Sunday, June 28, 2015

2 Samuel 5.1-10: Jerusalem in the World

The reading from Hebrew scripture for Proper 9B/Ordinary 14B/Pentecost 6 may be the moment when maps change. The reading (2 Samuel 5:1-10) brings David to Jerusalem (or at least to Zion...the geographic distinctions are uncertain). The place has been inhabited by the Jebusites until David and his army arrive, conquering despite the skepticism of the Jebusites. From that moment on, Jerusalem becomes, at least cartographically, the center of the world.

Even through the Renaissance, mapmakers placed Jerusalem at the center of their maps. The map below, called the Bunting Clover Leaf Map, was created in 1581 by Protestant pastor and cartographer Heinrich Bunting.The map shows the known world in three clover leaves (with smaller and partial references to America and England). The continents of Asia, Europe and Africa each branch off from Jerusalem, which sits at the center.

Heinrich Bunting (German; 1545-1606). "Die ganze Welt in einem Kleberblat (The whole world in a clover leaf)." From a transltation of Itinararium Sacrae Scripturae. Woodcut. 1581.
The importance of Jerusalem throughout scripture and church history and its presence in world events today can't be overstated. And it is first mentioned in the readings for this week.

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