Jewish scattering and persecution foretold in advance

Before we look at these remarkable predictions, we must emphasise that we are in no way supporting the politics of the nation of Israel. The Bible makes it very clear that the Jews often did not behave in the best of ways. We’re not looking at the rights and wrongs of what the Jews have done or are doing. We’re looking at fulfilments of predictions and not the politics of situations.

The Jews would be scattered

It was the Romans in the first century who were responsible for scattering the Jews. This was not long after the time that Jesus lived in the land of Israel. Jesus spent some time in the magnificent temple in Jerusalem - a model of which we see here.

On one occasion when his followers pointed out how grand the temple was, Jesus made this sombre prediction:

Matthew 24 verse 2

2 But he answered them, “You see all of these things, don’t you? Most certainly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down.”

This prediction was fulfilled to the letter when the Romans razed the temple to the ground in the first Jewish–Roman war between AD 66 and 70. The Roman emperor Vespasian sent his Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, to end a Jewish revolt. In the process Jerusalem was besieged and the temple was destroyed.

Arch of Titus reliefArch of TitusPart of the Arch of Titus shows the seven branched lampstand and the firepans from the Temple in Jerusalem being taken by the Romans. The Arch of Titus in Rome was built by the Romans to commemorate the overthrow of Jerusalem in AD 70.

With typical Roman thoroughness, they completely destroyed the temple. Jesus’ prediction that not one stone would be left on another was fulfilled.

Stones of the temple thrown down by the RomansThese stones from the temple were probably thrown down by the Roman armies in AD 70. They’re a reminder of the literal fulfilment of Jesus’ words.

All that now remains of the Second Temple complex is a portion of the wall which supports the platform on which the temple once stood. This wall is the well-known Western or Wailing Wall which continues to be the focus of Jewish aspirations and pilgrimage today.

Jews scatteringAfter the third Jewish revolt in AD135, the Jews were dispersed throughout the vast Roman Empire. The Atlas of Jewish History produced by leading Jewish historian Martin Gilbert, says:

By 300 AD, the Jews had settled in every part of the Roman Empire except Britain.

There are many Bible predictions of this scattering. Here are a few examples:

Deuteronomy 28 verse 64

64 The LORD will scatter you amongst all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth. There you will serve other gods which you have not known, you nor your fathers, even wood and stone.

The prophet Jeremiah tells us that God predicted:

Jeremiah 9 verse 16

16 I will scatter them also amongst the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them.” 

The prophet Ezekiel has a similar prediction:

Ezekiel 22 verse 15

15 I will scatter you amongst the nations, and disperse you through the countries. I will consume your filthiness out of you.

Jews in a SynagogueThe fact that Jews worship in synagogues that are found all round the world show how accurate these predictions have been.

We can go and see synagogues in countries all round the world.

If we look at the estimated population of Jews in countries around the world, we can see that there are Jews in most countries.

Jewish population in 2014

In 2010, almost 60% of Jews were living outside Israel. Despite being only 1% of the world’s population, there are significant numbers in many countries.

There’s little doubt about the accuracy of the predictions that the Jews would be scattered all round the world!

Their land would become desolate

Next, we want to look at what the Bible predicted about the condition of the Jewish homeland during this time of scattering.

God says to the Jewish nation:

Leviticus 26 verse 33

33 I will scatter you amongst the nations, and I will draw out the sword after you. Your land will be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste.

The Jewish prophet Ezekiel talks about the land:

Desolation of the Jews land

Ezekiel 36 verse 4

4 therefore, you mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD: The Lord GOD says to the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes and to the cities that are forsaken, which have become a prey and derision to the residue of the nations that are all around;

Desolation of the Jews landWe can see how desolate the land eventually became from pictures of Palestine taken in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Desolate land being clearedThis desolation continued until the Jews began to cultivate the land again. A typical example of this effort - desolate land being prepared for agricultural use at Kibbutz Gonan, close to the Syrian border.

The pictures confirm the accuracy of Bible predictions that the Jewish homeland would become desolate during the time the Jews were not living there.

Jews would be persecuted

The Jews have frequently been persecuted, possibly because they seem to be different from other people.

There are many clear predictions that the Jews would suffer terrible persecution. Here is one example:

Leviticus 26 verse 25

25 I will bring a sword upon you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant. You will be gathered together within your cities, and I will send the pestilence amongst you. You will be delivered into the hand of the enemy.

Jewis persecution in WW2The persecution of the Jews by Adolf Hitler in the Second World War was one of the worst periods of persecution that the Jews have endured down the ages.

Martin Gilbert says in the preface to his Atlas of Jewish History:

“… I was surprised, depressed, and to some extent overwhelmed by the perpetual and irrational violence which pursued the Jews in every century and to almost every corner of the globe. If therefore, persecution, expulsion, torture, humiliation and mass murder haunt these pages, it is because they also haunt the Jewish story.”

Terrible suffering like this was predicted thousands of years earlier in the book of Deuteronomy:

Jewis persecution in WW2

Deuteronomy 28 verses 65 - 67

65 Amongst these nations you will find no ease, and there will be no rest for the sole of your foot; but the LORD will give you there a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and pining of soul. 66 Your life will hang in doubt before you. You will be afraid night and day, and will have no assurance of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, “I wish it were evening!” and at evening you will say, “I wish it were morning!” for the fear of your heart which you will fear, and for the sights which your eyes will see.

Nazi death campsThe terrible accuracy of these words is illustrated by the corpses discovered on the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.

But Jewish persecution, sometimes called anti-Semitism still continues today.

In March 2008 a report “Contemporary global anti-Semitism” was presented to the United States Congress. The “Overview” on page 3 has the following comments:

“Over the last decade, U.S. embassies and consulates have reported an upsurge in anti- Semitism.”

In June 2012, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights issued a Working paper on anti-Semitism which notes … “that anti-semitism remains a problem for Jewish populations in particular and for civil society as a whole across the EU”.

In the United Kingdom, an All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into anti-Semitism launched an investigation into anti-Semitism.

The Inquiry produced a September 2006 report, which states, ‘It is clear that violence, desecration of property, and intimidation directed towards Jews is on the rise.’

We can see that although persecution on the scale of the Holocaust no longer happens, some persecution still takes place just as the Bible predicted.

The Bible predicts another aspect of this animosity:

Deuteronomy 28 verse 37

37 You will become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword amongst all the peoples where the LORD will lead you away.

The Cassell’s English Dictionary tells us that colloquially, a “Jew” is “an extortionate tradesman” and “to Jew” means “to get the better of in a bargain”. Yet another interesting fulfillment of a Bible prediction!

This information is reproduced from the Evidence - You decide website