A CITY IN QUESTION??
Who are the people who today claim rights to Jerusalem and the land “occupied” by Israel? I read not long ago that these people now claim to be descendants of the Canaanites. The truth is that they don’t really know their origin. Scripture tells us that Adonai knows everything that takes place from the beginning of creation to the Day of Adonai, which will likely be upon us very soon.
The point that needs to be settled here is to whom do the rights to the city of Jerusalem belong? The Jewish people were taken into captivity to Babylon. According to the book of Daniel, after the fall of Babylon, King Darius of Media and a Persian king named Cyrus both acknowledged that Jerusalem belonged to the Jewish people. In 538 BC, Cyrus allowed our people to return to the land of Judah to lay the foundation for the Temple and then rebuild it. It is interesting to note that the book of Daniel was written in Aramaic. Daniel writes regarding Media and Persia (Iran) as a single political unit that defeated the nation of Babylon. Daniel 5:28 tells us that “Darius the Mede took over the Kingdom after the defeat of Babylon and ruled two years. It was under the leadership of King Darius that Daniel, a Jew, was recognized and was favored by the King above all others in the leadership of his empire. In Daniel 6:25-27 Darius wrote a decree published throughout his entire kingdom: “In every dominion of my Kingdom, men tremble and fear before the G-d of Daniel; for (his G-d) is the Living G-d, and steadfast forever, and His Kingdom is that which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall even be until the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and earth, He who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.” So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius, and also during the reign of Cyrus, the Persian. The Tanakh is full of examples that show us that the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a living G-d and that in His plan and purpose He does as He pleases.
In Isaiah 44:28 through 45:4 we learn about Cyrus: “Who says of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure; even saying to Jerusalem, you shall be built; and to the Temple, your foundation shall be laid. Thus says the L-RD to his anointed, to Cyrus (the Iranian), whose right hand I have held to subdue the loins of Kings, to open before him the two leafed gates (gates of Babylon); and the gates shall not be shut. I (the living G-d) will go before you Cyrus, and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut asunder the bars of iron; and I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you Cyrus may know that I, the L-RD, who calls you by your name, am the G-d of Israel. For Jacob, my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have called you by your name, I have surnamed you, though you have not known Me.” This prophecy in Isaiah was written approximately 300 years prior to the birth of Cyrus. This means that before Cyrus was born he was ordained by name, that he would come forth and allow our people to return to rebuild Jerusalem, and lay the foundation of the Temple.
In Ezra 1:2 we see the fulfillment. “Thus says Cyrus, King of Persia: the L-RD G-d of heaven has given me all the Kingdoms of the earth; and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” G-d was very specific where the Temple was to be rebuilt. The G-d of Israel blessed the Kingdom of Medo-Persia during the years of Cyrus. Isn’t it amazing that our G-d, a living G-d, according to His plan, controls all that is in the light, and darkness is not hidden from Him. What used to be Persia, but today called Iran, no longer merits the favor of Adonai. Iran’s leaders openly verbalize that Iran is an enemy to the Jewish people and greatly oppose Jerusalem as the Jewish capitol. They do not recognize the right of the Jewish people to exist.
Jewish people are returning to the land of Israel in accordance with the plan Adonai had long ago established for this set time in history. Our people, having been scattered throughout the world because of their own sins, are now returning by the hand of Adonai as was promised throughout the Scriptures by the prophets of Israel. The nation of Judah, having been driven out of their own land, is now being brought back and reestablished as a nation once again by the hand of Adonai. Jerusalem is the city that G-d specified for Judah.
I Kings 11:32 reads, “There shall be one tribe for my servant David’s sake and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which Adonai chose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His name.” In I Kings 11: 36 it says, “And unto his son (Solomon’s son, Reheboam), I will give one tribe (Judah) that David, my servant, may have a light always before me in Jerusalem, the city I chose to put my name.” Yet, today, a group who calls themselves Palestinians, claim that the city belongs to them. The Scripture above is only one of many that confirm Judah as having the rights to Jerusalem. The Palestinians hold no rights to the city; they are a people who G-d has rejected, and today wear a Palestinian disguise to hide their true identity. The term Palestine came into being after the Romans destroyed many of our Jewish people who lived in the land during the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. Those Jews who did not die had to flee, while others who were not Jews continued to occupy the land. Those who continued to occupy the land were called “Palestinians” by the Roman victors.
With the final captivity of the people of Judah in Babylon in 586 BC by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, we find that the Jewish people were not the only people judged because of sin. It is also written in Jeremiah 25 that all nations of the world would be required to drink from G-d’s cup of wrath. In Jeremiah 25:29 we read, “For look, if I begin to bring evil on the city, which is called by My name, do you (the nations) think that you will go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished; for I will call a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth.” Many of the nations surrounding Judah and Jerusalem ceased to exist, as they were known in that day. Moab, Ammon, Edom, Philistines and Lebanon were all affected. Jeremiah 25: 19-26 tells us the names of the nations that would drink this cup of wine: Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and his servants and his princes, and all his people; and all the mixed people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Gaza and Ekron, and the remnant of Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon; and all the kings of Tyre, and all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the coasts which are beyond the sea; Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that are in the utmost corners; and all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mixed people that dwell in the desert; and all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes; and all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, AND ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD WHICH ARE UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH; and the king of Sheshach (Babylon) shall drink after them.”
Not until the British and French Mandates did most of the Arab countries assume the names that they have today. From the time of the Babylonian conquest, various peoples have conquered these nations. A very important point is that after drinking this cup of wrath at the time of the Babylonian conquest, every nation and empire fell under a period of time identified as the “time of the Gentiles”. The “time of the Gentiles” will continue until the time period called “The Day of Adonai” comes upon the earth, a period yet to take place.
Let’s look at the nation and people of Edom. We have learned through history books that even though the Edomites lost their land and name during the Babylonian period of conquest, large numbers of their people came into the land of Judah and settled. Those who settled in the land of Judah, settled in an area that later became known as Idumea, a Greek name for Edom. Let’s step back into the writings of Torah.
It all begins when Isaac, the son of Abraham married Rebecca, who conceived bearing two sons. Genesis 25: 22-34 tells us, “The children struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If it be so, why am I thus’? And she went to inquire of Adonai. Adonai said to Rebecca, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two manners of people shall be born of you; and the one people shall be stronger than the other. The elder will serve the younger.’
The first one to come forth was all red and like a hairy garment, and he was called Esau. Then his brother came, who became known as Jacob. Jacob’s hand took hold of Esau’s heel and Jacob was then identified as “heel catcher”. Both grew, Esau became a great hunter and Jacob, a quiet man, dwelled in tents. Isaac loved Esau, but Rebecca, Isaac’s wife, loved Jacob. “One day Jacob boiled pottage. Esau came from the field, and he was faint. Esau said to Jacob, ‘Feed me I pray you, with the same red pottage, for I am faint’: therefore his name was also called Edom, (which means red- Adom in Hebrew). Jacob said, ‘Sell me this day your birthright’. And Esau said, ‘Behold I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright be to me?’” Little did he know the birthright had three elements that were very important: number one, until the establishment of the Aaronic priesthood, the head of the family exercised priestly rights; two, Abraham’s family held the Garden of Eden promise of the Satan-bruiser; and three, Esau was in line for these blessings as the first son, but, in a momentary fleshy gratification, sold his birthright to Jacob. We must always be aware that all the Scriptures have been written for the purpose and plan of Adonai. With this in mind, we would have to consider that this blessing was not purposed to come through Esau. Adonai had another plan while they were both still in the womb.
We know now that the birthright came to Jacob. We also see that Jacob tricked Esau out of yet another blessing. In Genesis 27:34 it says, “When Esau heard that he had lost another blessing he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry and said to his father, ‘Bless me, even me also, my father’. Esau then said, ‘Is he (Jacob) not rightly called Jacob? For he has supplanted me two times; he took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing’. And he said, ‘Have you not reserved a blessing for me?’ Isaac answered and said unto his son Esau, ‘Behold, I have made him your lord and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with grain and wine have I sustained him; and what now shall I do unto you, my son?’ And Esau said unto his father, ‘Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father,’ said Esau. Esau lifted up his voice and wept; And Isaac, his father answered and said unto him, “Behold, your dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; and by your sword shall you live, and shall serve your brother; and it shall come to pass when you shall serve your brother, he shall have dominion, that you shall break his yoke from off your neck’. And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, ‘The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will slay my brother Jacob.’ “ This anger has continued by Esau’s descendents throughout the generations. The descendants of Esau became known as Edomites and their land as Edom; located south of the ancient Kingdom of Judah and extended from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Edom included the ruins of Petra and bordered on the north by Moab.
Edom’s hatred for Israel is portrayed throughout the Scripture, and because of this hatred Adonai has been angered at Edom. In Malachi 1:2-4 G-d speaks regarding Jacob, “I have loved you, says the L-RD, yet you say, what way have you loved me? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother, says the L-RD; yet I loved Jacob. And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for jackals of the wilderness. Whereas Edom says, ‘We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places,’ the L-RD of hosts says: ‘They may build, but I will throw down; and they shall be called the Territory of Wickedness and the people (of Esau) against whom the L-RD will have indignation forever.’”
Romans 9: 4-13 tells us, “Who are the Israelites; to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, and the giving of the law, the service of Adonai, and the promises, of whom are the fathers, and from whom, as concerning the flesh, Messiah came, who is over all, the eternally blessed G-d. It is not as though the word of Adonai has not taken effect. For they are not all Israel, who are of Israel, (In other words there are only those that are the seed of promise that will make up Israel of the future.) That is, they who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of Adonai. (This means the descendants of Esau who don’t walk with Adonai will never qualify as His seed.) For this is the word of promise, at this time will I come and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even our father Isaac, for the children not yet being born, neither having done anything good or evil; that the purpose of Adonai according to election might stand, not by works but He who calls. It was said unto her (Rebecca) the elder (Esau) shall serve the younger (Jacob). As it is written, Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated.” Jacob has become the seed of promise and this means all the descendants out of the sons of Jacob will be under the blessings of Isaac.
The prophet Jeremiah states in Jeremiah 49: 15-22 about the future of Edom, “For, lo, I will make you small among the nations, and despised among men. Your terribleness has deceived you, and the pride of your heart. You who dwell in the clefts of the rocks, that holds the height of the hill; though you should make your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from there, says the L-RD. Also Edom shall be desolate and every one that goes by it shall be appalled, and shall hiss at all its plagues. As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, says the L-RD, no man shall abide there neither shall a son of man dwell in it. Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of the Jordan against the habitation of the strong, but I will suddenly make him run away from her; and who is a chosen man that I may appoint over her? For who is like me? And who will appoint me the time? And who is that shepherd that will stand before me? Therefore, hear the counsel of the L-RD that He has taken against Edom, and His purposes that He has purposed against Edom, and his purposes, that He has purposed against the inhabitants of Teman (Yemen): Surely, the least of the flock shall draw them out; surely He shall make their habitation desolate with them. The earth is moved at the noise of their fall; at the cry the noise of it was heard in the Red Sea.” In Isaiah 34: 5-6b the prophet declares, “The judgment shall come down on Edom and upon the people of my curse. The sword of the L-RD will be filled with their blood; it is made with fatness and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of kidneys of rams; for the L-RD has a sacrifice in Bozrah and a slaughter in the land of Edom.”
So, who holds the right to Jerusalem? You decide!! Scripture is the authority; the evidence is clear! We recall the words spoken through the prophet Zechariah regarding the land of Israel and the Jewish people: “Jerusalem shall be inhabited without walls, for the multitude of men and cattle therein. For I, says the L-RD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and I will be the glory in the midst of her…Surely, he that touches you touches the apple of His eye. (Zechariah 2) Also the prophet Amos prophesies: “In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen…and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the nations , upon whom My name is called, says the L-rd that does this…And I will turn the captivity of My people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them…And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be plucked up out of their land which I have given them, says the L-RD your G-d.”
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living G-d.” (Hebrews 10:31)