All posts tagged: Jerusalem

Historic first: Jews enter the Temple Mount through the Gate of Tribes

From a Jewish perspective, it was a historic event. On August 28, 2022, Jews were allowed to enter the Temple Mount through the Gate of Tribes located on the Northeast corner. It was the first time that Jewish worshipers were allowed to enter through this gate since Israel became a nation in 1948. There are 12 gates surrounding the Temple Mount and as well six sealed gates. Over the years, the Muslims have entered the Temple Mount using the Gate of Tribes, named after the 12 Tribes of Israel. To this point, the Jews have only been allowed to enter via the Mughrabi Gate, (also called the Dung Gate, Hallel Gate or Gate of forgiveness). Technically, it wasn’t the first time that Jews entered through the Gate of Tribes. In 1967, Israeli paratroopers used gate when they liberated the Temple Mount during the seven-day war in 1967. Shortly after the group of approximately 50 people entered, six broke off and prostrated themselves on the ground and were quickly removed by Israeli police. According to Jewish …

Evidence that the Jewish Temple existed on the Temple Mount

In recent decades, there have been several making the outrageous claim that the Jews have no right to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, because the Jews never had a Temple. In addition to several Muslim scholars, you also have atheists and those with a left-wing political agenda making this and similar claims. In an article entitled, Mistrust Threatens Delicate Balance at a Sacred Site in Jerusalem, the New York Times describes the growing controversy on the Temple’s existence noting: “Temple denial, increasingly common among Palestinian leaders, also has a long history: After Israel became a state in 1948, the Waqf removed from its guidebooks all references to King Solomon’s Temple, whose location at the site it had previously said was “beyond dispute.”” Of course, the Bible clearly states that the Jews actually built two Temples on Mount Zion, including the first Temple built by King Solomon, destroyed in 587 BC, and a second Temple built by Ezra that later underwent major renovations by King Herod. That Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. …

It’s not strange: Daystar’s Jerusalem studio firebombed

On Saturday morning, May 18, 2019, an arsonist firebombed Daystar’s studios located in Jerusalem destroying most of its facility. Founded in the US in 1993 by Marcus Lamb, Daystar is the second largest Christian TV network in the world with over 70 TV stations in the US. In 2004, it moved into satellite broadcasting and is reaching over a 100 countries. Daystar was in the final stage of a major renovation of its studio when it was attacked. Security cameras showed a person climbing to the top of the building around 2:30 in the morning, and a short time later, there was an explosion and a fire that destroyed much of the new studio, including its control room and equipment, and remaining facility. Daystar’s studio is located in Abu Tor, a mixed Jewish/Muslim section of Old Jerusalem. Police speculate there may be a religious motivation behind the attack since it happened during Ramadan, Islam’s holy month, and in addition to being Christian, the station is pro Israel. A second theory has also surfaced involving an …

A main street in Jerusalem Credit: lab604/Flickr/Creative Commons

Archaeologists find earliest full Hebrew spelling of Jerusalem

Archaeologists have discovered the earliest full inscription of the name Jerusalem dating from the first century BC. Typically most inscriptions use the abbreviated form of Jerusalem “Yerushalem or Shalem” instead of its full name “Yerushalayim.” The shortened versions of Jerusalem are clearly the most popular spellings. Even the Bible prefers abbreviated forms over the full name. Jerusalem is mentioned 660 times in the Old Testament, but only five are the full spelling including 2 Chronicles 25:1, 2 Chronicles 32:9, 2 Chronicles 25:1, Esther 2:6, 1 Chronicles 3:5 and Jeremiah 26:18: 18 “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, ‘Thus the Lord of hosts has said, “Zion will be plowed as a field, And Jerusalem will become ruins, And the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.”’ The inscription discovered during a road construction project was found carved on the foundation support for a column of a Roman building in a village on the outskirts of ancient Jerusalem. …

The Temple Mount Credit: Ben and Ash/Flickr/Creative Commons

Discovery of three small coins confirms the Jews ancient connection to the Temple Mount

Archaeologists working on the remains from the Temple Mount have discovered five small coins that speak of an incredible time of religious freedom in Israel’s history. Though only three of the coins are legible, they are dated to the fourth century. This puts them at the time when King Cyrus of Persia allowed the Jews to return their homeland from their Babylonian captivity and rebuild Jerusalem and the Jewish temple in 538 BC. The archaeologists believe the other two similarly sized undecipherable coins are from the same set. Seven millimeters wide, the coins have an image of a barn owl on one side. The Jews basically copied the Athenian Abol, a Greek coin used in ancient times. It is curious that they used the owl because it was considered unclean under Jewish law and it also represented the goddess Athena to the Greeks. Instead of having the Greek letters ΑΘΕ used to signify Athens, the three legible coins had the Aramaic word YHD. According to an article on ynetnews, this is the shortened version of …

Old Jerusalem Credit: Ronan Shenhav/Flickr/Creative Commons

The US accelerates its decision to move embassy to Jerusalem

On Saturday, Feb 24, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced that the plan to set up the American embassy in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, made late last year has been moved up. With expectations that the move would not be made until 2019, Trump stated the embassy will begin its transfer to Jerusalem in May this year. The first step will see American Ambassador David Friedman and a small support staff set up an office in the Jerusalem neighborhood Arnona giving it official American status. Over the next several months, the rest of the staff will be moved over as facilities are prepared for their arrival. A new building will also be constructed at a different location. In his February announcement, Trump said it was an anniversary gift for the Israelis. May 14th is Israel’s Independence Day and this years marks the 70th anniversary of Israel’s restoration as a nation. Shortly after Trump made his May announcement, Guatemala stated it would be moving its embassy in mid-May as well. For security reasons, the government …

Wailing wall in Jerusalem Credit: Neil Howard/Flickr/Creative Commons

Small, 2,700-year-old clay seal punches above its weight in Jerusalem

A small artifact has made a huge impact on the history of Jerusalem. While working in an area referred to as the Western Wall Plaza in Old Jerusalem, archaeologists discovered a small clay seal that belonged to a former governor of the city. The seal, the size of a small coin, is 2,700 years old and depicts two men wearing striped robes facing each other. Its inscription reads “Belonging to the Governor of the City.” According to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the seal was either distributed by the governor of Jerusalem as a souvenir or it was included with a shipment of goods. Whatever the case, it establishes that Jerusalem as Israel’s capital well into the First Temple period and reveals a strong administrative center that was already producing what was essentially a souvenir item. Speaking on behalf of IAA, Dr. Shlomit Wekler-Bdolah director of the dig said: “This is the first time that such an impression was found in an authorized excavation. It supports the Biblical rendering of the existence of a governor …

Chehura desert in Peru Credit: Alma Apatrida/Flickr/Creative Commons

A prophecy about lost treasure

A couple of decades ago, my wife and I were heading down to Peru to adopt our daughter. Just before we set out on our journey that would take a month and half to complete, we were at a small prayer meeting in our church when Brian, a man with a prophetic gifting, prayed and prophesied over us. He saw us taking a big colored doll down for our daughter. But then he gave me a word, which deeply concerned both my wife and I. He said I see you gathering your treasure, and then he held his hands out, spread his fingers and said it will slip away, pouring out between your fingers like sand. I asked Brian what he meant. He had no further revelation and simply told us what he saw. It was a disturbing word. Because we respected the man and his prophetic gift we were concerned that the adoption was going to fall apart. But we believed God had told us to go and decided to continue on our journey. …

Jerusalem, Israel's capital city Credit: Deror avi/Wikipedia

Uproar as America decides to move its embassy to Jerusalem

It has been a very unusual situation. Since Israel was restored as a sovereign nation in 1948, Jerusalem has been its capital city. Yet no foreign embassies are found in Israel’s capital like they typically are with other nations. Instead, the embassies are located in Tel Aviv, 67 kms away. It was a move done to try to appease the Palestinians and hopefully have them sign a peace treaty with Israel. Of course that never happened and will never happen, because how can you appease an enemy that in its own charter calls for the complete annihilation of Israel. In its covenant or charter written in 1998, the terrorist group Hamas which helps control Palestine states: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” With this as one of its stated goals, Hamas is not interested in peace. So when President Trump announced Wednesday morning that he would be moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinians were outraged. But they were outraged …

Hebron Credit: Ronan Shenhav/Flickr/Creative Commons

UNESCO’s bizarre motions

Earlier this month, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) continued to rewrite history, which according to some is the organization’s favorite pastime. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee declared Israel the “occupier of the Western Wall and Jerusalem’s old city” as part of its annual meeting held in Kraków, Poland July 2 to 12th. With eight abstaining, the 21-member committee approved the motion in a 10-3 vote on July 3, 2017. Israel’s Foreign Ministry described the vote as “sad, needless and pathetic.” Such motions do little more than politicize important cultural and religious sites in the Middle East and further enflames already heated tensions. Predictably the Palestinian Authority jumped on the vote using it as another platform calling for the removal of Israel’s control of Jerusalem, a city that has been a part of Jewish theology and history for thousands of years. Then a few days later in a secret meeting, the Word Heritage Committee continued its rewrite declaring Hebron and the cave of the Patriarchs as endangered “Palestinian” sites. Located 32 km south of Jerusalem …

A woman prays near the Tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Credit: Jelle Drok/Flickr/Creative Commons

About Jerusalem

In recent years, I have been blessed to spend several weeks in the eternal city of Jerusalem. This is the only city on the earth which the LORD God of Israel declared, “In Jerusalem, I will put my name forever” (2 Kings 21:4-7). During my time in Israel, Psalm 122:6 was constantly before my eyes;  “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you.” Jerusalem is the most prayed for city in the universe.  At every meal, Jews pray the blessing, “Blessed are you, O LORD, who will build up Jerusalem in mercy.” Every Monday the Jews recite Psalm 48 from their Prayer Book; “Walk about Zion and go all around her” (verse 12). Jerusalem is a spiritual city (not sinless), set apart for a Holy God. Many days I spent just walking around Jerusalem and was constantly reminded of the  blessings connected with Israel that can only come from the true LORD God.  Indeed the peace of Jesus Christ is evident in the streets and there are places where one can …

Muslim quarter of Old Jerusalem. Credit: meghamama/Flickr/Creative Commons

2,700 year-old reference to Jerusalem discovered on a piece of papyri

On October 26, 2016, archaeologists announced they uncovered the earliest non-Biblical reference to Jerusalem. This proves once again that the indisputable Jewish connection to Jerusalem predates the Muslim arrival by thousands of years. They discovered the name Jerusalem on an ancient piece of papyri radio carbon dated to 7 BC that antiquity robbers had pillaged from Judean desert caves in the West Bank. This is the oldest extra-Biblical reference to Jerusalem found so far. The 2,700 year-old papyri was uncovered in an operation undertaken by Israel Antiquities Authority who became aware of the theft and mounted an operation to seize back the stolen antiquities before the robbers sold it on the black market. The small piece of papyri written in Hebrew reads “From the king’s maid servant, from Na’arat, jars of wine to Jerusalem.” Because the writer specifically calls herself a servant of the king, archaeologists suspect the document — referring to the transfer of two jars of wine to Jerusalem — was part of a tax payment. It was made during the reign of …

Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, Jerusalem Photo: jordan Pickett/Flickr/Creative Commons

UNESCO to vote if Jews have any connection to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

This week the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced it is postponing a vote that would put Jerusalem’s Temple Mount firmly in the hands of the Muslim. Whether Israel would actually implement UNESCO’s recommendations is anther issue. But if the motion passed it undoubtedly would embolden the Muslims in their attempts to control the site. The vote is part of a Palestinian-Jordanian initiative that would declare the Temple Mount  a “Muslim-only” site. The vote would see the Temple Mount returned to its status before the 1967 Six Day war. Prior to the Israel Arab conflict, the Jordan Waqf that operates the two Muslim buildings on the site — the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock — controlled every aspect of the Temple Mount including who could visit the site. But perhaps the most disturbing part of the motion is that it would deny any historical Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. The original motion also referred to Israel as an “occupying force.” When Israel protested the motion later revisions tried to …

The Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem seen from the Mount of Olives. Photo: Boris G./Flickr/Creative Commons

If you want to be a Temple priest in Israel, make sure you weren’t born in a hospital

Jerusalem’s Temple Institute has just announced it is accepting applications for priests to serve in a yet to be built Jewish Temple. The Institute, which started in 1987, is dedicated to seeing a third temple built in Jerusalem replacing the Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Over the years, it has completed a number of items in preparation for this third Temple. This includes constructing 70 pieces of temple furniture part of which one is a massive altar, that can be taken apart and moved to the Temple once it is constructed. Everything was meticulously prepared according to Biblical instructions.  They have also ordered the architectural drawings for a third temple. This is a tricky task because it must meet Biblical specifications as well as modern building practices. The Institute is even creating a herd of red cattle using imported embryos from red Angus beef in America. An unblemished red heifer is necessary for some of the Temple sacrifices. Recently the Temple Institute announced it is now accepting applications for positions of Temple …

Orthodox Jews praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photo: Nico_/Flickr

VICTORY: Palestinian Authority drops resolution to have UN declare Jerusalem’s Western Wall a Muslim holy site

UPDATE: It is now being reported that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has withdrawn its resolution that the UN designate the Western Wall a Muslim holy site.  It is being called a rare victory for Israel at the UN. Apparently the public backlash against this claim forced the Palestinian group to change its mind. The organization still wants the UN to designate Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs as Muslim sites. Israel said it will continue to aggressively fight these ludicrous claims. The Palestinian Authority put forward a motion via UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to have the UN declare Jerusalem’s Western Wall a Muslim religious site earlier this week. It was expected to go to a vote on October 21, 2015. PA claims it is part of an old wall surrounding the al-Aqsa mosque built on the Temple Mount. The Jews have prayed at the Western Wall for centuries believing it is the last remains of the outer wall of the Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans …

Jerusalem's Temple Mount Photo: David Ortmann/Flickr

The battle for Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

While Muslims clash with Jews over access to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, workers with the Temple Mount Sifting Project continue to find artifacts solidifying Israel’s claim to the Temple Mount (called Mount Zion in the Bible) and Jerusalem. There are actually some who challenge the Jew’s historical claim to the Temple Mount and even Jerusalem itself. The Temple Mount was the site to the third Jewish Temple visited by Jesus, who also prophesied its destruction (Mark 13:1-2). The Romans destroyed this temple in 70 AD. At the present there are two Muslim buildings on the Mount — the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque. Muslims consider the Dome of the Rock their third holiest site. Some Muslims believe the archangel Gabriel took Muhammad to visit heaven at the spot where the Dome sits, while others believe it happened at the nearby mosque. Muslim extremists, using the al-Aqsa mosque as their base, have attacked Jews who try to pray on top of the Mount instead of the Western Wall down below. The wall is considered …

Architectural plans ordered for a new Jewish Temple

The Temple Institute, based in the Jewish area of Old Jerusalem, just announced it has ordered production of architectural plans necessary to build a Jewish temple. If constructed, this would be Israel’s third temple, with the previous two destroyed in 70 AD and 167 BC. It follows a year-long campaign to raise finances for the plans. The video above shows the preliminary design of the new Temple. Started in 1987, The Temple Institute (TI) is a non-profit religious organization established to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Initially it set out to “rekindle the flame of the Holy Temple” in the hearts of the Israeli people with the goal of ultimately rebuilding the temple. It has already constructed much of the necessary furniture. TI made the announcement of the plans on Sunday July 26, 2015 — the Tisha B’Av holiday — a day on which the Jews traditionally fast and mourn the destruction of the last two temples. It is considered by many as the “saddest day” on Israel’s calendar. Israeli police broke up a plot …

Jerusalem Photo: Flickr/Imke Stahlmann

The Miracle of the Lost Passport

[by Julie Holstein] I am a Canadian believer in Jesus Christ and over the last few years have been experiencing the Holy Spirit drawing me to the land of Israel. A few years back, I went on a tour of the Holy Land and this year, knew I had to return. I was happy to be able to hook up with Marlene, a female pastor evangelist from Regina who had the similar goal to attend the Feast of Tabernacles and to share our faith in Jesus. One day we took a bus to the city of Tiberias, rented a car and toured the Galilee region. My passport, ID and some cash were in a pouch which was fastened around my neck. Upon our return to the Jerusalem, we went through a security check at the bus station. Somehow my pouch either fell off or was stolen from me. When I realized all my identification papers were missing, my two traveling companions and I reported their loss to security and the police. As well we searched …

Did the Turkish president just call for Muslims to invade Jerusalem?

[by Dean Smith] Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been president of Turkey for 13 years. In a recent speech to admiring supporters in the Turkish city of Erzincan, Erdogan called for Muslims to invade and conquer Jerusalem. In his speech, reported by the Anadolu Agency, Erdogan said: “We Muslims have lost our way toward Jerusalem. The water of our eyes froze making us blind, and our hearts that are destined to beat for Jerusalem is now instead conditioned for rivalry being in a state of war with each other.” In the last part of the statement, he was referring to the bitter rivalry between Shia and Sunni Muslims who have warred with each other for decades. Instead of fighting each other, Erdogan said the two groups must unite against their common enemy Israel.

Another end-times event? The Temple Institute has built the Jewish altar

UPDATED MARCH 23, 2015: [by Dean Smith] Israel’s Temple Institute, based in Jerusalem, just announced it had finished constructing the Altar of the Lord (also called the altar of burnt offering) this past December. The altar would be used for animal sacrifices if a new Jewish Temple is built in Jerusalem. The Romans destroyed the last temple in 70 AD. There were two altars in the original temple — the altar of burnt offering — which was just built and the smaller altar of incense. The Institute built the new altar according to the strict measurements and conditions laid out in the Old Testament. The media originally reported it stood 5 meters high (16 feet), however according to information just released by the Temple Institute, the altar is actually five amot high (a Biblical measurement) which works out to 7.7 feet and 24.5 feet wide. It comes complete with a ramp that allows for easy access to the top of the altar where the sacrifices took place.

Is the Muslim Dome of the Rock really sitting on the original site of the Jewish Temple?

[by Dean Smith] The Muslim’s Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem has been a source of conflict between Muslims and Jews for years. In a video at the end of this article, you will see a confrontation between a group of Muslim agitators and US senator Dennis Ross when he recently visited the Dome. According to tradition, the Dome of the Rock sits on the original site of the Jewish Temple before the Romans destroyed it in 70 AD. The Dome, built in 691 AD, is considered one of Islam’s oldest buildings. The State of Jordan operates and manages the Dome, which is probably Jerusalem’s most notable land mark. But recently some are suggesting the Dome of the Rock was not the original site of the Jewish Temple.

The Sad Siding Project

What Nehemiah Did and How You Can Do Anything: Chapter 4, Analyze and Manage Risk [by Sandy McIntosh] Nehemiah was the great project manager of the Bible. We are told to live by faith, and that is what he did. The repair-Jerusalem project was not possible, and he was the wrong person for the job, but he did it anyway. He was highly motivated, he clearly defined the need, he measured carefully, and then he met the enemies who wanted to kill him.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Nehemiah the Jew

[by Sandy McIntosh] Nehemiah is a leading character in the Old Testament, or Hebrew Bible, and an important character in Jewish history. He lived long before Jesus, and his calendar did not start with a new year on January 1. It didn’t even have a January. For sure he never specifically wished anyone a Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year at the end of December. Or did he? If we can get past the superficial materialism and drunken partying, there is wisdom from God for this time of new beginnings in December, and Nehemiah was a great teacher on that subject.

Jerusalem Made of Gold

[by Earl Blacklock] May 15 is the date that marks Israel’s independence, and in 1967 thousands of people gathered at Jerusalem’s Nation Hall to hear songs commissioned for the occasion. Jerusalem was at the time divided, in the hands of Jordan to the east and Israel to the west. The Mayor of west Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, had asked that one of the songs be about Jerusalem. Naomi Shemer responded to his call. Shemer’s Polish parents had taken her as a child to a number of Jerusalem’s biblical places that were closed to Jews in 1948. She was inspired to write a song about the Jerusalem that Jews from Israel could never see – the Wailing Wall, the temple, and even the “Dead Sea by way of Jericho”. She called her song Jerusalem Made of Gold. [A YouTube version of the song is available at the end of the article.]

Was the Dome on the Rock originally built for the Jews?

The Dome of the Rock has dominated the Jerusalem landscape for centuries. The Muslims use the Dome, built on the Temple mount between 689 – 691 AD, as a mosque. However, at the time of its construction, it was actually patterned off Byzantine churches in the area and evidence suggests it was originally intended as a Jewish building, not a Muslim one. The Dome, which is maintained by the Jordan government, is probably the most recognizable building in Jerusalem. Though Muslims allow limited visits to the Dome, they do not allow any type of religious expression to take place, other than Islam. As a result,  Jews have taken to praying at the wall.

Controversial Bethesda pool discovered exactly where John said it was

There is a story in the Gospel of John that proved problematic for liberals who don’t believe the Bible. I am talking about Jesus healing of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-15). In the account, Jesus came across a lame man lying by the pool. According to tradition, when an angel stirred the waters, the first sick person to enter the pool was healed. When Jesus asked the man, who had been lame for 38 years, how he was doing, the man said because he did not have anyone to help him, when the waters stirred someone always stepped in before him. Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk” (v 8) and the man was instantly healed. In the account, the apostle John provides some detail about the pool. First he said it was near the “sheep’s gate” and secondly it had “five porticoes” (verse 2). A portico, similar to a porch, is a covered entrance way. It was a five-sided pool. However, because the healing …

Has Jerusalem’s house of sedition been discovered?

Believe it or not, the discovery of a bath tub in an ancient building in Jerusalem has archaeologists wondering if they stumbled upon the house of the High Priest Caiaphas. Caiaphas and his home played a major role in Jesus’ crucifixion. The find occurred during a dig on Mount Zion by a team of archaeologists from the University of North Carolina. During the excavation, the group came upon a large palace-type home. Its size plus other features suggest it housed a significant player in Jerusalem’s ruling class in Jesus’ day. They estimate the mansion had upwards of 20 rooms over several floors. Oddly, one of the clues that sparked this conclusion was the discovery of an indoor bathroom complete with a bathtub — a rarity for this time.