[Photograph above: Jerusalem today from the Mount of Olives.]





[* The following is taken from D. M. Panton’s ‘Dawn,’ (June 15th, 1938).]






From the time of Nehemiah downwards Jerusalem frequently gets this name.  “They cast lots to dwell in Jerusalem, THE HOLY CITY” (Neh. 11: 1).  “The Levites of THE HOLY CITY were two hundred and eighty-four” (Neh. 2: 18).”  “They call themselves of THE HOLY CITY” (Isa. 48: 2).  “Put on thy beautiful garments, 0 Jerusalem, THE HOLY CITY” (Isa. 52: 1).  “Seventy weeks are determined on thy HOLY CITY” (Dan. 9: 24).  “The devil taketh him up into THE HOLY CITY” (Matt. 4: 5).  “Went into THE HOLY CITY and appeared unto many” (Matt. 27: 53).  “THE HOLY CITY shall they tread under foot” (Rev. 11: 2).  There are only two other places in which the words occur, and these refer to the heavenly, not to the earthly city.  “I John saw THE HOLY CITY, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven” (Rev. 21: 2).  “God shall take away his part out of THE HOLY CITY” (Rev. 22: 19).



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To-day, among Mohammedans, it is as El-Kuds or El-Mukaddas, “the sanctuary”, “the holy place”, that Jerusalem is known throughout the East.  When Melchizedek, that strange, remote figure (Gen. 14: 19-20), “without father, without mother, without beginning of days or end of life” (Heb. 7: 1-3), suddenly flashes across Abraham’s path on his return from the slaughter of the kings, it is as “king of righteousness and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace”, that he comes, and not only king but also “priest of the God Most High” (El Elyon).  The Tel-el-Amarna tablets mention Jerusalem as early as 1400 B.C. as a stronghold of some importance, under a governor who acknowledged the Egyptian king.  But there are even earlier associations with a Babylonian supremacy which preceded it.  Under the Maccabees the city maintained a fierce independence for a while, and the Temple was reconstructed; but after one of its many sieges it was captured by the Roman Pompey (65 B.C.), who penetrated unharmed into the Holy of Holies.  The year A.D. 70, when the Roman armies under Titus stormed it, and destroyed the Temple, ushered in the long era of Gentile domination.  So terrible and appalling was the destruction then, which our Saviour had foretold, that Titus - with strange truth from heathen lips - said, “It is not I that hate conquered.  God, in His wrath against the Jews, has made use of my arm  Jerusalem now became a Roman Colony, designated AElia Capitolina.  No Jew was allowed to approach it under penalty of death; the place was inhabited by foreigners, and a Temple to Jupiter Capitolinus was erected on Mount Moriah.  For two thousand years Palestine remained under Gentile dominion, for twelve centuries of which Islam has held the Holy City.  Twice only have Christian forces occupied Jerusalem, the last Christian ruler being Frederick II of Germany, 1229-1244, until the Mandate was granted to Great Britain in 1917.



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The Most High has humbled Jerusalem with the severest judgments any city has ever known.  It has endured some 28 sieges.  Fifteen of these are recorded in the Bible and thirteen in profane history.



No. 1. 1443 B.C.  (700 years before Rome was founded), mentioned in Judges 1: 8.



No. 2. 960 B.C.  By David, mentioned in 1 Chron. 11: 4, 7.



No. 3. 875 B.C.  By Chishak, King of Egypt.



No. 4. 794 B.C.  By Philistines and Arabians.



No. 5. 739 B.C.  By Jehoash, King of Israel, against Amaziah (2 Kings 14: 13, 14).



No. 6. 630 B.C.  By Rezin, King of Syria.



No. 7. 603 B.C.  By Sennacherib, King of Assyria.



No. 8. 496 B.C.  By Nebuchadnezzar.  Temple pillaged (2 Chron. 36: 6, 7).



No. 9. 489 B.C.  By Nebuchadnezzar, second time.  Temple again pillaged (2 Chron. 26: 10).



No. 10. 478 B.C.  By Nebuchadnezzar.  City burned (Chron. 36: 17, 20).



No. 11. 320 B.C.  By Ptolemy Soter, King of Egypt.  1000,000 captives taken.



No. 12. 203 B.C.  By Antiochus the Great.



No. 13. 199 B.C.  By Scopos, General of Alexander the Great. Greek garrison left in charge.



No. 14. 168 B.C.  By Antiochus 4th.



The following 13 are gathered from profane history



NO. 15. 162 B.C. By Antiochus 5th, in the days of Judas Maccabaeus.



No. 16. 135 B.C. By Antiochus 7th, against Hyrcanus.



No. 17. 65 B.C. By Hyrcanus and Aristobulus.



No. 18.  63 B.C. By Pompey - on the Sabbath Day.



No. 19. 39 B.C. By Herod with a Roman army.



No. 20. A.D. 70.  By Titus, second Temple burnt.



No. 21. A.D.135.  By Romans against a false Messiah, Bar-Cochebas.



(For 200 years the city passed out of history, and no Jew was allowed to approach the city.)



No. 22. A.D. 559.  By Chosroes, the Persian, who swept the country.


No. 23. A.D. 636.  By Caliph Omar and the Turks.


No. 24. A.D. io98.  By Afdal, Vizier of Egypt.


No. 25. A.D. 1099.  By First Army of Crusaders.


NO. 26. A.D. 1187.  By Saladin the Turk.


No. 27. A.D. 1244.  By the Tartar Hordes.


In A.D. 1917 Jerusalem was delivered over to the Allies without a siege.


28th.  For the last terrible siege see Zech. 14.



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On the day of Sir Edmund Allenby’s formal entry into Jerusalem, Dr. Hertz, the Chief Rabbi, addressed the following letter to the King:- “On behalf of the Jewish communities of the Empire, whose Ecclesiastical Chief I have the honour to be, I humbly beg to congratulate your Majesty on the world-historic victories of your Majesty’s Army in the Holy Land.  The occupation of Jerusalem, following so closely upon the epoch-making Declaration of your Majesty’s Government on Palestine as the national home for the Jewish people, causes the hearts of millions of my brethren throughout the world to throb with deepest gratitude to Almighty God who alone doeth wondrous things.  The House of Israel, that for 2,500 years preferred Jerusalem above its chief joy, fervently prays that everywhere the heroic efforts of your Majesty’s Forces may speedily be crowned with complete and lasting success.” - The Times, Dec. 14, 1917.



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Rome is the Eternal City: Jerusalem is the City of the Eternal.  Napoleon is reported to have said that the Power which can take and hold the highlands of Palestine will rule the world.  Palestine is the corner-stone of three continents.  The Mediterranean nations are stirring beyond anything they have ever done in modern history.  The extent to which national blessings and judgments have fallen upon particular days in the Jewish calendar has astonished many a student of history.  For instance, the ninth of the month of Ab commemorates, among other disasters, the destruction of both the temples - the first, by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.; and the second by Titus in 70 A.D.  In like manner, General Allenby took the City on the eve of the Feast of Dedication, the 25th of the month Kisleu, whereon, from year to year, the Jews commemorate the recovery of the city and the temple under Judas Maccabeus in 165 B.C.  In this connection, those who read Luke 21: 24, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled should turn to Haggai 2: 18, 19, where it is stated that the day from which the national blessing of restored Israel is to begin is the same 24th day of the ninth month.  The spiritual lesson is obvious: Blessing begins with cleansing and dedication, of which the following day, the 25th of Kisleu, was the symbol in the calendar of Israel.



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The improvement in communications has not only increased the tourist traffic but has helped to make the city, in spite of its inconvenient position in the middle of the barren Judean hills, far more the centre of the country than it was before.  Bethlehem and Ramallah, and even to some extent Tell-Aviv and Jaffa, have become suburbs.  Scores of Jewish workers in Jerusalem live in Tell-Aviv and travel backwards and forwards every day.  Jaffa is closely linked by commercial interests.  A motor-bus service also covers the distance to these twin towns on the coast in one hour and 15 minutes.  The banks are no longer those of a small country town but of the capital of an area with a growing economic importance.  A business centre has sprung up about half a mile outside the Jaffa Gate, with banks, shops, and blocks of offices, and the gaps between the new houses are being steadily filled in.  A little farther on the street caters for the lighter side of life with a crop of gaily lit cafes and cinemas, and shop windows full of appeals to human vanity.  This worldly development must make any visitor who only knew the pre-War Jerusalem open his eyes in amazement.  There are those who are reminded by it of certain passages in the early chapters of Isaiah.  But it is unfair to insist too much on the frivolity of the tastes here displayed.  It is rather their modernity which is striking; for, if the shop windows tempt the present-day daughters of Jerusalem with “the pendants, the bracelets and the mufflers, the head-tires and the ankle-chains, the sashes and the perfume boxes” which so incensed the prophet, they also offer them the very latest of the world’s creative and critical literature.  Music and art alike find an appreciative public in Jerusalem. - The Jerusalem Correspondent of The Times, Mar. 2, 1933.



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Thus saith Jehovah, who stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundations of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him: Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling unto all the peoples round about, and upon Judah also shall it be in siege against Jerusalem.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples: all that burden themselves with it shall be sore, wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it (Zech. 12: 1-3).



If this language means anything, it means that a great and decisive war will be fought over Jerusalem, reshaping the destiny both of the city and the nations of the earth.  We cannot make the legal phase of this situation too emphatic.  Great Britain holds Palestine, which shields the most vulnerable part of her trade route, as a trust from the League of Nations.  To strike that part strikes the highest embodiment of international law the world has ever known, and challenges the whole existing order of things.  To strike it is to strike the keystone of the world’s arch of peace. - JOHN H. BAXTER.



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Henry V had set his heart on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  Like Edward I and St. Louis, he longed to redeem the sepulchre.  The last moments of the hero of Agincourt are thus pictured in a well-known passage by Charlotte Yonge:- “The tone, though low, was steady as ever, when he asked for the Penitential Psalms.   Still they doubted whether he were following them for his eyes closed and his lips ceased to move, until, as they chanted the revival note of David’s mournful penance – ‘0 be favourable and gracious unto Sion; build Thou the walls of Jerusalem’ - at that much-loved word the light of the blue eyes once more beamed out, and he spoke again, ‘Jerusalem!  On the faith of a dying king, it was my earnest purpose to have composed matters here into peace and union, and so to have delivered Jerusalem.  But the will of God be done, since He saw me unworthy.’”



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This statement made by Dr. Isaac Hertz, the Chief Rabbi for Palestine, was read in the House of Commons:-  “On the banks of the rivers of Babylon our forefathers, exiled from Zion - virtually another name for Jerusalem and also a synonym for Palestine - solemnly swore: ‘If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning  With what tenacity have we clung to that oath throughout centuries of exile.  In joy and sorrow, in the house of the mourner, at the wedding feast, under the nuptial canopy, at the burial service, we have never ceased to remember Jerusalem.  In our prayers, private, public, thrice daily, and in the grace after meals, we pray for Jerusalem.  The inspiring service of the Passover, held in every Jewish home through the world, and the solemnest service of the Synagogue on the Day of Atonement, both conclude with the exclamation, ‘Next year in Jerusalem  It is impossible to over-state the spiritual significance of Jerusalem to the Jews.  The Jewish mind is focused on that magic name ‘Yeru-shalyim’ which never fails to stir the Jewish heart to the uttermost.  An Englishman could perhaps think of England without London, an Irishman of Ireland without Dublin, even a Greek of Greece without Athens, but to the Jews ‘Eretz Israel’ the land of Israel, without Jerusalem is unthinkable



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There has been opened in Jerusalem a Seminary of the Law of the Priests.  In some literature which this Seminary has disseminated appear these words:- “The glorious day will soon come when the Temple will be erected anew and the sacerdotal rites again be introduced.  The Temple will stand as a token of glory and majesty to Israel and a torch of light to the whole world






“I will heal their backslidings.  I will love them freely



From Egypt’s land I brought thee forth,

From bondage set thee free;

I put My seal upon thy brow,

And made thee follow Me.



I pleaded for thy lips to speak,

Thine eyes to look for Me

Upon a weary, stricken world

With love and sympathy.



I gave thee gifts, that thou might’st bring

An offering to Me

Of all the rare and precious things

That I had given thee.



But still I wait while years roll by!

My child, come back to Me,

With loyal, undivided heart -

All Mine henceforth to be.






To Jerusalem



Queen of the cities of earth, oh when

Shall thy glory gladden the eyes of men?

All Kings, all peoples look with pain

To see thee desolate remain.

The heathen adore who were wont to deride thee;

Thy ‘beautiful garments’ are lying beside thee;

Fling them about thee.  Rise ‘from the dust

Daughter of Zion, ye shall and ye must.



God, thy Redeemer, is mighty and true.

Soon shall thy children with patience view

Him Whom they pierced on yon fair hill,

Despised - yet the Messiah still.

And their keen self-reproach shall break forth into singing,

(Like the wail of the East when the firstborn is dying;

Like home-yearning exiles, heart broken and sore),

They shall kneel to the King they have learned to adore.



                                                                                                        - Mrs. M A Chaplin