Eye on the Middle East Nov/Dec 2008

Reading the dictionary can be an exhilarating experience. Not that an overwhelming number of young people might find it so. Nevertheless, it is an exercise in personal enlightenment that is well worth the time.

Look at the word liar, for example. Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary says to lie is to “make an untrue statement with intent to deceive.” Thus, in a bare-bones cast of the word, a liar is an intentional deceiver whose agenda doesn’t bode well for those who fall prey to it.

Liar and lie, however, are considered rather uncivil, unpolished words in this age of political and social correctness. One might retreat, therefore, to prevaricate, which means the same but doesn’t cut in quite the same manner. Or, if a person wishes to say one thing while giving the impression of meaning another, equivocate will do nicely. But when all seems to be at risk, liars can always seek safe haven in the prefix mis and say they were misquoted or quoted out of context.

With increasing frequency, Arabs claim that it is a lie of colossal proportion to say Israel had Temples on Mount Moriah or that there even was a Jewish presence in Jerusalem in ancient times. Never a week goes by without some Islamic imam, political figure, or publication spinning this fictitious theme. On October 5, 2002, no less a light of the Palestinian cause than the late Yasser Arafat joined the chorus in an interview with London’s Arabic-language daily, Al-Hayat:

For 34 years [Israelis] have dug tunnels [around the Temple Mount]….They found not a single stone proving that the Temple of Solomon was there….They are now trying to put in place a number of stones so that they can say “We were here.” This is nonsense. I challenge them to bring a single stone from the Temple of Solomon.

It never ceases to amaze me that people who obviously know better prevaricate so grandly. They provide a textbook case of making untrue statements with deliberate “intent to deceive.” The sad fact is that they succeed. Their strategy is to prevaricate long enough that the illiterate will begin to believe them even when biblical, historical, and incontrovertible archaeological evidence has long testified otherwise. It is an exhibition of the preposterous being turned into the plausible: rewriting history.

A few weeks ago, an amazing discovery was made in the ancient City of David in Jerusalem. It is almost as though the prophet Jeremiah were rising up to expose the no-Jews, no-Temples lie. Famed archaeologist Eilat Mazar and her crew unearthed a 2,600-year-old seal, or bula, bearing the name Gedaliahu ben Pashur, Hebrew for “Gedaliah, son of Pashur.” Gedaliah served as a minister in the court of Israel’s King Zedekiah (597–586 B.C.).

Gedaliah was one of the king’s advisors who demanded Jeremiah be killed for telling the king the truth about the nation’s impending defeat by Babylon (Jer. 38:1–4). Professor Mazar called the discovery “absolutely fantastic” and “complete and in perfect condition.”

Perhaps unearthing yet another attestation of the reliability of the Scriptures and the accuracy of biblical history is another example of the Lord throwing down the gauntlet of truth. He has yet again exposed the insidious lies seeded by His enemies who intend not only to deceive but to destroy the place and people of God’s choosing.

Scripture says, “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lᴏʀᴅ shall hold them in derision” (Ps. 2:4). And God never prevaricates.

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