Divine chastisement of Gentile nations who persecute the Jews

There is a striking instance of the fulfillment of prophetic warnings exhibited in the chastisement inflicted on the Gentiles, who relentlessly persecuted the Jews. There has never yet been a ruler exercising tyranny over the Jewish people who escaped with impunity. For although the Almighty deems it proper to visit Israel’s transgressions, He does not suffer mortal man to act arbitrarily and fiendishly, where he is employed as the instrument of Divine Providence. Thus Pharaoh, Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, Haman, and other persecutors of the Jews, met with the retribution suited to their excesses, notwithstanding the calamities of exile falling upon the Israelites for their continuance in sin. They had not forfeited the title of God’s people and His heritage, and He never disowned them so far as to destroy them totally; for the sole object of His corrections was to bring them back from their iniquitous conduct. And because He never rent asunder the tie of the covenant made with their fathers, He is in all parts of Scripture mentioned as their God. This is illustrated by the following quotation:-- Leviticus 26:44, "And even this I will do, when they shall be in the land of their enemies, I will neither despise nor loathe them so as to consume them, and to break my covenant with them, for I am the Lord their God." In their own country they committed sins arising from their prosperity and affluence, their punishment was, therefore, adjusted to their evil ways. The loss of the "goodly land," and the degradation from an independent to a dependent state, and from riches to poverty, were the chastisements proportioned to their withdrawal from the ways of God. In this respect, they shared the fate of a king’s minister who has fallen into disgrace with his sovereign; even after his estate has been confiscated, he still remains a subject of his master, and in lowering him the king merely exercises his royal prerogative. Should now a stranger undertake to cast further humiliation upon the fallen courtier, will not his master direct his displeasure and vengeance upon him who tramples on the fallen man? History has, indeed, amply shown that in the very same countries in which the Jew suffered persecution for his faith, the persecutors soon engaged in sanguinary conflicts among themselves under various pretexts. After the expulsion of the Jews from England, France, Spain, and Germany, unheard of cruelties ensued, the description of which excites the utmost horror in every breast, while, on the other hand, the countries in which the Jew was left unmolested, bore the most undeniable proofs of civilization, and obtained by providential retribution the enjoyment of prosperity. This state of quietude will ever remain uninterrupted wherever toleration prevails, although new sects may start up in defiance of newly established creeds. This opinion is founded on our own experience as well as on the following Scriptural testimonies:-- See Deuteronomy 7:15, "And the Lord shall remove from thee every sickness and all the evil diseases of the Egyptians; He shall not put them upon thee, but give them upon thine enemies." Ibid chapter 30:7, "And the Lord thy God shall put all these oaths upon thine enemies and upon thy haters who have persecuted thee." See also Isaiah 41:11, 12, "Behold all those who were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing, and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them and not find them. Even them that contended with thee; they that war against thee, shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought." Ibid chapter 47:5, 6, "Sit thou silent and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt no more be called the Lady of Kingdoms. I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand. Thou didst shew them no mercy: upon the ancient thou hast very heavily laid the yoke." Ibid chapter 49:26, "And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh, and they shall be drunken with their own blood as with sweet wine, and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob."

See also Jeremiah 2:3, "Israel is holiness unto the Lord and the first fruits of his increase; all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord."

Ibid 30:16, "Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thy adversaries every one of them shall go into captivity, and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee, will I give for a prey." Joel 4:2 [3:2], "I will gather all nations, and bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and divided my land." The same prophet says, at the conclusion of his book, chapter 4:19 [3:19], "Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness for their violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land." Obadiah, in his prophecy (verse 10), says, "For the violence against thy brother Jacob, shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever." See also the remaining part of this prophecy. Zephaniah 2:9, 10, "Therefore as I live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even as the breeding of nettles, and salt pits, and a perpetual desolation; the residue of my people shall spoil them, and all the remnant of my people shall possess them. This they shall have for their pride, because they have reproached my people and magnified themselves." And at the conclusion of the book, the prophet says, (3:19), "Behold at that time I will undo all that afflict thee; and I will save her that halteth and gather her that was driven out, and I will set them as praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame." Zechariah 1:15, "I am very sore displeased with the nations that are at ease; for I was but little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. Ibid 2:12, 13 [2:8-9], "For thus saith the Lord of hosts, after the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which have spoiled you; for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. For, behold, I will turn my hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil unto their own servants, and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me." See also Psalm 83:2 [83:1], commencing "O God, keep not thy silence." Chapters 25, 26, 35, and that portion of 36 to verse 16 of the book of Ezekiel, afford further elucidations on the subject.

Note: chapter and verse numbers in brackets [] are the numbers used in the English bible.

 
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