Dome of the Rock
The Middle East is the birthplace of the world’s three great monotheistic religions—Judaism,Christianity and Islam. Too often it has not only been their birthplace but battlefield with each one warring against each other for the control of the territory they consider to be rightfully their own. Where the Dome of the Rock sits is without a doubt the hottest contested spot in Israel.
The Temple Mount is holy to Christians because Christ was crucified near Mount Moriah. It is holy to the Jews because both temples once stood proudly on the mountain. It is holy to the Muslims because two mosques now rest on the hill. We see today Muslims praying at the Dome of the Rock atop the Temple Mount, Jews praying at the Western Wall barely a stone’s throw away, and Christians praying along the Via Dolorsola and at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher a few hundred yards away to the north and the west.
The Temple Mount is named because it is the location of the Temple built by David’s son Solomon. This Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. It’s replacement was built by Zerubbabel and was later enlarged by Herod the Great. It was here that Jesus Christ of Nazereth worshipped and taught. It was in this temple that Jesus confronted the money changers and the religious authorities. It was centuries later that Arab Muslims took the city (A.D. 638) and in A.D. 691 Muslims built the Dome of the Rock on that same Temple Mount. They have enclosed a spot where Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to heaven. It was centuries later that the Crusaders captured Jerusalem, slaughtered Muslim and Jew alike, and converted the Dome of the Rock into a Church.
Jerusalem has changed hands a number of times before the Muslims took control of the city from 1244 to 1917, until the Ottoman Empire lost its hold in World War 1 and the city came under British administration. Since the British found it wearisome to keep the peace, Jerusalem and Israel were put into the hands of the United Nations. In 1948, the State of Israel was born to the dismay of the Arab Muslims. In the 1967 Six-Day War, the Jews gained control of all Jerusalem. They left the Temple Mount, however,under Islamic authority. This in no way brought peace to the Muslims. They believe the whole territory is their holy place and that the Jews came and attacked and stole the land. The Muslims claim Abraham as their father as the result of Ishmael being Abraham’s first son. The Bible tells us that Isaac, Abraham and Sarah’s second son was the true son of promise. The conflict has its roots in who the true heir of promise in under Almighty God’s covenant with Abraham and the land rights. The Koran was founded more than 600 years after God gave the Torah to Moses.
The re-establishment of Israel as a nation brought both fear and anger to Muslims. Muslims do not believe the Jewish temples of King Solomon and King Herod ever sat on the Temple Mount. Passions between Jews and Muslims over this issue has brought a fiery hotbed of conflict in the region. The faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam all trace their natural and spiritual heritage back to the same individual, Abraham—who lived in the area of Jerusalem and is their patriarch. The Dome of the Rock is ground zero for a future war. That war has been prophesied in the Bible. The scripture from the Bible clearly gives mention of this conflict through the prophet Zechariah : “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:2).
Read more in Behind the Veil of Radical Islam
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