Will the Antichrist be of Jewish descent?

The Rev. Jerry Falwell once told an audience in Kingsport, Tenn., that the Antichrist will be of Jewish descent. A short-lived firestorm erupted in the media over his remarks. Falwell said that he only meant that the Antichrist must be Jewish because Jesus was a Jew.

I couldn't believe how badly Falwell had fumbled what should be an easy question to answer. The Antichrist will likely be Jewish because the Jews will not receive a Gentile as their promised Messiah.

Jesus predicted that Israel will someday foolishly receive the Antichrist as their saviour. "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive"(John 5:43).

The Bible does hint that the Antichrist might have a Jewish background. In Dan 11:37 it says "Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers." Although the verse could mean any deity, the wording strongly matches Jewish heritage of faith in God.