Chosen People...


#1

I understand that the Bible says Jews are “God’s chosen people”…but my question is **what **are they chosen for??
Can anyone help me out??


#2

[quote=Karin]I understand that the Bible says Jews are “God’s chosen people”…but my question is **what **are they chosen for??
Can anyone help me out??
[/quote]

Hi Karin!

The Jews were tribe chosen by God for the covenant, and more generally, they were the culture that God chose to produce the Messiah.


#3

Hi Eric-
Thank you for the post. I get the part where they are the tribe chosen by God for the covenant…but was not that covenant no longer needed once Jesus came?! Also does the phrase “God’s chosen people” apply to anything in todays age…or future age? Are they promised something for being the “chosen people”?


#4

Hi all!

One of the more misunderstood concepts of Judaism is the “Chosen People” thing. First, let me cite jewfaq.org/gentiles.htm:

Judaism maintains that the righteous of all nations have a place in the world to come. This has been the majority rule since the days of the Talmud. Judaism generally recognizes that Christians and Moslems worship the same G-d that we do and those who follow the tenets of their religions can be considered righteous in the eyes of G-d.

Contrary to popular belief, Judaism does not maintain that Jews are better than other people. Although we refer to ourselves as G-d’s chosen people, we do not believe that G-d chose the Jews because of any inherent superiority. According to the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 2b), G-d offered the Torah to all the nations of the earth, and the Jews were the only ones who accepted it. The story goes on to say that the Jews were offered the Torah last, and accepted it only because G-d held a mountain over their heads! (In Ex. 19:17, the words generally translated as “at the foot of the mountain” literally mean “underneath the mountain”!) Another traditional story suggests that G-d chose the Jewish nation because they were the lowliest of nations, and their success would be attributed to G-d’s might rather than their own ability. Clearly, these are not the ideas of a people who think they are better than other nations.

Because of our acceptance of Torah, Jews have a special status in the eyes of G-d, but we lose that special status when we abandon Torah.

Rabbi Shraga Simmons writes (in his article: “The Chosen People: Appreciating an Often Misunderstood Idea”, see aish.com/literacy/concepts/The_Chosen_People.asp):

The Jewish nation is often referred to as “the Chosen People.”

Many people (including Jews) are uncomfortable with this idea. They perceive the concept of a “Chosen People” as racist and mindful of the Nazi concept of a supreme “Aryan” nation. It appears to contradict the accepted Western ideal of all people being equal before God.

Is the Jewish concept of choseness racist?

When the Torah refers to the Jewish people as “chosen,” it is not in any way asserting that Jews are racially superior. Americans, Russians, Europeans, Asians and Ethiopians are all part of the Jewish people. It is impossible to define choseness as anything related to race, since Jews are racially diverse.

Yet while the term “Chosen People” (Am Nivchar - Deut. 7:6) does not mean racially superior, choseness does imply a special uniqueness.

What is this uniqueness?

Historically, it goes back to Abraham. Abraham lived in a world steeped in idolatry, which he concluded was contradicted by the reality of design in nature.

So Abraham came to a belief in God, and took upon himself the mission of teaching others of the monotheistic ideal. Abraham was even willing to suffer persecution for his beliefs. After years of enormous effort, dedication and a willingness to accept the responsibility to be God’s representative in this world, God chose Abraham and his descendents to be the teachers of this monotheistic message.

In other words it is not so much that God chose the Jews; it is more accurate that the Jews (through Abraham) chose God.

(…).

The essence of being chosen means responsibility. It is a responsibility to change the world – not by converting everyone to Judaism, but by living as a model community upheld by ethics, morals and beliefs of one God. In that way, we can influence the rest of mankind, a “light unto the nations” (Isaiah 42:6).

(…).

Further, Judaism is not exclusionary. A human being need not to be Jewish to reach a high spiritual level. Enoch “walked with God,” and Noah had quite a high level of relationship, though neither were Jewish. Our tradition is that all of the 70 nations must function together and play an integral part in that “being” called humanity.

The flipside of being “chosen” is not so pleasant:

Amos 3:1-2 tells us:

Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt, saying: You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will visit upon you all your iniquities.

Howzat?

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#5

[quote=stillsmallvoice]Hi all!

One of the more misunderstood concepts of Judaism is the “Chosen People” thing. First, let me cite jewfaq.org/gentiles.htm:

Rabbi Shraga Simmons writes (in his article: “The Chosen People: Appreciating an Often Misunderstood Idea”, see aish.com/literacy/concepts/The_Chosen_People.asp):

The flipside of being “chosen” is not so pleasant:

Amos 3:1-2 tells us:

Howzat?

Be well!

ssv :wave:
[/quote]

stillsmallvoice-
Thank you for replying! Very informative!!So know the other question that i have is with this special state that God has given the Jewish people…are they entitled to anything special? I ask this question not to bait but becuase in reading some Jewish websites I have come across postings that state they are entitled to this and that…and I was wondering if that was correct or where they just making things up?


#6

Hi Karina!

You posted:

So know the other question that i have is with this special state that God has given the Jewish people…are they entitled to anything special? I ask this question not to bait but becuase in reading some Jewish websites I have come across postings that state they are entitled to this and that…and I was wondering if that was correct or where they just making things up?

I think that all too many of my fellow Jews have king-size chips on our shoulders & we think that are entitled to this/that/etc. But i believe that this mentality is, in fact, utterly foreign to our faith. One of my favorite scriptural readings is Zechariah 2:14-4:7, which we read on the Sabbath that falls during Hanukkah (or, if two Sabbaths fall during Hanukkah as sometimes happens, on the first). Look at 3:1-7.

And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said unto Satan: ‘The Lord rebuke you, O Satan, yea, the Lord has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you; is not this man a brand plucked out of the fire?’ Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spoke unto those that stood before him, saying: ‘Take the filthy garments from off him.’ And unto him he said: ‘Behold, I cause your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with robes.’ And I said: ‘Let them set a fair mitre upon his head.’ So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments; and the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord forewarned Joshua, saying: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My charge, and will also judge My house, and will also keep My courts, then I will give you free access among these that stand by…’

Here, Joshua the High Priest (the same mentioned in Haggai 1:1, 1:12 & 1:14; Ezra 3:2, 3:8 & 10:18 and Nehemiah 12:26), symbolizes the Jewish people who have endured the horrendous experience of the destruction of the First Temple & the subsequent exile to Babylon (“a brand plucked from the fire”). The shame of exile (the “filthy garments”) is removed & Joshua is robed in the High Priest’s proper garments and then warned:

‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My charge, and will also judge My house, and will also keep My courts, then I will give you free access among these that stand by…’

God still holds Joshua up to the same very high standards; the latter is entitled to nothing unless he lives up to those standards. That he has just survived a horrendous experience doesn’t let him off God’s hook (so to speak), he has to earn his place in the Heavenly court.

Is this helpful?

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#7

Stillsmallvoice-

Thank you-it was very helpful. So it is like in any faith…there are those that go to extremes. So how do these people that feel they are entitled to everything (once again not trying to bait) justify that the land of Israel is for the Jewish people and condems all Arabs (please note that not all Arabs are Muslim…some are Jewish, Catholic etc.) for wanting to share Israel?
Thank you for taking the time to reply to my posts…Karin


#8

The Holy land’s war is the figure of the real war : that is spiritual war. The Jewish people was asked by God to “own” the land, based on His Word. These people was in doubt for a long-long time. Regardless the native tribes-- the descendants of Abraham, are to occupy the land based on Faith to God’s Word (only).

It is very consistent teaching in the bible that The Word of God is the Truth, and that it should not be taken “under the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil”. The struggle of faith is to take The Truth not by what we see nor understand by logic, but by faith to the Word of God.

It is quite obvious that God knew for sure that the land was occupied by native tribes. And surely there was more empty fertile land for Abraham should God wanted to gave it to him. But no, God chose the area to teach us His Truth : that His Word is The Truth regardless all things.

And God shows Israel (in the bible) that He was in war with the other gods worshipped by the natives. It is spiritual, yet He makes it clear that Israel, the blood line of Abraham is to carry His own Blood : the only BEGOTTEN Son of God for all the world to see. The blood is to be sacrificed for the salvation of all nations, so that all nations will know His Name and His Mercy and His Peace.

Therefore there will never be peace in the land, until one day, The Prince of Peace (The Messiah=The Christ) reigns in the land. The Prince of Peace has to reign, only then there will be peace in the land. This is also a spiritual teaching (of christianity) that say until we put Christ first in our heart, only then that we have peace.

May God bless us all.


#9

[quote=francisca]The Holy land’s war is the figure of the real war : that is spiritual war. The Jewish people was asked by God to “own” the land, based on His Word. These people was in doubt for a long-long time. Regardless the native tribes-- the descendants of Abraham, are to occupy the land based on Faith to God’s Word (only). are the jews the only descendants of Abraham? if that is the case since Jesus was a JEw does that give claim to the land of Israel to the Catholics also??
It is very consistent teaching in the bible that The Word of God is the Truth, and that it should not be taken “under the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil”. The struggle of faith is to take The Truth not by what we see nor understand by logic, but by faith to the Word of God.

It is quite obvious that God knew for sure that the land was occupied by native tribes. And surely there was more empty fertile land for Abraham should God wanted to gave it to him. But no, God chose the area to teach us His Truth : that His Word is The Truth regardless all things.

And God shows Israel (in the bible) that He was in war with the other gods worshipped by the natives. It is spiritual, yet He makes it clear that Israel, the blood line of Abraham is to carry His own Blood : the only BEGOTTEN Son of God for all the world to see. The blood is to be sacrificed for the salvation of all nations, so that all nations will know His Name and His Mercy and His Peace. The only son of God is Jesus…unless I am wrong !!!

Therefore there will never be peace in the land, until one day, The Prince of Peace (The Messiah=The Christ) reigns in the land. The Prince of Peace has to reign, only then there will be peace in the land. This is also a spiritual teaching (of christianity) that say until we put Christ first in our heart, only then that we have peace.
Christ has come already…still no peace or are we waiting for the 2nd coming??And in regards to the last sentence in your post…does that mean that the Jews need to convert to the Catholic church for there to be peace??? HELP!!!
May God bless us all.
[/quote]


#10

If at all possible could someone that is Jewish living in Israel reply…I ask the questions that I do because after reading several Israel sites and seeing what the people of the country think…I would like to get an honest reply to what they think(seems very biased against everyone and everything that is not Jewish)…but by all means anyone can reply :smiley:


#11

Did you know you are subject to Israeli law? Even if you commit an offense against people who are not Israeli?

Section 13 Israeli Penal Code.

Be as if the Vatican could prosecute anyone who commits an offense against a Catholic or a descendant of a Catholic anywhere in the world (the criteria would have to be the offense were committed because the person is Catholic. But how would that be decided? It is not spelled out)


#12

[quote=David_Paul]Did you know you are subject to Israeli law? Even if you commit an offense against people who are not Israeli?

Section 13 Israeli Penal Code.

Be as if the Vatican could prosecute anyone who commits an offense against a Catholic or a descendant of a Catholic anywhere in the world (the criteria would have to be the offense were committed because the person is Catholic. But how would that be decided? It is not spelled out)
[/quote]

Oh really…David would love to learn more can you send me or post a link so I can find more out.
Thanks-
Karin


#13

Very interesting info to be found David.
"Israeli penal code. Section 13 of this code, enacted in 1994, enshrines in law an express Israeli commitment to the Diaspora-homeland security nexus.Section 13, part of a wider reform of the code, granted Israeli courts jurisdiction over what is termed “extra-territorial crimes,” that is, crimes committed outside Israel. Section 13 is unique in the way it relates to what is defined in its title as "crimes against the state or against the Jewish People."Section 13 states that: “Israeli criminal law will also apply to offenses committed outside Israeli territory against: 1. The life of an Israeli citizen, Israeli resident or public servant, his body, his health, his freedom, or his property, because he is one of the above. 2. The life of a Jew, his body, his health, or his property, because he is a Jew, or the property of a Jewish institution, because it is Jewish.”-http://www.adelaideinstitute.org

Can the Vatican try something like this?? And how do they get away with this???


#14

Ok I have to say…I can now see how threads get sidetracked on to other topics…thanks David :-). I have an honest question that I would like an honest answer to. So lets get back to the question…see post #9 & #10.


#15

Karin…lots of debate in Israel on everything. Israelis are far from unified. And many liberal Jews do not like the state of Israel at all (George Soros for one). Enjoy reading the Israeli and Jewish press. They report and debate issues which are not found in our media. “The Forward” “Ha’aretz” “The Jewish Telegraph Agency” “The Jerusalem Post” and “Ma’ariv” are interesting reads. Helps to have a Hebrew translation program. “Ma’ariv” for instance reports issues in Hebrew not mentioned in the Enlgish language edition of the paper.


#16

[quote=David_Paul]Karin…lots of debate in Israel on everything. Israelis are far from unified. And many liberal Jews do not like the state of Israel at all (George Soros for one). Enjoy reading the Israeli and Jewish press. They report and debate issues which are not found in our media. “The Forward” “Ha’aretz” “The Jewish Telegraph Agency” “The Jerusalem Post” and “Ma’ariv” are interesting reads. Helps to have a Hebrew translation program. “Ma’ariv” for instance reports issues in Hebrew not mentioned in the Enlgish language edition of the paper.
[/quote]

David- Yes this is the issue I am running into at this time. So many things are reported in the Israeli newspapers & media that we dont hear about our that once in awhile contradict what we hear. Also some of these sites offer places for readers to comment on the articles etc. and the people (Israeli & USA) make comments that make me shudder…it seems from reading these things that a large majority of Israeli people just plain out dislike us being anyone non jewish.


#17

Karin…we see that with many religious, ethnic and racial groups. The leadership gets everyone riled up against a perceived enemy in order achieve unity and gain power.
Very disheartening no matter who does it. Maybe a little more with the Jewish community as they have done so well in America. Mel Gibson’s “The passion” wasn’t the threat to them they said it was. And Bush putting a few traditional Christians on the Supreme Court won’t affect them one iota. But the leaders do the best they can to convince their base if they don’t fear outsiders something terrible will happen to them.


#18

[quote=David_Paul]Karin…we see that with many religious, ethnic and racial groups. The leadership gets everyone riled up against a perceived enemy in order achieve unity and gain power.
Very disheartening no matter who does it. Maybe a little more with the Jewish community as they have done so well in America. Mel Gibson’s “The passion” wasn’t the threat to them they said it was. And Bush putting a few traditional Christians on the Supreme Court won’t affect them one iota. But the leaders do the best they can to convince their base if they don’t fear outsiders something terrible will happen to them.
[/quote]

David-But where do they have the authority to change the rules…they ask for facts you give them facts and if it does not suit them or their cause they call you anti-semitic.
I made a point once that the term anti-semitic applies to the Jews as well as Arabs. My basis for this was that the definition of the word semetic is:* description of Middle East peoples that trace their origin from the biblical Noah and his son Shem; these include Jews and Arabs*. Man oh man was I verbally abused…and just for stating a fact, that was true and went against what they wanted.


#19

Hi all!

Hmm…lessee here…

Karin, one of my very few cyberules is that I will not discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict online. I find that such discussions inevitably draw in other parties & all too often deteriorate into flame wars that have very little to do with friendly, mutually didactic dialogue. Also, I come to sites like CAF for (believe it or not) rest & relaxation & to escape the reality that is right outside my doior. I have to have some sanctuary & refuge from “the situation” as we call it in Hebrew. I just can’t discuss it online. I am sorry if I have disappointed you.

These (mfa.gov.il/mfa & tinyurl.com/ysepr) are pretty good sites that present an Israeli/Jewish view if things. I will, however, cite Simon the Hasmonean’s reply to Antiochus VII from I Maccabees 15:33-34:

“We have neither taken other men’s land, nor have we that which pertains to others, but the inheritance of our fathers, which was in the possession of our enemies, wrongfully, for a certain time. But we, having the opportunity, hold fast to the inheritance of our fathers.”

Our penal code? What of it? Most countries, the US included, have laws that allow them to track down, seize & bring back to the home country, those who perpetrate crimes against their nationals overseas. It is on this basis, ferinstance, that the US pursues those who murdered Robbie Stethem (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Stethem) on TWA Flight 847 in 1985 and the Palestinian terrorists who murdered he three US Embassy diplomatic personnel (tinyurl.com/bn226) on Oct. 15, 2003 in Gaza (the Palestinian Authority knows exactly who the murderers are & could arrest them by the time I finish typing this sentence if it wanted to). So, seeing as how just about every country has similar laws, I cite the great Homer Simpson :bowdown: and ask, “Your point being?” (We snatched the infamous Nazi archmurderer Adolf Eichmann, tinyurl.com/76tek, under these laws; incidentally, he is the only person to have ever been executed by the State of Israel.)

David_Paul, you posted:

“Ma’ariv” for instance reports issues in Hebrew not mentioned in the Enlgish language edition of the paper.

I’m curious; how do you know this? Do you read Hebrew? I read Maariv in Hebrew every day (The English edition has been discontinued). Its rival Yediot Ahronot, however, has an English edition: ynetnews.com.

You also posted:

The leadership gets everyone riled up against a perceived enemy in order achieve unity and gain power.

Very disheartening no matter who does it. Maybe a little more with the Jewish community as they have done so well in America. Mel Gibson’s “The passion” wasn’t the threat to them they said it was. And Bush putting a few traditional Christians on the Supreme Court won’t affect them one iota. But the leaders do the best they can to convince their base if they don’t fear outsiders something terrible will happen to them.

What on earth are you talking about? We are not easily manipulated tools in the hands of our “leadership”, which is far, far from monolithic. The ADL’s views on Mel Gibson’s film are well-known. However, not all Jews, certainly not all orthodox Jews, agreed with them. I certainly didn’t (see forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=384289&highlight=Passion#post384289, posts #26 & #29). Nobody “convinces” us that we have to "fear outsiders"lest “something terrible” happen to us. This is utter, utter malebovineexcrement.

Karin, you posted:

they ask for facts you give them facts and if it does not suit them or their cause they call you anti-semitic.

Jews who shriek “Anti-Semite!” at anyone who criticizes some aspect of Judaism or Israel are doing the same disservice to my faith as Catholics who shriek “Anti-Catholic bigot!” at anyone who criticizes some aspect of Roman Catholicism are doing to theirs.

(cont.)


#20

(cont.)

I made a point once that the term anti-semitic applies to the Jews as well as Arabs.

I offer the following:

MYTH
“Arabs cannot possibly be anti-Semitic as they are themselves Semites.”

FACT

The term “anti-Semite” was coined in Germany in 1879 by Wilhelm Marr to refer to the anti-Jewish manifestations of the period and to give Jew-hatred a more scientific sounding name.1 “Anti-Semitism” has been accepted and understood to mean hatred of the Jewish people. Dictionaries define the term as: “Theory, action, or practice directed against the Jews” and "Hostility towards Jews as a religious or racial minority group, often accompanied by social, economic and political discrimination."2

The claim that Arabs as “Semites” cannot possibly be anti-Semitic is a semantic distortion that ignores the reality of Arab discrimination and hostility toward Jews. Arabs, like any other people, can indeed be anti-Semitic.

Link: jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf15.html#a

Be well!

ssv :wave:


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