JERUSALEM, Israel - The 35,000 participants in Wednesday's Jerusalem March were reminiscent of the biblical account of the pilgrimage feasts, when Jerusalem swelled with Israelis from throughout the land.
Seven thousand Christian pilgrims attending the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem Feast of Tabernacles celebration marched with 15,000 Israelis, who came from all around the country.
"Christians from all over the world have responded to the biblical invitation to join the Jewish people during this festival of joy," ICEJ Media Director David Parsons said.
"It doesn't hurt to practice," one Christian pilgrim said, in reference to Zechariah's prophecy that the nations will come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16-21).
Christians want to show their solidarity with the Jewish state, especially in view of the Iranian nuclear armament threat.
"This is also a solidarity march to show that we stand with Israel, through thick and thin, against he Iranian nuclear threat," Parsons said.
Israelis welcomed the visitors.
"It's a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah, chapter 14," said attorney Ariel Leshem, a seventh generation Jerusalemite.
"It's amazing. You come to Israel and you can see the Bible unfolding before your very eyes. It's also the fulfillment of another prophecy," he said.
"Yehezkel (Ezekiel) chapter 37 - 'Dry bones will come alive.' Seventy years ago, we were at the gas chambers (during the Nazi Holocaust). Sixty years ago we came alive with the creation of the state, and now we're waiting for the rest of the prophecy to be fulfilled and we have to be patient," Leshem said.
"But the sooner we fulfill it, the sooner the rest of the world can enjoy," he added.
The annual ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles, the single biggest tourist event of the year, pumps some $20 million into the Israeli economy.
Source: The Jerusalem Post