Adolph Eichmann  —  Jews

 •  14 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Shortly before midnight on May 31st, Adolph Eichmann died on the gallows in the Ramleh prison, not far from Tel. Aviv, Israel. During Hitler's ill-fated European wars, Eichmann had been an important cog in that part of the machinery charged with the elimination of the Jews who came within its reach. Many of the high officials of the Hitler regime were tried by an allied court at Nuremberg, Germany; and some were at that time condemned to death and executed. Adolph Eichmann, however, eluded capture and was apprehended only two years ago in Argentina, and spirited out of the country to Israel. As for all the legal aspects of his arrest, trial, and death, we are not concerned.
The subject matter that concerns us is the history of the Jewish people through the ages. Many attempts have been made on their lives, and the first of record is that of Pharaoh the mighty king of Egypt. Joseph, one of the twelve patriarchs, was sold by his brothers to some Midianitish merchants, who evidently trafficked in slaves as well as merchandise. He was sold as slave in Egypt, but by divine providence he was later elevated to a position next to the king. In those years Egypt was really indebted to Joseph, but another dynasty came into power after all of Joseph's brothers and their families had immigrated there. Satan moving behind the scenes, moved the reigning power to seek to exterminate them; and only divine intervention preserved them.
One may ask, Why was Satan desirous of their destruction? The answer seems fairly obvious. Satan had heard his doom pronounced in the garden of Eden, and was doubtless acquainted with God's promise. O Abraham, that of his seed would One arise in whom all families of the earth would be Blessed. It was thus easy for the wily foe of God and of man to see that in Israel's race the promised deliverer would come—the One who would also bruise the serpent's head. If therefore, by the malice of Satan, the people of Israel could he destroyed, God's promise and purpose would be frustrated. By God's intervention, a deliverer (Moses) arose; and in the end Pharaoh and all his host were drowned in the sea.
Satan moved Athaliah, in the days of the kingdom of Judah, to attempt to destroy all of the royal family; for by that time the prophetic utterances had designated the house of David as the one through which the deliverer of man and the destroyer of Satan's power would come. But divine intervention preserved Joash, through whom the Messiah came.
In the days of the dispersion of Judah throughout the Persian Empire, a man of the seed of Amalek arose. Of old, God had decreed that He would have war with Amalek from generation to generation; for they were the early antagonists of Israel. When the Persian Empire was at its zenith, an Amalekite was the prime minister, with much more than ordinary power for one in his position. But a God-fearing Jew by the name of Mordecai (meaning, a little man) refused to do obeisance to Haman, the proud son of Amalek. It was not mere stubbornness on the part of Mordecai, but a recognition of God's settled decree on the one hand, and of simple obedience to it on the other.
Times had changed since God's earthly people marched triumphantly out of Egypt, for by this time God had pronounced that solemn sentence on them, of "Lo-ammi" (meaning, "not My people"). This was by the mouth of their prophet Hosea. Hence the book of Esther stands alone in the Bible, for it shows God's providential care over the Jews when He had publicly disowned them. They were still His people, and woe be to the man or the nation who oppressed them. The name of God is not mentioned in the book of Esther, for He is hidden; and only His providential workings are seen. Accordingly, the godly Jewish maiden Esther is brought forward. She is as beautiful in her place as Mordecai is in his.
Here again, Satan is active for the destruction of the whole people, for it would be a master stroke to cut off all hope for a Messiah after God's order if the people could be destroyed. Haman builds a gallows on which to hang Mordecai, and makes it fifty cubits high. The number fifty is of old connected by God with the jubilee, for in the fiftieth year the people were to return to their original inheritance. If Satan's scheme in the hands of Haman had worked, then there would be no jubilee for the people of Israel. But instead of Mordecai, Haman was hanged on the gallows. Since that day, Haman has been a symbol to the Jews of their survival; and it is not without significance that Adolph Eichmann was hanged as the first person to be put to death in the nation of Israel, and put to death on a gallows. We have noted comments on this modern Haman in the Jewish press, so the lesson of the book of Esther has been by no means lost on them.
Since the days of the Persian Empire, the Jews have been persecuted by many nations—to name only a few, the Roman Empire, Russia, Spain, and Germany. We read in the New Testament that Claudius Caesar expelled all Jews from Rome (Acts 18:22And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. (Acts 18:2)).
There is one great difference between the past dispersion and the one of this era. God allowed the dispersion of the kingdom of Judah for their sins and idolatry, but they have not been idolaters since their return in the days of Nehemiah.
The present dispersion, which began with the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, has been on account of their failure to recognize their Messiah when He came. They rejected Him, and so God says, they "shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Luke 21:2424And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:24). There has been a continuity of fulfillment of this verse since those days of A.D. 70. It is true that a remnant of them are back in their land and have a stable government again, and Jerusalem is again their capital city; but God's word is daily being fulfilled, for the old city of Jerusalem, with its temple area, is still in the hands of the Gentiles.
After the Nuremberg trials, a notable high official, Julius Streicher, was hanged in 1946. At that time there were ten Nazi officials hanged for crimes against humanity, according to the international tribunal. Julius Streicher was the only one who that day made any trouble; and according to reports at the time, he had to be pushed to the scaffold, shouting out, "Purimfest, 1946." The implication of the feast of Purim, when the Jews each year celebrate the hanging of their enemy Haman, was not lost on him. At that time, Julius Streicher was constantly referred to in the secular press as the Jew baiter, and we noticed in a Jewish newspaper that Adolph Eichmann was referred to as "the No. 1 Nazi Jew-baiter." How or in what way they vied with each other for the number one place, we do not presume to say.
One thing is clear, however, that God has His eye on that people, even though they are outwardly disowned by Him at present. He will avenge them on their oppressors. We might say that no nation or ruler that has persecuted them has prospered in the end. Not that we are seeking to vindicate them or any other race if ills have been committed by them. We leave all that with the "judge of all the earth" who will in His time and way act according to truth.
That we are living in the last days of this era, when God in grace is saving souls, there can be no doubt. We are at the very end. The conditions of the nations of the world, the apostasy in Christendom, the lethargy of real Christians—all of these, and more, indicate the imminence of the coming of the Lord to take His saints home. The great world tribulation will follow, only to end by the coming of the Son of man to execute judgment and reign. After these judgments, Israel will be restored (or, rather, a remnant of them, for only a repentant remnant of the Jews will be brought into the fullness of Messianic blessing). Zechariah tells us plainly that "they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem... and the land shall mourn, every family apart.... In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." Chaps. 12:10 to 13:1.
Let no Christian say that God is through with Israel. All His promises concerning them will be fulfilled, but the remnant will pass through deep repentance and humiliation when they look upon that same Jesus when He comes to reign. But the Jews at large are not as yet ready to concede anything concerning Jesus having been their Messiah. The Jewish press indicates as much. An editorial in the B'nai B'rith, Los Angeles, of August 18, 1961 speaks very disparagingly of Christian missionaries who have gone to Israel seeking to bring any of them to the acknowledgment of Jesus as their Savior. Here is one quotation:
"At least no normal, well-adjusted Israeli, no Israeli delivered from the murder factories of the so-called Christian nations, because of his Jewishness, finding a haven in Israel, will fall to his knees at the plea of even the most fervent of missionaries."
The editorial then speaks of the Christian Crusaders and the Spanish Inquisition. How sad it is that the Jewish people can with truth refer to atrocities against them, that have been done in the name of Jesus Christ! Yes, they were so-called Christian nations and people that caused untold suffering to the Jews. But let the Jew who looks at these things, also think that the same wicked deeds have been practiced against Christians by other so-called Christians. There are no more heinous crimes than those perpetrated by religious bigotry. Thousands upon thousands of Christians have been put to death since the days of pagan Rome for simple confession of faith in Him who was "born king of the Jews." Let the Jew also recognize that the vast majority of that which parades under the banner of Christianity is spurious. We have no sympathy with anti-Semitism (more correctly, anti-Jewism), and we can quote an excerpt from our last month's issue to substantiate this:
"The whole idea of the crusades was a fundamental mistake from beginning to end, and arose from Christians fancying that they were Jews, taking the place of God's people and, consequently, denying Israel's place. The greatest enemies the Jews had were those same crusaders who fought against the Turks. The place of the true Christian is the very contrary. We ought to be a shelter of the Jew.... We ought to mourn deeply the unbelief of Israel; but, at the same time, we ought to protect them and show them all kindness 'for the fathers' sakes.' " p. 147, June issue.
Their unbelief is shown in such remarks as these from the same Jewish paper:
"Missionaries can be lumped in the same fetid frame with the communists, the Nazis and the facist. The unholy quartet have but one object in mind—the destruction of the Jew.... All of them want to make it impossible for the Jew to live as a Jew, or to live at all."
Such blanket indictments of all missionaries, or of all Christians, is wide of the mark, and only detracts from just criticisms that they do have. Doubtless some real Christians have fallen into the snare of misappropriating the Jews' position for themselves, and consequently of showing disfavor to the Jewish people.
The Jews will again, under their true Messiah, be the head of the nations; but Christians need not be envious of them, for their place is a better and a heavenly portion. Jews will not automatically be brought into Messianic blessing, for they must first acknowledge Him whom they once spurned. The Old Testament abounds with references to the basis of their future blessing. But before that time comes, the nation at large will receive the antichrist, the one who will come in his own name, in sharp contrast to Him who came in His Father's name. It does seem that while Christendom is heading directly toward apostasy, so the Jewish people are being readied for acceptance of their apostate head.
Another editorial from the Los Angeles B'nai B'rith shows a deep antipathy toward the Lord Jesus. It says:
"Thus it is with those Christians who accept the myth of the Jew as the 'Christ-killer.' So deeply is it imbedded by religious indoctrination of a sort, by catechisms, by paternal example, that it would require a major act of spiritual surgery, of mental rehabilitation, to remove this cancerous lesion from the Christian world." May 4, 1962.
Let us ask, Where do they find the charge of "Christ-killer" in the New Testament? Is that inspired part of the Word of God to blame? If they would read the four gospels, they would find that there is an unbiased account of the rejection of Christ by both the Jews and the Gentiles. Both were and are guilty. Did not both the Jews and the Gentiles spit in His blessed face? Did not the Gentile governor condemn Him to death after having rendered a verdict of acquittal? Did not the Gentile soldiers nail Him to the cross, and one of them pierce His side? Yes, indeed! But the Jews were more guilty in this respect, that He came of the seed of David after the flesh, according to all the promises of the Old Testament. They should have recognized Him according to their own scriptures; and so the Lord said to Pilate, "He that delivered Me unto thee bath the greater sin." Pilate and the Gentiles could not absolve themselves of the guilt. For Gentiles to hurl the epithet of "Christ-killer" at the Jews, while they also reject Him, is similar to having one criminal accuse his partner in crime of the very thing for which he himself is being tried. Well did God render the verdict, "ALL have sinned." And any person, Jew or Gentile, who rejects Christ will share the fate of all those who cast Him out.
The same Jewish editorial lauds a feeble step of Catholics to remove "from the Jews the stigma of slayers of God." If Augustin Cardinal Bea made such a remark, it is a mistake; for no one could or can kill God. In John's Gospel, where the Lord Jesus is presented as the Son of God, He says, "No man taketh it [life] from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." He delivered up His own spirit to His Father, saying, "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." We fully admit that all mankind stands arraigned before God as guilty of the full intent to cast His Son out of the world. As far as was in their power, they performed the act; but they did not actually take His life, and they could not "kill God."
In further answer to the B'nai B'rith editorial, we do not believe the charge of "Christ-killer" is a "principal reason for anti-Semitic persecution." A real Christian could be misled, we know, but one would have reason to question the Christianity of a persecutor of Jews. Much has been done in the name of Christianity, but it is a pseudo-Christianity that can so act. Would anyone in his right mind call Hitler or Eichmann Christians? Shall Christians be blamed for what imposters have done?
Gentiles and Jews alike can only be saved from the just judgment of God against sin by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Savior—by receiving Him as their only substitute before God. They need to be able to say, as the saved remnant of the Jews will: "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities." Isa. 53:55But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5). Yes, Israel's race will yet behold its glorified Messiah, and truly repent for having rejected Him when He came in lowliness and grace. The saved of the nation will then see that He whom the nation once rejected is their only hope and salvation. Then it will be true, as Isaiah said, "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this
is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." Chap. 25:9. And that salvation could only be accomplished by His atoning sufferings, death, and blood-shedding.