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It is an understatement that there are many today who are casting doubt on whether it is good to be a Zionist.  What is surprising is that this number includes many followers of the Messiah, and increasingly even in “Hebrew-Roots” circles.

First we should define what it means to be a Zionist. In Hebrew, Zion (Tziyon) seems to mean a stronghold or place of safety. A Zionist is someone who wants the Jewish (or, more broadly, Israelite) people to have a homeland, safe from persecution, in the Mediterranean Levant, where their ancestors lived in the past.  In particular, Zion is a mountain on which the original Jerusalem (the City of David) was built. (1 Chronicles 11:5)  Zion was the capital of Israel since David's time, and this is part of the definition of what it means to be a Zionist today as well.

It’s one thing to argue about the precise location of the ancient Temple, though alternate theories I have heard do not hold water when scrutinized because of the sheer size of the complex, as Joseph Good, who has probably researched this subject more than anyone else, has ably demonstrated.

But some claim that the whole ancient Holy Land is in the recesses of Africa rather than in what is called Israel today, due to the percentages of circumcised residents. (It must be remembered that Muslims circumcise too.) But the archaeological evidence is so widespread for Israel and Judah’s ancient presence in what the Romans renamed “Palestine” (to try to erase the memory that it was once called “Judea”), that this is something we could never take seriously.

Such novel theories may be fascinating, but many are just tantalizing distractions placed in our path by the enemy to throw us off our focus and keep us occupied with putting out unnecessary fires at a time when we should be standing with our brother Judah. Some are saying that October 7, 2023 was an “inside job” by the Israeli government to justify a war. Even in the remote event that this was actually the case, it would not give us cause to abandon the victims or justify the overwhelming surge of anti-Semitism that has ensued worldwide.

Some of the conspiracy theories that the news media rail against are undoubtedly true, but this one is nothing less than vicious slander on the order of Nazi propaganda, which even mocked the Jews who had long noses, as if this were a defect. I suspect (tongue in cheek) that this is why YHWH chose them, because over and over in Hebrew He Himself is literally described as having “long nostrils”! It is an idiom for being slow to anger. Think of a snorting bull or, better, a fire-breathing dragon, because the “heat of His anger” is often spoken of in the same context. With long nostrils, there is plenty of time for wrath to “cool off” before it comes out into the open where it can actually have an effect. So it is really a compliment to say someone has a long nose! (Mine should be longer!)

But a plan for the Jews to take over the world? Please vet your facts more carefully. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was discredited as a forgery over a century ago. 

But what really matters is what Holy Scripture, the touchstone of anything we should consider true, says about this. From it we know that one Jew will indeed someday rule the entire world. (Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 2:8-11; Rev. 12:5) It’s no “Zionist conspiracy” that the emperor of the whole world will be a Jew; YHWH is the One who will accomplish this restoration that we now see beginning to take shape.

Some interpret the New Testament to say that the Church has replaced the Jews as YHWH’s chosen people because they "forfeited their calling by killing the Messiah". Remember that all who initially spread the Gospel—including Yeshua himself—were Jews too! It was only a small contingent who said, “His blood be upon us and upon our children”. (Mat. 27:25) But even if they did say this, the Messiah himself, with his dying words, said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not realize what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Even if they meant it for evil, He knew, like Joseph, that YHWH meant it for good. (Gen. 50:20) So how can we possibly honor him if we dishonor his request and continue to hold it against their descendants when YHWH Himself said that “the sons shall not die for the fathers’ sins”? (2 Chron. 25:4)

But the New Testament itself defines this "replacement theology" as arrogance:

 “Just because some of the branches were broken off, and you (being a wild olive tree) were grafted in among them, and thus became a joint sharer of the root and robustness of the cultivated olive tree, you should not boast at the expense of the natural branches. But if you are inclined to boast in that way, remember that it is not you who sustain the root; rather, it is the root that supports you! … True enough [that] because of [their] unbelief they were broken off, whereas you remain in place because of [your] faith. [All the more reason to] not be high-minded, but rather have [an attitude of] reverential deference, for if YHWH did not spare branches that naturally [belonged to the tree, it is quite possible that] He may not spare you either…Moreover, those also—if they do not continue in their unbelief—will be grafted in, because YHWH is able to graft them back in again; [I say all this], brothers [and sisters], so that you will not consider yourselves to be more knowledgeable than you [really are], because I do not want you to err by disregarding this mysterious [way YHWH is operating]—in which a hardening has come over Israel until the time when the ‘fullness of the Gentiles’ (citing Gen. 48:19) comes in, and in this way ‘all of Israel shall be recovered’…” (Rom. 11:17-26)  

Why is this part of the New Testament not often taken into consideration?  This is no different from what any of the prophets who came before said; to neglect this context will inevitably make any other interpretation have a skewed emphasis at best. (Remember Matthew 5:17!)

YHWH will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cling to the house of Jacob.” (Isaiah 14:1) Who are you to argue with YHWH’s prophets? Another says He will lead “the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries to which [He] had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.” (Jer. 23:8) Yet another (this is not an isolated idea!) said Judah would go back first (Zech. 12:7), which is why they are thus far the only part of Israel to return, but that they have fulfilled their part of the prophecy is evidence that the rest of the prophecies will also be fulfilled.

There is no need for “supersessionism” when in fact many if not most believers in Messiah are in fact themselves descendants of Israel just as the Jews are, and if they are not, they can be “grafted in” as outlined above, and no longer be “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without YHWH in the world”. (Ephesians 2:12; read the entire context!) Why would  we have to take away someone else’s blessing to receive a blessing ourselves? YHWH has enough resources to bless us all; this is no zero-sum game.

What of the very different claim that the Jews living in Israel today are not the same as the Israel we see in the Bible—that they are only Khazars from the Russian steppes who displaced the ancient people who were dispersed from the Holy Land? What a strange twist on “replacement theology”! Are they only pretending to be Jews but are rather a “synagogue of Satan”? (Rev. 2:9) Whatever that means, it has to be something that was already in operation in the first century, when these people were first called to account. For perspective we need to examine the Torah’s own rules for people who become Israelites:

As the native among you [is treated], so shall be the alien who resides with you… You shall love him as [you love] yourself.” (Lev. 19:33-34) “If there is a visitor staying among you who wants to participate in the Passover for YHWH, … you shall have one [and the same] law for [both] the newcomer and the native who was born in the Land.” (Numbers 9:14) “'The assembly [has] one prescribed custom for [both] for you and for the sojourner staying among you [as] an eternal enactment throughout your generations. As you are, so shall the sojourner be, before YHWH.” (Num. 15:15) This applies to any who are not literal descendants of Israel but have committed themselves to the community of Israel; there are no second-class citizens once one joins the household. So if they become Israelites, they are no longer to be counted as foreigners. There is no double standard.

As to this particular group, the facts of history tell us that, yes, at one point in history a Khazar ruler found the Jewish religion preferable to his own people’s historical paganism, and converted to Judaism. The nation he ruled also converted, but then many of them later converted to Islam while still living in their homeland.  So while some Khazars do may make up a small percentage of Ashkenazi Jews, they are far from being the entirety of that tribe. I.e., not all Jews were once Khazars. That is why this theory has largely been abandoned.  

A more racially-motivated variation on this allegation says that any light-skinned Jews are actually descended from Edomites instead.  But if they joined Israel according to YHWH’s instructions, they are not “fake Jews”, if indeed they live up to the meaning of yehudi—one who praises YHWH.  

The alleged Khazar mafia is given credit for too many things to be realistic, given how much of a “house divided against itself” it would have to be to be funding both the state of Israel and terrorism against Israel! That description fits better with Satan. (Matthew 12:25-26)

Exaggeration is rarely evidence of noble purposes, but of an effort to mislead by putting a slant or spin on a partially-true idea when letting the facts speak for themselves would not accomplish one’s agenda.

Another elephant in the room is “What about the Palestinians?” Well, many of them are believers in Yeshua, so those are our brothers, and there is evidence that many others among them are actually Jews whose ancestors were forced to convert to Islam. And of course, we do not wish any innocent bystander harm in the defense against terrorism. 

But there never was a nation called Palestine (at least since David ran the last Philistines out of Israel proper 3,000 years ago). It was under one empire after another, never independent since Bar Kochba or even earlier.  When Mark Twain visited in the 1860s, the land was desolate with very few residents. He said even a chicken could barely scratch out a living there.  A much earlier eyewitness in 1695-96 said there were only a few Arab towns in the territory that is now Israel at that time (most of them Christian), and most of the Muslims there were bedouins; even then there were more Jews than Arabs. (Palestina by Adrian Reland)  Only after Israel started returning en masse to the Land (BUYING it up bit by bit, not stealing it) and making it liveable again did YHWH’s arch-enemy come up with the brilliant plan to have many more Arabs settle there to block the way for refugees from Hitler. But it is the ancestral land of very few Arabs, and many Arabs who live there now truly prefer the liberties they enjoy under Israel’s rule (including places high up in the government) to the repression they had under Islamist rule. Israel did not oust those who lived there in 1948; those who wanted to destroy Israel told them to temporarily get out of the way while they pushed the Jews into the sea. They were still allowed back, but many chose to remain refugees to keep the political agenda alive. And no Arab nations are taking in the refugees who speak their language already--again, to keep alive the "need" for Israel to leave.  

Much more could be said, but if you take the Bible as authoritative, there is no way around the title deed to the Land belonging to Jacob’s descendants, not Ishmael’s. (Gen. 28:4, 13; 35:12; 48:4) The patriarchs even bought the most highly-disputed places so there could be no question who owned them! (Gen. 25:10; 33:19; 2 Samuel 24:24)

But some argue that even many Jews oppose Zionism. This is true, but why? Is it for Biblically-kosher reasons? Or just because of their political views? Some Orthodox Jews hesitate to be Zionists, but only because they do not want Israel to be a secular state, as it is now. They are eager to return to the Land when Messiah comes and participate in the kind of theocracy that it was always meant to be, as we also are. That puts it in quite a different light. 

But then, because the Jews came back before the Messiah comes, should we consider them “occupiers” and “colonialists”, as the news media try to persuade us? We should not take an “Israel can do no wrong” attitude. Jerusalem is at times metaphorically called “Sodom” or “Egypt” (Rev. 11:8) because not all it does is always upright, as is true of anything that is less than YHWH. There are even strong hints in Scripture that a counterfeit Messiah will set up an unauthorized throne in Jerusalem before the real Messiah arrives, so we must not let ourselves be fooled by a “Messiah” who claims to be God (2 Thess. 2:4)—possibly being a hybrid between human and artificial intelligence, which might seem to give him god-like characteristics. But he does not follow the Torah (Dan. 7:25), which will be the signal that he is not from YHWH (Isaiah 8:20). The Jews’ presence now, in the flesh if not always in the spirit, is at the very least for the purpose of restoring the once-unsuitable Land to prepare the way before the true Messiah accedes to the throne. (Isa. 40:3)

So what if the Rothschild* tycoons helped fund the modern nation of Israel?  Whatever their other faults, could they not have done at least one thing right? YHWH nearly always uses human decisions and interests (even our mistakes) to accomplish His purposes, and one of those purposes is that He will “inherit Judah [as] his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.” (Zech. 2:12) Even if a lot of its citizens now are merely secular and even atheist, that has been true at many periods of history, even in Biblical times. That did not prevent YHWH from working with His remnant at any time, so why should it now?

But should we support Jews who reject Yeshua? Paul addressed this two millennia ago as well: even if “in terms of the Good News, they are opposed to you [in a sense], still, in regard to [being YHWH's] chosen [people], they are beloved because of the promises YHWH made to the patriarchs—because the free gifts and the calling of YHWH are irrevocable.” (Rom. 11:28-29)

At some point, the prophet says, at the time when “YHWH shall defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem” and “destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem”, He will “pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of favor and of supplications, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:8-10)

Some cite the Talmud (which has nearly the status of Torah for many rabbinic Jews) as saying that Yeshua is even burning in excrement! When you read the Talmud, though, its predominant format is to list a variety of opinions by prominent rabbis on a given topic and not specifically endorse any one of them, except possibly that the last one listed usually reflects the general consensus, but all sides of the issue are raised in order to get a well-rounded view of the possible ways to look at the question. So a mere inclusion of such an opinion would not constitute the majority or even a substantially-held viewpoint. While I have seen a video of one Jewish woman telling Gentiles to “get their dirty hands off our Torah”, this is by far not the attitude of most members of the tribe of Judah. One bad apple does not define the whole. So again, let us avoid slandering those to whom YHWH plans to join us as one stick:

“‘YHWH says, ‘Watch! I am taking the descendants of Israel from among the nations… from every side onto their own ground. Then I will make them one nation in the Land…of Israel, and one king will be king to them all. They will never again…be divided into two kingdoms…They will dwell on the Land I have given My servant Yaaqov…forever, with David, My servant, as their leader forever.’” (Ezek. 37:21-25)  

So we must not leave those whom Scripture says are our brothers stranded at such a perilous time.  The simplest way to explain the otherwise-baffling reason anti-Semitism is so widespread when no other hate crimes are tolerated is that haSatan hates whatever YHWH loves--and love Israel He clearly does.

Finally, remember the standard for followers of the Messiah: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as YHWH for Messiah’s sake has forgiven you. Be therefore followers of YHWH, as dear children, and walk in love...” (Ephesians 4:31-5:2) 

Forsake the slander of those to whom YHWH entrusted “the oracles of YHWH”. (Rom. 3:2) “To them belong the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the Torah, and the [tabernacle] service, and the promises, whose are the patriarchs, and from whom Messiah (who is over all) came, physically.” (Rom. 9:4-5) Those are no mean credentials.

We could call Abraham the first Zionist by the Biblically-based definition. And certainly Moses and Joshua. King David constantly sang the praises of Zion. (Psalm 48:2; 50:2; 78:68; 87:2; 102:13-16; 125:1; 128:5; 129:5; 132:13, etc.) 

So “Why do the nations rage, and the peoples imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against YHWH, and against His anointed, [saying], ‘Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens shall laugh”, saying instead, “I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” (Psalm 2:1-6) 

That is the authoritative decree: YHWH Himself will establish His king in Zion.  

So yes, we should be Zionists!


*Rothschild has nothing to do with a “child”; it is a German word which means “red shield”, pronounced more like “wrote-shield”.

Should We Be Zionists?