The burdensome stumbling stone of Jerusalem

A signet seal of Baruch, the scribe of the prophet Jeremiah (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

‘And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.’ – Zechariah 12:3

Peace has been found in the Middle East! Found in the ancient rubble of the City of David archeological site was a signet seal of Baruch, the scribe of the Jewish prophet Jeremiah, which was discovered nearby the water passage dug out by the Jewish King Hezekiah to defend against the Assyrian siege, found near the palace of Jewish King David close to the passage by which he is described in the Bible as using to capture Jerusalem from the Jebusites in the 10th century BC. So the Jews were here after all and it’s finally settled: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel!

But no. In 2017 AD the elite of the nations of the world met in that august body called the United Nations and voted that it is just not so. By a vote of 128 to 9 the majority won, and declared that the Jews have no historical right or connection to the city or to call it their capital, even if the United States of America recognizes it as such. Never mind that Jerusalem is the seat of the Israeli parliament, the Supreme Court, and all its administrative offices and home to its president and prime minister since 1948. And the majority must be right.

But a heavy rumble was heard rolling down the alley to strike down those pins of opposition as President Trump of the USA declared the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. And the scattered pins arose to gather together in a foaming rage and grinding of teeth. They assemble and shout with the burning of American and Israeli flags filling the streets with smoke in storms of anger, “The ancient places are ours!” (Ezekiel 36:2)  They tie even tighter the knot of Jerusalem.

And the blind and misled theologians and deniers of reality hover over their texts from Rome to Washington DC to Mecca crying, “Naught but a political accident!” They ponder in their clusters of sage opinions as Jerusalem is become a magnet drawing the nations into alignment like pig iron arrayed in utter dismay, unable to ignore this historical reality.

And the very learned gather in vain in the night to find a formula to untie the Gordian Knot, seeking the sword Excalibur to slice the Holy City and Land into appeasing pieces for peace, a sword to be drawn only by the King whose unction it is to draw it forth from the burdensome stumbling stone of Jerusalem, His city.

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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 five illustrated books of poetry, painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, and most recently produced THE JERUSALEM ILLUSTRATED BIBLE, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.