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Chosen People


The description of the Jews as the "chosen people" has been gravely and ominously misunderstood. It was (wrongly) thought to proclaim the Jews as God's favorites, and superior to others. The concept of the "chosen people" has a totally different meaning.


The Jews were "chosen" by God, the Bible tells, solely to be his witnesses, "My servant," in the words of the prophet Isaiah (43:10). As a people of religion, they were to spread God's message worldwide. It was their mission not to be above other men but to serve them.


This did not confer on, or entitle the Jews to any extra privilege. On the contrary, it imposed on them special responsibilities and obligations. If they failed to observe these, according to Amos' words (3:2), they would incur God's punishment.


A modern epigram expressed wonderment of God's choice:


How odd

Of God

To choose

The Jews!


Much thought is in the retort:

It's not

So odd.

The Jews

Chose God!