Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits. The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness. Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity (Lamentations 1:3-5)
Whereas thou has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.(Isaiah 60:15)
In the passage above, Isaiah speaks to Israel, as having been long forsaken and hated. History bears this out. For Israel, the past two thousand years have in particular been a long dark night of exile, suffering, rejection and in many cases, utterly violent hatred.
What is this mystery of Anti-Semitism? How do we explain the irrational, persistent and utterly fierce Jew hatred? If ever there were a people who sought to assimilate into whatever nation they have been scattered, it is the Jews.
But in the diaspora, the anti-Semitism of the host nations has prevented any successful integration, whether in Catholic Europe, throughout Asia, the Muslim world or in the eastern Orthodox world of Russia and eastern Europe. For almost twenty centuries Jews have sought to settle down in the nations they have been scattered to, but have been unable to do so.
Humanly speaking, It is fallen human nature to oppress and harass vulnerable sojourners. Part of the curse of the Law of Moses was that Israel would be exiled from the Holy Land and made to wander throughout the Gentile world, as perpetual strangers. Like Jonah, the Jews were thrown into the sea, that is, among the nations.
And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.(Deuteronomy 28:37)
Israel is also hated because she is a perpetual witness to the reality of God. A good many Jews would love to shed the reproach of identification with God, but even in their estrangement, they cannot do this. Remember that Israel was used by God to give us the scripture, and through them came the Messiah. Israel is deeply associated with the Ten Commandments, right and wrong, an absolute concept of ethics and morals, and a system of judgment.
In our day of Atheism, lawlessness and radical egalitarianism, there would be hatred of any reminder of the one true and Living God, the absolute governor of the universe. Those who seek moral and sexual anarchy are going to hate the one who proclaimed from the black cloud and in flaming fire, “Thou shalt not commit adultery!”.
Certainly the separation of the Jews, has caused resentment, and has been hated by many who would radically remove all distinctions among men, and even among genders.There is no place for a Holy people in such a world. Jews eat, drink, bury their dead, bathe, keep Sabbath, practice hygiene and medicine in a different fashion tan the rest of the world.
There is no political entity like Israel, there is no city like Jerusalem, there are no people like unto the Jews. Like it or not , they are unique among all of the Peoples of the earth.What people have been exiled for two thousand years, and suddenly re-emerged after all of those centuries, Intact and with a revived language?
Balaam, a pagan prophet, but under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, once said of Israel, “This is a people who dwell alone”. We can have a Red Cross, or a Red Crescent, but never a Red Magen David! The U.N. security council has a fixed and revolving membership. All nations can take a turn serving on it but one, Israel. In 2004 Syria was on the US state dept list of terrorist nations, but served on the UN security council.
Though Jerusalem is the manifest capital of Israel, no nation dare puts their embassy in it. Every US president since Eisenhower until Bush 2 has run on the pledge to move the embassy to Jerusalem, but have failed to do so. Appeasing Jacob’s cousin Esau, has been the modern order of the day .
Circumcision itself has been hated, in Roman times it was considered an abomination, and today in places which have largely vacated their Judeo Christian past, like Germany, circumcision is currently outlawed,(in spite of its obvious health benefits).
What is the underlying message of circumcision? It is that we are not alright as we were born, there is something wrong with us that needs to be altered(New Birth, Salvation). Circumcision is a testimony to original sin and presupposes guilt and the need to shed blood. Thus Humanists would hate circumcision and the circumcised.
There are a host of other human reasons for the near universal, irrational hatred of Israel;Communists are atheistic , so were Nazis, therefore they would utterly hate the people of the God of the Bible. Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy indulge in the anti Semitism of some of the earliest church Fathers, and in a form of replacement theology which causes them to militate against the Jews.
To the Arabs, Israel’s re-emergence is called Al Naqba, ‘the disaster’, to the Arab Muslim world. Islam has a doctrine that if any land was ever Islamic it would always be Islamic, therefore the Arabs are implacable in their hatred of the Jew.
They also share in a more sinister, spiritual hatred of Israel called “the everlasting hatred“, which was fostered by Ishmael, Hagar and Esau, as well as Ammon and Moab all of whom felt dis-enfranchised by the election of Isaac and Jacob over Ishmael and Esau. The Koran and Hadiths of Islam take the side of Esau and Ishmael and cultivate the “Everlasting Hatred to this day”.
Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end: Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.(Ezekiel 35:5-6)
Much of the hatred towards the Jews comes down to envy. Because of God’s touch on their history, even in an estranged state the Jewish people are generally blessed and elevated. Any contact with the Word of God is elevating, if not spiritually, intellectually. The literacy,industry, habits of study, frugality and other wonderful traits inculcated into Israel, by the Law and Wisdom literature of the Bible have elevated Israel as a people, and in a fallen world their success is resented.
But there is a more spiritual explanation, which goes beyond the human element, which explains anti-Semitism. John the apostle had a vision, recorded in Revelation 12, which perfectly describes the spiritual dimension of the curse of Jew Hatred.We will examine that next…