Not surprisingly, Jerusalem is the most named city in the Bible. BTW, Babylon is the second most named city in the Bible. If my counting is correct, Jerusalem is named directly over 800 times. It is first referenced in Genesis 14:18-20 (Melchizedek, king of Salem) and finds its ultimate destiny in the Book of Revelation. Its name, according to ABARIM Publications, means, In Awe of Peace, Teaching Peace. In actuality, it’s anything but peaceful. In fact, Jerusalem is the most fought over piece of real estate on the planet. It has been attacked 52 times, captured and re-captured 44 times, besieged 23 times and destroyed twice. And still it stands.
The links in the chain leading to the anti-christ’s desolation of the Holy Place in the Temple require that there be a re-built Temple which requires that the Temple Mount be under Jewish control which requires that Jerusalem is under Jewish control which requires that there be the Nation of Israel.
The Ottoman Empire controlled Palestine and thus Jerusalem for 400 years. Jerusalem’s liberation in 1917 is, in my personal opinion, one of the most awe inspiring fulfillments of prophecy ever! Let me tell you the story of how that happened:
At that time there was a Turkish saying, “When the waters of the Nile flow into Palestine, then will a prophet of the Lord drive the Turks out of the land,” meaning it’s impossible to do. In one of God’s coincidences, in order to supply the Allied troops crossing the desert, British engineers had diverted the waters of the Nile so they flowed into Palestine. And the Turks were indeed driven out of the land. What a remarkable God we serve!
In World War 1, as the Allies were drawing close to Jerusalem, British General Edmund Allenby, leading the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, wired his superiors in London for his orders regarding the liberation of Jerusalem. As part of their reply to him they said, “Pray.” In another of God’s “coincidences” the required reading in the English Common Book of Prayer for the next day was Isaiah 31. In Isaiah 31:5, General Allenby read, “Like birds flying overhead, the Lord Almighty will defend Jerusalem; He will shield it and deliver it and will defend it and will rescue it.” And that’s exactly what happened.
The day before its liberation, pilots flew over Jerusalem, dropping white leaflets which fluttered to the ground, dismaying the citizens of Jerusalem. The leaflets read, “Surrender immediately, you don’t have a chance.” It was signed, Allenby. Apparently there was a mistranslation or a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word “Allenby.” The Arabic word for “prophet” sounded much like the English word “Allenby” and led to the Arab population fleeing overnight in panic.
The next morning the mayor of Jerusalem came out waving a white flag and handed the keys to the city’s gates to the first British soldier he saw, a corporal in search of eggs for his commander’s breakfast. Military egos got involved and a couple of “up the ranks” surrenders were staged. None-the-less, Jerusalem was delivered without a shot fired, or a building harmed; the city was simply handed over unscathed. What a full-of-wonder is the God we serve!
According to the Hebrew calendar the city was liberated on the 24th of Kislev. In the Bible, the Book of Haggai, the Jews are told three times to consider this day (24th of Kislev); pay attention. Haggai 2:18-19 says, “From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the month of Kislev…from the day the foundation was laid for the Lord’s house, take note…from this day on I will bless you.” In an earlier blog about prophecy we discussed the concept of dual fulfillment of prophecy. This is an example of it. In the sixth month, Kislev, 24th day, 538BC, King Cyrus of Persia, made a public declaration affirming an earlier order and allocating funds to rebuild the Temple which had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 581 BC.
“Coincidentally,” the official surrender also occurred on Hanukah, the Jewish feast of the dedication of the Temple. On the 24th of Kislev, our Dec. 10/11, 1917, General Allenby rode his white horse to Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate, dismounted and walked in declaring that only the Messiah was entitled to ride into Jerusalem. And ride into Jerusalem on a white horse Jesus will do! (Rev 19:11) Next time we’ll look at the role Jerusalem plays in the end times.
Please, neither offhandedly accept nor reject what is said in this blog. Check it out. Look it up for yourself in the Bible. If you are a child of God, you are in good hands and there is the most wonderful eternity waiting for you. If you are not a Christ follower, now is a really good time to honestly explore the truth claims of the Bible.