Two stories for you, well, same story, from two different points of view. The first is from the Jordan Times. The second is from the Israeli daily Haaretz.
Jordan warns Israel over Al Aqsa mosque as Jerusalem reaches “boiling point”
“Jordan warned Israel on Sunday over attempts by right-wing activists to storm Al Aqsa Mosque as fresh clashes broke out in Jerusalem in the latest sign that simmering tensions are threatening to transform the third holiest site in Islam into a flashpoint for conflict. Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh denounced the use of force by Israeli authorities against worshippers during clashes that erupted yesterday morning after Israeli police accompanied a group of non-Muslim visitors into Al Aqsa Mosque through the Bab Al Magharbeh gate.”
“Yesterday’s clashes came on the backdrop of calls by extremist Israeli groups and politicians to storm Al Aqsa Mosque and establish the so-called Third Temple, with eyewitnesses claiming that a number of right-wing activists had accompanied the group of foreign visitors and successfully entered the mosque.”
“According to the Jerusalem awqaf authorities, clashes broke out after worshippers singled out right-wing activists amidst the tour group and attempted to apprehend the “intruders”, prompting 40 anti-riot police to storm Al Aqsa Mosque plaza and use force to dispel Muslim prayer-goers. According to Israeli police, occupation forces arrested 18 Palestinians for their participation in the incident, accusing the men of “throwing stones” at the tour group and injuring several policemen. In a press statement issued yesterday, Judeh stressed Amman’s rejection of the “dangerous and systematic” attempts by Israeli extremist groups to occupy Al Aqsa Mosque, holding Tel Aviv accountable for the series of provocative measures custodians warn may ignite fresh violence in Jerusalem.”
“Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Abdul Salam Abbadi also condemned Israeli security forces for storming Al Aqsa and clashing with worshippers on Sunday, the latest in a series of acts that the minister said amount to a “declaration of war” on the third holiest site in Islam.”
“[This has] pushed tensions in the Old City to their highest levels since the second Intifada, which broke out in 2000. “Today we have seen the dangerous consequences of the atmosphere of distrust and extremism,” said Zaki Tawfiq, head of the Israel-based Al Aqsa Foundation for Awqaf and Heritage. “We are one misstep away from violence.”
Muslim worshippers, Israeli police clash at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount
Protesters hurl rocks at Mughrabi Bridge; in rare move, Israeli security forces enter Temple “Mount plaza to scatter the riot; 11 policemen, 15 Palestinians wounded.
Hundreds of Muslim worshippers clashed with police on Friday at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Following Friday prayers, hundreds of worshippers began hurling rocks at the Mughrabi Bridge at the entrance to the Temple Mount, which prompted Israeli police forces to enter the plaza and attempt to scatter the protest. Israeli police said that dozens of protesters gathered inside the Al-Aqsa mosque after hurling rocks at security forces, who, in a rare move, came to the entrance of the mosque and used stun grenades to scatter the protesters. Eleven policemen and 15 Palestinians were wounded as a result of the clashes. Four Palestinians were arrested. In light of several violent incidents that occurred at the Temple Mount this week, police heightened their presence at the site on Friday morning.”
O, Jerusalem! Let’s take a whirlwind tour of the history of Jerusalem.
According to Wikipedia, “During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BC, making Jerusalem one of the oldest cities in the world.”
The city is first mentioned in Genesis 14:18 when Melchizedek was King of the city. Abraham made a tithe offering to the King. Melchizedek is a Hebrew word for righteous, and the city was called Salem, meaning peace.
It was the center of Christ’s new Kingdom (Isaiah 33:5). It was depicted on maps as the center of the world.
David was King of Jerusalem, and there were many others, some good, some bad. The ark was housed at the temple in Jerusalem. God graciously gave us His presence there. Nehemiah cared so much for the city…”The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” (Neh 1:2-4).
Jesus entered the city in a (false) coronation. He was tried there. He died there and was resurrected in it. Jesus Himself wept over the city. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37)
Persecution forced believers out from the city. It was destroyed in 70AD.
Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24. It will be the location of the abomination that causes desolation (Mark 13:14).
It will be split into three parts during a great earthquake (Revelation 16:19). But when the Lord returns, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be— “ The LORD is one,” And His name one.” (Zechariah 14:4, 8-9)
The miraculous, living water will flow right out from the temple, “Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.” (Ezekiel 47:1)
Ezekiel’s final words in his last book of the City are “and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.” Jehovah Shammah! (Ezekiel 48:35b)
People think that because there will be a New Jerusalem coming down from heaven, intended as the dwelling place for the Church (Revelation 21:2) that there will not be an actual Jerusalem in which the LORD will dwell. Not so. Read Revelation 21:9-27. The Church will dwell in New Jerusalem and there will be an actual earthly city of Jerusalem in which David will be king under Jesus. (Hosea 3:5, Ezekiel 37:24-25).
Jerusalem has had a long and turbulent history, and it is not over yet by a long shot. But soon will come the peace for Jerusalem we all pray for. The Lord wants to gather the chicks to Himself as a hen and to reign rightfully from His Holy City. And He will.