what great amount of man-power would be wasted if they were expelled, and so Israel enslaved them—“And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.” It was this form of disobedience, this preference of material mastery over spiritual leadership, that marked the beginning of Israel’s age-long disciplinary distress.
The Jews’ dispersion among the nations temporarily (that is, for more than 25 centuries now) changed the program which their scriptures declare was divinely planned, and that dispersion continues until today. There are spiritual leaders in modern Judaism who still claim that Israel’s mission to the nations is spiritual, but their assertions that Israel is today fulfilling that mission are not as convincing as they might be if accompanied by more evidence. Israel throughout the modern centuries is still looking at the Gentile world and estimating what its man-power can be made to yield. But the discipline upon Israel still holds; he is an exile from his own land, condemned to be discriminated against wherever he goes, until the time when exile and homelessness shall end in a reestablished Palestine, and Jerusalem again become the moral center of the earth, even as the elder prophets have declared.
Had the Jew become an employe, a worker for other men, his dispersion would not probably have been so wide. But becoming a trader, his instincts drew him round the habitable earth. There were Jews in China at an early date. They appeared as traders in England at the time of the Saxons. Jewish traders were in South America 100 years before the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth Rock. Jews established the sugar industry in the Island of St. Thomas in 1492. They were well established in Brazil when only a few villages dotted the eastern coast of what is now the United States. And how far they penetrated when once they came here is indicated by the fact that the first white child born in Georgia was a Jew—Isaac Minis. The Jew’s presence round the earth, his clannishness with his own people, made him a nation scattered among the nations, a corporation with agents everywhere.