Friday, September 07, 2007

The Miracle of Israel

The Jewish established their first kingdom in the land of Israel about 1000 years before the time of Jesus Christ. Then Jewish kingdoms and states ruled intermittently in the land for about 1000 years. The land had been conquered by Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans during that time.

A revolt by the Jews against the Romans led to Jerusalem and the temple being destroyed around 70 years AD. Around the year 130, another revolt led to another round of slaughter, mass expulsion, and the beginning of the Jewish diaspora. Some Jews remained in the land but the vast majority were scattered all over the world.

From around 636 onwards, the land was mostly in the hands of Muslims until the 20th century – except for a brief period during the crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries, when European Christians established a foothold.

When Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, some of them settled in Palestine. In the late 19th century, increased persecution in Eastern Europe and the rise of Zionism brought more Jews back to Palestine. In the 1930s, the Holocaust made the Jews more desperate and more determined to re-establish a homeland in Palestine. But opposition from Arabs also intensified in reaction.

In 1947, the British withdrew from Palestine, giving up on finding a solution to resolve the conflict between the Jews and the Arabs. The United Nations decided to give about half of the land there to the Jews and the other half to the Arabs. The State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948. The rest, as they say, is history.

It is a bona fide miracle that the Jews, having been displaced from their homeland and scattered all over the world for 2000 years, did not disappeared as a nation, and even re-established a homeland in Israel in the face of unbelievable hatred and determination to destroy it. Without God’s will, I don’t know how that can happen.

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