Ezra and the Wall of Jerusalem -- A Wall Built in 52 Days


It is clear in the Bible that the key to Jerusalem's restoration had much to do with its walls. In order to better understand this we need to look at the primary allegory for the city's reclamation which occurred more than 2400 years ago when the Jews returned from the original Babylon (the Babylon of the Euphrates).

According to the Bible, when the Jews returned from their captivity in that Babylon, the first thing they did was to rebuild Jerusalem's walls -- a project that took Ezra and the refugees 52 days to complete. That speed was such a momentous accomplishment according to scripture that it impressed the time frame deeply into the mechanics of the restitution prophecy concerning freedom from Babylon:

"The wall was finished within fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about it, and all the surrounding nations had seen it, they were deeply impressed and acknowledged that this work had been accomplished by the power of our God." (Neh.6:15-16).

This fifty-two days has great symbolic significance because it points directly to the wall of God that surrounds the true Jerusalem -- the one that surrounds the hidden Jerusalem in heaven.

That wall, scripture states, is a wall of fire.

It is called grace and it is imparted into each of us the moment we receive the presence of the Holy Spirit.

In perfect harmony with the symbolism of this prophecy, the Holy Spirit appeared on earth at Pentecost, exactly 52 days after Jesus was crucified.

Remember, Jesus, just before He went to the cross for our sins, told his disciples that they had to wait until the Spirit came down to them from heaven before they could begin to work on His behalf.

By sending us the Holy Spirit on that particular day, 52 days after the crucifixion, God proved that He had built our wall of grace -- the wall of heavenly Jerusalem -- in exactly the same number of days that it took Ezra and his Israelites to reconstruct the wall around earthly Jerusalem when they returned from the first 'Babylon'.

Uniting the two Babylon's of scripture, a period of 52 days of 'wall-building' encompassed both our own spiritual captivity and the ancient physical incarceration of Judaism, showing that each was a part of the other.

Blinded by God, the Jewish leaders considered all the prophecies which heralded their return as applying to Jews alone (and to their escape from the clutches of Nebuchaddnezzar and his heirs). They saw no future reference in scripture to a spiritual Babylon, or to a more dynamic captivity than their first brief stay at the banks of the Euphrates river.

Interestingly, a 2000-year diaspora has not altered that perception.

But the Holy Spirit's sudden appearance at Pentecost, reproducing in precise terms the 52 days of Jerusalem's wall construction, proved that the ultimate return from Babylon was to be centered in Christ, not Ezra.

God had emplaced a spiritual wall to replace the fallen ruins of the first return. And He had constructed it in the same time-frame as a biblical proof of the transformation.

With the appearance on earth of the Holy Spirit, the rebuilding heralded by the prophets could truly begin because the impenetrable wall protecting the reconstruction of the spiritual ruins of Jerusalem was at that moment perfectly in place.

Jerusalem's ruins were synonymous with a humanity that had fallen into the clutches of wickedness. The collapsed walls around it represented a structure without any external defense against sin.

Therefore, reconstruction of the wall -- the defense of Jerusalem -- was the first and most crucial element in its restoration: "Sacrifice gives you no pleasure...my sacrifice is this broken spirit...show your favor graciously to Zion, rebuild the walls of Jerusalem; then there will be proper sacrifice to please you..." (Ps.51:16-19).

The wall surrounding the Jerusalem of heaven is the Holy Spirit -- because the Holy Spirit is all the defense that God's city needs.

"Jerusalem is to remain unwalled, because of the great number of men and cattle there will be in her. But I -- it is God who speaks -- I will be a wall of fire for her all round her, and I will be her glory in the midst of her." (Zech.2:4-5).

That heavenly wall of God's defense extends to us in the form of His grace and is represented by the presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us -- forming a wall of grace which surrounds us and protects us from Satan's power.

Forming our wall of grace against sin, the Holy Spirit is the guardian that Jesus has sent to keep us safe in the faith of the Lord.

Because God has wrapped us in this heavenly garment, we can stumble and not die. God's grace keeps us free from sin. We cannot stay down when we slip, of course, but, because of grace, we can get up and continue on our journey to the kingdom of heaven even though we fall down many times.

Therefore, as long as we don't give up the exodus we have begun, the wall of grace that God has built around us -- the wall that appeared at Pentecost, 52 days after the crucifixion of Jesus -- will keep us safe on our journey to Christ's righteousness.

Again, this shows that we, ourselves, not the rocks and stones scattered around Palestine, are the true ruins of the Jerusalem God is rebuilding.

The wall that Ezra built fell down again, but God's spiritual wall of everlasting grace is an eternal guard, guaranteed by God to keep us safe forever as long as we remain in His word. This wall will never fall.

See, Also:



'The Clock of God', Chapter 29, 'Atonement and Grace'




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