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Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Persecution of Jews Then and Now and the Rise of Hatred Against Israel

The Persecution of Jews Then and Now and the Rise of Hatred Against Israel

(Vandalized Jewish tombstones. Click for source.)
I am writing to you as a Gentile and as a believer in Jesus Christ, who is my personal Savior and Lord. This article will focus on some issues today that have had their roots in ancient beliefs, which, sadly, are popular among many people today, even though these beliefs are unbiblical and hateful toward Jewish people.

In social media websites and all around the world is a phenomenon which has been accelerating over the last few years. It is the hatred for Israel and for Jewish people (who are descendants of Jacob, a grandson of Abraham). 

This hatred of Jewish people goes back to ancient times. Haman, an official in the Persian Empire, sought to kill all the Jewish people in the empire. By using Queen Esther (a secret Jew) and Mordecai (her uncle), God delivered the Jewish people from destruction at the hands of wicked men in the Persian Empire. (You can read about it in the book of Esther, a book of the Bible.)

Persecution of Jews During the Middle Ages by Some Catholics

(Vandalized synagogue. Click for source.)

During the Middle Ages, the hatred of Jewish people came in the form of accusing Jews of "killing Christ" and despising Jews for not partaking in Catholicism. 

In Medieval times, Jews were treated with disdain and ridicule. They were often required to wear pointy hats to identify them as being Jewish and were often made to live in Ghettos (which were decent areas to live in at the time). In general, they were not allowed to work in many occupations except for handling money and taxes. This later became a reason why many peasants sought to persecute them. 

Jews were tolerated in many parts of Europe for a long time, but as people saw some of them having relative wealth, money-lending businesses, tax-collecting offices, and the respect of the nobles, they became more and more mistrustful of the Jews. Others, owing lots of money, wanted some excuse not to have to pay their Jewish creditors.

Cyrus Adler wrote about the Medieval persecution of Jews in The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 1. Here is a quote:

(Jews were required to
 wear pointy hats during the Middle Ages.
Click for source.)
"For nearly three quarters of a century the Jews of Alsace were simply tolerated; but in the last decade of the thirteenth century their persecution began. In 1290 the people Mühlhausen rose against the Jewish usurers. One of them, a certain Solomon of Neuenburg, was beaten to death by the mob; and King Rudolph I. ... annulled all debts to the Jews..." [Adler, Cyrus. The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume (Orig. Date of Publication: 1901) {See page 455-456}] [End quote.] 

There were times of intense persecution against Jews in Europe, where wicked men would first accuse Jews of poisoning wells and then torture some of them to get so called "confessions." Generally, after a Jew "confessed," under torture, to have supposedly "poisoned" a well, he and many other Jews would be burned alive by an angry mob. Such terrible events took place in 1349 in Strasburg, Germany. Cyrus Adler describes these events. Here is a brief quote on page 457 from the same book:

(St. Mary Church {Strasburg, Germany}.
Click for source.)
"But a general uprising, instigated by the civic magnates and the neighboring nobles—possibly also the clergy itself—broke out in Strasburg in February, 1349. The councillor [i.e. a member of a counsel], Peter Swarber, and his two colleagues were deposed, ... Afterward the new communal authorities constituted [i.e. established or appointed] by this revolutionary movement decreed the extermination of all Strasburg Jews....  On St. Valentines day (February 14), 1349, the Jews in the city were burnt en masse on the site of their own cemetery." [Adler, Cyrus. The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 1{See page 457}] [End quote.] 

1349 was also the year that the Black Plague reached many parts of Switzerland. During this same year, as the Black Plague began to spread through Switzerland, Jews were falsely accused of starting it by allegedly "poisoning the wells" and they were tortured into making a "confession". 

Once this so-called "confession" was made, the word spread, and the Jews of Basel were burned, by a mob, on an island in the Rhine river (See ReferencesThe Jewish Ency. ... Vol. 11). According to The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 11, this event took place on January 9, 1349. In Zurich, the Jews were tortured and burned by another mob in spite of authorities trying to restrain them. And, sporadic incidents of Jews being tortured and murdered by hate-filled, fearful mobs continued throughout the 14th century (The Jewish Ency. ... Vol. 11).

(The burning of Jews during the Black Plague. Click for source.)
Superstitious and fearful people accused Jews of poisoning wells, murder, desecrating Catholic rituals, and other outrageous claims. Because they were usurers, or money lenders, and tax collectors, people despised them and, at times, angry mobs would rise up against them. 

During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church taught its members that it was sin to lend money with interest (i.e. usury), so Jews were allowed to do that work and to collect taxes. These occupations were later excuses for name-calling and anti-Jewish rhetoric throughout the centuries, in Europe. 

[Note: It is likely that the powers-that-be (i.e. Satan and his minions) arranged it that way to stir up persecution against the Jews and prepare the way for the Hitler's holocaust.]

The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 1  continues to speak of the intense persecution of Jews under Pope Paul IV, who was pope from 1555-1559. This book says:

"Under Paul IV. (1555-59) the Jews were subjected to further oppression. By his direction they were deprived of valuable franchises, enclosed within the ghetto, subjected to further taxation, limited in their commerce to old clothing, ... 

"... Paul IV. practised [sic] cruelty toward the Portuguese Jews; he sent an inhuman commissioner, a certain Cesare Galuaba, to Ancona with orders to incarcerate all who did not accept baptism and to condemn them to the stake. Thus terrorized, sixty-three renounced their faith. Twenty-three men and one woman, ... preferred death to apostasy, and these were all hanged together and afterward burnt on the Piazza della Mostra..." [Adler, Cyrus. (2009). The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 1. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Library. {See page 572}] [End quote.] (Adler)

As we have seen, some members of the Catholic Church murdered Jews for simply being Jewish. This goes completely against the Bible (which includes all the teachings of Jesus, such as loving others as one would love himself or herself). (See Matthew 5:44-47.) 

Persecution of Non-conformist Christians by Some Catholics

But, some Catholics not only killed Jews for following Judaism. Inquisitors killed and tortured non-conformist Christians and other people for not agreeing with Catholic dogma during the Spanish Inquisition, which began under Pope Sixtus IV in 1478 (B. See "References" section). People were tortured, burned at the stake, and interrogated simply because they were suspected of not conforming to Catholic teachings.  
(Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Click for source.)

John Foxe wrote a book (Foxe's Book of Martyrs) detailing certain events in the lives of a large number of individuals who were killed and persecuted for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and for not conforming to the Roman Catholic Church. (Caution: Some of the descriptions in Foxe's Book of Martyrs in are graphic. So, I skipped over them as I read some of Foxe's many accounts of persecution. It is not good to fill one's mind with graphic details, even if it is to learning about history.)

In Chapter 5 of Foxe's Book of Martyrs, John Foxe wrote about Nicholas Burton, an Englishman who, in 1560, was wrongfully imprisoned, accused of things he did not do, sentenced to death by the Spanish Inquisition, and was burnt alive. 

Foxe wrote:

"[...] and so he [Burton] was set with [...] other condemned men for religion, [...] upon a scaffold over against the said Inquisition, where their sentences and judgments were read [...]

"And immediately after the said sentences given, they were carried from there to the place of execution without the city, where they most cruelly burned them, for whose constant faith, God is praised. 

"This Nicholas Burton by the way, and in the flames of fire, had so cheerful a countenance, embracing death with all patience and gladness, ..." [End quote.] (C.) [Foxe, John. (2009). Fox's Book of Martyrs. Floyd, VA: Wilder Publications.] 

[I just want to note that if Burton had sought God about what to do, God would certainly have prevented him from being caught by the Inquisition. See Psalm 91 and Psalm 18 and Luke 10:17-20.] 

The Nazis Rode on the Back of Medieval Anti-Semitism

Riding on the backs of anti-Semitic "early Church fathers," the Nazis built their belief system of Jew-hatred on the foundation of anti-Semitism that already existed in Europe. They told people that Jews were "Christ-killers." The Nazis even revived the Medieval lie of "blood libel." This false belief was that Jews supposedly killed European children for their Passover observance. It was utter nonsense taught during the Middle Ages that found its way into Nazi propaganda. 
(Persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. Click for source.)

The Nazis also accused the Jews of causing Germany to lose World War 1 and accused them of illegally obtaining their wealth during the depression or recession that followed the first world war (Kinser). Many Germans were unemployed and suffered from malnutrition, high inflation, and poverty. Many Jews did not suffer during this post-war period due to the fact that they were money lenders (which was one of the few occupations that Jews were allowed to do during the Middle Ages). 
(Adolph Hitler. Click for source.)

The accusations that Jews were stealing money morphed into accusations that Jews were trying to destroy Germany, and take over the world, and that they were responsible for the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia (Kinser). These myths were designed to create a scapegoat that the German people could unite against. 

Hitler needed to have a single cause by which he could create a unified Germany. Mistrust and hatred for the Jews was one central point he strongly pushed in order to have the German people on his side. After all, his Nazi party had only gotten 33 percent of the votes in the German parliament—the Reichstag—during the 1932 elections ("Nazi Germany..."). President Hindenburg named Hitler chancellor in 1933 with the idea that Hitler would lead Germany out of its financial woes ("Nazi Germany..."). 

With his propaganda machine slowly moving the German people more and more in the favor of the Nazi belief system about Jews and about the so-called "master race," Hitler was able to get the German people to allow the Nazis to increase the persecution of the Jews to the point where Jews were placed in prisons called "Ghettos." Then, eventually, Jews were removed to death camps, like Auschwitz.

Persecution of Jews Today

Simon Barrett from Revelation TV's Middle East Report interviewed Ambrosine Chetrit from Campaign for Truth. She spoke of the increase of incidents in the news and on social media of vicious hatred and vitriol against Israel and against Jews. She also spoke of a rise in the number of Nazi and pro-Hitler accounts on Twitter. 

Simon then shared a clip of a video which spoke of a dramatic increase in the number of "anti-Semitic incidents" taking place during the year 2016, which was more than over previous years. This amounted to over 1,300 just in the U.K. (D.)

Also, news websites (such as The Guardian) are reporting that the number of Jews leaving European countries to travel to Israel has increased. This may be partly due to an increase of Muslims entering Europe and also due to an increase in persecution against Jews by indigenous Europeans.

This, sadly, also might be due to certain denominations mistaken beliefs about Jews and the so-called "Replacement Theology". "Replacement Theology" goes against the Old Testament and against everything in the New Testament of the Bible (God's Word).

The Roots of Anti-Semitism
(The so-called "Saint" Jerome wrongfully
 described Jews as being "... serpents,
wearing the image of Judas, their
psalms and prayers
are the braying of donkeys."

"Replacement Theology" started with men, (as early as A.D. 160) who appeared to be Christians, who taught against the Jewish people. One such man was Justin Martyr who (in A.D. 160) told a Jew these unrighteous words: "The Scriptures are not yours, but ours." (E.) This ungodly belief was echoed by other so-called "early Church fathers". In AD 177, the Bishop of Lyon, named Irenaeus, wrongfully said: "Jews are disinherited from the grace of God." (E.)

The so-called "Saint" Jerome wrongfully described Jews as being "... serpents, wearing the image of Judas, their psalms and prayers are the braying of donkeys." (E.)

This is blatant anti-Semitism by those claiming to be Christians, or followers of Jesus Christ, who was Himself both a Jewish man and God (Colossians 2:6 and 2:9). This hatred against the Jews spread to the belief system these alleged "Christians" had. As time went on, they began to teach false doctrines about the Jews no longer being Israel. They taught that Israel was replaced by the Church and that the teaching about Israel were to be "spiritualized". This meant that all the teachings in the Old and New Testament about Jewish (or Hebrew) people returning to the land of Israel were to be somehow applied to Gentile Christians. 

In so doing, they ignored the fact that when God made a covenant (such as the one with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) that it is forever and cannot be broken. So, these alleged "early-Church fathers" were teaching something contrary to the clear teachings in the Bible.

God Makes a Promise to Abraham and His Sons

In Genesis 35, God appears to Jacob (I am certain this appearance would be Jesus prior to being incarnated into his human body). God repeated the promise to Jacob (whom He named Israel) that He had made to Isaac and Abraham.
(Abraham. Image source.)

"[9.] And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.

10. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.

11. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;

12. And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land." 


In Genesis 26, God appeared to Isaac, Jacob's father, telling him an identical promise that He had made to Abraham, and later to Jacob. 

"[1.] And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. 

2. And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: 

3. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 

4. And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; 

5. Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." 


God made an oath to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. He cannot go back on His Word, for that is against His Nature. To Israel, God said these words in Malachi 3:6: "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." (Emphasis added).

God cannot change, and His promises do not change that He made to Israel or to anyone. God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9). So, we Gentile Christians must not despise Jewish people; nor their culture; nor their land, the land of Israel. After all, God told the grandfather of the Jewish people (Abraham) these words in Genesis 12:1-3. 

"[1.] Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

[2] And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

[3] And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."



God's warning is very clear. If we curse Israel (Jewish people and the nation of Israel), we must repent. God will only bless those who bless Israel. God cannot bless those who despise or hate the Jews (or Hebrews). 

The Church needs to repent from its poor treatment of the Jews and from its poor treatment of the nation of Israel. Israel is not perfect. It has its flaws, but it is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. It is a chosen nation and a people who God gave his oracles (scriptures) to, to share with the world. 

Jesus Christ was a Jewish man (while also being God) and He set our example by His life. He told us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44-47), and to bless and not curse (Luke 6:27-29Romans 12:14). He told us to do to others what we want done to us (Matthew 7:12). Let us (who claim Jesus Christ as our Savior) follow His example, and obey His Word, and love the Jewish people, and respect their right to have the promised land. 

The closer we are in our personal fellowship with Abba Father God, the more we will feel His heart of love for others, including Jewish people. We will also feel His great love for us, on a personal basis (1 John 3:1). God bless you as you seek God's will and do it. 


Scripture Verses 

Matthew 7:12 says: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
(Bible. Click for image source.)

"[44.] But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?"
"[27.] But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also."

Romans 12:14 says: "
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not."

[If you are interested in learning about being saved through Jesus Christ and having eternal life, click here.]


(A.) Adler, Cyrus. (2009). The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 1. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Library.

(B.) "Historical Overview of the Inquisition."  

(C.) Foxe, John. (2009). Fox's Book of MartyrsFloyd, VA: Wilder Publications.

(D.) "Confronting the rise of Jew Hatred on Social Media." Revelation TV. Youtube. (March 20, 2017). 

(E.) Wagner, Clarence H., Jr. "The Error of Replacement

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