The Importance Of Jerusalem In Space

Improved Essays
In “Space”, Thomas A. Tweed characterizes sacred space as differentiated, interrelated, and kinetic. All of these characteristics can be used to justify Jerusalem as a sacred space. The “Holy Land” does not have the qualities of a “great city”. It is not on route to any important place, it does not have a trading market, nor is it on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. However, it does have a small source of water, the Gihon Spring, which is reason enough to settle anywhere. Additionally, it has many hills and valleys like the Kidron Valley, Hinnom Valley and the Tyropean Valley that serve as natural defenses to the city of Jerusalem. Nevertheless, Jerusalem was considered the center of the world, or “axis mundi”. It holds great significance …show more content…
This post exile text personifies Jerusalem as a lamenting woman. It describes what became of “her” after the Babylonians destroyed her in 586 BCE and exiled her people, leaving behind only the poor. In Lamentations 1:1, someone cries “How lonely sits the city/ that once was full of people!/ How like a widow she has become,/ she was great among the nations!/ She that was a princess among the provinces/ has become a vassal.” (NRSV). In this first verse, the kinetic aspect of Jerusalem is seen with the contrasting imagery of the city before its destruction and afterwards. TWEED In Chapter 1 of Lamentations, the people of Jerusalem do not blame the Babylonians for desecrating Jerusalem and exiling them from their home, instead, they cry that “the LORD is in the right,/for [they] have rebelled against his word” (Lamentations 1:18 NRSV). Many people believed that God had abandoned them as punishment; however, the ties with God have not been severed because this was a manifestation of God’s anger. In actuality, this was the Babylonians doing, yet it is deemed God’s doing. Despite the various sieges and destructions that Jerusalem has been through, the city has prevailed and kept its sanctity. It was not just wiped off the map. To many, it was still at the center of the world. Tweed says that sacred spaces have both “extension and duration” and Jerusalem certainly persisted …show more content…
These biblical texts support the idea that Jerusalem is not just any place, it is particular, and as is repeated, it is chosen by God. Jerusalem is the site where God sent Abraham to sacrifice his son and where the angel of the Lord appeared to Abraham. It is where the Ark of the Covenant was taken to in David’s time. It is the Holy City that God protects and keeps safe or punishes when she sins. Jerusalem was constructed upon and consecrated by David and his son Solomon. With the help of these books, we see how and where Jerusalem fits in Tweed’s differentiation spectrum. Furthermore, we see how this process relates to even other secular aspects of Jerusalem. The historical development of the city into a sacred, religious space can be seen from the beginning in Genesis 22 and 2 Samuel 5-7. Furthermore, the interruption of its glory days is depicted in Lamentations 1. People have generated meaning for this sacred space and in return this religious space has become sacred to them. To this day, it is not the sacredness of the city that is debated, but rather who has more claim to this religious

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