This ancient city is one that Jews, Christians, and Muslims all look towards as part of their roots. It is also an ancient city that runs through the whole Bible. The desire of God was that this would be the place where His people would gather and would worship. But because they were not faithful He declares in 2 Kings that he would remove them and the city.
“The Lord said through his servants the prophets: 11 “Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols. 12 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13 I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.”
God had sent prophet after prophet to call His people away from idolatry to life in His presence, providing direction, food, safety, victory even nationhood and land. But they kept turning to their own ways. Finally comes Jesus and He laments their stubbornness. As Jesus approaches his arrest and crucifixion he looks down upon the city and says:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who have been sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”
The old city is being excavated today like never before, so perhaps it’s no t too late to visit!