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10 Tevet: a Bittersweet Moment

It happened twice.

History repeated itself, literally. Same dates, different enemies.

For a very long time, the story of Jerusalem was the mere written accounts in the Bible and a few other supporting historical sources. But for those of little faith stories are inevitably fallible and seeing is believing.

Then 1948 happened – the land of Israel was returned to the Jewish people, and the Jewish people returned. Some expired prophecies suddenly started to rise from the dead.

Then 1967 happened – Jerusalem was reunited, or at least the Old City was back in our hands. But the real Jerusalem, the place where it all began, still lay buried underneath 10 time periods of dirt topped with an icing of asphalt.

It took a touch of faith, lots of patience and hard work to reach the other side of the story, the one written in stone.

On the 10th of Tevet (the 10th month in the Hebrew Calendar), 2440 years ago, Jerusalem was besieged. It kicked off a cycle of calamities that spiraled through Jewish history. About three years later, Nebuchadnezzar breached the walls on the 17th of Tammuz (fourth month) and burned the Temple on the 9th of Av (fifth month). The gloomy cycle ended with the murder of Gedalyahu, the last Jewish governor on the 3rd of Tishrei (first month) which pushed the exile into full throttle.

After 70 years the Jewish people returned to rebuild the ruins, the walls, the Temple and to start their lives again. 420 years later the destructive cycle repeated itself by the hands of the Romans, this time expelling the Jewish people from their land for almost two millennia.

Beauty for Ashes

The 38th chapter in Jeremiah plays a pivotal role in our understanding of Jerusalem’s besiegement. The first verse speaks of four government officials who tried to silence Jeremiah’s prophetic voice, a message that told the Jewish people that time was up, destruction is nigh. 2,800 years later, Dr Eilat Mazar found two bullot (seal impressions) with the names written as they appear in Jeremiah 38:1:

Seal Impression of Gedalyahu Ben Pashur | Courtesy of Eilat Mazar | Photo by: Gabi Laron
“And Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah spoke unto all the people…”

Seal Impression of Yuchal Ben Shelemiyahu | Courtesy of Eilat Mazar | Photo by: Gabi Laron

Two of the four officials’ names right there, and no way to refute it (unless you are UNESCO and you are building a whole fake narrative). These are the things you should use on a DAILY BASIS when you fight for Zion. These are your weapons. Jerusalem is partnering with your efforts – use it!

You may ask how it is possible that these two clay seal impressions survived 2,800 years if surely the soft clay used for it would easily disintegrate in a span of about 500 years. Any potter will tell you that the only way you can get pottery to endure, is by firing it up in a kiln. You see, it is the intense heat of Jerusalem’s destruction that baked these seals, eternalizing them in order for us to find them 2,800 years later. I call this a bittersweet moment, that out of one of the most tragic and traumatic moments in history, a message of hope was born, beauty for ashes.

Jeremiah 38 ends with a very strange verse. Most translations didn’t even see it fit to record the strange sentence construction within the verse:

Most translations:

“And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.”

Closest to Hebrew Translation:

So, Jeremiah abode in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken. {S} And it came to pass, when Jerusalem was taken… {P}

By the way, the {s} and the {p} in the translation are also very important, something you will almost never see in an English translation, but that’s a discussion for another day. I want to focus on the fact that the last open-ended sentence basically ensures that Jerusalem’s destruction is mentioned twice. Whenever you see something written twice in Hebrew, it means that it is very important, hence the irony that most translations brush over it. Perhaps because earthly Jerusalem's significance was inexcusably diminished by some ignorant doctrines.

Jerusalem was destroyed twice by fire, and in and around the City of David when archaeologists start digging, they already know that they will find two ash layers, corresponding to the Babylonian and Roman destruction.

Jerusalem’s destruction was a cosmic tragedy. The Jewish people have kept the memory and the promise of the return to Zion in their prayers, three times - daily, facing Jerusalem just like Daniel did. And we have faced many a lion’s den for doing so. The biggest tragedy though is that the rest of the world does not understand that they also need Jerusalem rebuilt.

"This is what the LORD Almighty says: The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and will become happy festivals for Judah. Therefore, love truth and peace."

Zechariah 8:19

It is up to us to reverse the negative fast cycles mentioned in Zechariah 7. We have to play our part in turning it into the promise of Zechariah 8 where these fasts will turn into feasts. And the best is to start on the 10th of Tevet, the very start of this destructive 4-part cycle.

Where fire once brought down the besieged city's walls, it will in the future become the very walls of its protection.

"Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,' declares the L-RD, 'and I will be its glory within.'"

Zechariah 2:5

G-d will ultimately become Jerusalem’s firewall protection. But as in any partnership we need to do our part first. It’s lovely to claim the beloved Isaiah 61 “Beauty-for-Ashes”-verse for yourself, to post it on your Facebook profile, to send it as a nice thinking-of-you/this-too-shall-pass-feel-good-message to your WhatsApp group. Unfortunately, most overlook the fact that this blessing, the final turnaround, comes with a very important precondition:

“To appoint unto them – the mourners of Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes.”

Do you even know in which direction Jerusalem is from your home? Have you ever truly tried to understand the plunging spiritual depths and dynamics that are embedded in the Temple, G-d’s House – its plan, its service and its impact in and on the world? Have you ever bemoaned its absence, and the current void and the onslaughts the world is suffering from for not even knowing what it’s missing? Have you truly mourned that deep-calling-unto-deep-gut wrenching cry for Zion that makes you feel like you can hardly breathe?

We need to pray for the Shalom (the wholeness and restoration) of Jerusalem.

I urge you to align with Zion. I urge you to cultivate a constant consciousness of Jerusalem during your prayers – it is Biblical! It’s time to face this reality. It’s time to face Jerusalem and everything this precious city stands for.

I would like to encourage you to join us in this alignment. Take and active step and buy the Zion Script - it was designed for this very purpose - to be a reminder, to be a witness, an ensign in your house, a marker to point you to your way Home.

Read more on the ZION SCRIPT HERE >>

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1 comentario

Kevin Swift
Kevin Swift
06 ene 2020

AnaRina, the wealthy Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani also died on January 8, 2017--the 10th of Tevet, and was buried two days later, ten days before Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the US. As we know, Rafsanjani was one of the most influential founders of the 1979 Revolution in Iran, and was the 4th President ("king" of Daniel 11:2: "Three more kings will arise in Persia [Iran, after the 1979 Revolution], and then a fourth [Rafsanjani], who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece ["Yavan"]"... the West. How? He was the progenitor of Iran's nuclear program, which has led…

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