August 5: Tisha b’Av

God’s unique relationship with Israel

Hosea 2:14-20

 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,

Will bring her into the wilderness,

And speak comfort to her.

I will give her her vineyards from there,

And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;

She shall sing there,

As in the days of her youth,

As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

 “And it shall be, in that day,”

Says the Lord,

That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’

And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’

For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals,

And they shall be remembered by their name no more.

In that day I will make a covenant for them

With the beasts of the field,

With the birds of the air,

And with the creeping things of the ground.

Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth,

To make them lie down safely.

Hosea 2: 19-20

God’s betrothal to Israel is forever. 

 “I will betroth you to Me forever;

Yes, I will betroth you to Me

In righteousness and justice,

In lovingkindness and mercy;

I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,

And you shall know the Lord.


South leading to the Huldah Gates near the Synagogue of the Freedmen was the Hippodrome, built by Herod like a Roman Circus, for horse and chariot races. Josephus mentions that the sports Hippodrome was a great amphitheatre built by Herod the Great in the plain. The spectators sat on stair-like seats around a central space, which had in the middle a large partition that the chariots raced around. The photo shows a Scholar’s conception showing how the site may have looked in Jesus’ day. The Hippodrome was seen at the Holyland Hotel model but when it was moved to the Israel Museum they removed the Hippodrome. The ruins of the Hippodrome were never discovered so thorough was the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, some scholars believe it was actually further south.

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