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Brief History of Jerusalem; Part 1

Jerusalem is the eternal capital of is the city of hope.....a city sacred to the Jews, Christians and the Moslems. The city existed before David captured it.In the days of Abraham the Holy city was called Salem " peace". Gen 14:8 and it was called Jebus. Judges 19:10. It is called Zion ( IKings 8:1); the holy city ( Neh 11:1); the city of God ( Ps. 46: 4)...... A brief outline of this city's 3000 years of history King David captured the city of Jebus, that is Jerusalem ( Judges 19: 10), the stronghold or fortress of the Jebusites round B.C 1010/ B.C 1000.II Sam 5: 6 - 9. He then took residence in the fortress ( fortress of Zion, also known as the City of David).

Jerusalem bacame the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel. Later David purchased the threshingfloor of Araunah on Mount Moriah to the north......a cite on which Solomon built the temple. II Sam 24:16 - 24.

After the death of Solomon B.C 975? the united Kingdom split into two kingdoms;the Northern Kingdom ( Israel) and the Southern Kingdom ( Judah). Jerusalem became the capital of Judah.

Jerusalem and the temple threatened.

In B.C 922 ( others say B.C 952) Shishak ( Sheshanq), the king of Egypt, captured Jerusalem in the 5th year of Rehoboam and took away the treasures of the temple.I Kings 14: 25; II Chron 12: 2 - 12.

In the 14 th year of Hezekiah B.C 701, Sennacherub, king of Assyria, laid siege to Jerusalem.But the Lord delivered the City. II Kings 18: 13 - 19: 1 - 36.

The Babylonian period

In B.C 606/B.C 605 Nebuchadnezzar, after his victory over the Egyptians at Charchemish, came into Jerusalem, and for 3 years ( B.C 605 - B.C 602) Jehoiakim was forced to submit to his rule. II Kings 24:1; II Chron 36: 6.

In B.C 602 Nebuchadnezzar carried off to Babylon Jehoiakim and part of the vessels of the temple II Chron 36:5 - 8; Dan 1:1-2.

In B.C 597 Nebuchadnezzar, in the 8th year of his reign, came up against Jerusalem and besieged it.He carried off to Babylon Jehoiachin and those in the palace and the treasures of the temple and the treasures of the palace.II Kings 24:10-16; II Chron 36: 9, 10.

Fall of Jerusalem

In B.C 586, 11 years later, Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jerusalem and besieged it for 2 years ( 9th - 11th year of Sedekia).Sedekia is captured in the plains near Jericho and deported to Babylon.II Kings 25:1 - 7.

The Babylonian forces destroyed the temple, the palace and the houses in Jerusalem and tore down the walls and carried away the people who were left in the city.Only the poor remained in the land of Judah.II Kings 25:8-21.

B.C 539....Babylon captured by Cyrus the king of Persia.

The Persian Period

Cyrus, king of Persia commands the Jewish exiles to return to their land and to build the temple.Ezra 1:1-11.

The first group of exiles under Zerubbabel return to the city in B.C 538/B.C 536.

Rebuilding of the temple - The holy construction is completed in B.C 515/B.C 516.

Another group of exiles under Ezra return to Jerusalem in B.C 458. Rebuilding of the walls under Nehemia B.C 445/B.C 444.Neh 1:1- 7:1 - 73.

The Hellenestic Period

B.C 333 - B.C 323.Palestine under Alexander the Great.It is said he visited Jerusalem in B.C 332.

B.C 320 Jerusalem captured by Ptolemy I Soter of Egypt.

B.C 198 The Seleucides under Antiochus III the Great defeat the Egyptians under Scopas.He takes Jerusalem.

B.C 175 - B.C 164 Antiochus IV, the Epiphanes, persecutes the Jews and desecrates the temple.

The rise and revolt of the Maccabees.Hasmonean Rule B.C 168 - B.C 37. Mattathias and his sons led the revolt against the Hellenizing policies of Antiochus Epiphanes he was attempting to impose on the Jews in order to abolish the Jewish faith. Judas who succeeded Mattathias defeated the Syrian army and other armies sent against him.He delivered the Jews and Jerusalem. He recovered, purified and rededicated the temple, restored the law and instituted the feast of Dedication ( Hanukkah - Feast of the Lights) in B.C 164.

The Maccabees....the family that established the Hasmonean Rule re-established Jewish independance - only for a short period of time.

The Roman Period

B.C 63 Pompey captures Jerusalem.

B.C 54 ( 55) Crassus pillages the temple.

B.C 37 Herod, the Idumean, with the support of the Rome captures Judea and Jerusalem. He dies in B.C 4. His son Archelaus rules in Judea. B.C 4 - A.D 6. Matt 2: 22.

Author of this article is Owen Noome. View more articles at

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