Iraq Destroys Ancient Synagogue at Prophet Ezekiel’s Tomb: Turns it into Muslim Shrine

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BIN: After a decade of restoration and renovation, the Tomb of the Prophet Ezekiel has reopened its doors in Iraq. Once the site of a 1,500-year-old synagogue and a major pilgrimage site for Jews, the synagogue is no more and no Jews remain to pray at the grave of the prophet who predicted their return to his homeland.

Ezekiel’s Tomb, located in Al Kifl, Iraq, is believed by Jews and Muslims to be the tomb of the biblical prophet Ezekiel. The shrine to the Jewish prophet was built in the second century, hundreds of years after his death in 569 BCE.

A synagogue built in the sixth century originally marked the site and was the end goal for many Jewish pilgrims most notably on the holiday of Sukkot. Muslims avoided the site, considering it to be exclusively Jewish and not suited for devout Muslims.

The Torah scroll in the synagogue was purported to have been written by the prophet himself and it was said that many of the books in the synagogue dated from the time of the First Temple.

 Opinion: The ancient blood feud continues.

“After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31 He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”

32 His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?”

“I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”

33 Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!”

34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!” Genesis 25:32-34

The Genesis account is playing out on the world stage daily, but few know its origin. Esau’s  cry of anguish created a bitterness that has passed down through the ages, despite his having despised his birthright and trading it for a bowl of porridge (Genesis 25:29-34).

Esau’s descendants take every opportunity to erase the memory of Jacob, from taking land to destroying holy sites to cold blooded murder. Only one of Isaac’s twin sons would receive the title deed to the land of promise, and God had already made that decision: “… And the older shall serve the younger.” Genesis 25:23.

Destroying Ezekiel’s grave is just more evidence of the spirit of Esau – it never forgives and and therefore will not be forgiven (Obadiah 1:18; Isaiah 63:1-3).