Israel: Past and Present

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…

From Rome to the Turks

For hundreds of years, the Roman Empire ruled much of the known ancient world. Most of that time, Jewish people remained in their land. Then two major events occurred that resulted in their…

Buying Back Their Land

Whether or not the Jewish people were faithful to God, their behavior never invalidated their rightful ownership of the land of Israel. Disobedience cost them possession of it from time to…

The British Mandate

World War I (1914–1918) changed the map of the old Ottoman Empire in the Middle East. The region was split into two great sections. The northern half went to France (the French Mandate)…

The Hadassah Hospital Massacre

In November 1947, the UN General Assembly passed a plan to partition what was left of British Mandate Palestine and establish separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem an international…

The Continual Jewish Presence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is convinced the phrase “2,000 years of exile” is inaccurate. It is used to describe the almost 2,000-year dispersion of the Jewish people between…

The Division and Desecration of Jerusalem

On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly approved Resolution 181, a plan to partition what was left of British Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. Seventy-seven percent…

Jewish East Jerusalem

Is a ruin still a ruin when it is rebuilt? It is when the ruin is a synagogue located in the Old City in what today is called East Jerusalem. The Hurva (Hebrew, “ruin”) Synagogue was dedicated on…

Judah’s Fatal Decision Jeremiah 40—43

In 586 B.C. the Babylonians captured Judah, destroyed Jerusalem, and deported the Jewish people to Babylon. Only a remnant of poor Judeans were left in the land to…

Why Two Kingdoms?

People frequently become confused between the northern and southern kingdoms. Although both were Jewish, only one was Davidic. Originally, all the tribes of Israel were united throughout…

Israel: Thriving at 65

Golda Meir, Israel’s fourth prime minister, once joked, “Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us forty years through…

Wingate the Zionist

An aircraft suddenly plunged to earth and burst into flames. The cause for the crash near Imphal, India, on March 24, 1944, has remained a mystery. All nine men aboard…

Israel’s Legal Right to Its Land

Based on international law, April 24, 1920, was when modern Israel was given the legal right to become a nation. As Bible-believing Christians, we all believe that…

When God Steps In

A rapidly rising tide of aggression is aimed at Israel, and the West seems impotent to stem it. But there is One who is omnipotent, and He has made promises He intends to keep.

Before the Silence

To understand the Intertestamental Period, it’s important to look at Israel’s postexilic history and see what happened to God’s Chosen People before the silence fell.

Has the Dream Lost Its Luster?

When Zionism first appeared, it bore the dreams of a persecuted people and had the blessing of much of the Western world. A lot has changed over the years, as you’ll see here.

Where Is the Ark of the Covenant?

There has been much speculation over the location of the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark—whose design was given by God to Moses—was constructed of acacia wood plated with gold and contained…

From Bill Sutter’s Desk Jan/Feb 2012

The world is filled with travesties of justice, and among the worst is the demonization of Israel. Yet Israel wants peace, and almost all its neighbors want…

From Bill Sutter’s Desk Nov/Dec 2011

“Thus says the Lord Gᴏᴅ: ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her’” (Ezek. 5:5). Every trip to Israel is a life-impacting…

The Jewishness of the Temple Mount

So prolific is Muslim propaganda that many Westerners today question the Temple’s historicity. So it’s time to review the evidence.

The Beginning of PA Denial

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA’s) political denial of the Jewish Temple’s existence first came to international attention at the Camp David II Summit in July 2000. In a final effort to resolve…

Muslim Backpedaling

Muslims today vociferously deny a Jewish Temple existed on the Temple Mount (Haram). However, their own literature affirms this fact and shows how they have changed their position to accomplish…

Rebuilding the City of Gold

Surrounded by trouble and enemies, Nehemiah forged ahead to repair and rebuild Jerusalem. If you think times have changed, you’re in for a surprise.

Archaeology Backs the Bible

In 2008 building remains from the first Temple period (eighth and ninth centuries B C.) were discovered in the northwest part of the Western Wall plaza that runs adjacent to the Temple…

Why the Waqf Rules

When Israeli statesman Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in 2000, he was surrounded by 1,000 Israeli police. His visit, along with the announcement that the complex would…

Ezra and the Restoration Period

When Ezra the scribe returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, he led a mar- velous revival. So why does he seem underappreciated? Read on!

Silver and Taxes: So What Else Is New?

According to Bible prophecy, an inferior empire (symbolized by silver in Daniel 2:31, 39) would replace the gold kingdom of Babylon. The Medo-Persians conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. According to fifth-century…

Islam Rewrites the Bible

Millions of people today fail to grasp the differences between Jewish and Muslim claims to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. But the differences are enormous. Jewish claims are based on Scripture…

Anti-Jewish Church Edicts

The following is a sampling of the edicts and canon laws the organized church issued against Jewish people. This order is intended to keep Jews and Christians apart. It forbade…

The IYA Salvage Project

We woke up early Tuesday morning, grabbed our coffees, packed our lunches, boarded the bus, and headed for Tzurim Valley National Park located atop Mount Scopus, northeast of the Old…

From Bill Sutter’s Desk Jul/Aug 2008

Over the years, many people who have traveled “Up to Jerusalem” with us have told me about the sites and experiences on our tour that affected them the most. The list usually includes our boat…

From Bill Sutter’s Desk May/Jun 2008

Widespread “Israel at 60” celebrations in Jewish communities this year are reminders of the certainty of God’s promises to the Jewish people. Christians who have been participating in these events realize they are expressing…

Men Who Believed

Replacement Theology, which strips Israel of God’s promises, has been around a long time. But in every generation, there also have been men who believed, long before 1948, in Israel’s national restoration.

Israel’s Long and Hard War of Independence

Despite its military victories, Israel still does not enjoy peace. So the country’s anniversary celebration took a different turn this year—for a significant reason.

The New Sanhedrin

In 2004 on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, a new Sanhedrin arose after an absence of more than 1,400 years. Staffed by Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox rabbis who want Israeli life…

Inextinguishable Israel

In a world stricken by the compulsion to forget and plagued with perpetually erratic behavior, it is not surprising that some people no longer see Israel as a little David struggling for survival…

A Christian View from the Temple Mount

Muslims now claim the Western Wall was a hitching post for Muhammad’s horse! Their claims are preposterous, but they will stop at nothing to rewrite history. And they have two main reasons for doing so.

Milestone

It happened against all odds. Sixty years ago this month, on November 29, 1947, in a building left over from the 1939–1940 New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens, the fledgling…

Happy 40th Birthday, Jerusalem

Forty years ago in June, Israel recaptured its city of cities in a six-day war that stunned the world. But things haven’t turned out as anticipated.

From Bill Sutter’s Desk Mar/Apr 2007

We have experienced a little taste of heaven on earth.” This comment, shared toward the end of our recent Christian/Jewish journey to Israel, struck a responsive chord in all our hearts…

Eye on the Middle East Mar/Apr 2007

Speaking in December 2006 at a Holocaust memorial ceremony in Berlin, Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said: We have learned and memorialized the lesson: the weak and defenseless are doomed. Doomed…

Is Israel an Apartheid State?

Even before the State of Israel was established, Jewish leaders consciously sought to avoid the situation that prevailed in South Africa. As David Ben-Gurion told Palestinian nationalist Musa Alami in 1934…

The Rebirth of Israel Ezekiel 37

In Ezekiel 37, God asked, “Son of man, can these bones live?” The answer so far is the story of a nation’s resurrection to physical life. But even more lies ahead.

Great Cities of Jesus’ Day

With Christmas around the corner, we invite you to tour four cities in firstcentury Israel that testify to the Savior’s power. Two of them are still there today.

Herod the Not-So-Great

Herod murdered infants yet built a magnificent Temple Mount. What type of man was he? A brilliant madman whose life is a remarkable study in contradiction.

The Politics of Sacred Space

Speaking from firsthand experience, Dr. Price explains why archaeology and the Temple Mount will always take center stage in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

From Bill Sutter’s Desk Jul/Aug 2006

Much more than a trip—an experience of a lifetime! That’s the way it is when you travel to Israel with The Friends of Israel. And that’s the way all 128 of us felt during…

Touring Northern Israel

Let a well-known journalist, whose home is Israel, take you on a wonderful tour of what he calls the most beautiful part of the Holy Land.

Praying at the Wall

Editor’s Note: The Western Wall in Jerusalem is the holiest site in all of Judaism. Historian Nancy Ceperley has a profound love for Israel and the Jewish people, imparted to her by her late…

The Ottoman Legacy

The Muslim Ottoman Turks pillaged the land when they controlled it. Today it’s blooming like a rose. Is there a reason why? There certainly is.

How the JNF/KKL Makes the Desert Bloom

For years The Friends of Israel has planted trees in Israel through the Jewish National Fund, or Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (JNF/KKL). With each tree purchase comes a certificate that lists the activities…

A Hero Named Janusz Korczak

God loves children. His heart especially goes out to orphans, and He commands us, “Defend the fatherless” (Isa. 1:17). During the Holocaust, one man in particular did just that. He was born…

The New Wall of Jerusalem

A top Jerusalem Post writer gives you an insider’s look at Jewish life in Israel’s City
of Gold and what many feel is the only viable way to protect it.

O Jewish Town of Bethlehem

This time of year these are the thoughts most often associated with the birth of the Lord Jesus. Pastoral little Bethlehem, in the midst of shepherds and their sheep, peaceful and tranquil before the appearance…

Beware of Today’s ‘Canaanites’

In 1929 a fantastic archaeological discovery was made in the ancient port town of Ugarit on the Syrian coast. Hundreds of ancient tablets were found, providing a wealth of information about Canaanite culture.

Why Israel Is Unique

As far as the nations of this world are concerned, Israel stands apart. Scripture teaches that the nations were “made [not created] from one blood” and so may be, and quite often are…

Jerusalem: The Missing Link

When the pundits look back on 2004 and the attempts at an Israeli-Palestinian solution, the word disengagement will probably top…

The Babylonian Captivity

God always keeps His promises, even the unpleasant ones. The issues surrounding this captivity will take you from mere history
to important theology.

The Second World Empire

After the Babylonian Empire, Media-Persia took over. This outstanding article sorts
out that kingdom’s rulers and what
they accomplished.

Daniel and Darius

Daniel in the lions’ den (Dan. 6) is probably one of the best-known accounts in the Bible. It’s the encouraging, satisfying triumph of faith, righteousness, and justice over wickedness and evil in high places.

The Exiles Return

God may have removed the Jewish people from their land, but He faithfully brought them back. Learn how He did it and who He used.

The Ten ‘Lost’ Tribes Weren’t Lost

The phrase the lost tribes of Israel emits a certain ring of mystery that romanticizes the disappearance of the Israelites taken captive by Assyria in 722 B.C. Although the phrase is nowhere in Scripture…