Author: Ron Graham
Facts About Jerusalem
—A simple list
The Holy City Jerusalem
- Another name for Jerusalem is Zion. Isaiah mentions Zion 47 times.
- Zion is a mountain of Jerusalem. However Zion is used as a poetic term for all Jerusalem and its environs as shown in the parallelism of this verse: "For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet" (Isaiah 62:1).
- In the time of Abraham, Melchizedek was king of Salem (Genesis 14, Hebrews 7:1). Salem is identified with Zion in (Psalm 76:1-2) so it is another name for Jerusalem —probably Melchizedek’s city.
- Before the Israelites took the city of Jerusalem, it was known as Jebus (Judges 19:10) and the Canaanites who dwelled there were known as Jebusites.
- In the Bible, Jerusalem is also referred to as the holy city, the city of God, the city of truth, the city of the great king, the city of David, the city of Judah.
- In the time of David and Solomon, when the kingdom of Israel was at its height, Jerusalem was its proud and glorious captial where Solomon built the temple.
- To Solomon’s shame the kingdom divided and Samaria became the capital of Israel, leaving Jerusalem ruling only Judah and the small tribe of Benjamin.
- Around 586BC Jerusalem was desolated by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Chaldeans. He destroyed the city in a series of attacks, including its temple. Its people were taken to Babylon as captives. Jeremiah makes some notes on this (Jeremiah 52:1-34).
- In the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, a remnant of Israel returned to Jerusalem with the blessing of Cyrus king of Persia. Then began a long and difficult rebuilding. The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah tell this story.
- The destruction of Jerusalem took place once again when Rome ruled the world. Titus, in AD70, surrounded and attacked the city. Herod's beautiful temple was razed to the ground and a million people cruelly lost their lives in Jerusalem’s fall. Jesus had predicted this 40 years beforehand (Matthew 23:37-39, 24:1-2).
- The climax of the book of Revelation is the vision of the heavenly Jerusalem, a jewelled city of light. This beautiful vision of eternal glory signifies the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, his body of people called out (Revelation 21:9-27).
- The letter to the Hebrews encourages Christians with these words: "You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven..." (Hebrews 12:22-23 NKJV).
- The church of Christ began at Jerusalem, on the 50th day following the Passover that was observed just prior to the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus (Acts 2).
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