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Sunday, September 7, 2014

The New Testament Until Now: Part 6 of the 7 Eras of Jerusalem

After Jesus’ resurrection  c. A.D. 30-33, The Bible tells us of many significant events in Christian history including ( in order from c. A.D. 33-50)  the Ascension, Pentecost, Conversion of Paul, Conversion of Cornelius (and thus the Gentiles) and The First Christian Council at Jerusalem.

After this we read of the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by Titus in A.D. 70 and then more of the tumultuous history of this Holy City that has rarely, in earthly form, lived up to its name of “Peace” .

It is important to note that during these centuries many atrocities were committed by many differing peoples – including those who called themselves Christians. We rely solely on the actions and teachings of Jesus Christ Himself , as revealed in Scripture, to be their judge.

Many mercies were given as well by many peoples including the Arabs and Muslims.

As we come closer to the present age we see it is quite evident that a large contingent of people within Arab countries would see Israel and all its people destroyed. This is not an assumption but comes from their own mouths.

We also acknowledge that while Israel has every right to exist and defend themselves, they are not in and of themselves perfect nor are all the Arab people neighbouring them “terrorists”.

We continue to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you”  Psalm 122:6.
The 16th century Presbyterian Minister and Bible Commentator, Matthew Henry reflects on this verse:

“Those that can do nothing else for the peace of Jerusalem can pray for it, which is something more than showing their good-will; it is the appointed way of fetching in mercy. The peace and welfare of the gospel church, particularly in our land, is to be earnestly desired and prayed for by every one of us…..  We must pray for Jerusalem, not out of custom, nor for fashion's sake, but out of a principle of love to God's government of man and man's worship of God.”

Present-day Pastor and Bible commentator Dr Warren Weirsbe adds this :

“The name “Jerusalem” means “foundation of peace”, and yet the city has been a centre of conflict for centuries. If we understand Biblical prophecy correctly, there can be no peace in Jerusalem or on earth until the Prince of Peace reigns on David’s throne ( Is. 9:6-7, Luke 1:26-33). So when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we are actually praying, “Thy Kingdom come (Matt 6:10) and “Even so, come Lord Jesus ( Rev22:20) .”


132 AD Jewish Rebels retake the city.  Second Jewish Revolt led by Simon Bar Kochba whom an influential Rabbi Akiva proclaimed to be a Messiah.

  136AD City is razed; Hadrian establishes Aelia Capitolina

  335AD Byzantine Empire  (formerly the Eastern Roman empire)  :     Constantine and his Mother Helena convert the city to Christianity
  Church of the Holy Sepulcher is erected

  614AD Persians take the city from Byzantine Empire  for a brief time

  638AD Arabs conquer the city; later build the Dome of the Rock mosque (691) and Al-Aksa mosque (705).

  1099AD Crusaders take the city; hold it until 1187.

 1187AD Saladin recaptures the city

1189 Pope Gregory the VII orders another  crusade to recapture Jerusalem. Richard the Lionhart and king Phillip II of France lead the 3rd crusade, but Saladin is able to defend the city. Richard comes near enough to see Jerusalem but has to turn back without ever entering it

  1267AD Mamelukes take the city; hold it until 1517AD

  1517AD Turks take the city; later (1538) Suleiman "the Magnificent"  builds the current walls

  1832AD General Ibrahim Pasha, General of Egypt,  conquers  the city (until 1841)

  1867AD Charles warren starts the archaeological digs

1899AD  First Zionist congress held in Basel, Switzerland in the  aftermath of the Dreyfus affair in France. Theodore Herzl and some other Jewish leaders come to realization of impending catastrophe for Jews of Europe and are looking for a place to resettle. Eventually Palestine, the historical homeland, is chosen as such place

  1917AD British rule until 1948

British under the command of General Allenby capture Jerusalem from Turks. Mayor of Jerusalem Salim al-Husaini borrows a white flag and surrenders the city to couple of British scouts. Allenby promises to protect the religious freedom for all three faiths. Balfour Declaration is issued in which the British Government "views with favor an establishment in Palestine of a national home for Jewish people"

1947AD  On November 29th the United Nations votes in favor of partition of Palestine into autonomous Arab and Jewish states. A special committee is formed to work out a special status given to Jerusalem as an international entity. Jews agree to the resolution. Arabs reject it. Almost immediately after UN resolution, Arabs break through the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem and attack Jewish commercial center on Ben-Yehuda street. Jewish defense force called Haganah retaliates

  1948-9AD Israel's Independence war; Jordan occupies old city; Jerusalem made Israel's capital

  1967AD East Jerusalem is reunited with West Jerusalem after 6 day war
President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser moves 100.000 troops into Sinai and kicks out UN peacekeepers. He also blockades the Strait of Tiran effectively paralyzing Israeli shipping. King Hussain of Jordan joins Nasser and signs a military agreement with Egypt. Israel expecting the worst initiates a preemptive strike and Six Day War begins. Israel captures Sinai, West Bank, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. For the first time since 1948, Jews can pray at the Western Wall. Free access to all religions to all holy sites is allowed.

“Today those walls ( *built by Suleiman) define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Wikipedia

The above timeline was sourced from Wikipedia,

The next article is here:  Era 7 - The New Jerusalem

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