“The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. In that day,” says the LORD, “I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness.” (ZECHARIAH 12:1-4)
God says that in a coming day Jerusalem will intoxicate and stupefy the surrounding peoples. The Arab peoples surrounding Jerusalem have a passion for possessing the city that is not justified by history. Muslims claim Jerusalem as their third-holiest city, but Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. “During the centuries when Jerusalem was under complete Arab control, no Arab ruler or Islamic leader ever made it the object of a religious pilgrimage – again a strange indifference toward a city which is now considered to be the third-holiest religious site in Islam after Mecca and Medina” (Dave Hunt).
Jerusalem’s importance to Muslims comes from the belief that in the Dome of the Rock shrine there is a rock where two significant things happened – where Abraham intended to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, and where Mohammed allegedly ascended into heaven. Though this tradition is firmly in the Muslim mind, it is of recent origin. It was invented by Yasser Arafat’s uncle – Haj Amin el-Husseini, who was the past Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. He promoted this myth in the 1920’s and 1930’s to arouse Arab passions against the growing Jewish presence in Jerusalem.
The verse in the Koran that describes Mohammed’s trip to heaven is Surah 17:1: Glorified be He who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place [al-Aqsa] of Worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! The Islamic interpretation says that the Inviolable Place of Worship is Mecca, and this is accepted by all. It then says that the Far Distant Place of Worship is Jerusalem – but this has no substantiation because Jerusalem had never been a place of Islamic worship to that time, nor would it be for centuries afterward. Jerusalem isn’t even mentioned by name in the Koran, so how could it be a place of worship according to the Koran? Most significantly, inside the Dome of the Rock hundreds of verses from the Koran are inscribed – and Surah 17:1 is not among them! The very passage that later supposedly justified the building of the Dome of the Rock is not even included among the hundreds of passages of the Koran inscribed in it!
The Dome of the Rock was built not because of the Koran, but because the Muslim ruler Abdal-Malik wanted to gain revenue from pilgrims and worshippers, and because he wanted to prevent the rebuilding of a Jewish Temple. Islamic passion for Jerusalem is indeed like drunkenness.
This is exactly fulfilled in modern Jerusalem. In recent peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Israel was willing to concede almost everything to the Palestinians in an amazing willingness to make peace. The only thing Israel would not concede was sovereignty over Jerusalem, and the entire deal was ruined over that one point. The problem between Jews and the Arab world has boiled down to one point: Jerusalem.
If Muslim passion for Jerusalem is a mystery, the Jewish claim to the city is entirely Scriptural. “The very fact that Jerusalem is mentioned more than 800 times in the Bible makes it worthy of special attention. This unique city is the only one upon which God has bestowed His distinctive blessing and protection (Ps 132:13-14), and the only city for whose peace we are commanded to pray (Ps 122:6). God says He has chosen Jerusalem as the place where He has put His name forever (2 Chr 6:6; 33:7; Ps 46:4; 48:1-8; 87:3). The new heavens and new earth will contain ‘the city of my God…new Jerusalem’ (Rv 3:12; 21:2). That there will be a ‘heavenly Jerusalem’ (Heb 12:22) but no ‘heavenly’ New York, Paris, London, Damascus, Cairo, etc. speaks volumes” (Dave Hunt, The Berean Call – September 2000).
(SOURCE: ENDURING WORD ©2018 David Guzik)