Jews, Church, & Civilization IV

INTRODUCTION

1537 CE: SULEIMAN

Ottoman ruler Sultan “Suleiman the Magnificent” rebuilds the city walls of Jerusalem, 7 of the 8 gates, and the Tower of David.

Why not the eighth gate?

The “eighth gate” is the legendary “Golden Gate,” the gate that Jesus of Nazareth is asserted as having ridden through in his legendary procession into Jerusalem in the days leading–into Passover.

The gate is located in the middle of the eastern side of the Temple Mount.

In both Jewish and Christian traditions (but more emphasized in Christian tradition) this is the gate through which the Messiah will enter Jerusalem.

But, neither the Jews, nor the Muslims believe that Jesus is the Messiah. So, to preclude the Messiah (of the Jews) from entering Jerusalem (through the Golden Gate, at least) Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I sealed off the Golden Gate in 1541.

Suleiman takes Jewish tradition very, very seriously. And is defending against a myriad of threats.

The Muslims also built a Muslim cemetery in front of the gate, in the hope that it would be a deterrent, of sorts, to even the precursor to the Messiah, Elijah, to pass through, since Elijah is a Kohen (Priestly Class) (and a Kohen, a member of the Jewish Priestly class, is precluded from traversing Jewish cemeteries). Meaning, Suleiman’s advisors were pretty sophisticated. (But note: A bona fide Jewish cemetery (as opposed to a Muslim cemetery) would thus have technically been a tougher theological deterrent to Elijah in this drama…)

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