Here’s a fragment of ancient writing; it was recovered from a cave in Israel:
The document is part of a treasured trove of historical and prophetic writings which is often referred to as the Prophetic works of the Bible. Long before we Christians began calling it “Bible”, Jewish readers called it Nebi’im, which means Prophets.
Pictured above is a fragment from the writings of the prophet Isaiah, who lived and wrote in Jerusalem about 2700 years ago. He prophesied, among other things, of the ordeal that Jesus endured before his death and resurrection.
This fragment is on display at the Museum of Israel in Jerusalem.
About a century later, another prophet, Ezekiel, wrote on his scrolls for posterity. His prophetic legacy, which was written while he was in exile in Babylon, consisted of writings that must have resembled the ancient Isaiah fragment pictured above.
In the portion of Ezekiel’s writing that we call chapter 37, the prophet describes a terrible vision, which he described in this way:
“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones.
He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry.
He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “Oh Lord God, You know.”
Again He said to me, “Prophecy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’
“Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, that may come to life.”
About a year ago when Pat and I were visiting Israel, we toured the Yad Vashem, Holocaust Museum, where we saw the monument pictured above. After viewing this memorial, we went inside and were guided through a tour by a very knowledgable British fellow name Harry Orenstein.
If you’re ever in Israel, you should visit the Holocaust Museum. It’s a real eyeopener for those who are attentive to the warning signs of history.
During the moment of Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones, he receives this prophecy:
“Behold, O will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel.”
Now, regardless of how you think about God, or the prophets, or Israel, or people such as I who believe in supernatural interventions, it is an historical fact that the Jewish people were removed from their ancient homeland by the powers that be in the ancient empires of Babylon and Rome.
And it is an historical fact that: the Jewish people managed, in the middle of the 20th-century, to return in great numbers, to their ancient homeland and re-establish a nation called Israel.
And it is an historical fact that: the very Holocaust by which Nazis sought to extinguish the Jewish people — that murderous “final solution” — ultimately became the terrible, tragic prime motivating crucible from which the Jews escaped, and mounted up the resolve to repopulate their ancient homeland.
So history indicates that the “final solution” inflicted by Nazis on Jews . . . turned out to be, instead, a final solution for the Jewish problem of securing a home in this world of sorrow and woe.
Pretty amazing, I thought. I’m hoping they can continue working it out with the Palestinians.
Several years ago, while I was researching Europe as it existed in 1937, I wrote a novel, Smoke, that weaves an historical tale around events and circumstances in Europe that preceded — and eventually led up to — that Holocaust.
If you would like to learn more about the tragedy of Holocaust, but are unable to go to Jerusalem to see Vad Yashem, check out the U.S Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, which is a part of the story in my first novel, Glass half-Full.