Diaspora II – The Scattering


"Then the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known -- wood and stone.

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“Then the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known — wood and stone. And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul…” (Deuteronomy 28:64-65)

Around 580 years after the Jews returned to their land from Babylonian exile and rebuilt the Temple, God moved to bring about the precise fulfillment of the curse quoted above.

He had, in fact, been patient with Israel’s sinfulness for many years. Barely four decades after the first return they had returned to playing the harlot with false gods, and over the ensuing centuries their unfaithfulness would lead them to embrace Hellenism, while their leaders would grow increasingly corrupt. Before their dispersion by Rome the Jews were riven by vicious divisions over religious and social issues.

Moses had foretold the worldwide scattering of the Jewish people. Jesus, walking the hills overlooking Jerusalem less than 40 years before Rome unleashed its sword against His people, wept as He foresaw the devestating destruction and agonizing suffering looming ahead for the Jews.

In AD 70, having driven through the land of Israel, crushing the strongholds of Jewish rebellion against Roman rule, Titus and his 60,000 legions breached Jerusalem’s walls and entered the city. Jerusalem’s inhabitants had experienced horrendous suffering during the five-month long Roman siege, again, just as Moses had said they would.

All told, the Jews fought three major wars against the Romans, the two most fatal being the AD 66-73 revolt that led to the destruction of the Temple, and the Bar Kochba uprising from 132 to 135.

At the time when these first wars broke out, the number of Jews living outside the land of Israel was vast. According to the Roman geographer Strabo, they comprised a power throughout the inhabited world, with Egypt alone home to a million of them, a substantial community in Rome, and groups spread out across Italy and Spain, into North-West Africa.

Josephus tells us that 1.1 million Jews died in the siege of Jerusalem (a figure many historians dispute as too high) and that 97,000 prisoners were taken. Another historian, Tacitus, corroborates this figure exactly when he says that a total of 1,197,000 Jews were killed or sold as slaves.

The Bar-Kochba revolt saw the almost total destruction of the Jewish communities of Alexandria, where they comprised a quarter of that great city’s population, and the decimation of all the Jewish communities in North Africa and Cyprus. In Israel itself, 580,000 Jews were reportedly killed in the fighting, countless more by ‘starvation, fire and the sword’. So glutted was the slave market that a Jew was sold for less than a horse.

These two wars effectively ended Jewish state history in antiquity and so began nearly 2000 years of the diaspora.

Perhaps we should not be surprised at the relative speed with which Israel, restored to its land after a horrendous massacre followed by seventy long years in Babylonian exile, should have once again turned their back on their God?

After all, even more incredulously, the Israelites had only just witnessed God’s smiting of Egypt and redemption of themselves, the waters of the Red Sea had barely crashed back into place to cover the Egyptian troops, and they were already demonstrating their inablility to trust in God.

I guess if we are honest we know exactly how such disobedience was possible; most of us struggle to remain faithful despite all the goodness God has shown us.

For the Jews looking back on their smoldering city as they were led away into centuries of exile, the price they had paid, and would still have to pay, had been enormous indeed.




The PLO was instituted in 1964 three years before the six day war in June 1967 when Israel, in a war of self-defense, recovered the so-called “West Bank”, now seen and proclaimed by nearly everybody as the quintessence crux of the Middle East problem.
This however shows that the PLO (All Palestine needs to be liberated) was not formed to erect a Palestinian state on the ‘so called’ West Bank but was instituted to replace all of Israel with a Muslim Palestinian State.

A Word From Zion

The New Testament Basis for the Restoration of Israel

Jesus was asked by His disciples whether He would restore the kingdom to Israel at that time, to which He replied:
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.