Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel Zech. 14:1-11 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The announcement, on Dec 8, 2017, by President Donald Trump, that the United States will now recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel, will spark prophecy buffs to talk about this move as a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. However, before you get too excited about how this declaration fits into prophecy, it is very important to see what the future of Jerusalem is according to the Bible. This declaration by the United States will not result in peace in the Middle East, will not guarantee America’s alliance with Israel, and will not result in preparing Israel for the return of Jesus Christ to rule. To the contrary, Jerusalem will endure much tribulation as the capital of Israel before Jesus comes.
The Biblical History of Jerusalem – in the Bible, the first time Jerusalem, which means “the city of peace,” appears is in Jos 10:1. The king of Jerusalem, then, was Adonizedek. His name means “the lord of righteousness.” He is a type of the antichrist and a counterfeit of Jesus Christ, “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS,” [Jer 23:6]. Notice, that he gathers four other kings to fight against Gibeon, which is in league with the Jews. Joshua defeats him and the other kings in the great battle where the sun and the moon stood still. This victory typifies the Lord’s victory, at the second advent, over the nations who gather to destroy Jerusalem [Zech 14:1-3]. “The day of battle” in Zech 14 refers to the day of this battle in Jos 10.
Jerusalem was also known as Jebus, because of its inhabitants, the Jebusites [Jud 19:10-11]. Jerusalem was taken by the children of Judah in Jud 1:8, as part of the fulfillment of the promise that God made to Abraham to give him and all his seed after him “all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession [Gen 17:8]. David moved his throne from Hebron, where he reigned over Judah, to Jerusalem, where he reigned over all Israel [2 Sam 5:4-10]. From that time until the captivity of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem, all the kings of Judah reigned in Jerusalem. It was their capital. Furthermore, the Lord directed David to build him an altar in Jerusalem, at the threshing floor of Araunah [aka, Ornan] the Jebusite [2 Sam 24:18-25; 1 Chr 21:18], which is where Solomon built the temple [2 Chr 3:1].
Thus, the temple site, where the Mosque of Omar currently stands, belongs to Israel. It was purchased by David, the King of Israel, at the direction of God Almighty. This is the place where God said, “My name shall be there,” [1 Ki 8:29; Deut 12:11]. Herein lies the perpetual problem with Jerusalem and the temple site, because “Allah” is not God, the Mosque of Omar is not God’s temple and the Muslims are not the seed of Abraham to whom God promised to give this land [Gen 17:8; 26:3-5; 28:13-15; Deut 1:7-8].
The Biblical Future of Jerusalem – in the Bible, the chronological fulfillment of prophecy concerning Jerusalem will be as follows:
- A Jewish temple will be built in Jerusalem by the time of the Tribulation [Rev 11:1-2]. There will be an altar and the Jews will worship there, yet the Gentiles will “tread under foot” the outer court.
- The antichrist will set up his world rule in Jerusalem, ruling in the temple of God and professing that he is God [2 Thes 2:1-4; Rev 13:1-7]. He will “cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,” [Dan 9:26-27] when he stands “the abomination of desolation… in the holy place,” [Matt 24:15-21]. This abomination will be his image [Rev 13:14-15].
- Interestingly, the world ruler in Jerusalem will be Jewish [Dan 11:21-24; Ezek 21:25-27; Is 14:16-20]. Notice the references to “his fathers” in Dan 11:24; “prince of Israel” in Ezek 21:25; and “thy land, and… thy people” in Is 14:20.
- The Lord “will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle,” [Zech 14:2] at which time the Lord Jesus will return and destroy those nations just like Joshua did in Jos 10. He will “be king over all the earth,” and “Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited,” [Zech 14:1-11; 12:6-10].
- Jesus will rule the world from the “throne of David” in Jerusalem [Is 9:6-7, Lk 1:31-33] for the next millennium [Rev 20:4-6].
Conclusion: remember that what happens in Jerusalem in the near future is worse than anything that has ever happened there before. It is not until after the Tribulation that Jesus returns and and establishes the “peace of Jerusalem,” [Ps 126:6-7]. So, the declaration to recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel is not a move that results in peace. In reality, it’s a necessary move to prepare Jerusalem for the reign of the antichrist.