Section A Introduction to Jerusalem

Chapter 2 - History of Jerusalem

• 3500 BC - Jerusalem is first settled on the Ophel above the Gihon Spring

BRONZE AGE (3300-1200 BC)
• 2000 BC - Abraham meets with the Melchizedek, the king of Jerusalem, which is called Salem at that time
• 1800 BC - Jerusalem is mentioned in Egyptian Texts and called Rasalimum
• 1400 BC - Joshua kills Adoni-zedek, the Jebusite king of Jerusalem but does not capture the city of Jerusalem, which is also called Jebus
• 1400 BC - Jerusalem appears in diplomatic correspondences called the Amarna Letters as Urusalim

IRON AGE (1200-539 BC)
• 1000 BC - David takes Jerusalem from the Jebusites
• 960 BC - Solomon builds the first Temple
• 712 BC - Hezekiah cuts a tunnel through bedrock under the City of David from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam
• 586 BC - Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians destroy Jerusalem and the Temple; Jews are taken captive to Babylon

PERSIAN AGE (539-332 BC)
• 537 BC - Cyrus the Persian allows Jews to return to rebuild Jerusalem
• 516 BC - The second Temple, or Zerubbabel's Temple, is completed
• 445 BC - Nehemiah rebuilds the walls

• 332 BC - Alexander the Great and the Greeks get control of Israel from the Persians and take Jerusalem peacefully
• 320 BC - Ptolemy I captures Jerusalem and the Egyptian rule of Jerusalem begins
• 198 BC - Seleucids from Syria capture Jerusalem and the Syrian rule of Jerusalem begins
• 168 BC - Antiochus IV Epiphanes desecrates the Temple in Jerusalem and the Maccabean revoltsoon begins
• 164 BC - Judas Maccabeus recaptures Jerusalem

• 141 BC - Simon Maccabeus (Judas's brother) establishes Judea as an independent state
• 141 BC - The Maccabee family, called Hasmoneans, begin to rule as kings in Jerusalem

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Figure 1 - The Royal Archives of Tel al-Amarna, Egypt, contained 350 letters written in cuneiform script. This clay tablet is one of six letters written to Egyptian kings by the ruler of Jerusalem shortly after 1400 BC. Jerusalem is called “Urusalim” in these Amarna Letters. Joshua had recently killed a king of Jerusalem (Joshua 12:7-10). The city name “Urusalim” means “foundation of Shalem”. The deity’s name, “Shalem,” means “complete,” “prosperous,” and “peaceful” as seen in the text of Hebrews 7:2, “‘king of Salem’ means ‘king of peace.’”
The original tablet is preserved in the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin. Recently (June 2010) Eilat Mazar found a clay fragment from this same time period in the area of the Ophel in Jerusalem written in the same cuneiform on Jerusalem clay by a royal scribe. This find confirms Egypt’s opinion of Jerusalem, as portrayed in the Amarna Letters, as a major city centuries before it was conquered by David.

• 63 BC - Roman General Pompey captures Jerusalem for Rome
• 40 BC - Herod the Great is appointed king in Jerusalem by Rome
• 18 BC - Herod begins rebuilding the Temple
• 10 BC - Temple is dedicated, but construction continues until 63 AD
• 66 AD - Jewish revolt against Rome begins

• 70 AD - Jerusalem falls to the Romans; the city and Temple are destroyed
• 132 - Second Jewish revolt against Rome begins—Bar Kokhba takes Jerusalem from Rome
• 135 - Roman Emperor Hadrian puts down the second Jewish revolt and rebuilds the city, calling it Aelia Capitolina. A pagan temple for Jupiter (Zeus) was built on the Temple Mount and Jews were forbidden to enter the city

• 326 - Constantine's mother, Helena, visits Jerusalem and establishes the Christian holy sites; many churches are built
• 335 - Church of the Holy Sepulcher is built
• 361 - Emperor Julian the Apostate allows the Jews to return to Jerusalem and begin rebuilding the Temple
• 438 - Jews are allowed to live in Jerusalem
• 614 - Persians conquer Jerusalem under General Shahrbaraz; churches are destroyed, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which is burnt; the Jews driven out of Jerusalem in 617
• 629 - The Byzantine Empire (Christian) recaptures Jerusalem from the Persians under Emperor Heraclius

• 638 - The Muslim Caliph Omar, or Umar, (a caliphis a political leader of Islam), takes Jerusalem from the Byzantine Empire six years after Mohammed's death
• 661 - Umayyad dynasty begins and continues until 750
• 691 - Dome of the Rock completed by Caliph Abd al-Malilk
• 701 - Al-Aqsa Mosue is completed by Caliph al- Walid
• 750 - Abassid dynasty begins and continues until 974
• 878 - The Tulunids take the city
• 904 - The Abassids retake the city
• 939 - The Ikhshidid take the city
• 969 - The Fatimids take the city under General Gawhar Al-Siqilli
• 1009 - The Egyptian caliph al-Hakim destroys the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and has the tomb of Jesus crushed down to the remaining bedrock; the burial bench is spared simply because it was covered with rubble
• 1010 - Synagogues and churches in Jerusalem are destroyed by Caliph al-Hakim
• 1077 - Seljuk Turks conquer Jerusalem
• 1096 - Pope Urban calls for a crusade to take back the Holy Land

• 1099 - Godfrey of Bouillon captures Jerusalem for the Christians; Baldwin I is named King of Jerusalem; a great slaughter of Jews and Muslims by the Christians follows the capture of the city

AYYUBID PERIOD (1187-1250)
• 1187 - General Saladin takes Jerusalem from the Crusaders; Jews and Muslims return and settle in the city
• 1192 - Crusaders fail to take Jerusalem but the Muslim General Saladin allows Christians to worship at their holy sites
• 1212 - Three hundred rabbis from England and France settle in Jerusalem
• 1219 - Sultan Malilk-al-Muattam razes the city walls
• 1229 - Crusaders briefly recapture Jerusalem twice
• 1244 - Crusader era ends when Khawarizmian Turks capture Jerusalem

MAMLUK PERIOD (1250-1516)
• 1250 - A Muslim caliph dismantles the walls of Jerusalem
• 1260 - Mameluks of Egypt capture Jerusalem
• 1347 - Mamelukes capture Jerusalem a second time

OTTOMAN PERIOD (1517-1917)
• 1517 - Ottomans (Sultan Selim) peacefully take over Jerusalem
• 1537 - Sultan Suleiman "the Magnificent" rebuilds the city walls which had been in ruins since 1219
• 1541 - Jerusalem's Eastern or Golden Gate is sealed to prevent the entrance of the Jewish Messiah
• 1542 - Damascus gate built
• 1700 - Rabbi Yehuda He'Hassid arrives in Jerusalem and begins building the "Hurva" Synagogue
• 1705 - Restrictions imposed on the Jews in Jerusalem
• 1831 - Sultan Mehemet Ali of Egypt conquers the city
• 1838 - First British consulate is opened in Jerusalem
• 1840 - The Ottoman Turks retake the city
• 1844 - Census shows 7,120 Jews, 5,760 Muslims, 3,390 Christians
• 1860 - First Jewish settlement outside the walls of the city
• 1898 - World Zionist Organization founder, Dr. Theodor Herzl, visits Jerusalem; Dr. Herzl meets German Kaiser Wilhelm outside the city walls

MODERN PERIOD (1917-present)
• 1917 - British take Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire, and General Allenby enters the city
• 1947 - United Nations Resolution recommending the partition of Israel
• 1948 - British Mandate and control of Jerusalem ends and the State of Israel begins
• 1948 - Israel War of Liberation; Jewish Quarter in Old City falls
• 1949 - Jerusalem is divided in the Israel-TransJordan Armistice Agreement; Jerusalem is divided between two countries; Jerusalem is declared the capital of Israel
• 1967 - Jerusalem reunited when the Old City is captured; Jordan fires shells and mortars to begin the Six Day War which results in Israeli troops capturing the Old City
• 2009 – There were 774,000 people living in Jerusalem in 2009 compared to 84,000 who lived in Jerusalem in 1948. In 1967 there were 66,000 Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem and a few hundred Jews. By 2006 there were 229,004 Muslims, 181,457 Jews and 13,638 Christians living in East Jerusalem (Total people in East Jerusalem in 2006 was 424,000). According to recent statistics a woman in Jerusalem, both Arab or Jewish, will have four children. The education system in Jerusalem serves 250,000 students. 64% of these students study in the Hebrew education schools and 35% study in the Arab schools.
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