Important Historical Facts About the Jewish People
Israelites of the Old Testament
Israel was the new name given by God to Jacob, son of Isaac, grandson of Abraham, to whom a covenant promise was made (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 32:22-32). His descendants are called the Israelites, God’s chosen people. They were to be separated from pagan idolaters and atheists, set-apart for God’s purpose.
God gave the Israelites the “promised land” of Canaan, where they were to live and thrive (Genesis 15:18-21). Unfortunately, they became corrupted time and again. God’s plan for them was thwarted by their own disobedience, unbelief, and rebellious heart.
→ Is Genesis history?
Ancient Canaan called Palestine
Palestine in the ancient world was part of the region known as Canaan where the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah were located. The name `Palestine’ does not appear in any written records until the 5th century BCE in the Histories of Herodotus.
After Herodotus, the term `Palestine’ came to be used for the entire region which was formerly known as Canaan. Today, only a portion of Palestine is occupied by Israel, yet they are being driven out. (Ancient History)
The region of Palestine was referred to as `Canaan.’
Diaspora of the Jewish people
Israel comprises of the “Jewish people,” descendants of Abraham. They were scattered from their homeland after the second temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Diaspora began in 722 AD when Assyrians invaded their land. Between 1941 to 1945, six million Jews were systematically murdered by Nazi Germany.
The Hebrew language
The Jews were scattered mostly in Europe but they managed to preserve their culture and tradition. Their native Hebrew language was disused for nearly 2,000 years. The ‘Masoretic Hebrew’ was reintroduced after 1915, after being a “dead language” for 1,700 years. Today, more than a million people speak the Hebrew language of the Bible.
Zionism is a religious and political effort that brought together the Jews back to their homeland in the Middle East region. Although not the original “promised land,” the State of Israel was established in 1948 when 33 countries voted in favor of UN Resolution 181. It partitioned Palestine region into a Jewish and Arab state, hence the conflict.
Where is the promised land today?
The promised land known as Canaan is situated in the territory of the southern Levant, which today encompasses the country Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, and the southern portions of Syria and Lebanon.
→ Why are the Jews are hated?
The Third Temple of Jerusalem
The first temple was built by King Solomon and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. Herod with Nehemiah in 20 BCE restored it. In 70 CE, Roman legions destroyed the second temple during the siege of Jerusalem. Now that Israel is restored as a nation, they plan to rebuild the Temple and bring back Old Testament practices, such as animal sacrifice.
The hatred for Israelite Jews
About one million Jews were killed in 70 AD during the siege of Jerusalem. In WW2, more than six million Jews were murdered by Nazi Germany. The hatred for the Jews began with prejudice. For example, they had a reputation for scrupulous business deals.
They were also blamed for the plague in Europe. They allegedly poisoned the wells, resulting in vast deaths. They are perceived as misers, greedy, yet rich & powerful. Today, a new wave of antisemitism is led by some US leftist democratic politicians.
→ Quick history of the Israel-Palestinian war.
Israelites of the New Testament
When Jesus came, died, and resurrected, the guarantee of salvation has been sealed through the Holy Spirit (the Gospel) unto everyone who believes, even to the gentiles (non-Israelite). Although Israel still waits for the “glamorous” Messiah, the Bible says that whoever believes in Jesus is saved. We become God’s children through Christ. (Galatians 3:26)
The Abrahamic Covenant of the Israelite
In Romans 9,10 and 11, the “unbelieving Israel” (who refuse to believe in Jesus the Messiah), continue to enjoy a relationship with the God (Abrahamic covenant), while not saving, is real and unique. Apostle Paul said that the “unbelieving Israel” is “beloved for the sake of the fathers” (Romans 11:28). Their calling is “irrevocable” and those who mistreat or despise her could be removed from the olive tree of salvation. (ICEJ)
The “unbelieving Israel” is “beloved for the sake of the fathers,” has not been rejected
→ How the Bible is twisted by others.
The future of the Israelites
In Romans 4:13 it is written: “It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be the heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.” This means that only those who belong to Jesus shall inherit the Kingdom of God. Therefore, what happens to God’s (original) chosen people?
The 144,000 people of God
In literal interpretation, the 144,000 are the “Sealed Jews” protected from the wrath of the Antichrist during the tribulation period. This group of people will evangelize the world during this period, leading the salvation of millions referenced in Revelation 7:9.
Salvation of the Jews
The unique relationship of the Jews with God is sealed by the “First Covenant” and Jesus’ promise of eternal life through the “New Covenant” ensures the salvation of anyone who believes in the finished work of Jesus.