"Ethnic Cleansing" and Tribal Terror
The Greek word for "nation" originally used in this prophecy, "nation shall rise against nation," is ethnos, which is more accurately translated "a race" or "a tribe." In other words, Jesus was saying that ethnic groups would rise against each other. This has been tragically fulfilled in recent times. Pulitzer prize-winning historian Arthur Schlesinger warns, "If the 20th century has been the century of the warfare of ideologies, the 21st century begins as the century of the warfare of ethnicities."
The Associated Press (AP) reports that during this century the murders perpetrated by nations against their own people exceed the deaths caused by wars with rivals outside their borders! Citing Stalins purges, Chinas Cultural Revolution, Cambodias "killing fields," the so-called ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the horrors of Rwanda, etc., the grim verdict is reached:
War aside, the 20th century is awash in blood. On every continent but North America and Australia, governments have murdered those they governed by the thousands and millions, often by turning neighbor against neighbor. In this most civilized century, by one estimate the killing rage has extinguished 170 million lives. Ours is the century that coined the term "genocide."
Although the outlook may appear bleak, the day is soon coming when God Himself will intervene in this violent world and war shall be forever abolished. The Bible tells us that when Christ returns to earth, "He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:4, NKJV).
More about this future reign of world peace later, but now, back to the pressing realities of the present.
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