Hebrew Highlights 145 – The Old City


          Shalom, This is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.


          PSA 48:1-2 (A Song; a Psalm of the sons of Korah.) Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God, His holy mountain.  Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion in the far north, The city of the great King.

          Anyone who visits the Holy City of Jerusalem will agree that she is beautiful.  Despite the obvious Middle Eastern flavor of some neighborhoods, or perhaps because of it, Jerusalem has a special flair.

          This Psalm, is of course referring to what we today call the “Old City”, since modern day Jerusalem, with its 700,000 residents, only began to appear outside the old city walls a mere 150 years ago.

          The words “beautiful in elevation”, which are poetically correct, would be more accurately translated as beautiful in view.  From almost any apartment or business window in Israel’s capital, you can see for miles and miles.  To the East, you look upon the barren wilderness towards the country of Jordan.  You can actually see Jordan’s mountains from many vantage points.

          To the North, you behold the agricultural areas of Samaria.  To the South, Bethlehem is within sight of the naked eye.  And finally, the western scene opens the curtain on the Sharon valley, and on a good day, all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

          Even at street level, you see beauty.  All the buildings surrounding you are made of the glaring white “Jerusalem Stone” quarried nearby.  Even after the yellow of aging sets in, the walls have a particularly profound look to them.  And of course, as portrayed in the song “Jerusalem of Gold”, whenever the sun is rising or setting, the whole city lights up like a gilded menorah.

          When you visit the Old City for the first time, you will round some or other corner from one of the new city’s main thoroughfares, and suddenly, the Old City’s walls will loom before your eyes.  I have never been with a new-comer who didn’t gasp aloud at their first sighting.  Even today, having seen those walls over and over for the last 29 years, I myself occasionally find a tear welling up as I ponder the meaning of God’s promises behind those great ramparts.

          I suppose some would argue that the phrase “the joy of the whole earth” is debatable, since so much of the world seems to despise Jerusalem in its status as the center of the earth.

          Frankly, I don’t take into account those who hate her, as they are the same ones who hate Jerusalem’s true King.  They couldn’t be really joyful if they wanted to be, because the true joy and understanding of Jerusalem come from the first verse.  “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God, His holy mountain.”  If not for the Lord’s presence and compassion on Jerusalem, she would be just another ancient city.


          Now let’s quickly read verses 8-14, “As we have heard, so have we seen In the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God; God will establish her forever. Selah.  We have thought on Thy lovingkindness, O God, In the midst of Thy temple.  As is Thy name, O God, So is Thy praise to the ends of the earth; Thy right hand is full of righteousness.  Let Mount Zion be glad, Let the daughters of Judah rejoice, Because of Thy judgments.  Walk about Zion, and go around her; Count her towers; Consider her ramparts; Go through her palaces; That you may tell it to the next generation.  For such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death.”

          No other city has received an “eternal” mandate from God.  And this is not allegorical or theoretical.  There WILL BE an eternal New Jerusalem, and her ramparts will be glorious.

          The sons and daughters of today’s Jerusalem can rejoice of God’s judgments, because they are righteous.  No matter what the world says, and no matter that the nations choose to place their embassies in Tel Aviv, the truth is that the Almighty One has picked one capital for Israel, and her name has not changed.

          Jerusalem is not perfect, and neither is her government.  Yeshua himself said in LUK 13:34, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!”

          But the Heavenly Father will continue to pour out His mercies on His favored city until she says, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”  We WILL see Messiah reigning as King is this city.

          In the mean time, “Walk about Zion, and go around her; Count her towers; Consider her ramparts; Go through her palaces; That you may tell it to the next generation.”

          Maybe our children, our maybe still we ourselves, will hear the shofar blast, and see His coming in the clouds!  We may witness His pierced feet touch down again on the Mount of Olives.  Then, the City of Gold, will shine with His glory!


          Shalom, shalom from Jerusalem