jerusalem Summary and Overview
Bible Dictionaries at a Glance
jerusalem in Easton's Bible Dictionary
called also Salem, Ariel, Jebus, the "city of God," the "holy city;" by the modern Arabs el-Khuds, meaning "the holy;" once "the city of Judah" (2 Chr. 25:28). This name is in the original in the dual form, and means "possession of peace," or "foundation of peace." The dual form probably refers to the two mountains on which it was built, viz., Zion and Moriah; or, as some suppose, to the two parts of the city, the "upper" and the "lower city." Jerusalem is a "mountain city enthroned on a mountain fastness" (compare Ps. 68:15, 16; 87:1; 125:2; 76:1, 2; 122:3). It stands on the edge of one of the highest table-lands in Israel, and is surrounded on the south-eastern, the southern, and the western sides by deep and precipitous ravines. It is first mentioned in Scripture under the name Salem (Gen. 14:18; compare Ps. 76:2). When first mentioned under the name Jerusalem, Adonizedek was its king (Josh. 10:1). It is afterwards named among the cities of Benjamin (Judg. 19:10; 1 Chr. 11:4); but in the time of David it was divided between Benjamin and Judah. After the death of Joshua the city was taken and set on fire by the men of Judah (Judg. 1:1-8); but the Jebusites were not wholly driven out of it. The city is not again mentioned till we are told that David brought the head of Goliath thither (1 Sam. 17:54). David afterwards led his forces against the Jebusites still residing within its walls, and drove them out, fixing his own dwelling on Zion, which he called "the city of David" (2 Sam. 5:5-9; 1 Chr. 11:4-8). Here he built an altar to the Lord on the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Sam. 24:15-25), and thither he brought up the ark of the covenant and placed it in the new tabernacle which he had prepared for it. Jerusalem now became the capital of the kingdom. After the death of David, Solomon built the temple, a house for the name of the Lord, on Mount Moriah (B.C. 1010). He also greatly strengthened and adorned the city, and it became the great centre of all the civil and religious affairs of the nation (Deut. 12:5; compare 12:14; 14:23; 16:11-16; Ps. 122). After the disruption of the kingdom on the accession to the throne of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, Jerusalem became the capital of the kingdom of the two tribes. It was subsequently often taken and retaken by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and by the kings of Israel (2 Kings 14:13, 14; 18:15, 16; 23:33-35; 24:14; 2 Chr. 12:9; 26:9; 27:3, 4; 29:3; 32:30; 33:11), till finally, for the abounding iniquities of the nation, after a siege of three years, it was taken and utterly destroyed, its walls razed to the ground, and its temple and palaces consumed by fire, by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon (2 Kings 25; 2 Chr. 36; Jer. 39), B.C. 588. The desolation of the city and the land was completed by the retreat of the principal Jews into Egypt (Jer. 40-44), and by the final carrying captive into Babylon of all that still remained in the land (52:3), so that it was left without an inhabitant (B.C. 582). Compare the predictions, Deut. 28; Lev. 26:14-39. But the streets and walls of Jerusalem were again to be built, in troublous times (Dan. 9:16, 19, 25), after a captivity of seventy years. This restoration was begun B.C. 536, "in the first year of Cyrus" (Ezra 1:2, 3, 5-11). The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah contain the history of the re-building of the city and temple, and the restoration of the kingdom of the Jews, consisting of a portion of all the tribes. The kingdom thus constituted was for two centuries under the dominion of Persia, till B.C. 331; and thereafter, for about a century and a half, under the rulers of the Greek empire in Asia, till B.C. 167. For a century the Jews maintained their independence under native rulers, the Asmonean princes. At the close of this period they fell under the rule of Herod and of members of his family, but practically under Rome, till the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70. The city was then laid in ruins. The modern Jerusalem by-and-by began to be built over the immense beds of rubbish resulting from the overthrow of the ancient city; and whilst it occupies certainly the same site, there are no evidences that even the lines of its streets are now what they were in the ancient city. Till A.D. 131 the Jews who still lingered about Jerusalem quietly submitted to the Roman sway. But in that year the emperor (Hadrian), in order to hold them in subjection, rebuilt and fortified the city. The Jews, however, took possession of it, having risen under the leadership of one Bar-Chohaba (i.e., "the son of the star") in revolt against the Romans. Some four years afterwards (A.D. 135), however, they were driven out of it with great slaughter, and the city was again destroyed; and over its ruins was built a Roman city called Aelia Capitolina, a name which it retained till it fell under the dominion of the Mohammedans, when it was called el-Khuds, i.e., "the holy." In A.D. 326 Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem with the view of discovering the places mentioned in the life of our Lord. She caused a church to be built on what was then supposed to be the place of the nativity at Bethlehem. Constantine, animated by her example, searched for the holy sepulchre, and built over the supposed site a magnificent church, which was completed and dedicated A.D. 335. He relaxed the laws against the Jews till this time in force, and permitted them once a year to visit the city and wail over the desolation of "the holy and beautiful house." In A.D. 614 the Persians, after defeating the Roman forces of the emperor Heraclius, took Jerusalem by storm, and retained it till A.D. 637, when it was taken by the Arabians under the Khalif Omar. It remained in their possession till it passed, in A.D. 960, under the dominion of the Fatimite khalifs of Egypt, and in A.D. 1073 under the Turcomans. In A.D. 1099 the crusader Godfrey of Bouillon took the city from the Moslems with great slaughter, and was elected king of Jerusalem. He converted the Mosque of Omar into a Christian cathedral. During the eighty-eight years which followed, many churches and convents were erected in the holy city. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was rebuilt during this period, and it alone remains to this day. In A.D. 1187 the sultan Saladin wrested the city from the Christians. From that time to the present day, with few intervals, Jerusalem has remained in the hands of the Moslems. It has, however, during that period been again and again taken and retaken, demolished in great part and rebuilt, no city in the world having passed through so many vicissitudes. In the year 1850 the Greek and Latin monks residing in Jerusalem had a fierce dispute about the guardianship of what are called the "holy places." In this dispute the emperor Nicholas of Russia sided with the Greeks, and Louis Napoleon, the emperor of the French, with the Latins. This led the Turkish authorities to settle the question in a way unsatisfactory to Russia. Out of this there sprang the Crimean War, which was protracted and sanguinary, but which had important consequences in the way of breaking down the barriers of Turkish exclusiveness. Modern Jerusalem "lies near the summit of a broad mountain-ridge, which extends without interruption from the plain of Esdraelon to a line drawn between the southern end of the Dead Sea and the southeastern corner of the Mediterranean." This high, uneven table-land is everywhere from 20 to 25 geographical miles in breadth. It was anciently known as the mountains of Ephraim and Judah. "Jerusalem is a city of contrasts, and differs widely from Damascus, not merely because it is a stone town in mountains, whilst the latter is a mud city in a plain, but because while in Damascus Moslem religion and Oriental custom are unmixed with any foreign element, in Jerusalem every form of religion, every nationality of East and West, is represented at one time." Jerusalem is first mentioned under that name in the Book of Joshua, and the Tell-el-Amarna collection of tablets includes six letters from its Amorite king to Egypt, recording the attack of the Abiri about B.C. 1480. The name is there spelt Uru-Salim ("city of peace"). Another monumental record in which the Holy City is named is that of Sennacherib's attack in B.C. 702. The "camp of the Assyrians" was still shown about A.D. 70, on the flat ground to the north-west, included in the new quarter of the city. The city of David included both the upper city and Millo, and was surrounded by a wall built by David and Solomon, who appear to have restored the original Jebusite fortifications. The name Zion (or Sion) appears to have been, like Ariel ("the hearth of God"), a poetical term for Jerusalem, but in the Greek age was more specially used of the Temple hill. The priests' quarter grew up on Ophel, south of the Temple, where also was Solomon's Palace outside the original city of David. The walls of the city were extended by Jotham and Manasseh to include this suburb and the Temple (2 Chr. 27:3; 33:14). Jerusalem is now a town of some 50,000 inhabitants, with ancient mediaeval walls, partly on the old lines, but extending less far to the south. The traditional sites, as a rule, were first shown in the 4th and later centuries A.D., and have no authority. The results of excavation have, however, settled most of the disputed questions, the limits of the Temple area, and the course of the old walls having been traced.
jerusalem in Smith's Bible Dictionary
(the habitation of peace), Jerusalem stands in latitude 31 degrees 46' 35" north and longitude 35 degrees 18' 30" east of Greenwich. It is 32 miles distant from the sea and 18 from the Jordan, 20 from Hebron and 36 from Samaria. "In several respects," says Dean Stanley, "its situation is singular among the cities of Israel. Its elevation is remarkable; occasioned not from its being on the summit of one of the numerous hills of Judea, like most of the towns and villages, but because it is on the edge of one of the highest table-lands of the country. Hebron indeed is higher still by some hundred feet, and from the south, accordingly (even from Bethlehem), the approach to Jerusalem is by a slight descent. But from any other side the ascent is perpetual; and to the traveller approaching the city from the east or west it must always have presented the appearance beyond any other capital of the then known world --we may say beyond any important city that has ever existed on the earth --of a mountain city; breathing, as compared with the sultry plains of Jordan, a mountain air; enthroned, as compared with jericho or Damascus, Gaza or Tyre, on a mountain fastness." --S. & P. 170, 1. Jerusalem, if not actually in the centre of Israel, was yet virtually so. "It was on the ridge, the broadest and most strongly-marked ridge of the backbone of the complicated hills which extend through the whole country from the plain of Esdraelon to the desert." Roads. --There appear to have been but two main approaches to the city:-- 1. From the Jordan valley by Jericho and the Mount of Olives. This was the route commonly taken from the north and east of the country. 2. From the great maritime plain of Philistia and Sharon. This road led by the two Beth-horons up to the high ground at Gibeon, whence it turned south, and came to Jerusalem by Ramah and Gibeah, and over the ridge north of the city. Topography. --To convey an idea of the position of Jerusalem, we may say, roughly, that the city occupies the southern termination of the table-land which is cut off from the country round it on its west, south and east sides by ravines more than usually deep and precipitous. These ravines leave the level of the table-land, the one on the west and the other on the northeast of the city, and fall rapidly until they form a junction below its southeast corner. The eastern one --the valley of the Kedron, commonly called the valley of Jehoshaphat --runs nearly straight from north by south. But the western one --the valley of Hinnom-- runs south for a time, and then takes a sudden bend to the east until it meets the valley of Jehoshaphat, after which the two rush off as one to the Dead Sea. How sudden is their descent may be gathered from the fact that the level at the point of junction -about a mile and a quarter from the starting-point of each-- is more than 600 feet below that of the upper plateau from which they began their descent. So steep is the fall of the ravines, so trench-like their character, and so close do they keep to the promontory at whose feet they run, as to leave on the beholder almost the impression of the ditch at the foot of a fortress rather than of valleys formed by nature. The promontory thus encircled is itself divided by a longitudinal ravine running up it from south to north, called the valley of the Tyropoeon, rising gradually from the south, like the external ones, till at last it arrives at the level of the upper plateau, dividing the central mass into two unequal portions. Of these two, that on the west is the higher and more massive, on which the city of Jerusalem now stands, and in fact always stood. The hill on the east is considerably lower and smaller, so that to a spectator from the south the city appears to slope sharply toward the east. Here was the temple, and here stands now the great Mohammedan sanctuary with its mosques and domes. The name of MOUNT ZION has been applied to the western hill from the time of Constantine to the present day. The eastern hill, called MOUNT MORIAH in #2Ch 3:1| was as already remarked, the site of the temple. It was situated in the southwest angle of the area, now known as the Haram area, and was, as we learn from Josephus, an exact square of a stadium, or 600 Greek feet, on each side. (Conder ("Bible Handbook," 1879) states that by the latest surveys the Haram area is a quadrangle with unequal sides. The west wall measures 1601 feet, the south 922, the east 1530, the north 1042. It is thus nearly a mile in circumference, and contains 35 acres. --ED.) Attached to the northwest angle of the temple was the Antonia, a tower or fortress. North of the side of the temple is the building now known to Christians as the Mosque of Omar, but by Moslems called the Dome of the Rock. The southern continuation of the eastern hill was named OPHEL, which gradually came to a point at the junction of the valleys Tyropoeon and Jehoshaphat; and the norther BEZETHA, "the new city," first noticed by Josephus, which was separated from Moriah by an artificial ditch, and overlooked the valley of Kedron on the east; this hill was enclosed within the walls of Herod Agrippa. Lastly, ACRA lay westward of Moriah and northward of Zion, and formed the "lower city" in the time of Josephus. Walls. --These are described by Josephus. The first or old wall was built by David and Solomon, and enclosed Zion and part of Mount Moriah. (The second wall enclosed a portion of the city called Acra or Millo, on the north of the city, from the tower of Mariamne to the tower of Antonia. It was built as the city enlarged in size; begun by Uzziah 140 years after the first wall was finished, continued by Jotham 50 years later, and by Manasseh 100 years later still. It was restored by Nehemiah. Even the latest explorations have failed to decide exactly what was its course. (See Conder's Handbook of the Bible, art. Jerusalem.) The third wall was built by King Herod Agrippa, and was intended to enclose the suburbs which had grown out on the northern sides of the city, which before this had been left exposed. After describing these walls, Josephus adds that the whole circumference of the city was 33 stadia, or nearly four English miles, which is as near as may be the extent indicated by the localities. He then adds that the number of towers in the old wall was 60, the middle wall 40, and the new wall 99. Water Supply --(Jerusalem had no natural water supply, unless we so consider the "Fountain of the Virgin," which wells up with an intermittent action from under Ophel. The private citizens had cisterns, which were supplied by the rain from the roofs; and the city had a water supply "perhaps the most complete and extensive ever undertaken by a city," and which would enable it to endure a long siege. There were three aqueducts, a number of pools and fountains, and the temple area was honeycombed with great reservoirs, whose total capacity is estimated at 10,000,000 gallons. Thirty of these reservoirs are described, varying from 25 to 50 feet in depth; and one, call the great Sea, would hold 2,000,000 gallons. These reservoirs and the pools were supplied with water by the rainfall and by the aqueducts. One of these, constructed by Pilate, has been traced for 40 miles, though in a straight line the distance is but 13 miles. It brought water from the spring Elam, on the south, beyond Bethlehem, into the reservoirs under the temple enclosure. --ED.) Pools and fountains. --A part of the system of water supply. Outside the walls on the west side were the Upper and Lower Pools of GIHON, the latter close under Zion, the former more to the northwest on the Jaffa road. At the junction of the valleys of Hinnom and Jehoshaphat was ENROGEL, the "Well of Job," in the midst of the king's gardens. Within the walls, immediately north of Zion, was the "Pool of Hezekiah." A large pool existing beneath the temple (referred to in Ecclus. 1:3) was probably supplied by some subterranean aqueduct. The "King's Pool" was probably identical with the "Fountain of the Virgin," at the southern angle of Moriah. It possesses the peculiarity that it rises and falls at irregular periods; it is supposed to be fed form the cistern below the temple. From this a subterranean channel cut through solid rock leads the water to the pool of SILOAH or SILOAM, which has also acquired the character of being an intermittent fountain. The pool of which tradition has assigned the name of BETHESDA is situated on the north side of Moriah; it is now named Birket Israil. Burial-grounds. --The main cemetery of the city seems from an early date to have been where it is still --on the steep slopes of the valley of the Kedron. The tombs of the kings were in the city of David, that is, Mount Zion. The royal sepulchres were probably chambers containing separate recesses for the successive kings. Gardens. --The king's gardens of David and Solomon seem to have been in the bottom formed by the confluence of the Kedron and Himmon. #Ne 3:15| The Mount of Olives, as its name, and the names of various places upon it seem to imply, was a fruitful spot. At its foot was situated the garden of Gethsemane. At the time of the final siege the space north of the wall of Agrippa was covered with gardens, groves and plantations of fruit trees, enclosed by hedges and walls; and to level these was one of Titus' first operations. We know that the Gennath (i.e. "of gardens") opened on this side of the city. Gates. --The following is a complete list of the gates named in the Bible and by Josephus, with the reference to their occurrence:-- 1. Gate of Ephraim. #2Ch 25:23; Ne 8:16; 12:39| This is probably the same as the-- 2. Gate of Benjamin. #Jer 20:2; 37:13; Zec 14:10| If so, it was 400 cubits distant from the-- 3. Corner gate. #2Ch 25:23; 26:9; Jer 31:38; Zec 14:10| 4. Gate of Joshua, governor of the city. #2Ki 23:8| 5. Gate between the two walls. #2Ki 25:4; Jer 39:4| 6. Horse gate. #Ne 3:28; 2Ch 23:15; Jer 31:40| 7. Ravine gate (i.e. opening on ravine of Hinnom). #2Ch 26:9; Ne 2:13,15; 3:13| 8. Fish gate. #2Ch 33:14; Ne 3:13; Zep 1:10| 9. Dung gate. #Ne 2:13; 3:13| 10. Sheep gate. #Ne 3:1,32; 12:39| 11. East gate. #Ne 3:29| 12. Miphkad. #Ne 3:31| 13. Fountain gate (Siloam?). #Ne 12:37| 14. Water gate. #Ne 12:37| 15. Old Gate. #Ne 12:39| 16. Prison gate. #Ne 12:39| 17. Gate Harsith (perhaps the Sun; Authorized Version East gate). #Jer 19:2| 18. First gate. #Zec 14:10| 19. Gate Gennath (gardens). Jos B.J. v. 4, - 4. 20. Essenes' gate. Jos. B.J. 4, - 2. To these should be added the following gates to the temple: --Gate Sur, #2Ki 11:6| called also gate of foundation. #2Ch 23:5| Gate of the guard, or behind the guard, #2Ki 11:6,19|; called the high gate. #2Ki 15:35; 2Ch 23:20; 27:3| Gate Shallecheth. #1Ch 26:16| At present the chief gates are -- 1. The Zion's gate and the dung gate, in the south wall; 2. St. Stephen's gate and the golden gate (now walled up), in the east wall; 3. The Damascus gate and 4. Herod's gate, in the north wall; and 5. The Jaffa gate, in the west wall. Population. --Taking the area of the city enclosed by the two old walls at 750,000 yards, and that enclosed by the wall of Agrippa at 1,500,000 yards, we have 2,250,000 yards for the whole. Taking the population of the old city at the probable number of the one person to 50 yards, we have 15,000 and at the extreme limit of 30 yards we should have 25,000 inhabitants for the old city, and at 100 yards to each individual in the new city about 15,000 more; so that the population of Jerusalem, in its days of greatest prosperity, may have amounted to from 30,000 to 45,000 souls, but could hardly ever have reached 50,000; and assuming that in times of festival one-half was added to this amount, which is an extreme estimate, there may have been 60,000 or 70,000 in the city when Titus came up against it. (Josephus says that at the siege of Jerusalem the population was 3,000,000; but Tacitus' statement that it was 600,000 is nearer the truth. This last is certainly within the limits of possibility. Streets, houses, etc. --Of the nature of these in the ancient city we have only the most scattered notices. The "east street," #2Ch 29:4| the "street of the city," i.e. the city of David, #2Ch 32:6| the "street facing the water gate," #Ne 8:1,3| or, according to the parallel account in 1 Esdr. 9:38, the "broad place of the temple towards the east;" the "street of the house of God," #Ezr 10:9| the "street of the gate of Ephraim," #Ne 8:16| and the "open place of the first gate toward the east," must have been not "streets," in our sense of the word, so much as the open spaces found in easter towns round the inside of the gates. Streets, properly so called, there were, #Jer 5:1; 11:13| etc.; but the name of only one, "the bakers' street," #Jer 37:21| is preserved to us. The Via Dolorosa, or street of sorrows, is a part of the street thorough which Christ is supposed to have been led on his way to his crucifixion. To the houses we have even less clue; but there is no reason to suppose that in either houses or streets the ancient Jerusalem differed very materially from the modern. No doubt the ancient city did not exhibit that air of mouldering dilapidation which is now so prominent there. The whole of the slopes south of the Haram area (the ancient Ophel), and the modern Zion, and the west side of the valley of Jehoshaphat, presents the appearance of gigantic mounds of rubbish. In this point at least the ancient city stood in favorable contrast with the modern, but in many others the resemblance must have been strong. Annals of the city. --If, as is possible, Salem is the same with Jerusalem, the first mention of Jerusalem is in #Ge 14:18| about B.C. 2080. It is next mentioned in #Jos 10:1| B.C. 1451. The first siege appears to have taken place almost immediately after the death of Joshua --cir. 1400 B.C. Judah and Simeon "fought against it and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire." #Jud 1:8| In the fifteen centuries which elapsed between this siege and the siege and destruction of the city by Titus, A.D. 70, the city was besieged no fewer than seventeen times; twice it was razed to the ground, on two other occasions its walls were levelled. In this respect it stands without a parallel in any city, ancient or modern. David captured the city B.C. 1046, and made it his capital, fortified and enlarged it. Solomon adorned the city with beautiful buildings, including the temple, but made no additions to its walls. The city was taken by the Philistines and Arabians in the reign of Jehoram, B.C. 886, and by the Israelites in the reign of Amaziah, B.C. 826. It was thrice taken by Nebuchadnezzar, in the years B.C. 607, 597 and 586, in the last of which it was utterly destroyed. Its restoration commenced under Cyrus, B.C. 538, and was completed under Artaxerxes I., who issued commissions for this purpose to Ezra, B.C. 457, and Nehemiah, B.C. 445. In B.C. 332 it was captured by Alexander the Great. Under the Ptolemies and the Seleucidae the town was prosperous, until Antiochus Epiphanes sacked it, B.C. 170. In consequence of his tyranny, the Jews rose under the Maccabees, and Jerusalem became again independent, and retained its position until its capture by the Romans under Pompey, B.C. 63. The temple was subsequently plundered by Crassus, B.C. 545, and the city by the Parthians, B.C. 40. Herod took up his residence there as soon as he was appointed sovereign, and restored the temple with great magnificence. On the death of Herod it became the residence of the Roman procurators, who occupied the fortress of Antonia. The greatest siege that it sustained, however, was at the hands of the Romans under Titus, when it held out nearly five months, and when the town was completely destroyed, A.D. 70. Hadrian restored it as a Roman colony, A.D. 135, and among other buildings erected a temple of Jupiter Capitolinus on the site of the temple. He gave to it the name of AElia Capitolina, thus combining his own family name with that of the Capitoline Jupiter. The emperor Constantine established the Christian character by the erection of a church on the supposed site of the holy sepulchre, A.D. 336. Justinian added several churches and hospitals about A.D. 532. It was taken by the Persians under Chosroes II in A.D. 614. The dominion of the Christians in the holy city was now rapidly drawing to a close. In A.D. 637 the patriarch Sophronius surrendered to the khalif Omar in person. With the fall of the Abassides the holy city passed into the hands of the Fatimite dynasty, under whom the sufferings of the Christians in Jerusalem reached their height. About the year 1084 it was bestowed upon Ortok, chief of a Turkman horde. It was taken by the Crusaders in 1099, and for eighty-eight years Jerusalem remained in the hand of the Christians. in 1187 it was retaken by Saladin after a siege of several weeks. In 1277 Jerusalem was nominally annexed to the kingdom of Sicily. In 1517 it passed under the sway of the Ottoman sultan Selim I., whose successor Suliman built the present walls of the city in 1542. Mohammed Aly, the pasha of Egypt, took possession of it in 1832; and in 1840, after the bombardment of Acre, it was again restored to the sultan. (Modern Jerusalem, called by the Arabs el-Khuds, is built upon the ruins of ancient Jerusalem. The accumulated rubbish of centuries is very great, being 100 feet deep on the hill of Zion. The modern wall, built in 1542, forms an irregular quadrangle about 2 1/2 miles in circuit, with seven gates and 34 towers. It varies in height from 20 to 60 feet. The streets within are narrow, ungraded, crooked, and often filthy. The houses are of hewn stone, with flat roofs and frequent domes. There are few windows toward the street. The most beautiful part of modern Jerusalem is the former temple area (Mount Moriah), "with its lawns and cypress tress, and its noble dome rising high above the wall." This enclosure, now called Haram esh-Sherif, is 35 acres in extent, and is nearly a mile in circuit. On the site of the ancient temple stands the Mosque of Omar, "perhaps the very noblest specimen of building-art in Asia." "It is the most prominent as well as the most beautiful building in the whole city." The mosque is an octagonal building, each side measuring 66 feet. It is surmounted by a dome, whose top is 170 feet from the ground. The church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is claimed, but without sufficient reason, to be upon the site of Calvary, is "a collection of chapels and altars of different ages and a unique museum of religious curiosities from Adam to Christ." The present number of inhabitants in Jerusalem is variously estimated. Probably Pierotti's estimate is very near the truth, --20,330; of whom 5068 are Christians, 7556 Mohammedans (Arabs and Turks), and 7706 Jews. --ED.)
jerusalem in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
JERU'SALEM the capital of the Hebrew monarchy and of the kingdom of Judah, the most important city in biblical history, and the most sacred and the most desecrated city of the world. "Beautiful for situation," "the joy of the whole earth," "the perfection of beauty," - so sings the Psalmist of this wonderful city. Ps 48:2-3; Ps 50:2. Yet Jesus wept over it tears of sorrow in view of its unfaithfulness and approaching doom: "Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." Matt 23:37-39.
jerusalem in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Jeru-, "the foundation" (implying its divinely given stability, Psalm 87:1; Isaiah 14:32; so spiritually, ed sh forbids Ewald's derivation, jerush-"possession. Salem is the oldest form (Psalm 76:2; Hebrews 7:2; hua 15:8; 18:16,28; Judges 19:10,11) and the city itself. Jebus, the next form, Jerusalem the more modern name. Melchi-zedek ("king of righteousness") corresponds to Adoni-zedek," lord of righteousness," king of Jerusalem (Joshua 10:1), the name being a hereditary title of the kings of Jerusalem which is "the city of righteousness" (Isaiah 1:21,26). Psalm 110 connects Melchizedek with Zion, as other passages do with Salem. The king of Salem met Abram after his return from the slaughter of the kings, therefore near home (Hebron, to which Jerusalem was near). "The valley of Shaveh, the king's dale" (Genesis 14:17; 2 Samuel 18:18), was the valley of Kedron, and the king of Sodom had no improbable distance to go from Sodom in meeting him here (two furlongs from Jersalem: Josephus, Ant. 7:10, section 3). see ARIEL , "lion of God," is another designation (Isaiah 29:1,2,7). Also "the holy city"(Matthew 4:5; 27:53; Revelation 11:3). AElius Hadrianus, the Roman emperor, built it (A.D. 135), whence it was named AElia Capitolina, inscribed still on the well known stone in the S. wall of the Aksa. Jerusalem did not become the nation's capital or even possession until see DAVID 'S time, the seat of government and of the religious worship having been previously in the N. at Shethem and Shiloh, then Gibeah and Nob (whence the tabernacle and altar were moved to Gibeon). The boundary between Judah and Benjamin ran S. of the city hill, so that the city was in Benjamin, and Judah enclosed on two sides the tongue or promontory of land on which it stood, the valley of Hinnom bounding it W. and S., the valley of Jehoshaphat on the E. The temple situated at the connecting point of Judah and northern Israel admirably united both in holiest bonds. Jerusalem lies on the ridge of the backbone of hills stretching from the plain of Jezreel to the desert. Jewishtradition placed the altars and sanctuary in Benjamin, the courts of the temple in Judah. The two royal tribes met in Jerusalem David showed his sense of the importance of the alliance with Saul of Benjamin by making Michal's restoration the condition of his league with Abner (2 Samuel 3:13). Its table land also lies almost central on the middle route from N. to S., and is the watershed of the torrents passing eastward to Jordan and westward to the Mediterranean (Ezekiel 5:5; 38:12; Psalm 48:2). It lay midway between the oldest civilized states; Egypt and Ethiopia on one hand, Babylon, Nineveh, India, Persia, Greece, and Rome on the other; thus holding the best vantage ground whence to act on heathendom. At the same time it lay out of the great highway between Egypt and Syria and Assyria, so often traversed by armies of these mutually hostile world powers, the low sea coast plain from Pelusium to Tyre; hence it generally enjoyed immunity from wars. It is 32 miles from the sea, 18 from Jordan, 20 from Hebron, 36 from Samaria; on the edge of one of the highest table lands, 3700 ft. above the Dead Sea; the N.W. part of the city is 2,581 ft. above the Mediterranean sea level; Mount Olivet is more than 100 ft. higher, namely, 2,700 ft. The descent is extraordinary; Jericho, 13 miles off, is 3,624 ft. lower than Olivet, i.e. 900 ft. below the Mediterranean. Bethel to the N., 11 miles off, is 419 ft. below Jerusalem. Ramleh to the W., 25 miles off, is 2,274 ft. lower. To the S. however the hills at Bethlehem are a little higher, 2,704; Hebron, 3,029. To the S.W. the view is more open, the plain of Rephaim beginning at the S. edge of the valley of Hinnom and stretching towards the western sea. To the N.W. also the view reaches along the upper part of the valley of Jehoshaphat. The city is called "the valley of vision"(Isaiah 22:1-5), for the lower parts of the city, the Tyro-peon (the cheesemakers), form a valley between the heights. The hills outside too are "round about" it (Psalm 125:2). On the E. Olivet; on the S. the hill of evil counsel, rising from the vale of Hinnom; on the W. the ground rises to the borders of the great wady, an hour and a half from the city; on the N. a prolongation of mount Olivet bounds the prospect a mile from the City. Jeremiah 21:13,"inhabiters of the valley, rock of the plain" (i.e. Zion). "Jerusalem the defensed"(Ezekiel 21:20), yet doomed to be "the city of confusion," a second Babel (confusion), by apostasy losing the order of truth and holiness, so doomed to the disorder of destruction like Babylon, its prototype in evil (Isaiah24:10; Jeremiah 4:23). Seventeen times desolated by conquerors, as having become a "Sodom" (Isaiah 1:10). "The gates of the people," i.e. the central mart for the inland commerce (Ezekiel 26:2; 27:17; 1 Kings 5:9). "The perfection of beauty"(Lamentations 2:15, the enemy in scorn quoting the Jews' own words), "beautiful for situation" (Psalm 48:2; 50:1,2). The ranges of Lebanon and Antilebanon pass on southwards in two lower parallel ranges separated by the Ghor or Jordan valley, and ending in the gulf of Akabah. The eastern range distributes itself through Gilead, Mesh, and Petra, reaching the Arabian border of the Red Sea. The western range is the backbone of western Israel, including the hills of Galilee, Samaria, Ephraim, Benjamin, and Judah, and passing on into the Sinaitic range ending at Ras Mohammed in the tongue of land between the two arms of the Red Sea. The Jerusalem range is part of the steep western wall of the valley of the Jordan and the Dead Sea. W. of this wall the hills sink into a lower range between it and the Mediterranean coast plain. The eastern