Jews and The Land, Where We Stand
of Epic Proportion
Many Bible-believing Christians today see the handiwork of God
in the regathering of the Jewish People to their reborn state—Israel.
The news is filled with the great drama now going on there.
Two peoples are locked in a struggle of epic proportions. To
the worldly, not enlightened by the prophetic lamp of the scriptures,
the struggle is merely political. It is not. At stake is the
question, “Who is God?” Is He the mighty Yahweh
of the Torah or is He the defender of the Muslim or other faiths?
The question is valid and vital. Where we as Christians stand
on this issue is of utmost importance. Are we supporting the
Arab side of the land struggle? If so we may, unwittingly, be
opposing our God. The prophet Ezekiel shows us God’s perspective
on the contested land and the embattled Jewish people. Speaking
to the invading forces of Gog at the time of Israel’s
final battle, God warns, “And thou shalt come up against
my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall
be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land,
that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in
thee, O Gog, before their eyes.” Ezekiel 38:16 We emphasize
the phrases my people and my land. God tells us in this verse
that He considers the Jewish people and the Land of Israel to
be His. Note that this occurs before the revealment of Messiah
to the Jews as recorded in Zechariah 12:10. The land of Israel
and the Jewish people are inseparable. This is by Divine decree.
God promised the land to Abraham and his seed after him. That
promise was passed from Abraham to Isaac, then to Jacob and
on to the twelve tribes of Israel. Simply put, if Islam succeeds
in possessing the land of Israel and removing the Jewish people
from their heritage—the Bible would be invalidated as
the true word of God to men. We have faith that God’s
word will not return to Him void. The Jewish people will receive
all the Biblically promised land. They will do so even if the
whole world opposes them, for God’s will shall be done.
Brief History Lesson
Many are unaware of the modern history of the Jews in Hebron.
Until 1929 there was a thriving Jewish community in Hebron.
Jewish merchants and citizens lived in peaceful coexistence
with their Arab neighbors. Civility characterized their interaction.
More importantly, Jewish physicians and nurses ran the sole
health clinic in Hebron. The amount of charitable care they
provided the Arab community was large. They were the only source
of health care for the Arabs. Riots plagued Jerusalem prior
to 1929, instigated by the Arab community. The result of these
riots was murderous persecutions of Jews in the “City
of Peace.” Hebron remained quiet. Harmony between Jews
and Arabs prevailed until Arabs from Jerusalem came to foment
uprisings in Hebron. The quiescent way of coexistence there
was soon to be shattered. British officers told Hebron’s
Jewish community leaders that they were short on weapons. Due
to this shortage they couldn’t guarantee British protection
of Hebron’s Jews should the Arabs attack them. Unfortunately,
the British also told the Arabs the same thing. August 1929
in Hebron was a bloody month. Arabs began attacking Jews. Using
knives, axes, machetes, picks— whatever they could find—indiscriminate
attacks were unleashed. Not only were strong young Jewish men
brutalized, but also women, the elderly and even tender young
children. When Arab fury was, for the time being, satiated—69
of Hebron’s Jews had been slaughtered. Photographs of
the survivors keep the story fresh in our minds. Pictorial records
of victims’ wounds deeply jar our Christian sensibilities.
Having their fill of Jewish blood the rioters began to turn
on the British, who were standing by to watch the melee. Seeing
the advancing mob, an officer on horseback drew his pistol and
fired two shots into the air. The riot stopped then and there.
If only that man had fired his precious two bullets an hour
or two earlier, much human suffering would have been averted.
The survivors were told that their safety could no longer be
guaranteed. They had to leave their homes, synagogues, businesses
and fields without any financial compensation. Imagine suffering
such material loss in addition to their physical wounds. The
Jewish community of Hebron faded and, after the 1948 War of
Independence, was completely gone. Gone were benefactors of
the Arabs. The medical clinic was closed. Jews were barred from
Hebron by its Jordanian Army occupiers until after the ’67
War. In 1979, Jews finally began to return to their homes and
synagogues left behind for a half century. What drew them there?
What could impel them to move to such an inhospitable place—whose
bloody past looms over the present? Simply and powerfully—the
Word of God!
We heard an oft repeated refrain in our travels in Israel. Jerusalem
is the heart of Israel and Hebron is the mother of Israel. Jewish
roots here are deep—the result of a history that goes
back more than three millennia! Abram dwelled in Mamre, which
is in Hebron (Genesis 13:14-18). Abraham bought the cave of
Machpelah in Hebron for 400 shekels of silver (Genesis 23:17-20).
Joshua took Hebron as part of the promised land of Canaan (Joshua
14:6-14). Hebron was one of the six Cities of Refuge (Joshua
21:13). David began his reign over Judah in Hebron (2 Samuel
2:1-4). In Hebron David was anointed king over all Israel (2
Samuel 5:1-3). Conversely, Hebron is not mentioned at all in
the Koran. The Tomb of the Patriarchs holds the bones of the
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives—the parents of the
Jewish people. Is it any wonder that the Jews are compelled
to live here beside their ancestors? Their deep faith yearns
to be connected with the land and cities God gave to their fathers.
Bible prophecy assures us that one day their hopes will be amply
Some of our Christian friends support the concept of Replacement
Theology. That is, believing Israel has been everlastingly superseded
by the Christian Church. Supposedly, Israel’s national
role in God’s plan is finished. (We do not agree. Limited
space does not here permit a verse-by-verse consideration of
Romans, Chapter 11. Read it carefully several times. It powerfully
teaches Israel’s continuing and future place in God’s
plan for mankind.) Generally the traditional Christian churches
tend to hold Replacement Theology’s tenants. Not seeing
Biblical promises to the land or people of Israel as existing
any longer, these churches actively support the Muslim cause.
They say that Israel should give up land. Recently (December
1996) they sponsored a full page advertisement in The New York
Times calling for Israel to give up sole administration of Jerusalem.
Ironically, in supporting Islam’s aims, these Christians
may be hurting the cause of Christ. Islam’s goal is world
domination. We quote from their fiery rhetoric, “The governments
of the world should know that Islam cannot be defeated. Islam
will be victorious in all the countries of the world, and Islam
and the teachings of the Koran will prevail all over the world.
Only then will their Jihad (Holy War) be complete.” “We
shall export our revolution to the whole world. Until the cry
‘Allahu Akbar’ resounds over the whole world, there
will be struggle. There will be jihad.” We note the burgeoning
growth of mosques in the United States and Europe. (Interestingly,
for the first time, in December 1996 Islam’s half-crescent
symbol was raised in New York’s Grand Central Terminal
alongside a Christmas tree and a Hanukah Menorah for the holiday
season.) As Christians we must support the message of our Bible.
Israel, dwelling in its God given land as a blesser nation,
is part of that message. The God of Israel, not Allah, shall
reign over all the earth.
We have used Hebron as an example. The larger contest for possession
of the land will greatly intensify when the issues of final
redeployment and Jerusalem come to the bargaining table. Remember
all God’s promises regarding the land and the people of
Israel. As Christians, perceiving the role of the Jewish people
in the plans of God, may our faith give us the courage to stand
and to speak for what is right.