By George Card
Is the most important city of Israel. It is situated on a mountain plateau between two ridges and surrounded by mountains. It has an area of less than one square mile.
Its first name was Urushalim, Later it was mentioned as Salem where the king-priest Melchizedek reigned, to whom Abraham honored with the tithe.
Later it was occupied by the Jebusites and renamed Jebus. It had such a strong defense system, that when king David went to conquer it, the inhabitants mocked him. Joab managed to conquer it around 996 BC and David made it the capital of the kingdom. Later it became the religious center, when his son Solomon built the temple.
The city was taken and destroyed on the 16 of march 597 BC by king Nebuchadnezzar. He took most of the inhabitants as prisoners to Babylon. It remained semi-deserted, until the exiles begun returning 70 years later.
Ezra the priest returned with the exiles. He begun to rebuild the temple, and was later joined by Nehemiah, who rebuilt the walls of the city. In spite of problems and strifes Jerusalem was rebuilt. Once again it became the center of Jewish worship.
Alexander the great conquered it around 333 BC. Later the Jews rebelled against Grecian domination when Antiochus IV desecrated the temple. The Maccabees were successful, and the city was independent for over a century.
On 63 BC Pompey entered Jerusalem and brought it under Roman domination. For his services to the empire Antipater was made ruler of Galilee, with Jerusalem as the capital. His son Herod the great was made king of the Jews on 40 BC.
Jesus was brought to the temple after his birth, for the sacrifices required by the law. Later the wise men came to Jerusalem seeking for Jesus. Later on at the age of twelve Jesus went to celebrate the Passover, and became lost in the city.
Jesus and his disciples were frequent visitors to the city. He predicted that it would be destroyed and be trodden of the gentiles until the end time. He was crucified on its outskirts.
The church begun at Jerusalem on 40 AD. The early Christians were persecuted and had to leave the city. from there Christianity spread to the whole Roman empire.
The Jews revolted against the roman empire and the city was destroyed on 70 AD by general Titus. He razed the city completely to the ground, thus fulfilling Jesus prophecy of its destruction.
Later a roman city was built in its place, called Aeolia Capitolina. Jerusalem continued to exist and throughout the centuries it was conquered by different nations.
The nation of Israel was born on 1948, but had no possession of Jerusalem until it was taken from Jordan in 1967 during the six days war.
Today Jerusalem is the focus of world attention. The prophecies clearly tell us that Jesus will return to the mount of olives which is located just outside the city.