We saw in the history of the Israelites that in 70 AD, they were expelled from the Promised Land to live as exiles and foreigners in all the nations of the world. For about 2000 years this was where and how the Israelites lived. As they lived in these different nations they periodically suffered great persecutions. This was particularly true in Christian Europe. From Spain, in Western Europe, to the pogroms in Russia the Israelites lived often in a precarious state. The words of Musa given in the Curse were fulfilled as it was written
… Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. (Deuteronomy 28:65)
The timeline below shows this 2000-year period which follows the history of the Israelites from the time of the Bible. This period is shown in a long red bar.
You can see that the Israelites through their history went through two periods of exile. However, the second period of exile was much longer than the first period of exile.
The Jews kept their cultural identity
What is fascinating to me is that though the Israelites never had a central place to put down cultural roots, and though they never grew very numerous (often because of deaths in persecution) they never lost their cultural identity over this 2000-year period. That is quite remarkable. Here in the Taurat is a list of nations that lived in the Promised Land at the time of Sign 1 of Musa (PBUH).
So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. (Exodus 3:8)
And from the time of the giving of the Blessings and Curses:
When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you (Deuteronomy 7:1)
Do any of these people still exist, retaining their cultural and linguistic identity? No, they are long gone. We only know about ‘Girgashites’ from this ancient history. As the mighty Babylonian, Persian, Greek and then Roman empires conquered these nations they quickly lost their language and identity as they were absorbed into these large empires. As I live in Canada I see immigrants come here from all over the world. After the third generation, the culture and language of the country of immigration are long gone.
I immigrated from Sweden to Canada when I was very young. My son does not speak Swedish. Neither do the children of my brother or sister. The Swedish identity of my forebears is disappearing in the Canadian cultural melting pot. And this is true of almost all immigrants whether they come from China, Japan, Korea, Iran, South America, Africa or the countries of Europe – within three generations it is lost.
So it is remarkable that the Israelites, living in such hostility, were forced to flee here and there over the centuries, their global population never exceeding 15 million, never lost their identity – religious, cultural and language – even though this lasted for 2000 years.
Modern Genocide of the Jews – The Holocaust
Then the persecutions and pogroms against the Jews reached their peak. Hitler in World War II, through Nazi Germany, tried to exterminate all the Jews living in Europe. And he almost succeeded by creating a mechanized system of exterminating them in gas ovens. However, he was defeated and a remnant of Jews survived.
Modern Re-birth of Israel
And then in 1948 the Jews, through the United Nations, had the remarkable re-birth of the modern state of Israel. It is remarkable just in the fact, as noted above, that there were people still around who identified themselves as ‘Jews’ after all these years. But for these words of Musa written down 3500 years ago to come true there had to remain a ‘you’ or a people that could receive the promise. So they remained a people even while in their long exile.
…then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. (Deuteronomy 30:3-4)
This is indeed a sign that Allah keeps His Word.
It was also remarkable in that this state was founded in the teeth of opposition. Most of the nations in that region waged war against Israel in 1948 … in 1956 … in 1967 and again in 1973. Israel, a very small nation, often found itself at war with five nations at the same time. Yet not only did they survive, but their territories increased. In the war of 1967 the Jews regained Jerusalem, their historic capital city that Dawood (David) had founded.
Why did Allah allow the rebirth of Israel?
To this day, all these modern developments are very controversial. Almost no other modern happening arouses so much controversy as the re-birth of Israel and the return of the Israelites – happening almost daily now – from these nations all over the world where they had lived for thousands of years in exile. And perhaps as you read this you yourself are filled with anger. It is certainly not that the Jews today are religious – most are very secular or atheistic because of what happened with Hitler’s almost successful genocide. And it is not that they are necessarily correct. But the remarkable fact is that what Musa wrote down at the end of the Curses has occurred and is still occurring before our eyes.
Why? What does this mean? And how could this happen when they still reject the Masih? These are important questions. Answers can be found to all these questions in the Taurat and Zabur. Maybe you are angry with what I have just written, perhaps bitter. But perhaps we can hold off final judgment until we understand some of what the prophets wrote down about this remarkable event. They wrote them down for our benefit – because this will all lead to Judgment – for the Jews and the rest of all alike. Let us at least be informed of what these prophets wrote so that we can form our judgments from all writings. We continue with the Zabur to ask why the Jews rejected the Masih.