In an ironic twist, Yerushalayim – the City of Peace – has seen much violence since the time of Melchi-Tzedic (Gn 14). This present violence (hamas in Hebrew) has increased the ocean of blood that has been spilt on that holy ground. My friend Elhanan lives in that Holy City of God, and has written some insightful words for us to ponder.
Assyria was a warring kingdom and took captives from every nation in the Middle East along with countries in Africa. After Samaria was taken captive, the Israelites living there were taken to Assyria where they eventually assimilated into the culture around them. Those who had been taken captive from other nations were moved into Samaria so that the land would be populated again. These new tenants worshiped the gods from their native nations and the God of Israel didn’t approve. The king of Assyria, Sancheriv, sent a priest to live in Samaria to teach the new residents about Israel’s God. Still, everyone made gods of their own and put them in temples on high places.