Persecution of the Jews

Again this was news in our papers. Although it was reported last month in our newspapers, I thought it of such significance that we can devote space to it in our Current Comments.

This time anti-semitic propaganda and persecution broke out in Russia. That there was persecution and mass-murders in Russia is not a new thing for us. But that it was directed against the Jews caused us to take notice. It was repeating the same pattern as the Nazi’s hatred of the Jews and their plains for world domination. It again impressed us with the plight of the Jews since the Bible times.

The Jews are descendants of Shem. The Shemites, Semitic peoples, in the Old Testament were the recipients of the blessings of Shem. Noah had said of Shem, “Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant.” Of Japheth Noah said, “God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem.” These prophecies were spiritual for if we consider the actual history of the Shemites, it shows that the reverse is true.

In the New Testament times it is startling to read the record of the persecution of the Jews.

August, A. D. 70 — Destruction of Jerusalem: 1,100,000 Jews killed.

A.D. 132-135—The defeating of Bar-Kochba: 500,000 Jews killed.

May to July, 1096—12,000 Jews killed in the Rhineland, Germany.

November, 1290—Expulsion of all Jews (over 16,000) from England, under the threat of punishment by hanging. Permission to return only after 370 years.

April to Autumn, 1928—100,000 Jews killed in Franconia, Bavaria, and Austria.

September 1306—Expulsion of 100,000 Jews from France under threat of death.

August 1492 — Expulsion of 300,000 Jews from Spain by the Inquisition.

November 1648 —Slaughter of 12,000 Jews in Narol, Poland by the Cossacks.

1648-58—Death of about 400,000 Jews in the Russo-Polish-Swedish war.

1939-45—Murder of many hundreds of Jews during the years of the second world war.

This list you will find in The Dawn of World Redemption, by Erich Sauer, page 119. Probably all the Jewish persecutions are not listed here. The above list, however, is impressive enough. And with the present beginning of Jewish persecution in, Russia we cannot help but ask ourselves, why? For undoubtedly the Russian hatred is not just a passing hatred. It will gather force and again we shall read of its force of destruction in the near future.

Some always point to the Jewish people themselves. Their character and manner of living becomes obnoxious to the peoples among whom they have been dispersed since the earliest times. That is given as the cause of their persecution. Without a doubt it occasions an outburst of persecution, but it cannot be the underlying reason. Essentially they are not more obnoxious than some other peoples.

That the Jewish nation has been scattered over the earth and had become the “tormenting thorn of the world” is to be traced to its rejection of the Christ. When they cried out, “His blood be upon us and upon our children,” then the curse of God predicted began to be fulfilled upon them.

It is now a fact that they are a nation. But shall it become the permanent home of the Jews from all over the world, and shall the curse of God upon them be lifted? Not until there is a return to Christ. That is not yet the principle of the Jewish nation. God shall gather His people from among the Jews, of course.

This persecution of the Jews ought to be a matter of deep humiliation for all peoples, and for all Christians. Paul speaks to the Gentiles in Romans, exhorting them to deep humility in view of God’s rejection of the Jewish people.

In Romans 11:20, “Well, by their unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: 21, for if God spared not the natural branches, neither will he spare thee.”