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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Satan's Involvement with Jerusalem

Nadene Goldfoot Meggido, where a final battle is to take place

The History Channel had an interesting program tonight called: God vs Satan, Examining Jewish, Christian and Islamic beliefs about Armageddon. Evidently the major beliefs are that we are at the end of days. All three religions are fighting over Jerusalem, and in the end Christianity believes it will attain the city. Nothing was mentioned about us poor Jewish folks whose city it is now and has been since our King David. In fact, the fight is between Israel and the future Palestinians who are trying to take Jerusalem, at least at the moment East Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, when Israel was declared a state in May of 1948, was divided in two parts. Israel's section was all of the west and southern part of the New City, including "Mt. Zion" and an enclave on Mt. Scopus. It extended west by the construction of the Knesset and Government quarter with the national Museum and University campus. New housing projects such as Kiryat Yovel were built. New rabbinical centers were erected. A number of factories were set up. The city was the center of the country and remains so.

June 5, 1967 was the start of the 6 Day War. Jordanian troops were in the Old City and Jordanian sections of the city bombarded the New City. Israel's army retaliated and in two days the entire city came under Israel control. The first thing that happened was that everyone went to the Western Wall which had been forbidden to Jews for almost 20 years. On June 29, 1967, Israel formally united the two sections of the city and barriers were removed.

There were times of Arab-Jewish cooperation as well as sabotage which exacerbated relations. In 1987, which was the beginning of the intifada, Arabs caused more harm to the residents. Terrorism was encouraged by outside elements and Arab states continued to press for a reversion to the pre-1967 situation, and they haven't stopped yet. Of course, under Israeli control, Jerusalem is open to all religions. Israel's control has meant freedom for all.

The Jerusalem Law of 1980 gave Israel sovereignty over the whole city. Excavations which had been carried out at the site of the City of David were supplemented by diggings around the western and southern walls of the Temple enclosure. I was there in 1980-1985 and was able to see some of this. So much of the archaeology findings would not have happened until Israel controlled all of Jerusalem. In fact, a Goldfuss is an archaeologist who lives in Jeusalem. He may be in on some of these digs and he most likely is a relative of mine.

Now the end of days is supposed to take place at Megiddo, an ancient town in Israel in the valley of Jezreel. People lived there from the 4th millennium BCE to 500 BCE. It stood in the path of the connection to Egypt with Mesopotamia. It's even mentioned in Egyptian writings and was the site of the victory of Pharaoh Thutmose III over the king of Kadesh, and the scene of many battles including Deborah's victory over the Canaanites. The New Testament chose this site for the apocalyptic war between the forces of good and evil. When it was excavated from 1909 to 1939, over 20 strata of settlement s were uncovered. In 1949 Polish Jewish immigrants built a kibbutz nearby.

The disappointing part of the TV program was that Satan would only be chained for 1,000 years. That's not a long time considering Jews have waited over 2,000 years to return to reestablish Israel and to live in peace, finally. In the end he will be thrown into the fire and brimsstone of hell. It seems to be a never-ending battle with him. Remember, this is the New Testament version.

In Judaism, Satan, otherwise known to many as the devil, Lucifer or the prince of Demons is found in Job as a naughty angel with the function of that of the accuser. He grows into a hostile, destructive and evil spirit becoming the tempter. In some accounts, he appears as the arch-enemy of Israel. In kabbalistic literature he is less prominent as other names are used for demonic rulers and princes of evil. Perhaps right now I can blame this devil for the problems of Israel who has had to defend itself since its inception.

Resource: Oregonian TV guide: History Channel: God vs. Satan
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

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