History Of Jerusalem


History Of Jerusalem Essay, Research Paper

Jerusalem was not always considered to be the religious center of the world. in fact, many times in Jerusalem’s history it was completely uninhabited. Jerusalem was first settled in 3500 BCE on the Ophel above the Gihon Spring. The city was deserted at an unknown date until the 19th century BCE. When the city appeared in the Egyptian Execration Texts. In those texts the city was known as “Rusalimum”. However the city of Jerusalem was truly developed in the heart of The Hyksos Period.

King David, the successor to King Saul, reined from 1010-970 BCE. In the year of 1003 BCE, King David established Jerusalem as the capital of the United Kingdom of Israel. During King David’s Reign he ordered the return of the Ark of the Covenant to the city of Jerusalem, so it could once again be used in worship, and also making Jerusalem the spiritual center of Israel. During the end of King David’s years in power, his sons argued very bitterly over who would succeed their father. David’s son Absalom rebelled against his father turning much of the city against the king. This caused David to flee Jerusalem until is army could regain control. David died about 965 B.C. His son Solomon, the daughter of David and his mistress Bathsheba became king.

King Solomon reigned from about 965-931, and it was in his reign that the construction of the first holy temple began. Under Solomon’s reign, he secured peace along Israel’s borders, mainly by taking women from nearby states as his wives and mistresses. King Solomon died around 931 BCE. At that time his son Rehoboam was made king of Israel. However many tribes of Israel rebelled against Rehoboam, and once again the nation of Israel was divided into the Kingdom of Israel, and the Kingdom of Judah less than one year after Rehoboam took the throne. Rehoboam remained king of the northern tribes in the Kingdom of Israel. The city of Jerusalem was now the capital of the Kingdom of Judah, and Jeroboam ruled the Kingdom of Israel from Jerusalem until 837 BCE, when Hezekiah took the throne, Hezekiah died in 800 BCE.

Within the next 350 years, the city of Jerusalem survived invasions by the Assyrians, Sennacherib, and the first two invasions of the Babylonians. During their second invasion, the Babylonians successfully captured Jerusalem in the year 597 BCE, But lost it to a rebellion a few years later. Then again in 588 BCE king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked the city of Jerusalem, and by the year 586 BCE the city was captured and Solomon’s temple destroyed. For the next fifty years the city of Jerusalem was deserted by order of the Babylonians; Only for Jews [Hebrews] to return in 537 BCE by order of King Cyrus of Babylon after the fall of Babylon in 539 BCE, The Hebrew people are to return to Jerusalem, and In 520 BCE the people of Jerusalem begin to rebuild their holy temple, and by the year 515 it is finished and rededicated.

In 332 BCE, Alexander the great captures Israel [Judah} and Jerusalem from the Persians. Alexander and those who follow his rule allowed the Jews to continue to practice their religion, giving administrative power to the priests. However in 169 BCE the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes outlawed the practice of Judaism, and dedicated the Holy Temple to the Greek g-d Zeus. Led by Judah Maccabee, the Jewish people overthrew Antiochus, and rededicated the temple to Adoshem in 165 BCE. Judah Maccabee and his descendants ruled the State of Israel for about eighty years.

In the year 63 BCE, the roman General Pompey the Great conquered Jerusalem for Rome, and in 37 BCE Rome named Herod the great king of the Jews. Herod then conquered Jerusalem in the year 37 BCE. Herod began a huge building program that has shaped much of the old city of Jerusalem to what we see today. One of Herod's building plans was to rebuild the Holy Temple, construction began in the year 18 BCE. Herod the great rules Jerusalem until his death in 4 BCE, he never gets to see the finished second temple. After Herod's death no king is appointed to succeed him, instead a Roman procurator rules Jerusalem. The most famous procurator, Pontius Pilate, sentenced Jesus of Nazareth to crucifixion as a Zealot, those who claimed to be sent by G-d to preserve Judaism. Jesus was crucified on April 25 (Nisan 14) in the year 31 CE.

Finally in 63 CE, the second temple was completed in Jerusalem. However it would only last 7 years, the great Jewish revolt against the Romans. The Zealots seized Jerusalem and held it until Titus; the Roman emperor took it back in 70 CE, when the Romans destroyed the temple and much of Jerusalem's fortification. After the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, the city remained uninhabited for around 60 years. Until the Roman emperor Hadrian announced plans to build a Roman city on Jerusalem's ground. Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolnia, and Jews were forbidden to enter the city walls.

Queen Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, visits Jerusalem, determines locations of events associated with the last days of Jesus, and causes churches to be built to commemorate these days, most notably the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built in 335 CE. Constantine after converting Aelia Capitolnia[Jerusalem] from a Roman, Pagan city to a Christian city reinstated the city name of Jerusalem. And in 438 CE Jews are once again permitted to inhabit Jerusalem. However that did not last long. In 614 CE the Persians successfully took control of Jerusalem, and expelled all Jews from the city. Byzantines once again gained control over Jerusalem in 629 CE, only to loose it again to the Muslim, Arabs in 638 CE, and the Jews are once again allowed to live in Jerusalem. The Caliph Abd al-Malik constructed the Dome of the Rock, which was completed on the temple mount in 691 CE. Between 691 and 1099 different Muslim groups constructed different masques in Jerusalem, and in 1010 Caliph al-Hakim orders destruction of synagogues and churches.

The years between 1099 and 1244 are considered the Crusader period. In 1099 Crusaders, led by Godfrey de Bouillon, capture of Jerusalem, and the crusaders continue to rule in Jerusalem until 1244 when Khawarizmian Turks capture Jerusalem. thee Turks rule Jerusalem until 1517 when the Ottomans effect a peaceful takeover of Jerusalem. During the Ottoman rule Sultan Suleiman (”The Magnificent”) rebuilds the walls of Jerusalem, that have not existed since 1219 CE. These construction projects include all seven gates seen today, the Tower of David, and the Damascus gate was finished in 1542. Towards the end of the Ottoman period, Dr. Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization makes his first visit to Jerusalem. The Ottoman period is ended in 1917 with British conquest and General Allenby’s entry into Jerusalem, and in 1920 Sir Herbert Samuel was appointed the first British High Commissioner and the “Government House” was established in Jerusalem. Israel was under British mandate until 1948 when the modern State of Israel is proclaimed on May 14. From May 14, 1948-Jan 1949, the State of Israel fought the war of Liberation, and in April of 1949 the City of Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan in the Israel-TransJordan Armistice Agreement. Regardless of the divide, on December 13, 1949 Jerusalem was named as the Capital for the State of Israel, and in 1965 Teddy Kollek is elected the first mayor of Jerusalem.

On June 5, 1967 Jordan shelled and mortared the New City of Jerusalem signifying the beginning of the Six Day War. However just two days later, Israeli troops had captured the other half of the Old City of Jerusalem is once again united. Finally after almost 20 years, Jews and Muslims are given access to their holy sites in Jerusalem, and in 1980 the Knesset declares united Jerusalem as the sole capital of the State of Israel.

For over 5500 years the city of Jerusalem has been in existence, however the Jews have inhabited the city, on and off for over 3000 of those years and continue to do so to this day. This magnificent city has seen the creation of two other major religions, as well as supported the Jewish people, one of the oldest faith systems known to man. As the city continues to grow, one must realize that it is the home of 3 major religions, and all three religions have basis to be there. However each religion will not recognize the other’s just right to exist in Jerusalem, and until that happens, there will always be conflict in Jerusalem.


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