Tag Archives: U. S. Presidents

“Rejoice and be glad” you are not in Jerusalem

U.S. President Barack H. Obama plans a visit to Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, beginning Wednesday. Preparations are already under way. Arutz Sheva 7 reports here on the problems already evident.

In addition to the fact that Jerusalem is now one of the most difficult cities to navigate (my opinion based on 47 years of travel experience), the Passover is approaching. Jewish families must make many special preparations.

The President will be staying at the famous King David Hotel. If you planned to visit the Herodian Family Tomb behind the hotel, just forget it for a few days.

Over 5,000 police will be directly involved in providing security for Obama and his entourage, while hundreds of others will be helping out in indirect ways. For example, over 100 officers will be added to the police help line specifically to deal with issues called in by citizens relating to the Obama visit. Police will keep citizens updated on all aspects of the visit by phone and through social media.

Over 1,000 police alone will be deployed around the King David Hotel, where Obama will be staying, and will follow Obama around as he pays visits to people and institutions during his three day visit here.

Here is a photo of the King David Hotel from across the western part of the Hinnom Valley. It was taken either from the Protestant Cemetery, the Campus of Jerusalem University College, or a few meters to the north of that.

King David Hotel from the slope of Mount Zion. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

King David Hotel from the slope of Mount Zion. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Take a look at some of the traffic problems.

Already on Sunday, long before Obama arrives, traffic in Jerusalem was extremely choked, as police began setting up barricades, and many Jerusalemites took to the road to finish their Passover shopping while the roads are still open.

Among the roads to be closed sporadically during Obama’s visit will be Road 1, between Ben Gurion Airport and the entrance to Jerusalem, as well as main Jerusalem thoroughfares such as Herzl Boulevard and Derech Hevron [Hebron Road]. Police said they will make every effort to ensure that roads are closed only of absolutely necessary.

Several years ago I was in Jerusalem when President Clinton came to visit. Our hotel was far from the Old City, but policemen were stationed about a block apart. Nations normally enjoy these high level visits, but I am not sure this current one means very much, but it keeps Air Force One running. (O.K., you have a right to your opinion.)

HT: Barry Britnell

The Kings of Babylon and Bible History

It is important as we study the Bible that we have some understanding of the historical background and setting of the events described. There is no place where this is more obvious than in the Book of Daniel.

Daniel and his friends were taken to Babylon by the new king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, Nebuchadnezzar. It was during the early reign of Nebuchadnezzar that Daniel’s friends were thrown into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3).

Daniel was cast into the den of lions during the reign of the king Darius the Mede, who gained control of Babylon in 539 B.C. Thus, at least 66 years pass from the time Daniel was taken to Babylon until he was put in the den of lions.

To put this is practical terms for modern readers, the events mentioned above are as far apart as events during the presidency of Harry S.  (1945-1953) and Barack Obama (2009–).

The Neo-Babylonian Empire came to power in 626 B.C., and fell in 539 B.C. Perhaps this list of the kings of Babylon will be helpful in your study. The rulers mentioned in the Bible are listed in bold type.

  • Nabopolassar — 626-605 B.C.
  • Nebuchadnezzaar — 605-562 B.C.
    • 2 Kings 24; Daniel 1-5; et al.
  • Evil Merodach — 562-560 B.C.
    • 2 Kings 25:27; Jeremiah 52:31.
  • Nergal-Sharezer — 560-556 B.C.
    • Jeremiah 39:3, 13, when he was an official of Nebuchadnezzar.
  • Labaši-Marduk — 556 B.C. (ruled only 9 months)
  • Nabonidus — 556-539 B.C. Not named in the Bible. His son, Belshazzar, served as co-regent the last ten years of the reign.
    • Daniel 5-8.

The names and dates above have been summarized from the article by the late D. J. Wiseman in The New Bible Dictionary (3rd edition).

Map of world showing Babylon in the center. British Museum. Photo: Ferrell Jenkins.

Map of world showing Babylon in the center. British Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Perhaps later we will be able to describe in more detail the Biblical events during the Neo-Babylonian Empire.