Rome and Jerusalem, cities for the ages. Cities that the world revolves around, or at least the Western world. Rome and Jerusalem, spiritual centers of the two most influential religions in the last 2000 years. No Tale of Two Cities can eclipse the drama these two have lived, the hope these two have inspired, the future these two have beckoned.
Rome erupted onto the world stage about 300 B.C., and quickly clashed with the Jerusalem which had been the spiritual center of the Jewish people for almost a millennium already. Then in 70A.D. Rome destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple, resulting in the deaths of 1,000,000 Jews and dispersing the rest to the winds.
Rome and Jerusalem, for two millennia the spiritual capitals of the West, have catapulted to the center of Western civilization over the last 100 years, since 1917, in a whole new and more dramatic way. Moses Hess, spiritual father of Karl Marx, wrote about the two cities in Rome and Jerusalem prefiguring in his influence through Marx the increase of Jewish influence so much that Yuri Slezkine could call the last 100 years The Jewish Century.
Some say the Jewish people, finding a new found power in the Jewish Century, are set on revenge against Rome for sacking Jerusalem in 70AD.
The fact of Jewish influence in the media, publishing, entertainment, education and government, coupled with the penultimate demonizing of perhaps the three greatest inheritors of Rome’s legacy, would lend credence to that.
The three most demonized entities over the last 100 years, the Jewish Century, are Russia, Germany and of course the Roman Catholic Church. Islam would be right in there but we’ll focus on the 20th Century here. And what do these three entities have in common?
Russia has been known as The Third Rome for carrying on the legacy of Christendom after the power of the Roman Catholic Church had waned. Thus Russia was the most demonized country in the world in the 1800s until in 1917 Communism seized control of this once Christian country.
And the World War II axis powers of Germany, Austria and Italy are the precise local of the Holy Roman Empire that began with Charlemagne in 800 AD. No country has been demonized more than Germany over the last 100 years. World Wars I and II were both started by the Allies in order to limit Germany’s power. And it was Judea that declared war against Germany in 1933, six years before historians consider WW II to have started. A book Germany Must Perish by Theodore Kauffman was lauded in the NY Times before the U.S. entered the war.f
And of course the Roman Catholic Church has been demonized in America like no other religion, so much so that an eminent historian can write a book The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice.
It is apparent to many that The Jewish State, Israel, is still nurturing ancient animosity against Persia in modern day Iran, Babylon in modern day Iraq, and Assyria in modern day Syria, etcetera. So is it a stretch to wonder if the Jewish people have not been harboring a similar ancient animosity against Christianity and the civilizations it has birthed?
After all, it was Jesus Christ who prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome. That does not mean he wanted it, after all he cried “Jerusalem, Jerusalem…” as recorded in Matthew 23:37. Nevertheless, Jesus did include a pronouncement of judgment against Israel and Jerusalem and declared her disinheritance at the time. Jesus flung open the doors of salvation to the gentiles, whom the Jewish people have harbored a distrust and hatred of as can be seen in writings too numerous to imagine.
Yes, Rome and Jerusalem have thrust themselves into the center of world history for ever. Only time will tell when Jerusalem as well as Rome will each hear the words of Isaiah 40:1-2;
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord‘s hand
double for all her sins.