Counteracting Human Propaganda

It is often said that the present conflict is largely a war of propaganda; and it is as often affirmed that this method of attack is difficult to repulse because of its alleged novelty. It is interesting to recall, however, that propaganda was employed twenty-six centuries ago in the days of the prophet Isaiah; while it is heartening to realize that that clearsighted seer provided a practical remedy for it.

The powerful and ruthless empire of Assyria was attacking the small kingdom of Judah. Several Judean cities had already been captured, and Jerusalem itself seemed to be on the point of falling into the enemy's hands. Then it was that a certain Rab-shakeh was sent by the Assyrian monarch to address the Jews in their own language, and to weaken their morale. (See II Kings, chapter 18.) He outlined the near-by victories of his master, resistance to whom, he boasted, had been quickly broken down, and advised the Jews to put no trust in the exhortations of their leader Hezekiah: "Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you ... neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us ... for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me."

Where Is Our Defense?
October 19, 1940

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