieged that Titus called God to witness that he was not responsible.
At last, on August 5, A. D. 70, the Tower Antonia was taken, the Romans swarmed into the Temple enclosure, and though Titus had commanded his soldiers to spare the beautiful Temple building, for it was looked upon, even by Rome, as one of the wonders of the world, yet a soldier threw a blazing torch through a doorway and in the conflagration that followed the Temple of Herod was destroyed, leaving nothing but the rock upon which it stood.
Josephus says that over 1, 000, 000 perished in the siege, while 97, 000 survived as captives, of whom the handsomest young men were taken to Rome to grace the triumph of the Conqueror, and thus was fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel, that "the 'People' of the Prince that shall come (Antichrist) shall destroy the City and the Sanctuary." Dan. 9:26.
While the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus scattered the Jews far and wide, the end was not yet. Sixty-five years later, A. D. 130, the Jews had sufficiently recovered from that crushing blow to rise afresh in revolt against the Roman power. Hadrian then completed the work of Dispersion. In a war lasting three and a half years he devastated Palestine, destroyed 580, 000 persons, ran a ploughshare over Zion, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Micah 3:12, uttered 885 years before, and forbade the Jews, on pain of death, even to approach Aelia Capitolina, the new Roman city which he erected on the site of Jerusalem. The Jews since that time have been few in Palestine.
In A. D. 362 the Emperor Julian the Apostate made an attempt to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, thus to falsify the prediction of the Lord, but his workmen were driven off by fire that burst from the ruins.
The interval from Hadrian, A. D. 140, to Constantine saw the Jewish people in a measure prosperous and flourishing in the lands of their exile throughout the Roman World. They even took part in pagan persecutions of the early Church. But the conversion of Constantine to Christianity in A. D. 312, changed all this. The Jews then became a condemned and persecuted sect. They lost the imperial favor and privileges they had enjoyed, and were excluded from one sphere after another. though they were still free to observe their own religion and retained their fights as citizens.
The gloom deepened until A. D. 1096, the time of the First Crusade, known in history as the "Holy War; " when the pall of midnight blackness fell upon them, and did not lift until long after the Reformation.
The Frown of England.
In A. D. 1020 Canute banished all Jews from England. In A. D. 1068 the only burial place in all England allowed the Jews was Cripplegate, London. In A. D. 1096 the "Holy War" began by attempting to murder all the Jews in Europe who would not submit to baptism. Henry II ordered the Jews to pay 60, 000 pounds toward defraying his expenses during one of the Crusades. At the accession of Richard I (Coeur de Leon), A. D. 1189, murderous riots were instigated against the Jews and not a Jewish household in London escaped robbery and murder.
The following year occurred the "Tragedy of York Castle, " in which the chief Rabbi of York, with 500 followers were besieged in York Castle, and when escape became hopeless they slew one another and the chief Rabbi, the last to die, started a conflagration, then took his own life, and when the besiegers broke in they found the besieged in one great pile like the sacrifice upon the altar.
Up to the time of Edward I, A. D. 1272, the Crown claimed to own the Jew and all he possessed, and from time to time would allow him to gather riches that he might squeeze them from him, like water from a sponge. Edward I drove all the Jews, 16, 500 in number, from England, and for nearly four centuries there is no evidence that British soil was pressed by a Jewish foot.
The Curse of France.
In A. D. 1306, on the morning of the fast commemorating the Destruction of Jerusalem all the Jews of France, men, women and children to the number of 100, 000, were stripped of their possessions for the benefit of the royal treasury, and cast out of the land. In 10 years they were allowed to return, but soon the "Pastoureaux, " bands of fanatical shepherds and malefactors, swept them away by thousands. In A. D. 1683 the Jews were ordered to quit all the French Colonies, and it was not until A. D. 1723, when Louis XV gave the Jews permission to hold real estate in France, that the tide began to turn.
The Bloody Hand of Germany.
The Plague of the "Black Death, " which swept over Europe in A. D. 1348-1350, and which carried off one-fourth of the population, afflicted the Jews but lightly, owing to their simple life and observance of the hygienic requirements of the Levitical Law. Their comparative exemption caused them to be suspected as the source of the Plague, and they were charged with poisoning the wells and springs. In Germany the composition of the poison, the color of the packages in which it was transported, and the persons who conveyed them, were all declared to be known. The result was that they suffered the torture, the caldron and the devouring flame at the hands of the "Flagellants, " an order of fanatics who swarmed through Germany preaching extermination to all unbelievers. The entire community at Strasburg, 2000 souls, was dragged upon an immense scaffold, and it set on fire. They were also charged with stealing the children of Christians and crucifying them for Passover Lambs, and also with stealing the consecrated "Host" and piercing it with knives. In A. D. 1560 they were banished from Prague and later in Constantinople 3000 houses in the Jews' quarters were burned and property to the value of 50, 000, 000 crowns confiscated.
THE HOLOCAUSTS OF SPAIN
In Spain the machinery of "The Inquisition" held full sway. It was established to terrify into faithfulness apostate Jews. Men and women disappeared by hundreds, as if the ground had opened and swallowed them up. Some never returned, others reappeared in after years human wrecks, pale and emaciated and semi-insane through long incarceration in dark and chilly subterranean dungeons. Now and then processions wound through the streets to the place of burning, the victims being tortured with the hope that they would recant before being thrown into the flames.
Many found themselves led from the Hall of judgment along subterraneous passage ways to the chamber of the "Iron Maiden," the rude hollow figure of a woman, made of iron, which at the touch of a spring flew open and disclosed its inner surface studded with iron nails rusted by the blood of its numerous victims. No sooner did the condemned step inside than the figure began to close, hugging in its iron grasp the victim, until the nails, entering the body amid the shrieks of the victim, pierced some vital part, and when all was over the "Iron Figure" again opened and allowed the body to fall into the yawning pit below.
But this was not all. Ferdinand and Isabella in A. D. 1492 issued an edict of banishment against all the Jews in Spain. A Jew offered 600, 000 crowns for a revocation of the edict. The King and Queen hesitated and were inclined to accept when the Spanish Inquisitor, Torquemada, stalked into the presence of the abashed rulers and holding up a "Crucifix" before them cried-
"Behold Him Whom Judas Iscariot Sold for 30 Pieces of Silver. Sell Ye Him Now for a Higher Price and Render an Account of Your Bargain Before God."
The sovereigns trembled before the stern Dominican and the Jews had to go. They were given four months in which to prepare. Whither to go they knew not, for there was no hospitable shore to which to fly. Some embarked for Africa and were sold into slavery. A number reached Italy. Their sufferings were indescribable. Two hundred years later, A. D. 1680, the spirit of Spain toward the Jews was unchanged.
And so, like a horrible nightmare, for centuries history records the terrible punishments and persecutions that befell the seed of Abraham.
But the long night of persecution came to a close. The tide began to turn when England passed the "Naturalization Bill" in A. D. 1753, and received its greatest impulse when our own "Declaration of Independence" Was Signed in A. D. 1776, and, with the exception of Russia the Jews today, in all lands enjoy comparative freedom.
The miracle of the preservation of the Jews during the long night of their persecutions cannot be accounted for, only on the supposition that they have been preserved for a purpose.
The secret of their endurance is twofold.
1. Their National Law.
It preserved them from disease, controlled and regulated their passions, checked the baser impulses of their nature, and secured the vigor of their offspring.
2. Their National Hope.
Amid all the vicissitudes of their history the Jewish people have been upheld by their
"National Hope." a "Hope" so rediant and a "Faith" so beautiful, that the world has never seen its like. The "Hope of a Coming Messiah
The "Hope" of. the coming of this "Messiah" has flamed like a "Morning Star" through the darkness of Israel's long night, and has turned their thoughts toward the dawning of that day when the "Sun of Righteousness" shall arise and dispel the gloom and usher in that bright "Millennial, Day" when Righteousness and Peace shall cover the earth as the waters cover the deep.
For the Jews today there is no "Pillar of Cloud" by day, nor "Shechinah Flame" by night. They have no altars, no sacrifices, no priesthood as in former days. They observe the "Passover, " but no paschal lamb is slain. They keep the "Great Day of Atonement, " but no blood is shed to make reconciliation for sin. All sacrifices and oblations have ceased. They have no King, no Judges, no Prophets, no inspired writers. The "Urim" and "Thummin" give no Divine token. The word of God is precious, but there is no "open vision.' Their last Great Prophet was the "Man of Galilee, " but Him they rejected. Like their forefathers, who took Joseph, after they had rejected him, and sold him for 20 pieces of silver, and he was hidden from their view in Egypt on the Throne of Pharaoh, so the Jews took Jesus, their Joseph, and having rejected Him, sold Him for 30 pieces' of silver and He is now hidden from them on His Father's Throne.
Why Is This? Have they been supplanted as a "Nation" by the Gentiles, and as "God's People" by the Church? Are they never again to have a land of their own, and a King, and a Capital City, and a National Existence?
Is not their condition today the fulfillment of the prophecy of Hosea 3:4.
"The Children of Israel shall abide MANY DAYS without a King, and without a Prince, and without a Sacrifice, and without an Image, and without an Ephod, and without Teraphirn? "
Is it not that Jerusalem must be - "Trodden down of the Gentiles until the 'Times of the Gentiles' be fulfilled? " Luke 21:24.
What does Paul say-
"Blindness in part is happened to Israel until the 'Fulness of the Gentiles' be come in. And so All Israel Shall Be Saved. Rom. 11:25) Rom. 11:26.
We see then that the Jews (Israel) have not been supplanted by the Church, or by the Gentile nations. They are again to take the lead among the nations of the earth. For this they have been preserved.
The eleventh chapter of Romans begins with the question - "Hath God Cast Away His People? "
Paul answers his own question by replying "God Hath Not Cast Away His People Which He Foreknew." Vs. 2.
In the eleventh verse Paul asks a second question. "Have they stumbled That They Should Fall? " That is, have they fallen down so that they shall Never Rise Again? He replies,
"God forbid; but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles for to provoke them to jealousy."
Now two things are revealed here, first, the Jews have fallen that the Gentiles may have a chance to be saved, and second, that the sight of seeing the Gentiles saved may make the Jews "jealous." Why should God want to provoke the Jews to jealousy if He has cast them off ? The Apostle then adds - "If the Fall of them be the riches of the world and the Diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles (that is, if the giving of the Gospel to the Gentiles is such a blessing to them), how much more will be their Fulness? " Vs. 12.
That is, how much greater blessing there will be for the world when the Jews rise up again and take their place among the nations. For Paul goes on to say-
"If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but LIFE FROM THE DEAD? " That is, when the Jews come back to God it will be like a resurrection, not of individuals, but a "National Resurrection."
Then the Apostle changes the figure and speaks of Two Olive Trees.
One he calls the "Good" Olive Tree, the other a "Wild" Olive Tree. Of the "Good" Olive Tree he speaks of "Some" (not all) of the branches being broken off, for there is a "Remnant of Grace, " vs. 5, as there were 7000 men in Elijah's day who had not bowed the knee to Baal. And we must not forget that the "Root" and "Trunk" of the Tree were still alive, and where some of the "Good" branches were broken off, the "Wild" Olive branches were grafted in "among" them, not "instead of, " and thus became "partaker" of the "Root" and "Fatness" of the "Good Olive Tree."
We see from this that the "Good Olive Tree" is not rooted up and destroyed and a "Wild Olive Tree" planted in its place, but it still remains alive and gives life to both the "Good" and "Wild"olive branches.
The Apostle then goes on to reprove the Gentile members of the Church at Rome, who were boasting of their independence of the Jews, and that Christianity had supplanted Judaism, just as so many in the Church today claim that the Church has supplanted Judaism and fallen heir to all its promises. saying to them-
"Boast not against the branches..... for Thou bearest not the root, but the "Root" thee.
And he reminded them that the branches were broken off, not that they might be grafted in, but because of "Unbelief, " and thus the "unbelief" of the Jews redounded to their benefit, and he goes on to tell them that if the "Good" Olive branches that had been cut off should repent, they would be grafted back again, for GOD is able to graft them in again. Rom. 11:17-19.
Here we see that if the Jews repent and turn from their unbelief, God will restore them to their old time place among the nations.
III. THEIR FUTURE.
If it were suggested that we discuss the future of any other nation than the Jewish nation, I, for one, would not attempt it, for the task would be simply a speculative one, based on probabilities that would be likely to be upset by unforeseen circumstances. But the Jewish nation has the unique distinction of having for its historian the "Holy Spirit." who has not simply recorded the past history of that nation, but has outlined its future.We indulge then in no idle and profitless speculations when we attempt to forecast the future of the Jewish People. All we have to do is to gather together and place in their logical order what the Holy Spirit through the Prophets, has foretold of their future. The method is as simple as the result is sure.
THE RESTORATION OF THE JEWS.
1. As to the Fact.
"Therefore fear not, 0 my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, 0 Israel; ......... For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee; though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee." Jer. 30:10, Jer. 30:11.
"And I will bring again the captivity of my people 'Israel' and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land." Amos 9:14, Amos 9:15.
But you say this prophecy was fulfilled in the restoration from the "Babylonian Captivity." Not so, for they were driven out of the land after that, and this promise is, that they shall no more be pulled up out of their land, . and must refer to some future restoration. The return from the "Babylonian Captivity" was the First restoration, and the Scriptures speak of a Second.
"And it shall come to pass in 'That Day' (Millennial Day) that the Lord shall set his hand again the 'Second Time' to recover the remnant of His People, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the Sea." Isa. 11:11.
The Jews have never been restored but ONCE, and that was from Babylon. The march from Egypt to Canaan was not a restoration. You cannot have anything restored to you unless it has been in your possession before, and Palestine was never in possession of the Children of Israel until after its conquest by Joshua.
Again the Jews are to come this time, not from the "East, " as when they returned from the "Babylonish Captivity, " but from the "North, " and from "All Countries."
"Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the Children of Israel out of the Land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth that brought up the Children of Israel from the land of the NORTH and from ALL THE LANDS whither He had driven them; and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers." Jer. 16:14, Jer. 16:15. Also Isa. 43:5-7. And they shall never again be dispersed.
"For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up." Jer. 24:6.
The certainty of it is seen in Jer. 31:35, Jer. 31:36.
"Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar: the Lord of Hosts is His name: if those ordinances depart from me, said the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever."
When the Children of Israel shall be restored to their own land the whole "Twelve Tribes" will return. In Rom. 11:26, Paul says– "All Israel shall be saved, " and Ezekiel in his vision of the "Valley of Dry Bones" was told that the bones represented the "Whole House of Israel." Ez. 37:11.
There are some who teach that what is here meant is, that, previous to the Millennium God will resurrect all the descendants of Israel and put them back in the Land of Palestine, and they base it on the statement in Ez. 37:12 - "Behold, 0 my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the Land of Israel."
Now such an interpretation cannot be true for several reasons. First, the Land of Palestine is not large enough to hold and sustain such a great multitude, and secondly this is not a description of a physical resurrection of dead bodies, but of a "National Resurrection" of a people. The cry of the "bones" in verse 11, where they say - "Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts," is not the cry of individual dead Israelites, but the cry of a dead nation that has been "cut off" from its own land. It is the cry of a Spiritually and nationally dead people.
By the word "graves" we are not to understand "literal graves, " for the bones were not in graves but scattered over the valley. What the passage means is, that God is going to bring back His People Israel, who are buried in captivity in the "Graveyard of the Nations, " and place them again in their own land. This is clear from what follows-
"I will open your graves, (among the nations), and cause you to come up out of your graves (that is back from among the nations), and bring you into the Land of Israel."
Notice that nothing is said here of the opening of any graves in the Land of Israel. This therefore could not be a general resurrection of the Dead of Israel, but only of Israelites who lived in other countries.
But the next two verses settle the question, for the Lord say--
"When I have opened your graves, 0 my people, and brought you up out of your graves" (that is, back into their own land), and THERE shall put my spirit (Holy Spirit) in you, and ye shall live (nationally) and I shall place you in your own land: (according to your Tribes, as described in Ez. 48:1-3), then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, said the Lord." Ez. 37:13, Ez. 37:14.
This is in exact accord with other scriptures that teach that Israel is to be gathered back to their own land, where they are to be first judged, (Ez. 20:34-36; Ez. 22:19-21), and then converted. Ez. 36:24-26.
If we are to take the resurrection spoken of by Daniel (Dan. 12:2), as referring to his "People" only, then we are still more certain that there is not to be a "General Physical Resurrection" of Daniel's "People, " the Jews, before the Millennium, for he distinctly says that only some shall rise at that time.
That what is meant is a National Restoration of the Whole Twelve Tribes, is clear from what follows the Vision of the "Valley of Dry Bones." Ez. 37:15-17.
The Prophet is told to take a stick and write on it, "For Judah and for the Children of Israel his companions, " which means the Two Tribes, Judah and Benjamin, known as "Judah." Then he was told to take another stick , and write on it, "For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim," the son of Joseph who represented him among the Twelve Tribes, and by whose name (Ephraim) the Ten Tribes, after jeroboam's insurrection were sometimes called. Isa. 7:17.
When Ezekiel had done so, he was told to join the two sticks together, end to end, so as to make one stick, which when he had done, the Lord said-
"When the children of thy people shall speak unto thee saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Thou shalt say, Behold, I will take the Children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: and I will make them ONE NATION in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." Ez. 37:18-20. From this we see that the
"WHOLE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, "
that is, the Whole Twelve Tribes, are to be gathered back to their own land, and redistributed upon it according to the manner described in Ez. 48.
"In those days the 'House of Judah' shall walk with the 'House of Israel, ' and they shall come together out of the land of the North to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers." Jer. 3:18.
The Lost Ten Tribes.
If the whole Twelve Tribes are to be restored to the Holy Land, naturally the question arises, "Where Are They Now? " The Jews are the descendants of the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin, but where are the remaining "Ten Tribes? " How are they to be identified?
Much has been written to try to prove that the "Anglo Saxons, " the English speaking race, are the descendants of the lost Ten Tribes. But they cannot be, for it is said of Israel, that "they shall dwell alone, and not be reckoned among the nations" (Num. 23:9), but the "AngloSaxons are numbered among the nations, Israel is to remain many days without a King, a Prince or a Temple (Hosea 3:4), but the "Anglo-Saxons" have kings, presidents and princes, and centres of religious worship. Again, Israel, out of the Holy Land, were to be few in number, and under national curse, (Deut. 4:26, Deut. 4:27; Deut. 28:62-64), but neither of these are true of the "Anglo-Saxons." Once more, the penalty of "Uncircumcision" is "Excision, " (Gen. 17:10-12), the "Anglo-Saxons" are "Uncircumcised" and therefore not entitled to Jewish privileges.
The Jews Today Are Representative of the Whole Twelve Tribes.
1. A portion of Israel, out of all the tribes, fell away to Judah at the time of the division of Solomon's Kingdom, B.C. 975. 2Chron. 11:5, 2Chron. 11:13-15.
2. A number deserted from Israel to Judah in the days of Asa, grandson of Rehoboam. 2Chron. 15:8, 2Chron. 15:9.
3. Ninety-six years after the Ten Tribes were carried captive, in B.C. 625, Josiah, great grandson of Hezekiah, observed the "Passover" at Jerusalem, and many were present of the "Remnant of Israel." 2Chron. 35:17, 18
4. In B.C. 605-587, Judah was carried captive to Babylon, many Israelites were carried away with them.
5. In B.C. 5316, when the Jews returned from the Babylon Captivity, Babylon and Assyria had become identical, and Israel was as free to return as Judah. Ezra tells us that he took up some Israelites (Ezra 7:28), and when the Temple was dedicated they offered sacrifices for the Whole Twelve Tribes. Ezra 6:16, Ezra 6:17.
The conclusion therefore is, that those who returned from the captivity were fairly representative of the whole Twelve Tribes. Now as the descendants of those who returned from Babylon were scattered in A.D. 70 and A.D. 135, we may well ask, "the 'Ten Tribes Where Are They Not?"
But the above explanation will not completely satisfy the careful Bible student, for Eze. 37:15-17 clearly teaches that the "Ten Tribes, " as tribes are to be gathered back in the future. They must therefore be somewhere.
Says Sir John Wilkinson in his book "Israel My Glory, " search for a thing where. it was lost." When God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldeans it was from an idolatrous country, and he was called a Hebrew, (one who has crossed over), and when Israel relapsed into idolatry God sent them back to the other side of the Euphrates. History says the Ten Tribes were taken to Assyria, and prophecy says they are to be brought out of Assyria (Isa. 11:11, Isa. 11:16), the plain inference is they are still there.
Josephus says they were there in A. D. 70; so does Jerome in his notes on Hosea, written in the Fifth Century. We have never heard of their leaving, and so they have been identified with certain peoples living in the fastnesses of the mountains of Kurdistan, by Lake Oroomiah, in Persia. These people have many modified observances of the Mosaic Ritual, as Peace Offerings, Vows, First-Fruits, Tithes, etc. (Wilkinson.)
2. As To The TIME.
a. When the "TIMES OF THE GENTILES" Have Been Fulfilled.
"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the "Times of the Gentiles" be fulfilled." Luke 21:24.
b. When Christ Returns.
"For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord." Matt. 23:39.
3. As To The Manner.
a. Gathered Back UNCONVERTED.
"I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will
bring you into your own land. THEN will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A New Heart also will I give you, and a New Spirit will I put within you: and I will give you an Heart of Flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes; and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." Ezek. 36:24-26.
b. Before Conversion They Are To Be JUDGED.
"I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will 1 plead with you face to face. And I will cause you to "Pass Under The Rod," and I will bring you into the bond of the Covenant; and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against Me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the Land of Israel."' Eze. 20:34-36.
Then God will cast them into His "Melting Pot."
"Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin. into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in My fury and I will leave you there, and MELT YOU. Yea I will gather you. and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be I melted in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in- the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ve shall know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon you." Eze. 22:19-21.
"Behold, I will send my messenger (Elijah-Mal. 4:5, Mal. 4:6), and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord, whom ve seek, shall suddenly come to His Temple. even the Messenger of the Covenant whom ye delight in .:behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a Refiner's Fire, and like Fuller's Soap: and He shall sit as a Refiner and Purifier of Silver: and He shall Purify the Sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Mal. 3:1-3.
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name and I will hear them: I will say it is my people; and they shall say, the Lord is my God." Zech. l 3:9.
The Jews have never as yet had such an experience as this. It is spoken of in Jer. 30:4-6, and Dan. 12:1, as the "Time Of Jacob's Trouble," and Christ called it "THE GREAT TRIBULATION." and He and Zechariah the Prophet associate it with the Return of the Lord. Matt. 24:21-23. Zech. 14:1-3.
The result of these terrible judgments will be that the Jews will call in their misery upon the Lord.
"And I will pour upon the 'House of David.' and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem The Spirit of Grace and of Supplications." Zech. 12:10.
Then Christ will come back to Jerusalem-
"And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem on the east." Zech. 14:4.
"And they shall look upon ME Whom They Have Pierced." Zech. 12:10.
And a nation, the Jewish Nation, shall be born (converted) IN A DAY.
"Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a Nation Be Born At Once? for as soon as Zion Travailed, She Brought Forth Her Children." Isa. 66:8.
Speaking of the appearance of Christ after His Resurrection, Paul says, "And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time." I Cor. 15:&
What Paul means is, that he was born before the time, that his was a premature birth, and that his "New Birth" is a type of the Birth of the Jewish Nation when the Lord returns, and not of the "New Birth" of a Christian. As Paul saw the glory of the Lord, and heard his voice, so shall it be with the Jewish Nation assembled at Jerusalem when Christ shall reveal Himself on the Mount of Olives at His return.
As to the Children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt they took with them of the "Riches of the Egyptians, " Ex. 12:35, Ex. 12:36, so when they return to their own land they will take with them the "Riches of the Gentiles." Isa. 60:9; Isa. 61:6.
When the Children of Israel return to their own land it will be to possess and occupy all that was promised to Abraham.
"The Royal Grant" given by the Almighty to Abraham, extended from the "River of Egypt unto the "Great River, the River Euphrates (Gen. 15:18); and according to Ezekiel (Eze. 48:1-3), from Hamath, northeast of Damascus, to Kadesh on the south. The Temple will be rebuilt. The Glory of the Lord will return. Sacrifices will again be offered. The Government shall be reestablished, and the nations of the earth will be blessed through Israel. Zech. 8:20-22.
For a continued account of the future of the Jews, see the chapters on "The Great Tribulation, " and "The Kingdom." Also carefully study the chart on "The Jews, " and "The Millennial Land."