Excerpt from The Expositor, Vol. 12
Recent critics have been disposed to minimize the importance of Jerusalem during the period of the Double Kingdom, the two centuries and more between Rehoboam and Hezekiah. They have been moved to this by natural reaction from the tradition that the incomparable sacredness of the City had already been realized under Solomon, and by the just desire to emphasize the influence of the prophets in the gradual creation of her greatness. But the duty of showing how gradual this greatness was, and how essential to it were the contributions of the prophets cannot be discharged without appreciation of the political and religious importance, which Jerusalem had achieved before the times of the prophets and of which their own tributes to their City are the strongest certificates. Let us in a few sentences recall what that achievement had been.
The Disruption of the Kingdom deposed Jerusalem from her brief reign as the capital of all Israel. There was left to the City only the small province of Judah, while the reputation of her Temple was still obviously below that of a number of other sanctuaries in the land. Yet Jerusalem had the Dynasty of David, and the Ark of Jahweh with its comparatively pure ritual: both of them, as we can see, stronger guarantees for a great future than Israel at the time anywhere else possessed. Not that either of these securities had escaped challenge or serious danger.
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