Is Salem and Jerusalem the same city

Timeline of the City of David

  • 1. The time of the patriarchs | The year 1960 after the creation of the world | The year 1800 BC Chr. | The sacrifice of Isaac on Mount Moriah

    The earliest event that connects Jerusalem with the fate of the Jewish people is the historical meeting between Abraham and King Melchizedech: “But Melchizedech, the king of Salem, brought out bread and wine. And he ... blessed him and said: Blessed are you Abram, from the most high God, who created heaven and earth ... ”(Genesis, 14: 18-20). With Salem Jerusalem is meant, as can be learned from the Psalms: "And in Salem his tent and his dwelling in Zion arose" (Psalms, 76: 3). The meeting took place in the Schawe valley, "this is the Königstal", which was apparently near the city. A short time later, at God's command, Abraham came to the land of Moriah (Genesis 22) to sacrifice his son Isaac. The Bible identifies the mountain on which this fateful event took place with Mount Moriah in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 3: 1). Numerous archaeological finds show that the Canaanite Jerusalem was in the beginning a city surrounded by strong and well-fortified walls, and despite its limited size, it was very difficult to conquer. At the foot of the hill on which the City of David was built, the Gihon spring gushed, protected by immense fortifications, the impressive remains of which have only recently been discovered. The inhabitants of the city at the time, the Canaanites, had carved an ingenious system of canals into the rock for the water supply, which also included an underground tunnel that led to the source during their reign. The Bible tells that when the land was conquered by the twelve tribes of Israel, they did not settle in Jerusalem and the city remained in strange hands until the days of King David.

  • The time of the Canaanites | The year 2210 after the creation of the world | 1550 BC Chr. | The city of the Jebusites

    Jerusalem is mentioned as the city of the Jebusites for the first time in the book of Joshua (15: 8) and later in the book of Judges in the story about the concubine on the hill (19:10): “But the man no longer wanted to stay overnight, but arose and went and came across from Jebus - that is Jerusalem ... “The Jerusalem of the Jebusites remained a non-Jewish enclave between the tribal area of ​​Judah in the south and the residential area of ​​the tribe of Benjamin in the north. The strength of the city can be seen in the stone, terraced building (picture), which is located on the eastern slope of the hill on which the city of David stands. It appears to have supported the city's castle, the Stronghold of Zion (2 Samuel 5: 7).

  • The time of King David | The year 2760 after the creation of the world | 1000 BC Chr. | The kingdom

    Around the year 1000 BC King David came to the city. David, who had previously ruled Hebron for seven years, conquered the castle of Zion and transformed the “city of Jebus” into the spiritual and national capital of his kingdom: “” (2 Samuel 5: 9) “So David lived in the castle and called it 'City of David'. ”David fortified the city:“ And David built around it, from the Millo inwards ”(2 Samuel 5:10), and even built his palace here. The archaeological excavations that are currently being carried out on the hill of the City of David have begun uncovering the remains of a large and magnificent building that can possibly be identified as the palace of King David. Caves were discovered on the south side of the dome, which some equate with the burial chambers of the kings of the house of David, as the Bible describes: "So David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David." 2:10).

  • The time of King Solomon | The year 2800 after the creation of the world | 960 BC Chr. | The construction of the temple

    David was no longer able to realize his dream of building the temple in Jerusalem, because the temple is a house of peace, and David was a man of struggle: “But God said to me: You should not build me a house in my name ; for you are a warrior and have shed blood ”(1 Chronicles 28: 3). It was promised to David that his vision would be fulfilled through his son: "You shall not build the house, but your son who will be born to you, he shall build a house for my name" (1 Kings 8:19). David's descendant and successor, who continued on his way, was Solomon - he was anointed king next to the Gihon spring after the overthrow of his brother Adonia in Jerusalem: “... and [they] have anointed him king at the Gihon, and they are from then came up with joy ... and already Solomon is seated on the royal throne. ”- 1 Kings 1: 45-46. The most important work of Solomon in Jerusalem was the building of the temple: "And Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem on mount Moriah ..." (2 Chronicles 3: 1). Near the temple, on the south side, he built the new royal palace and the Lebanon forest house, the courtroom in which he ruled, and the house for the daughter of Pharaoh, the king's wife. It appears that Solomon connected Mount Moriah in its entirety to the city within the new walls.

  • The reign of King Hezekiah | The year 3035 after the creation of the world | 725 BC Chr. | The Assyrian siege

    Shortly after Solomon's death, the united kingdom split into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and they experienced difficult times. Towards the end of the 8th century BC The northern kingdom of Israel (with its capital Samaria) fell into the hands of the Assyrian empire, and Jerusalem remained the only Hebrew capital. During the reign of King Hezekiah, the Assyrian King Sennacherib threatened the peace of the city. Hezekiah prepared himself for what was to come by further fortifying Jerusalem: “And Hezekiah was encouraged and repaired all the walls where they had gaps, and built towers and built another wall outside and fastened the millo to that City of David and made many weapons and shields… ”(2 Chronicles, 32: 5). Hezekiah built a wide and strong wall, the remains of which can still be seen in the Jewish quarter of the old town and on Mount Zion. This wall testifies that even before the days of King Hezekiah, the city had expanded beyond the western hill. In addition to the construction of fortifications, Hezekiah had an underground canal carved into the rock - the so-called Hezekiah tunnel - which leads the water from the Gihon spring into the city. The tunnel led the water to the Siloam pond, where it was collected. The Bible relates this impressive undertaking: “This is Hezekiah, who shut off the upper source of the Gihon and led it down west to the city of David; for Hezekiah succeeded in all his works. “(2nd Chronicle, 32:30). The Siloam inscription carved into the rock wall of the tunnel shows how the digging was carried out from both directions at the same time and describes the exuberance of the workers when they met when they breached. In 701 BC The army of Sennacherib of the Assyrian king marched into the land, devastated it and reached the walls of Jerusalem. However, the siege of the city failed, as the prophet Isaiah had foretold: "This is why the Lord says of the king of Assyria: He must not come into this city and shoot no arrow into it ... And I will protect this city." Kings, 19: 32-34)

  • The time of the prophet Jeremiah | The year 3140 after the creation of the world | 620 BC Chr. | The fight for mind and soul

    A hundred years later, the threat posed by the Babylonian Empire cast its shadow and the last kings of Judah faced a decision: rebellion or surrender against Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylonia? In contrast to Isaiah, the prophet Jeremiah foretold a hard future with the destruction of Jerusalem while fighting the enemy: “Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire . ”(Jeremiah 34: 2). He called the kings of Judah to surrender to the Babylonians and called the people to repent; it was to break away from the corruption and moral depravity that had spread through society and the kingdom. However, this did not happen; Jehojakim, one of the last kings of Judah, refused to listen to the prophet's advice but persecuted him and his faithful scribe Baruch Ben Neria, who spread his prophecies. In the time of Zedekiah, the last ruler of Judah, his ministers, the enemies of the prophet, threw him into the cistern of the prison so that he would sink into the mud. Jeremiah, however, was freed by Ebed-Melech the Moor - on the order of the king, whom he had been able to convince. The prophet was saved, but the city was not.

  • The destruction of the First Temple | The year 3174 after the creation of the world | 586 BC Chr. | The pillage of the city

    After a long, heavy siege, Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, just as Jeremiah foresaw: “... and he burned the house of the Lord and the house of the king and all the houses in Jerusalem; and all the great houses he burned with fire ”(2 Kings 25: 9). King Zedekiah was captured by the Babylonians, and the people of Israel went into exile in Babylon: "We sat by the waters of Babylon and widened when we remembered Zion." (Psalms 137: 1) The survivors of the catastrophe remained in the land of Israel without a temple and without a guide. Gedaliah Ben Achikam of Mizpe, appointed governor by the Babylonians, was murdered by Jishmael Ben Netanya of the house of King David (Jeremiah 40: 41). Archaeological excavations uncovered a treasure with a bullae with clay seals between the burned houses in the city of David, including a bulla embossed with the name of Gemarjahu Ben Shafan the scribe (Jeremiah 36:10), a minister at the court of King Jehojakim and uncle of Gedalja Ben Achikam. Another bulla recently discovered in the City of David bears the name of Juchal Ben Shelemjahu (Jeremiah 38: 1), a high official at the court of King Zedekiah. These finds bring to mind those who lived in Jerusalem during the city's heyday and did not listen to the words of the prophet who foresaw its destruction.

  • The Return to Zion and the Second Temple | The year 3222 after the creation of the world | 538 BC Chr. | The pilgrimage

    According to a decree of the Persian King Cyrus II in 538 BC Many of the deportees from Babylonia returned to the land of Israel in the 4th century BC. In 526 BC 70 years after the beginning of the exile, those who returned to Zion dedicated the Second Temple. Middle of the 5th century BC Ezra the scribe took over the political and spiritual leadership of the people and initiated a reform that included, among other things, the expulsion of non-Jewish women and regular weekly reading of the Bible. A few years later, Nehemiah appeared and rebuilt the walls of the city. In the book of Nehemiah there is a sad story about the destroyed walls before the reconstruction: “And I rode out to the valley gate at night ... and researched exactly where the walls of Jerusalem were torn down and the gates were consumed by fire. And I rode over to the Spring Gate and the King's Pool, and there was no room for my animal to go on with me ”(Nehemiah 2: 13-14). In the east, the new city wall ran higher than before, due to the enormous heaps of rubble and rubbish on the slope of the mountain. Excavations on the eastern slope of the city of David uncovered remains from the time of the Persians, and it appears that the walls and towers, which were later built on the hilltop under the rule of the Hasmoneans at the time of the Second Temple, were also based on the course of the fortifications Nehemiah built on this site. In the 4th century BC The Greek Hellenes replaced the Persian rulers. After the Hasmonean revolt against the rule of Seleucus I Nicator in the 2nd century BC. In BC Jerusalem became the political capital of the State of Judah; the city was enlarged and beautified. Numerous Jews from all over the country and from the diaspora made pilgrimages to Jerusalem. The Siloam Pond, built towards the end of the First Temple Period, became a focal point for these pilgrims before they went up to the temple.

  • The destruction of the Second Temple | The year 3830 after the creation of the world | 70 AD | The Jewish exile

    At the time of the vassal king Herod under the rule of Rome in the first century BC The city reached the height of its splendor. The massive construction activity is described in the writings of the historian Flavius ​​Josephus (Josef Ben Matitjahu). In the course of the first century a number of palaces of the kings of Adiabene were built in the city of David, the remains of which have not yet been fully uncovered. A few years after Herod's death, the Romans established a governor's government in Judea. In AD 66, the great revolt broke out against Roman rule. The Romans besieged Jerusalem, and in AD 70 the walls of the city were torn down and the Second Temple went up in flames.

  • Byzantine times | 326 AD

    After the destruction of Jerusalem in the course of the great revolt, the southern section of the City of David became a quarry. During the Byzantine period, David's houses and agricultural buildings were built in the city, a few remains of which were found on the site of the present visitor center and recently even in the Giv'ati parking lot. In the middle of the 5th century, the Byzantine Empress Eudokia, the wife of the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II, restored the city walls of Jerusalem and also included the hill of the City of David, on the south side of which she had the Siloam Church built over the pond. It was meant to remind of the miracle that Jesus performed here healing the blind man (John 9: 7). A few remnants of this church can be seen today at the tunnel exit. At that time, the original meaning of the City of David as the nucleus of Jerusalem had already been forgotten, and various traditions (which apparently began as early as the Second Temple Period) identified the city of David (and later also his burial place) with Mount Zion.

  • The early Arab period | 638 AD

    The Arab conquest of Jerusalem from the hands of the Byzantines did not change much in the physical structure of the city. At the same time, the population decreased due to the migration of Christian residents to other parts of the Byzantine Empire. When Jerusalem passed into Muslim hands, the official ban on Jews from living in the city was lifted. With the surrender treaty that Khalif Omar signed with the Christians in the city, the Muslims pledged not to allow Jews to settle in the city, but according to a source from the Geniza in Cairo, around 70 Jewish families from Tiberias were allowed to move to Jerusalem and settle there. The Jews built their homes in the north of Davidstadt, due to the proximity of the place to the Temple Mount and the Shiloh Pond. The excavations currently taking place in the Giv'ati parking lot north of the city of David have uncovered extensive remains of Jewish settlements from the Muslim era. The finds indicate an intensive settlement on an area that was used for both residential purposes and for trade. In 1033 a strong earthquake took place in the land of Israel, which caused the walls of Jerusalem to collapse. When it was rebuilt about 30 years later, its course in the south was shortened, leaving the City of David outside the walls. The Jews were forced to move to another part of the city.

  • From the Middle Ages to the Modern Age | 1099 AD

    After the walls were rebuilt by the Fatimid dynasty in 1063, the grounds of the City of David remained outside the fortified city and were no longer inhabited. The Gihon Spring continued to be the primary source of water for the people of Jerusalem, who drew their water and carried it into the walled city. Under the rule of the Turkish Ottomans (1517-1917), a small rural settlement began to emerge on the hill east of the old Davidstadt on the other side of the Kidron valley, which over time developed into the village of Silwan. This village was incorporated into Jerusalem in 1921 and turned into one of the neighborhoods. Towards the end of the Ottoman rule, the ancient Hebrew inscription was discovered in the south of the city of David, which describes the construction of the Siloam tunnel at the time of the First Temple under the rule of King Hezekiah. The inscription was 6 meters from the exit of the tunnel into the pond, but was removed by the government; the slab of rock with the inscription is still in the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul.

  • Jewish immigration to the land of Israel | The year 5642 after the creation of the world | 1882 | The house of Mejucha and Kfar HaShiloah

    In the course of the 19th century a not inconsiderable number of researchers and archaeologists reached the hill of the City of David.They all had the same goal: they wanted to get his secrets out of him. The American Edward Robinson revealed the mystery of the ancient Siloam tunnel, and the British explorer Charles Warren discovered the water supply system and the famous shaft that are named after him to this day. In 1873 the city of David experienced a renaissance when the Jewish Mejuchas family built their house there in front of the city walls. The family's trade was affected by the fact that the city gates closed at dusk and did not reopen until the next morning. It was the first Jewish settlement on the hill with such a splendid Jewish past in hundreds of years. Around 10 years later, in 1882, the Mejuchas family was joined by Jewish immigrants from Yemen who settled in the grave caves of the village of Silwan opposite the City of David. In 1884, Jewish philanthropists initiated the construction of their own residential area called Kfar HaShiloach for the Jews from Yemen opposite the City of David on a ridge of the Mount of Olives. The new neighborhood grew and prospered, but was badly damaged in the course of the Arab riots of 1929. The residents returned and rebuilt it, only to leave it for good in the course of the “Arab revolt” of 1936. The Arabs in the area lived in the houses for two years until they moved away in 1938.

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  • The State of Israel | The year 5708 after the creation of the world | 1948 | The city of David in enemy territory

    Following the proclamation of the State of Israel on May 14. In 1948, soldiers from the Arab armies from neighboring countries joined the Arab militias in the area and attacked the young state from all sides. The battle for the Old City of Jerusalem lasted about two weeks, and the Jewish Quarter fell into the hands of the enemy. With the armistice of November 30, 1948, a border line was drawn between Jordan and Israel, and Jerusalem's old city with the city of David remained under Jordanian rule. For 19 years, Jews were denied access to the historical sites of their people; only from the summit of Mount Zion, which is outside the old town, could one have a look at it. In the 1960s, the British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon carried out excavations in the city of David, in the course of which a considerable number of impressive finds were uncovered, including the walls of the Canaanite city on the eastern slope of the hilltop.

  • The Six Day War | The year 5727 after the creation of the world | 1967 | The liberation of Jerusalem

    In June 1967 the Six Day War broke out, the outcome of which had far-reaching consequences for the political status of Jerusalem; the old town and the neighboring city of David were liberated by the Israeli defense forces. After nearly two decades, Jews regained access to their sacred and historical sites, and for the first time in 2000 years, Jerusalem was again under the suzerainty of the Jewish people.

  • The city of David today

    After the Six Day War, Jerusalem was reunified and the dividing line disappeared, but Jews were no longer living in the City of David. In the 1970s, archaeological investigations began, which, under the direction of Prof. Jigal Shiloh, revealed numerous finds and findings with regard to ancient Jerusalem over the course of several excavation seasons, which are still of use to us today. Further excavations in later years expanded this knowledge of the City of David considerably; meanwhile the site has developed into a national park of exceptional beauty and importance. Since 1991, Jewish families have been living on the hilltop on which the City of David stands again, and today there are forty such families as well as the City of David Visitor Center, which tries to bring the experience of the place where it all began to the greatest possible number of visitors.