Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Old City

On Friday, August 1st, we had a "going away" luncheon for Stefan, from Canada, who is going home to attend college. His restaurant of choice was located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City. As we walked there, these are the Old City Walls just north of the Jaffa Gate.

Ahead is the Jaffa Gate on the left with King David's Citadel in the center. A few years ago, a walkway was built over the street because the pedestrian traffic is very heavy in this area.

The road continues past the Old City and connects with Hebron Road which leads to Bethlehem. The German Colony where I live would also be in this direction (south).

Jaffa Gate leads to Jaffa Road which in historical times would lead to the City of Jaffa on the Mediterranean Sea. English Bibles translate Jaffa as Joppa. Peter was in Joppa when he raised Tabitha from the dead. At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. ... And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner. Acts 9:36-43.

The Old City once you enter Jaffa Gate. In 1917, this is where General Edmund Allenby got off his horse and walked in with his British troops behind him. Once the Ottoman Turks were defeated at Beersheva and Gaza in 1917, they (the Turks) retreated from Jerusalem to fight the British further north near Megiddo (Valley of Armegeddon). One of the British officers that walked in that day with General Allenby was T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia).

Looking north from inside the Jaffa Gate. Notice the big iron door on the left. About a month ago, there an Israeli police officer murdered at the Lion's Gate which is on the opposite side of the Old City. All gates were shut and the Old City was "closed down" for a few hours.

Prior to General Allenby's dramatic entrance, in 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany visited Jerusalem during the time of the Ottoman Empire. Either the Kaiser or his wife wanted to enter the Old City by carriage which was not possible through the Jaffa Gate. Part of the adjoining walls were demolished to allow this. Because of that occasion in history, today Jaffa Gate still has one of the two roads into the Old City. The other one is the New Gate. The main method of travel in the Old City is walking. Below we are entering the western portion of the Arab Bazaar.

There are always plenty of items for sale in the Old City.

Below an Ethiopian Jewish soldier headed one direction in the narrow pathways with young Arab children going the other way. Only in Israel. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11.

From the rooftop of the restaurant looking at the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. The Mount of Olives is in the background. From this angle, you cannot see the Kidron Valley that lies in between. The Muslim Dome of the Rock was built around 691AD on the same location that the first two Biblical temples stood. The temple the Lord Jesus frequented was destroyed in 70AD. And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve. Mark 11:11. Bethany is located on the other side of the Mount of Olives.

Below if you zoom in on the "white" portion of the Mount of Olives, you will see it is an extremely large and expensive cemetery. God's Chosen People, the Jews, do know the verse that refers to the Messiah coming to the Mount of Olives: 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. Zechariah 14:4. The prophet Zechariah also recorded an earlier verse that obviously points towards the Lord Jesus. “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem ... Zechariah 12:10.

Below is the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.

The large grey domes are The Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Constatine's mother picked this site in 330AD as the site of the Crucifixtion and a church was built over it. Personally, I do not agree with the location. Muslims came along sometime in history and built a mosque right by it.

The dome of a church with the Israeli flag flying at the Tower of David. Unlike Muslim countries, Israel does permit Christians to worship freely.

Another church and hospice (?) that looks recently sandblasted and very clean.

It was a good choice by Stefan, in the yellow shirt, for his departure luncheon.

Gayla, from South Africa, taking a picture of me taking a picture of her. It may have been my fault. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.

As we walked out of the Old City, I noticed this Orthodox Jew looking at the Orthodox Christian priest. A typical Jerusalem photo.

After the luncheon, it was getting time for everyone to be home for the Sabbath. Now the Jewish shops were closed while the Arab ones were still open. The 4th Commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: ... For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. Exodus 20:8-11.

Walking home after congregation Friday evening, I had been wanting to take a picture of the bronze doors at the Bikur Holim Hospital. This sign describe the doors.

There are 3 of these beautiful bronze doors next to each other from the 1920's.

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