Recently in the political arena, Jerusalem has surfaced once again in the dialogue. The on-going debate continues, with most in one party taking one side, and most in the other party taking the opposing side. Personally, I think the more important issue is not what politicians may say about it, but what the Bible says about it. For those who hold to a high view of biblical history, the answer is quite clear. This isn’t to say that within even the biblical world of scholarship or the world of archaeology that there is any kind of agreement. There are those who doubt, for instance, that the entire story of David conquering the city from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5) is just a myth. There is a story of Eilat Mazar, lead archaeologist wo is currently leading the on-going dig of the proposed “David’s palace” area within the City of David excavations. As she was surveying the day’s progress, a tour guide came near, telling his group that (and I paraphrase) – “Here is the so-called dig of David’s palace. But we all know that this can’t be so because David never lived here and never established a city called ‘Jerusalem.'” Appalled by the guide’s bias, she rebuffed his explanation on the spot. Such bias is hard to fathom. Ever since David conquered Jebus and referred to it as “the stronghold of Zion” (2 Samuel 5:7, it became the capital of Israel. For the next 4 centuries (up through 586 BC when the Babylonians took the city), there was no doubt that among those ancient Judeans, Jerusalem was the capital. Those in exile even mourned for Jerusalem from a distance (Psalm 137). Later, under the leadership of Nehemiah and Ezra, Jerusalem’s key role as the capital remained. Even in 70 AD, when, according to Josephus, 1.1 million Jews were killed (the first Holocaust), Jerusalem was not viewed any differently. Altogether, “Jerusalem” is mentioned in Hebrew 641 times, and 26 times in Aramaic. While Jerusalem will play a significant role in prophetic history yet to be fulfilled (Zechariah 14), today we must allow the Bible to speak for itself. May God open the eyes of the world to appreciate Jerusalem’s significan role in Israel’s ancient history according to the rich biblical record.
May the words of Isaiah still echo – ” I will not be quiet for the sake of Zion, for the sake of Jerusalem I will not be still.” (Isaiah 62:1)