Sept. 24, 2017
“This whole land shall be a desolate ruin. And those nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” Jeremiah 25:11 (The Israel Bible™)
In June of 1867, Mark Twain embarked on a journey to Europe and Ottoman Palestine, now Israel. Unimpressed, he described the Holy Land as “unpicturesque” and “unsightly”, even “desolate”. From September 24-25, 1867, Twain stayed at the Mediterranean Hotel, now called the Wittenberg House, in the “Old Jewish Quarter” (now the Muslim Quarter of the Old City). At the time, Jews in the Old City had just become a majority, but the margins were slim.
Since then, the Old City, Jerusalem, and Israel has begun a redemption process in which in addition to the land giving fruit, there is a revival of Jewish life, an ingathering of exiles, and Jewish sovereignty in the land. Indeed, Twain’s book, which was published 30 years before the first World Zionist Congress, has often been used to support the Zionist idea that Palestine was a “land without a people for a people without a land.”