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Preserved by God

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Luke 19:41-44 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Josephus writes of these fearful days of siege and famine:

“Then did the famine widen its progress, and devoured the people by whole houses and families; the upper rooms were full of women and children that were dying of famine; and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aged; the children also and the young men wandered about the market-places like shadows, all swelled with famine, and fell down dead wheresoever their misery seized them. As for burying them, those that were sick themselves were not able to do it; and those that were hearty and well were deterred from doing it by the great multitude of those dead bodies, and by the uncertainty there was how soon they should die themselves, for many died as they were burying others, and many went to their coffins before the fatal hour was come. Nor was there any lamentation made under these calamities, nor were heard any mournful complaints; but the famine confounded all natural passions; for those who were just going to die looked upon those who were gone to their rest before them with dry eyes and open mouths. A deep silence, also, and a kind of deadly night had seized upon the city. … And every one of them died with their eyes fixed upon the Temple” (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 5.12.3).

Josephus tells a dreadful story of a woman who in those days actually killed and roasted and ate her suckling child (6. 3. 4). He tells us that even the Romans, when they had taken the city and were going through it to plunder, were so stricken with horror at the sights they saw that they could not but stay their hands. “When the Romans were come to the houses to plunder them, they found in them entire families of dead men, and the upper rooms full of dead corpses. … They then stood on a horror of this sight, and went out without touching anything” (6. 8. 5). Josephus himself shared in the horrors of this siege, and he tells us that 97,000 were taken captive and enslaved, and 1,100,000 died. [1]

Why did all this happen? Because four thousand and one hundred years ago, God made a promise called a covenant with a man we know named Abraham. In Genesis 12:1-3 God declares that His primary focus will be on His promises to Abraham. God promised three elements: a land, multiplied descendants (seed), and His Special Blessing. This 3-fold promise became, in turn, the basis of the covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:1-20). All the rest of Scripture bears out the fulfillment of these promises. That a specifically identifiable land (Genesis 15:18-21) was intimately linked with Abram’s having many descendants in God”s purpose and in the Abrahamic Covenant was clearly revealed and, in a formal ceremony (Genesis 15:9–21), would be placed irrevocably beyond dispute.

So with an unbreakable promise God gave to Abraham a people, a blessing, and a land!

Listen to this incredible summary of all specifics God has revealed about His Chosen People of Destiny, the Jews.

  1. God picked His chosen people of destiny as the jews, descendents of Abraham, called israel.
  2. God presented a land to his chosen people of destiny the jews with clearly defined boundaries.
  3. God proceeded to bring his chosen people of destiny to the promised land.
  4. God pronounced a curse upon His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny as they wandered the world without their Promised Land.God promised the children of Israel great blessing in the land of promise if they would remain faithful to Him. He also predicted great suffering, persecution and worldwide dispersion when they forsook Him. These prophecies came to pass. God warned that wherever they wandered the Jews would be “an astonishment, a proverb, a byword…a curse and a reproach”  Some of these warnings were as follows:
  • Deuteronomy 28:64,66 The LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; . . . And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life.
  • Deuteronomy 28:15, 37 But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: 37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the Lord will drive you.
  • 1 Kings 9:7 Then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.
  • 2 Chronicles 7:20 Then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.

So far the story is hardly remarkable. Other peoples have believed that a certain geographic area was their “Promised Land” and after entering it have later been driven out by enemies. The next seven prophecies, however, and their fulfillment, are absolutely unique to the Jews. The occurrence of these events precisely as prophesied could not possibly have happened by chance.

  • Nehemiah 1:8 Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations,”
  • Jeremiah 24:9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth, for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. 
  • Jeremiah 29:18 I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth and an object of cursing and horror, of scorn and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them.
  • Jeremiah 30:11 But with all this, they would not be like so many other nations of antiquity (indeed like all other nations who were driven from their homeland). “Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee“.
  • Jeremiah 44:8 Why provoke me to anger with what your hands have made, burning incense to other gods in Egypt, where you have come to live? You will destroy yourselves and make yourselves an object of cursing and reproach among all the nations on earth.
  • Hosea 9:17 My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto Him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.
  • Amos 9:9 For I will give the command, and I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground.
  • Zechariah 7:14 I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.
  • Luke 19:41-44 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying,  “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
  1. God preserved His chosen people of destiny from annihilation.God declared that in spite of such persecution and the periodic wholesale slaughter of Jews, He would not let His chosen people be destroyed, but would preserve them as an identifiable ethnic, national group.
  • Jeremiah 30:11 “I am with you and will save you,” declares the LORD. “Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”
  • Jeremiah 31:35-37 This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the Sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name: 36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD, “will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.” 37 This is what the LORD says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,”  declares the LORD

Absorption by those among whom they found themselves would have seemed inevitable, so that little trace of the Jews as a distinct people should have remained today.  After all, these despised exiles have been scattered to every corner of the world for 2500 years since the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.  Could “tradition” be that strong without real faith in God?

The Jews had every reason to intermarry, to change their names and hide their identity by any possible means in order to escape persecution. Against all odds, the Jews remained an identifiable people after all those centuries. That fact is an astonishing phenomenon without parallel in history and absolutely unique to the Jews. We have already noted [2] what is probably the most important of these end-time prophecies, namely, the re-establishment of Israel as a nation in its ancient homeland. It is almost impossible that a nation could survive as a distinct nationality, regain its homeland and be recognized as a viable nation once more after being completely destroyed as an organized entity by an invading army (as Israel was by the Romans, in A.D. 70). Its people were either slaughtered or scattered from one end of the world to the other; its land occupied and ruled by aliens for over 1900 years.

Amazingly, this has been true of the Jews all down through history, as even the present generation knows full well. Furthermore, the prophets declared that these scattered peoples would not only be slandered, denigrated, and discriminated against, but they would be persecuted and killed as no other peoples on the face of the earth. History stands as eloquent witness to the fact that this is precisely what has happened to the Jews century after century wherever they were found.  God warned His chosen people of destiny if they forgot him in the promised land When the Jewish people entered the Promised Land, God warned them that if they practiced the idolatry and immorality of the land’s previous inhabitants, whom He had destroyed for their evil, He would cast them out as well. That this happened is, again, an indisputable fact of history.  God described how He would scatter His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny from the promised land. God declared that His people would be scattered “among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other” (Dt. 28:64). And so it happened. “The wandering Jew” is found everywhere.   

The maligning, the slurs and jokes, the naked hatred known as anti-Semitism, not only among Muslims, but even among those who call themselves Christians, is a unique and persistent fact of history peculiar to the Jewish people. Even today, in spite of the haunting memory of Hitler’s holocaust which once shocked and shamed the world, and in defiance of logic and conscience, anti-Semitism is still alive and is once again increasing world-wide.

Looking at the rather tragic history of the Jewish people, one is not inclined to think there has been any advantage in being a Jew. In spite of the reality that they are such a noble strain of humanity and chosen by God, their history has been a saga of slavery, hardship, warfare, persecution, slander, captivity, dispersion, and humiliation.

19th to 15th Centuries BC (1876-1446 BC) They were menial slaves in Egypt for some 430 years, and after God miraculously delivered them, they wandered in a barren wilderness for forty years, until an entire generation died out.

15th century BC   (1406 BC) When they eventually entered the land God had promised them, they had to fight to gain every square foot of it and continue to fight to protect what they gained.

14th to 10th Century BC  (925 BC) After several hundred years, the period of the Judges, Saul (1050-1010 BC), David (1010-970 BC), and Solomon (970-930 BC) in 925 BC civil war divided the nation.

8th Century BC  (722 BC) The northern kingdom eventually was almost decimated by Assyria, with the remnant being taken captive to that country.

6th Century BC  (586 BC) Later, the southern kingdom was conquered and exiled in Babylon for seventy years, after which some were allowed to return to Palestine.

538-516 BC Zerubbalbel and Ezra return and rebuild the Temple.

4th Century BC   Not long after they rebuilt their homeland, they were conquered by Greece, and the despotic Antiochus Epiphanes revelled in desecrating their Temple, corrupting their sacrifices, and slaughtering their priests. Under Roman rule they fared no better. Tens of thousands of Jewish rebels were publicly crucified, and under Herod the Great scores of male Jewish babies were slaughtered because of his insane jealousy of the Christ child.

Christ’s Ministry AD 30-33

The Sparks of a Firestorm:

  • Jewish factions longed for various freedoms.
  • Many so-called messiahs preached their own brands of salvation (Acts 21:38).
  • During Feast days, especially Passover, nationalistic tensions escalated, so Rome increased its military presence.
  • After Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great died in A.D. 44 (Acts 12:19-23), the Romans appointed a series of increasingly cruel, corrupt governors to rule the Jews, adding to the confusion, hatred, and division.
  • The paganism of Rome’s culture offended the Jews.
  • Assassins began killing Romans – and the Jews who cooperated with them.  (Paul was arrested and accused of being a rebel.  See Acts 21:27-38.)
  • Jewish priests, who became more dependent on Roman security and support, became more corrupt.  Jonathan the high priest was assassinated.
  • Common people were attracted to the Zealots’ radical approach.
  • Felix (Acts 24) was replaced by Festus (Acts 25) as governor.  Both were brutal but ineffective in quelling the rising revolt.  Ananias, the high priest, used this opportunity to murder his opponents, including James (Jesus’ brother) and many other Christians.
  • Two priests who succeeded Ananias (each of whom was named Jesus) and their followers fought one another in the streets.
  • Florus, a new governor, tried to stop the violence by flogging and crucifying hundreds of people.

Revolt Begins – In A.D. 66, while Christians and Jews were being thrown to wild animals in Rome, a Gentile in Caesarea offered a “pagan” sacrifice next to the synagogue’s entrance on the Sabbath.  Jewish citizens protested, so Jerusalem authorities ended all foreign sacrifices in the temple – including those to Caesar.  Governor Florus, who lived in Caesarea, then raided the temple treasury in Jerusalem.  When protesters gathered, Florus unleashed his troops on innocent civilians.  More than 3,500 people were killed, including women and children.  Hundreds of women were raped, whipped, and crucified.  In response, Jewish mobs drove the outnumbered Roman soldiers out of Jerusalem, stormed the Antonia (the Roman fort), and burned records of debts kept there.  Zealots surprised the Roman garrison at Masada, occupied it, and then distributed its weapons to the Jews.  One Zealot leader in Jerusalem was assassinated by another, who then ordered the slaughter of all Roman prisoners left in Jerusalem.

The Violence Escalates – When Gentiles in Caesarea learned about the violence against fellow Romans in Jerusalem, they killed about twenty thousand Jews within a day’s time.

  • Fifty thousand Jews were killed in Alexandria, and the slaughter of more Jewish people escalated throughout the empire.  Gallus, the governor of Syria, advanced on Jerusalem with the Twelfth Legion, but the Zealots destroyed his troops in the mountain pass of Beth Horon.  For a brief time, the Jews kept their national freedom and all the captured weapons from the imperial legion.  Nero ordered his leading general, Vespasian, to end the Jewish problem.  Vespasian began his campaign in A.D. 67 in Galilee, using his army of more than fifty thousand troops.  Sepphoris, Jotapata, Gamla (where the Zealot movement began), and other towns fell. Many Jewish men were executed, often by crucifixion; Jewish women and children were sold into slavery or saved for the games in the arena.  Flushed with his success in Galilee, Vespasian then conquered the coast, including Joppa and the lands east of Judea.  He captured Jericho (east of Jerusalem) and Emmaus (west of Jerusalem).
  • After Nero’s suicide in A.D. 68, Vespasian became the Roman emperor and left his son, Titus, to complete the campaign against Jerusalem.  Meanwhile, factions of Zealots, blaming each other for their defeats, fought each other in Jerusalem.  Another self-proclaimed messiah fought the Zealots.  Confusion and terror reigned.  Apparently most Christians had already fled to the mountains, acting on Jesus’ words (Matthew 24:15-16).  The long separation of Jews and Christians had begun.
  •  In A.D. 70, Titus arrived at Jerusalem with at least eighty thousand troops.  He captured half the city, slaughtered its inhabitants, and built a siege wall around the remaining portion of the city.  Trapped inside, Jewish factions continued to battle on another.  People killed one another over scraps of food.  Anyone suspected of contemplating surrender was killed.  Dead people filled the streets, and Jews who did surrender were crucified just outside the walls.  Josephus, the Jewish writer, reported that six hundred thousand bodies were thrown out of the city as a result of the famine.

The Revolt Is Crushed – Mid-July: Roman troops recaptured the Antonia fortress. August 6: Sacrifices ceased in the temple.  End of august (the ninth of Ab): Roman troops burned and destroyed the temple – on the same day of the year that the Babylonians destroyed it more than six hundred years earlier.  August 30: The lower city fell. September: The upper city fell.  Titus ordered all buildings in Jerusalem to be leveled, except for three towers in Herod’s palace. All the citizens of Jerusalem were executed, sold into slavery, or saved for games in the arena. Alleys were choked with corpses.  Babies were thrown off walls.  People were burned alive.  Eleven thousand prisoners died of starvation while awaiting their execution.  Josephus records that more than one million Jews died, and nearly one hundred thousand were sold into slavery or sent to Rome to die in the gladiator games. Two years previously, Gentiles in Caesarea had killed 20,000 Jews and sold many more into slavery. During that same period of time, the inhabitants of Damascus cut the throats of 10,000 Jews in a single day.

A Final Stand – A few Zealots fled to Herod’s fortress of Masada, hoping to outlast the Romans.  In A.D. 72, the Roman Tenth Legion laid siege to Masada and, using Jewish slaves, built a wall six feet high and more than two miles long around the base of Masada’s mountain plateau.  For seven months, the Romans built a siege ramp against the western side of the mountain and then used a battering ram to smash a hole in the fortress wall.  The Zealots fortified the wall with timbers, which the Romans burned.  So the Zealots in Masada committed mass suicide.  Only two old women and five children survived to share the Zealots’ story with the world.

A Tragic Postscript: The Second Jewish Revolt – Eventually the Romans built a temple to Jupiter on the Temple Mount, and Emperor Hadrian (A.D. 117-138) wanted to build a Roman city on Jerusalem’s ruins.  The few Jews who remained in Jerusalem declared Simon Bar Kochba, a descendant of David, as their Messiah.  He began a new resistance, and in A.D. 131 the Jews again revolted.  Although Bar Kochba’s revolt was initially successful, the Romans struck back swiftly with overwhelming force.  Haddrian himself responded with the Roman commander Julius Severus.  The Romans destroyed nearly a thousand villages, killing or enslaving any Jews who had not fled.  By A.D. 135, the Second Jewish Revolt had come to an end.  Jerusalem became Hadrian’s Roman city, the Jewish religion was outlawed, and the Jews became a people without a land.  The revolt drove Christianity to the ends of the earth, and the Pharisees established Rabbinic Judaism, the orthodox faith of Jewish people today.  The Zealots, Sadducees, and Essenes are no more.

Persecution of Jews by Roman [3] Pagans

 

70: The Roman Army destroyed Jerusalem, killed over 1 million Jews and took about 100,000 into slavery and captivity.
113: Jews in Cyprus, Cyrene, Egypt and Mesopotamia revolted against the Roman Empire. This caused “the death of several hundreds of thousands of Romans and Jews.” (1) Judaism was no longer recognized as a legal religion. (2)
132: Bar Kochba led a hopeless three-year revolt against the Roman Empire. Many Jews had accepted him as the Messiah. About a half-million Jews were killed; thousands were sold into slavery or taken into captivity.  The rest were exiled from Palestine and scattered throughout the known world in what is called the “Diaspora.”
135: Serious Roman persecution of the Jews began. They were forbidden, upon pain of death, from practicing circumcision, reading the Torah, eating unleavened bread at Passover, etc. A temple dedicated to the Roman pagan god Jupiter was erected on temple mountain in Jerusalem. A temple of Venus was built on Golgotha, just outside the city.
200: Roman Emperor Severus forbade religious conversions to Judaism.
315: Constantine published the Edict of Milan which extended religious tolerance to Christians. Jews lost many rights with this edict. They were no longer permitted to live in Jerusalem, or to proselytize.
325: The Council of Nicea decided to separate the celebration of Easter from the Jewish Passover. They stated: “For it is unbecoming beyond measure that on this holiest of festivals we should follow the customs of the Jews. Henceforth let us have nothing in common with this odious people…
337: Christian Emperor Constantius created a law which made the marriage of a Jewish man to a Christian punishable by death.
339: Converting to Judaism became a criminal offense.
415: St. Augustine wrote “The true image of the Hebrew is Judas Iscariot, who sells the Lord for silver. The Jew can never understand the Scriptures and forever will bear the guilt for the death of Jesus.
612: Jews were not allowed to own land, to be farmers or enter certain trades.
613: Very serious persecution began in Spain. Jews were given the options of either leaving Spain or converting to Christianity. Jewish children over 6 years of age were taken from their parents and given a Christian education.
1096: The First Crusade was launched in this year. Although the prime goal of the crusades was to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims, Jews were a second target. As the soldiers passed through Europe on the way to the Holy Land, large numbers of Jews were challenged: “Christ-killers, embrace the Cross or die!” 12,000 Jews in the Rhine Valley alone were killed in the first Crusade. This behavior continued for 8 additional crusades until the 9th in 1272.
1099: The Crusaders forced all of the Jews of Jerusalem into a central synagogue and set it on fire. Those who tried to escape were forced back into the burning building.
1189: Jews were persecuted in England. The Crown claimed all Jewish possessions. Most of their houses were burned.
1215: The Fourth Lateran Council approved canon laws requiring that “Jews and Muslims shall wear a special dress.” They also had to wear a badge in the form of a ring. This was to enable them to be easily distinguished from Christians. This practice later spread to other countries, who required Jews to wear an oval badge. This requirement was reinstalled during the 1930’s by Hitler, who changed the oval badge to a Star of David.
1229: The Spanish inquisition starts. Later, in 1252, Pope Innocent IV authorizes the use of torture by the Inquisitors.
1298: Jews were persecuted in Austria, Bavaria and Franconia. 140 Jewish communities were destroyed; more than 100,000 Jews were killed over a 6 month period.
1306: 100,000 Jews are exiled from France. They left with only the clothes on their backs, and food for only one day.
1320: 40,000 French shepherds went to Palestine on the Shepherd Crusade. On the way, 140 Jewish communities were destroyed.
1347 +: Ships from the Far East carried rats into Mediterranean ports. The rats carried the Black Death. At first, fleas spread the disease from the rats to humans. As the plague worsened, the germs spread from human to human. In five years, the death toll had reached 25 million. England took 2 centuries for its population levels to recover from the plague. People looked around for someone to blame. They noted that a smaller percentage of Jews than Christians caught the disease. This was undoubtedly due to the Jewish sanitary and dietary laws, which had been preserved from Old Testament times. Rumors circulated that Satan was protecting the Jews and that they were paying back the Devil by poisoning wells used by Christians. The solution was to torture, murder and burn the Jews. “In Bavaria…12,000 Jews…perished; in the small town of Erfurt…3,000; Rue Brulée…2,000 Jews; near Tours, an immense trench was dug, filled with blazing wood and in a single day 160 Jews were burned.” (5) In Strausberg 2,000 Jews were burned. In Maintz 6,000 were killed…; in Worms 400…” (1)
1354: 12,000 Jews were executed in Toledo.
1648-9: Chmielnicki Bogdan led an uprising against Polish rule in the Ukraine. The secondary goal of Bogdan and his followers was to exterminate all Jews in the country. The massacre began with the slaughter of about 6,000 Jews in Nemirov. Other major mass murders occurred in Tulchin, Polonnoye, Volhynia, Bar, Lvov, etc. Jewish records estimate that 100,000 Jews were murdered and 300 communities destroyed.
1881: Alexander II of Russia was assassinated by radicals. The Jews were blamed. About 200 individual pogroms against the Jews followed. (“Pogrom” is a Russian word meaning “devastation” or “riot.” In Russia, a pogrom was typically a mob riot against Jewish individuals, shops, homes or businesses. They were often supported and even organized by the government.) Thousands of Jews became homeless and impoverished. The few who were charged with offenses generally received very light sentences. (7)
1915: 600,000 Jews were forcibly moved from the western borders of Russia towards the interior. About 100,000 died of exposure or starvation.
1917: “In the civil war following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the reactionary White Armies made extensive use of the Protocols to incite widespread slaughters of Jews.” (10)  200,000 Jews were murdered in the Ukraine.
1920’s, 1930’s: Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf: “Today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” The Protocols are used by the Nazis to whip up public hatred of the Jews in the 1930’s. Widespread pogroms occur in Greece, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Rumania, and the USSR. Radio programs by many conservative American clergy, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, frequently attacked Jews. Reverend Fr. Charles E Coughlin was one of the best known. “In the 1930’s, radio audiences heard him rail against the threat of Jews to America’s economy and defend Hitler’s treatment of Jews as justified in the fight against communism.” (12) Other conservative Christian leaders, such as Frank Norris and John Straton supported the Jews. (13)
1938: On NOV-9, the Nazi government in Germany sent storm troopers, the SS and the Hitler Youth on a pogrom that killed 91 Jews, injured hundreds, burned 177 synagogues and looted 7,500 Jewish stores. Broken glass could be seen everywhere; the glass gave this event its name of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. 22
1938: Hitler brought back century-old church law, ordering all Jews to wear a yellow Star of David as identification. A few hundred thousand Jews are allowed to leave Germany after they give all of their assets to the government.
1939: The Holocaust, the systematic extermination of Jews in Germany begins. The process only ended in 1945 with the conclusion of World War II. Approximately 6 million Jews (1.5 million of them children), 400 thousand Roma (Gypsies) and others were slaughtered. Some were killed by death squads; others were slowly killed in trucks with carbon monoxide; others were gassed in large groups in Auschwitz, Dacau, Sobibor, Treblinka and other extermination camps. Officially, the holocaust was described by the Nazis as subjecting Jews “to special treatment” or as a “solution of the Jewish question.” Gold taken from the teeth of the victims was recycled; hair was used in the manufacture of mattresses. In the Buchenwald extermination camp, lampshades were made out of human skin; however, this appears to be an isolated incident. A rumor spread that Jewish corpses were routinely converted into soap. However, the story appears to be false. (15)

References:

  1. “A Calendar of Jewish Persecution,” at “HearNow,” a Messianic Judaism web site. See: http://www.hearnow.org/caljp.htm
  2. Randy Felton, “Anti-Semitism and the Church,” at: http://www.haydid.org/antsemr.htm
  3. Fritz B. Voll, “A Short Review of a Troubled History,” at: http://www.jcrelations.com/res/incidents.htm#protokols1
  4. Bob Michael, “Jews as Serfs,” at: http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/subject/hd/fak7/hist/e3/gen/
  5. A.D. White, “A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom,” Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY, (Reprinted: 1993), Volume II, Pages 72-74
  6. A.D. White, op cit. Volume II, Pages 137-140
  7. The Pale of Settlement and the pogroms of 1881 in Russia,” at: http://204.165.132.2/crucible/whunts/frames_pogromrussia.htm
  8. The Dreyfus Affair,”  http://holocaust.miningco.com/msub15.htm
  9. The Kishinev Pogrom of 1903,” at: http://www.netwiz.net/~mchavez/familytales/pogrom.htm
  10. Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” article. See:  http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/anti-semitism/protocols.html
  11. Antisemitic poster from 1920 Germany at: http://holocaust.miningco.com/msub15.htm
  12. J. Hill & R. Cheadle, “The Bible tells me So,” Doubleday, New York NY (1996), Pages 20 to 24.
  13. G.M. Marsden, “Fundamentalism and American Culture,” Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK (1980)
  14. G.M. Marsden, “Religion and American Culture,” Harcourt, San Diego, CA, (1990), Page 220.
  15. A Picture Tells a Thousand Words,” http://www.primenet.com/~rvolk/english/antiprop/jewish_soap/
  16. Pogrom,” Vecherny Minsk newspaper, Minsk, Belarus, 1967-NOV. See: http://204.165.132.2/crucible/whunts/frames_belarus.htm
  17. A.D. White, “A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom,” Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY, (Reprinted: 1993), Volume II, Pages 33-45
  18. The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, (SICSA) has a home page at: http://sites.huji.ac.il/www_jcd/public_html/
  19. Classical and Christian Anti-Semitism,” at:   http://www.virtualjerusalem.co.il/education/education/holocaust/
  20. Hans Küng, “On Being a Christian,”  Doubleday, Garden City NY, (1976), Page 169.
  21. Edward Vanhoutte, “Importance and unimportance of the Jews of Belgium from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment,” at: http://pcger17.uia.ac.be/JEWS.html
  22. Robert Fulford, “Historian recalls life as a Jew among the Nazis“, Article, Globe and Mail, Toronto ON, 1998-OCT-31.
  23. Curious and unusual: Rome’s ghetto: The old Jewish quarter,” at: http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Arc/5319/roma-c9.html
  24. Survivors mark Romania pogrom: First memorial to 1941 victims,” Associated Press, 2000-DEC-6.
  25. Jon Henley, “France faces up to wartime role,” The Guardian, reprinted in the Toronto Star, 2001-JAN-11, Page A28

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Luke 19:41-44 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Josephus writes of these fearful days of siege and famine:

“Then did the famine widen its progress, and devoured the people by whole houses and families; the upper rooms were full of women and children that were dying of famine; and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aged; the children also and the young men wandered about the market-places like shadows, all swelled with famine, and fell down dead wheresoever their misery seized them. As for burying them, those that were sick themselves were not able to do it; and those that were hearty and well were deterred from doing it by the great multitude of those dead bodies, and by the uncertainty there was how soon they should die themselves, for many died as they were burying others, and many went to their coffins before the fatal hour was come. Nor was there any lamentation made under these calamities, nor were heard any mournful complaints; but the famine confounded all natural passions; for those who were just going to die looked upon those who were gone to their rest before them with dry eyes and open mouths. A deep silence, also, and a kind of deadly night had seized upon the city. … And every one of them died with their eyes fixed upon theTemple” (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 5.12.3).

Josephus tells a dreadful story of a woman who in those days actually killed and roasted and ate her suckling child (6. 3. 4). He tells us that even the Romans, when they had taken the city and were going through it to plunder, were so stricken with horror at the sights they saw that they could not but stay their hands. “When the Romans were come to the houses to plunder them, they found in them entire families of dead men, and the upper rooms full of dead corpses. … They then stood on a horror of this sight, and went out without touching anything” (6. 8. 5). Josephus himself shared in the horrors of this siege, and he tells us that 97,000 were taken captive and enslaved, and 1,100,000 died. [1]

Why did all this happen? Because four thousand and one hundred years ago, God made a promise called a covenant with a man we know named Abraham. In Genesis 12:1-3 God declares that His primary focus will be on His promises to Abraham. God promised three elements: a land, multiplied descendants (seed), and His Special Blessing. This 3-fold promise became, in turn, the basis of the covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:1-20). All the rest of Scripture bears out the fulfillment of these promises. That a specifically identifiable land (Genesis 15:18-21) was intimately linked with Abram’s having many descendants in God”s purpose and in the Abrahamic Covenant was clearly revealed and, in a formal ceremony (Genesis 15:9–21), would be placed irrevocably beyond dispute.

So with an unbreakable promise God gave to Abraham a people, a blessing, and a land!

Listen to this incredible summary of all specifics God has revealed about His Chosen People of Destiny, the Jews.

  1. God picked His chosen peopleof destiny as the jews, descendents of Abraham, called israel.
  2. God presented a landto his chosen people of destiny the jews with clearly defined boundaries.
  3. God proceeded to bringhis chosen people of destiny to the promised land.
  4. God pronounced a curseupon His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny as they wandered the world without their Promised Land. God promised the children of Israel great blessing in the land of promise if they would remain faithful to Him. He also predicted great suffering, persecution and worldwide dispersion when they forsook Him. These prophecies came to pass. God warned that wherever they wandered the Jews would be “an astonishment, a proverb, a byword…a curse and a reproach”  Some of these warnings were as follows:
  • Deuteronomy 28:64,66 The LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; . . . And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life.
  • Deuteronomy 28:15, 37 But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: 37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the Lord will drive you.
  • 1 Kings 9:7 Then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.
  • 2 Chronicles 7:20 Then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.

So far the story is hardly remarkable. Other peoples have believed that a certain geographic area was their “Promised Land” and after entering it have later been driven out by enemies. The next seven prophecies, however, and their fulfillment, are absolutely unique to the Jews. The occurrence of these events precisely as prophesied could not possibly have happened by chance.

  • Nehemiah 1:8 Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations,”
  • Jeremiah 24:9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth, for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. 
  • Jeremiah 29:18 I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth and an object of cursing and horror, of scorn and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them.
  • Jeremiah 30:11 But with all this, they would not be like so many other nations of antiquity (indeed like all other nations who were driven from their homeland). “Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee“.
  • Jeremiah 44:8 Why provoke me to anger with what your hands have made, burning incense to other gods in Egypt, where you have come to live? You will destroy yourselves and make yourselves an object of cursing and reproach among all the nations on earth.
  • Hosea 9:17 My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto Him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.
  • Amos 9:9 For I will give the command, and I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground.
  • Zechariah 7:14 I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.
  • Luke 19:41-44 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying,  “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
  1. 5. God preservedHis chosen people of destiny from annihilation.God declared that in spite of such persecution and the periodic wholesale slaughter of Jews, He would not let His chosen people be destroyed, but would preserve them as an identifiable ethnic, national group.
  • Jeremiah 30:11 “I am with you and will save you,” declares the LORD. “Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”
  • Jeremiah 31:35-37 This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the Sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name: 36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD, “will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.” 37 This is what the LORD says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants ofIsrael because of all they have done,”  declares the LORD

Absorption by those among whom they found themselves would have seemed inevitable, so that little trace of the Jews as a distinct people should have remained today.  After all, these despised exiles have been scattered to every corner of the world for 2500 years since the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.  Could “tradition” be that strong without real faith in God?

The Jews had every reason to intermarry, to change their names and hide their identity by any possible means in order to escape persecution. Against all odds, the Jews remained an identifiable people after all those centuries. That fact is an astonishing phenomenon without parallel in history and absolutely unique to the Jews. We have already noted [2] what is probably the most important of these end-time prophecies, namely, the re-establishment of Israel as a nation in its ancient homeland. It is almost impossible that a nation could survive as a distinct nationality, regain its homeland and be recognized as a viable nation once more after being completely destroyed as an organized entity by an invading army (as Israel was by the Romans, in A.D. 70). Its people were either slaughtered or scattered from one end of the world to the other; its land occupied and ruled by aliens for over 1900 years.

Amazingly, this has been true of the Jews all down through history, as even the present generation knows full well. Furthermore, the prophets declared that these scattered peoples would not only be slandered, denigrated, and discriminated against, but they would be persecuted and killed as no other peoples on the face of the earth. History stands as eloquent witness to the fact that this is precisely what has happened to the Jews century after century wherever they were found.  God warned His chosen people of destiny if they forgot him in the promised land When the Jewish people entered the Promised Land, God warned them that if they practiced the idolatry and immorality of the land’s previous inhabitants, whom He had destroyed for their evil, He would cast them out as well. That this happened is, again, an indisputable fact of history.  God described how He would scatter His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny from the promised land. God declared that His people would be scattered “among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other” (Dt. 28:64). And so it happened. “The wandering Jew” is found everywhere.   

The maligning, the slurs and jokes, the naked hatred known as anti-Semitism, not only among Muslims, but even among those who call themselves Christians, is a unique and persistent fact of history peculiar to the Jewish people. Even today, in spite of the haunting memory of Hitler’s holocaust which once shocked and shamed the world, and in defiance of logic and conscience, anti-Semitism is still alive and is once again increasing world-wide.

Looking at the rather tragic history of the Jewish people, one is not inclined to think there has been any advantage in being a Jew. In spite of the reality that they are such a noble strain of humanity and chosen by God, their history has been a saga of slavery, hardship, warfare, persecution, slander, captivity, dispersion, and humiliation.

19th to 15th Centuries BC (1876-1446 BC) They were menial slaves in Egypt for some 430 years, and after God miraculously delivered them, they wandered in a barren wilderness for forty years, until an entire generation died out.

15th century BC   (1406 BC) When they eventually entered the land God had promised them, they had to fight to gain every square foot of it and continue to fight to protect what they gained.

14th to 10th Century BC  (925 BC) After several hundred years, the period of the Judges, Saul (1050-1010 BC), David (1010-970 BC), and Solomon (970-930 BC) in 925 BC civil war divided the nation.

8th Century BC  (722 BC) The northern kingdom eventually was almost decimated by Assyria, with the remnant being taken captive to that country.

6th Century BC  (586 BC) Later, the southern kingdom was conquered and exiled in Babylon for seventy years, after which some were allowed to return to Palestine.

538-516 BC Zerubbalbel and Ezra return and rebuild the Temple.

4th Century BC   Not long after they rebuilt their homeland, they were conquered by Greece, and the despotic Antiochus Epiphanes revelled in desecrating their Temple, corrupting their sacrifices, and slaughtering their priests. Under Roman rule they fared no better. Tens of thousands of Jewish rebels were publicly crucified, and under Herod the Great scores of male Jewish babies were slaughtered because of his insane jealousy of the Christ child.

Christ’s Ministry AD 30-33

The Sparks of a Firestorm:

  • Jewish factions longed for various freedoms.
  • Many so-called messiahs preached their own brands of salvation (Acts 21:38).
  • During Feast days, especially Passover, nationalistic tensions escalated, so Rome increased its military presence.
  • After Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great died in A.D. 44 (Acts 12:19-23), the Romans appointed a series of increasingly cruel, corrupt governors to rule the Jews, adding to the confusion, hatred, and division.
  • The paganism of Rome’s culture offended the Jews.
  • Assassins began killing Romans – and the Jews who cooperated with them.  (Paul was arrested and accused of being a rebel.  See Acts 21:27-38.)
  • Jewish priests, who became more dependent on Roman security and support, became more corrupt.  Jonathan the high priest was assassinated.
  • Common people were attracted to the Zealots’ radical approach.
  • Felix (Acts 24) was replaced by Festus (Acts 25) as governor.  Both were brutal but ineffective in quelling the rising revolt.  Ananias, the high priest, used this opportunity to murder his opponents, including James (Jesus’ brother) and many other Christians.
  • Two priests who succeeded Ananias (each of whom was named Jesus) and their followers fought one another in the streets.
  • Florus, a new governor, tried to stop the violence by flogging and crucifying hundreds of people.

Revolt Begins – In A.D. 66, while Christians and Jews were being thrown to wild animals in Rome, a Gentile in Caesarea offered a “pagan” sacrifice next to the synagogue’s entrance on the Sabbath.  Jewish citizens protested, so Jerusalem authorities ended all foreign sacrifices in the temple – including those to Caesar.  Governor Florus, who lived in Caesarea, then raided the temple treasury inJerusalem.  When protesters gathered, Florus unleashed his troops on innocent civilians.  More than 3,500 people were killed, including women and children.  Hundreds of women were raped, whipped, and crucified.  In response, Jewish mobs drove the outnumbered Roman soldiers out of Jerusalem, stormed the Antonia (the Roman fort), and burned records of debts kept there.  Zealots surprised the Roman garrison at Masada, occupied it, and then distributed its weapons to the Jews.  One Zealot leader in Jerusalem was assassinated by another, who then ordered the slaughter of all Roman prisoners left in Jerusalem.

The Violence Escalates – When Gentiles in Caesarea learned about the violence against fellow Romans in Jerusalem, they killed about twenty thousand Jews within a day’s time.

  • Fifty thousand Jews were killed in Alexandria, and the slaughter of more Jewish people escalated throughout the empire.  Gallus, the governor of Syria, advanced on Jerusalemwith the Twelfth Legion, but the Zealots destroyed his troops in the mountain pass of Beth Horon.  For a brief time, the Jews kept their national freedom and all the captured weapons from the imperial legion.  Nero ordered his leading general, Vespasian, to end the Jewish problem.  Vespasian began his campaign in A.D. 67 in Galilee, using his army of more than fifty thousand troops.  Sepphoris, Jotapata, Gamla (where the Zealot movement began), and other towns fell. Many Jewish men were executed, often by crucifixion; Jewish women and children were sold into slavery or saved for the games in the arena.  Flushed with his success in Galilee, Vespasian then conquered the coast, including Joppa and the lands east of Judea.  He captured Jericho (east of Jerusalem) and Emmaus (west of Jerusalem).
  • After Nero’s suicide in A.D. 68, Vespasian became the Roman emperor and left his son, Titus, to complete the campaign against Jerusalem.  Meanwhile, factions of Zealots, blaming each other for their defeats, fought each other in Jerusalem.  Another self-proclaimed messiah fought the Zealots.  Confusion and terror reigned.  Apparently most Christians had already fled to the mountains, acting on Jesus’ words (Matthew 24:15-16).  The long separation of Jews and Christians had begun.
  •  In A.D. 70, Titus arrived at Jerusalem with at least eighty thousand troops.  He captured half the city, slaughtered its inhabitants, and built a siege wall around the remaining portion of the city.  Trapped inside, Jewish factions continued to battle on another.  People killed one another over scraps of food.  Anyone suspected of contemplating surrender was killed.  Dead people filled the streets, and Jews who did surrender were crucified just outside the walls.  Josephus, the Jewish writer, reported that six hundred thousand bodies were thrown out of the city as a result of the famine.

The Revolt Is Crushed – Mid-July: Roman troops recaptured the Antonia fortress. August 6: Sacrifices ceased in the temple.  End of august (the ninth of Ab): Roman troops burned and destroyed the temple – on the same day of the year that the Babylonians destroyed it more than six hundred years earlier.  August 30: The lower city fell. September: The upper city fell.  Titus ordered all buildings in Jerusalem to be leveled, except for three towers in Herod’s palace. All the citizens of Jerusalem were executed, sold into slavery, or saved for games in the arena. Alleys were choked with corpses.  Babies were thrown off walls.  People were burned alive.  Eleven thousand prisoners died of starvation while awaiting their execution.  Josephus records that more than one million Jews died, and nearly one hundred thousand were sold into slavery or sent to Rome to die in the gladiator games. Two years previously, Gentiles in Caesarea had killed 20,000 Jews and sold many more into slavery. During that same period of time, the inhabitants ofDamascus cut the throats of 10,000 Jews in a single day.

A Final Stand – A few Zealots fled to Herod’s fortress of Masada, hoping to outlast the Romans.  In A.D. 72, the Roman Tenth Legion laid siege to Masada and, using Jewish slaves, built a wall six feet high and more than two miles long around the base of Masada’s mountain plateau.  For seven months, the Romans built a siege ramp against the western side of the mountain and then used a battering ram to smash a hole in the fortress wall.  The Zealots fortified the wall with timbers, which the Romans burned.  So the Zealots in Masada committed mass suicide.  Only two old women and five children survived to share the Zealots’ story with the world.

A Tragic Postscript: The Second Jewish Revolt – Eventually the Romans built a temple to Jupiter on the Temple Mount, and Emperor Hadrian (A.D. 117-138) wanted to build a Roman city on Jerusalem’s ruins.  The few Jews who remained in Jerusalem declared Simon Bar Kochba, a descendant of David, as their Messiah.  He began a new resistance, and in A.D. 131 the Jews again revolted.  Although Bar Kochba’s revolt was initially successful, the Romans struck back swiftly with overwhelming force.  Haddrian himself responded with the Roman commander Julius Severus.  The Romans destroyed nearly a thousand villages, killing or enslaving any Jews who had not fled.  By A.D. 135, the Second Jewish Revolt had come to an end.  Jerusalem became Hadrian’s Roman city, the Jewish religion was outlawed, and the Jews became a people without a land.  The revolt drove Christianity to the ends of the earth, and the Pharisees established Rabbinic Judaism, the orthodox faith of Jewish people today.  The Zealots, Sadducees, and Essenes are no more.

Persecution of Jews by Roman [3] Pagans

 

70: The Roman Army destroyed Jerusalem, killed over 1 million Jews and took about 100,000 into slavery and captivity.
113: Jews in Cyprus, Cyrene, Egypt and Mesopotamia revolted against the Roman Empire. This caused “the death of several hundreds of thousands of Romans and Jews.” (1) Judaism was no longer recognized as a legal religion. (2)
132: Bar Kochba led a hopeless three-year revolt against theRoman Empire. Many Jews had accepted him as the Messiah. About a half-million Jews were killed; thousands were sold into slavery or taken into captivity.  The rest were exiled fromPalestine and scattered throughout the known world in what is called the “Diaspora.”
135: Serious Roman persecution of the Jews began. They were forbidden, upon pain of death, from practicing circumcision, reading the Torah, eating unleavened bread at Passover, etc. A temple dedicated to the Roman pagan god Jupiter was erected on temple mountain in Jerusalem. A temple of Venus was built onGolgotha, just outside the city.
200: Roman Emperor Severus forbade religious conversions to Judaism.
315: Constantine published the Edict of Milan which extended religious tolerance to Christians. Jews lost many rights with this edict. They were no longer permitted to live in Jerusalem, or to proselytize.
325: The Council of Nicea decided to separate the celebration of Easter from the Jewish Passover. They stated: “For it is unbecoming beyond measure that on this holiest of festivals we should follow the customs of the Jews. Henceforth let us have nothing in common with this odious people…
337: Christian Emperor Constantius created a law which made the marriage of a Jewish man to a Christian punishable by death.
339: Converting to Judaism became a criminal offense.
415: St. Augustine wrote “The true image of the Hebrew is Judas Iscariot, who sells the Lord for silver. The Jew can never understand the Scriptures and forever will bear the guilt for the death of Jesus.
612: Jews were not allowed to own land, to be farmers or enter certain trades.
613: Very serious persecution began in Spain. Jews were given the options of either leaving Spain or converting to Christianity. Jewish children over 6 years of age were taken from their parents and given a Christian education.
1096: The First Crusade was launched in this year. Although the prime goal of the crusades was to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims, Jews were a second target. As the soldiers passed through Europe on the way to the Holy Land, large numbers of Jews were challenged: “Christ-killers, embrace the Cross or die!” 12,000 Jews in the Rhine Valley alone were killed in the first Crusade. This behavior continued for 8 additional crusades until the 9th in 1272.
1099: The Crusaders forced all of the Jews of Jerusalem into a central synagogue and set it on fire. Those who tried to escape were forced back into the burning building.
1189: Jews were persecuted in England. The Crown claimed all Jewish possessions. Most of their houses were burned.
1215: The Fourth Lateran Council approved canon laws requiring that “Jews and Muslims shall wear a special dress.” They also had to wear a badge in the form of a ring. This was to enable them to be easily distinguished from Christians. This practice later spread to other countries, who required Jews to wear an oval badge. This requirement was reinstalled during the 1930’s by Hitler, who changed the oval badge to a Star of David.
1229: The Spanish inquisition starts. Later, in 1252, Pope Innocent IV authorizes the use of torture by the Inquisitors.
1298: Jews were persecuted in Austria, Bavaria and Franconia. 140 Jewish communities were destroyed; more than 100,000 Jews were killed over a 6 month period.
1306: 100,000 Jews are exiled from France. They left with only the clothes on their backs, and food for only one day.
1320: 40,000 French shepherds went to Palestine on the Shepherd Crusade. On the way, 140 Jewish communities were destroyed.
1347 +: Ships from the Far East carried rats into Mediterranean ports. The rats carried the Black Death. At first, fleas spread the disease from the rats to humans. As the plague worsened, the germs spread from human to human. In five years, the death toll had reached 25 million. England took 2 centuries for its population levels to recover from the plague. People looked around for someone to blame. They noted that a smaller percentage of Jews than Christians caught the disease. This was undoubtedly due to the Jewish sanitary and dietary laws, which had been preserved from Old Testament times. Rumors circulated that Satan was protecting the Jews and that they were paying back the Devil by poisoning wells used by Christians. The solution was to torture, murder and burn the Jews. “In Bavaria…12,000 Jews…perished; in the small town of Erfurt…3,000; Rue Brulée…2,000 Jews; near Tours, an immense trench was dug, filled with blazing wood and in a single day 160 Jews were burned.” (5) In Strausberg 2,000 Jews were burned. In Maintz 6,000 were killed…; in Worms 400…” (1)
1354: 12,000 Jews were executed in Toledo.
1648-9: Chmielnicki Bogdan led an uprising against Polish rule in the Ukraine. The secondary goal of Bogdan and his followers was to exterminate all Jews in the country. The massacre began with the slaughter of about 6,000 Jews in Nemirov. Other major mass murders occurred in Tulchin, Polonnoye, Volhynia, Bar, Lvov, etc. Jewish records estimate that 100,000 Jews were murdered and 300 communities destroyed.
1881: Alexander II of Russia was assassinated by radicals. The Jews were blamed. About 200 individual pogroms against the Jews followed. (“Pogrom” is a Russian word meaning “devastation” or “riot.” In Russia, a pogrom was typically a mob riot against Jewish individuals, shops, homes or businesses. They were often supported and even organized by the government.) Thousands of Jews became homeless and impoverished. The few who were charged with offenses generally received very light sentences. (7)
1915: 600,000 Jews were forcibly moved from the western borders of Russia towards the interior. About 100,000 died of exposure or starvation.
1917: “In the civil war following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the reactionary White Armies made extensive use of the Protocols to incite widespread slaughters of Jews.” (10)  200,000 Jews were murdered in the Ukraine.
1920’s, 1930’s: Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf: “Today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” The Protocols are used by the Nazis to whip up public hatred of the Jews in the 1930’s. Widespread pogroms occur in Greece, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Rumania, and the USSR. Radio programs by many conservative American clergy, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, frequently attacked Jews. Reverend Fr. Charles E Coughlin was one of the best known. “In the 1930’s, radio audiences heard him rail against the threat of Jews to America’s economy and defend Hitler’s treatment of Jews as justified in the fight against communism.” (12) Other conservative Christian leaders, such as Frank Norris and John Straton supported the Jews. (13)
1938: On NOV-9, the Nazi government in Germany sent storm troopers, the SS and the Hitler Youth on a pogrom that killed 91 Jews, injured hundreds, burned 177 synagogues and looted 7,500 Jewish stores. Broken glass could be seen everywhere; the glass gave this event its name of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. 22
1938: Hitler brought back century-old church law, ordering all Jews to wear a yellow Star of David as identification. A few hundred thousand Jews are allowed to leave Germany after they give all of their assets to the government.
1939: The Holocaust, the systematic extermination of Jews inGermany begins. The process only ended in 1945 with the conclusion of World War II. Approximately 6 million Jews (1.5 million of them children), 400 thousand Roma (Gypsies) and others were slaughtered. Some were killed by death squads; others were slowly killed in trucks with carbon monoxide; others were gassed in large groups in Auschwitz, Dacau, Sobibor, Treblinka and other extermination camps. Officially, the holocaust was described by the Nazis as subjecting Jews “to special treatment” or as a “solution of the Jewish question.” Gold taken from the teeth of the victims was recycled; hair was used in the manufacture of mattresses. In the Buchenwald extermination camp, lampshades were made out of human skin; however, this appears to be an isolated incident. A rumor spread that Jewish corpses were routinely converted into soap. However, the story appears to be false. (15)

References:

  1. “A Calendar of Jewish Persecution,” at “HearNow,” a Messianic Judaism web site. See: http://www.hearnow.org/caljp.htm
  2. Randy Felton, “Anti-Semitism and the Church,” at: http://www.haydid.org/antsemr.htm
  3. Fritz B. Voll, “A Short Review of a Troubled History,” at: http://www.jcrelations.com/res/incidents.htm#protokols1
  4. Bob Michael, “Jews as Serfs,” at: http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/subject/hd/fak7/hist/e3/gen/
  5. A.D. White, “A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom,” Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY, (Reprinted: 1993), Volume II, Pages 72-74
  6. A.D. White, op cit. Volume II, Pages 137-140
  7. The Pale of Settlement and the pogroms of 1881 in Russia,” at: http://204.165.132.2/crucible/whunts/frames_pogromrussia.htm
  8. The Dreyfus Affair,”  http://holocaust.miningco.com/msub15.htm
  9. The Kishinev Pogrom of 1903,” at: http://www.netwiz.net/~mchavez/familytales/pogrom.htm
  10. Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” article. See:  http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/anti-semitism/protocols.html
  11. Antisemitic poster from 1920 Germany at: http://holocaust.miningco.com/msub15.htm
  12. J. Hill & R. Cheadle, “The Bible tells me So,” Doubleday, New York NY (1996), Pages 20 to 24.
  13. G.M. Marsden, “Fundamentalism and American Culture,” Oxford University Press,Oxford, UK (1980)
  14. G.M. Marsden, “Religion and American Culture,” Harcourt, San Diego, CA, (1990), Page 220.
  15. A Picture Tells a Thousand Words,” http://www.primenet.com/~rvolk/english/antiprop/jewish_soap/
  16. Pogrom,” Vecherny Minsk newspaper, Minsk, Belarus, 1967-NOV. See: http://204.165.132.2/crucible/whunts/frames_belarus.htm
  17. A.D. White, “A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom,” Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY, (Reprinted: 1993), Volume II, Pages 33-45
  18. The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, (SICSA) has a home page at: http://sites.huji.ac.il/www_jcd/public_html/
  19. Classical and Christian Anti-Semitism,” at:   http://www.virtualjerusalem.co.il/education/education/holocaust/
  20. Hans Küng, “On Being a Christian,”  Doubleday, Garden City NY, (1976), Page 169.
  21. Edward Vanhoutte, “Importance and unimportance of the Jews of Belgium from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment,” at: http://pcger17.uia.ac.be/JEWS.html
  22. Robert Fulford, “Historian recalls life as a Jew among the Nazis“, Article, Globe and Mail, Toronto ON, 1998-OCT-31.
  23. Curious and unusual: Rome’s ghetto: The old Jewish quarter,” at: http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Arc/5319/roma-c9.html
  24. Survivors mark Romania pogrom: First memorial to 1941 victims,” Associated Press, 2000-DEC-6.
  25. Jon Henley, “France faces up to wartime role,” The Guardian, reprinted in the Toronto Star, 2001-JAN-11, Page A28

[1] Barclay, William, Daily Study Bible Series: The Gospel of Matthew – Volume 2 Chapters 11-28 (Revised Edition), (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press) 2000, c1975.

[2] Drawn from Henry Morris, Creation Trilogy, Appendices, electronic edition, n.p.

[3]   http://www.religioustolerance.org/jud_pers.htm

 
 
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