by John Gay

As an exercise, let's imagine that everything we know about Abraham were actually true of a different biblical character: Job. Imagine that God called Job, not Abraham, out of the nations. When Job was 75 years old, God entered into an eternal covenant with him, promising a specific land mass to Job and his descendants. As a sign of this covenant, God commanded Job to be circumcised and to circumcise all the males of his household.

God then promised Job that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the heavens and the sand on the seashore. God told Job that his offspring, his seed, would be a blessing to all nations. "In you, Job, all the nations of the earth will be blessed." Then God told Job that, "I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you I will curse." And so God made Job into a great nation, a nation from which would come the Messiah, the Savior of the world.

The True Cause of Anti-Semitism

Events didn't transpire like this, but what if they had? What if Job and his descendants had been God's chosen people? It would have meant tremendous persecution for them. The Jews, on the other hand, would have been off scot-free. The world would have no term called anti-Semitism. Rather, there would be in the world a thing called anti-Jobitism.

God's choice of Abraham was in a sense arbitrary. If God had instead chosen Job, Satan and the rest of the world would not have been anti-Semitic--rather, they would have been anti-Jobitic. Thus, it would have been the Jobites, rather than the Hebrew Semites, whom God would have needed to sovereignly preserve throughout history.

What does all this tell us about the Jewish race? Though it may come as somewhat of a shock, the anti-Jobitism concept proves that anti-Semitism has nothing whatsoever to do with Jewish people.

Jewish people are not the cause of anti-Semitism. Likewise, if God had made Job's descendants the chosen nation, then "anti-Jobitism" would have nothing whatsoever to do with them either. In both cases--one the true one and the other the imaginary for the sake of illustration--there is a common element, but that common element is not the people themselves. The common element is...God. It is God--not the real-life Hebrew Semites or the fictitious Jobites--who is the problem. The Jews, like the rest of us, are descendants of Noah. They are made out of the same stuff as everyone else. No better, no worse. They are not intrinsically different. They are just people. They have the same blood in their veins, the same flesh, the same bones. Their ultimate parentage goes back to Gentiles (Noah, Shem, Abraham). If God had chosen the "Jobites," would that have meant they were somehow intrinsically different? No. The people in question are not the issue. God is the issue.

The Consequences of Election

Israel was to be the conduit through which the whole earth would come under the true God's allegiance, to flee the worship of false gods. Through the LORD God of Israel's Anointed One/Messiah/Christ, the seed of Abraham, all the families of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Both Jews and Gentiles alike come to the Father through the sacrificed Son (John 14:6), the Lamb of God (John 1:29).

There is also, unmistakably, from Scripture, a role that the nation Israel and the Jewish race shall play in the consummation of God's plan for humanity. In God's theology through Paul, a former Pharisee, the resurrection of believers is somehow contingent on Israel's reconciliation to God (Romans 11:12-15). Zechariah seems to hint that one day in the future, Jewish people by and large may recognize Jesus for who He is, the Messiah (Zechariah 12:10).

More important to today's headlines, God has promised that Jerusalem would be a cup of reeling for the whole world, that nations would be raised up against her (Zechariah 12:2-3). We certainly see that today.

The point is that hyperbolic opposition to Jews and the nation Israel has much more to do with God's choice than with actual problems in the people in question. Israel (Israelis) and Judah (Jews), by the Word of God, are promised to cause problems in the world scene, due to God's choice of them as the nation through which the earth would be blessed.

This blessing for the earth has its final consummation when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of God and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15). Until that time, the nations will rage against the LORD and against His Anointed One (Psalm 2). Why? Because a battle is taking place. A spiritual battle over who will control the earth. Man is not alone in fighting God in that battle; there are spiritual forces in opposition as well. For reasons known possibly to God alone, Israel and Jerusalem are the center stage of that great battle.


God's choosing of Abraham was in a sense arbitrary. If God had instead chosen another man, and raised up a nation from that man, then that man's descendants would have been persecuted throughout history--instead of Abraham's. God's choosing of Abraham, however, ensured that his descendants, the Hebrews, would be those persecuted among the nations, by the nations, and even by demonic forces. That is the case not only for those who are Abraham's descendants according to the flesh, but also his descendants according to faith.

In the end, we must acknowledge that people are people. God has shut up every nation of men under sin, that He might show mercy to all (Romans 11:28-32; Galatians 3:22). God is not partial to any race of man, but the one who fears Him is welcome to Him (Isaiah 66:2; Acts 10:34-35).