April 10, 2010

Precious Jerusalem [יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ]

My Human Geography textbook states (based on their research) that cities began to form from settlements (cultural hearths) that were no longer self-contained entities but were individual villages that began forms of trade and became systems of communities over time. When does the text say this started? 4000 B.C. It required the development of non-agricultural surpluses. In other words city dwellers needed to have vocational (work) pursuits that were non-agrarian in origin. Those in these embryonic cities who were not involved in farming specialized in skills such as stone-cutting, metalwork, pottery making, weaving, etc. As these areas continued to develop so did the need for more finely tuned skills including educational, technical vocations such as scribes, merchants, soldiers, priests, etc. Defined power structures reflected in a religious hierarchy and civil administration flourished. Ancient cities were located on elevated plateaus or hilltops that were easy to defend. Nearly always walls were built around entire communities on the perimeter. As cities expanded outer walls would need to be constructed to accommodate the expanding populations because tearing down older walls would've been impractical.

Do you know something? This sounds awfully familiar. I just can’t seem to put my finger on where I heard this before. Oh yeah, now I remember...

"Thus says the Lord GOD, 'This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her." ~Ezekiel 5:5

"and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem, "Your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanite, your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite." ~Ezekiel 16:3

As noted in Wikipedia (not the greatest reference but it will do), Jerusalem has a history that goes back to the 4th millennium BCE, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. Israel and the land that Jerusalem is located on originally was in the hands of the Canannites and the Amorites. Canaanite origins begin in the proto-Canaanite period which is dated to, you guessed it, 4000 B.C.

"Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 18 Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Later the Canaanite clans scattered and the borders of Canaan reached from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha." ~Genesis 10:15-19

I do find it interesting that this is Genesis 10 and the description of the nations. It is also the precursor of Genesis 11 and the Tower of Babel, the confusion of language and dispersion and explosion of nations/states/cities in ancient history...which is well documented in the Bible.

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. Genesis 11:1-8

Must be just a coincidence then that the tower of Babel stopped being built and it wasn't until God initiates His idea of what nation is to be that a nation again begins to be built in Genesis 12 and God used Abram/Abraham from the Euphrates River area in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) to do it. A nation that will eventually produce in power God's Holy city Jerusalam. Although its intial population and founding can be dated back to 4000 B.C. Jerusalem didn't begin to be considered a city of significant regional importance until it was conquered by the Israelite King David a millennia later. It is at this point it becomes an important political and significant religious center.

The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. ~Genesis 12:1-2

Obviously this all points inevitably to Christ as the culmination of the linage and the city. It's primary focus centered in Jesus, both genealogy and Jerusalem.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...