Glimpses of Israel - Jaffa

by Joseph Hunting

Israel is a country that has taken a giant leap from the past into the present. And nowhere in this complex country of contrasts is this more evident than in the twin cities of Tel Aviv-Jafo. When I first visited Jaffa in 1960-1 the past still lingered at the ancient port from which Jonah sailed. The rocks of Andromeda were reminders of the ancient Greek legend and the narrow streets were much the same as they were when Peter set out on his journey to the home of Cornelius, a Roman centurian.

One can still walk among the excavations that have probed Jaffa's history to the earliest times when it was a Canaanite village long before Joshua invaded the land. Or one can examine at close quarters the artifacts displayed in the Museum close by.

Jaffa has been a silent witness to the amazing scene when Hiram's workmen floated huge rafts of cedar logs from the forests of Lebanon to be dragged overland to Jerusalem for the construction of Solomon's Temple. It has seen Greek and Roman armies wading ashore to invade the Holy Land. It witnessed the rebirth of the State of Israel at Mograbi square when crowds danced for joy or wept unashamedly.

And now Jaffa has witnessed Israel join the Nuclear Club and one may well ponder what lies ahead of this age-old town that is so much a part of the old-new state of Israel.

Prophecy is history written in advance and there is much yet to be fulfilled that speaks of tribulation even worse than the Holocaust. But the same scriptures which warn of the things to come also bring a word of comfort: "Therefore fear thou not, O My servant Jacob, neither be dismayed, O Israel, for lo, I will save thee from afar ... For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee ..." (Jeremiah 30:10-11).