The first mention of Jerusalem comes in the Book of Genesis in the story of Abraham. There it is called 'Salem' and its priest-king, Melchizedek offers a religious ceremonial of bread and wine (foreshadowing communion) to Abraham after he and his men had defeated Chedor-laomer and all the kings on his side, rescuing Lot and much of Abraham's possessions which Chedor-laomer had earlier captured.
"Melchizedek king of Salem brought bread and wine; he was a priest of God Most High. He pronounced this blessing: 'Blessed be Abram by God Most High, creator of heaven and earth, and blessed be God Most High for handing over your enemies to you'. And Abram gave him a tithe of everything". (Gen.14:18-20).
This meeting between Abraham and Melchizedek is said to have taken place just south of the City of David at a spring called 'En Rogel'. This place was named the 'Kings Valley' and it was in Jerusalem where the Kidron Valley meets the Valley of Hinnom'.
The Hebrew theologians treated Melchizedek with enormous respect. He was a priest of Jerusalem before the Levitical priesthood ever came into being. He is also mysterious, appearing in only this one passage of scripture, and benevolent to Abraham (the patriarch and great grandfather of the people of Israel). Abraham even offered him tithes.
In the prophecy of the Psalms, the Messiah is represented as being of the order of Melchizedek , and is shown to be both a king and a priest, just as Melchizedek had been.
"Royal dignity was yours from the day you were born, on the holy mountains, royal from the womb, from the dawn of your earliest days. God has sworn an oath which he never will retract, 'You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and forever." (Psalm 110:3-4).
Christian theologians have embraced these passages of scripture as well, and see in Melchizedek, a foreshadowing, or even an actual appearance, of Jesus Christ, offering the Eucharist to Abraham in his first moments in the land of Canaan (a land which was later to become the land of Israel).
When Abraham took his son to be sacrificed, he took him to a rock where God supplied a substitute. This rock has later been identified as the Rock of Abraham. It sits on top of a mountain (Mount Moriah) on the eastern edge of Jerusalem, and, according to legend, was the threshing stone of Arunah the Jebusite.
David purchased this rock from Arunah and wanted to build God a temple on top of it, but God, in a vision, told him that he was not the person to build His temple. A son, part of his own flesh and blood, would build the temple, he was told. So it was that to Solomon, David's son, fell the task of erecting the Hebrew temple in Jerusalem.
But it was not Solomon that God had been referring to. It was Jesus, a son in the lineage of David. And, like Melchizadek, a priest-king in a priesthood that reigned outside and above (earlier than) the Levitical priesthood of the House of Israel.
The temples of Solomon and Herod were both destroyed by invaders portrayed as Babylonians in scripture, people who took the House of Israel into two captivities, one of which continues to this day. The rock of Abraham fell into the hands of the people of the east, the Moslems, who built their own temple on it, a building still in existance in Jerusalem called the 'Dome of the Rock'.
This victimization of Jerusalem, its people and its rock was prophesied in scripture. It owed to the worldly behavior of its citizens who abandoned God and pursued instead gods of gold and silver.
The prophet Ezekiel was instructed by God to warn the people of Jerusalem to change their ways. He started by reminding the citizens of their city's lowly birth:
"The word of God was addressed to me as follows, 'Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her filthy crimes. Say, "The Lord God says this: "By origin and birth you belong to the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite." (Ez.16:1-3).
Because of the wicked behavior that emanated from within its walls, the prophets termed the Jerusalem of the Jews a 'daughter of Egypt' and promised that God would bring this city to immense ruin and erect another city in its place that would tower higher than the mountains.
"The daughter of Egypt is put to shame, handed over to a people from the North." (Jer.46:24).
"In the days to come the mountain of the temple of God shall tower above the mountains and be lifted higher than the hills. All the nations shall stream to it, peoples without number will come to it. They will say, 'Come, let us go to the mountain of God that he may teach us his ways so that we may walk in his paths." (Is.2:2-3).
Jesus informed His disciples that this heavenly Jerusalem was not of the earth but was being built by God in the highest heaven where Satan and sin did not exist.
1. 'The Clock of God', Chapter 5, 'Two Cities'
2. 'The Last Days of Babylon, Chapter 11, 'The City of God'
3. 'The Last Days of Babylon, Chapter 12, 'Judah Restored'
4. 'The Last Days of Babylon, Chapter 13, 'Jerusalem Under Seige'
5. Jerusalem Captured
6. Jerusalem (God leaves)
7. Jerusalem (In Heaven)
8. Jerusalem (Ingathering)
9. Jerusalem (Under Seige)
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