14 August 2015

Ani L'Dodi From The City of David


In Anticipation of ELUL
Ani l'Dodi v'Dodi Li

The ELUL Encounter

Pop Quiz: How did Charles Warren discover the City of David? By mistake. His original plan was to excavate under the Temple Mount, as commissioned by Queen Victoria of England in the early 1900's. But he was denied access by the Ottoman Authorities who governed Jerusalem at the time. So the whole plan went south, literally. Bound by the edict he shifted focus to the hill south of the Temple Mount and astoundingly uncovered a massive fortification, initiating the discovery of Ancient Jerusalem.

Quiz #2: How did David finally discover the exact location of the future Temple, the place where the presence of G-d would come to reside? Also by mistake – and this time quite a big one. What happened? David decided to take a census of the nation, an act he was directly forbidden by G-d to do. A deathly Plague resulted claiming the lives of 70 000 souls.

When the Executing Angel of the plague reached Jerusalem, G-d commanded him to stay his hand. He hovered over the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. Ornan and his sons, busy threshing wheat that day, saw the angel. So did David. Realizing the weight of the matter he immediately offered to buy the exact place from Ornan for 600 shekels worth of gold and announced: “Here will be the House of the LORD and here the altar of burnt offerings for Israel”

The Temple Plan – Life’s Blueprint

David yearned to build a dwelling place for the presence of G-d. Now when he finally realized where the chosen location was to be, he was told that since he had shed blood in battles with Israel's enemies, the Temple would therefore be built by his son Solomon, in a time of peace. Solomon’s Hebrew name, Shlomo, is derived from the word Shalom. But it was David who received the plan and blueprint for the Temple by Divine Inspiration.

David gave his son Solomon the plans in in their entirety, which the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the LORD and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the House of God and for the storerooms for the holy treasures. 1 Chron 28:11-12

The Temple plan wasn’t some nice architectural inspiration; it was a meticulous blueprint representing a well calibrated Divine palace protocol. Even the priestly service within this space was well specified. What was done and the way it was done was part of the way G-d ran His world. We get a hint of the Temple's profound plans and practices in Ezekiel when the Temple is described in three long chapters only to end with G-d telling the prophet: "Son of man, explain to the people of Israel the Temple plan I have shown you, so they will be ashamed of all their sins. Let them study its plan

Story coming to Life

Something changes when you stand at the look-out on top of the City of David hill, with a 360 degree bird’s eye view of the very terrain where these ancient historical accounts originated. Suddenly the very location fuses you with the rich past of Biblical History. One can gaze upon the archaeological discoveries of the palace area as well as the more northern development of the royal quarters during King Solomon's time, while Temple Mount majestically towers in full view.

Turning a few degrees south east you see the King’s Garden area which must have played a significant role in the lush descriptions of fruit trees and spices, which we find in the Songs of Solomon. Gazing even more south you can see where the valley leads towards the fusion of the Kidron and Tyropoeon Valleys, where agriculture flourished during the times of the early kings. One can almost see in your mind’s eye the king’s procession visiting the workers in the field.

It is no wonder that in the very next verse after Ani l’dodi (I am my Beloved's) we find Solomon describing his beloved as “beautiful as Jerusalem”. The word beautiful used here is Na-veh in Hebrew, which means comely or suitable but also shares the meaning of a pleasant dwelling.

We have merited in our own modern times to witness Ancient Jerusalem's discovery and reintroduction to the world. May we be so bold in wishing to see this majestic city reach and rise even beyond her former beauty – fit to host a King.


King David's history in a nutshell

Born: Beit Lechem  (907-837 BCE)
Father: Yishai ben Oved
Mother: Nitzevet bat Adael
Great Grandmother: Ruth the Moabite

David was the 8th son to Yishai and grew up a shepherd boy. He was anointed by the Prophet Samuel after all seven of his other brothers were presented. It is only after Samuel inquired if there is another son that David was brought in from the field. He was described as ruddy and handsome with beautiful eyes. This occasion wasn't made public yet and David only rose to fame after killing the giant Goliath, the hero of the Philistine armies. David became an overnight house hold name and led Saul's armies with great success. This led to unmeasured jealousy from the present King fearing the loss of his already fading fame to that of the new hero of Israel. David became a fugitive for many years until the death of King Saul.

He was crowned King of Judah at the age of 30. He ruled seven and a half years in Hevron, the capitol of the Tribe of Judah before he was crowned king of all Israel. He reigned for 35 years as king of Israel.

The Making of a King: a longer more complete version can be read on the City of David website


CDG, Yerushalayim, Eretz Yisrael Shlemah said...

I'm so glad you got this post up. I looked for it yesterday but it wasn't there. And now it is!

Yet another piece of the puzzle we must look at before Mashiach comes. ;)

CDG, Yerushalayim, Eretz Yisrael Shlemah said...

Hodesh tov!