WAS THE ENTIRE RACE OF JEWS CURSED SINCE JESUS' DAY UNTIL NOW?


MF Blume

The reason for the title of this page is the proposition by futurist bible teachers saying that the following verse's reference to "generation" is "race", meaning the entire race of Jews and not just one group of people of a forty year period.
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (Matt 24:32-34)
Futurists teach that the term "GENERATION" is speaking about the entire race of Jews. Although the Greek word that is used here can indeed be interpreted as "race", it must be noted that context must first demand that to be so before we can  propose that thought.  I argue context does not support that thought.

With that in mind, considering that it is instead interpreted "generation" in the sense of the very people alive during Jesus' speech, more sense can be seen in realizing it indeed is not meant to be interpreted in this case as "race".

The same word is mentioned in Matthew 23.
Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zechariah son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation . O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matt 23:32-37)
Try to read the word generation as "race" in the above passage. It makes no sense to read it as "race", otherwise the reference to "your fathers" would violate all reasoning, since the fathers would be included in their race, anyway! Why distinguish their fathers from them, if the issue is the entire race?

All agree that verse 36 is speaking about the generation Jesus spoke to, and not the race of Jews, because their house was indeed left desolate in their generation of the next 40 years. When 70 AD arrived their house was indeed desolate.

However, a brief comparison with the reference to "this generation" in the next chapter will reveal that the second reference must also refer to the generation of those years that Jesus spoke to.
Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation . O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matt 23:36-37)
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled . (Matt 24:30-34)
Notice the contrasts:
ch 23: I would have gathered Jerusalem .

ch. 24: My angels will gather my elect from the four winds.
It's a contrast! Since Jerusalem rejected Him, Jesus would gather His elect instead of Jerusalem. This is speaking about the church contrasted with Jerusalem. And this is actually the entire principle behind every parable listed from Matthew 21 to 24. He is showing where Israel lost their opportunity in that day, and the opportunity for the kingdom would go to the Church, a new nation! It's the new Bride contrasted with the adulterous Bride.  Check out the previous parables, back until Chapter 21 to see this contrasting theme.  There is no indication that the theme has changed in Matthew 24.

The idea of a curse upon Jews of the last two thousand years is also implied when futurists propose that Romans 11 refers to God blinding all Jews for the sins of the single generation in Jesus' day who crucified Him when Paul writes:
What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. (Rom 11:7-8)
We often forget that Paul wrote this before 70 AD.

Jesus cursed one generation of Jews, not the entire race. The people Jesus cursed were still alive when Romans was written, and so Paul said it was so, "unto this day."

Jesus did not curse the entire race of Jews for the sins of one generation. He cursed that generation, for it's own sins. Over and again we hear Him speaking of those people and their children in rebuke for rejecting Him. That generation.

It simply does not stand flow of context to say that "generation" refers to the entire race of Jews. Jesus told Jerusalem that their fathers persecuted the prophets. And the history of this evil activity continued in that day as well. Jesus said they would crucify some more (including Himself!). And He said for that reason they filled up the cup of their fathers. In other words, the people of Jesus' day went overboard and crossed the line. They did the same thing as their fathers in persecuting men of God. But to reject Christ, the very Son of God come to His bride, Jerusalem, was the epitome of evil. And for that reason THAT GENERATION would experience the desolation of their "house".
And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers . Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth , from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zechariah son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation . O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
(Mat 23:30-38)
Jesus is contrasting the Jews of His day with their Fathers of days gone by in saying their generation would experience the wrath deserving of the accumulated evil. Their fathers initiated the evil activity by persecuting the prophets. But the Jews of that day would fill up that measure. And therefore the Jews of that day would see their house made desolate. It does not make sense to say that the entire race would experience the house made desolate. And so if we know this passage is indeed speaking of the generation of Jews specific to Jesus' day, and if "all these things shall come upon this generation" refers to the people specific to Jesus' day, then why say the same terms used in Matthew 24 refer to the entire race of Jews for all time since Christ's day?  The fathers may have persecuted prophets, but the people of Jesus' day would crucify the Son of God!  Even the parable of the vineyard in Matthew 21 differentiates between the evil committed in slaying mere messengers as opposed to the slaying of the Master's Son!

ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE


Yet another interpretation of the meaning of "THIS GENERATION" is the thought that the "generation" that sees these things occur will be the last one, which is not necessarily the one to whom Jesus actually spoke. It is some unknown future generation of Jews who would be identified as the ones of the time of the wrath of God by being the ones who lived in the times these events Jesus listed would take place. It is implied that one could never know which generation of people would experience these events.

There is no grounds for these words referring to some unknown future generation. This notion has arisen from the interpretation of verse 32, and the putting forth of the fig leaves as being the rebirth of the nation of Israel. However, Jesus meant nothing of the sort. The reference to the fig tree putting forth leaves is an analogy used to indicate the time when all the events listed from the very first verse of Matthew 24 would occur. Notice the word "all" in verse 34. Jesus indicated that the present generation in which He spoke would not expire or die before all of these things would occur. In other words, many of the people hearing him talk of these things would see those things occur. And when they saw all those things occur, they would know that something is at the doors. That something is the coming of the Son of Man (verse 30).


Where is anything about Israel as coming together as a nation even hinted at in this passage?

The fig tree putting forth leaves is not referring to the rebirth of Israel as a nation. The putting forth of leaves parallels the thought of all the events Jesus spoke about occurring. And as a person knows summer is near when the fig tree puts forth leaves, those very disciples who heard Him would know when Jesus comes in judgment when they see ALL these events occur. He looked into their eyes and told them THEY would see these things listed. Read carefully the words of Matthew 24:6-15 and note the use of "you"!




PROPHECY