ISRAEL'S HISTORY

The Hate That Won’t Die

A friend of mine told me a story recently that I think you’ll appreciate. A few years ago, her daughter Andi attended an event at Disney World that called for audience participation…

Assessing the Return of Haman

People visiting Israel during the annual Purim celebration in March, when masses of costumed Israelis joyously parade through the streets, might liken the event to…

The Truth About Who Killed Christ

A few months ago, I met with a high-profile Jewish leader who was giving a talk about his journey from poverty to entrepreneurial success. As a boy growing up in the slums of Boston…

Casting Down Serpents

Exodus 7:8–12 records the account of Moses’ and Aaron’s first miracle before Pharaoh: turning Aaron’s staff (a symbol of authority) into a serpent that swallowed those produced by Pharaoh’s magicians…

The Gold-Box Idol

During the closing period of the judges, the Israelites embraced wicked beliefs in their worship and view of God. God had confirmed Samuel as His spokesman and true prophet, but the Israelites refused to obey….

A Hearing Heart

I have many fond memories of my mother from my childhood, but there is one memory that is far from fond. I still get a knot in the pit of my stomach when I think about it. When I was around 11 years old, we were…

‘Bring Up Samuel for Me’

Disobedience to God can drastically change a person’s life. King Saul’s disobedience dramatically altered both his life and his kingship. As a consequence for transgressing into the priestly office…

Samuel’s Big Disappointment

The expectation of great potential can be exciting. It certainly is for athletes and professional sports teams, as each new season dawns. Many a manager has left training camp saying to himself…

Samuel & David

Much is written about David in the Bible. At the mention of his name, some people immediately think of the courageous teenager who slew Goliath using a slingshot and a stone. Others remember a tender young shepherd who penned Psalm 23…

Why Would God Harden a Heart?

Exodus 4:21 records a statement God made to Moses: “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will…”

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…

O Jewish Town of Bethlehem

This Christmas season, as we gather in our churches to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and sing the carols of Christmas, we no doubt will sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” one of the most beloved hymns of all time…

How Do We Know the Exodus Happened?

“The actual evidence concerning the Exodus resembles the evidence for the unicorn,” declared Pennsylvania State University Jewish Studies Professor Baruch Halpern.1 The ancient Israelites created…

Ezekiel: The Times, The Man, The Book

The prophet Ezekiel burst onto the scene during Jerusalem’s darkest days at the end of the sixth century BC. Then, as now, the Middle East was in crisis. In fact, the Middle East had been in crisis for most of the eighth and seventh centuries BC due to the…

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…

Five Facts You Should Know About Israel

Have you ever wondered why the Jewish people have been scattered throughout the nations of the world more consistently than any other people? Why anti–Semitism persists in rearing its ugly head repeatedly throughout history? Why Nazism specifically targeted the Jewish people for genocide in the…

Bible Museum Opens Soon in Washington

If you love God’s Word and Israel, you won’t want to miss the Museum of the Bible’s grand opening in November in Washington, DC. Located only three blocks from the United States Capitol Building and…

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…

God’s Guardians

Biblical cherubim are heavenly creatures that act as God’s guardians. Archaeologists have discovered in Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) iconography and architecture cherubim-like figures that mirror their biblical function and help us visualize what they may look like.

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.

Israel in the News Mar/Apr 2017

Following the UN Security Council’s vote condemning Israel’s presence in eastern Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed his resolve by going to the Western Wall to light the second candle of…

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…

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.

Israel in the News Jan/Feb 2016

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has adopted a resolution declaring the Jewish Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron a Muslim site. It is the Cave of Machpelah that Abraham…

The Roman Effect

It is difficult today to imagine life in the ancient Roman Empire. We are far removed from the first century, and the motion picture industry has molded the way we perceive…

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 132: Our Dwelling

Psalm 132 is the longest of all the Songs of Ascents and focuses on worship, which the nation of Israel modeled after the experience of its greatest king and worship leader…

Psalm 133: Our Unity

Hine ma tov u’ma-nayim, shevet ach-im gam ya-chad. These Hebrew words are familiar to anyone who attends synagogue regularly. “Behold, how good and how pleasant…

Sukkah Shalom: An Invitation

The most joyous season in ancient Israel was that of the Feast of Tabernacles. It fell during the time of year when hearts were naturally full of thankfulness, joy, and expectation…

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…

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…

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…

Introduction to Obadiah

History is replete with small nations that strut across the world stage, proudly flex their political muscles, and then vanish into obscurity. Edom was such a nation, and its story was…

The Genesis 12:3 Principle Obadiah 10—14

Obadiah 10—14: Imagine having to sleep with a gun under your bed. I am not talking about Detroit, New York, or Philadelphia. I am talking about Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem. This…

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…

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…

Jerusalem in Prophecy

Jerusalem occupies a chosen place in the divine plan of the ages, being distinguished as such in the praise of the psalmist: “The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of…

Prelude to Apocalypse

Standing atop a mountain plateau in the stark Judean wilderness, one can look down at the remains of Roman siege camps that eventually trapped some 960 Jewish men…

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…

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…

Inside View Nov/Dec 2013

Every time I visit Israel, I see the modern miracle of the Jewish people. No other nation has ever been exiled and returned to its homeland to become a nation again. First the Jewish people returned…

Eye on the Middle East Nov/Dec 2013

It was merely a handshake. But it was no ordinary handshake. It was one of a kind, seen by millions around the world. It was proclaimed as the event that sealed the deal that would alter the…

It Is About Religion

The day held a unique significance for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat as he sat in a reviewing stand accompanied by a host of political, military, and visiting international dignitaries. It was…

Shout, O Israel! God Loves You!

They are a minority. They always have been a minority. Moses, their first national leader, described them as “the least of all peoples” (Dt. 7:7); and that assessment remains true today…

We Beheld His Glory

At Christmas we celebrate what may be the single most remarkable and mysterious event in all of history—the incarnation of Jesus Christ. God sent his Son to be born of a virgin, that He…

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 Arab Riots of the 1920s

A prevailing sentiment around the world seems to be that if Israel had never gained its independence, the Arabs would be happy; and there would be peace. But Arab terrorism started…

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…

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…

Israel in the News Sep/Oct 2013

Now even Palestinians are fighting a recent European Union (EU) decision to boycott all Israeli businesses in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. A senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official who…

Introduction to Jeremiah

The prophet Jeremiah ministered from 627 to about 585 B.C., more than 100 years after the trauma of Assyria’s destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. Yet the consequences…

Bulla Lessons From Jeremiah 36

It’s a fact. The deeper archaeologists dig, the more Jewish history they find. With so much physical evidence to support the Bible, it’s amazing so many people remain unresponsive toward…

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…

Comfort and Promise

God’s messages of hope are often embedded in warnings of impending judgment. At the conclusion of Jeremiah’s message to the Jewish inhabitants of Egypt, He promised His Chosen People…

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…

God’s Faithfulness to Israel

After the destruction of the second Jewish Temple in A.D. 70, a group of rabbis accompanied Rabbi Akiva up to Jerusalem. When they reached Mount…

John Henry Patterson

In 1898, English engineer John Henry Patterson was sent to Kenya to build a bridge over the Tsavo River. But two ferocious lions were terrorizing and eating his workmen.

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.

The Not-So-Quiet Years

Some people misconstrue the term silent years. They think the absence of a prophetic Word from the Lord meant the Lord was absent. That was not the case, as you’ll see.

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.

The Megillah Begins Esther 1—3

Almost 2,500 years ago, a Persian official wanted to wipe the Jewish people off the map. Sound contemporary? It’s in the book of Esther, where the story begins.