Saturday, November 18, 2006

Jerusalem / Zion

The following paragraph is from Dr. Asher Eder’s book The Star of David, which was published in 1987 in English in Jerusalem by Rubin Mass Ltd. The publication here is courtesy of Oren Mass

This version includes corrections and new materials that do not appear on the printed version

Photo is courtesy of mharrsch who Photographed it at "The Holy Land Experience", Orlando, Florida and published it on Flickr.

The story of this most historic city begins in the days of Melchizedek, King of Salem, a priest of God the Most High, who according to Jewish tradition, was none other than Shem (Sem)1, one of the sons of Noah. Salem, now called Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), is the place where Abram-Abraham met Melchizedek.2
Since these remote days, Jerusalem became a focus for Abraham's descendants, and a counteragent to Babel. Yet there is more to it.
King David, following this Abrahamic tradition, confirmed Jerusalem as the city of acknowledgment and proclamation of the Lord as King over Israel and all nations.
We will better comprehend this proclamation when we realize the significance of Jerusalem’s geographical position. It is located right on top of a north-south stretching mountain range whose western slopes get good winter rain, and are fertile land for farmers, while its rather arid eastern slopes carry the shepherds with their flocks. The territory of the tribe of Yehudah comprises both parts; for, as the ruling tribe, he has also to balance the diverging interests of the farming and the shepherding societies and the respective cultures which they developed (Cain and Abel at the beginning of mankind’s history; and in our present situation, Christianity in the west and north of Jerusalem, and Islam in its east and south); and to establish peace based upon the Divine Law.
Thus, Jerusalem is indeed the apex of the Divine work of guiding and educating Mankind. The proper celebration of the Divine sovereignty on Earth is the main thrust to David's Psalms and of the teaching of the Prophets who came after him.
King Solomon, continuing his father's endeavors, built the Temple in Jerusalem as the House of the Lord, the visible dwelling place of His Name.3
Since the days of David and Solomon, Jerusalem has also been called the "City of the Sanctuary"4 or "Zion".5 These names imply that the earthly Jerusalem is the irrevocable and indissoluble base for the Heavenly Jerusalem. It is so for the benefit of all mankind.
This is strikingly transfigured in Jerusalem's topography, too. "Earthly" Jerusalem started out next to the Gihon spring at the lowest point of the whole area. It was built upon a small hill between the Kidron Valley6 and the Tyropean Valley (now nearly filled with rubble). This hill contained the "City of David", as Jerusalem was called after David's conquest.7 In fact, it is a protrusion (or ophel in Hebrew) coming forth from Mount Moriah. Geographically and geologically, Mount Moriah (also known as the Temple Mount) and the City of David form one unit, with the latter as the lower and the Temple Mount as the upper part. Figure 50a shows the topographical lines of the area; figure 50b, the walled City of David with the Temple Mount in the background, as can be seen in the 1:50 scale model outside the Holy Land Hotel (West), Jerusalem:

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