Glimpses of Israel - Old, Old Jerusalem

by Joseph Hunting

There are so many places and archaeological sites to visit in Jerusalem that it is hard to know where to begin. The gates themselves, all open except one, are an especial object of Divine attention, for "the Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob". (Psalm 87:2)

The Golden Gate is sealed up as it has been for the past four and a half centuries. And again the Word of God sheds light upon this strange gate that has never been used. "This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Eternal, the God of Israel hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut." (Ezekiel 44:2)

We enter the Old City by the Jaffa Gate and turn right past the ancient Citadel that served as military barracks for nearly two millennia. We pass through a narrow portal and down some steps and then a whole new panorama spreads before us. This is the rebuilt Jewish quarter. The spacious courtyards and modern apartments tastefully architectured blend in with the surrounding area and are in marked contrast to the narrow crowded streets and jostling crowds just a stone's throw away.

During the Roman occupation of Jerusalem there was a busy thoroughfare running north-south called the Cardo. Recent excavations uncovered this archaeological treasure. Today the Cardo has been restored. Magnificent columns adorn the 22 metre wide concourse. One section of the Cardo has modern shops and is just as busy as it must have been two thousand years ago.

Following the Six Day War Israel has done much to beautify Jerusalem as a bride awaiting her bridegroom. Even so there is this fascination with the Holy City's past. A recent excavation uncovered Babylonian arrowheads dating from the destruction of the City in 586 B.C.

Perhaps one day even the very Holy Place itself may be revealed. Jerusalem has yet many secrets to yield to those that love her.