Holy Sites: The Golden Gate

The Golden Gate is where the Messiah in military triumph is to enter Jerusalem the Golden City at the beginning of the Messiah’s Thousand Year Reign of Peace. In 1983 a grave plot in front of the Golden Gate, in prime place for the arrival of the messiah, cost one quarter of a million American dollars.

The Gold Gate is blocked up, to avoid conflict and dispute. At least one of the orthodox Jewish sects, perhaps others, I’m not sure, believe the existence of the political state of Israel is preventing the prophesied return of the messiah. Curiously enough, members of the sect are not permitted to participate in mandatory military duty required of all citizens. Devotees of the sect, if in uniform, cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of the state.

While the triumphant messiah is yet to enter the city, every world empire has marched through the gates of the city to conquer the city and the Holy Land. Many times the conquest would see the city streets literally flow with the blood of the innocent massacred residents. One power subjugates another, for a while, only to lose their temporary possession to another great, absolute Power. the Holy Roman Empire with 60,000 troops reduced the city to rubble in 70 CE. In the 14th Century CE the Ayyubid Sultanate, who again tore down the walls of Jerusalem in the 14th Century CE, were replaced by the Ottoman Empire. Suleiman the Magnificent re-built glorious walls with perfect two-ton blocks of carved stone. The British General Allenby, walked past those walls and through the Jaffa Gate in 1917, entering the city triumphant over the Ottoman Empire.

When I am overwhelmed in spirit with the unending accounts of slaughter of human life, innocent children, women by heavily armed men committing genocide, I have taken instruction and perspective from the Thomas Hardy poem In Time of ‘The Breaking of the Nations’ Jeremiah 51:20, a hope, perhaps naive, yet a hope by which to persist, to defend, even for some noble spirits to die for.

In the Time of ‘The Breaking of the Nations’

Only a man harrowing clods

In a slow silent walk

With an old horse that stumbles and nods

Half asleep as they stalk.

Only thin smoke without flame

From the heaps of couch-grass;

Yet this will go onward the same

Though Dynasties pass.

Yonder a maid and her wight

Come whispering by;

War’s annals will cloud into night

Ere their story die.

(photo of the man ploughing in front the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, just around the corner from the Golden Gate, was purchased from Holy Land Views,1983)