Weekly Update: Jerusalem – the cup is really trembling!

editor - 12 February 2021

Last week we reflected on the scriptures that speak of a conflict between Israel and a coalition of nations, as described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. The prophet Zechariah describes what is apparently a different conflict, when “all the nations of the earth” will gather against Jerusalem, which is described as a “cup of trembling”, a “rock” that cannot be lifted. The Lord Himself will intervene to protect the city (Zechariah 14):

“Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.”

This end-time conflict involving “all nations” focuses on Jerusalem. Jerusalem has of course always been controversial. But today we see an intensification of the international focus on Jerusalem, and increasing hostility towards Jews who live in what the world has come to call “the West Bank including East Jerusalem”.

A week ago the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to proceed with the indictment and possible prosecution of Israeli leaders for the “war crime” of building Israeli “settlements” in Jerusalem and the “West Bank”.

So, what is a “settlement”? A “settlement” is no more, and no less, than a Jewish person.

This decision means that just allowing a Jewish person to live in the Old City of Jerusalem, or in Shilo, Hebron or the Jordan Valley, is considered to be a “war crime” warranting prosecution by the world’s highest international criminal court, that was established to capture and incarcerate the world’s worst criminals.

Settlements may be politically incorrect, inconvenient, irresponsible, even an obstacle to peace – those are allegations within the realm of comprehension about which opinion can differ.

But a “war crime”?

Logic, reason, common sense – even law itself – have been turned on their head.

Is this not a sign that Jerusalem is becoming the “cup of trembling for the nations”, an “immovable rock”, of which the Prophet Zechariah speaks?

The Editorial team
Israel & Christians Today


A Green Light for the ICC to Open an Investigation in Israel 

Pnina Sharvit Baruch at The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS): “The judges at the ICC in The Hague decided that all activity in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip can be investigated, but the day we might see arrest warrants issued for Israelis, if at all, remains a long way off.” Read more..

The ICC’s controversial ruling on “The Situation in the State of Palestine” –
pushing the boundaries of law   

The Hague Initiative for International Cooperation: “The decision demonstrates a lack of sensitivity to the legal and historical complexity of the Israeli/Arab/Palestinian conflict. Instead of strong legal analysis based on sound evidence of positive international law and historical fact, the majority has embraced a one-sided and imbalanced legal and historical narrative of the Israel-Palestine conflict that is based more on wishful thinking than fact.” Read more..


Scripture for the week:  Zechariah 12
A prophecy: The word of the Lord concerning Israel.

The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’

“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.

“The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit[a] of grace and supplication. They will look on[b] me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives,14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives.


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