Israel: Past and Present

Archaeology and the Ark

The Ark of the Covenant was largely introduced to people outside biblical circles through the Hollywood movie…

From the Editor May/Jun 2019

“When that plane touches down at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv,” someone told me recently, “I know I’m in a country that’s a miracle…

Inside View May/Jun 2019

Each year in May, Israel celebrates its rebirth. Established on May 14, 1948, modern Israel is now 71 years old. The fact that the Jewish nation arose from the ashes and has come back to life…

Making Something Out of Nothing

Somehow Israel always seems to find itself in the middle of a controversy. Israel’s parliament recently passed a bill called the Jewish Nation-State Law, and immediately it made headlines around the world…

The Flap Over Israel’s Nation-State Law

The Knesset recently enacted a new law that declares Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and that they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it…

Inside View Sep/Oct 2018

In the book of Deuteronomy, God told the Israelites to teach His Word diligently to their children—when they were in their homes, when they went out, when they were lying down, and when they rose up so that all may be well with them (6:1–7). The psalmist said the Word of God will guide us in truth…

Israel Has the Right Idea

Universities have become a hotbed of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic activity. Students call Israel a “terrorist state” and encourage others to engage in “intifada” and violence. Professors compare Israel to Nazi Germany and peddle the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement…

The Man Who Believed in Miracles

If you hold an American passport and were born in Jerusalem, this might be the time to get your document updated. Perhaps now, 70 years after Israel gained its independence, the U.S. State Department will finally print “Jerusalem, Israel” on your passport…

If I Forget You, O Jerusalem

Among the many things God cares about, three stand out: Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple. During my Hebrew-school days, I learned about these things in multiple ways. From the Jewish Scriptures, I learned God set Jerusalem in the midst of the…

Christian Persecution Jul/Aug 2018

UGANDA—The Muslim relatives of 27-year-old Gobera Bashir in eastern Uganda recently burned 40 percent of his body with hot cooking oil because he converted to Christianity…

Sneak Preview

The land of Israel. The most hotly contested region in the world. The Jewish people say it is theirs, and the Arabs say it is theirs. Yet God tells us clearly to whom it belongs: In the last days, He says, “I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the…

Is Iran Forcing Israel Into War?

In a dramatic escalation of tensions along Israel’s northern border, an Iranian attack-drone recently violated Israeli airspace. Israel shot down the drone and then sent warplanes into Syria to take out the command center that launched…

Happy Birthday, Israel!

For years I had a dream. I wanted my hometown baseball team (the Cleveland Indians) to play the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. I had adopted the Cubs when I lived in Chicago. Both teams excelled at losing…

Israel in the News May/Jun 2018

A wave of anti-Semitism has been washing over Poland after the country banned all speech that suggests Polish complicity in the Holocaust, and the nation’s Jewish community is worried…

Inside View Mar/Apr 2018

As we all know, President Donald Trump in December officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. Why it took seven decades for the United States to do so can easily…

The Perpetual No

No, no, no! Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s resounding “No!” came as no surprise when President Donald J. Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel…

Israel in the News Mar/Apr 2018

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries—the world’s largest manufacturer of generic drugs and one of Israel’s largest employers—has announced its decision to lay off…

Preparing for War

As tensions rise along the Lebanese-Israeli border, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has warned that the next war between Hezbollah and Israel will include Syria. “In anything that transpires, it will be one theater,” he said. Syria and Lebanon together, Hezbollah, the Assad regime and all…

A Wow Moment

The beat goes on as the Arabs pick up where the Ammonites left off. Have you ever read a Scripture verse you had read many times before, but suddenly it seemed brand new to you? I have. I call it a Wow! moment. My most recent Wow! moment came after reading Judges 11: “And the…

Miracle at Be’er Sheva

Few people probably associate Australia and New Zealand with the Balfour Declaration. But here is a look at a little-known miracle that helped to shape that segment of history.

FOI Canada Goes Up to Jerusalem

A look at the first-ever FOI Canada Up to Jerusalem trip to Israel and some of the wonderful experiences God provided. It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea. Sounds simple enough. Forty years later…

What Shall We Eat?

When the ancient Israelites arrived in the Promised Land, it was “flowing with milk and honey.” But when the Jewish pioneers arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries, it was as barren as a stone. This article, written in 1953 when the State of Israel was just 5 years old…

From the Editor May/Jun 2017

June 1967 was a good time to be Jewish. At least it seemed that way to me. I was a teenager during the Six-Day War, and I was so proud of the Israeli soldiers. Not only were they fighting for their country, but they were fighting…

End of the Two-State Solution

U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced he will not insist on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two. But honestly, if Bibi and if…

Ma’ale Adumim: It’s Not What You Think It Is

Before we arrived in the spring of 2000, I asked the 16 members of our Friends of Israel Youth Adventure team (now called ORIGINS) to describe what they thought a settlement would look like.

Six Days In June

When the 1967 Six-Day War erupted, the Jewish state had just celebrated 19 years of independence. Levi Eshkol, 71, was both prime minister and defense minister. Eshkol had replaced the legendary David Ben-Gurion in June 1963. Filling Ben-Gurion’s shoes…

Message in the Wall

Sounds of gunfire, soldiers singing “Jerusalem of Gold,” and the faint sound of a shofar were heard over the army wireless. It was June 7, 1967, and the Israel Defense Forces paratroopers had just liberated the Temple Mount and Western Wall.

Fifty Years Later

The Six-Day War begot the hackneyed catchphrase Israeli-occupied West Bank. Mindless talk of the “occupation” generally goes hand-in-hand with unvarnished ignorance or a willful disregard of the area’s strategic value.

Rehearsal for Armageddon

How important is Jerusalem to the Jewish people? Their souls have been intertwined with it for more than 3,000 years. Unfortunately, their heartache is not over. This article was written shortly after Six-Day War and ran in the…

It’s Not Over ‘Til It’s Over

A city’s significance is often measured by its commercial importance, the height of its skyscrapers, or the grandeur of its architecture. But Jerusalem is not like any other city. Jerusalem’s significance comes from the One who chose to dwell…

When Heaven Comes to Earth

It is probably the best known and most fought over city in the world. The Jewish people cherish it. The Muslims want to take it. The United Nations wants to divide it. Nations are willing to go to war over it. But the Jerusalem of today is not the…

Stories from the War—Asher Yuval

The day the war broke out, my unit of reservists had already been mobilized for three weeks. Those weeks came to be known as the “waiting period.” I was in Reserve Battalion 161 of the Jerusalem Brigade (Hativa) under Lt. Col. Asher Dreizin.

Stories from the War–Cecilia Stark

I was born in London and came to Israel in 1963. When I arrived in Jerusalem, the city had a small-town feel. There were around 165,000 people in western Jerusalem. There was one traffic light—at the intersection of King George, Strauss and Jaffa Streets.

Stories from the War—Naomi Paynton

I arrived on June 10, 1967, on a special El Al flight for war volunteers. It came from Paris, where I lived at the time. It was packed and quite frightening. We did not know what we were coming to. They did not give us the usual meal, but just a packet…

Stories from the War—Rosie Gordon Elkana

I immigrated to Israel from Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1964. By then, I was already a registered nurse, having trained at Manchester Jewish Hospital in England. Right away, I got a job at Hadassah Hospital Ein Karem.

Stories from the War—Uzi Eilam

The day the war broke out, along with my fellow paratroopers, I was at the Tel NofAirbase located not far from Rehovot. At age 34, I was the commander of a battalion of paratroopers, though I was not a full-time army man.

Mr. Trump Move That Embassy

Israel is the only country in the world where the U.S. Embassy is not situated in the capital, close to the center of governmental affairs. In fact, virtually all embassies are situated outside Jerusalem as a bold political statement…

Israel Seeks Spot on UN Security Council

Israel is stepping up diplomatic efforts to win a rotating seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2019–2020 term. The move marks a proactive shift in longstanding Israeli policy: After years of spurning the UN…

The Great Invalidation

“Next year in Jerusalem!” As they have since the Jewish people were scattered around the world in AD 70, these words will ring out on the evening of April 10 at the close of Passover seders everywhere. Yet, if the United Nations…

The End of an Era

U.S. President James Madison served alongside Presidents George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson and signed the Declaration of Independence. He was known as the “Father of the Constitution,” and his death…

UNESCO’s Propaganda War on Israel

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has approved a resolution that denies a Jewish connection to Jerusalem. Advanced by the Palestinian Authority (PA), with the help of Algeria, Egypt…

Worship in the New World

For most people, the world of the Bible is an unfamiliar, alien realm. But for Bible-believing Christians, it is like the pleasant home of well-known friends. Beginning where the Bible begins, with the book of Genesis, I’d like to take you…

Why the True Site of the Temple Is Important

Why is it so important to know exactly where the Jewish Temple stood? Would it not be easier simply to agree with people who claim the Temple was in the City of David and give the Muslims exclusive rights to…

The Stones Cry Out

A growth-inspiring experience of a lifetime is to walk among the artifacts of empires, civilizations, and societies that have lived and died and, in many respects, shaped our world. For those of us living in the United States, a relatively young country…

Mount Moriah or the City of David?

For years scholars have argued about the precise location of the first and second Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Nevertheless, almost all archaeologists agree they were…

Footsteps in the Stones

I saw Israel for the first time when I moved my family to Jerusalem in 1979 to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Even though I had a master’s degree in biblical studies, I learned quickly I was not…

The Inquisitors

At the southeastern end of the old city of Jerusalem lies an impressive series of burial caves. Most date to the time of Jesus. Archaeologists recently have taken a closer look at them and have turned up…

The Underlying Proof

Khirbet Qeiyafa is a provincial town located about 19 miles from Jerusalem in the Elah Valley, where a young David slayed the Philistine giant Goliath. Today, 30 centuries later, it is contributing the most to the…

Israel: The Forever Nation Romans 11:1–10

From a purely human perspective, the Jewish plight over the past 2,000 years might lead some to assume God has turned His back on His Chosen People. Key Bible passages, however, prove otherwise.

Eye on the Middle East Nov/Dec 2015

Seventy percent of all the children living in the southern Israeli city of Sderot suffer from at least one symptom of post-traumatic stress, and 50 percent continue to relive…

From the Heart

An unusual—and unanticipated—thought came to mind recently when I was asked to describe what I miss the most about spending time in Israel, now that I no longer travel there.

Inside View Sep/Oct 2015

Do you ever feel like you want to do something to help Israel in addition to praying? That was how we felt when we started the Israel Relief Fund many years ago.

Pilgrim Songs

Psalms 120 through 134 are referred to as the Songs of Ascents due to the superscription at the beginning of each psalm. The term ascent carries the notion of step or degree. The interpretation of…

Psalm 120: Our Deliverer

Sung by ancient pilgrims making their way up to Jerusalem to observe the primary feasts of Israel, Psalm 120 is the first in a series known as the Psalms of Ascents. It begins with a…

Psalm 122: Our Joy And Peace

Psalm 122 is the third of the 15 pilgrim songs known in Hebrew as Psalms of Aliyah, meaning “going up.” Traveling to Jerusalem, especially for the three annual Jewish festivals…

Psalm 126: O Jerusalem

On Wednesday, June 7, 1967, the wail of a ram’s horn blown at the base of the Western Wall in Jerusalem shook the world. Surrounded by young paratroopers with tear-stained faces, Rabbi Shlomo Goren raised…

Eye on the Middle East Jul/Aug 2015

“It’s the economy, stupid!” That was the phrase coined by James Carville, chief strategist for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, to help his team focus on the recession…

From the Editor Jul/Aug 2015

As we all know, the Jewish people are no strangers to tragedy. They probably have endured more of it than any nationality on Earth. They even have what some call a Jewish…

Ariel: City of Visionaries

When 40 families stood atop a craggy mountain overlooking the wilderness of Samaria in 1978 and scanned the barren wasteland that would become their home…

Touring Ariel

Ariel is an amazing success story. It is a story of struggle against all odds, of immigrant absorption, international outreach, and dynamic growth. As you travel through Ariel…

Ariel University Helps Students Overcome Autism

Udi, a graduate of Ariel University, never dreamed he’d be able to address a crowd. When he was young, he was diagnosed with autism, a developmental disorder that affects…

Oasis of Coexistence

Every morning, Ahbed, a Palestinian Arab, drives into the Barkan Industrial Park opposite the Ariel Industrial Park to manage the warehouse of the Lipski plastics factory. It produces a host of…

Remembering Gush Katif: 10 Years Later

On Wednesday morning, August 17, 2005, some 10,000 Israeli soldiers fanned out across 21 Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip. Their mission, following the Israeli army’s order eight days earlier, was…

Gush Katif Under the Palestinians

Gaza’s Jewish settlements were situated on about 30 percent of the Gaza Strip’s land. Former World Bank Group President James Wolfensohn intended that once the last Israeli left…

Origins of the Pullout

The concept of Israel leaving the Gaza Strip and receiving nothing in return was first floated unofficially by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in an address to an academic conference…

A Life-Changing Journey Through Samaria

The Bible simply identifies the first stop on our journey as “the pass.” Most travelers know little about the site, but it is where King Saul’s son Jonathan and his armor bearer climbed from…

Inside View Jan/Feb 2015

When high school graduates in the United States head off to college or work, Israeli graduates enter the military. Men are required to serve for three years and women for two. Men remain…

Jerusalem: City With a Soul

Near the road running from Jerusalem to Bethlehem is a field that has stood empty since the late 1980s. The United States designated it as the site for the U.S. Embassy. Since…

From the Editor Jan/Feb 2015

Although I don’t do it much anymore, I love traveling. I remember the first time I saw Paris. All I wanted to do was sightsee. I had studied French for what seemed like forever, thanks to…

City of the Great King

History tells tales of many amazing cities. There was the splendor of ancient Athens, the magnificence of Rome, the wonder of Babylon, and the astonishing Colossus that once stood…

Jerusalem and the Muslims

Most people know Jerusalem is important to three major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. What many may not know is that the city is referenced in the holy writings of Christians…

Jerusalem Forgotten

The adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” is truly apropos since a photograph can instantly tell a complete story. I’ve always thought it would be spectacular to study a picture of…

Promise Betrayed

In 1917, during World War I, the British captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks and governed it from December 1917 until May 1948 when, depleted and detested by Jews and…

Meet Hilda Goldberg

My father was assigned to be the American Express bureau chief in Palestine, and my parents arrived from England in 1929—just in time for the Arab riots. Mummy told me that in those days…

A City Divided

On June 30, 1967, the first Friday after the official reunification of Jerusalem, Muslim and Christian Arabs—whom Jordan had banned from the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, and…

Israel’s Government Today

In May 1948, the Jewish people became sovereign in their land for the first time in more than 2,500 years. Spearheading the modern government was the venerable David Ben-Gurion, who…

Banias

Banias, or Panias in Greek, is situated near the ancient remains of Caesarea Philippi at the base of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights in northern Israel. In the…

Caesarea Maritime

Caesarea is located on the Mediterranean coast between Haifa and Tel Aviv and was originally a Phoenician trading post called Strato’s Tower (c. 250 BC). In 25 BC…

Capernaum

Blue skies mirrored in the waters of the Sea of Galilee, the gentle breeze, the aroma of exotic vegetation under the hot sun, the dusty basalt and limestone ruins, the…

Mount Carmel

When most Jewish people hear the name Mount Carmel (“Vineyard of God”), they think of the wine used to celebrate Jewish holy days. The triangular-shaped, wooded…

The Dead Sea

The name Dead Sea does not appear in the Bible. Biblically, the body of water is called the “Salt Sea” (Gen. 14:3), “Sea of the Arabah” (Dt. 3:17; 4:49), and “eastern…

The Sea of Galilee Part One

Rabbis have said that Jehovah created seven seas, but the Sea of Galilee is His delight. Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian, called it “the ambition of Nature.”

The Sea of Galilee Part Two

On one of my early trips to Israel, I stood one blustery evening on the pier of Kibbutz Nof Ginosar on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee and watched as whitecaps…

The Garden Tomb

North of the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City is a peaceful burial cave called the Garden Tomb. A peasant first discovered it in 1867. In 1874 a German missionary…

Jerusalem’s Old City

Though I’ve lived in Jerusalem almost 17 years, sometimes I still find the place bewildering. People who don’t live here probably think primarily of the Old City and its…

What and Where Is East Jerusalem?

When we bring visitors to the Sherover-Haas Promenade in our Talpiot neighborhood, with its magnificent vista of the old and new Jerusalem skyline, they often ask…

Joppa, Down by the Sea

Jaffa is the modern name for Joppa, which was and still is a major sea-port on the Mediterranean. God gave the region to the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:40–46). The timbers…

Masada

Masada is spectacular. It’s a mighty fortress on a massive rock plateau. The mountain is about 1,500 feet above the shores of the Dead Sea. The fortification is about…

The Temple Tunnel

Above ground the Western Wall, or Kotel, measures around 187 feet long. But it actually runs another 1,350 feet underground, beneath homes in Old City Jerusalem. For centuries…

Valley of Jezreel

Standing atop the plateau of Tel Megiddo, the Valley of Jezreel (Megiddo Valley) stretches out like a verdant patchwork of farms, kibbutzim, and moshavim. Lying to the…

The Western Wall

Many people journey to Israel as pilgrims to visit the only place the Lord calls the “Holy Land” (Zech. 2:12). Others go there to see the reality of the Zionist dream birthed…

The Mount of Olives

One of the most spectacular places to visit in Israel is the Mount of Olives. The view from this elevation is breathtaking, and people gaze in awe at the Eastern Gate and…

Remembering Latrun

Days after Israel was declared a state on May 14, 1948, ill-equipped and virtually untrained men and boys who would become the Israel Defense Forces stood in the line…

No Surprises, Please

On October 6, 1973, 40 years ago, Israel was wrapped in prayer shawls, observing the holiest of Jewish religious observances, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Radio was silenced…

The Jewish Family Promise

The call of Abraham in Genesis 12 is one of the most significant events in the biblical record. Although there is no way to know when the patriarch was born, scholars place his birth around…

Land Rights of the Patriarchs

For centuries people have argued over who has the legitimate claim to the land known today as Israel. The Arab-Israeli conflict has raged for decades, with both sides claiming exclusive rights…

Land Rights of the Kings

For 332 years (1375–1043 B.C.), judges ruled over Israel. When the prophet Samuel, Israel’s final judge, was old, he appointed his sons to take his place. However, the Israelites rejected Samuel’s…

Home from Babylon

As the prophet Jeremiah had foretold, the Jewish people remained captives in Babylon for 70 years. When they returned home, they no longer were subjects of a Jewish king. With the demise…