When Frederick the Great, the atheist king of Prussia, asked, “Can you give me one single irrefutable proof of God?” Jean-Baptiste de Boyer (Marquis d’Argens) replied, “Yes, your Majesty, the Jews.”
Writing from Vienna in 1897, the American author Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) observed in his inimitable way, ”The Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Persians rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greeks and Romans followed and made a vast noise, and they were gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, and have vanished. The Jew saw them all, survived them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert but aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?” (“Concerning the Jews,” Harper’s Magazine, 1899; The Complete Essays of Mark Twain, Doubleday, 1963, p. 249).
The answer to this puzzle was in the Bible that Twain read but did not believe. The secret to the Jew’s “immortality” is the immortal God and His eternal covenants.
Bible faith is not blind religious faith; it is faith based on the Word of a God who cannot lie, and that Word is supported by “many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3). Israel’s history, continued existence, return to the land, geography, and archaeology are among the chief of these.
In 1754, Thomas Newton wrote of the Jews:
“Their preservation is really one of the most illustrious acts of Divine Providence. They are dispersed among all nations, yet not confounded with any. ... They can produce their pedigree from the beginning of the world. ... After wars, massacres and persecutions they still subsist; they are still quite numerous. What but a supernatural power could have preserved them in such a manner as no other nation on earth has been preserved?” (Dissertation on the Prophecies, VIII, section 2).
Just one of the Bible’s many prophecies is sufficient to demonstrate this, and that is Deuteronomy 28. This was written by Moses in about 1450 BC while Israel was in the wilderness on the way from Egypt to the land of Canaan. This great prophecy describes Israel’s entire history in clear words and in great detail.
God promised great blessings on Israel if she loved Him and obeyed His Word (De. 28:1-14). But God promised judgment on Israel if she turned from Him (De. 28:15).
Consider some examples of the precision of this ancient prophecy:
“And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed” (De. 28:23-24).
“The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them” (De. 28:25)
“thou ... shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth” (De. 28:25).
“thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee” (De. 28:29).
“Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long” (De. 28:32).
“there shall be no might in thine hand” (De. 28:32).
“The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway” (De. 28:33).
“And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee. (De 28:37)
“The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low” (De. 28:43).
“The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young: And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee” (De. 28:49-52).
“And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other” (De. 28:64).
“And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life” (De. 28:65-66).
Reading this prophecy is like reading the pages of Israel’s history. In fact, we have documented all of these things in Jews in Fighter Jets, and the Deuteronomy prophecy contains a great many other details.
Only God could describe a nation’s entire future at the dawn of its history.
The utter candor of the Hebrew Scripture also attests to its Divine inspiration. No other nation has been so brutally honest about its failings after the fashion that we see in Israel’s Scripture.
Israel’s history proves that the Bible is a supernatural book.
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