Glimpses of Israel - The Walls of Jerusalem

by Joseph Hunting

Among all the cities of the world today, both ancient and modern, none are enclosed with walls as meaningful and beautiful as the walls that encircle the Holy City.

The walls have been destroyed and rebuilt many times. King David breached the walls of the Jebusite stronghold of Jerusalem: "So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the City of David." Thereafter Jerusalem took on a new character as the capital of David's kingdom and the City beloved of God.

Centuries later Isaiah penned some of the most tender and beautiful words ever written concerning the walls of Jersualem: "Sing O heavens, and be joyful O earth, break forth into singing O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted. But Zion said, the Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before Me." (Isaiah 49:13-16),

On one occasion Nehemiah made a tour of the walls of Jerusalem by night. At that time the walls of the City were in ruins. "Then I said unto them, ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, let us build up the wall of Jerusalem that we be no more a reproach." (Nehemiah 2:17).

One of the great experiences to be enjoyed by Israelis and visitors alike today is to follow in the steps of Nehemiah. At night the walls are floodlit and one's mind races with thoughts associated with this truly beloved City. During the day the walls and gates are alive with movement and the sounds of Jews, Christians and Arabs rubbing shoulders in the city which has a distinction shared by no other city on earth: "THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING".