Jerusalem: The Eternal Capital of Israel

Argument abounds regarding the legitimacy of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Though David established Jerusalem as the capital of his kingdom about 1,000 years before Christ, parts of the Old City, including Temple Mount, fell into Muslim control during modern history.

In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel recaptured Temple Mount and reunited Jerusalem. Despite that victory, Israel (in the interest of peace) allowed Temple Mount to remain under Jordanian control, and a very large Muslim quarter is still entrenched inside the walls of the Old City.

Regardless, there has been Jewish presence in Jerusalem for 3,000 years and every logical sign points to the fact that Jerusalem was and is a Jewish city…the eternal capital of the Jewish state, Israel.

Consider these facts, then decide for yourself whether or not Jerusalem is indeed the capital of the Jewish homeland:

The Old and the New

The city of Jerusalem (in Hebrew: ירושלים) is home to about 800,000 people…roughly 62% Jews, 35% Muslims, 2% Christians and 1% other; and is considered a holy city to all three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

The old, walled city (often called the Old City) still stands in the midst of the more modern city of Jerusalem.  In fact, here are some walls and gates of the Old City:



Whereas the Old City is centuries old, other parts of Jerusalem are brand new.  In fact, construction is so rampant in Jerusalem that they say the national bird is the crane!  (This was a hazy day, but look carefully in the background!  Hint: construction!)



Jerusalem has a new light rail…

…modern shopping areas…

…and some incredible views!

Finally, life inside the Old City walls is very interesting.  The Old City is composed of 4 “quarters,” though not all the same size: Jewish quarter, Muslim quarter, Armenian quarter, and the Christian quarter.  The Christian quarter is not what we would think of as “Christian” in our western minds, but one composed of multiple versions of Christian faith (Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Roman Catholic, etc).  Furthermore, the Muslim quarter is the largest portion, while the Jewish quarter is the smallest.  Life in the Jewish quarter is much cleaner and more peaceful than other portions.  In fact, it is common to see Jewish families hanging out, overseeing their children play!  Here are some scenes from the Jewish quarter:

Here are some shots taken in the Muslim quarter:



In the Christian quarter a couple years ago, we witnessed a processional to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (of which many religious groups claim oversight!).



And…here are some sites from the Armenian quarter:



So, there you have it!  A sample of each quarter of the Old City, plus a bit about modern Jerusalem!  Hope this provides some insight!

Blessings…and stay tuned for more about sites in Jerusalem and the Dead Sea area.