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The war, Jerusalem and the King, the stumbling stone

He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. – Isaiah 2:4

The battle for Jerusalem is quietly raging. Jerusalem, the ancient city from which the Torah of God and the Gospel of the Messiah went forth to the ends of the earth for the last two millennia, shaping paradigms and standards of human consciousness, is now returned to the center of attention in world politics.

As a new and virulent form of anti-Semitism resurges, so the war burns against Christianity, Christians, and the Christ, who is a Jew of the Jews. In the Levant, Christians are being decimated in an unprecedented fashion, driven out by Islamic rage and barbarism, until the very birthplace of Christianity- Bethlehem- is nearly void of Christians, now the minority.

The only safe haven now for Christians in the Middle East is the Jewish state, where they are free as they flee the lands of Muhammad. The Islamic Republic of Iran, far from the borders and unaffected by tiny Israel, nevertheless irrationally seethes with hatred for Israel and annually declares on their “Jerusalem Day” its intention to destroy her with nuclear hordes.

Daily the voices of implacable hatred resound from every mosque from Gaza to Paris to Edinburgh to the United Nations councils, calling for the dismantling of the one Jewish nation. Israel’s enemies continually rewrite history to the exclusion of any Jewish history or historical right to the city of Jerusalem, despite ample evidence to the contrary, claiming the city and the entire land as their own. And in the West, Christians and the Christ are now maligned and marginalized, while at the same time in the Far East, made desolate by atheistic Communism, the sun rises with a new vibrant birth of faith in the Jewish Messiah as never before.

Jerusalem- along with its invisible King- has become as a stumbling stone to all who take up against her. And yet, in the eye of the perfect storm, Jerusalem is now rebuilt from its ruins to its former glory by Jewish hands after a two thousand year hiatus. The ancient biblical cities of the Land of Israel stand now reborn and resurrected from death, flourishing despite unceasing hostility and opposition, and constant threats of war and terrorism and annihilation.

The pale and bent, feeble and frightened Jew of the Diaspora is now become a brave David, the warrior and poet, whose songs are once again heard sung throughout the Land. The fields that lay fallow and barren dust for generations are now well-watered crops and lush gardens. Malarial swamps are now fertile fish farms, and the withered vines now bear luscious clusters of fruit. The fig tree blossoms and the desert blooms with joy and praise.

“He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies,” wrote King David three thousand years ago in Jerusalem, and we once again sing it here in spirit and the original Hebrew, a language also risen from the dead. The stage is now set in Jerusalem, where past, present and future meet head-on as the nations array themselves against, or for, the Sovereign of the heavens.

And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God. – Amos 9:14-15

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Elhanan ben-Avraham
Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published two illustrated books of poetry, and painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.

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