[Photograph above: Jerusalem today from the Mount of
THE HOLY CITY*
[* The following is taken from D. M. Pantons
(June 15th, 1938).]
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).
* * *
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 Abrahams
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
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
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
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,
No. 9. 489 B.C. By Nebuchadnezzar, second time. Temple
again pillaged (2 Chron.
No. 10. 478 B.C. By Nebuchadnezzar. City burned (Chron. 36: 17,
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
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.
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
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.
day of Sir Edmund Allenbys 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 Majestys Army in the Holy Land. The occupation of Jerusalem, following so
closely upon the epoch-making Declaration of your Majestys 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 Majestys Forces may speedily
be crowned with complete and lasting success. - The Times, Dec. 14, 1917.
* * *
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
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
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.
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
worlds creative and critical literature.
Music and art alike find an appreciative public in Jerusalem. - The Jerusalem Correspondent of The
Times, Mar. 2, 1933.
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 worlds arch of peace. - JOHN H. BAXTER.
* * *
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 Davids 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
* * *
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,
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.
land I brought thee forth,
bondage set thee free;
put My seal upon thy brow,
made thee follow Me.
for thy lips to speak,
eyes to look for Me
a weary, stricken world
With love and sympathy.
gave thee gifts, that thou mightst bring
offering to Me
all the rare and precious things
That I had given thee.
I wait while years roll by!
child, come back to Me,
loyal, undivided heart -
All Mine henceforth to be.
of the cities of earth, oh when
thy glory gladden the eyes of men?
Kings, all peoples look with pain
see thee desolate remain.
heathen adore who were wont to deride thee;
beautiful garments are lying beside thee;
them about thee. Rise from the dust;
of Zion, ye
shall and ye must.
thy Redeemer, is mighty and true.
shall thy children with patience view
Him Whom they pierced on yon fair hill,
- yet the Messiah still.
their keen self-reproach shall break forth into singing,
the wail of the East when the firstborn is dying;
home-yearning exiles, heart broken and sore),
shall kneel to the King they have learned to adore.
- Mrs. M A Chaplin
FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM.