THE MEANING OF “JERUSALEM”

jerusalem

 

JERUSALEM

 

 

 

 

The word “Jerusalem” is first found in the bible in Joshua 10:1. The Hebrew word is “Yruwshalaim” pronounced “ye-roo-shaw-lah-im”, meaning “teaching of peace”. This possibly is why we are asked to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.  For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be within you.” Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good.”  Psalm 122:6-9.

Prosperity is part of her name. And that doesn’t just mean financially. It means increase in every area of life!  The Bible prophesies, “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2.  It is in and from Jerusalem that God shoots an arrow of His intention to inform, instruct, show, and teach, as well as where He rendered recompense upon Yeshua on the cross for mankind’s sin, and where He made restitution, and restored us to peace with Himself.

Melchizedek was king of Salem, which is an early name for Jerusalem.

In Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion”.  Psalm 76:2

He is also identified as a priest of the Most High God. Melchizedek is rather mysterious. He has no genealogy he’s attached to, and he blesses Abraham as one “above” Abraham, because generally in the Old Testament, the higher always blesses the lower and not the other way around. Who is this man? Some believe He is a pre-incarnate Yeshua. Yeshua is identified as “a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” Heb 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:11.  Neither of them being from the priestly tribe of Levi, yet both are called priests unto God.  Whoever Melchizedek actually was, what we do know about him is that he was king of Salem. According to Strong’s Concordance, Salem, or more correctly, Shalem means: complete, especially friendly, full, just, made ready, peaceable, perfect(ed), quiet and whole. All Hebrew words either are the root or have a root meaning. The root of Shalem means: to be safe (in mind, body or estate), to be (or make) complete, to make amends, to (make an) end, furnish, full, give again, make good, (re)pay (again), to make (to be at) peace, peaceable, (that is) perfect, make prosperous, recompense, render, make restitution, restore, and surely reward.

This sounds like the fullness of God’s salvation, does it not?  Every word in this definition of the name Shalem is a quality of the restoration or establishment of the Kingdom of God!  Does this sound like a Kingdom picture?  All that this name embodies that is representative of the city of Shalem, is the same piece of real estate upon which Jerusalem sits.  What God had done and will do in fulfilling His Kingdom was done or will be accomplished in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem in Hebrew is pronounced Y’ru-shah-lah-yim. (There is no “J” sound in Hebrew, which incidentally will let you know that Jehovah isn’t a correct name for God. It’s a mistranslation of YHVH or close enough, Yahweh.) The name Jerusalem is divided between two root words: Yara (pronounced as yahr-ah) and shalem. We already know what shalem means. Yara means: dual, as related to the two hills on which Jerusalem sits. And it also means: founded peacefully, to flow as water (i.e. rain), to shoot as an arrow, to point out (as if by aiming a finger), to teach. It also means to cast, direct, inform, instruct, show, teacher, teaching and through (as in the way to go through).  Put Yara and Shalem together as the Hebrew word for Jerusalem and we have a picture of the intent of the Bible in its entirety, of God’s instructions and “teaching” to mankind. The meaning of the name of Jerusalem reveals the very nature and character of the Kingdom of God. Put all this together and we see God’s motive or intention always for Jerusalem to be the place where He interacts with men in the ways that define its name. Starting with when God interacted way back with Abraham on this same place. Mt. Moriah (Hebrew: moe-ree-ah) where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac is the same location where the sacrificial death of Yeshua took place, just slightly north. Consider the size of the earth and the amount of time between these two events. No coincidence. It’s the place where all those words in the names listed above become God’s testimony to Himself and His interaction with Israel as instructions to them and to the world, the example before us being that God “aimed His finger” and “pointed out” the sacrificial death of His own Son through Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to satisfy God’s will.  The Bible for the most part centers largely in Jerusalem or is related to it somehow. The meaning of names defines the character, nature and calling of the thing or person so named.  So we can see by the name Jerusalem, what God wants to say to the world about Himself.  To a great extent He has chosen to speak about Himself in and through the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, then, is the primary place on earth through which God has and will ultimately reveal Himself!  Also, the earthly city of Jerusalem points to the heavenly and eternal city of Jerusalem that will come down from heaven: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband” Rev. 21:1,2.  Jerusalem is the ultimate dwelling place for God and redeemed mankind where there is no more death nor devil.  It is in the new Jerusalem that we will be fully informed, know as we are known, and be made complete and whole, to live in perfect peace. It will not happen apart from Jerusalem because God has ordained her to be the place of His revelation and habitation.  Because he loves Jerusalem, He is intimately involved in that city. He cares about her and what happens to her. Above all cities, He intends for His goodness to be manifested in that city. It is not surprising that the devil fears the restoration of the Jewish people to their Land and Jerusalem in particular.  So we can understand why there is a demonically inspired determination to steal Jerusalem from the Jews. There are consequences to participating in that determination: “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem…Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land” Joel 3:1,2. Aside from the fact that God gave the Land to Israel forever, Jerusalem is the one place on earth through which the ways of God can be known. He has set her as a light on a hill (actually two hills) for the whole world to see…Him! Jerusalem isn’t just about the Jews; it’s about God. His restoration isn’t just about the Jewish people getting back — and keeping — their God-given Land. It is in and through Jerusalem that we see the promises and the fulfillment of all that God has declared in His Word. Jerusalem is ultimately the sign for the restoration of the entire God-created world being restored to Him.  It is no surprise the devil works through men to attempt to destroy God’s sovereign intentions for Israel. It was inevitable that there would be an attempt by Israel’s enemies to go after Jerusalem. It was anticipated by those with Biblical discernment that the outer territories were only a pathway to the ultimate goal set by the god of this world who has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Messiah who is the image of God” 2 Cor. 4:4. People who are in agreement with giving away Israel’s land to those who wish to destroy her are unknowingly aligning themselves against God and His unbreakable commitment to Jerusalem and the land of Israel for the Jewish people. This whole dividing up the Land of Israel is not about politics or human rights. It’s about satan who wants to destroy Jerusalem and take it from the Jews from whom salvation still comes, (John 4:22),  because the Word cannot be broken and salvation is what he’s trying to keep the world from. The devil wants to usurp God’s Lordship over Jerusalem because Jerusalem is the key to ultimate Lordship over the earth and all mankind!

But Jerusalem will prevail, or rather God will.  His Word cannot fail. “For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?   Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: That You may be justified in Your words,  And may overcome when You are judged.” Romans 3:3-4 .   No matter what God may allow it to look like before it’s all over, what He has said will come to pass. Now we can see why satan has worked so diligently to turn the world against Israel. Discerning the motive and the spirit behind the motive will keep us from being deceived and turning against Jerusalem or the Jewish people even if entire nations in the world do so. Instead pray that all people everywhere will “Seek the peace of the city…and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its peace you will have peace” Jeremiah 29:7.

What a beautiful promise.  There is much to be gained from standing with and for Jerusalem.

 

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