Ancient Heritage

The Land of Israel has many very ancient memorials and shrines. The Temple may have been destroyed, but many ancient buildings, towers and shrines remain. One of these is the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. It is here that Abraham purchased the land (Genesis 23:10-20) and buried Sarah. Isaac and Jacob are also buried there. This ancient burial place is about 3,700 years old.

The Tomb of the Patriarchs

The shrine, built by King Herod, is under the control of the Muslim Waqf and Jews have struggled to have the right to even pray at this site of Hebrew/Jewish heritage.

When Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife, died in childbirth she was buried near Bethlehem. Although Rachel died about 3,800 years ago, the shrine of the Tomb of Rachel is about 1,700 years old according to Israel National News. The Muslims can have no claim on the Tomb of Rachel.

And yet they do. About ten years ago they began calling this ancient shrine the Bilal ibn Rabah mosque. No Muslims have been known to pray there throughout the forty-three years of Israeli control of the site beginning after the 1967 war. And the United Nations has joined the Palestinians in demanding that the Israelis not call the Tomb of Rachel a national heritage site even though, in Palestinian publications as recent as the time of Yassar Arafat, the ancient building is acknowledged as being the Tomb of Rachel.

This blatantly political action by the United Nations reminds me of another ancient site in Israel, the Tomb of Joseph. When the Children of Israel left Egypt, at Joseph’s request (Genesis 50:25), they brought his bones with them. These were buried on land Jacob had bought in or near Shechem, today known as Nablus. For years the Palestinians claimed that this ancient building was not the tomb of the Hebrew patriarch Joseph, but rather a venerated Muslim named Josef.

And then, the Palestinians showed their great “veneration” for this Muslim Josef when they attacked and burned the building during the riots of 2000. For good measure, two years later in 2002, the Palestinians broke into the building and smashed the sarcophagus of Joseph.

The Muslims claim that there was never a Temple on what we call the Temple Mount. That is absurd, since its existence is a historic fact. But, their blind hatred of Israel causes them to make foolish statements. And the United Nations is joining them in their foolishness.

The prophet Zechariah describes a time when all the nations of the world will hate Israel and will be gathered around Jerusalem to attack it. (Zechariah 14:2) It appears that the United Nations is doing its part to bring this hatred to the prophesied conclusion. Sadly, the leaders of the United Nations do not know that the Lord has plan despite the fact that His plan is found in a publicly available document, the Holy Bible.

I praise the Lord for His plan, and for including me in His plan. May His sovereign will be done.

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