Page images

read that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and, as the great Architect of the Universe, he claims the exclusive worship of man. Since the day when the tent of the wilderness (the Tabernacle) was enlarged into the Temple, what various and thrilling events have made the temple site famous! There swiftly passes in review the foundation of that sacred and stately edifice, with its spacious courts and white marble walls, resplendent with fine gold; the magnificent rites and ceremonies, the solemn prayers and costly sacrifices, and the mysterious Holy of Holies, the Shekinah.

Then follows the destruction of this sacred place by the idolaters from Babylon, and its restoration by Zerubbabel and Ezra, when some who had seen the first house wept, while others shouted for joy. And finally, Herod's Temple, larger and more magnificent than the others, which had been forty-six years in progress when Jesus spake in it of its final destruction, which came with Titus and the Romans; and of all its precious and beautiful furniture and sacred vessels, there remains only a time-worn sculpture of the Candlestick and the crumbling Triumphal Arch of Titus at Rome.

Besides these material things there is a long procession of good men and women, kings, prophets, and priests, who frequented this place to worship, and held the same faith with us; whose lives are our éxample, and whose songs are our psalms and hymns of praise. The dark side of the picture is stained with frightful idolatries, devilish wickedness, falsehoods, blasphemies, hypocrisies, and murders, even

in the midst of the most awful denunciations against sin in every form.

The view is also darkened by accounts of sieges, famines, destructions, captivities and dispersions, desolations and wars unnumbered, with but a few rays of blessings in restorations. Uncounted millions for nearly two thousand years have directed towards this shrine their hopes and prayers. This eventful history and its present condition lead to the inquiry, will the Temple ever be rebuilt? Will Jerusalem ever be restored? Will the twelve tribes ever be regathered?-questions that can only be answered by the Great Director of human events.

From Abraham to the present time a knowledge of the one true God has been the chief source of inspiration, and there have been many great teachers who have instructed, counseled, warned, and threatened the people; always magnifying the service and the rewards of the true faith. Will there ever be another great teacher there?


The name of this famous and sacred city suggests inquiry into its origin and history.

The name, Jerusalem, is first found in Joshua x. 1, 3, 5, 23. It is next called Jebus or Ha Jebusi, and its inhabitants Jebusites. The Greeks called it Hiero Solyma (Holy City of Solomon); but Jerusalem has been the common name since Solomon's time.

The second son of Noah was Ham, who begat Canaan, whose descendents were the Jebusites, who dwelt in the hill country in which Jerusalem is situa

ted, and had their stronghold on Mount Zion, and, as there is no reliable record or tradition of its occupation by any other people previous to its occupation by the Jebusites, the conclusion is very evident that the city was founded by them ; but there exists no data for determining the precise time.

"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

Send thou men that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel

And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain.

"So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath.

And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.

And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.

And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.

The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan." (Numbers xiii. 1, 17, 21, 25, 26, 27, 29.)

"And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same

is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:

And the border came down to the end of the moun tain that lieth before the valley of the son of Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the giants on the north, and descended to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of Jebusi on the south, and descended to En-rogel,

And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families." (Joshua, xv. 8xviii. 16, 28.)


The first recorded siege was by Judah and Simeon (about 1400 B.C.).

Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?

And the Lord said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.

And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him.

And Judah went up; and the Lord delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.

Now the children of Judah had fought against

Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire. (Judges, i. 1, 2, 3, 4, 8.)

But they only took the lower city-the fortress of Zion and upper city being too strong for them.

Following this was an attack by the Benjamites, but with no better success.

These sieges and attacks were continued through the time when Israel was ruled by the judges, and the reign of Saul, and the reign of David at Hebron. But the Jebusites successfully resisted every attempt on the fortress of Zion, and thus remained practically masters of the city until about 1049 B.O., when David with an army of 280,000 men, choice warriors, the flower of Israel (1 Chron., xii. 23, 39), advanced to the siege, and with little trouble took the lower city, but, as before, the citadel on Zion held out until the Jebusites tauntingly said to him: "Except thou take away the lame and the blind thou shalt not come in hither" (2 Samuel, v. 6,7,8). Which roused David's anger, and he proclaimed to his host, that the first who would climb the rocky side of the fortress and kill a Jebusite should be made chief captain of the host; upon which a crowd of warriors rushed forward to the attempt, but Joab's superior agility gained him the day, and the citadel-the fortress of Zion-was at last taken. The fall of this hitherto impregnable stronghold created a great sensation throughout the length and breadth of the land.

David at once proceeded to fortify and secure him self in his important acquisition by enclosing the city and citadel with a strong wall. The ark was brought

« PreviousContinue »