In the second century in Cyprus, it was illegal for a person to be Jewish. This was mere decades after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD followed by Hadrian selling the land to the Gentiles in 135 AD. If it was illegal to be Jewish, where could they go? Wherever they have gone, major trouble has followed them. In the seventh century Peter the Hermit carried on a major slaughter of Jews in Germany. In the thirteenth century Jews were expelled from England. From the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries Jews were outlawed in France. Words fail to describe the atrocities of the twentieth century in Europe where because they were Jewish, people were chased, hunted down, and destroyed for the crime of their origin.
Why does the world hate the Jews? After the UN established Israel as a nation in 1948 as a place where the Jewish people could call their own, that tiny nation has been under attack. The hatred for Israel is real. In 2006, fundamental Islamist Ahmadinejad said, “Israel is destined for destruction and will soon disappear.” To this day Muslim clerics continue their rhetoric calling for the elimination of the Jewish people, citing their predictions that the rocks and trees will call out to Jihadi warriors that a Jew is hiding whom they should come and kill.
Though Germany’s infamous “final solution” to what they called the Jewish problem was condemned after WWII, the world continues to be troubled about Israel, and the UN now seems like they wish the Jews would just quietly go away. But where would they go, if they don’t have their land? Zechariah’s prophecy that Jerusalem would be a “burdensome stone for all people” (Zech. 12:3) is a phenomenon visible to any who have eyes to see. It seems as though the world hates the Jews. But why?
Consider what the Jews have done that just might have the world angry with them.
*They have given us the history of the creation of the world. The world hates creation because it pre-supposes a Creator.
*The Jews gave the history of the worldwide flood. The world hates that account, because it shows that man’s wickedness is judged by God and will eventually lead to destruction. The world does not want to acknowledge that they will be judged.
*The Jews recorded the giving of the Ten Commandments. The world hates them. It is a series of dos and don’ts, and that is too authoritarian for liberated man.
*The Jews wrote down God’s message of blessing versus cursing, where those who are righteous would be blessed and those who are disobedient would be cursed. The world hates the idea that some people are not accepted because of their lifestyles.
*The Jews, because of their Scriptures, claim to be the chosen people of God through whom He gives His message to mankind, and trace their lineage back to Abraham who believed God. The world does not believe God and is not tolerant of those who do.
*The Jews produced Jesus, who claimed to be the Son of God and the only way to the Father. The world hates the idea of One Way. They want all ways to be acceptable.
*The Jews began the Christian church. Peter and the other apostles were Jews. The world hates the true Church of Jesus Christ.
*A Jewish man wrote down most of the New Testament letters to the church describing what the Christian life is all about, including what is to be excluded and what is to be included in a life pleasing to God. The world hates that. They want to please themselves and then expect to go to heaven anyway.
*The Jewish nation of Israel is a constant reminder of the miraculous return of a people to their land from which they had been absent for many centuries.
George Davis, in 1955, wrote: “The return of more than a million Jews to the land of Israel, after being away from their ancient homeland for nearly 2,000 years, is one of the most amazing and remarkable miracles of all time. And the astonishing thing about this modern return of the Jews to their homeland is this—it was foretold in detail by the prophet Jeremiah 2500 years ago.” (Jer. 32:37)
After almost 2000 years of being harassed, chased, plundered, killed, expelled from their own land and then the lands of others, it is incredible that there are still a people identified as the descendants of Abraham. Yet their continued existence is a testimony to the truth of the word that the Jewish prophet wrote centuries before Christ was born. “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 before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever” (Jer. 31:35,36).
Even though many Jews are not observant, and many are without faith, their very existence is a testimony to God’s faithfulness. This testimony rises against the unbelieving world. It reminds them of things they would rather not consider. Interestingly, some American Jews also wish that the nation of Israel would go away. They are comfortable in their western lifestyle and affluence and do not identify with their heritage. But that does not negate the powerful message that their continued identities proclaim.
The animus toward the Jews has a demonic element. Why else is there such hatred? What other explanation is there for such violent measures taken against them? The Scriptures came through the Jews. The Savior came through the Jews. The gospel was given first to the Jews. The Christian church was founded and propagated by Jews. No wonder Satan hates their very existence.
Prophetically, we see that there will come a time when a multitude of Jews, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes (see Rev. 7 and 14), will be sealed and removed from the influence and power of Satan’s end time violence and mayhem. Though much about these Jewish men remains hidden to us, we do know that they will have a special song and seal. Satan is kept from them. He hates that.
These reasons may explain the hatred for the Jews. Yet there is one more reason to consider. The excessive animosity for Jews around the world is escalating. From the ivory towers of American universities, to the White House, to Islamic jihadists, to cultural elitists, there is unprecedented hostility to Jewish people and the nation of Israel. It may be an indication that these are the prophesied days when the devil acts “having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Rev. 12:12b).
How are we to respond? Two ways: pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and when we see these things come to pass, “look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.”