A Secular Understanding
Writing for the Chicago Tribune, October 31, 20023, Kenneth Seeskin, a Jewish reporter has concluded “the simple answer for what lies behind it is that Jews are a religious and cultural minority who insist on maintaining their own identity. Given the possibility of converting to Christianity or Islam, they chose to remain Jewish. Given the possibility of assimilating into a modern, secular culture, they chose to retain their ancient customs. To some, their stubbornness is profoundly insulting: “How dare they not believe what I believe, eat what I eat or celebrate what I do? They must think they are better than I am, and therefore I hate them.”
A Spiritual Understanding
Over the centuries, those who have considered the source of antisemitism have suggested others reasons.
Anti-Semitism Prior to AD 70
It is possible the Jews are hated by so many because they are part of an angelic conflict. In the cosmic contest between God and Satan, the Jewish people have been targeted by Satan for destruction because it was through that nation the Savior of the world was promised. A covenant was made with Abraham. “The Abrahamic Covenant is really the beginning of the formal revelation of the covenant of grace, of God’s decision to reach into humanity, and specifically save people for Himself. It comes in the form of a promise to Abraham. Abraham, who’s the son of an idolater, who did not know God. God takes the initiative with him, calls him into a relationship with Himself, and makes just unilaterally some promises to Abraham. He promises that Abraham is going to be a great nation, that he is going to be given a land, a place to live, and that through Him, all nations will be blessed” (www.Christianity.com) Study Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 17:1-9
If Satan can permanently take from the Jews the Land of Promise, an innumerable seed, or the lineage of the Messiah, he would be victorious. God would be proven to be less than omnipotent, and truthful. The Evil One still wants to be like the Most High. All he has to do is diminish the Holy One. This cannot be done directly. When that effort was made, he was cast out of heaven. But Satan can still win a tactical victory of his Enemy, the Lord God, and that is by attacking the Jews.
To date, Satan has been frustrated in his effort to destroy the provisions of the Covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and King David, but he will keep trying by stirring up the nations of the earth against the Hebrew people. Since Satan is the Father of many, the work of Lucifer will be performed by his children. They can do no less. They have a Book to guide them, instructing bloodshed and violence after a period of fasting and feasting. They have a Prophet, and innumerable Warriors, to inspire them. They have an Ideology to justify the horrors they perform on women and children. They have a Hardened Conscience to feel no remorse.
Anti-Semitism After the Fall of Jerusalem
It is possible the Jewish nation is hated by so many because the judgment of God has fallen. No other nation has been guilty of crucifying the Messiah, which is a form of deicide. Calvary is the story of God in the hands of angry sinners. No other nation has invited the judgment of God saying, let “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matt. 27:25). The apostle Paul writes about the divine judgment that has fallen on Israel. Prior to AD 70, whenever God judged Israel for her apostasy, it was severe. The prophet Joel likened the fate of the nation to the locusts as a marching army devouring everything in sight. The prophet Ezekiel said God would judge the nation without mercy.
“The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 2 “Son of man, this is what the Almighty Lord says to ⌞the people in⌟ the land of Israel: The end is coming! The end is coming to the four corners of the earth. 3 Now the end is coming for you. I will send my anger against you. I will judge you for the way you have lived, and I will punish you for all the detestable things that you have done. 4 I will not have compassion for you or feel sorry for you. I will pay you back for the way you have lived and for the detestable things you have done. Then you will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 7:1-4).
If God’s judgment of old was without compassion for the sins of the nation prior to the crucifixion of Christ, how much more severe is the judgment of God for how they treated His Son?
Apart from a spiritual understanding of the emotionalism behind antisemitism, the world will continue to wonder.
A Psychological Understanding
It is possible the Jewish nation is hated by so many because out of basic human jealousy. Despite the propaganda against the Jews, despite persecution, and pogroms, the Jewish people have continued to produce, generation after generation, some of the world’s greatest artists, bankers, writers, philosophers, statesmen, and musicians. A large part of Western society is based on many of the concepts in the Law of Moses.
In March, 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited many names during his speech to Congress: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Secretary of State John Kerry, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, the poet Robert Frost, and Moses.
“Facing me right up there in the gallery, overlooking all of us … is the image of Moses,” he said. “Moses led our people from slavery to the gates of the Promised Land.”
Netanyahu then quoted Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses’ parting words to the Israelites, in Hebrew: “Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them.”
“Netanyahu was referencing a marble relief that has hung in the House chamber since 1950, just two years after the modern state of Israel was founded. The base relief was sculpted of white Vermont marble by artist Jean de Marco, according to the Architect of the Capitol” (TIME, Ryan Teague Beckwith).
America, like many other nations, owes a great debt of gratitude to the Jewish people. Tragically, many nations are jealous of the Jewish people, which motivates them to destroy what they can only imitate, not create.
Hope for the Future
Though the hatred of the world against Israel is mysterious from a human perspective, what is not a mystery is that Israel is an eternal testimony to the faithfulness of God who made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and King David. God has promised to bless the Hebrew people, and He has. Discipline them, yes. Judge them harshly, without question. But preserve and protect them, that is demonstrable.
There is something else.
God will never utterly forsake Isrrael because of His everlasting love. “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love: Therefore, with lovingkindness have I drawn you” (Jer. 31:3, NKJV). “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them” (Isaiah 41:17).
While the nation of Israel fights once more for her literal survival, Christians in America must not simply watch. We must pray for the peace of Jerusalem. This is the Lord’s command (Psalms 122:6-9). We must defend the honor of Israel, and never forget the most recent atrocities they have suffered at the hands of Hamas, beginning October 7, 20223. We must encourage our government to support Israel in her attempt to destroy her enemies, inside and out. Finally, Christians must find ways to share the gospel so that “all Israel might be saved.” Let the burden of Paul be the burden of every Christian. “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved” (Rom. 10:1). Perhaps the time will soon come when Israel as a nation shall see Jesus as their cherished Messiah.
For those prophetic pundits who are once more predicting the end of the world has arrived with this renewed conflict in the Middle East, this exhortation comes.
Do not speak that which is uncertain, in the name of the Lord, by raising false expectations that the return of Christ is imminent. Jesus will one day return to earth, as promised, but of that day and hour no man knows. Study Acts 1:11
Do not make merchandise of God’s people with new books and seminars on how the Battle of Armageddon is developing. The world has heard the approaching hoofbeats of religious alarmist before.
Do not promise the Church will escape great tribulation. Many Christians are enduring great tribulation in Israel, in Russia, and elsewhere, right now. Jesus said tribuation would come, so His prophecy is being fulfilled. Study John 16:33; John 17:15
Church of the living Lord, do not look for signs of the time, for only an evil and adulterous generation does that (Matt. 16:4). Look to God, and be comforted.
The righteous shall prevail. Hamas will be defeated. The true Strength of Israel is the Messiah. While a people may be divine disciplined, they are still loved by God, and by others who admire their courage and stand with them in their hour of need.