Perhaps the most vivid and appealing of Zechariah’s visions is the depiction of a restored Jerusalem, with the elderly sitting outside their houses and boys and girls playing in the streets. Peace will reign, the vines will grow grapes, the ground will yield plants, and the rain will fall from the sky. The people will be a blessingBlessing is the asking for or the giving of God's favor. Isaac was tricked into blessing Jacob instead of his firstborn Esau. At the Last Supper Jesus offered a blessing over bread and wine. To be blessed is to be favored by God. More to everyone.
The tragedy of the exile was not only that so many of Judah’s populace were exiled, but that they had lost the center of their worship and cultic life–the templeThe Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... More in Jerusalem. The opening verses of PsalmA psalm is a song of praise. In the Old Testament 150 psalms comprise the psalter, although some of the psalms are laments and thanksgivings. In the New Testament early Christians gathered to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. More 137 were the lament of every Jewish person living in far-off Babylon:
By the rivers of Babylon–there we sat down and there we wept
when we remembered ZionZion originally referred to a mountain near Jerusalem where David conquered a Jebusite stronghold. Later the term came to mean a number of other things like the Temple, Jerusalem, and even the Promised Land. More.
On the willows there we hung up our harps.
For there our captors asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth,
saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
How could we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither!
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.
Even the SamaritanSamaritans were a people who mostly lived between Galilee and Judea and were avoided or shunned by mainstream Judaism. Jesus' message, however, was so inclusive that he often spoke favorably of Samaritans as he did with the woman at the well (John 4) and in... More woman at the Sychar well knew that Jews considered Jerusalem the place of true worship. JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More replied that “the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem” (John 4:19-21)–that is, Christian worship would not be localized in any one place. In retrospect, however, one can understand how Jerusalem has been at the heart of Jewish longing for all the centuries since the destruction of the temple and the dispersion of the Jewish people in the first century. These powerful feelings have shaped the politics of the HolyHoly is a term that originally meant set apart for the worship or service of God. While the term may refer to people, objects, time, or places, holiness in Judaism and Christianity primarily denotes the realm of the divine More Land in our day and will continue to do so.