In the past twenty-seven articles and our book Jubilee Now, we have looked at the Jubilee year from both Jewish and Christian perspectives to examine whether God might be restoring to the world an identification of the Jubilee calendar as described in Leviticus Chapter 25. The idea was basically that 1967 was such a pivotal year that we needed carefully watch 2016 and 2017 for signs of Jubilee.
We started this journey with you two years ago in November 2015, near the beginning of the year 5776 on the Hebrew Calendar. Now we are on the path to wrapping up the series of articles in early 2018, in the year 5778.
That summation article is going to reveal a new twist — something we did not expect when we set out on this journey.
But, before we do that, in order to establish the full context of our thoughts, we have to bring you up to date on a few things and offer to you a pair of spectacles (otherwise known today as glasses) to see a few missing facts in the right context.
In all our discussions to date regarding Jerusalem, the image of Jerusalem in our minds was the image of Jerusalem as surrounded by the city walls built by Suleiman the Magnificent, head of the Ottoman Empire who conquered the city in 1517 and built the walls between the years of 1536 and 1541. These walls today contain Herod’s great platform upon which the Temple stood and against which the Western wall borders, the holiest site for Jews.
But, in all that discussion and focus regarding the City of Jerusalem, we missed discussing something — something important. Can you guess what it is?
The City of David. The original boundaries of Jerusalem were not the boundaries of the Old City today, but further south in what was originally named, the City of David. This lower and southern portion of Mount Moriah, that same ridge on which the Temple Mount also stands, is today accessible by entering The City of David National Park, within the grounds of which more excavation going on right now than in any other archaeological site in the world.
In the Bible, Jerusalem is not male, but female. And this great city, and especially the southern part called today The City of David, this great lady laid dormant for centuries, waiting for her people to return. Only in the last 150 years has Jerusalem begun to reveal her secrets once again, revealing them one at a time to careful archaeologists who dig down into her, looking to understand her past.
It was in 1865 when Angela Burdett Coutts, a British baroness, visited Jerusalem on a pilgrimage and returned with the idea to establish a Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF), successfully enlisting the help of none other than Queen Victoria. We already mentioned Queen Victoria in article 4 in this Jubilee series, but only as an example of a monarch who had celebrated a 50-year Jubilee in her reign, not because we thought Queen Victoria figured into the Jubilee story of Israel.
We were wrong!
How did we discover our omission? Last November, we recorded a Root Source video of tour guide AnaRina Heymann (yet another woman in today’s story!) speaking about the history of the City of David. She revealed that the great breakthrough discovery at the site of the City of David was the discovery of the ancient tunnel system that King David may have used to conquer the city. That discovery in 1867 is credited to Charles Warren, who had been commissioned by Queen Victoria and was funded by the PEF, established two years prior by Baroness Coutts.
Clearly, Queen Victoria was herself a “lady in waiting,” waiting to hear reports from Charles Warren on the progress of this important expedition going on in the Holy Land. Those letters establish the history of the digs. The tunnel he found is now part of the every City of David Tour.
Tour guide AnaRina went on to tell our group that the 1867 date was, in her opinion, an indication of the repeating 50-year Jubilee cycle, and of course she then connected that date to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the Reunification of Jerusalem in 1967 and of course our very tour which took place on November 1, 2017. What we only found out later was that we were hearing her information exactly 150 years (and 8 days) later than its discovery by Charles Warren on October 24, 1867.
Why is the Charles Warren discovery in 1867 so important?
First, it falls in the same year that Mark Twain visited the Holy Land and Jerusalem and declared it a desolation. We covered this extensively in article 15. There we noted that while he visited the land in 1867 — which was a vote for a 50-year Jubilee cycle — his landmark bestseller Innocents Abroad did not reach publication until 1869 — a vote for a 49-year repeating Jubilee cycle. Yet, now we can see that Mark Twain and Charles Warren were in Jerusalem together, even if they never conversed. This strengthens the case for 1867 and for the 50-year Jubilee cycle overall. To explain why a 49-year Jubilee cycle is even a viable possibility, read article 9, but the point here is that this new information makes the case for the 50-year cycle stronger than before.
Second, the involvement of Queen Victoria and Charles Warren in Jerusalem in 1867 strengthens the case for England being part of God’s big Jubilee story. Why do we say this? Let’s review the facts. Without any doubt, the Jews of Israel were responsible for winning The Six Day War with God’s help. They get the glory of 1967. America played a big role in the UN vote of 1947. The British, with help from Australia and New Zealand, played the key role in 1917. But we had pegged the key event of 1867 to be once more in the American camp, because of the landmark visit of Mark Twain. But this new information about Charles Warren and Queen Victoria gives Britain just as much stake in the key events of 1867 as it does the Americans. Charles Warren and team discovered much in Jerusalem that year, and they single-handedly inaugurated the modern era of Holy Land archaeology which has caused Jerusalem to once again reveal its secrets.
The idea that Britain and America might work together in synchronization with a God-ordained Jubilee cycle is a fascinating thought, made possible because of the work of Charles Warren and Queen Victoria.
We previously promised you a summation article on the Jubilee in early 2018, we even believed that we could deliver it to you in January 2018. Now, January is almost over, but we do promise it is coming soon.
This article you just read plays a role in that coming summation. The end of the story is bigger than we expected, so hang on while we finish laying the factual groundwork for you, and get ready to reveal it.