Tom: Thanks, Gary. You are listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a program in which we encourage everyone who desires to know God’s truth, to look to God’s Word for all that is essential for salvation and living one’s life in a way that is pleasing to Him. We’re going through Dave Hunt’s book, A Cup Of Trembling: Jerusalem and Bible Prophecy. Dave, we have been talking about Jerusalem, also called the City of David, and what I would like to do, Lord willing, on this program is to just go over some background history of Jerusalem, and you have a quote in your book that says, “On July 30, 1980, the Knesset (which is the Israeli parliament) passed a law declaring the City of Jerusalem to be ‘eternal and indivisible.’” How long do you think they will hold out for that?
Dave: Well, they haven’t been holding out for it because they have allowed the PLO to have control of Temple Mount. The last I heard, tourists can’t go up there. You know, I’ve been up there—you can’t do that anymore. Now they allowed it briefly for a few days, and there was such an outcry from the PLO, from the so-called Palestinians, Palestinian Authority: “How dare Jews or non-Muslims go up on Temple Mount! That belongs to us! That’s our holy site!”
Of course, it’s a perversion of the Bible and a perversion of history.
Tom: It’s a perversion of the Qur’an, for one thing.
Dave: It hasn’t been indivisible for sometime, although technically, Israel has control—it belongs to them. They took it in the 1967 War, but they immediately turned it over to Jordan, and then Jordan gave it to the PLO in 1994. So, Jerusalem is still “trodden down of the Gentiles,” as Jesus said it would be in Luke:21:24, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. But the City of David—I think the Bible calls it “the City of David” forty times. It’s never called the City of Ishmael, never call the city of anyone else, except David.
Tom: Dave, let me give some quotes. You have some excellent quotes on page  of your book, A Cup Of Trembling,beginning with Joshua:15:63: “As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out...” Joshua:18:3:…
Dave: That was in the early days, yeah.
Tom: “And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers hath given you?”; Judges:1:21: “And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem...”; 2 Samuel:5:7, “Nevertheless David took the [Jebusites’] stronghold of Zion; the same is the city of David”; 2 Samuel:7:12-16: “I [God] will set up thy seed after thee...and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever...thy throne shall be established forever”; Psalm:89:35-36: “Once have I sworn by my holiness...unto David. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me.”
Dave: Of course, the Seed he is talking about is the Messiah.
Tom: In 1 Kings:2:10: “So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.”
And finally, I Kings 11:36: “...that David my servant shall have a light always before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.”
Dave: Jerusalem is an amazing city! It’s called the City of God a number of times, the City of the Lord, in the Psalms and Isaiah:60:14. It’s called the Holy City, Isaiah:52:1, and Daniel:9:24, Matthew:4:5, and Matthew:27:53. And then, in Revelation, four times it’s called the Holy City. Isaiah:52:1: “O, Jerusalem, the Holy City”; Isaiah:48:2, Nehemiah 11. It’s also called Zion; it’s called the Bloody City. It has been fought over by every major power. The Bloody City, Ezekiel:24:6, 22:2, 24:9, Nahum:3:1.
And this is the city “which the Lord hath chosen to put his name there,” and we just read that from 1 Kings:11:36, but we find that also in 2 Chronicles:12:13. It’s also called the “holy mountain” and “the beloved city” in Revelation 29. The City of our God, Psalm:48:1, and the City of God, Psalm:46:4, Psalm:87:3. Revelation:3:12 calls it “the City of God.” There is no city like this on the earth—the city that God chose to put His name in forever; His special city, the Holy City, the Eternal City.
Tom: Dave, being a former Catholic, I know some Catholics that would argue with you over that, because Rome is trying to usurp of those titles for themselves.
Dave: Exactly. Rome has taken the titles, the honor that God gave to Jerusalem and chosen it for itself, placed it upon its own city. In fact, claimed that the Jews are the people formerly chosen of God, that the Roman Catholics are the new people of God, and this is the Holy City, now—Rome. In fact, I think one chapter of this book I stole the title from Dickens—I titled the chapter, “A Tale of Two Cities.” Very interesting! The Bible doesn’t say, “In the last days the two cities of greatest importance will be Moscow and Washington or New York and London, or Paris.” It says, “Rome and Jerusalem”! And you can’t argue with that and just the prophecies about Jerusalem alone—no one can be an atheist, you can’t be an agnostic—you can’t deny that God has laid it out, and we are seeing the fulfillment in our days.
It’s an amazing city, and yet, what is it? I mean, when you go there, I could tell you cities that are a lot more picturesque. You could go to Carcassonne in France, southern France—it has the wall intact, the old city is larger than Jerusalem. I think it is, anyway, I’m going by memory now, but Jerusalem is…well, it talks about the Holy Mount and “beautiful for situation on Mount Zion.” You know, I grew up in Southern California. Israel looks an awful lot like Southern California, barren and dry, and yet what the Israelis have done! It is blossoming like a rose now, as the Bible said. And they have taken that barren land that was forsaken, as the Bible said it would be, and they have really made something out of it.
Tom: Dave, going back to you used the term “Mount Zion”—historically, the Israelites, when Joshua brought people into the promised land, they couldn’t conquer Jerusalem. Why? The Jebusites—they shouldn’t have been any different than any of the others, the Caananites, all of those different groups.
Dave: Well, it was a pretty tough fortress and on, what would you say, three sides, I guess…rather steep to get up there; you could only come at it from one side, and yet, they apparently had a moat.
Tom: But, Dave, like Jericho, there was no command of the Lord to do certain things.
Dave: Very interesting. The Lord brought down the walls of Jericho, but not here, and it was left to David to conquer it because this is the City of David. And it was founded by David as an Israeli city. And yet…a little over 3,000 years ago…and yet the Muslims say, “No, the Jews were never there,” and they are doing everything they can to destroy all evidence upon the Temple Mount. Hebron, for example, is the city where David—he didn’t have Jerusalem at that point—and that’s where he was first crowned king. I think he ruled there for seven years before he moved to Jerusalem and conquered Jerusalem. And there again, the Muslims claimed that Hebron has nothing to do with the Jews—that it’s always been their city. Anyway, we want to talk about what the Bible says about Jerusalem.
Tom: And about David. Let me quote 2 Chronicles:6:6, and then 2 Samuel:7:16. This is as clear as you can make it. This is God speaking: ”I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel….And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” Sounds like forever to me.
Dave: It does, and of course, the angel Gabriel, when he appeared to Mary in Luke, chapter 1, told her that she was going to give birth to the Messiah although she was a virgin, and he said, “And upon the throne of his father David, he will rule forever and forever.”
So, when it talks about the seed of David and establishing his throne forever, that’s through the Messiah, of course, who is the Son of David. And you remember Christ is talking with the rabbis—they’re trying to ask Him questions and stump Him, or catch Him in some mistake, or maybe get Him to say that “We don’t give taxes to Caesar,” so that the Romans would then come down upon Him, and Jesus said, “Well, who is the Messiah? Whose Son is he?”
And the rabbis say, “Well, he’s the Son of David.”
And Jesus says, “Indeed he is, but then why does David call him Lord? How could the Son be greater than the father who established this dynasty, this throne, this kingdom?” They couldn’t answer it. But He is God, and the Scriptures, of course, make that very clear.
Tom: So we have the city of David—but what about David? He is a type of Christ. Certainly flawed in many ways, you know, a man—sinful man, yet many things that God did through him illustrated what Jesus would do, what He would be like.
Dave: David is a remarkable character. He comes on the scene suddenly in 1 Samuel 16, and I think we have probably talked about it a bit in the past, but Saul has been rejected by God because of his willful rebellion.
Tom: The first king of the Israelites.
Dave: And God tells Samuel, “I have found me a king among the sons of Jesse. I want you to go there and anoint him with oil as the new king.” Samuel goes; he tries to do it secretly, under a pretense—he’s going there to make a sacrifice, he says, so that Saul won’t know what he is doing, and invites Jesse and says, “Bring all your sons to the feast.” And he brings seven sons, and one by one they pass before Samuel. They are handsome guys, big guys and athletic, and so forth.
And one by one, God says, “That’s not the one.”
And then Samuel is confused: “But, Lord, you told me a son of Jesse,” and he says to Jesse, “Could it be you’ve got another son somewhere?” (laughing)
“Oh, yes, the youngest, and he’s out there with the flock. We just give him the menial tasks, and he does them. He’s willing; he’s very humble.”
“Well, call him in!”
And he brings him in and, “That is the one,” says the Lord. Now, he’s the 8th, which is interesting, because that’s a new beginning, and he’s despised, as Jesus was despised and rejected. When we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him, Isaiah 53 said. That doesn’t mean he’s ugly—we’ve talked about this—he’s the most perfect specimen, but he doesn’t appeal to the human mind, he’s so humble, he’s Christlike—and Jesus was the same. He wasn’t voted “most likely to succeed” in the graduating class of Nazareth. They despised Him. And yet when you read it, in 1 Samuel 16, you find that David is the handsomest guy, he’s the best harpist, he’s a warrior, he’s prudent, and I mean he’s the best guy in Israel, and yet he’s despised and rejected by his own…his brethren, which is very much like Jesus, being despised by his brethren, the Jews.
Of course, Jesus is the King, the Messiah, and David was the deliverer. He rescued Israel from the Philistines, conquered the Philistines, conquered the giant, which would be a type of Satan, I guess. So, there are many pictures of the coming Messiah presented to us in David. And of course, David gives us Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And he talks about “They pierced my hands and my feet. I can count my bones; they look and stare upon me…” because the way He’s hanging on the cross. “All my bones are out of joint,” he says, which, again, foretold the crucifixion. They nailed Him to the cross on the ground and they lift it up, and drop it in to the socket, and it just puts everything out of joint. So you have a description by David of the crucifixion of the coming Messiah many centuries before crucifixion had even been invented or practiced on the earth. So, David gives us many insights into the coming Messiah and indeed is really an amazing picture of the Messiah.
Tom: At the same time, David—human, sinful, he sins—it seems on the surface that by his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, with his destroying then of her husband to cover himself—that this would be more evil than even Saul had done.
Dave: The difference, of course, was that David does not deny it.
Tom: Right, no excuses here, once he is confronted by Nathan.
Dave: He acknowledges it, he repents, he has great remorse, he is sorry for his sin, and this is not his heart to do this. And in fact, it’s amazing, God says that, “I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will fulfill all my will.” So, that’s an amazing picture of God’s grace.
Tom: Would that any of us could say that...Wow!...that we could be a man, a woman, after God’s own heart. So it doesn’t involve sinlessness. What it involves is a heart, or an attitude, a desire to do God’s will, even though we may stumble in areas.
Dave: And David, because of that sin, in Psalm 51—some tremendous statements. You know, you think of David—he was out there under the stars with the sheep; he’s called the sweet psalmist of Israel, wrote most of the Psalms…for example, Psalm:19:1,2,3: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night, showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” And he talks about the sun, like a strong man running a race, like the bridegroom coming out of his chamber and his circuit is from one end of the universe to the other, in contrast to—I’m sorry—the popes, who insisted Galileo was wrong: the sun just went around the earth. It was not until…when was it—1990,I think, when they finally admitted Galileo was right.
Tom: Well, they finally addressed the issue—let’s put it that way.
Dave: Yeah, but listen to what David says, Psalm:51:1, after his sin, his horrible sin: “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.”
You know, David knew God—no doubt about it—and he had such an understanding of God, such an intimate relationship with Him. That’s why it’s so amazing that he could have done this thing and…of course, he stayed back—he didn’t go to war like he should have. He was just kind of relaxing and vacationing. But anyway, [Psalm:51:2-4]: “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned.” So, we get this insight from David that sin is against God; it’s not against other people. If it weren’t for God there wouldn’t be sin: “I have done this evil in thy sight. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation….The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Tremendous insights from David, even for today.
Tom: Yeah, and for today, Dave, I think one of the things this points out is that this is where we want to be, this is the heart that we want to have, but we have to discriminate a little bit. For example, I can’t pray, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me,” but with that exception, all those things I can cry out the same as David did.
Dave: You had better explain why you can’t pray that.
Tom: Well, I’ve been sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption.
Dave: This is something new from the day of Pentecost, Christ promised.
Tom: Right. So, the Holy Spirit came upon believers in the Old Testament, but never resident continually.
Dave: Yeah, well, David was a man honored by God with the City of David, but it’s also the City of God, and he was a man after God’s own heart. And, the Lord is going to restore this, and the Messiah will return to Jerusalem, and He will rule and reign over the world on the throne of his father David.
Tom: Dave, I know some historians say, “Well, David never really existed,” but that’s sort of been overturned recently, hasn’t it?
Dave: Well, we have much evidence, but the evidence is in the Bible because the Bible holds together—it proves itself, nobody can deny it. I’ll take the Bible’s word over anybody else’s.
Tom: Dave, another thing you mention in your book—David is a hero among Jews, but certainly not for the right reasons—for the temporal, fleshly reasons but not for the things that you have just articulated. Why is that?
Dave: Unfortunately, the spiritual insights that David gave us, especially about the Messiah, especially about our relationship with God, are not recognized by…at least by very many Israelis today. A large percentage of them claim to be atheists even. But they do have the Star of David—where that came from, I don’t know whether it really was the Star of David—but they certainly honor David in many ways. He’s their greatest king in their history, but his example and his spiritual insights, his relationship with God and his promise of the Messiah seemingly has been forgotten because blindness, the scripture says, in part, has happened unto Israel until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.