Doris H. Murdoch: What’s Up with The Hill of Evil Counsel?
by Doris H. Murdoch, teacher and author of Testify: By the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony and Constructing Your Testimony.
These pictures were taken from Goldman’s Promenade on the Hill of Evil Counsel. The Goldman’s Promenade sits amidst the Peace Forest. The junction of the Kidron, Hinnom and Azal Valleys separate the Mount of Olives and the Mount of Evil Counsel, also called (Jebel Deir) Abu Tor. From the location of the Hill of Evil Counsel, one can see: the pine trees of the Peace Forest; the Old City of Jerusalem; Mount Moriah, the site of the first and second temples; the Dome of the Rock; to the west, the Hinnom Valley and Mount Zion; and to the east, the Kidron Valley and Mount of Olives with the Garden of Gethsemane and the Tower of Ascension. What in the world is the Mount of Evil Counsel? It is the location for: the attempted overthrow of King David by his son, Absalom; the place where the high priest Caiaphas and his colleagues decided to arrest Jesus; Judas Iscariot’s final hours; making battle plans; and, today, the United Nations headquarters.
Chapters 15-18 of II Samuel tell the story of how Absalom plotted to overthrow and kill his father, King David. In this plot, Absalom sent spies throughout the tribes of Israel, saying “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then you shall say ‘Absalom is king in Hebron’ ” (II Samuel 15:10, NASB). Absalom seeks the counsel of Ahithophel, David’s mystic counselor or sage, as his wisdom and advice were of God, except he failed to give God the credit or glory for this wisdom. Ahithophel suggested that Absalom go into David’s concubines and then Ahithophel would take 12,000 men to pursue and strike down David. Absalom also sought out Hushai’s advice who suggested Absalom go himself to carry out the task. Hushai remained true to David and David knew of the plan. In conclusion, Absalom ends up dead in the Peace Forest on the Hill of Evil Council and David remains in power as king. Absalom received evil counsel that brought on his death (hung on a tree, stabbed 3 times by Joab, and then finished off by Joab’s armor bearers, II Samuel 18:14-15). Regretfully involved in the overthrow and disgraced by his ignored counsel, Ahithophel commited suicide. Here, we see “pride goes before destruction” from Proverbs 16:18. His rumored final words to his family were, “Never side against the royal Davidic family and take no part in dissensions.”
The scriptures of John 11:47-53 share the evil counsel as the Jewish leaders plan to conspire against Jesus:
Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 48 If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” 51 Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. (NASB)
The council of elders decided to offer Jesus to the governor of Judah, Pontius Pilate. According to Christian tradition, Pontius Pilate agreed to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ after this gathering on the Hill of Abu-Tor at the residence of the past high priest, Ananias.
The ancient hill is also identified as the place where Judas Iscariot finalized his contract to betray Christ. The flat-top area is called the Field of Blood where Judas made the deal on the arrest of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, the blood money for betraying Jesus. Acts 1:18-19 states, Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19 And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood. In this scenario of Judas betraying Jesus after his visit to the Hill of Evil Counsel, we are reminded of the betrayal of David by his counselor Ahithophel in the same location.
The view from the Hill of Evil Counsel is a panorama of Jerusalem with a most spectacular view. Most likely, those who have invaded Jerusalem have made their battle plans and drawings from this site. Saladin and other Arab leaders may have viewed Jerusalem from this hill. I would suggest that Romans, Egyptians, Assyrians, and Philistines may have all taken a good look at the city of Jerusalem before making any battle plans. Here on the Hill of Evil Counsel stands the Government House, a colonial residence when the British Crown had control of the area on behalf of the League of Nations. Today this serves as the Israel headquarters of the United Nations. Most people think of the United Nations as a world arbitrator on issues of right and wrong among nations. Where does the authority of the United Nations come from? It certainly is not the authority of God, but the authority of world governments based on the human model of democracy and voting in proportion to representation.
Recently, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) made the decision that Israel’s Jews no longer had any historical or religious connections to the Temple Mount. The U.N. agency wants to adopt a policy of the Temple Mount being sacred to Muslims only. Israel’s ancient high court of Sanhedrin has reformed and responded with, “The Jewish right to the Temple Mount was established in the Bible, and should therefore be recognized by Christianity and Islam. In fact, the Jewish claim to Jerusalem is as essential to those religions as it is to Judaism. The biblical connection between the Jews and Jerusalem led to the building of the First Temple by King Solomon, which strengthened our claim to Jerusalem even more.” The Sanhedrin have warned the U.N. that such statements and decisions encourage global terrorism and do not promote world peace, which should be the ultimate goal of the U.N. organization.
As Christians, we have a responsibility to the United Nations and other global humanistic organizations to question decisions by acknowledging and seeking out God’s authority and wisdom. We need to ask ourselves if the U.N. (UNESCO) decision is the best decision for all of mankind as it relates to the will and plans of God. The U.N. acknowledges God in its New York office building with part b of Isaiah 2:4; all of the scripture, parts a and b, need to be acknowledged. God is the Supreme Judge and anti-semitism cannot be a part of such an organization.
a And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples;
b And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war. (NASB)
When we look back in history on decisions made by the U.N., we see obvious discrepancies in how the nation of Israel is being viewed by this world peace organization. The following highlights concerning Israel and UN have been made available by Steven Shamrack, independent editor of The Kings Calendar, The Shamrack Report:
- Before 1990, the Security Council passed 175 resolutions, 97 were directed against Israel.
- Before 1990, the UN General Assembly voted on 690 resolutions, 429 were directed against Israel.
- The UN was silent when Jordanians destroyed 58 synagogues in Jerusalem.
- The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
- The UN was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
- The UN was silent while for 18 months Israel was terrorized by indiscriminate suicide bombing campaigns unleashed by PA leadership.
- There are 54 Muslims countries in the UN. As well as many more are others, Arab oil dependent states.
- Israel is the ONLY MEMBER OF THE UN THAT IS NOT PERMITTED MEMBERSHIP ON THE SECURITY COUNCIL.
- Israel is the only country excluded from the U.N.’s regional group system. Since Israel does not belong to any group, it is the only country of 190 member states that is not eligible to serve on the numerous U.N. commissions.
- In recent years, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights has annually passed five resolutions condemning Israel. This year, they passed seven. By contrast, each of the following countries/regions has been the subject of only one resolution: Afghanistan, Burundi, Congo, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Russia/Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Southeast Europe and Sudan.
- Nov. 29 is the United Nations Day of International Solidarity with the Palestinian People. No other group or nation has a U.N. Day of Solidarity.
- Israel is the only state to which a special investigator with “an open-ended mandate to inspect its human rights record” is assigned by the U.N.
- It is the only state targeted by two special committees and special units of the U.N. Secretariat ostensibly devoted to the Palestinians but in reality dedicated to Israel-bashing worldwide, costing millions of dollars a year.
- UNIFIL, the U.N. force stationed on the Israel-Lebanon border, hid a videotape of Israeli soldiers being abducted by Hezbollah in October 2000. After finally admitting to having the tape, the U.N. would only show an edited version (in which Hezbollah faces were hidden) to the Israeli government.
Does it sound like Israel has been viewed fairly as it relates to internal and global peace? According to Zechariah 14, the nations of the world need to take a sincere look at the countries they are supporting and following. The Lord will fight against all the nations that do not support Jerusalem and He will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem. “Their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth.” A great panic from the Lord will fall upon the nations. At some time in world history, the nations that oppose Israel may have stood on the Hill of Evil Counsel, but they will not stand in the end times. Jerusalem will dwell in security.
Excellent article, Doris! And we right there when UNESCO made it’s evil resolution about the Temple Mount having no connection to the Jews! Their ignorance is astonishing! They are blinded by their anti-Semitic bias.