If It’s Tuesday, I’ll Be In Texas

June 5th, 2017 Posted by Thought Tools 17 comments

What is interesting about these cities:  Naples, Oslo, Paris, Quebec City, Rome, Stockholm, and Tokyo?  No, it’s not the alphabetic sequence; that’s just me messing with you.  Here’s a clue:  Jerusalem is probably the only city that doesn’t fit that pattern.  What other great city older than two hundred years is not built on either a river or the coast?

That so many cities were built on water is no surprise.  To this day, the majority of the world’s goods and commodities still travel by ship.  Cities grow and thrive where trade occurs, and rivers and oceans have always been the arteries of trade.  The mystery is how Jerusalem grew and thrived.  It was never on a trading route like other inland cities such as those on the old Silk Road.  Because of its elevation, trading caravans would have taken flatter routes to the Mediterranean.  Thus it never had the large markets or “shuks” of cities like Baghdad and Beirut.

Yet, after more than two thousand years, Jerusalem’s vitality and endurance continue undiminished.  On May 28, 1948, the Jordanian army expelled every Jew from Jerusalem’s original old city and destroyed their homes.  In order to ensure that Jews would never return to Jerusalem, the Jordanians destroyed every synagogue and violated the cemetery by building their army latrines over the ancient grave stones.  On June 7th, 1967,  the Jews recaptured Jerusalem.

To honor that miraculous moment, I am speaking at the Dallas City Hall in Texas on Tuesday, June 6th at 4pm.  If you’re in the neighborhood please join us at that rally to recognize the miracle that is Jerusalem.  But that wasn’t the first time that Jews conquered their city from their enemies.

Nearly three thousand years earlier, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites.  Let’s take a careful look at two separate accounts of that victory.

The king and his men went to Jerusalem to the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land; who spoke to David, saying, You will not enter here unless you remove the blind and the lame….Nevertheless David took the fortress of Zion; the city of David.  David said on that day, whoever climbs up to the aqueduct, and strikes the Jebusites, along with the lame and the blind, who are hated by David’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. Therefore the saying, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.
(II Samuel 5:6-8)

Here’s a much later account in Chronicles:

David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; the Jebusites were the inhabitants of the land…(they) said to David, You will not enter here but David conquered the fortress of Zion, which is the city of David…and said, Whoever first strikes the Jebusites
shall be chief and captain.
(I Chronicles 11:4-6)

Many mistakenly assume Scriptural is merely repetitive but careful scrutiny reveals the differences between the two accounts and what they teach us.

For instance, in story #1 we find  “The king and his men” whereas later, in story #2 we read “David and all Israel.”  Ancient Jewish wisdom explains that initially, people doubted whether it was possible to take Jerusalem.  Thus they viewed David as just a nameless king who had only some of the people with him, namely “his men.”  Later, however, with the hindsight of the Book of Chronicles, he was lovingly referred to as “David” and surprise, surprise, the way they remembered it, “all Israel” had been with him.

Another difference between the two accounts which reveals the secret of David’s victory is the “blind and the lame” mentioned in Samuel.  Who were these blind and lame that David hated and who had to be removed before anything else could happen?  How could the good and compassionate King David hate handicapped people?  Ancient Jewish wisdom explains that these were the idols worshipped by the pagan Jebusites.

As King David himself wrote while describing idols in the Book of Psalms:

…they have eyes, but they cannot see…they have feet, but they cannot walk…
(Psalms 115:5-7)

David won the people by conquering Jerusalem and he conquered Jerusalem by recognizing that Jerusalem’s vulnerability lay in her worship of idols not in her weak fortifications.  Destroy the idols and Jerusalem is won.  The great secret of Jerusalem’s vitality and endurance is the city’s connection to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Those who serve God own the city; those that don’t will surrender it.  This was always true and will always be true.  Jerusalem doesn’t follow ordinary natural laws that govern all other cities.

Jerusalem originated with Abraham’s deep commitment to God and endures not by people coming to trade but by people coming to drink from her springs of spiritual sustenance and religious rejuvenation.  This is the main reason that Susan and I try to work there for a month each year.

…for from Zion shall go forth Torah, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
(Isaiah 2:3)

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17 comments

Mike Madison says:

The children of Issac, will one day, be granted the whole Levant,…over the children of ishmael,…such are the “Sheep”, and the “goats” so obviously different in even how they make war,…Israel sends notice ahead of time, to spare the non combatants,old men, and children, while the ishmaleites strike, in secret, hoping to murder all….

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Hi Mike-
the Six Day War fifty years ago was compellingly persuasive of God’s hand. It even “converted” Israeli atheists!
Nowadays, it seems we are still witnessing prophecies coming to be
Cordially
RDL

Capt GJ Singh says:

My dear Rabbi
Greetings from Bangalore India
Great to read about eternal Jerusalem the city of my heart.
Warm Regards and Best wishes
Capt Singh

Susan Lapin says:

Capt. Singh! How wonderful to hear from you. I hope all is well and that you are influencing the society around you.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

My Dear Captain Singh–
I echo Susan’s delight in hearing from you. Our lunch in Seattle is still fresh in my heart though it was a few years back.
We pray all is well in your orbit.
Cordially
RDL

The spiritual connection to Jerusalem is unmistakable. To this day my heart leaps when Yerushalaim is mentioned and tears well in my eyes.
“If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” Ps 137 5-6.
May all Israel come together to worship the one true God, the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Amen to your prayer, Miriam-
Thanks for writing such beautiful sentiments.
Shalom
Cordially
RDL

Lynn says:

My husband and I saw the movie, In Our Hands, last week. It was excellent. I remember the Six Day War. I was eleven and staying with my grandmother for a week. She listened to the news and told explained to me how what was happening was fulfilling prophecy. She instilled in me, at that time, a love for Israel that I’ve never lost.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Lynn-
I too just saw it and regard it as a magnificently done tribute to Israel and God’s administration of His land. In February 2004 I was honored to be present at a private gathering of about 20 Christian leaders including James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, John Hagee and others. People started talking of where they were when they heard on the radio that Jerusalem was back in Jewish hands and how without exception their parents all emphasized how this was a moment of prophecy coming to fulfillment. I found it unforgettably moving.
Cordially
RDL

This is fascinating! In “O Jerusalem”, a work of historically set fiction by mystery author Laurie R. King, the reader gets another glimpse of the uniqueness of Jerusalem, this time set in 1918, with a Jewish heroine. Our Rabbi has given us deeper insight through the contrasting Biblical passages for today.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thanks for writing Deb–
Yes, I remember that book.
Cordially
RDL

Henry says:

It seems that Israel (and Jerusalem) are located at the junction of three continents that throughout history have contained most of the world’s empires. If you are a growing power on the way from your homeland to conquer an empire you have to go through the Holy Land on your way from here to there. Maybe God knew something about the future when he placed his people who would carry his name on that particular patch of land?

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

What is more Henry,
The Latitude line of Jerusalem 31.8N and its Longitude line, 35.2E, both cover more land than any other coordinate. In other words, if you circle the globe E-W sticking on the 31.8 line and you do the same N-S sticking to the 35.2 line, you will be on land for more distance than any other Lat and Long lines.
What that means I plan to cover in a future Thought Tool.
Cordially
RDL

henry says:

I look forward to your post on this subject.
Thank you
Henry

H- says:

Yes, the whole Bible is a lesson in not to put your trust in men or appearances. Those jebusites did and look at how tragic their end was. But Israel endures even after such a long time and how! Israel reemerges strong because His Redeemer is alive and has inherited all things! The disgusting acts of jordan describe the spirit of balak and balam. Israel was to never seek the peace of moab and amon or present jordan. I honestly wait eagerly for Yeshua to return and strike those down who hate Israel His beloved and for Him to gather His children. May God Allmighty make us see it! I am sick of these disgusting nations gathering together and speaking so arrogantly against The Most High and His Heritage. Long live The King of Kings!

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Calm down, H,
You’re getting dangerously intense. I can understand your feelings but God has it all under control. Not worth making yourself sick over any nations. C’mon now, let’s see a smile….
Cordially
RDL

David Amanor says:

Indeed The Lord brought me in touch with you Sir Rabbi (your messages) divinely so I will fulfill my divine assignment on earth. There is thi’s joy inexplicable when I think of all that The Lord has done for us, and our home, the new Jerusalem. May my trust in Him so increase. I so love Him. Oh God. Thank you!

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