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THE THIRD HOLOCAUST
The Time of Sand
A Strange Stirring within Israel
Fluttering into France:
A Time to Retain the Truth
Positive and Negative Miracles (both by
the word of God)
and the test and testimony of history.
Time may be running out for Iran, and running in for Israel.
This is taken from Let's Be Reasonable For God Is! Ch. 5.
News 428, The Australian, March 13-14
Israel cannot have had a holocaust, since Persia in the modern dress of Iran, says so, and so do some others who choose to close their eyes to a personal, evidential and written record to the contrary, of such vast dimensions of agony, anguish, savagery and eventual reparation, that the world is still writhing with its implications. As this anti-historical trifling is spoken, however, Iran likewise speaks of destroying Israel, as if a denial of Hitler's atrocious attempts, obliterating life on this earth for millions of Jews, would liberate or give place to the intended efforts of the President of Iran, to do even worse, himself; for to destroy a people is rather more than to kill many of them.
That is rather ironic: deny what happened, and make to be public your dreams of doing what in fact, did happen, yourself, only later! as if evil were involved in a race in which Iran wanted to be a winner, the great destroyer, above Hitler: or rather ... the President of Iran, for the people ferment under his rule.
INTRODUCTION TO A NEW BOOK
Now we have report in the Week-End Australian, March 12-13, of one, Shlomo Sand. He appears to have acted as if to destroy Israel's name, reputation and history. Doubtless this is not his intention, a point we will pursue later, but it is the reaction of some to his recent book, and this not without grounds. It appears here not a question of the pulse of military power, but of a psychic dream which he has. This acts to deaden Israel to its living roots.
Indeed, his dream is like polluting a stream of anguished history, and even more like removing the historical umbilical cord from Israel. Many figures can convey the same, identical and thematic fact.
What will be our procedure here ? We must consider the subject in some depth, and then apply the result to the theme of the book recently published.
THE STATE OF DENIAL
WHICH SOME PREFER TO THE STATE OF ISRAEL
It is customary to deny things to Israel, and this latest denial at the psychic level is a grain of sand in the desert of defamation, and of the arid evils practised against that nation.
Israel cannot have Palestine as a homeland. Why ? Was it not given by the League of Nations, confirming the Balfour Declaration of Great Britain of 1917, in which it was cited as a homeland site for that nation, allowing that it must make due allowance for other cultures in it, thus implying that it would have the power to do so, as well as the propriety ?
Israel cannot, however, have Palestine. The UN said so in 1947, suggesting or commanding or decreeing, or whatever else its ways are supposed to indicate, that Jerusalem could be an international city. What a fine homeland that would be!
Moreover, Britain decided to give the larger part of Palestine (nearly three quarters) to Jordan, even if this would make the homeland less homey.
Of course, Nasser of Egypt denied to Israel the power to have ANY of Palestine, a subtle variant of the British approach in giving so much of it to Jordan. That was another denial; it could not have it. He failed of course, since God has stated most clearly in the Bible that He has other plans (cf. SMR Appendix A, and see Ezekiel 36-37, It Bubbles ... Ch. 10). God's stated, prophetic plans worked; Nasser's plans failed (cf. SMR Ch. 9).
Now Iran is saying that Israel should be destroyed, as it makes haste to deal with the bases for atomic weaponry for peaceful purposes, as it likewise informs us, so that we should know. Still, Israel is to be destroyed. They say so. The Jews CAN have it, but only till they are destroyed. Well that at least provides for a little tenure.
Imagine, now, if China said the same sort of thing about the USA: USA, says some President or Party Boss, bureaucrat or lustrous functionary, is to be destroyed! Imagine a translocation of Iran's sweet mouthings to Israel, if it were instead, China's to the US!
It would seem doubtful that the throb of words would be long uttered, before some decisive results occurred. It is not customary for nations, without war, to utter such words, nor even in war, for rather they talk of defeat. That is normally what is sought, at least officially, not genocide! whether national or other. Here in the speech of the President of Iran, there is a special sort of negative, of denial for Israel: NOT ONLY must they not be in the land, NOT ONLY must they be beaten, but they must be destroyed.
Denial to Israel and to the Jews, as a people, has long been fashionable, and not least in Europe, where the perverse iniquities of various nations towards Jews are legendary, directed, based, factual, arising to its horrid peak in Hitler. Their past is often cited, concerning Christ, their degradation from statehood presented in those or similar terms.
This special edition from Iran, from its President, however, possesses that special dynamic which raises the spectre of malice to new levels.
For all that, Jew hatred, Israel assault in emotion, heart or head has been dynamic in drive and detestation, in hostility in its argumentative mode, for centuries. Indeed, long before Europe's record in the matter, leading to the Second Holocaust, that of Hitler, there was the notable work of Rome, which has to be considered in any contest for the title of holocaust maker.
In this time or that, there is a certain air, mode, message, thought, feeling in the hostility to the Jew, to Israel, which can throb, like a boil, and surge; or die down for a little. Let us return to the First Holocaust of the Christian era, the no so sweet possession of that land by Rome, in its Empire, and through this, to a certain broadening of the persecutory pitch.
Professor Hosmer in his notable work, The Story of the Jews, gives much information on this phase (cf. pp. 125ff.). Of the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome, and some preceding terrorism, he has this of the Jew, here personified:
"Driven by the lash of taskmasters, he had constructed the palaces of Nineveh. In Babylon he had been broken and sundered. Suffered at last to return from exile, as he built anew his temple-walls, his feeble hands could scarcely quell the attacks of the petty freebooters of the wilderness. What respect could a creature, so crushed and dismembered, receive from the superb brethren of the great Aryan household, robust of limb, imperial in brain, trampling the world into servitude! He was but a despicable opponent. So thought the sons of the captains of Alexander, and they tore him anew beneath the harrow of invasion. So thought the power of Rome, and the ambitious Titus made the neck of the Jew a stepping-stone to the imperial throne. Where in the history of conquests has there been annihilation so utter ? But it was only a superficial victory that the Aryan won."
Dr Philip Schaff, in his 8 volume work, History of the Christian Church, said to be "universally acknowledged as the finest complete history of the Christian Church in existence, has in volume 1, pp. 400ff., some fascinating attestations concerning what, with much else, enables the phasing "First Holocaust in the Christian Era" to be employed, relative to the Jews. When? why in the day, yes the years of Rome's invasion, depopulation, repopulation with people from other lands, humiliation and divestment of temple and culture, to an intense and burning degree.
What of the first overthrow of the land at Rome's soldiery hand ? Granting that the number of Jews killed may have been exaggerated by Josephus, himself a witness of these things received into Rome with favour, and negotiator for Rome, who achieved little, for all his efforts, SChaff mentions that liquidative figure at 1.1 million. In addition, 11,000 are said to have
"perished from starvation shortly after the close of the siege, while a further.97,000 "were carried into captivity and sold into slavery, or sent to the mines, or sacrificed in the gladiatorial shows at Caesarea ... and other cities."
Meanwhile, "the strongest and handsomest me were selected for the triumphal procession in Rome, among them the chief defenders and leaders of the revolt... " No doubt, the fact that the Emperor had had to sent for help after one of his legions was mauled in the conflict, made of the exhibition of devastation, a public ceremony to buttress Rome's glory and power, lest others should decide to revolt. It was not mean thing for even Rome, this war.
Vespasian and TItus we learn "celebrated the dearly bought victory together, the two conquerors rode slowly in separate chariots to the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus ... , preceded by the soldiers in festive attire and seven hundred captives... The images of the gods, and the sacred furniture of the people ... were borne along in the process and deposited in the newly built Temple of Peace", more intimate items reserved by Vespasian for his palace."
As for other niceties of purgation and celebration, the desperate Jewish leader, Simon Bar-Giora had special treatment. This one was thrown from the Tarpeian Roock, another doomed to perpetual imprisonment; and thus Rome began here exhibits of superior power, evil accomplishment, attribution of power to her gods, and other creams of contentment, to enable her later fall to have more impact on all. Then would be shown these, her gods as useless in their power, as those of Islam in its continuing desire, on the part of many components, to exterminate Israel, a feat in mind, now encompassed in the mind of Iran's President, to make a company of it with its predecessors.
As to them: Schaff adds this amid his citations: neither Vespasian not Titus "assumed the victorious epithet Judaeus; they despised a people which had lost its fatherland."
"Josephus," Schaff comments, "saw the pompous spectacle of the humiliation and wholesale crucifixion of his nation, and described it without a tear. The thoughtful Christian," he sagely notes, "looking at the representation of the temple furniture borne by captive Jews on the triumphal arch of Titus ... is filled with awe at the fulfilment of divine prophecy." Indeed it was just such a lavish devastation and excruciating exhibition which Christ had both shown in Matthew 24:1ff., and wept over as seen in Matthew 23:37ff., Luke 19:42ff., just as Jeremiah had wept in advance at what was coming to Jerusalem several hundred years earlier (Jeremiah 9:1ff.).
Still more horrid, if possible, in his historical litany, he continues, "Vespasian retained the land as his private property or distributed it among his veterans. The people by the five years' war reduced to extreme poverty, and left without a magistrate (in the Jewish sense), without a temple, without a country."
As if this were inadequate destruction, there was another wave of resistance, in addition to the prelude, and this "led only to a still more complete destruction of Jerusalem and devastation of Palestine by the army of Hadrian (132-1350)."
All however was not lost for their continuation as a people, despite the wholesale slaughter, slavery, divestment from their country, the contempt shown them and the distribution of their land; for
"the Jews still had the law and the prophets and the sacred traditions, to which they cling to this day with indestructible tenacity, and with the hope of a great future. Scattered over the earth, at home everywhere and nowhere; refusing to mingle their blood with any other race, dwelling in distinct communities, marked as a peculiar people in every feature of the countenance, in every rite of religion; patient, sober and industrious; successful in every enterprise, prosperous in spite of oppression, ridiculed yet feared, and robbed yet wealthy, massacred for springing up again, they have outlived the persecution of centuries and are likely to continue to the end of time: the object of the mingled contempt, admiration and wonder of the world."
Since Schaff wrote those words, or at least published them in 1910, much has happened. No more is the Jew without a home, and only if "to the end of time" was intended to signify the end of the Age, as foretold by Christ, who showed that a devastated Jerusalem (Matthew 24:1ff.) would be followed when the time would draw near for His personal return (as in Acts 1:7ff., and Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 14:61ff.) by one not only rebuilt, but possessed once again by Israel. Jerusalem was to be and in fact is a city to be subjected to and then removed at last from the long occupancy of the Gentiles. In fact, Christ indicated more, in His forecast over the millenia, now appearing before our eyes, this amazing fact from the miraculous year 1948.
It was WHEN this would be the case, this return of Jerusalem to Israel, that the end of the Age, marked by His own return, would be NEAR. That is in Luke 21!
The divinely directed wheel has turned, so suddenly since1910, when Schaff wrote. No more is the Jew at home everywhere and nowhere, for the 'nowhere' part of it has been replaced since 1948, 38 years after Schaff wrote, by a Jerusalem resolutely and repeatedly declared by Israel to be its eternal and indivisible capital city. It possesses this city. Rome was commissioned for its fall and Israel for its return. II Peter 3:9 shows how long a time was in view; but God demonstrably sees beyond contemporary history to final history, not once, not often, but in schematic overview (cf. SMR Chs.8 - 9).
Nor is this all by any means, concerning a restored Jerusalem. Its wars of amazing victory, like a dream, of 1948, 1867, 1973, supplemented by the devastation of one great foe, Iraq in the Gulf War, where but little destruction came the way of Israel, and 'kings' were its aids, have made it sometimes even the recipient of praise. Yet a power as if divine on its behalf was both clearly and dramatically indicated in Zechariah 12, before their conversion to the Messiah, whom they earlier crucified. These were staggering just as scheduled in the Bible. So too and in the same place, was the extremely troublesome character of Jerusalem to the nations, in that time. Disbelieve if you dare: it is irrational (cf. Reflections Ch. 7, *1, SMR Ch. 8, introduction, p. 973A op.cit.).
Though the UN*1 and other angry bodies cannot seem to rest except in condemnation of Israel, scarcely surprising in view of their vast Islamic patronage and clientele, whereas Israel is simply one, apparently for daring to fulfil prophecy by coming back to their God-given land, a most provocative act of God to them, it seems,, yet it has a different reality. As so poignantly expressed in Hosea, shown in Ezekiel and exhibited in Isaiah, it is a return of depth of divine intent, fulfilment of His word faithfully, an exhibit even to an unwilling world, that God sent them out for sin and brought them back for mercy, and is not about to receive instructions from this world-grabbers, be they UN or Arab or Iranian or any other.
This brings to mind and attention the point which misleads so many, like Sands, who is cited as imagining that the early Christians could never have gone so far so fast without a vast Jewish expansion before them. That is the same painful mistake which so many for so long have made, including Assyria and Babylon of old (cf. Isaiah 37-38), and which is contrary constantly to the divine actions in history, and in the spread of Christianity, that it is neither theologically, nor historically sound.
Moreover, this idea of a pre-Israel expansion to make the way for Christianity becomes something so oddly contrary to the hostility of Israel to these same Christians in those days, a fact seen continually in Paul's missionary accounts, as to seem to partake not only of dream. It is a dream within a dream.
It seems rather to be part of an utter failure to know from experience and perception of the Bible, and the nature of the universe itself, including man, that the power of God always does exactly what He declares, whatever the barrier! In fact, in one way, it appears as a treatise on disbelief as mandate for theory, and to that extent, impossible on all sides. If, for example, you start without absolute truth in your model in your own mind (which is useful only insofar as it is right, there are no marks for misconception, for that is the down side of liberty of thought in a world not controlled by what you think of it), then you cannot get it, or to it, except by self-contradiction (which needs no further time, since others then do not need to contradict you, you have done it yourself).
If in that case, you proclaim concerning the nature of things, anything, it cannot be true, unless you are false in your thinking. Either way you are false. If on the other hand, you start with a model which DOES contain absolute truth, then there is a possible way for you: it is there and you can consistently seek for it. On the other hand, in a relativistic universe of interacting entities, and that is all, there is no way beyond it to see that this is so, for then there are only operational happenings.
you test what you find, when using sound logic (as in SMR, TMR), with detail and resolve, sparing nothing and including scientific method as one of the comprehensive arms of investigation,
and this without self-contradiction,
and find the only result which CAN give you the absolute truth (so that you CAN consistently tell anybody else, without being merely an self-contradictory innovator),
has a deposition of it in the name of God (shown to be certainly there, in SMR for example):
it is then and then only are you in a position rationally to instruct, or know at all the answers here.
To be rationalistic is to put your trust in reason; to be rational is to use it and find where it goes, and find what it leads to, without wilting. This is rational. A God-given reason would be expected to point to what He has for us. It is an instrument prepared. However, all is tested, first in logic and then empirically. The Bible IS empirically. It is then examined for the power and privilege which it claims for itself, citing God as author (cf. SMR Appendix D).
Empirically, the Bible is the ONLY book which
presents a model
which stands up to every logical test, internal and external,
precedes our modern
science in its basic assertions,
It thus provides us with objective ground for taking what it has to say as the answer. Truth is there in self-consistent principle and in investigable practice, so great are its undertakings, so that man is not in that case merely a lunatic in seeking it.
When further, you apprehend that the Bible, this empirical FIND, removes the ludicrous position that God who demonstrably IS the truth, being beyond interactions, having like an author created the world in which the things are made do what that they are made for, while also giving basis for persons and truth, implying power to lie in man's repertoire, if truth be misused, in his little ways; and when moreover, you find that He invites challenge and test, for Himself in His vast ways, to SEE that He has super-natural knowledge, as becomes One who made 'nature': then on such tests, you find all coherent as in nothing else.
To provide us with knowledge of our affairs, and this in a way that has a non self-contradictory and empirically sound basis, you need to know the truth; and hence not only to find the God of all truth, but also His willingness to divulge it. Man, for his own part, with his limitations and ignorances, does not have enough residual purity of life to escape his own distortions, and foolishnesses, even if absolute truth were sitting there and uninterested in us. We need it imparted.
In the Bible, you have the demonstration of this willingness, testable, continually confirming itself on all sides, its foretold events echoing like machine-gun bullets, resounding in amazing array.
Indeed, it is not only so, but especially the case in fine style, within the lifetime of this author! (cf. SMR Chs. 8 - 9); for as to this suggestion of fulfilled events in this our own day, their sound is almost deafening. Then, what of the idea of a God who COULD tell us what to do about the scintillating horrors into which sin (by biblical definition) has brought us, yet wilfully NOT doing so for His creation, and thus leaving Himself justly open to the charge of being far less compassionate, less moral than we are, when ALL things depend on Him, so that He would be citable as One who would then become a monster of self-indulgence, a horror of creation of fallen folly, not lifting a hand to restore and redeem it while its squalls itself, not to sleep but to slaughter in morals, body and mind, in its debasements! It becomes a mere texture of untruth, wilful ignorance on the part of those who tell it.
When you consider that these words are a part of the Bible whose centre in Jesus Christ provides at vast celestial cost, personal and profound, the very antidote to the sin which ruins, and the collisions which mar, such vain talk about God romps home as a stark impossibility. Impossible for God, as we shall further see, it is mere presumption of unrepentant man. To find it empirically there, the whole solution to the situation, the self, the sin, and not to act on it or believe, it is simply addiction to error.
But what more concerning God Himself, might be put ? For Him to fail to act in such a case as this world presents, would imply an initial desire (since He did prodigious actions) to satisfy Himself by such things, which means He would be deficient in Himself, possible only for what is dependent on something else. Whatever this god got from it (for that's all such a being would be), it would be to meet a need within himself, be it indolent in mischief, careful in cruelty, imposing in menace or whatever else. Those who ignore evidence prefer not to have such a god, or to do without one; but these ignore the logical necessities and the empirical facts; and their dilemma evokes no pity, though much concern for their souls.
Something might be like that; but God could not be both all-sufficient and deficient.
Moreover, had He not spoken and shown us the truth by deposition, He would be a God who would then be allowing a world of demonstrable lies and fraud, at the verifiable level, to continue without remedy, so implicating Himself in such standards, which are suitable only for what has kinks and false motives, needs and appetites not satisfied in itself, so that in such a case, He would not even be in harmony with Himself, but rather afflicted with insufficiency, and by what ? and hence not the Creator of all. You can have one of those if you like imagining things; but it can have nothing to do with God, with testing and finding and applying and knowing what you are doing, because it is the truth (cf. Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4, Barbs ... 6, 7, Repent or Perish Chs. 2, 7). Such a being as that postulated is mere imagination, a luxury for self-will, anodyne of the moment for shifting of blame from the sinner to the Saviour, who after all, TOOK it for those who come in faith to Him, on His Gospel terms.
God in the Bible disdains such a concept very righteously (Psalm 50); and HE gives us the challenge to see that any such concepts are not true, possibly or actually. Indeed, there is something more positive.
Israel has shown throughout its history (not that unbased textually, but based on verified and often investigated history, and the long record of events) two amazing things, amongst many others. These are found, firstly, in what and when it has suffered, when it has persisted in divinely defined folly; and secondly, in what and when it has been helped, when it has done what God prescribed. It is rather like a medical condition, where only by a miracle can you beat the facts. Israel as a nation has shown a sheaf of these divine actions, miracles, that none can ever falsify, except in mind without evidence. These have been like special fertilisers, showers in the midst of bad land, or drought; and with the underlying principles, these have co-existed, in some ways like an ambulance, in others like a prize-giving, not for mere performance, but for its quality and nature spiritually.
Miracles are the very stuff of life even now, and personally, I have found, amidst much suffering for the truth, such a spate of them, never to make life just easy, but to make it operative for the Lord, and this often lined with tender mercies, that to disbelieve them would be like becoming sun-struck, while not believing in the sun.
As to miracles, such as Israel so often gained, the time to show that it has NOT occurred, is AT the time, when it happens; and indeed, Israel had a law (Deuteronomy 13), that gave out the death penalty for using the Lord's name for prophecies without His backing, things that were words minus deeds. The truth prevailed, but when lies abounded in the land, its time would come for discipline. From this, they might be delivered when they would listen (which Hezekiah, for example, did and Ahaz did not, with appropriate results*3). As to Israel and the miraculous actions of God, deliberately and statedly using them as a show-case of divine action, truth and reliability, faithfulness, these lay about them like Autumn leaves. To refute them, which were essences in their very living, is a task unachievable, like refuting breathing.
No one has ever managed it, or ever will manage it. It is in one way like trying to teach someone mathematics, who is always refusing to believe that such things could be. When you use them, you find that they are. Then you need to think a little ... God speaks in this way in Isaiah 44-46 for example, and in Isaiah 48. Archeology has in itself been a treat as foolish theory after theory has been shown to be just sands blown about, sands in the desert (cf. SMR pp. 68ff., 377ff.).
Indeed, amid its sins, Israel has LIVED by and through miracles, decisive divine actions, often pre-announced for instruction (as in Isaiah 7, 40, 49-55). Nor are they only positive. When judgment is at last necessary, as in the case with Babylon, when Judah had been babbling on with false prophets for long, and become confounded in evil ways, including child burning for Molech, then there is the same divine determination; but this time it may be for judgment. You see that for example in the gloriously potent case of Jeremiah 37:10.
So sure was the divine decision on the coming judgment, after hundreds of years of inane liberties proliferating, covered with inequitable horrors, that the Lord declared this: EVEN IF the Babylonian army were all wounded, YET they would rise up and conquer Jerusalem. The classic features of this divine declaration invite attention.
"For though you had defeated the whole array of the Chaldeans who fight against you,
and there remained only wounded men among them,
they would rise up, every man in his tent,
and burn the city with fire."
While God specialises in showing mercy as you see in Psalm 106, in II Chronicles 36, as in Ezekiel 20, yet there comes a time when NOT to act becomes in itself, more horrendous than acting. Some civilisations ask for it, in their squirming lunacies against life and truth and justice and mercy, understanding and wisdom, to the point that it becomes a torture for the next generation of children to come to live in them! A world without God, as this one is increasingly showing itself to appear, by its appalling severances from Him, AS a world to be, is and becomes unlivable. On the way, there are upheavals and squalors unthinkable, and yet appallingly visible, an education undesired. Christ indicated that this would become the case in simple fact (Matthew 24:22).
Often both the positive and negative miracles, that is direct divine interpositions, as when one touches a child's electric train, so that it does not fall over in turning a corner, have occurred. Even the negative ones can provide soul therapy, as you see expressed in the prayers of Daniel 9 and Nehemiah 9, and this can become the display of folly's nature, even to the obtuse. You see this on a large scale in Ezekiel 39:23 and 39:28. There is a lot to learn, and not least, for the Gentiles to learn, as Paul shows in Romans 11, concerning Israel. DO NOT, he declares to the Gentiles, be HIGH-MINDED. Do not boast as if you were better than the Jewish people.
To be sure, he declares, they were like a branch cut off from their olive tree, and admittedly, you who have become Christians have been grafted into that very tree. But - he speaks to the whole mass of self-impressed Gentiles, or those of this order - do not boast about your superior condition. If God cut off that branch, original and in its own tree, how much more may He cut off those who presume and ask for it, for their own part, whoever they may be!
Indeed, Israel's testimony of itself is by no means self-glorying, and it is doubtful if any nation ever gave of itself a more fault-finding, defeat acknowledging account! This is because it is not of itself, for itself, a propaganda ploy, but a statement of deadly realism, such as has infused many a Jewish scientist since, in his academic work. It is an acknowledgment, on the contrary, of the necessity of divine interposition, and this speaks of the vexations they have provided, as well as of the grace God has shown, even when He has debased them, just and in the exact manner He said. As a laboratory book from the Almighty, Israel constitutes a classic, unbending, filled with realism, mercy and justice.
There are lessons not very hard to learn, when you come to, and face and find the truth. In adolescence, you sometimes find youths who shut out truth in many dimensions, ignore smoking's danger, drink's woes, the dangers of sex's mistaken, lustful stimuli as if these were commands, dismiss the whole beauty of godly living, debauching and distressing others with merely the impetus of untaught and unteachable dynamics. Modern man is more and more becoming youthful in this undesirable sense. He is, moreover, doing it despite the very light shining on the darknesses of the past. In this, he is giving a potentially deadly imitation of some of the follies of Israel in the 9th and 8th centuries B.C.. The case is only aggravated for the Gentiles, if they refuse to see the record, and compare it with the attested and predicted results.
Meanwhile, for the Gentile peoples, as for the Jews, all proceeds as per biblical forecast (cf. SMR Ch. 8), as if to afflict the very eyes of the blind. Just as none, for all their efforts of a generation, could NOT show this word of God, in the Bible, to be false at any point, so many marvel at the sublimely certain provisions, both to discipline and to deliver, which continue with history in precise accord with them.
This is the HISTORY SHOW!
This merely continues in the Gospel era, for one and for all, following the fulfilment of every one of the prescriptions for the Messiah, in His day on this earth, when NONE could show at the time, any fault in His utterance, failure in His claimed power or defect in His attestation that He was deity in the flesh. In that case, God was not only fulfilling propositions from the past, prophecies concerning what was then distant future, but PERSONALLY fulfilling them with acute spiritual knowledge and profundity, as in detail, with exactitude. That is what He is like: He does all things well, as did Christ in particular, one of the testimonies to His godhead.
Only once would His word or His work need to fail, to fall to the ground, to render the crucifixion, for the ecclesiastical mafia, unnecessary: the messiahship would have ended there. Performance was essential. With Christ, the opportunities for failure were vast, both because of the kind of thing expected of and performed likewise by Him, and their numbers, as likewise because of the urgent character of things, in terms of pity and mercy.
Mark 2 gives an outstanding example of the kind of thing what went on in an endless stream of challenge and consummation. Further, false accusations would have been unnecessary: the death penalty already awaited someone who CLAIMED things in God's name, which did not come to pass. Therefore one stall ... and He would be dead. As always with God, it is only the false claims which are pressed, seditiously surging into the physical death of His only begotten, leading to the soul's spiritual mortification as sin is borne. Thus they sought for Him calamity, as if only calumny can damage and damn. Yet by this He proceeded in normal majesty of thought and mind, to deliver from damnation even those who calumniated Him, as many as received Him. This of course is precisely what the love of God does. It is only if you deny reality, that you can lose it (cf. Proverbs 1).
What did He show at the practical level ? The Messiah is all, wrapped up in one, the only way to find God, because as God He has come (Isaiah 48:16, John 8:58), sent in divine love, the truth in Person, recipe and reason for love, sound amidst hate, redemptive of the underlying condition of its denial, which is sin itself against the God of creation. Scurrilous pre-occupations with what is in any case, the impossible, the way of unbelief, are therefore as foolish as it would be, if you were to have a Boeing 767 available, free of charge, needed to travel 3000 miles quickly, and insisted instead on going there by canoe, one with holes in it (Jeremiah 2:13, 13:15ff., 18:14), and nothing with which to fix them. That, it is merely the commencement of a stream of contingent events, unless mercy intervenes.
We do not take that course, because it does not work; and because the good course does, and fits every need, with considerable aplomb, panache, and moulding of the heart, which is a basic human need. Indeed, it fixes it too, with a mighty reconstruction*4 which restores the basic foundations of life from what sin did to make mankind in so many ways, in this 21st century, draw near to the blatant concentrate of horror which you see on its way in so many nations, well equipped with false leaders and liars. It is God who having all things in His power, has made all that is not God; it is He who NEEDS NOTHING from anyone, and gives to us instead, first in the creation, then in the information in the Bible about what to do with our spiritually fallen estate, all our need, each one. It is this which by masses ignored, leaves the race to modern history whcih shouts at us, screams, screeches, in mounting wars and falling corpses, masses of mutilation and uncured sores, famines and failures, talk and squawk, high words and unsound deeds.Increasingly, as foretold, it comes near to an international quarrel escalating with all sorts of views, screeching, but not to a halt, clashing, and without peace for the nations. It is first between man and man, and then for both, between these partisans and God (cf. Revelation 19:19).
On such topics, first and last, on such failures to listen to God, and on such triumphs of His word, against all comers, on such evidences and constraints: consult The Defining Drama Ch. 10, Sparkling Life ... Ch. 8. There see in context overall, about the 'do not know God' wanderings, wraths and pretensions, their total failure in History, Review and Overview Ch. 5, Defining Drama Ch. 2, as more extensively in The gods of naturalism have no go! a work of five volumes. Also to the point are: History, Review and Overview Ch. 5, Defining Drama Ch. 2. It is the same whether in biology, astronomy, design or any other field (cf. Deity and Design ... Light Dwells in the Lord's Christ, Who Answers Riddles and where He is, Darkness Departs). In terms of system, all questions are answered, and without this biblical perspective, endless and necessary defaults occur.
The attestation of this same power is seen in the physical sciences, as in the stringencies of consistently applied logic, which will not and cannot rest without God (cf. Deity and Design ... Section 8). It cannot even cease, without Him, from contradicting itself, like someone half-frozen with chattering teeth unable to stop.
As such approaches of unbelief fail in other areas, so in these. Let us revert to our immediate interest in history.
God uses whatever means He chooses, directly as in the destruction of Assyrian forces seeking to take Jerusalem (Isaiah 37-38) in the 8th century B.C., or in 1973, when to fulfil His stipulation that Israel would be protected by Himself, the USA was used. This was wrought in part, by means of its vast turnaround cargo plane supplies of materials to Israel, a nation which proceeded to push Egypt back over the Suez Canal, even encircling an Egyptian army on the other side of it! These fulfilments since 1948 have been so total and spectacular that even blindness could not exempt from their knowledge (cf. SMR Ch. 9, Red Alert Ch.10, Part II, Outrageous Outages, Awesome Inputs and the Courage of Christ Ch. 11).
That God not only, in Zechariah, specified such a thing for a returned Israel, such staggering victories savouring of the interest of the Almighty. He did more. He went on in this same Chapter, to speak of an Israel in which many would come in these travails, to repent of their treatment of the Lord, even "Me whom they pierced." It is there made clear that this would be done with great, national and vastly expansive sorrow, people seeking the Lord of salvation in order to be washed from this sin once and for all (Zechariah 13:1). This in turn is set down before the return of Christ to this earth (cf. Zechariah 14, Acts 1, Psalm 2). He also showed that this deliverance against vast forces would be backed by Himself. It is therefore set at the end of the Age, to which we have prophetically, now demonstrably now arrived (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
Now concerning the preliminary wars noted in Zechariah 12, this was by no means to remove the tension from Israel, surrounded as there shown by far more numerous foes; for in the early part of Zechariah 12, as seen through the imminent development to follow, it was still at war with God! Alas, this was spiritually the case, as a nation; but war was also virtually present with many nations. Despite this, as foretold (cf. Ezekiel 37, Zechariah 12), the prevenient and covenantal mercies of God were still at work. After His bringing them back according to premise and promise (Micah 7, Deuteronomy 32, Isaiah 49ff., Luke 21:24, Hosea 1-3, Jeremiah 23), there would continue a certain burden of tension, not only for Israel, but statedly for those nations who fussed themselves about here, concerned themselves for this or that reason, to have their way with her (as Hilary Clinton is most dramatically doing right now - The Australian March 16, 2010, almost as if she were the elected President of Israel.
It would be a HEAVY burden to the nations, said God of this period, so readily dated in fulfilment. THIS is just the case: return, fight, burden to the nations. If you insist on ignoring God, then He insists on NOT ignoring the realities of the case. It is so even in colleges ...! There is a coming judgment not only for physical violence, but for mental indoctrination, monopolistically imparted, irrationally defended, forced feeding that destroys liberty and evacuates love.
As to God's word, HE declared that would intervene in the physical realm (and did so), to bring Israel back and endue them with martial success, and then in the spiritual (soon to follow, as the nations pressure as in Ezekiel 36-39, esp. 37). This, His declaration, as always when so stated, He has done until it now stands, with most things done, and climaxes to follow. This approaches even now, with the raging and indeed rampaging tongue against Israel, of Ahmadinejad.
Paul describes the cohesion and sequence of events further, in Romans 11. These things would moreover serve as a prelude to what God, in Micah 7, indicated would come later, when a triumph far greater than that of Rome, as also predicted, over the Israel of the 1st century A.D., would occur, and this not at the glory of Israel, but at that of God Himself. A vast military victory, glorifying GOD ONLY (Isaiah 2) is to come; but the greater one by far is that attested in the midst of all this, that of a repentance surging through Israel, to seek atonement from the Messiah, God in human form, pierced for them, and BY them! (Zechariah 12:10). Let however go back some distance in history, to gain more perspective and coverage.
In fact, of course, right at the beginning of the Gospel era, God continued to use a Jewish remnant, with the Jewish apostles, to build the Christian Church on the foundation of Christ; and Rome, for all its empire, in due course itself became Christian in testimony, however nominal in part, this may have been. That was certainly a counter-victory for the Lord over the false gods of Rome, seemingly exalted in its smashing of Jerusalem, before its own final waywardness led to its own ruin. In fact, even that A.D. destruction of Jerusalem, in continuing waves of horror, in the period AD 70 to the one hundred and thirties, was as predicted in Matthew 24, and Daniel 9:24-27, with the desolations exhibited in advance, coming in its train.
This nominal turning to Christ on the part of the Roman Empire, it happened after its snarling ferocities had first lampooned, dismembered, crushed, mocked and turned to sport venues, the bodies of many, who as Christianity spread, were both Jew and Gentile. By that time, following the rampages the First Holocaust of the Christian era, a progressive one in A.D. 70-135, the Gospel of Christ had appeared confronting not only Israel, through the apostles and disciples in Israel, but those amid the Gentiles who heard. Here now, spreading vastly, was the thrust of Israel's message, not now alone that of the nation, but that of the Christian remnant, centred in the Christ, the Messiah! (as in Psalm 2, 16, 22, 72, 69, Isaiah 2, 7, 9, 11, 40, 49-55 and elsewhere*5 ), in Him who being deity as man, was slaughtered as a sin offering, bodily raised as the greatest victory of all, that over death, without which the others would not really matter!
The event was much shown in Psalm 22 and 16, with 40, the reason for it in Isaiah esp. 12, 22, 40-53, and the drastic nature of the divine action to bless, in Hosea 13:14 as in I Corinthians 15.
Here was the objective ultimate for the Book of the Jews, in the Old Testament, and here was the criterion in life, as in word, for Christian of whatever race. Here was the tableau: the old branch of Israel, in spiritual meaning, ripped out, the new branch, as Paul puts it in Romans 11, grafted in, that is the Gentile believers; but the olive tree itself, it did not change. It had long been planted, and was as well known as the ground itself, on which our feet walk. Its new branch was introduced because the Israel branch, at the national level, had been cut out, in spiritual terms. While God would prove faithful to His promises (Genesis 17), one of these was for a considerable exile of the nation (as in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 29ff.), to be remedied in a return to be a prelude to repentance. Faithfulness was to precede, for this returning remnant of Israel, faith; the divine the human, the vision the restoration.
This quintessence of the Jewish message, of their book, namely this Christ, as foretold even through the prophet Moses, as One to surpass his own role (Deuteronomy 18): this was forwarded first by Jews, believers in their Messiah, then by these with Gentiles, and on it has spread to whomever. It was this culmination which followed the historical events of fulfilment, and here lay the ultimate meaning foundational to Jewishness, namely that of the God of creation and redemption. Having arisen to this indispensable massif of meaning, this consummation in the Cross, and the resurrection of the body of Christ, it drew fire more fluently from many, directed to many.
It was this Christ, who met the case uniquely, which neither Muhammad nor any other religious assailant knew. Muhammad, for his part, invented a new christ, some 600 years after Jesus Christ, one not based on historical records, an invention without deity, redemption, and with a variable death on the cross, or other, dependent on which part of the Koran you read*6.
As with the Jewish prophets, the thing could be ignored, mocked, subjected to torment, strained flights of academic or other incredulity; but it did not alter. Every word of the Bible was continually fulfilled, near and far. The obnoxious feeling so many have had towards the Jew, has in considerable measure been transferred to Christianity, which likewise and for much the same reason, many now seek to unchristianise, to disenfranchise, to re-culture by using in various impertinent and other ways, the historical and historic name of Jesus Christ (cf. SMR Appendix C). The efforts to do this are in parallel to some extent, with the efforts, by military or social or psychic means, as in this recent book of Shlomo Sand, to denaturise Israel, whether by confusion or intent. In common, is this: that both have been entrusted, each in its time, with the word of God, and this world would have none of it (John 14:30), though select nations and people have loved it, the former for a time, the latter for eternity.
For Jew or Christian, the Old Testament being in its prophecies a prelude to the fulfilment of the same in Jesus Christ (cf. Joyful Jottings 22 -25, With Heart ... Chs. 4ff.), there is the same inveterate desire in this world, to CHANGE THEM. If it were only the sins, this could be understood; and God does DO this on the individual through sanctification (cf. II Corinthians 3:17-18, I Thessalonians 5:23). However, it is not the imperfections which remain even in the transformed lives of Christians (as in I John 1:7ff.), which are the trouble: for the more they are faithful, the more this world finds them obnoxious (cf. John 16:2).
This reaches climaxes of fury from time to time, and currently it is to be found in endless sects, using the name and fame of Christ for unbibilcal purposes in a type of reconstructionism, one of these being Islam, USING Christ and the Jewish past for incompatible add-ons to its innovations*7. In its way and day, Liberalism in its flamboyant and futile endeavour
(cf. The Biblical Workman Appendix 3, pp. 186ff., 188ff.; Biblical Blessings Ch. 11; SMR Ch.10, End-note 4, pp. 1082ff.; Ch. 1, pp. 68ff., 1003-1011, TMR Ch. 8, Lead Us not into Temptation),
has done the same, as has neo-orthodoxy
(The Biblical Workman Appendix 3, Light of Dawn ... Ch. 2.
Thus part of the wrath at Christ (cf. Psalm 2), which was directed against the Jew when the Bible had only the Old Testament, and now is against the Christian, with the whole Bible to hand, has remained in the new totality of Christ's body, Jew or Gentile. In this sense, the old has become new, international, universal, just as the Gospel is.
Yet much of it has long had a continuing basis for the Jew, when not Christian. This time, it may be not only because his was the word of God in the prophets, his was custodianship (Romans 9:1ff.), but because the death of Christ, conducted by authorities in Israel, gives to some persons an occasion for venting their spleen, for a hatred towards God anyway, that now can have a simpler target than the breadth of Christianity. Resentment can be general, does not have to be logical, and can even be self-contradictory; though some may resent His killing in any case.
Yet for these perhaps more, there is that shocking, ineffaceable fact of Israel back in its land, which though they be not yet returned to the Lord, represents as in a lecture, the Lord's return to the manifest fulfilment of the promises concerning them. This with the lingering fact of their earlier exploits in the Lord's name, can be reinforced by thoughts of Calvary, till hostilities can become plaited into a fabric strong, and reinforced.
Professor Hosmer in considerable detail considers this surging hatred against the Jewish people, the vile violence and extirpative mode in many. He traces the history of assaults in Spain, Germany, Russia that followed later, in detail. Pogroms against Jewish peace and property, enabled Russia, for one, to have its own pogrom word. Such pogroms were perhaps not so pervasive as the assaults by Romanism, in the name of the Inquisition, a most quasi-holy extermination or persecution or purging work (call it what you will, the bodies still were brutalised, the property snatched).
Yet it can all be seen as one, except that in Europe there came the more official cast of the matter, in the falsified name of religion, a formal religion from Rome, using force in exact contradiction of the words of this same Jesus Christ (cf. John 18, Matthew 26)! One of the butts of this for so long abusive force, was the Jewish people, in horrendous assault both on them and on the word of Christ. For this, and non-submission to the pope, many were requisitioned, tortured, given torment instead of the blessings of godly example, and acrid offence instead of gracious entreaty.
Certainly, on the other hand, some nations sheltered Jews, and Sweden and Denmark were notable in World War II, when Hitler brought the long smouldering evils of Europe towards Jews to a climax that some, quite naturally, though not wisely, seek to forget. Now again, the painful throb comes, and it rises to its raucous thrust once more, shrieking as with the wind: that desire to exterminate, as in the case of Iran's misled President. A little while back, it was Egypt, which through Nasser was apparently endeavouring to increase their proximity to the sea, till the point would come when they were IN IT!
Picturesque ? But of what is it a picture!
SHALOM ISRAEL ?
Now we have report in the Week-End Australian, March 12-13, of one, Shlomo Sand*8. He has acted as if to destroy Israel's name, reputation and history. In effect, he seems as if playing God, who once told them that for their sins they would be "not My people", though He added that in the end, when they accepted the pierced Christ, Himself, as their sacrifice for sin, then they would once more be "My people." Sand would apparently like to have them, in his anti-biblical imperialism, never "My people", and really, all their own! This seems a kind of Gentilic Jewry, smile awry at its past, grown out of its origins, meaning and place of power, denying instead of frying, at the pagan hand of misled Gentiles, such as the Arabs, Iran and various nations, such as Germany was, but is not.
But history, like birth of an individual, cannot be re-written, nor can its too evident genes and genesis be left to rot. They are there and in integral force in the total human situation, they have shown as they have grow, the most consistent and persistent characteristics: much as people do!
But what of Israel once more to become "My people!", who were not My people" (cf. Romans 9:25ff.), which as Paul points out is to apply not only to the Jews, but to the Gentiles (in due measure in each case).
This concept you find in Hosea 1-3, Isaiah 52-53, 65:13-15, and Ezekiel 36-37 with Zechariah 12-13, which is to occur before the return in majesty, of the murdered Messiah (Zechariah 14), who judges one and all in His glory (Daniel 7:22-28). Amongst the things He is going to judge (Isaiah 65-66, Micah 7, Isaiah 11, Micah 4) are those who have sought to obliterate Israel. This has been a persistent theme in the Bible (cf. Isaiah 51:21-23, Jeremiah 50:11-20, Obadiah 10ff., Ezekiel 32:10-12, Deuteronomy 32:36ff., Micah 7).
Often enough (as in Nehemiah) had they married indiscriminately; but this did not annul the enormous pressures to conserve religion, race and tradition. Often enough, indeed It appears to be an inveterate trend, have nations and pieces of nations sought to change them by theft, fraud, domineering and onslaughts. It has been so, from Egypt (exit by Exodus with divine power as required, and in this theme, see Psalm 105-106, Exodus, Psalm 78, 81, 89, 114, 135-136), to Assyria (Isaiah 10, Assyria to Babylon (Isaiah 13-14,40), from then to Rome, and in that case (as in the Assyrian) to a massive extent, right down to Masada.
It has continued to be so in various degrees, in the Holy Roman Empire, to the ongoing case of Europe, cresting or bottoming rather, in Hitler; and its agent is now Iran, doing much worse than ancient Media and Persia, which through Cyrus (as in the Cyrus Cylinder and Isaiah 44-45) let them go back, and that, with some official backing. For Iran, the message seems to be hacking, not backing. There is yet foretold to be a massive, multi-national assault on Israel, and that Eastern arena, north and east, is that pointed to (Ezekiel 38-39). It is so strange the way the foes accumulate, as if mesmerised by prediction, to play their part in the drama, as assigned, but certainly not without guilt; for to foreknow their ways, is not by any means to compel them!
Shlomo Sand, as Israelite, though not one born there, for Austria was his birth-pace - for he was merely borne to Israel - has an idea of his own. Let them become mere makers of myths, themselves for some obscure reason, one of them, and let their widely attested history be shredded, while all documents, biblical passages long investigated by scholars with amazing confirmation, are set rather firmly to one side; and let history fade, and suitably adjusted deny to Israel its vast dispersal in the days of Rome, to death, denial and decampment, vile violence and slavery. It is as if someone, long beaten and left in dungeons, esteemed the best way on, to be the way out, and no longer to BE the person who was imprisoned. The gaoler however knows; and the world knows; and the Lord knows; and there is "hope in your end" (Jeremiah 29:11, 31:17), More even than that, there is to be a blessed outcome of this vast income of blessing, following a calamity not without reason (Micah 7, Isaiah 65-66, Isaiah 2, Romans 11).
Should one indulge the reckless ramblings of Sand ? Let this that first holocaust horror in the Christian era, become part in a sequence, one in a series of universal events for a wandering people.
Let it be so, in order that they may NOT come back from dispersion.
Let the British not employ the Royal Navy, as they did after World War II, to put a new barrier to Jews wishing to return to their city, and let them not put it aggressively in place, and let it not, like Rome this time, prevent in measure the return of the Jews to Israel in the first flush of negative enthusiasm after the war, preferring suffering to expatriation.
Let the songs be stilled (Rev. 5), the visions of redemption be removed, the Bible be obliterated, the prophets for all their verified accuracy, never have written, let the penalties of error never have been implemented, let the glories of Solomon and all its archeology, be subdued. Let the Psalms of David unhappen, the long predictive assignments of the Almighty, interpreting and dispensing detail on the things to come, be electrocuted by insight. Let it all be imagination, and let the wail of the Jew be no more, a mere cry as of any; and let the address to the Jew as indicative of the wrath of God, be exterminated for all time, and let the prediction that they would kill the Messiah and long be out of their land, be extirpated. Make it all new; make it up. Neither guilt nor gift, however, is changed by mere wishing, nor deleted by dreaming, and despite its defilement by defamation, the word of God continues unsmitten, but to smite..
It is a strange sort of dream, but each to his own. With dreams, however (cf. Jeremiah 23:23-29), it is not always wise to confuse them with reality, or to make fantasising, especially escapist fantasy, a fanfare before others.
As to Britain, which recognised Palestine, along with the League of Nations, as the homeland for the Jews and declared that it would be for it, it did not keep its word. That is, the British contribution was negative, while that of the Jews was positive in their desire not just for peace and prosperity, but for their almost barren land, looted from them so often. This they then, as foretold in Isaiah 35, made to blossom like the rose. Incidentally, in doing so, at one time, this tiny nation became the third largest floral exporter in the world, we are told. Not bad after the Holocaust, the Second Holocaust, the happenings of which are still traced in the memories of those who now are departing, in the writings and Nazi orders, investigations and intimations of sober reality.
But as to Britain, it did not honour the Balfour Declaration. Even concerning the antique vessels returning to their land some of those once to be deleted, that time by Hitler, once more they clashed, clashed with their erstwhile human deliverer. It is never wise to put any trust in merely human deliverers. Only God always and without exception, does what He says, and is shown to do so. So much for the Declaration of Balfour and the League of Nations.
What then would appear the thrust of this strange word of Sand ?
Let it be a land not only uprooted, dispossessed of all the systematic and ideational, directed violence of paganisation procedures of the past. Let it be psychically re-made as well. Let's be thorough about it: remove identity and then perhaps things will be less dangerous: such appears to be the musing of Sand.
What is the rush, and where does all this lead ? Is it not this ? Let Israel not only to be reformulated in pagan ways by Rome, as in the past, a thing of force; but let it be a place in which the idea of Rome and its new Capitolina idea, flourishes, as in the days of Hadrian, alas no dream. Let the Israelis do it for themselves, like rolling your own cigarettes, if you are unfortunate enough to indulge in them.
Yet did the Jew just go into exile then, because it felt good, for a people having no roots anywhere! Or was Solomon in Poland ? or were the Maccabees in Russia ? It is good at every point to consider the unregenerate realities of history before the regenerate and unreasonable concepts of recreation of Israel, and to ponder every wayward implication of the rootless Jew, made oddly enough, in Tel Aviv, or something like it.
What an invention is this Third Holocaust, that passes on, moving from that of Titus and successors, to Hitler and his henchmen, and then to the ideational reconstructionists, in their tertiary position!
Is this then indeed the third wave, this time with a different lilt, but in some ways, with a similar result, as to DIRECTION ? De-culture the Jew. Leave it out to dry, to die, or slave, or torture, said Rome. Leave it, valuables retained, to die, wet in shower recesses, at least notionally, suitably poisoned to de-toxicate, Hitler has it. Now simply change the thinking, and lo, it is gone, the history of the Jews, their call, their rise, their fall before Assyria (in part), before Babylon (in the other part) before Rome, before the world, before the Inquisition because of their faith, before the United Nations (their capital city internationalised: DO de-culture the Jew - 1947): this in full or in part, it is no difference, just MAKE IT GO!
This almost universal desire is not really because Jews, like perhaps some other races, have enough who like to argue, not because they have more than their fair share of geniuses, Ph.D's and scientific advancement, for their size. It has always been because being the emissaries (often sadly astray to be sure!) of God by the prophets, they had a message.
To be sure, they themselves might kill the prophets, but they still read them, let them shape them, make their basis, loved or hated, what it was, so that Netanyahu now, like so many before him, is most keen on prophecy and its impact on their history. They still universally and inveterately STOOD for something which challenged the gods of Assyria (as in Isaiah 37) as much as those of Babylon, as those of Rome. Rome as we shall see, went about the humiliation of Jewishness in a systematic manner. It was not to be allowed to STAND before the imperial might of those intoxicated with their own greatness (like Babylon - Isaiah 14:4-27). It was similar with Assyria, boasting of its glory before God. Both nations fell (cf. II Kings 19:35ff., Daniel 5, The Pitter-Patter ... Ch. 4). These came only to go.
It was this, not least, that would have maddened the dedicated unbeliever, then as now, who would perpetually see JUST what God said (as in Jeremiah 50:11ff., Isaiah 37), confirmed with His reasons for such action, DONE, and indeed, this whether against Jerusalem in its sin (Jeremiah - Lamentations), or others, to cleanse or to repudiate (as in Ezekiel 25-33). It is not so much Israel, which is the unacceptable nation (though it is very much so in this world), as a matter of emphasis, but rather some other thing. It is in fact having a divine sanction for the word of God, whether it hits themselves or others, being a standing and declared nation, whether punishable or revivable, one whose very presence on earth at this time confirms both the promise of God at the first (as in Deuteronomy 32), and of Christ far later (Luke 21:24 making it clear that as the end comes near, there will be a liberated Jerusalem, back with the Jews).
This enrages the dedicated Moslem, and it is this which astounded President of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir: How COULD the Islamic masters in their amplitude over all this world, fail to remove so small a nation from its place, for 50 years!
The answer is quite simple (cf. SMR pp. 1080ff., 830ff.): God said it would be thus, and Allah is no god! (cf. More Marvels ... Ch 4, Divine Agenda Ch. 6, Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8, including *1).
God loves to show His power because it is the truth, because it helps people to awake and to realise His love, which folly despises and shut eyes seem to disperse (cf. Matthew 13:15ff.).
It is this which a strike-out of their very place in history as divinely sent, might MITIGATE. Why not just REMOVE them, whether by Sand in their eyes, or blood in their bodies, let out. One can well understand why some might wish to remove history from the Jew, with a clean sweep, as far as it could be clean, when it is covered with a moving dust.
Admittedly, this unhistorical concoction is far less bloody than was Hitler, but its trend against the Jewishness of the Jew, in Hitler's case to be accomplished by removing Jews, and HENCE Jewishness - has its resemblances! This third assault does not deal with the Jewish threat, but seems to make a Jewish theatre, in which strange new worlds of thought are invented, and the passions of men against Israel for its traditions, its former power, its killing of Christ, its resistance to idolatry because of historical commitment to God, is set for dissipation.
Perhaps peace will come in such denial ? Alas no, for it comes only, in this always verified word of God, the Bible, when there is peace with God. It comes in truth when truth is met not by dream, but by repentance and atonement, as Israel for millenia correctly in God's name announced. It failed to accept the personal offering of God Himself, the most important of all, and so joined other nations in one thing, failure of most to find the peace of God.
There is none without Him, since He, as the Truth, and the only one who could POSSIBLY in Himself have it, writes history with an undeterring pen, often sharing His intentions (cf. Isaiah 41, 43, 48), and in the performance of His word,NEVER failing. In its way, this is one type of experimental verification, such as the scientific method rejoices in. If it is good, let it show it; if it has power, let us know it! Israel whether in the word of God written, in the Saviour smitten, or in their own dispersion AND restoration, continues to attest the Lord, and to verify His word, even when their hearts are not yet in place, to put this into their own mouths; but this, it is yet to come, and the biblical, prophetic preludes are in place, like a house built, without as yet, those called to live in it (cf. Ezekiel 37:12-14,24).
Once their spirits are brought back, as already as appointed, their feet have been, then comes the Lord with His people, including those converted from Israel, back to this earth, filling Jerusalem with glory and the world with the knowledge of God, before time arrives for its own decease, and the construction of a new heavens and a new earth, as in Revelation 20 and 21.
THE WOULD-BE DROP-OUT THAT GOD WILL NOT DROP
All this to one side, in this unfounded mythopoeic suggestion of Sand, there seems to be a woeful glorying in wiping out the idea of Israel as it has shown itself to be continually in history, and writing a new assignment for it. It is not unlike the work of the Emperor Hadrian, in the imperial succession from such as Vespasian and TItus. He, after the din and sin of the fall of Jerusalem, following those persistent and progressive furies, and with the quite challenging Bar Kokhba Jewish rebellion requiring him to seek to Britain for more troops*9, decided on making, building a new city on the site of Jerusalem. It would be one on Gentile lines. It was to be called Aelia Capitolina. Jupiter was to be its glory. How much further can you go in desolation: first remove the building, then re-assign the site, and next place an idol in the savaged structure's grounds or surrounds.
This secular and rampagingly provocative substitute city, we learn from Encyclopedia Britannica, was founded in AD 135 by the Romans on the ruins of Jerusalem, which their forces, under Titus, had destroyed in AD 70. They were persistent, those Romans, not inclined to let a matter drop, however many bodies did. Theirs, in the first and secondm century AD, was the First Holocaust. It was Hitler who brought centuries of delinquent persecution of Jews, to the SECOND HOLOCAUST, that of Auschwitz and the like. Yet let us return to the First of this series, the First Holocaust.
This new name for the city was given after the Second Jewish Revolt (132–135). Intended to honour the emperor Hadrian (his nomen was Aelius) as well as various imaginary gods of Rome, it included a sanctuary to Jupiter, right on the Temple Mount. The new, rebuilt city likewise contained statues of Roman gods, mocking Old Testament law. In this way, not only were the remnants of the slaughter of the Jews, as described in Josephus' Wars of the Jews, punished, disappropriated; they were also enslaved and widely dispersed into death or humiliation. Indeed,affront upon affront was added, whether at Masada, or in further slaughters incited by further Jewish attempts to outlast Rome, or through barriers to inhibit the Jews, who might wish to return in the city.
Thus this building of a sanctuary to Jupiter on the Temple Mount, and placement statues of Roman deities, erected in the city, was in manifest, peremptory, intentional violation of Old Testament law. Here was an early de-Jewification of the Jew.
Further, we learn from Encyclopedia Britannica, a large foreign population was imported to the now walled city. This would move further, to discourage or disparage, to de-characterise or dispel, this JEWISHNESS, of the called nation, with its monitory history for man, its Book and its prophets. While Jews were given inhibitions against re-entering the now de-cultured and religiously raped city, others could inhabit it. It is as it was told in Leviticus 26, and things progressed as required in that prophecy and forecast. And why ? It was because of the repetitive failure in Israel to live the life prescribed, not only for Israel as a nation, but for them as a prelude to Christ Himself, being portrayers through the prophets of His coming in vast, historically verified detail (cf. Isaiah 48:23, culminating in Isaiah 49:6 and 52-53).
However, there is now this strange lack towards the passionate programs of so many for so long against Israel, that would seem desirous of bringing on a gentle mist that hides.
What then, why not dream ? By all means, but not when awake.
It seems the city just happened to have such things recorded of it,
just happened to suffer
eclipse and overthrow,
just happened to become an
historic focus to continue the concept of the wandering, uprooted Jew,
just happened not to be in Israel, but rather was really an indefinite,
just happened to be blamed for the crucifixion of Christ,
just happened to relate in some sort of way to their inscribed writings
just happen to have been visited with hatred for it, as they
just happened to leave their famous land
just happened to have a temple of vast fame and riches under Solomon, and
just happened to have their temple destroyed by Babylon, rebuilt,
just happened to stay around,
more or less,
It would be just as feasible to deny that the sun ever shone, while it is STILL SHINING in precisely the manner in which it always has been recorded to do; for now the prophecies are coming true, not only as always, but in a savage indifference to unbelief. How could this be averted as one more of the endless (174 volumes of them, in this site alone) attestations to biblical truth. Here it is shown not only as an empirical fact, but as bound by logical necessity!
God Himself has stated His plans (Jeremiah 33:11-26), in the most magnificent terms of certitude, mocking any contrary thought, this objective and determination being more than all that astronomy can give for comparison, and the plan is this: ISRAEL will be kept (after ever so much in between) as a site for His purposes, His rule to flourish there (Isaiah 2, 11, 65, Matthew Luke 22:30, 19:28), before this whole universe is taken away (Isaiah 51:6, II Peter 3).
If Roman Emperors could take their words seriously, do not ascribe to God any flightiness.
There is, in this imaginative dream, no flight from Jerusalem for the Jew, nor any finale of termination from the Lord, but the opposite (Jeremiah 33:15, Jeremiah 23); and this not as a matter of praise, but of God's own faithfulness, confirmed both in His detailed disciplines, and His own huge atoning sacrifice, in His confirmation for Israel's large-scale conversion to come, and in His plans for the termination of the entire test program for the human race. Moreover, what is for one, is for all (Jeremiah 16:19ff.), Jew or Gentile, one God, one Gospel, one redemption, one Cross, one Christ (Ephesians 4:4, Isaiah 42:6, 49:6). What God has done just happens ... to be inconvenient, undesirable, to be ready for crucifixion, as if Christ's own death were insufficient, and some Gentiles should be allowed to have a go for themselves.
But what of the 'happened' adventures listed above ? If these be not in all respects the case imagined, they might as well be, in their drift. Yet if facts are the exact opposite repeatedly, are brutal, let them be faced. Let's leave off dreaming, in this or that form or phase, even in theme. Let's look.
In fact, we must awake the devastating brutality of the destruction of Jerusalem, in various waves of vengeance and passion, of the temple, of almost all its buildings, the loss of people, one estimate running into most out of millions, the use of Jews as slaves, quarry or other, as wild beast exhibits for fighting, their degradation, to the passionate determination to take over even the remnants of their civilisation, by Emperor, who MUST not and WOULD not be thwarted. This imperial drive by the pseudo-divine Roman Emperors (who could kill for a failure to acknowledge them in this fashion) is typical of imperial majesty, that WILL not bow to any.
In the end, however, they bow. Thus Rome itself, in the normal progression of results for grand persecutors of the Jews, had its own time coming, like Babylon, left in the dust, though Rome for its part had to arise, as shown in the Bible, to experience what was left for its pageant in history - ( cf. Revelation 18-19, SMR pp. 946ff.), before its polluted religious history would literally go up in flames (Revelation 19).
As to Rome, the last of Daniel's four empires, it was to be strong AND fragile, Daniel foretold (Daniel 2:42 cf. Highway of Holiness Chs. 2 -3, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 10), which is precisely what it has exhibited itself to be. This, moreover, it was shown to be also in its religious format, the Romanism which followed the imperial phase. In this, it was to be tossed off the back of the emerging empire (Revelation 17), a thing that has already commenced to happen*10.
IT IS TOO LATE TO DREAM, IN THE MORNING:
IT IS THE TIME FOR FACTS, ALL OF THEM
A dream ? If you are going to do it, then do it thoroughly as this Sand does, having in earlier years visited so long in so many ways with Communism in its negation of demonstrable reality (cf. News 37, 96 97, 98*11), which it does in ITS own way.
Israel Bartal, dean of the humanities faculty of the Hebrew University, in a commentary published in Haaretz, Wikipedia tells us, not unexpectedly notes that the underlying thesis and historiographic accounts of Sand are "baseless". It is one thing to note the fact that Jews have often married non-Jews, but marginal elements in Jewishness do not remove the basis. He is unimpressed with what is deemed the Sand idea to make Israel a source of delusion as if the Jewish people deliberately try to make themselves forget their new, imagined 'origins' in Russia and Poland, where they seem to have filtered and accumulated, in some way making this a source, and the historically depicted exile a fantasy.
Bartel can find, he tells us, no single idea that the Sand epic of denial, in its precursors, has not put out earlier. The latter, he asserts, Sand quotes as if these were authorities. Bizarre and incoherent is Bartel's view of this new way of excluding Jews from their history.
And what of this new excursion into exclusion? This time, it is a variant, for it is attempted exclusion not from life, the more usual assault, not from opportunities of having Jewishness in their practical living, as in Hitler's regime, and for that matter in the earlier effort by the Roman Empire, nor from the setting up of ghettos for their containment and hence exclusion from the outside world in which, nevertheless, in dream, they apparently travel almost as freely as others do. It is not so much from any of these things that they are to be excluded, but from the biblical and more contemporary accounts of Jewishness in history.
No more are they to be the called people, who taught monotheism but so often practised idolatry, censored by the prophets, reminded by the Psalmists, corrected by predictive prophecy repeatedly and accurately as foretold calamities befell them. No they are to be new-born babes, coming in a certain dusty manner into someone's mind, who would make this often direly disciplined people, a sort of babe of nothingness, coming from distant places. Here the continual persecutions are transformed, and the very exile wrought with such mounting passion by the imperious imperialism of Rome, becomes more like a flight of fancy. It is like a guided tour of ruins, where the ruins are really ... not so bad! We thus seem to be faced with a sort of intellectual tourism. As tours go, the book cost is not great. But again, as tours go, you need to keep your eyes away from mere selected events, as you pass in your cruise-liner, and face the realities of the lives and history of the peoples, and not wave away the consolidated realities on every side, which shout at you, perhaps too loudly to be heard.
Certainly, it must be admitted, as purges go, this is a thrust into the metaphorical, a lunge into the metaphysical and a departure from the physical so profound, that even the UN might admire the divorce of Jew from its background (cf. the elements of 3, ABOVE). In the UN case, it was merely a denial of or exclusion from its country as a coherent body of territory, as something it could have, and of Jerusalem, as their capital. That was a function of the UN year 1947. The Sand idea seems to stir up something not dissimilar in result. Have a plastic historical surgeon do the job!
Jerusalem ? this was to be made, in 1947, an international city (though the Arab side then refused so small a gift, a fact so often ignored, that it too becomes a farce in the denial world). Here, it is its history which would seem nicely proposed for extermination. It is not to be done so violently however. It is sent as if to a rest home, and it is that Israel may so rest from its perennial labours, trying while still denying the Lord (to whom they will soon return in large numbers as in Zechariah 12-13, before His return as in Zechariah 14), to rest amid the predicted furies and fumes of the rampant nations about it! THEY do not forget their identities, or their lusts from Muhammad on, nor their treatment of the People of the Book, as in the Koran.
Dream on: this merely being there is not the underlying cause of the trouble. It is WHO is there, and WHAT they have said, in such stark denial of the Koran, for millenia. There is even a more basic level yet.
It is the daring of the Almighty to ASSIGN a land to a people, as if humankind could not POSSESS all He made in the world and in the universe, as if humankind were to be EXCLUDED from the pseudo-imperial madness of a take-over in the name of themselves or anything which they appointed. They could not enjoy the rampage, or they cannot! It is as precisely put in Psalm 2: the kings of the earth rage, they fret, they fume, they raise themselves against the Lord and His anointed. Their end is not lovely, but it is written there.
The thoughts often seem to go thus: As if God could dare even to SPEAK to the rational beings He made, those equipped with logic to penetrate His logically constructed world. Worse, it is as if God could dare to use Jewish prophets in a predicting and determinate line to exhibit the truth of their predictions, about Israel or other, to designate the coming Messiah, and to continue to have a history for Israel, though they themselves 'abhorred' Him at the official level (Isaiah 49:7), and then to cover with coping, have a world which would contest His two stage, stated intention for Israel! and His ultimate one stage consummation for them.
Intolerable! ... for man in this world, as its owner: he will NOT tolerate this. He will build his United Nations, his world financial system (predicted, and after the latest crash, more and more being considered by the G 20), his buttresses and his bombs, and grimace and smile behind his closed eyelids, and then flash a toothy exhibit in his social poise; but he will not heed. Each to his own; each nation to its glory; and then, all nations to their human glory, orchestrated by an evil so profound (II Thessalonians 2, Revelation 13, 17, John 14:30), that it has NO PART in Christ, and seeks to determine all thought, action and transactions.
Let us beware, then, in Australia, the Bill of Rights thrust, the Communications purification plans, which are moving towards intimidation.
As someone put it, the Rights people are those who make the wrongs that cripple, or words to this effect. DEFINE what is right quite simply, and then CONDEMN what does not meet your idealistic or visionary or humanist or truth-sacrificing, dead and corpse like grasp, and thus simply DICTATE, making truth your hoped-for pawn, yourself, your government, your people or class, the determinants. This is the dictatorial molestation of democracy; and in this, there would be a de-culturing of the truth mode, an arrest for the race which loves truth, another dismissal. This world moves, and that, it is not only on its axis. It is time to awake, in many quarters; and though Israel is one of these, it is by no means the only one!
As to this information shut-down, where China, for its part, seems to be seeking a compromise from Google, there is even now, a ludicrous movement towards a hostile intemperance towards truth. Thus in the name of removing the obscene, the molesting midgetry from the internet Menu, there is an already almost inconceivable plan to remove domestic, religious and marital matters which might in some way offend someone, perhaps young, and hence this must be culled! It moves like the beast, down on all fours, already. Where is that ? Why it is in Australia, it looms!
Yet let us return from more general movements to Israel, and look once more at the return of Israel, as predicted, and review it shortly. The first stage is now past. Its time was 1948-1973 when Israel won the wars of triumph, being returned, against incredible seeming odds. That was in Zechariah 12 earlier. Zechariah 14 set the return of Christ, as foretold likewise in Acts 1, Matthew 24, I Thessalonians 4. Zechariah 12:10.
In Ezekiel 36- 37, we see the transition from, physical restoration to the land (dry bones assemble into many skeletons in the imagery there used). The comes the second command for spirit, in Ezekiel 37, that which gives real personal life to the bones. In Zechariah it is put more personally , when many in Israel, in a sudden and vast movement of the Spirit of God will amidst all these tensions, come to realise that they did indeed crucify the LORD (" Me" says the text, the Lord speaking), and repent of it.
All completely intolerable ? like the foretelling of the death date of the Messiah (cf. Christ, the Citadel ... Ch. 2). It always happens. It reminds one of the Lusitania in some ways, that vast and glamorous ship of almost inconceivable luxury and pomp, moving on to Britain from the US, even though there was REPORT of a German U-boat, from much earlier and there was known risk. Did it zig-zag ? But no: of course not, for who would DARE attack such a vessel with such passengers; but the German government had warned those who would enter just those waters. Did it keep up maximum speed, which no U-boat could then match ? It seems that would have been too expensive. It CANNOT happen.
Yet it did. It was sunk, a second massive explosion (differently interpreted by experts) ending its time. That is rather like a peremptory rejection, to apply the illustration from history, of God's word, despite its knowledge and authenticity, and then failing even to make haste to find Him! The second explosion would be like that of a false faith imploding on itself, with nothing to offer but ashes and death.
Unhappy event, not to be studied ? Yes, perhaps it is so to some, who are intolerant of tragedy. But intolerance, you do not make history. It was in history that you yourself were made. It is facts, not the factitious, merits in Christ. not the meretricious, verified and unimpeded, that must be faced.
In review then, this apparent crystallisation from a preferred dreamland, then appears, whether intended consciously or not, as an effort to deliver Israel from its past, its call, its mandate from God, from the genesis in Abraham, and hence from the way that God has done precisely and continually just what He said He would do.
Thus the new idea of adding a new extinction to the race, namely that of their history, can act as if to bypass to some extent, the constant and intimate relationship between the Bible and what happens to Israel (cf. SMR Chs. 8 - 9)., which is just as noteworthy and entrenched in factual historical records, as are the Jews in the predicted mockery and scorn, of which this is a more subtle type. It is alas, to bypass a large line of traffic, to get to your preferred shore; but there is no room on the highway for this. You have to wait your turn, or join the cue of truth, unpopular though it be, and sail by faith, engineered by fact, to the place God has prepared.
What then ? Allegedly aimed at Israel's welfare, this is as helpful to it as a changed identity, for an agent's run in the CIA; but in the latter case, it is not a matter of denying the identity, just hiding it. In the former, it is not mere appearance that is line for transformation, but reality. This, you cannot do, and the lure is a translation of hope to the hopeless. The trend of this, then, is parallel to the endeavour to remove the history of the agent before he joined the CIA, if you will. Hide him ? Yet, but remodel him: more thorough! Not possible. If you want truth, deception does not work. We are dealing, not with appearance, but with truth; which also deals with us, day by day and year by year, as the programs of God, as pre-announced continue inexorably.
Mercifully His pity and His mercy continue also, for those who seek Him, seek Him in truth (Psalm 145), where He is to be found (Isaiah 55), and not in some foot-locker located in our imagination. Imagination can be good; using it concerning God merely leads to rotting, whether for one or for many or for this world (cf. II Peter 3).
MOTIVES, MESSAGES AND MEN
Now let us be clear, we do not know the motive of the author of the invention of the Jewish people, which services in a more peaceable way, a Jewish elimination program. To be sure, such dream-world invention by Sand, in his work, The Invention of the Jewish People, DOES seem to make it easier for a lot of people, and just might do something, before more in the genre of Iran get ready to carry out their vain threats against Israel (vain now as always, since GOD has STATED He has a different and more beautiful end for His exiled people) ... Do something ? you ask ... It just might do what ? It just might make for a little more peace, for a very little while. That could be the thought.
But how ? Just for a time, then, it might be as if someone said he would commit suicide, so that, for a little while, perhaps his murderous enemies might become more quiescent, while they watched to see if he would actually do it. This may well be what he is beginning to feel; but there is almost a macabre comedy in this Sand approach.
Is Israel the nation, to
be obliterated in its vast history of longing and persecution,
and from the oft-evidenced hatred for it, one heavily equipped with REASONS for persecution,
however vindictively applied ?
Is it to be subjected to
the overthrow of the massifs of history,
by making irrelevant references to
Jewish movements and partial proliferations in this place or that,
as if this
gave them a new basis and point and purpose and meaning in history;
endeavour now to be made to reduce to babble their travails and travels,
with all their mournings and sorrows, yearnings and societies, traditions carefully kept
and hopes of return so long nurtured in multitudinous ways with almost
indescribable lament and hope,
in the midst of the most
grievous and even horrendous trials,
testing the fibre and
fabric of life to the uttermost, in butchery and chicanery,
Is this experience of the generations, to be mere poetry, or perhaps worse, part of a constituency of deception?
Then whose ? and why ? The only deception seems to be self-deception, and this, not of the Jewish race, thrusting and yawing in its way, amid imperviously unfeeling persecution, and inestimable jibes, even to the heart!
Is per-fervid imagination to seek to imagine that they dared to construct a fiction in the midst of what so many for so long have felt to be intolerable facts ? Is this to be done without one relevant deletive fact to remove their history, so often and by so many for so long recorded, in so many ways, and written large into the melancholies of this world, including their strong account from the Koran, where they are seen at times as the people of the book, rather than the deceivers of the human race, and where their Old Testament prophets were indeed stated in this same Koran, to be from God! (cf. SMR pp. 1080ff.). It was this, rather than the impedimenta of verifiable delinquents in basic history.
The Koran, for all its visionary tauntings, was much nearer the sundering time following the fall of Jerusalem, and the centuries of persecution which followed! Nor did its author show any trend toward the exaltation of the Jewish people! For all that, the Jewish book, the Old Testament, is there made a veritable inspired tome, with no suggestion of the Jews being a papier-mâché people.
(Surahs 2:135, 3:140-147, 183, 5:144, 10:35-38,
25:3-8, 32:21-26, 87:179, as listed in the Penguin Classics for The Koran*12).
Is Israel then so to be subjected in a newish form of subjugation, and this from one of its own people, no doubt intent on its bodily survival - whatever else ? Remember, Caiaphas, persecutory high priest, may in part have been motivated by just this desire: to save the people, misled from truth as it was, a high-priestly folly with devastating results which made history sore (cf. John 11:46ff.), and Jerusalem a rubble, demolished in promiscuous outrage to everything it would desire.
Apparently so; but what a coup. What a take the man had, and what hearts were these which followed his treachery to truth! and what payment schema they there installed! Now it is a FRIEND who asserts these things, we learn; it is a teacher indeed in Israel, who gives this cute little way out and on. It has the air of something ... it is as if a psychiatrist said to a patient,
Look, you need a new personality. Let me integrate for you some new personality without the barbs so deeply embedded in your old one, that honestly, it would be all but impossible to get them out without ruining everything. Let's just be creative. Let's be in denial of all that old stuff, and have you a new personality. We'll drug you in certain factual areas, forget all your diaries and the statements of your enemies and friends, and lo, behold, it will be easier than you think; for before long, they too will see you differently, and as to your past, look I can make you forget all about it. Why worry ? Is it really there ? Come, let us think together.
A brave new world, with the flag of truth furled.
*1 See for example SMR p. 743ff., Overflight in Christ Ch. 1 , News 152, Of the Earth, Earthy Ch. 13.
The Desire of the Nations Ch. 2, Epliogue,
Little Things 3 (esp. *3),
Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 5,
Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch. 4 (the nature of words),
Thy Word is Wonderful 5 (the nature of information).
For Hezekiah, see Isaiah 36-37, with 38...
For Ahaz, see Isaiah 7.
See Titus 3:3-7, Romans 5:1-11, John 3, Romans 8.
See SMR Ch. 9 with With Heart and Soul... Chs. 4-7 and
JOURNEY TO GOD ... Ch. 8
More on the treatment of the Messiah, and with this, the Trinity,
largely from Isaiah 48-50 but also from 45-47, 51-55 is found in
DASTARDLY DYNAMICS ... Ch. 3.
See Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8, *1. See also More Marvels ... Ch 4.
On this, and principles in view, see:
SMR pp. 1080ff., Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 4, esp. excursion *2 ,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8, including *1.
How Great is the God We Adore! Ch. 11, (3 religions in parallel and force in faith),
Of the Earth, Earthy ... Ch. 10 (this last more broadly yet in religious comparison),
and see on the force issue,
Gracious Goodness ... Ch. 4,
Lord of Life Ch. 3,
Divine Agenda Ch. 6,
Of the Earth, Earthy Ch. 3,
The Grating Grandeur Ch. 9.
Below are some excerpts from comments from an American organisation,
CAMERA, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
This may be found at:
Book Review: "The Invention of the Jewish People"
The Invention of the Jewish People
Shlomo Sand, Translated by Yael Lotan
Verso, London New York, 2009
When it comes to undermining the legitimacy of the Jewish state, there is no thesis too absurd to be published. In fact, one can assume that any book attacking the idea of Jewish nationalism will gain a following (and even garner awards), regardless of how preposterous the underlying thesis.
Such is the case with "The Invention of the Jewish People," a book by Shlomo Sand who teaches French history at Tel Aviv University. The thesis: There is no such thing as a Jewish people; today's Jews have no connection to biblical Israelites or to Jews who inhabited Israel during the time of the Second Temple; rather, they are descended from disparate groups of people who converted to Judaism and had no ties to the land of Israel. Conversely, there was no exile of Jews from the land of Israel; most Jews remained in the land, converted to Islam and were the progenitors of present-day Palestinians.
Sand acknowledges his mission is to prove invalid the foundation of Zionism – the idea of a Jewish state built on a Jewish ancestral homeland — and to promote instead the idea of a single non-Jewish state of Arabs and Jews. His qualifications for this project lie – not in Jewish history scholarship (his field is French nationalism and cinema), but – in his communist, anti-nationalist and anti-Zionist background and politics (which he proudly mentions in the book's preface). His thesis whereby Arabs – and not Jews– are the rightful inheritors of the land provides the support for his political argument.
What about the earlier historical writings that negate his theories? Sand discards them as the fabrications of 19th and 20th century Jewish historians who fabricated "myths" and constructed "memories" of Jewish nationhood. Moreover, he contends the invented version of events was kept alive in Jewish history departments throughout Israel, the U.S. and Europe by Zionists who "created an iron-jawed vise that prevented any deviation from the dominant narrative."
The author does not pretend to reveal any new primary source material. His conceit is that he is keener and more honest than the "authorized" experts in Jewish history whom he disparages, and that he, by contrast, is uncovering "surprising connections" and offering "unexpected insights."
Ironically, Sand draws not only upon the revisionist theories of Bible critics, journalists, philosophers and archeologists who share his perspective, but upon the work of the very same historians whom he dismisses – cherry-picking the facts he favors and ridiculing the conclusions that don't meet his needs.
To support his interpretation of events, Sand sets up straw man arguments. For example, he goes to great lengths to ‘prove' that the Romans did not deport the entire Jewish population following the destruction of the Second Temple. By ‘uncovering' the obvious, Sand believes he is demolishing "the myth of uprooting and exile" which, he explains, "was essential for the construction of a long-term memory wherein an imaginary, exiled people-race could be described as the direct descendants of the former ‘people of the Bible'."
But, of course, no serious history of the Jewish people suggests that the entire population of Judea was expelled in one fell swoop. On the contrary, Jewish historians have always taught that while the Romans ended Jewish autonomy in the land and destroyed the Second Temple which was at the core of Jewish life, Jews remained in the land, established a Sanhedrin, and compiled the Mishnah and Talmud.
Sand attempts to dismiss evidence that might negate his theory of no exile: He alleges that Flavius Josephus, the eyewitness historian who documented the Roman conquest of Israel "tended to exaggerate his numbers" and his description of a Jewish exile can therefore not be trusted. He claims that the Arch of Titus in Rome – built shortly after Titus' death in 81 CE to depict the triumphal march to Rome with treasures from the destroyed Jewish Temple – "shows Roman soldiers carrying the plundered Temple candelabra – not...Judean captives carrying it on their way to exile." He argues that there is no Roman documentation that mentions "a deportation from Judea." He refers to the Roman expulsion of Jews from the Roman city of Aelia Capitolina, built on the ruins of Jerusalem in 135 CE, (and which lasted some two hundred years) as a temporary "restriction" which he claims does not constitute proof of "Judean masses" being exiled at that time.
Indeed, even if all those assertions were true – and there is little reason to believe they are– it is immaterial whether or not Josephus' overall numbers were exaggerated, whether those carrying the Temple's treasures were captives or soldiers, or whether Judean masses were forcibly deported at any single point in time. Sand is unable to dispute the fact that the destruction of the Temple, loss of Jewish sovereignty, banishment of Jews from Jerusalem, and attempt by the Romans to erase the country's Jewish identity – even changing its name to Provincia Syria Palestina – was a pivotal and traumatic point in the history of the Jews which resulted in the scattering of Jews throughout the Diaspora for a second time, the first exile having been caused by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE.
That there were Jews who continued to live in the land of Israel subject to Roman rule, or that a community of religious scholars flourished for a time in the Galilee – facts that no Jewish historian disputes– emphasizes the willingness of Jews to cling to their homeland despite persecution and demonstrates the centrality of the Land of Israel to Jewish identity. It does not take away from the fact that in the wake of the Roman defeat, Jews were powerless and oppressed in their own country. Whether through flight, expulsion, emigration, subjugation or a combination of these factors, the Jews viewed themselves as a nation exiled from their homeland – a perception that permeated the Jewish canon, prayers, religious practice, customs and Messianic beliefs.
On the "wandering Jew", and its proverbial, long-term existence, he cites Jeremiah:
Jerusalem sinned grievously, therefore she became a wanderer (Lamentations, Ch. 1, Verse 8)
Thus saith the Lord: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. And there is hope for thy future, saith the Lord; and thy children shall return to their own border. (Jeremiah, Ch. 31, Verses 15-16)
This theme also appears in daily Jewish prayers, established in the aftermath of the destruction of the Second Temple; which lament the distancing of the nation from its land and include multiple supplications for the Jewish salvation and restoration in the land of Israel. The ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, was first established to commemorate the Babylonian destruction of the Jewish Temple, then the Roman destruction of the Second Temple which was destroyed on the same date and has become a collective day of mourning for multiple adversities that have befallen the Jewish people over time. The Jewish wedding ceremony concludes with the chanting of the biblical phrase, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning," and the breaking of a glass by the groom to commemorate the destruction of the Temples. Yom Kippur services and the Passover Seder conclude each year with the phrase "Next Year in Jerusalem." These prayers and rituals have remained a part of Jewish life for over two thousand years.
Sand is unable to adequately explain away this longstanding belief in a common heritage, or the writings, prayers, practices, customs and rituals which form the essence of a Jewish national consciousness. ... Sand essentially ignores everything that Jews believed in before that. It is just such a longstanding, shared consciousness (even among those who are not religiously observant) that forms the core of nationhood. The very fact that for thousands of years, Jews shared the same bonds to the land of Israel and regarded themselves — and others regarded them — as a people, itself invalidates Sand's contentions to the contrary. Unable to dismiss this salient fact, Sand involves himself with irrelevant, meaningless arguments, however false.
He makes further explorations into DNA, in his criticism of the book.
In another such example, Sand argues that today's Jews are descended entirely from converts to Judaism — the Ashkenazi Jews from Khazars, a nomadic Turkic tribe, and the Sephardi Jews from Berbers, Himyarites, and other groups of converts.
While there is no scholar who argues that Jewish lineage has been racially pure since biblical times or hides the fact that religious converts to Judaism from locations outside Israel have contributed to the Jewish gene pool, recent genetic studies demonstrate that Jews from diverse backgrounds around the world show genetic similarity not only with each other but with others from the Middle East.
Some of the best-known studies have compared the DNA of self-reported Cohanim (members of the Jewish patrilineal priestly line) from diverse backgrounds (both Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi) with cohorts of non-Jewish males from the same areas. The results reveal a remarkable similarity in the DNA sequence patterns of the Cohanim (who share what is termed the Cohen Modal Haplotype) across different continents but not shared by non-Jewish males from the same geographic locations, suggesting a shared a common origin in the Middle East well before the dispersion of Jews into separate communities.
Unequipped to dispute the scientific studies that disprove his theory, Sand rejects them out of hand,
"Bar Kokhba." Encyclopædia Britannica.
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2008 Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.
See SMR pp. 946ff., Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 5.
See the following.
Aviary of Idolatry, Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 5,
News 37. 44, 69, 97 (the exploiters, the fanciful,
the Communists, the de-godders and the realities), 98,
News 150 - Taiwan,
The Grating Grandeur and Aggrandisement of Man,
and the Meekness of the Majestic Messiah Ch. 2
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 6 (and Hong Kong, and the movement of nations in the last century a concern),
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8;
SMR pp. 925ff., 971-972;
Beauty of Holiness Ch. 3
(war and force, rising downwards, Tiananmen and truth),
Ch. 4 (liberty, Tiananmen, worship and its direction in time, its terms and code of truth); History, Review and Overview Ch. 1,
Impossible to Men, Open to God Ch. 5
See also Lord of Life Ch. 8.
See also SMR p. 1081.
On the Moslem position, see:
More Marvels ... Ch. 4, esp. *4,
SMR pp. 829ff. , 1080
Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, *1A misconceptions about the Cross, variable and mutually conflicting, on the part of the Koran
Lord of Life Ch. 3 (and force), 1081ff. (and faith), Outrageous Outages ... Ch. 5;
His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch. 4; 3
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8 (in perspective), see also *1,
DVA 6, Highway to Hell
Divine Agenda Chs. 6, 3 (an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran);
Highway to Hell (Koran citations in both, with ideational parallels in perspective, in the former; and in the latter, futile depravities in endless ideologies such as Sudan has shown so significantly, Islam ablaze without glory),
cf. Overflight in Christ Ch. 1 (and the Koran's musings);
1493 (esp. Britain and sharia);
News 138, Beauty for Ashes Chs. 4, 7
Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed .. Ch. 5, Acme ... Ch. 9 ,
Great Execrations ... Ch. 3,
SMR p. 1O88D - three major religions in some ways in concert, astray.
News 138, Beauty for Ashes Chs. 4, 7, SMR pp. 1074ff., esp. 1079, 1081ff.
(These latter show this religion, with the other three major conspiracies towards the ultimate - why conspiracies ? It is because men tend to conspire, or breathe plans together for a control, rule or oversight not ordained by God: these are breaths of man, and the breath that matters is that of God, in and by which all scripture is inspired by Him (II Timothy 3:16, Isaiah 8:20), in the Book of the Lord (Isaiah 34:16), the Bible, and sustained and implemented by Him (Matthew 26:54ff.). Other ideas for rule are always unruly, since they always tend to use power for what neither reason nor truth compels.).
See also SMR pp. 822ff., 986ff., 1O88D.