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Ten Fast Facts about Anti-Semitism

By February 25, 20178 Comments

A Jewish cemetery in Missouri was desecrated last week and 11 Jewish Community Centers across the nation had to be evacuated because of bomb scares. In fact, there have been 69 of these threats against Jewish Community Centers and Synagogues in recent weeks. The oldest hatred, Anti-Semitism, is raising its ugly head again. Just what do we need to know about it?

Most of us know Jewish people have been hated and persecuted in the past. But too often we think that anti-Semitism was only a historical problem. But now, with hatred of the Jewish people fast reappearing and even growing, it’s necessary for Bible believers to become knowledgeable about it. So here are ten fast facts about anti-Semitism

  1. Anti-Semitism means hatred of the Jewish people, nothing more and nothing less. It doesn’t include hatred of any other people groups, even some that speak Semitic languages. The word was actually coined by a 19th century political writer, Wilhelm Marr. He thought the term “Jew hatred” was too vulgar. So to make his hateful ideas more palatable to the masses, he replaced “hatred of the Jews” with the more scientific sounding “anti-Semitism.”
  2. Anti-Semitism is the world’s oldest ethnic hatred. It goes back to Pharoah’s enslavement of Israel and then his attempted genocide of Israel by killing of the nation’s sons. It persisted, affecting Balak, who hired Balaam to try to curse Israel, to Haman who wanted to destroy all the Jewish people, and on into the 20th century, with modern murderers like Stalin and Hitler.
  3. Anti-Semitism need not be genocidal for it to be true anti-Semitism. People express their hatred socially, by excluding Jewish people from clubs and societies. They believe false stereotypes about Jewish people and express resentment regarding the success of some Jewish people. At UCLA last year, a student government group tried to exclude a Jewish student solely because she was Jewish. Just because certain haters don’t want to kill all Jewish people, they can still be anti-Semitic.
  4. Anti-Semitism is found across the political spectrum, with both the extreme left and the extreme right holding noxious views of Jewish people. It seems that political extremists of any perspective find common ground in hating the Jews. Members of ANSWER, the radical leftist group, carry anti-Jewish signs at their rallies and members of the Alt-Right express their hate of Jewish people on Twitter. They are only united by their hate for the Jewish people.
  5. The Church has a terrible history of hating Jewish people based on the false Christ-Killer charge. Although Acts 4:27-28 clearly teaches that there was a conspiracy of human guilt for killing Jesus, the church has historically placed the blame solely and eternally on all Jewish people.
  6. Islam also is notable for its expressions of hatred for the Jewish people. Although present throughout history, Islamic anti-Semitism has grown in modern times because of Muslim resentment of the reborn state of Israel.
  7. Anti-Semitism will increase in the end of days. Zechariah 13:7-9 and Jeremiah 30:7 both depict persecution of the Jewish people during the future tribulation. Jeremiah says that era will be called “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble.”
  8. Anti-Semitism has a Satanic motivation. The persecuted woman of Revelation 12 is a symbol of the Jewish people. The dragon, an image representing Satan, will persecute her. The reason is that Satan hates whom God loves.
  9. Despite human anti-Semitism, God loves the Jewish people and cares for them deeply. In Zechariah 2:8, they are called the apple of God’s eye. Romans 11:28-29 says God still loves the Jewish people and they are still His chosen people even though most don’t accept Jesus as the Messiah.
  10. Followers of Jesus need to be the most outspoken opponents of anti-Semitism. Our faith rests on Jesus, who Romans 9:5 says was Jewish according to the flesh. Since the covenant God made with Abraham is still in effect, we can be assured that God will still bless those who bless the Jewish people and curse those who curse them (Gen 12:3).

In the late 1970s, neo-Nazis were planning a march in Skokie, IL, a community with the greatest concentration of Holocaust survivors in the US at that time. One of my heroes of the faith, Dr. George Sweeting, then President of Moody Bible Institute, took out a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune, to express God’s love for the Jewish people and Moody’s solidarity with the Jewish community in opposing anti-Semitism. This leader, a godly role model, understood the dangers of Anti-Semitism, and the need for believers to take their stand against it. God is still calling us, the followers of Jesus, who is the Son of David and the son of Abraham, to stand by His people and to oppose this demonic hatred of those whom God loves.

8 Comments

  • Avatar Mickie Bradley says:

    Thank you for taking time to explain what Anti-Semitism is. I have heard that term over and over and didn’t really understand what it meant or what group of people it applied to. I saw a video where our Vice President helped clean up a cemetery that had been vandalized. That was a blessing to see our Vice President with his sleeves rolled up helping and praying with and for the folks in that community. I appreciate your insight and teaching about the Bible and the Jewish people. Listening to you this morning….

  • Avatar Jim Houston says:

    Thank you so much for this explanation on anti-Semitism. It is so clear and gives me (a Gentile) a much better understanding of what is meant when I hear the term. I have never felt negativity towards the Jewish people and do not understand why there is so much of it today. We are all God’s people!
    My wife and I listen to your program on WMVV radio every Saturday morning, both hours. It is so full of information and helps us in our Bible studies.
    We love the Jewish people and we have been to Israel in 2015 with the Sons of Jubal. We gave concerts in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Jerusalem. Our last concert was in David’s Citadel. It was wonderful. You can find our concerts on You Tube by searching for Sons of Jubal.
    Thank you for all you do not only for the Jewish people, but for all men in their search for The Savior.

    • Avatar Carol Chouinard says:

      I agree. There are thousands of Gentile believers in this Country, I am among them, who know the Word and who recognize the Jewish people for who they are in the eyes of God. I will search for the Sons of Jubal. Never heard of them, so thanks for sharing.

  • Avatar Cecilia Eslick says:

    Thank you so much Dr Rydelnik for all you and your wife taught me during my time in Jewish Studies at Moody. You reinforced the love for “the apple of God’s eye” in my life and eqiuipped me to better understand and serve them. I am sharing this articlw with everyone i know. G-d blessyou and your family.

  • Avatar Colin Barnes says:

    thank you for this summary! For more on the roles of the European churches in the Holocaust, see https://www.kingsdivinity.org/books/they-conspire-against-your-people-125-detail

  • Avatar Anna Rientjes says:

    I am a Christian and I stand with His Chosen People through whom the Lord has blessed the world with His word, the Bible, and His Son, the Messiah! May Christians realize that His Chosen People are the Root that Supports Us (Hebrews 11:17-18: “And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.”) The Lord’s love for His Chosen People is eternal (Romans 11:29 “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”) Jesus has made Jews and Gentiles “one new man” by His death on the cross (Ephesians 2:14-16 “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.’) We Christians are here now “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)

  • I pity the poor person who will follow you as the next Chair of the Department of Jewish Studies at Moody. Louis Goldberg of blessed memory was right on the money when he chose you as his successor.
    May you live 120 years, and be as vigorous at the end as you are now.
    Keep up the good work!

  • Avatar Carol Chouinard says:

    Amen, Brother. I am so glad you revealed where that title came from. I, myself, shall no longer use that terminology, but instead will call it what it is, “hatred of the Jews.” May the Lord grant us boldness to stand against this evil.

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