The Controversy of Zion
by Douglas Reed
The grouping of characters and the final denouement are alike in all three cases. On one side of the stage is the foreign potentate who has oppressed and affronted the Judahites (or, today, the Jews). In
Between these adversaries stands the Jehovan prophet triumphant, the great man at the foreign ruler's court who foretells, and survives, the disaster which is about to befall the “persecutor.” In
These are the characters. Then comes the denouement, a Jehovan vengeance on “the heathen” and a Jewish triumph in the form of a symbolic “restoration.” “King Belshazzar,” when Daniel has foretold his doom, is killed “in the same night” and his kingdom falls to the enemy. The Jewish captors who killed the Russian Czar and his family, at the end of the First Twentieth Century war, quoted this precedent in a couplet “written on the wall” of the room where the massacre occurred; the Nazi leaders, at the end of the Second Twentieth Century war, were hanged on the Jewish Day of Atonement.
Thus the two World Wars of this century have conformed, in their outcomes, to the pattern of the Babylonian-Persian war of antiquity as depicted in the Old Testament.
Presumably the peoples who fought that ancient war thought that something more than the cause of the Judahites was at stake, and that they strove for some purpose or interest of their own. But in the narrative that has come down through the centuries all else has been expunged. The only significant results, in the picture which has been imprinted on the minds of peoples, are the Jehovan vengeance and Judahite triumph, and the two world wars of this century followed that same pattern.
King Belshazzar survives only as the symbolic foreign “persecutor” of the
Judahites (although Jehovah made them his captives, as a punishment, he is nevertheless their “persecutor” and hence must be barbarously destroyed). King Cyrus, similarly, is but the fulfilling instrument of Jehovah's promise to visit “all these curses” on “thine enemies” when they have served their turn as captors (and thus deserves no credit in his own right, either as conqueror or liberator; he is not truly any better than King Belshazzar, and his house will in turn be destroyed).
King Cyrus, from what true history tells of him, seems to have been an enlightened man, as well as the founder of an empire which spread over all
However, if by any chance he thought this particular question to be of paramount importance among his undertakings (as the Twentieth Century politicians demonstrably think), he would at his return to earth today be much gratified, for he would find that through this act he exerted a greater influence on human events in the 2,500 years to come, probably than any other temporal ruler of any age. No other deed of antiquity has had consequences in the present time so great or so plain to trace.
In the Twentieth Century AD two generations of Western politicians, in the quest for Jewish favour, competed with each other to play the part of King Cyrus. The result was that the two World Wars produced only two enduring and significant results: the Jehovan vengeance on the symbolic “persecutor” and the Jewish triumph in the form of a new “restoration.” Thus the symbolic legend of what happened at
The legend itself seems to have been two-thirds untruth, or what today would be called propaganda. King Belshazzar himself was apparently invented by the Levites. The historical book which records the fall of
King “Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar,” is then depicted as offering an insult to the Judahites by using “the golden and silver vessels” taken by his father from the temple in
“Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.” Daniel, being called to interpret, tells the king that they mean, “God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it; thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting; thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” Thereon King Belshazzar “in the same night” is slain, and the Persian conqueror enters, who is to “restore” the Judahites.
Thus the end of a king and a kingdom is related directly to an affront offered to
When an ancient legend can produce such effects, twenty-five centuries afterwards, there is little gain in demonstrating its untruth, for politicians and the masses they manipulate alike love their legends more than truth. However, of the three protagonists in this version of the fall of
The Jewish Encyclopaedia, which points out that King Nebuchadnezzar had no son called Belshazzar and that no king called Belshazzar reigned in Babylon when King Cyrus conquered it, says impartially that “the author of Daniel simply did not have correct data at hand,” and thus does not believe that Daniel wrote Daniel. Obviously, if an important Judahite favourite at court, called Daniel, had written the book he would at least have known the name of the king whose end he foretold, and thus have had “correct data.”
Evidently the book of Daniel, like the books of the Law attributed to Moses, was the product of Levitical scribes who in it patiently continued to make history conform with their Law, already laid down. If a King Belshazzar could be invented for the purpose of illustration and precedent, so could a prophet Daniel. This, apparently mythical Daniel is the most popular prophet of all with the fervent Zionists of today, who rejoice in the anecdote of the Judahite vengeance and triumph foretold on the wall, and see in it the legal precedent for all later time. The story of our present century has done more than that of any earlier one to strengthen them in this belief and for them Daniel, with his “interpretation” fulfilled “in the same night,” gives the conclusive, crushing answer to the earlier Israelite prophets who had envisioned a loving God of all men. The fall of
However, it would all have come to nothing without King Cyrus, who alone of the three protagonists did exist and did either allow, or compel, a few thousand Judahites to return to Jerusalem. At that point in history the Levitical theory of
politics, which aimed at the exercise of power through the acquirement of mastery over foreign rulers, was put to its first practical test and was successful.
The Persian king was the first of a long line of Gentile oracles worked by the ruling sect, which through him demonstrated that it had found the secret of infesting, first, and then directing the actions of foreign governments.
By the present century this mastery of governments had been brought to such a degree of power that they were all, in large measure, under one supreme control, so that their actions, in the end, always served the ambition of this supreme party. Towards the end of this book the reader will see how the Gentile oracles were worked, so that the antagonisms of peoples might be incited and brought into collision for this super-national purpose.
However, the reader will need to look into his own soul to find, if he can, the reason why these oracles, his own leaders, submitted.
King Cyrus was the first of them. Without his support the sect could not have set itself up again in
“Judaism originated in the name of the Persian king and by the authority of his Empire, and thus the effect of the Empire of the Acahemenids extends with great power, as almost nothing else, directly into our present age,” says Professor Eduard Meyer, and this authority's conclusion is demonstrably true. Five hundred years before the West even began, the Levites laid down the Law, and then through King Cyrus set the precedent and pattern for the downfall of the West itself.
The five books of the Law were still not complete when King Cyrus came to
The sect had yet to complete the Law and then to apply it to its own people. When that happened in 458 BC, under another Persian king, the controversy of
These segregated people, before whom the priesthood flaunted its version of the fall of