Jerusalem is considered by many to be one of the holiest places in the world and is a site of major significance for the three largest monotheistic religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Both Israel and Palestine have claimed Jerusalem as a capital city and because of these strong, age-old associations, bloody conflicts to control the city and sites within it have been waged for thousands of years.
- The Romans destroyed the second Temple in 70 A.D. and the Jews dispersed amongst the nations of the world.
- 135 A.D. – Emperor Hadrian who rescued Jerusalem from its lowly situation when he visited it, ordered it be rebuilt as a pagan city. It was renamed Aelia Capitolina, and thus it remained for some 150 years: a small, unimportant pagan backwater in the eastern part of the Roman empire.
- 4thCentury – Emperor Constantine I ordered Jerusalem to be reinstated as a Christian holy city.
- After Mohammed died in the year 632, his followers carried out a series of conquests and Jerusalem was one of the first cities they captured.
- Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan – erected the Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in 691; additionally, he and his son Al-Walid I built the nearby Al-Aqsa Mosque.
- In the 11th century, it was conquered by a new dynasty, the Fatimids. One of the latter’s rulers, Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, ordered that all of Jerusalem’s churches be destroyed in 1009, and persecuted Christian and Jewish worshipers.
- 1099 – The Crusaders captured Jerusalem and killed nearly all of its Jewish and Muslim inhabitants.
- 1187 – Saladin, founder of the Muslim Ayyubid dynasty, reconquered Jerusalem, although Islamic control of the city would be relatively short-lived.
- 1229 – a treaty between Ayyubid Sultan Al-Malik Al-Kamil and Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich II brought back Nazareth, Bethlehem, a coastal strip of the Holy Land and most of Jerusalem to Christian hands. The Temple Mount, however, remained under Muslim control.
- 1244 – Sunni Muslim Turks conquered Jerusalem and almost completely destroyed it.
- 1250 – Egypt – and with it Jerusalem – was captured by the Mamluks.
- 1516 – the Ottoman Empire conquered the entire region, ended Mamluk rule, and gained control of the city.
- The Ottomans ruled Jerusalem nearly uninterruptedly for 400 years, until World War I, when General Edmund Allenby conquered Palestine on behalf of the Mandatory British government, entering Jerusalem as victor in 1917.
- Both during and after World War II large numbers of Jewish refugees from war-torn Europe began to flood Palestine.
- 1948 – Israel becomes an independent State again but war ensued and Jerusalem was split in two. The eastern half became part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, while the western half was capital of the Jewish State of Israel.
- 1967 – Israel launched the pre-emptive Six-Day War against Egypt, Syria and Jordan, during which it gained control of the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, and all of Jerusalem.
- Today – Jerusalem is the centre of world political efforts for peace in the Middle East.
What does this mean?
For thousands of years we have been told that Jerusalem would be destroyed, the Jews would be dispersed around the globe but they would return; that Jerusalem would be rebuilt, would again be under Jewish governance and be the centre of world political focus, with stark warnings for those who try to come against it again. After nearly 2,000 years Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948 and against all the odds has survived and thrived while we have watched. Why now?
Matthew 24: 1 – 2 – Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?”he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
Luke 21:24 – and they (the Jews)will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles (non-Jews)until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Isaiah 11: 11 – 12 – Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people,.. And He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Ezekiel 37: 21 – 22 – “Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel;..”
Ezekiel 36: 34 – 35 – “The desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passes by. “They will say, ‘This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.’
Zechariah 8:4–8 – “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. ‘And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.’.. “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem;..’
Zechariah 12:2–3 – “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. “It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
What else does the Bible tell us?– The Future
What does this mean for you?– Good News
Haaretz – 27thMay 2014