(Full disclosure: I am a Gentile and a Christian. I hope this isn't a problem and that my question will be appropriate here.)

From the Seleucid period to the Middle Ages of Europe and, probably most famously, Nazi Germany, there are many instances of Jews being persecuted simply for being of Jewish ethnicity and/or for their religion. Is there any passage or indication anywhere in the Torah, the Talmud, or in any other authoritative collection of manuscripts, that predicts that this might happen, or explains why?

Coming from a Christian background, I'm familiar with passages (in the Christian New Testament) that predict persecution for followers of Jesus. For example, in John 15 it is predicted that Christians will be persecuted ("If they persecuted me [Jesus], they will also persecute you.")

However, I can't seem to find any passages that predict a similar fate for Jews. The closest might be in passages like Leviticus 26:33, where G-d says that He will scatter the Israelites among that nations and "unsheathe the sword after you."

  • 4
    Have you looked at Deut 28? That and Lev 26 are seen as the "bad things that could happen" sections of the Pentateuch, generally speaking. I don't know if you will find the exact word "persecute" in translation. It's quite technical.
    – Double AA
    Aug 30, 2016 at 4:45

2 Answers 2


A simple reading will reveal many such passages throughout the Tanach.

For instance "And the Lord will scatter you among all the nations, from one end of the earth to the other..And among those nations, you will not be calm, nor will your foot find rest" (Deut.28).

Or (Ezekiel 20) "When you say, 'Let us be like the nations, like the peoples of other countries...' As I live says the Lord God, I will rule over you with a strong hand, an outstretched arm, and outpoured wrath.."

The State of Israel was founded in the hope of curing this anti-semitism but paradoxically, it has become the source of anti-semitism worldwide. (among other things, the state has kindled the wrath of the arab world and this fury has spread worldwide on all Jews).

Jews have been persecuted far more than Christians or any other group as can be seen from this timeline: Jewish Persecution | Timeline of Judaism | History of AntiSemitism

  • Israel was founded to be able to support Jews who were being persecuted, and it has. Just because antisemites can all focus on the same thing doesn't mean there are more of them. It just means they have a visible common enemy.
    – Double AA
    Aug 30, 2016 at 13:17
  • @DoubleAA In ray's favor, while I see no demonstration that the founding of the state of Israel has led to an increase in anti-antisemitism, and certainly not that "it has become the source of anti-semitism worldwide", it is true that one of the sentiments of the early Zionists was that the nation-less status of the Jews made them hated and that a state would solve this. This has indeed not materialized.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 30, 2016 at 19:46
  • Don't all those passages point to what will happen only if Israel is disobedient to God? In other words, they aren't persecuted simply on the basis of being Jewish, but because they are disobedient. Aug 31, 2016 at 0:12
  • @DoubleAA why did you delete my comments here?
    – ray
    Sep 2, 2016 at 5:44

I would agree with what was said above "A simple reading will reveal many such passages throughout the Tanach." And add that the only reason the books of these specific prophets were recorded was only because they would apply to the future and to their current times.

Having said that, you don't even need to get past the Torah (5 books of Moshe) to get your answer. Specifically with the blessings and the curses. If you review them you can almost textbook-like see how the two exiles unfolded and the parts that remained as well as the inevitable redemption of His people.

As you mentioned: Lev 26:3-27:1 and Dev 26:16 - 29-1. In addition, I would correct your question with regards to these being predictions. Because they are not predictions, the Torah was given from Gd as a set of laws both to His people and to all of creation. In other words, if we behave a certain way this is the result and if we choose to behave in a different way this is the result. As stated Dev 30:15 - 31:1 "I place before you today the life and the good..."

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