Beliefnet
Is it the End of the World?

The modern air traveler, seated (hopefully) comfortably, isn’t really aware that the plane itself is “whooshing!” through the air. In a plane, you are going really, really fast.

Next week, as I travel to Israel again, the plane can’t get there fast enough for me. Friends ask if I’m afraid to go to the Middle East.

No, I’m not. In fact, I feel safer in Israel than I do at home.

Among the many places I’ll visit is Mishkenot Sha’ananim, a community just outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls. It is an astonishing fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

In Zechariah 2:4, we read that one day, Jerusalem shall be “inhabited as villages without walls.” Of course, 2,500 years ago, that was absurd. Dwelling outside the fortifications of a city offered no protection from bandits, wild animals, and foreign armies.

Yet in 1860, the prophecy was fulfilled when Moses Montefiore provided the funds for dwellings to be built outside the walls of Jerusalem.

The buildings are still there, a stone’s throw from Jaffa Gate.

Critics of the Bible often like to say it’s full of mistakes, contradictions, or that it’s outright myth. Mishkenot Sha’ananim, however, exists. The cold stones of its dwellings gradually warm throughout the day, as the regathered Jewish people pass by, themselves an astonishing fulfillment of prophecy.

Mishkenot Sha’ananim.

I can’t wait to see it again!

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