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Thursday, February 9 2012

A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace

The complete series of studies for A History Of Jerusalem:
1. In The Beginning
5. The Glory Of Solomon
9. Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids
13. The Herodian Dynasty
17. Constantine and Muhammad
2. Melchizedek's Salem
6. The Temple Of The LORD
10. Abomination Of Desolation
14. The Coming Of The Messiah
18. The British Mandate
3. Jebus Of Canaan
7. The Capital Of Judah
11. The Hasmonean Kingdom
15. Titus And The Zealots
19. Zionism
4. The City Of David
8. Ezra And Nehemiah
12. Pompey And The Caesars
16. Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba
20. War And Peace

The Wars of Ancient Israel And Jerusalem

The land of Israel has known war for a very long time. While many regard the relentless state of conflict in Israel as something unique to the present age, it is in reality no different than what it has always been (as we've covered throughout this series). Even Abraham, a peaceful man from Iraq (see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees), guided by genuine righteousness (not self-righteousness), went to war when he was forced to fight - during which the LORD (see The Rock Of The Church) not only blessed him after the victory, but blessed him with the victory. While returning home, Abraham was met by Melchizedek, the King of Jerusalem (who was much more - see A History Of Jerusalem: Melchizedek's Salem), who attributed Abraham's success to "the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand."

Tribal Map

"14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. 14:15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 14:16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people." (Genesis 14:14-16 KJV)

"14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all." (Genesis 14:18-20 KJV)

After liberating the Israelites from an oppressive later Pharaoh (see Why Did They Go To Goshen?), by destroying the Pharaoh's army in battle, the LORD gave the Israelites the Promised Land, but He required them to fight for every inch of it. What in fact they were "given" was military success i.e. "the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand."

"2:24 And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us." (Joshua 2:24 KJV)

"10:7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour. 10:8 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee." (Joshua 10:7-8 KJV)

"21:43 And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. 21:44 And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand." (Joshua 21:43-44 KJV)

Jerusalem became a city of Israel because King David captured it by military action.

"5:1 Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. 5:2 Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.

5:3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron [see The Civil War Kings]; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel.

5:4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5:5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.

5:6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites [see A History Of Jerusalem: Jebus Of Canaan], the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. 5:7 Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion [see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism]: the same is the city of David.

5:8 And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.

5:9 So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David [see A History Of Jerusalem: The City Of David]. And David built round about from Millo and inward. 5:10 And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him." (2 Samuel 5:1-10 KJV)

Does that mean that the LORD is for war? No. The Ten Commandments, if humanity obeyed them, would produce a world of perfect peace - as it is going to do (the famous "swords into plowshares" prophecy, when all the world obeys God's Law - a prophecy that we will get to in a moment). But in the meantime, the LORD favors the one who is righteously and lawfully defending himself, his property, or his country. As we read, when Abraham's nephew Lot was kidnapped and his property looted, Abraham went after the aggressors (at the time, there were no police or army that Abraham could call upon) and the LORD "blessed" him with a victory. When the Israelites took the land of Israel in the time of Moses and Joshua, they were rightfully and lawfully doing so because the Creator and Owner ("...for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof" Psalm 50:12 KJV) authorized and commanded them to do so, by means of force, because the occupiers refused to leave peacefully. The same was true for David's taking of Jerusalem.

In conflict, the LORD takes the side of what is truly right, according to His Law, not the side of mere human dirt-level arrogance and aggression.

The Wars of Present-Day Israel And Jerusalem

Israel was able to become an independent nation in 1948 because Britain successfully fought to free the land of Israel from over 400 years of occupation and rule by the Muslim Ottoman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate). The photograph shows the British Military Cemetery in Jerusalem in which the over 2,200 British troops, who died in that liberation of the land promised to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in 1917, are buried.

British Military Cemetery In Jerusalem The end of the British Mandate in 1948 coincided with the emergence of a powerful new benefactor for the people of Judah / Israel. The armament demands of the Second World War had turned the U.S. into a war-based nation and economy - what President Dwight Eisenhower called "the military-industrial complex."

Due to a providential combination of a strong Jewish political lobby in the U.S., and the U.S. Government's desire for a dependable (as in dependent - although many debate just which one is now actually making political and military decisions for the other, most of the time) forward base in the Middle East, plus the deep "evangelical" support of Israel, regardless of what Israel does or doesn't do, massive amounts of armaments have been provided by the U.S. to Israel, from 1948 to the present day, subsidized and paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.

In the 1960s, Israel became the only nuclear-armed nation in the Middle East; their nuclear arsenal of an estimated 200 to 400 weapons of mass destruction are now in the air and at sea at all times. If Israel were ever to lose their country to an invader or aggressor, the invader or aggressor's own country would cease to exist also.

Beginning with the War of Independence, the people of Judah / Israel have fought nearly endless (and often even overlapping) wars. While many generally regard Israel to have fought "only" seven major wars since 1948, the list is actually much more lengthy, with a horrendous toll on the nation and its relatively small population - while accounts and official estimates vary, Israel has suffered over 20,000 troops killed and 75,000 wounded since 1948.

A partial list of the wars that Jerusalem has known in only the past few decades:

Israeli Troops In 1948

Israeli War of Independence
Began with conflict between Jews and Arabs within the territory of the British Mandate; became a full-scale war with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria upon Israel's Declaration of Independence in May 1948.

Retribution Actions
1950 - 1960s
Responses to Arab terrorist attacks from Syria, Egypt and Jordan.

The Suez Crisis
October 1956
Attack on Egypt by Britain, France and Israel after Egypt's nationalization, and threats of limiting access, of the Suez Canal.

The Six-Day War
June 1967
Egypt, Jordan and Syria, with Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria and other Arab/Muslim nations contributing. Israel won the "West Bank" and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the Sinai and Gaza from Egypt.

The War of Attrition
Attempts by Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the "Palestine Liberation Organization" (the PLO terrorist organization) to take back territory that they lost during the Six-Day War that they started with Israel.

Jerusalem under Jordanian artillery fire in 1948 The Yom Kippur War
October 1973
A surprise attack by Arab states, led by Egypt and Syria, on the Day of Atonement.

The South Lebanon Conflict of 1978
March 1978
The PLO terrorist organization that had been staging attacks on Israel from south Lebanon.

The Lebanon War of 1982
The PLO terrorist organization that had been continuing attacks on Israel from south Lebanon. The war resulted in Lebanon expelling the PLO from the country.

The South Lebanon Conflict
Lebanese Muslim guerrillas and the Iranian-supported and armed Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Israeli Battle Victory in 1948 The First Intifada
Palestinian (the English word "Palestinian" originated from the Biblical word "Philistine") uprising in the "West Bank" and Gaza.

The Second Intifada
Further Palestinian/Philistine uprising.

The Lebanon War of 2006
The Iranian-supported and armed Hezbollah terrorist organization

The Gaza War
The Hamas terrorists based in Gaza

"The Law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem ... they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks ... nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more"

When will the wars in Israel end? According to the Word of God, if left to humans, the answer would be never, or until there were no humans at all left alive on Earth to fight. That applies as much to all nations, as it does to Israel. Humans, in their present state, are the same wherever they happen to be.

"13:16 To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 13:16 KJV)

"59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. 59:8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace." (Isaiah 59:7-8 KJV)

In the days just prior to the return of the Messiah, the war situation for the entire world, but focused on Jerusalem, will become so dire that "except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved." That prophecy would seem to imply that an all-out nuclear war was about to happen.


"21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh." (Luke 21:20 KJV)

"24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains [see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation]: 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:15-22 KJV)

War, all war, everywhere on Earth, will be stopped forever on the day that the Messiah returns to Jerusalem - with overwhelming military force (see The Coming World Dictator).

"19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean [see also Legions Of Men And Angels]. 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING of kings, and LORD of lords.

19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 19:18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." (Revelation 19:11-21 KJV)

Then, all of humanity will joyously come to know and love the true LORD God, as they will sing "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."

"4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Micah 4:1-3 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is the true Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God? Will the Messiah of all people rule from Jerusalem, as He brings peace and true freedom to all of humanity?
See The True Gospel Of Christ and What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?

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This Day In History, February 9

474: Zeno was crowned as co-Emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

1267: The Synod of Breslau (at the time, a city in German-occupied Poland) ordered Jews to wear special caps in public.

1540: The first recorded horse race meeting in England was held at Roodeye Fields, Chester.

1667: The Truce of Andrusovo, a treaty between Poland and Russia that briefly ended their war for control of the Ukraine.

1674: King Charles II of England signed the Treaty of Westminster, bringing the war with the Dutch to a conclusion.

1757: The Treaty of Alinagar; it was the prelude to the British seizure of Bengal.

1788: The Habsburg Empire entered the Russo-Turkish War on the side of Russia.

1801: France and Austria signed the Peace of Luneville, ending that stage of The Holy Roman Empire (but it still exists, and will continue until Christ's return - see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).

1807: Much to the astonishment of French Christians and Jews alike, a "Sanhedrin" was established at the explicit orders of Napoleon Bonaparte. In return, the 40,000 Jews of France were expected to give up their efforts for a separate state in "Palestine."

1849: Giuseppe Mazzini proclaimed Rome a republic.

1917: During the First World War, the infamous Mata Hari (the stage name of a Dutch "exotic dancer"; her real name was Margaretha Zelle) was arrested by the French as a German spy. She was executed by firing squad in October of that year.

1934: The Balkan Entente was signed; a mutual defense agreement among Greece, Turkey, Romania and Yugoslavia to guarantee the signatories territorial integrity and political independence against attack by another Balkan state (i.e. Bulgaria or Albania). It proved ineffective against German influence during the 1930's and Adolf Hitler's arrogant treaty-ignoring aggression (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) leading up to and during the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1942: The French passenger liner Normandie burned and sank at its pier in New York City.

1966: The National Hockey League (NHL) announced that it was expanding from 6 teams to 12. The original 6 teams (Toronto, Montreal, Detroit, Boston, New York and Chicago) would be joined by the California Seals, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and the St. Louis Blues.

1978: Canada expelled 13 Soviet "diplomats" after they tried and failed to infiltrate the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

1994: Nelson Mandela became the first black President of South Africa.


Copyright © Wayne Blank