I. Early Redemptions
 (357) XIX-1. The voice of the Holy One was heard by Moses. He sent him to take his people out of Egypt, out of the house of Pharaoh, the bondage of the Egyptians, saying to him, "Say to Pharaoh: My son, my first-born in Israel. I say to you: Send out my son to worship me" (Ex. 4:22-3). When he took them forth from Egypt with signs and wonders, with a mighty hand, with a high arm, and with great visions, he brought them through the wilderness and led them there forty years. He led them to the Promised Land, took them across the Jordan, and caused them to inherit it, having destroyed its inhabitants from before them. They dwelt in it four hundred and forty years before Solomon built the holy house, and then four hundred  years before the king of Babylonia conquered them.
On account of their sins, which were many, he uprooted and scattered them among every nation, for they did not listen to his prophets, whom he had sent to them. When they had been in Babylonia seventy years, he again gave thought in their behalf to the covenant of their fathers. He proclaimed concerning them through his prophets that they should go up from Babylonia (358) at the end of seventy years. When the seventy years were fulfilled, as Jeremiah had prophesied, Daniel prayed and offered supplication that he should restore their captivity and have mercy upon them. "And the Lord aroused the spirit of Cyrus, and he issued a proclamation through his entire kingdom. He announced to them saying, Whoever remains of all the people of the Lord, may his God be with him. Let him return and go to Jerusalem which is in Judah" (Ezra 1:1,3).
But because they were assimilated among the peoples, had built, planted, and acquired [property] in the place of their captivity, not all of them entirely wanted to go up, but some of them went up, and some of them remained. Because God knew their evil impulse, he did not force them to go up from Babylonia, but without compulsion did Cyrus the king of Persia proclaim to them. For even when he brought them out of Egypt by the hand of Moses, if the bondage of Pharaoh were not strong on them, they would not have wanted  to go out of Egypt, as they said to Moses when they were rebelling against him in the wilderness, "This is the word which we spoke to you in Egypt: You should let us serve the Egyptians, for it was good for us in Egypt" (Ex. 14:12). So see that even when they were oppressed by bondage, they did not want to go out of Egypt until the Egyptians forced them to go out of their land when they saw that their first-born were dead, saying, "We are all dead" (Ex. 12:33). It is written, "The Egyptians forced the people to go out of their land" (Ex. 12:33). And also from Babylonia, if (359) the persecutors had gathered together against them, they all would have gone forth.
II. The Jews' Hope
XIX-2. I have written this to you because even today they hope an empty hope, saying, "It is still certain for Israel to be gathered together," for the prophet thus spoke, "I shall leave none of them among the nations" (Ex. 39: 28). But if all of our people is to be gathered together, why are we today scattered among every people?
Concerning these things, my beloved, as best as I am able, I shall instruct you: Israel never is going to be gathered together. For they depend on this: All of the prophets gave Israel hope. Hear, O debater of Israel:  No law has been imposed upon God, nor is there anyone above him to censure him for anything that he does. He said, "If I declare concerning a people and a kingdom to be built and to be planted, and afterward it will do that which is evil before me, I shall make my word into a lie and shall turn away from it the good which I promised for it. In its iniquity and sins I shall destroy it. If again I shall declare concerning a people and a kingdom to be built and planted, and afterward to be uprooted, overthrown, destroyed, and wiped out, and it will do that which is right before me, then I shall turn away from it the evil which I promised for it" (Jer. 18:7-10). Isaiah also said, "Woe unto him who despoils. You will not despoil. A liar shall not lie among you. When you want to despoil, you will be despoiled, and when you want to lie, there will be lying among you" (Is. 33:1). And with regard to these things there is none who censures the will of God.
XIX-3.1 shall write and show you that never did God accept (360) their repentance [through] either Moses or all of the prophets. For Moses said to them, "You were rebellious before the Lord from the day I knew you" (Deut. 9:24). Again he said, "It is a people whose mind is lost, among whom is no understanding" (Deut. 32:28). Further he said, "They have outraged me with their idols, and with their gods they have provoked me. So shall I provoke them with a people  which is no people, and with a foolish people I shall anger them" (Deut. 32:21). And Moses further said to them, "I know that after my death you will certainly become corrupt, and you will turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. Many evil things will happen to you at the end of days. And lo, while I am still alive with you, you are rebelling against the Lord" (Deut. 31:29).
Hosea said, "I have cut off my prophets and have killed them with the word of my mouth" (Hosea 6:5). "And you, O children of Israel, have not turned from your evil, from the days of your fathers" (Mai. 3:7). Again he said to them, "Your goodness is like the clouds of the morning and like the dew which first passes" (Hosea 6:4). And again he said, "Woe to them who wander from me. Evil is upon them" (Hosea 7:13). And again he said, "Go to Baalpeor and become a Nazirite unto its disgrace" (Hosea 9:10). And again he said, "Like a bird has their honor flown from them. If they raise sons, I shall then wipe them out from among men, and I shall smite the delight of their bowels" (Hosea 9:11, 12).
Further, Jeremiah said, (861) "They are called rejected silver, for the Lord has rejected them" (Jer. 6:30). Hosea said, "I shall drive them out of my house, and I shall no longer continue to have mercy on them" (Hosea 9:15). Now that he said, "I shall no longer continue to have mercy on them," what do they have to say? 
Again he said, "The Lord has rejected them because they did not listen to him" (Hosea 9:17). Again he said, "They shall be wandering among the peoples" (Hosea 9:17). Again he said concerning them, "According to the good of their land, they have multiplied altars and built high places" (Hosea 10:1). Again he said, "Ephraim will receive shame, and Israel will be confounded into its opinion" (Hosea 10:6). Again he said, "Ephraim has surrounded me with lying, and Judah and the house of Israel with deceit" (Hos. 11:12). Again he said, "I have destroyed you, O Israel. Who will help you?" (Hos. 13:9). Again he said, "I have given to you a king in my anger, and I have taken him away in my wrath" (Hosea 13:11). Micah said, "Do not raise up your face, and do not go standing up straight" (Micah 2:3). Again he said, "Rise up, go, for this was not my rest" (Micah 2:10). Again he said, "Those who see visions will be confounded, and those who divine will be shamed, all their lips will be covered, for God does not answer them" (Micah 3:7).
XIX-4. And why did he say concerning the diviners and those who see visions that they will be confounded, and that their lips will be covered? For this is a plague for which there is no healing. It is written in the law, "When there shall be a leper in Israel, his lips (362) shall be covered, and his clothes shall be ripped, and his head will be disheveled. His dwelling will be outside of the camp. He will call himself unclean all the days he is a leper" (Lev. 13: 45-46).  On this account the prophet who proclaims with lying lips will receive the plague of leprosy, cover his lips all the days, and sit in confusion, like Uzziah, the king of the house of Judah. Because he wanted to rob the priesthood, a leprosy went out from before the presence of the Holy One and smote him between the eyes, and he dwelt in the house in secret, for he was confounded all the days. There was a great movement [earthquake] in the whole people, as Zechariah said, "You will flee as you fled in the earthquake which was in the days of Uzziah, the king of the house of Judah" (Zech. 14:5).
XIX-5. See, then, they have never accepted correction in their lives. He said, "I smote you with a hot wind and with hail stones, and the canker-worm has consumed the multitude of your orchards. But you did not return to me, says the Lord" (Amos 4:9). And again he said, "I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah" (Amos 4:11). I announced that they have no further hope, for "the virgin of Israel has fallen and will no longer continue to rise" (Amos 5:2). Again he said, "She is abandoned upon the ground, and there is none to raise her up" (Amos 5:2). Again he said, "In all of their markets are lamentations, and in all of their streets they will say woe, woe" (Amos 5:16). He rejected and cast them from before him, saying, "I hate and I reject  your festivals. I will not smell your offerings" (Amos 5:21). (363) Again he said, "I am not pleased by your offerings, and upon the beauty of your fatted beasts I shall not look" (Amos 56:22). Again he said to them, "For the forty years in the wilderness did you offer to me sacrifices and offerings, O children of Israel?" (Amos 5:25). And concerning his abandoning them Jeremiah said, "I have abandoned my house, I have abandoned my inheritance" (Jer. 12:7). Again he said, "I have given to the daughter of my people a writ of divorce" (Jer. 3:8). Because they take pride [saying] that we are the people of God, the prophet called, saying to them, "Lo, you are like the children of Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel. Thus the children of Israel I brought forth from the land of Egypt, the Philistines from Cappadocia, and Aram from Kyr. The eyes of the Lord of Lords are upon the sinning kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth" (Amos 9:7, 8). Know that he reckoned them like the Philistines. Jeremiah said concerning the congregation of Israel, "I planted you a root which was entirely a true seed. But you have turned and rebelled against me like an alien vine" (Jer. 2:21). Moses said, "Their vine is from the vine of Sodom and from the planting of Gomorrah. Their grapes are bitter grapes, and their clusters are bitter for them" (Deut. 32:32).
David said, "You have brought forth a vine from Egypt  and looked upon it, and have planted its root" (Ps. 80:8). He said, "You have destroyed peoples and planted it" (Ps. 80:9). When they had sinned, he said, (364) "The pig of the forest has eaten it, and the wild beasts of the field have pastured in it" (Ps. 80:13).
Ezekiel said concerning the vine, "The fire has consumed the two branches and laid waste their inside" (Ez. 15:4). He said, "When the vine was without blemish, it was good for nothing. And now that the fire has consumed and destroyed it, how shall it be good for anything?" (Ez. 15:5). Concerning the entire vineyard, Isaiah prophesied saying, "My beloved had a vineyard on a hill which was a fertile place. He worked it, surrounded it with a fence, and planted it in vines. But when the vineyard brought forth thorns, he tore down its fence, threw over its watch towers, left it unworked, and restrained his clouds from bringing down rain upon it" (Is. 5:1-6).
Concerning the false prophets, he said, "Woe unto those who build Zion in deceit, and Jerusalem in iniquity" (Hab. 2:12; Micah 3:10). He further said concerning them, "From the prophets of Jerusalem has gone forth pollution into all the land" (Jer. 23:15).
Concerning the vocation of the peoples, Isaiah said, "It shall come to be in the last days that the mountain of the House of the Lord will be established at the head of the mountains and high above the heights. Peoples will come together to it, and many peoples will go and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, and we shall walk in his paths.  For from Zion the law will go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Is. 2:2, 3). Now when the law went forth from Zion, where did it go? He said, "He will judge between peoples and will chastise many nations who are at a distance" (Is. 2:4). Concerning them [the Jews] Isaiah said, "Separate (365) from them, and call them unclean, for the Lord has rejected them" (Is. 52:11, Lam. 4:15; Jer. 6:30). Again the prophet said, "Their goodness is rejected like a piece of tattered cloth which the moth has eaten" (Micah 7:4, 17). Further he said, "They are enraged by their ways, and by the Lord our God they are terrified and frightened" (Micah 7:17). Again he said, "I shall burn with smoke your gathering places, and your young lions the sword will consume" (Nahum 2:13). Again he said, "Who unto the city of blood, which is entirely filled with lying, in which destruction is not attended" (Nathum 3:1). Micah [sic] said, "Judah has lied, and pollution has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem, for Judah has polluted the sanctity of the Lord" (Malachi 2:11). He said, "You have turned away from the way and have caused many to stumble from the law, and you have corrupted the covenant of Levi. I also have made you contemptible and humiliated among every people, because you did not keep my ways" (Malachi 2:8, 9). Concerning the peoples he said, "I shall turn to them a chosen lip" (Zeph. 3:). Concerning them [the Jews] Malachi said, "You have wearied the Lord with your words" (Malachi 2:17).  Again he said, "You, children of Jacob, have not passed from your evil, and from the days of your fathers you have not kept my commandments" (Malachi 3:6, 7).
VI. Israel's Redemption in the Past, Not in the Future
XIX-6. Now hear, my beloved: Two times only did God save Israel: Once from Egypt, the second time from Babylonia; from Egypt by Moses, and from Babylonia by Ezra and by the prophecy of Haggai and Zechariah. Haggai (366) said, "Build this house, and I shall have pleasure in it, and in it I shall be glorified, says the Lord" (Hag. 1:8). Again he said, "Act, for I am with you, and my spirit endures among you. Do not fear, for thus says the Lord almighty: One more time shall I shake the heaven and the earth, the sea and the dry land, and I shall shake all the peoples, and they will bring the treasure of all the peoples and will fill this house with glory. The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former" (Hag. 2:5-8, 10). All of these things were said in the days of Zerubbabel, Haggai, and Zechariah. They were exhorting concerning the building of the house.
Zechariah said, "I have turned to Jerusalem in mercy, and my house do I set in its midst" (Zech. 1:17). Again he said, "Cities will be emptied of goods. The Lord will build Zion and choose Jerusalem again" (Zech. 1:17). Again he said, "I am jealous for Zion  and for Jerusalem with great jealousy. I am angry with great wrath against the peoples who are in commotion" (Zech. 1:14-15). Again he said, "In great estates will Jerusalem dwell, with the multitude of men and beasts which are in its midst, and I shall be in it like a wall of copper, and for glory will I be in its midst, says the Lord" (Zech. 2:4, 5). Again he said, "O, O, flee from the land of the North, says the Lord, for to the four winds of heaven have I scattered you. O Zion, escape, [you who] dwell with the daughter of Babylonia" (Zech. 2:6, 7). Again he said, "The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion on (367) his holy land, and he will again take pleasure in Jerusalem" (Zech. 2:12). Again he said, "The hands of Zerub-babel laid the foundations of this house, and his hands are going to complete it" (Zech. 4:9). All these things did Zechariah prophesy, and with the gathering of Israel from Babylonia they were fulfilled and completed. It is not as they say, that Israel is still destined to be gathered together.
XIX-7. Hear then, my beloved, I shall show you that Israel was saved two times, once from Egypt, the second time from Babylonia. Isaiah said, "The Lord will stretch his hand a second time to acquire the remnant of his people that remains in the land of Assyria, Egypt, Tyre, Sidon, Hamath, and from the distant islands" (Is. 11:11). Now if they were destined to be  gathered together and redeemed, why did Isaiah say that the Lord would stretch out his hand a second time and acquire the remnant of his people that remained? If there were still [to be] salvation for them, Isaiah should have said, "God will stretch out his hand a third time to possess the remnant of his people," and not say a second time.
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