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L2. Blessing & Not Cursing the Jewish People.    [Make a Comment]

We are to bless and not curse the Jewish People.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed be He):

Genesis 12:3
I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

Exodus 4:22-23
Then you are to tell Pharaoh: 'ADONAI says, "Isra'el is my firstborn son. I have told you to let my son go in order to worship me, but you have refused to let him go. Well, then, I will kill your firstborn son!"

Exodus 29:42-46
Through all your generations this is to be the regular burnt offering at the entrance to the tent of meeting before ADONAI. There is where I will meet with you to speak with you. There I will meet with the people of Isra'el; and the place will be consecrated by my glory. I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar, likewise I will consecrate Aharon and his sons to serve me in the office of cohen. Then I will live with the people of Isra'el and be their God: they will know that I am ADONAI their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt in order to live with them. I am ADONAI their God.

Exodus 23:20-22
I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him, listen to what he says and do not rebel against him; because he will not forgive any wrongdoing of yours, since my name resides in him. But if you listen to what he says and do everything I tell you, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes.

Numbers 24:5-9
How lovely are your tents, Ya'akov; your encampments, Isra'el! They spread out like valleys, like gardens by the riverside, like succulent aloes planted by ADONAI, like cedar trees next to the water. Water will flow from their branches, their seed will have water aplenty. Their king will be higher than Agag and his kingdom lifted high. God, who brought them out of Egypt, gives them the strength of a wild ox. They will devour the nations opposing them, break their bones, pierce them with their arrows. When they lie down they crouch like a lion, or like a lioness - who dares to rouse it? Blessed be all who bless you! Cursed be all who curse you!

Isaiah 41:8-11
But you, Isra'el, my servant; Ya'akov, whom I have chosen, descendants of Avraham my friend, I have taken you from the ends of the earth, summoned you from its most distant parts and said to you, 'You are my servant' - I have chosen you, not rejected you. Don't be afraid, for I am with you; don't be distressed, for I am your God. I give you strength, I give you help, I support you with my victorious right hand. All those who were angry with you will be disgraced, put to shame; those who fought against you will be destroyed, brought to nothing.

Isaiah 60:12
For the nation or kingdom that won't serve you will perish; yes, those nations will be utterly destroyed.

Jeremiah 31:30-33(31-34)
"Here, the days are coming," says ADONAI, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them," says ADONAI. "For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra'el after those days," says ADONAI: "I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, 'Know ADONAI'; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more."

Zechariah 2:1-13
Then I looked up and saw four horns. I asked the angel who was speaking to me, "What are these?" He answered, "These are the horns that scattered Y'hudah, Isra'el and Yerushalayim." Next, ADONAI showed me four artisans. I asked, "What are these coming to do?" He said, "Those horns that scattered Y'hudah so completely that no one could even raise his head - well, these men have come to terrify them, to overthrow the nations that raised their horns against the land of Y'hudah to scatter it." I looked up and saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, "Where are you going?" He said to me, "To measure Yerushalayim, to determine its width and length." Here the angel who was speaking to me went forward, and another angel went out, met him and said to him, "Run and tell this young man, 'Yerushalayim will be inhabited without walls, because there will be so many people and animals; for," says ADONAI, "I will be for her a wall of fire surrounding her; and I will be the glory within her. "Up!" says ADONAI, "Move! Flee the land of the north! For I scattered you like the four winds of the sky," says ADONAI. "Move, Tziyon! You who are living with the daughter of Bavel, escape!" For ADONAI-Tzva'ot has sent me on a glorious mission to the nations that plundered you, and this is what he says: "Anyone who injures you injures the very pupil of my eye. But I will shake my hand over them, and they will be plundered by those who were formerly their slaves." Then you will know that ADONAI-Tzva'ot sent me.

Psalm 122:6-9
Pray for shalom in Yerushalayim; may those who love you prosper. May shalom be within your ramparts, prosperity in your palaces. For the sake of my family and friends, I say, "Shalom be within you!" For the sake of the house of ADONAI our God, I will seek your well-being.

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is God's powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile.

Romans 8:31
What, then, are we to say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 11:11-18
"In that case, I say, isn't it that they have stumbled with the result that they have permanently fallen away?" Heaven forbid! Quite the contrary, it is by means of their stumbling that the deliverance has come to the Gentiles, in order to provoke them to jealousy. Moreover, if their stumbling is bringing riches to the world- that is, if Isra'el's being placed temporarily in a condition less favored than that of the Gentiles is bringing riches to the latter- how much greater riches will Isra'el in its fullness bring them! However, to those of you who are Gentiles I say this: since I myself am an emissary sent to the Gentiles, I make known the importance of my work in the hope that somehow I may provoke some of my own people to jealousy and save some of them! For if their casting Yeshua aside means reconciliation for the world, what will their accepting him mean? It will be life from the dead! Now if the hallah offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole loaf. And if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you - a wild olive - were grafted in among them and have become equal sharers in the rich root of the olive tree, then don't boast as if you were better than the branches! However, if you do boast, remember that you are not supporting the root, the root is supporting you.

Romans 15:25-27
But now I am going to Yerushalayim with aid for God's people there. For Macedonia and Achaia thought it would be good to make some contribution to the poor among God's people in Yerushalayim. They were pleased to do it, but the fact is that they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared with the Jews in spiritual matters, then the Gentiles clearly have a duty to help the Jews in material matters.

Excerpts from the Qur'an

It is a prevalent belief of today's Islamic Arabs that the land of Israel is not God's (they say Allah's) appointed homeland for the Jewish people and that the Nation of Israel (and presumably the Jews in it) should therefore be blotted from existence. I have reprinted the following excerpts from an English translation of the Qur'an1 as an apologetic, in order to demonstrate that such contentions are not only contrary to the Holy Scriptures (as we already know), but also to the words of Mohammed who is revered in Islam:

Surah Al-Ma'idah "The Table Spread with Food" 5:20-21
And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his people [the Children of Israel]: "O my people! Remember the Favour of Allah to you [the Children of Israel], when He made Prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the 'Alamin (mankind and jinns, in the past). O my people [the Children of Israel]! Enter the holy land (Palestine) which Allah has assigned to you, and turn not back (in flight) for then you will be returned as losers."

Surah Yunus "Jonah" 10:93
And indeed We [Allah] settled the Children of Israel in an honourable dwelling place (Sham and Misr), and provided them with good things, and they differed not until the knowledge came to them. Verily, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection in that in which they used to differ.

Surah Al-Isra "The Journey by Night" 17:102-104
[Musa (Moses)] said: "Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as clear (evidences i.e. proofs of Allah's Oneness and His Omnipotence, etc.). And I think you are, indeed, O Fir'aun (Pharaoh) doomed to destruction (away from all good)!" So he [Pharaoh] resolved to turn them out of the land (of Egypt). But We [Allah] drowned him and all who were with him. And We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel after him: "Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near [i.e. the Day of Resurrection or the descent of Christ ['Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) on the earth]. We shall bring you altogether as mixed crowd (gathered out of various nations)."

Surah Al-Quasas "The Naration" 28:5-6
And We [Allah] wished to do a favour to those who were weak (and oppressed) in the land [the Children of Israel], and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors, and to establish them in the land, and We [Allah] let Fir'aun (Pharaoh) and Haman and their hosts receive from them that which they feared.


1. Muhammed Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali & Muhsin Khan "The Noble Quran", (Dar-us Salam Publications, 1999).


Commentary

We see from the Scriptures presented that the people of Israel - the Jewish People - are God's chosen people (He calls them sons) and therefore blessed and protected by Him. His protection at any point in time is conditioned on Israel's obedience to Him but, it transcends the times of their punishment, and returns when Israel repents. But it is for God to judge and punish Israel when He deems it needed, and not for anyone else. Even when God used an enemy nation to punish Israel, he did so by using a nation that deserved and was destined for punishment itself because it was already hostile to Israel.

To bring the matter more up to date, the Apostle Paul said in Romans 11:7-8:

What follows is that Isra'el has not attained the goal for which she is striving. The ones chosen have obtained it, but the rest have been made stonelike, just as the Tanakh says, 'God has given them a spirit of dullness - eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, right down to the present day.'

More and more, the Jewish people are having the scales of blindness fall from their eyes and are receiving Yeshua, and it would therefore be well to remember what Paul also said in Romans 11:25-27:

For, brothers, I want you to understand this truth which God formerly concealed but has now revealed, so that you won't imagine you know more than you actually do. It is that stoniness, to a degree, has come upon Isra'el, until the Gentile world enters in its fullness; and that it is in this way that all Isra'el will be saved. As the Tanakh says, 'Out of Tziyon will come the Redeemer; he will turn away ungodliness from Ya'akov and this will be my covenant with them ... when I take away their sins.'

In view of that and all else that has been presented, it would behoove both individuals and nations to receive the blessing and not the cursing that is promised for blessing and not cursing the Jewish people.

Classical Commentators

This Mitzvah is not addressed by any of the classical commentators.

NCLA: JMm JFm KMu KFm GMm GFm

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