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The Chosen and the Last-Day

Essay by Frank Zahn

The Chosen began as a people with Abraham’s grandson Jacob, aka Israel, whose sons fathered the twelve tribes. They multiplied in the Land they believed God had promised them until the last day, a day they interpreted from scripture as the day the earth ceased to exist. But for a time, they vacated the Land and ended up faced with conflict, ill will, and torment in a neighboring land and culture.

When at last they were freed from that page in their history, they returned to reclaim the Land they continued to believe God had promised them until the last day. With their antagonists who occupied the Land defeated in armed conflict, they sought to build themselves into a prosperous, safe, and enduring nation, albeit surrounded by continued conflict, ill will, and torment from their neighbors. The nation thrived for a while, but the conflict, ill will, and torment took its toll. Multiple battles ensued, and when they lost the last battle, the remnants of the nation collapsed and left the Chosen in disarray.

Saddened and disillusioned, they scattered across the globe, seeking refuge and opportunities to prosper in other cultures. Stubbornly, however, they clung to their identity as a separate people, which created new rounds of the conflict, ill will, and torment.

Over the centuries, the conflict, ill will, and torment intensified. In retrospect, the Holocaust loomed on the horizon—simply a question of time. As the 1930s progressed, leaders of one culture among the Chosen’s antagonists undertook the task, keeping much of it secret from their people and the rest of the world. Those leaders were convinced the Chosen were an intolerable infestation that must be exterminated. They were also convinced they had amassed sufficient political and military might on the international stage to get away with it.

And when it was done and the horror of it fully uncovered, efforts were made to punish the perpetrators and restore the Chosen to their Promised Land. Many of the Chosen returned to the Land and used the Holocaust to arouse the sympathy and solicit the moral, financial, and political support of people of good will, especially their own people still scattered across the globe and gifted with wealth and political prowess.

To date, they are more determined than ever to build themselves into a prosperous, safe, and enduring nation. And in order to achieve that objective, they have secured the skills and the weaponry necessary to defend themselves against their antagonists and hold on to the Land. In the process, however, they have become so appalling and offensive to their antagonists near and far that a second Holocaust may loom on the horizon—simply a question of time, their efforts and those of their supporters abroad notwithstanding.

But be that as it may, the Chosen have declared repeatedly that they will fight to the death if necessary to reclaim and hold on to the Land they believe God promised them until the last day. Their antagonists do not dispute the claim that God promised them the Land way back when, but they dispute the Chosen's interpretation of the last day. They interpret it as the day the Chosen originally vacated the Land, which means the Chosen's right to it expired centuries ago. Moreover, the antagonists have repeatedly declared that they will fight to the death if necessary to prevent the Chosen from reclaiming and holding on to the Land.

Question: Which side is correct in the interpretation of the last day?

Answer: It is indeterminate, and the reason is straightforward: The argument is based on two contradictory religious or faith-based beliefs about the meaning of the same scriptural phrase—the last day. And there is no scientific or evidence-based resolution to the question.

Question: Which side will end up with the Promised Land?

Answer: The Chosen are favored to end up with it because they are the strongest militarily. Might often, if not always, makes right. Having powerful lobbyists in the political arena of one of the most, if not the most, powerful nation on earth is also a plus. For the Chosen to take the outcome for granted, however, would be a mistake. Their antagonists are many, including not only their neighbors but also their not always silent antagonists in countries around the globe.

 

Copyright © August 2014 Frank Zahn. Published in The Writings of a Curious Mind: A Collection of Essays, Memoirs, and Short Stories, Vancouver Books (Smashwords and Kindle Editions) 2017.

 

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