Click here for a map of Jerusalem today
with links to old maps
At the time of King David's reign in 975BC, Jerusalem was known as Jebus (pronounced J'Booce) — a threshing, a trampling of divine judgment. But 950 years previously, Shalem — Perfect(ed) / Peaceable — was its name in 1925BC when Melchizedek — Priest of God, King of Righteousness, King of Shalem — blessed Abraham with bread and wine, and received a tenth of his "booty" (with the balance going back to the King of Sodom) at the time that Abraham rescued his nephew, Lot, from a foreign army.
Jerusalem lies on and between three mountains, Olives — anointing — to the east, Moriah — seen by the Lord — running north-south, and Zion — monument — to the west with the original Jebusite fortress on its southern slopes. Joab, son of David's sister Zeruiah — "balm of Jehovah" — was made chief of David's army after he struck its soldiers with the sword (yes, that included the lame and the blind) after they belittled David and his God "Except you take away (even) the blind and the lame you will not enter." The threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, purchased by David, became the site for the temple built by Solomon in 931BC, where the Muslim temple the "Dome of the Rock" was built in 691AD, and is the area currently known as the "Western Wall". It is actually on Mount Moriah, where Abraham brought Isaac as a test of his faith and love, and, where Jesus was crucified.
Click here for a brief history of the world (with hyperlinks) during the following events.
63BC - 604AD Ruled by Western Roman then Eastern Roman (or Byzantine) Empire for 666 years.
Administration of Jerusalem came under a new Roman city Constantinople (planned as "New Rome") in 330. Constantinople's previous name had been Byzantium and its modern name is now Istanbul (from 1930).
Christian pilgrims then came to Jerusalem from everywhere building beautiful buildings. However, on a political level, Jews continue to be treated as "second-class citizens".
The land had become known as Syria Palestine, Syrian land of the (ancient) Philistines — a name that had been attributed to it by Greek historian Herodotus, around 400BC. "Syria" was a shortened Greek word for the inhabitants of ancient Assyria, descendants of Noah's grandson Asshur. Its seacoast had the name of "Phoenicia", famous for its trading in powdered "phoinos" — purple dye. The language spoken was Aramaic, from Aram, another grandson of Noah.
In 602, the Roman Emperor Maurice who had made an alliance with the Persian Emperor Chosroes II, by helping him regain the Persian throne lost in an army mutiny and also giving him his daughter Miriam in marriage, is now himself barbarously murdered by his own army.
In 604, the Persian Emperor invades Syria to avenge his benefactor and father-in-law, dealing the empire its severest blow.
604 - 614 Persia declares war by invading Syria for 10 years. Jerusalem caught up in this war. The Eastern Roman Empire is on the back foot. There are a large number of Jews now living in Babylon who enrolled in the Persian army and were naturally keen to see Christendom's political influence expelled from Jerusalem.
614 - 627 Persia rules Jerusalem with much death and destruction for 13 years
627 - 637 The Eastern Roman Empire recaptures Jerusalem 10 years (but very briefly). The whole area is now being conquered by Mohammed's Arab army, saying the Jews & the Christians time is over.
637 - 1517 Following an initial truce, the Romans, Arabs, Egyptians and Turks war around Jerusalem over the next 880 years.
In 1077 (exactly 440 years later), the race of Seljuk Turks who had swarmed over the land from Central Asia, massacre Jerusalem's local population and forbid all Christian services, murdering Christian pilgrims from the West or anywhere. In November 1095, the Pope in Rome calls for a "righteous war" i.e. marching to the "defence of the East" the following summer. Many years later this became known as the First Crusade. Click here for a map of the Middle East about 1140 AD, shortly after this event. Thus we have a brief interlude with the international Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem established
1517 - 1917 Turkish Ottoman Empire for 400 years. With the expulsion of the Jews from Spain (in 1492), more Jews settle back into Jerusalem. In 1800, there are 2000 Jews living there. However, by 1905 this number grew to 40,000, far more than any other ethnic group. The massive increase in numbers, and their ongoing desire to rule their own city again (known as Zionism) become issues of serious concern.
1917 - 1967 Britain initially for 30 years until 1947. See Winston Churchill's comments in 1937. With the founding of Israel in
This is the area known as the western wall, the place where Solomon built his temple, Mount Moriah (pronounced in Hebrew as moe-ree-yah — literal meaning "Seen by the Lord"), also where Abraham submitted his precious son Isaac to God sometime around 1900BC and where God restored him to Abraham in providing a substitution sacrifice. Click here for this reference. And it has been an area sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, in fact, huge numbers of peoples over thousands of years.
1967 - 2007 East Jerusalem captured and fully ruled by Israel during 40 years, but this situation not officially recognized by any country. To alleviate the pressure of suicide bombers, military barriers were built around Gaza and the West Bank. Then at the start of the Jewish year leading into 2007, the 40 year anniversary, we had the public declaration by the Palestinian Authority in the United Nations
confirming its 1993 recognition of Israel.
"If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning; let my tongue cleave to my palate, if I do not remember you — if I do not bring up Jerusalem above the head of my joy" Psalm 137:5-6
Click here for Israel's "official" churches with relation to marriage.