A recent news item caught my attention, and I thought every reader of this blog ought to be aware of it. I was very surprised to read that in a recent poll, about 20% of young Americans either disbelieved that the World War II Holocaust ever occurred or they doubted that it occurred (first link and second link). Not surprisingly, older Americans (who can recall World War II or were born not long after the war ended) had no such doubts that it happened.
In my eyes, this is damning testimony to the failure of the American educational system. So great an event ought not be forgotten. To combat the growing forgetfulness about the Holocaust, some American states are now requiring that the reality and scope of the Holocaust be taught to school-age students. I applaud such legislation, and urge every state to include it in their curriculum. This poll is a testimony to the ignorance among young Americans about the true horrors of the Nazis and the geopolitical realities that led to the founding of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948.
Perhaps you are as surprised as me at media stories showing the numbers of young Americans who have been demonstrating on the streets of big cities in favor of Hamas and the Palestinians. Do they not know that they are marching and demonstrating in favor of murderers, rapists and kidnappers? Apparently, they do not. Their high schools and colleges have clearly been eliminating the horrific history of the Holocaust, the founding of the Israeli nation, the goals of Hamas, etc. It begs the question of whether this omission is deliberate or accidental. Given the anti-Jewish attitudes recently displayed by the heads of three elite US universities recently before a Congressional Committee, it seems evident that it is all too often a deliberate act. Those three university presidents were very non-committal about whether genocides should always be condemned because it would depend on the “context” of the situation. Two of the three University presidents have been forced to resign for their blatant refusal to clearly condemn all genocidal acts. That three University presidents refused to categorically condemn the Holocaust (a genocide vs. the Jews), convinced me that it is the fault of the educational system that 20% of young Americans didn’t believe or doubted that the Holocaust happened.
Given that the Holocaust was such a defining event of the 20th century–the time when the latter days of our age became evident–is there any hint of the Holocaust being prophesied in the Bible? I think the answer is yes, and I’ll share where I think it may be found. Zephaniah 2 is a chapter with a prophecy about the latter day period, described in verse 1 as the time just “before the day of the Lord’s anger.” The “Day of the Lord” is one of the several prophetic phrases which identify the time at the end of this age just before the return of Jesus Christ/The Messiah and the beginning of the Millennium/Messianic Age. Verses 4-5 prophesy that the ancient Philistine cities would be destroyed (which happened), but verses 6-7 prophesy that God had predetermined that a new Jewish state would come into existence in the Promised Land during the latter-day period of time (“Judah” identifies the Jews in biblical prophecy). Indeed, these verses prophesy the latter-day Jewish nation would include the Mediterranean seacoast area of the Promised Land and the city of Ashkelon. When the Israeli Jewish state was founded in 1948, it did include the Mediterranean seacoast region and the city of Ashkelon. That is a remarkably precise fulfillment of a prophecy which was written in circa 630 BC. Only a Divine Creator could inspire such a prophecy and then see to it that it was fulfilled on schedule in the 20th century AD.
Also notice that verse 7 says the Jews who will found the latter-day Jewish nation are called “a remnant of the house of Judah (emphasis added).” Verses 8-10 cite God’s anger at the peoples who “revile” and “reproach” the latter-day Jewish nation (the Israelis) and who also “magnify themselves against their (the Jews) border.” Ever since it was founded in 1948, there have been endless disputes about borders involving the Israelis and the surrounding peoples. This is another prophecy fulfilled quite well by modern events. Notice also in verse 9 that the prophecy refers to the 1948 Jews who began the new nation (the “house of Judah”) as “the residue of my people” …and “the remnant of my people (emphasis added).” This language is very descriptive of the reality facing the surviving European Jews who migrated to and settled the new Israeli nation. Twice the prophecy describes them as the “remnant” of the Jewish people and once it uses the word “residue” to describe the Jews who were still alive to found the new nation. Those words couldn’t be more accurate in describing the European Jews who survived the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis. I believe God is very careful about his choice of words in the scripture, and the words he chose in Zephaniah 2 make it clear the Jews who founded the new Jewish nation in 1948 would be a mere remnant or residue of the Jews who used to be alive. What had just recently reduced their number so dramatically just before the Zephaniah 2 prophecy about the new, latter-day Jewish nation founded in 1948? The answer is…the Holocaust.
My Webster’s Dictionary defines “residue” as “what is left after part is removed” or the “remainder” of something. The word “remnant” is defined as “a small remaining part or number” of something or a “trace or vestige” of something that previously existed. Since the majority of European Jews were killed in the Holocaust, these words describe very aptly the fact that the nation of Israel was founded by a small remainder or last trace/vestige or the pre-World War II population of Europe’s Jews. Indeed, the end of the World War and the stark reality of the horrors endured by the Jews stimulated a very rare time in history when a majority of the world had sympathy for them. Only in such a time could the Jewish nation of Israel have been founded by the United Nations. Since the prophetic language in Zephaniah 2 very accurately foretold the reality that a vastly-reduced population of Jews after World War II would found the latter-day Jewish nation, I think the Holocaust is indirectly, but clearly, included in Zephaniah 2’s prophecy.
For those desiring deeper background information regarding the origins and presence of the tribe of Judah (the Jews) in world history, please review my two articles, Four Reasons the Jews are Judah, and the Khazars and the Modern Jews.
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