Tag: Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel

Jerusalem is the Eternal Capital of Israel

Jerusalem is the Eternal Capital of Israel

On Monday, May 14, the historic relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel took place, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding. The United States of America officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by opening a new embassy there.

Despite concerns from leaders of the Arab nations, the UN and some allies such as France, US President Donald Trump kept his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, where nearly all foreign embassies are located. The US Embassy will be housed temporarily in the former consulate building in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Arnona while officials look for a permanent location.

Trump Keeps His Promise

On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States would begin recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by officially opening the US Embassy there. He said that every nation has the right to determine its own capital.

“Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine its own capital, but for many years we failed to acknowledge the obvious.” – US President Donald Trump

For the record, Trump isn’t the first US President to talk about moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush supported the idea. Even Barrack Obama referred to the city as the capital of Israel and said it must remain undivided. But none of the previous presidents followed through for one reason and one reason only – that the move would appear to put the US squarely on the side of Israel.

But President Trump made it clear that his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not mean the United States has taken a position on final status negotiations. According to him, his administration will continue to work with the Israelis and Palestinians to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement between these two states.

Although Trump’s decision was met with mass rejection  and condemnation from all Arab and Muslim countries and most European and Western powers, countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and Romania announced their willingness to also move their embassies to Jerusalem.

Biblical history of Jerusalem

Jerusalem and its alternative Hebrew name “Zion” is mentioned in the Old Testament at least 800 times and at least 150 times in the New Testament. Through the ages it has been called by many names: Jebus, Mount Moriah, Salem, Zion, Jerusalem, the City of David and Ariel, which means “Lion of God.”

The Scriptural history of Jerusalem begins with the patriarch Abraham meeting Melchizedek, king of Salem around 2110 BC/BCE (Genesis 14:17-20), following Abraham’s defeat of Chedorlaomer who captured his nephew Lot. An interesting aspect of this meeting is that Abraham had bread and wine with Melchizedek and then gave him a tenth of all he had.

About 70 years later – around 2082 BC/BCE, in obedience to God’s command, Abraham took his son Isaac to Mount Moriah in order to offer him as a sacrifice to the Lord (Genesis 22:1-18). But as he was about to slay Isaac, the Lord stopped him and supernaturally provided a ram instead. Abraham called that place, “The Lord will Provide,” since God provided a sacrifice in place of Isaac.

*Related topic: When God Tests Your Faith

Around 1405 BC, the children of Judah, one of the 12 tribes of Israel, fought against Jerusalem and captured it (Judges 1:8). This became the dividing line between Judah and Benjamin, on Benjamin’s side. However, the sons of Benjamin failed to drive out the Jebusites who were living in Jerusalem so they lived together (Joshua 1:21).

David and Solomon

When David was made king over Israel, he conquered Jerusalem by defeating the Jebusites and made it the capital of his kingdom (1 Chronicles 11:4-9). Interestingly, King David did this in the middle of a war with the Philistines. He made sure Jerusalem was secured and established before setting out to defeat the Philistines. King David reigned over Israel for 30 years and made Jerusalem into a great city.

After King David’s death, his son Solomon became king and began to build a temple for God (2 Chronicles 2:1). The temple was completed after 7 years with a labor force of 183,300 men (1 Kings 5:13-16; 6:38). And when it was completed, the glory of God filled the Temple (2 Chronicles 7:1).

Note: The complete details of the first ever temple that was built in Jerusalem is described in 1 Kings 6 & 7.

The Kingdom of Israel Divided

After the death of King Solomon, the kingdom split into two: the Kingdom of Israel in the North with Samaria as its capital and the Kingdom of Judah in the South with Jerusalem as its capital. The southern kingdom which included the tribes of Judah and Benjamin was ruled by Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, while the northern kingdom which included the remaining 10 tribes was governed by Jeroboam, King Solomon’s servant.

When the Babylonians under the leadership of King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah, the City of Jerusalem as well as the temple was completely destroyed, and its treasures carried off to Babylon. The few men who were not killed were exiled to Babylon for 70 years to serve as servants until the king of Persia came to power (2 Chronicles 36:17-21).

The Rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem

In 539 BCE, Persia under King Cyrus conquered Babylon and allowed the exiled Jews to return to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild the Temple of God (Ezra 1:1-4). The total number of people that returned to Jerusalem in Judah to help rebuild the Temple, not including male and female servants and singers, is 42, 360. Everyone gave according to their ability in order to finance the work.

Under the leadership of Jeshua and Zerubbabel, the people started to build the altar in the first year during the month of Tishri, in order to offer sacrifices in celebration of Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles and the other Festivals of the Lord in accordance with the Torah (Ezra 3:2-4). Despite oppositions to the rebuilding of the Temple, it was finally completed after 23 years.

Jerusalem Destroyed in 70 AD

Although there is no biblical account of Jerusalem from 445 to 425 BCE when the prophet Nehemiah rebuilt its walls and the city confined to Eastern Hill until the time of Jesus, the Second Temple stood in Jerusalem for 420 years (349 BCE to 70 CE). During that time, the city of Jerusalem and the Jews were subject to foreign rule: by the Persians, the Greeks and eventually the Romans.

Aside from the historical fact that Jesus started His ministry in Jerusalem, was crucified, resurrected and ascended into heaven from Jerusalem, one rather significant event that took place there is the “Triumphal Entry.” The Sunday before crucifixion, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey’s colt and the multitudes came out to welcome Him with palm branches and spread them on the road (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-40 & John 12:12-19). Jesus also drove out the money changers and merchants inside the Temple (Matthew 21:12-17).

The destruction of the 2nd Temple was predicted by Jesus in Matthew 24:1-2 and in Luke 21:5-6 which was fulfilled in 70 AD when the Romans under Emperor Titus conquered Jerusalem. This caused the Jews to be scattered throughout the world. During this period, the Temple Mount was for the most part profaned and neglected.

The siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD

In the first hundred years after the city and the Temple was destroyed, the Jews had high hopes of returning to their land and rebuild that which was devastated. However, Emperor Hadrian decided to establish a new Roman city on the ruins of Jerusalem to be named Colonia Aelia Capitolina.

But Hadrian’s attempt to eradicate all traces of a Jewish city named Jerusalem caused the Jews to rebel. Under the leadership of a man named Simon Bar Kochba, the Jews attempted to revolt against the Roman Empire who was in control of Jerusalem. They won and Jerusalem was liberated for three years until the Romans marched against the rebels and killed Bar Kochba. Jerusalem was once again blotted out and Aelia Capitolina was built on its site as had been planned.

The Six-Day War in 1967

The Six Day War
Photo Credits: Six Day War Territories

The Jews did not have control over Jerusalem since its destruction in 70 AD. But when God promised to save His people from all corners of the earth, He specifically told them that they will again dwell in Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:7-8).

So during the six-day war in June 1967 which they fought against Egypt, Jordan and Syria, the Jews took control of Jerusalem. Israel also captured the Gaza Strip, Sinai, the Golan Heights and the West Bank (formerly known as Judea and Samaria).

The six-day war was fought from June 5-10, 1967. It sprung from the shared desire on the part of the surrounding Arab states to totally eliminate Israel and to erase the shame of their defeat in 1948 when they failed to destroy the Jewish state. Egypt, Jordan and Syria formed a coalition to come against Israel but the Israeli army launched a preemptive strike against these nations.

Outnumbered by the combined Arab armies, and surrounded by enemies on three sides and the deep blue Mediterranean on the fourth, Israel had resolved to strike first and win quickly. Their preemptive strike aimed at destroying the Arab forces on the ground turned out to be one of the most brilliant aerial operations in history.

The Significance of Jerusalem to Christianity, Judaism and Islam

Jerusalem, which is one of the oldest cities, is considered to be one of the holiest places in the world and a site of major significance for the three largest monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

The Wailing Wall

For Christians, it is the place where Jesus walked, preached, suffered and died, resurrected and ascended to heaven. For the Jews, Jerusalem has always been seen as the holiest city because it was the site of the main temple of the Jewish faith. And for Muslims, Jerusalem is believed to be the place where Allah brought Prophet Muhammad in his night journey and led the other prophets in prayer.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

For 70 years, Jerusalem has been divided between Israel and Palestine. Both have claimed Jerusalem as its capital city and as a result, bloody conflicts have been waged between them to control the city and the sites within it.


Jerusalem has been and always will be the eternal, undivided capital of Israel. Even Islamic leaders acknowledge that Jerusalem is full of Jewish history. In 1924, Jerusalem’s Supreme Islamic Council published a tourist pamphlet on the Temple Mount that says, “The site’s identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This is also the spot on which David built an altar to the Lord.”

As a Bible-believing Christian, I would say that the decision of President Trump to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv is filled with biblical significance. This has nothing to do with politics; God is setting the stage for the Lord’s return.

Zechariah 14:4 and Acts 1:9-12 tell us clearly that Jesus will return to Jerusalem in glory. Jesus is not coming to London, New York, Rome or Palestine. The final battle will center on Jerusalem and Jesus will reign from Jerusalem during the Millennial Kingdom.

As believers in the Lord Jesus, let us continue to support and stand with Israel. Let us also pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) while waiting for the Prince of Peace, the Messiah to return.