• Israel in the centre of Europe, Asia and Africa. Jerusalem is Israel's centre with the Temple Mount as Jerusalem's centre - Plaque in the Davidson Centre of the Archeological Park Jerusalem | Photo credit Christians for Israel International by R. van Neijhof

The secret of Israel (5) – The cradle of civilization

Rev Henk Poot - 29 January 2019

Not only does God bring His friend Abram to His land. Where the patriarch of Israel will experience the pinnacle of his life with the Lord is the centre of the land, Mount Moriah. Abram will undergo the ultimate test whether he can really stand strong in his belief at the beginning of God’s way with Israel.

But more about that later. We also know Mount Moriah with a different name: Zion. According to the Jewish tradition this is the centre of the earth, here was the Garden of Eden. Here God created the first man from the dust of the earth in His image and in His likeness and here God descended to walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8).

Later Moses will sing at the Red Sea that the Lord will bring His people there. That is the ultimate destination of God with His people after the exodus from Egypt: “You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance—the place, Lord, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established” (Exodus 1:17).

That this is the place of the Garden of Eden becomes clear as well when we look at the geography of the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2 tells that here was a well so powerful that four rivers rose from that well: the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, the Nile, encircling the entire land of Ethiopia (Cush), here called the Gihon, and another river, for some the Red Sea or else a branch of the river Nile.

Who looks at the map of the Middle East today sees that the course of these rivers has changed: We find two of the four rivers up north, in Mesopotamia and the other two in the south near Egypt and Africa. But when we visualise these rivers in their original beds, and bring them together to their original starting point, then we would end up in Canaan and even more precisely on the mountains of Moriah.

And actually, this explanation is unnecessary. In the Prophets we read that that source from the beginning is still present and hidden under Mount Zion (Ezekiel 47:1, Joel 3:18 and Zechariah 14:8), a well so pure and powerful that she even will bring the waters of the Dead Sea to life in the end times. And he who visits the old city of Zion today will stumble across a well with the name Gihon.

This is really the cradle of civilization (Ezekiel 38:12), here Jerusalem will arise, here the Temple will be built. Of this place the Lord God says: “He said: “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever.” (Ezekiel 43:7a).

And actually it is only logical that the Lord starts here with the great plan to redeem the world. Here the great acts of God’s salvation history will take place, here the Messiah will appear and rob the powers of evil of their strength, here He will return and here the world will be brought back to the days of the Garden of Eden.

In fact the whole course of God’s salvation history that is about to emerge is the road back to the beginning. In the future God will make further progress towards the first pages of the Bible. It is only logical that this place in the world is the most controversial place in the world. This is what it is all about!

But there is another reason why God takes His friend Abram to this place: This is not only where it all started. Here did it all go wrong as well!


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