All posts tagged: Jerusalem

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 …

Temple Institute: YouTube

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.

Walking up the ramp of the Temple Institute's Altar of the Lord. Photo Temple Institute

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.

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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.

Praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Image alexdecarvalho/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND

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.

Christ before Caiaphas by Matthias Stom (1615-1649): Wikipedia

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.