Jerusalem! jerusalem! by Joseph H. Hunting

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Joseph H. Hunting

Text of Jerusalem! jerusalem! by Joseph H. Hunting

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    JERUSALEM! JERUSALEM! FOREWORD Of all the great cities, both ancient and modern, that have their particular charm, architectural interest or historic value, none has captured the love of both God and man as has Jerusalem. The Divine Love:

    "Can a woman forget her nursing child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, but I, I will never forget you. Behold, I have graven you upon the palms of My hands. Your walls are continually before Me." (Isaiah 49:15-16.)

    The Human Love:

    "By the river of Babylon, there we sat and wept as we remembered Zion. "On the willows in the midst of her we hung up our harps. "Our captors asked us there for the words of a song; our tormentors asked for a song of mirth, 'Sing us one of Zion's songs'. "How can we sing a song of the Lord in the land of strangers? "If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget her skill; let my tongue cleave to my palate, if I fail to remember you, if I fail to exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy". (Psalm 137:1-6)

    Joseph H. Hunting

    Melbourne 1973 Published by David House Fellowship Inc P O Box 318 Bentleigh East, 3165 Victoria, AUSTRALIA Tel O3 9570 5582 Email UK Address: 78 Woodville Road CARDIFF WALES CF24 4ED Tel 2920 39 9119 Email

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    CONTENTS Chapter 1 Jerusalem's History to Nebuchadnezzar

    Chapter 2 The Period of the Gentiles

    Chapter 3 The Period: A.D. 70 1948

    Chapter 4 The Western Wall

    Chapter 5 The Gates of Zion

    Chapter 6 Jerusalem, a Burdensome Stone

    Chapter 7 Return of Israel's King-Messiah

    Chapter 8 The Future Judgment, and Final Glory of Jerusalem

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    Chapter 1 JERUSALEM'S HISTORY TO NEBUCHADNEZZAR Three thousand years ago King David captured a small fortified city situated high in the Canaanite hill country. The city, known in those days as Jebus, had been the stronghold of the Jebusite kingdom for centuries, and had held out against the Hebrews since the time when Joshua invaded the land nearly four hundred years earlier. Seven years after David had been crowned king in Hebron he led an assault upon the Jebusite fortress and then made the city his capital. Not only did he change its name to Jerusalem, but the whole character of the city underwent a dramatic transformation during his reign. Jerusalem's history extends over four thousand years. The name means "City of Peace", yet no other city has been fought over with such ferocity for so long a period. And, paradoxically, no other city has captured the undying love and affection of its people over the millennia as has Jerusalem. The city is first mentioned in Scripture as Salem when Melchizedek, whose name means "king of righteousness", brought forth bread and wine to Abraham after his victorious battle with the four kings. Inscriptions discovered at Tel el Amarna, which date back to the fourteenth century B.C., refer to Jerusalem as "URUSALIM". A strange feature of this city which has claimed such a prominent place in history is that it is isolated from the coast where the commerce of ancient times brought prosperity to Tyre, Sidon, Akko and Joppa. Several hundred yards north of the city captured by David is a small hill known at Mt. Moriah. Three thousand years ago Araunah threshed wheat on its summit where the Dome of the Rock stands today. It was on this threshing floor that David "built an altar there to the Lord and offered up burnt offerings of peace". (2nd Samuel 24:25.) Nearly one thousand years earlier Abraham and Isaac climbed this mountain. Their conversation concerned a sacrifice which Abraham had been commanded by God to make on Moriah's summit. Isaac was puzzled because, although everything else has been prepared, there was no lamb. To his perplexed question his father replied, "My son, God will provide Himself a lamb". The lamb which God did provide proved to be Isaac's substitute for the sacrifice. How fitting that Solomon should build the Temple of the Lord upon Mount Moriah. Surely, no other spot on earth is as holy as this. After David's death, Solomon extended the border of Jerusalem to include Mount Moriah within the city walls. In the fourth year of his reign, four hundred and eighty years after the Exodus from Egypt, Solomon commenced building the Temple which, in all probability, was the costliest building ever constructed. Labour costs alone were astronomical. Ten Thousand men were detailed to hew the cedars of Lebanon. The logs were floated as huge rafts down the Mediterranean coast to the mouth of the Yarkon river where Tel Aviv now stands. The cedars then hauled over the rugged Judean hills to Jerusalem. Even with today's sophisticated methods of transport this would be a major undertaking. Furthermore, Solomon employed an army of eighty thousand stonemasons, seventy thousand labourers, in addition to three thousand, eight hundred and fifty foremen who were employed for seven years on the building project. The Illinois Society of Architects made the following estimate in 1925. Apart from the salaries agreed upon by Solomon and a bonus amounting to over $33,000,000, the food bill for this vast army of workmen was $344,385,440.

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    Materials other than gold reached the staggering figure of $12,726,685,000! The priests' vestments and silver trumpets were valued at $11,050,000. The talents of silver and gold used in the Temple's construction were estimated at the colossal sum of $34,399,110,000! The total cost of Solomon's Temple was $87,000,000,000! According to present-day values this figure would be many times greater! The lavish splendour of Jerusalem during King Solomon's reign was revealed to the queen of Sheba who commented: "The report about your understanding and wisdom that I heard in my land was true; I did not believe it until I came and my own eyes saw it. Truly the half has not been told me; your wisdom and wealth exceed the report I heard." (1st Kings 10:6-7.) Furthermore, "Solomon received about 20,000,000 dollars in gold annually besides what came in from mercantile taxes and the profits from trade with the Arabian kings and the governors of the land." (1st Kings 10:14-15.) If we are awed by the cost of the building of Solomon's Temple, we are just as impressed by the method of its construction. Close to the Damascus Gate in the present walls of Jerusalem is a cave-like entrance hewn out of the solid rock face beneath the wall. On passing through the entrance, one immediately approaches a vast cavern which slopes gently in the direction of Mt. Moriah. No sound from the outside world penetrates this eerie underground quarry. One has to explore the great galleries to appreciate fully the magnitude of the project, and the skill of Solomon's stonemasons. Thousands of tons of rock were hewn from the very heart of Jerusalem for the construction of the Temple in what must have been the most amazing building project ever undertaken. It has been estimated that some of the building blocks weighed as much as twenty tons. These were hewn to exact measurements before being taken to the Temple site. The magnitude of this task becomes apparent when it is realized what a variety of blocks were needed for the Temple. Apart from the chief corner stone, there were the massive foundation stones upon which the whole structure would rest. Some of the stones were specially fashioned to fulfil specific functions such as the key stones which locked the magnificent arches in position, or the coping stones to crown the entire building. Throughout the building of the Temple, every stone. Regardless of its function, was but to exact measurements prior to being laid position. Note the strange method adopted by Solomon's workmen "The house was built of stones dressed at the quarry; there was no sound of hammer, chisel, or any other iron tool while the house was being built" surely a unique procedure. (1st Kings 6:7.) Solomon's Temple continued as the place of worship and sacrifice in Jerusalem for nearly five hundred years, when Nebuchadnezzar's armies destroyed both the City and the Temple on the 9th day of Av, 586 B.C. Chapter 2 THE PERIOD OF THE GENTILES Many Bible scholars believe that "the Period of the Gentiles" refers to the time during which non-Jews exercised military and political control over Jerusalem. This period began with the destruction of the city by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C., and according to Christ's prophecy: "Jerusalem shall be trampled down by the Gentiles until the period of the Gentiles is completed." (Luke 21:24.)

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    THE GENTILE DOMINATION OF JERUSALEM In order to clarify the significance of this prophecy, it is well to recall that a succession of Gentile (or non-Jewish) conquerors occupied the Holy City from the time the Temple was destroyed and the inhabitants were led away captive into Babylon, until June 7th, 1967, with the exception of a brief period during the Maccabean revolt. Many Bible scholars agree that the termination of "the period of the Gentiles" heralds the coming of the Messiah. The Babylonian captivity commenced with the destruction of the Temple on the 9th Av, 586 B.C. Jeremiah prophesied that this captivity would last for seventy years. Following the captivity, a small remnant of the Jews returned to Judaea and rebuilt Jerusalem "in times of affliction." DANIEL'S PROPHECY CONCERNING JERUSALEM Toward the end of the seventy year Babylonians captivity: "