Jerusalem was only regarded as significant in the region after King David conquered it. He can be found on the Bible Timeline Chart around the 1050 BC. Jerusalem was noted as the Promised Land, which was assigned to the Twelve Tribes of Israel. In fact, Benjamin‘s tribe gained a part of Jerusalem that was not under the control of the Israelites. When Jerusalem was conquered by King David, it served as a significant center of politics and religion.
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According to scholars, several people settled in Jerusalem during early times, as depicted in the Bible, historical sources and archaeological evidence. For instance, the story of the Canaanite kings and Abraham proved the early settlement of people in Jerusalem, as narrated in the Book of Genesis. Various historical accounts also presented facts that there had commercial and political ties existed between Jerusalem and other nations. During early Canaanite era, it was recorded that Jerusalem was among the various city-states in the region. The primary source of information about the history of Jerusalem was the Bible. Accounts about the holy city were made from 10 to 6 BC. There were also other written accounts about the historical development of Jerusalem, which started in Israel and Judah.
In the Bible, Jerusalem was mentioned in the Old Testament 660 times, 146 in the New Testament and other names that served as synonyms to Jerusalem were found in various references.
As early as 4000 BC, the Chalcolithic Period established Jerusalem as a Canaanite city. It occupied the southeastern hill that was often referred to as the “City of King David”. There were several steep slopes found on the sides of the hill, and these served as strong defenses for the city. At the base of the hill, there was a rich supply of water for Jerusalem.
In the Old, Testament Jerusalem was first mentioned in Joshua, although there was a reference to the holy city in Genesis. The city was referred to as Melchizedek, who was then the King of Salem. Poetic mentions can be found in Psalms where Salem was believed to be Zion. Shalem, which was a Canaanite city, was noted as the city of Shalom or “peace” in the Bible. Isaiah also spoke of Shalom, or the “Prince of Peace”, who was believed to rule the throne of David, in Jerusalem.
When the Israelites occupied Canaan, the city of Jerusalem was referred to as Jebus. It was intended to be the shortened term for being the Jebusites‘ city. There accounts in 1 Chronicles, Judges and Joshua that Jerusalem’s other name was Jebus. As for the Romans, they gave a different name to it, which was Aelia Capitolina. However, the older name of the city remained.
In the Second Book of Samuel, it was mentioned that David conquered Jebus. He also had a palace constructed in Jerusalem, which transformed it into a regal city. Jerusalem was then elevated to a capital status although known to be somewhat poorly situated in terms of military or trade activities. David also considered Jerusalem as his property since it was a neutral city not belonging to the tribes in the south or north.
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