Volume 34, Issue 3 _________________________________Bible Prophecy Ministry

Seeking Out Historical Jerusalem

     The subject of the city of Jerusalem appears throughout the entire Old and New Testaement Scriptures. Through the ages the city has been called by many names: Salem, Mount Moriah, Adonai Urah, Jebus, Jerusalem, Zion, the City of David, and Ariel (Lion of God). God has declared that this is the place where he will establish his name, and dwell there forever (1 Kings 9:3). It is a city rich in history, tradition and culture. It is also one of the main focal points of the United Nations and the world.

      The Scriptural history of Jerusalem began when Abraham met "Melek Tzedek", king of Salem, around 2110 BC/BCE (Genesis 14:17-20). This was following Abraham's defeat of Chedorlaomer, after he had captured Abraham's nephew, Lot. A peculiar aspect of this meeting is that Abraham had bread and wine with "Melek Tzedek" and then gave him a tenth of all he had. The Scriptures reveal that "Melek Tzedek" was a priest of the Most High God.

      Several years later (approx. 2082 BC/BCE), following a command from God, Abraham took Isaac, his only begotten son, to Mount Moriah in order to offer him as a sacrifice to the Lord (Genesis 22:1-18). Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19). As he was about to sacrifice Isaac, the Lord intervened and supernaturally provided a sacrifice in the place of Isaac. Abraham called it, "the place of sacrifice", "The Place Where God Will Be Seen" (Genesis 22:14).. By this we can see that the Lord had already chosen Jerusalem as the place where He would establish Himself.

      Around 1405 BC/BCE, The sons of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it" (Judges 1:8). It was the dividing line between Judah and Benjamin. It is said that the sons of Benjamin could not drive out the Jebusites so they lived together (Judges 1:21). David conquered Jerusalem by defeating the Jebusites in 1052 BC/BCE (1 Chronicles 11:4-9). It is interesting to note that, in the middle of a war with the Philistines, David, after being anointed king over Israel, turned to Jerusalem in order to take the city as capital of his kingdom. He ignored the Philistines until Jerusalem was secured and established. He reigned there thirty-three years and built Jerusalem into a great city. David desired to bring the ark of God into Jerusalem. His first attempt, however, was a disaster (1 Chronicles 13:1-14). It was not transported according to Torah and, as a result, cost the life of one of David's men. Eventually, David did bring the ark into Jerusalem the proper way (1 Chronicles 15:1-16:6). David wanted to build a house for God, but God told him that He would establish for David, a house, a throne, and a kingdom, forever (2 Samuel 7:1-17). But because of blood on David's hands, God did not allow him to build the house (1 Chronicles 22:8). However, David did make preparations for his son, Solomon, to build it (1 Chronicles 22:2-5, 14-16).

      After David's death, Solomon (in 1015 BC/BCE) began to "build a house for the Name of the Lord" (2 Chronicles 2:1). It took seven years and 183,300 men to build it (1 Kings 5:13-16;6:38). It measured nearly 90 feet in length, 30 feet in width and 45 feet in height (1 Kings 6:2). The "Holy of Holies" occupied one-third of the interior space and the Holy Place, two-thirds. The complete details are described in 1 Kings 6 & 7. When it was completed, the Glory of God filled the Temple (2 Chronicles 7:1).

      Israel was divided after Solomon's death (979 BC/BCE). The kingdom of Israel was in the north, while Judah was in the south. Jerusalem was the capital of Judah (the Southern Kingdom). It was to be ruled by a succession of twenty kings from 979 BC/BCE to 586 BC/BCE. Their reigns lasted from as short as three months (Jehoahaz and Jehoiachim) to as long as fifty-five years (Manasseh). The bleak history of the declines of Judah is told in 1 Kings 12:1-2, Kings 25:30, and 2 Chronicles 10:1-36:21. Jerusalem was entirely destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC/BCE. The city, as well as the Temple, were completely leveled and the articles of the Temple and its treasures were carried off to Babylon. The inhabitants that were not killed were also taken to Babylon. Jerusalem was to lie desolate for seventy years in order that the land might enjoy its Sabbaths (2 Chronicles 36:17-21/Leviticus 26:34).

      In 539 BC/BCE, Cyrus, king of Persia issued a proclamation to rebuild the house of the Lord in Jerusalem (Ezra1:1-4). A total of 42,360 people returned to Jerusalem and Judah, to help rebuild the Temple, not including male and female servants and the singers. All gave according to their ability, in order to finance the work.

      In the first year, during the month of Tishri, Jeshua and Zerubbabel led a group to build the altar in order to offer sacrifices in accordance with Torah. During this time, they celebrated Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) and the other festivals of the Lord. After gathering all the materials, they began the work on the Temple in the second year, in the month of Iyar. It was finally completed in 516 BC/BCE on the third day of Adar, a total of twenty-three years. Seventy-one years later (445 BC/BCE) Nehemiah heard of the condition of Jerusalem. He lived in Susa and was the cup-bearer of king Artaxerxes. Nehemiah asked king Artaxerxes to allow him to return to rebuild the city. The king granted his request and Nehemiah set out for Jerusalem. The account of the rebuilding, along with details regarding the opposition to the work, is given in the book of Nehemiah.

      There is no Biblical account of Jerusalem from 445 BC/BCE until the time of Jesus. Jesus entered Jerusalem at Passover in his 30th year. He drove out the moneychangers and merchants inside the Temple. Three years later, in Jerusalem, He was offered up as a sacrifice in order that all mankind could be justified before the Father. He wept over the city, even though his sacrificial death was days away. There, on a hill overlooking the city, he was nailed to a cross like a common criminal. The city that had killed its prophets thus killed its Savior.

Jerusalem became lost to the nation of Israel within one generation, just as Jesus had prophesied on the Mount of Olives to his disciples prior to his crucifixion. Jesus had also alluded to thefact that Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentile powers until the "Times of the Gentiles" were fulfilled. ( Luke 21:24 )

      On November 29, 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution that forever changed the status of Jerusalem in relation to its position in the world.This resolution established Jerusalem as a "corpus separatum". This is a legal term meaning a "body of separate covenant". In passing this resolution the United Nations declared that it has one covenant with Jerusalem ( via UN Resolution 181 ) and one with the rest of the world (the U.N. Charter). Israel, as a country is required to abide by the United Nations Charter. In the eyes of the United Nations, Jerusalem is seen as an international city, to be subject only to a world government. The goal of the U.N. is to establish an "international regime" for Jerusalem! UN Resolution 194 created a Trusteeship Council to oversee the international city of Jerusalem. This council of the United Nations has been delegated full authority over Jerusalem. It is interesting to note that the five members of the Trusteeship Council are the same as the five permanent members of the Security Council. On April 4, 1950 the Council passed the "Stayute of the City of Jerusalem", this statute established guidelines and regulations for the ruling of Jerusalem by an "international regime". For reasons known only to the Lord, this statute has not yet been enforced.

      Not twilling to be uprooted from its beloved city, Israel passed in August of 1980 its "Basic law of Jerusalem", proclaiming Israel as the sole legitimate claimant to Jerusalem. To those who would question Israel's jurisdiction over its capital city, the "Basic Law" serves as a reiteration of the basic facts concerning Jerusalem, and Israel's intention of maintaining their right to it.

On June 30, 1980, the Security Council passed UN Resolution 476 by a vote of 14-0 with one abstention, the United States. The resolution is a UN denial of Israel's right to Jerusalem and urgently calls on Israel, the occupying Power, to abide by the present and previous Security Council resolutions!

      Many nations and peoples have come against Jerusalem in its long history, the Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Arabs, Crusaders, Mamelukes, Turks, Britons, and Jordanians. If this were only a physical battle, it would be hard to understand the reasoning behind this. However, the heart of the battle is spiritual. God has declared that Jerusalem shall be His Throne (Zechariah 8:3). His Word has proclaimed that He will reign in Jerusalem forever. This fact is well known by Satan. Even from the beginning, Satan declared that he would sit on God's Throne (Isaiah 14:13). In rebuking Satan, the Lord even mentioned that He had chosen it: "And the Lord said to Satan, 'The Lord rebuke you, Satan!      Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! (Zechariah 3:2). Jerusalem truly is a "corpus separatum". However, it is set aside by the LORD, not by the United Nations. The Lord declares, "Behold, I am going to made Jerusalem a cup of trembling, that shall be a burdensome stone to all the peoples around" (Zechariah 12:2). He also said that He would put hooks in the mouths of all the nations and draw them into war against Israel (Ezekiel 38:4). The nations are beginning to gather against Israel, and most specifically Jerusalem. It is only a matter of time before the U.N. resolutions are enforced. All of the actions currently being taken by the United Nations are only preparations for the final conflict with Israel. But, the nations will lose in its determination for the city of God, because God is seeking out the city, which he chose for his name! He is preparing now to send his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to reign in the city which bears his name.

Darrell G. Young

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