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Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Jeru- , "the foundation" (implying its divinely given stability, Psalms 87:1; Isaiah 14:32; so spiritually, Hebrews 11:10); -shalem , "of peace". The absence of the doubled "sh" forbids Ewald's derivation, jerush- "possession". Salem is the oldest form (Psalms 76:2; Hebrews 7:2; Genesis 14:18). Jebusi "the Jebusite" (Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16; Joshua 18:28; Judges 19:10-11) and the city itself. Jebus, the next form, Jerusalem the more modern name. Melchi-zedek ("king of righteousness") corresponds to Adoni-zedek," lord of righteousness," king of Jerusalem (Joshua 10:1), the name being a hereditary title of the kings of Jerusalem which is "the city of righteousness" (Isaiah 1:21-26). Psalm 110 connects Melchizedek with Zion, as other passages do with Salem. The king of Salem met Abram after his return from the slaughter of the kings, therefore near home (Hebron, to which Jerusalem was near).
"The valley of Shaveh, the king's dale" (Genesis 14:17; 2 Samuel 18:18), was the valley of Kedron, and the king of Sodom had no improbable distance to go from Sodom in meeting him here (two furlongs from Jersalem: Josephus, Ant. 7:10, section 3). Ariel, "lion of God," is another designation (Isaiah 29:1-2; Isaiah 29:7). (See .) Also "the holy city" (Matthew 4:5; Matthew 27:53; Revelation 11:3). AElius Hadrianus, the Roman emperor, built it (A.D. 135), whence it was named AElia Capitolina, inscribed still on the well known stone in the S. wall of the Aksa. Jerusalem did not become the nation's capital or even possession until David's time, the seat of government and of the religious worship having been previously in the N. at Shethem and Shiloh, then Gibeah and Nob (whence the tabernacle and altar were moved to Gibeon). (See .) The boundary between Judah and Benjamin ran S. of the city hill, so that the city was in Benjamin, and Judah enclosed on two sides the tongue or promontory of land on which it stood, the valley of Hinnom bounding it W. and S., the valley of Jehoshaphat on the E.
The temple situated at the connecting point of Judah and northern Israel admirably united both in holiest bonds. Jerusalem lies on the ridge of the backbone of hills stretching from the plain of Jezreel to the desert. Jewish tradition placed the altars and sanctuary in Benjamin, the courts of the temple in Judah. The two royal tribes met in Jerusalem David showed his sense of the importance of the alliance with Saul of Benjamin by making Michal's restoration the condition of his league with Abner (2 Samuel 3:13). Its table land also lies almost central on the middle route from N. to S., and is the watershed of the torrents passing eastward to Jordan and westward to the Mediterranean (Ezekiel 5:5; Ezekiel 38:12; Psalms 48:2).
It lay midway between the oldest civilized states; Egypt and Ethiopia on one hand, Babylon, Nineveh, India, Persia, Greece, and Rome on the other; thus holding the best vantage ground whence to act on heathendom. At the same time it lay out of the great highway between Egypt and Syria and Assyria, so often traversed by armies of these mutually hostile world powers, the low sea coast plain from Pelusium to Tyre; hence it generally enjoyed immunity from wars. It is 32 miles from the sea, 18 from Jordan, 20 from Hebron, 36 from Samaria; on the edge of one of the highest table lands, 3700 ft. above the Dead Sea; the N.W. part of the city is 2,581 ft. above the Mediterranean sea level; Mount Olivet is more than 100 ft. higher, namely, 2,700 ft. The descent is extraordinary; Jericho, 13 miles off, is 3,624 ft. lower than Olivet, i.e. 900 ft. below the Mediterranean. Bethel to the N., 11 miles off, is 419 ft. below Jerusalem. Ramleh to the W., 25 miles off, is 2,274 ft. lower. To the S. however the hills at Bethlehem are a little higher, 2,704; Hebron, 3,029. To the S.W. the view is more open, the plain of Rephaim beginning at the S. edge of the valley of Hinnom and stretching towards the western sea. To the N.W. also the view reaches along the upper part of the valley of Jehoshaphat.
The city is called "the valley of vision" (Isaiah 22:1-5), for the lower parts of the city, the Tyro-peon (the cheesemakers), form a valley between the heights. The hills outside too are "round about" it (Psalms 125:2). On the E. Olivet; on the S. the hill of evil counsel, rising from the vale of Hinnom; on the W. the ground rises to the borders of the great wady, an hour and a half from the city; on the N. a prolongation of mount Olivet bounds the prospect a mile from the City. Jeremiah 21:13,"inhabiters of the valley, rock of the plain" (i.e. Zion). "Jerusalem the defensed" (Ezekiel 21:20), yet doomed to be "the city of confusion," a second Babel (confusion), by apostasy losing the order of truth and holiness, so doomed to the disorder of destruction like Babylon, its prototype in evil (Isaiah 24:10; Jeremiah 4:23). Seventeen times desolated by conquerors, as having become a "Sodom" (Isaiah 1:10). "The gates of the people," i.e. the central mart for the inland commerce (Ezekiel 26:2; Ezekiel 27:17; 1 Kings 5:9). "The perfection of beauty" (Lamentations 2:15, the enemy in scorn quoting the Jews' own words), "beautiful for situation" (Psalms 48:2; Psalms 50:1-2).
The ranges of Lebanon and Antilebanon pass on southwards in two lower parallel ranges separated by the Ghor or Jordan valley, and ending in the gulf of Akabah. The eastern range distributes itself through Gilead, Mesh, and Petra, reaching the Arabian border of the Red Sea. The western range is the backbone of western Palestine, including the hills of Galilee, Samaria, Ephraim, Benjamin, and Judah, and passing on into the Sinaitic range ending at Ras Mohammed in the tongue of land between the two arms of the Red Sea. The Jerusalem range is part of the steep western wall of the valley of the Jordan and the Dead Sea. W. of this wall the hills sink into a lower range between it and the Mediterranean coast plain. The eastern ravine, the valley of Kedron or Jehoshaphat running from N. to S., meets at the S.E. grainer of the city table land promontory the valley of Hinnom, which on the W. of the precipitous promontory first runs S., then bends eastward (S. of the promontory) until it meets the valley of Jehoshaphat at Bir Ayub; thence as one they descend steeply toward the Dead Sea. The promontory itself is divided into two unequal parts by a ravine running from S. to N. The western part or "upper city" is the larger and higher.
The eastern part, mount Moriah and the Acra or "lower city" (Josephus), constitute the lower and smaller; on its southern portion is now the mosque of Omar. The central ravine half way up sends a lateral valley running up to the general level at the Jaffa or Bethlehem gate. The central ravine or depression, running toward the Damascus gate, is the Tyropeon. N. of Moriah the valley of the Asmonaeans running transversely (marked still by the reservoir with two arches, "the pool of Bethesda" so-called, near St. Stephen's gate) separates it from the suburb Bezetha or new town. Thus the city was impregnably entrenched by ravines W., S., and E., while on the N. and N.W. it had ample room for expansion. The western half is: fairly level from N. to S., remembering however the lateral valley spoken of above. The eastern hill is more than 100 ft. lower; the descent thence to the valley, the Bir Ayub, is 450 ft. The N. and S. outlying hills of Olivet, namely, Viri Galilaei, Scopus, and mount of Offence, bend somewhat toward the city, as if "standing round about Jerusalem." The neighbouring hills though not very high are a shelter to the city, and the distant hills of Moab look like a rampart on the E.
The route from the N. and E. was from the Jordan plain by Jericho and mount Olivet (Luke 17:11; Luke 18:35; Luke 19:1-29; Luke 19:45; Luke 19:2 Samuel 15-16; 2 Chronicles 28:15). The route from Philistia and Sharon was by Joppa and Lydda, up the two Bethherons to the high ground at Gibeon, whence it turned S. and by Ramah and Gibeah passed over the N. ridge to Jerusalem. This was the road which armies took in approaching the city, and it is still the one for heavy baggage, though a shorter and steeper road through Amwas and the great wady is generally taken by travelers from Jaffa to Jerusalem. The gates were:
(1) that of Ephraim (2 Chronicles 25:23), the same probably as that
(2) of Benjamin (Jeremiah 20:2), 400 cubits from
(3) "the corner gate" (2 Chronicles 25:23).
(4) Of Joshua, governor of the city (2 Kings 23:8).
(5) That between the two walls (2 Kings 25:4).
(6) Horse gate (Nehemiah 3:28).
(7) The valley gate (2 Chronicles 26:9).
(8) Fish gate (2 Chronicles 33:14).
(9) Dung gate (Nehemiah 2:13).
(10) Sheep gate (Nehemiah 3:1).
(11) E. gate (Nehemiah 3:29).
(12) Miphkad (Nehemiah 3:31).
(13) Fountain gate (Nehemiah 12:37).
(14) Water gate.
(15) Old gate (Nehemiah 12:39).
(16) Prison gate.
(17) The E. gate (margin Jeremiah 19:2, "sun gate"), Harsith; Jerome takes it from heres, "a potter's vessel," the way out to Hinnom valley where the potters formed vessels for the use of the temple (Jeremiah 19:10-11).
(18) First gate (Zechariah 14:10), perhaps "the old gate" of Nehemiah 3:6.
The gates of the temple were Sur (2 Kings 11:6), named "the gate of foundation" (2 Chronicles 23:5); "the gate of the guard" (2 Kings 11:6; 2 Kings 11:19); "high gate" (2 Chronicles 23:20); Shallecheth (1 Chronicles 26:16). The sides of the valleys of Kedron and Hinnom were and are the chief burial places (2 Kings 23:6); tombs still abound on the slopes. Impurities of every kind were cast there (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 29:5; 2 Chronicles 29:16). The kings were buried in mount Zion. "David was buried in the city of David (here used in a vague sense (see Birch's remark quoted at the close of this article) of the Ophel S. of the temple mount), between Siloah and the house of the mighty men," i.e. the guard house (Nehemiah 3:16). It became the general burial place of the kings of Judah. Its site was known down to Titus' destruction of the city, which confused the knowledge of the sacred sites. "The king's garden," of David and Solomon, was at the point of union of Kedron and Hinnom (Nehemiah 3:15). The garden of Gethsemane was at the foot of Olivet. Beyond the Damascus or northern gate the wall crosses the royal caverns.
Jerusalem is honeycombed with natural and excavated caverns and cisterns for water, for burial, and for quarries. The royal quarries extend under the city according to the first measurement 200 yds. southeastwards, and are 100 yds. wide. The cuttings are four or five inches wide, with a little hollow at the left corner of each, into which a wick and oil might be placed. Mr. Schick adds considerably to these measurements by his recent discoveries. The entrance is so low that one must stoop, but the height speedily increases in advancing. N. of the city an abundant waterspring existed, the outflow of which was stopped probably by Hezekiah, and the water conducted underground to reservoirs within the city. From these the overflow passed to "the fount of the Virgin," thence to Siloam, and perhaps to Bir Ayub, the "well of Nehemiah." Besides this spring, private and public cisterns abounded. Outside on the W. are the upper and lower reservoirs of Gihon (Birket Momilla and Birket es Sultan). On the S.E. outside is the pool of Siloam. The Birket Hammam Sitti Maryam is close to St. Stephen's gate, which is on the eastern side of the city, just above the Haram area.
The pool of Hezekiah is within, near the Jaffa gate, which receives the overflow of Birket Mamilla. The pool of Bethesda is inside, near St. Stephen's gate. Barclay discovered a reservoir in the Tyropoeon, W. of the Haram (the temple erect, the slopes S. of which are Ophel), supplied from Bethlehem and Solomon's pools. Four great towers stood at the N.W. part of the wall. The castle of Antonia, in our Lord's time, rose above all other buildings in the city, and was protected by the keep in its S.E. corner.
History: The first mention of Jerusalem is as the Salem of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18). Herodotus gives it the name Cadytis, which reappears in the modern El Kuds, or this may come from Kodesh, "the holy city." Next in Joshua 10:1, etc., as the capital of Adonizedek. Then Joshua allotted it to Benjamin (Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16; Joshua 18:28). Neither Judah, whose land environed the stronghold, nor Benjamin could drive the Jebusites out of it (Joshua 15:62; Judges 1:21).
The first destruction of tide lower city is recorded Judges 1:3-8; Judah, with Simeon, "smote it with the sword, and set it on fire" as being unable to retain possession of it (for the Jebusites or Canaanites held the fortress), so that, as Josephus says (Ant. 5:2, section 23), they moved to Hebron. This was the first of the 17 sieges ending with the Roman (Luke 21:20; Matthew 24:15). Twice in these sieges it was destroyed; on two other occasions its walls were overthrown. We find it in the hands of the stranger, the Jebusite, in Judges 19:10-12. David at last took the hitherto impregnable stronghold, which was therefore called "the city of David" (Joab being the first in the assault, 1 Chronicles 11:6), and built his palace there. (See .) He enclosed the city and citadel together with a wall, and strengthened Zion "inwards" by a wall upon the N. side where the lower town joined it; and brought up the ark, making it thus the political and religious center of the nation (2 Samuel 5:6-9; 2 Samuel 5:2 Samuel 6-7). This choice was under the direction of Jehovah (Deuteronomy 12:5-21; 1 Kings 11:36); henceforth it was "the city of the Great King" (Matthew 5:35), "the holy city" (Nehemiah 11:18), the spiritual as well as civil capital.
For this its situation admirably adapted it, bordering between Judah, his own tribe, and the valiant small tribe of Benjamin, which formed the connecting link with the northern tribes, especially with Ephraim the house of Joseph. This event he, and his enemies the Philistines too, regarded as a pledge that his kingdom was established. Here in Zion was the sepulchre of David, where also most of his successors were buried. In 1 Samuel 17:54 it is said David brought Goliath's head to Jerusalem; either to the lower city, which was already in the Israelites' hands, or finally, as a trophy, to the city of David when it fell into his hands. The altar too was transferred in Solomon's reign from the tabernacle of Gibeon to the permanent temple. The preparation for this transference was made by David's sacrificing in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, where he saw the Angel of Jehovah after the plague, and where he was directed by God to rear an altar (2 Samuel 24:16-25; 1 Chronicles 21; 1 Chronicles 22:1; 2 Chronicles 3:1; Psalms 76:1-2; Psalms 132:13-18). Asaph wrote Psalms 78:67-71 to soothe Ephraim's jealous feeling by showing that the transference of the sanctuary from Shiloh to Zion was God's appointment; henceforth Zion is "the mountain of the Lord's house" (Isaiah 2:2).
At the meeting of the valleys Kedron and Hinnom David had his royal gardens, S.E. of the city, watered by Ain Ayub (the well of Joab). Solomon, besides the Temple and Palace, enlarged and strengthened the wall with towers (Jos. Ant. 8:6, section 1), taking in the outlying suburbs (1 Kings 3:1; 1 Kings 9:15; 1 Kings 9:24). (See ; PALACE.) He built also a palace for his Egyptian queen, not in the city of David (in the New Testament this phrase means Bethlehem): 1 Kings 7:8; 1 Kings 9:24; 2 Chronicles 8:11. On the hill S.E. of Jerusalem, a southern part of Olivet, he built shrines for his foreign wives' idols; it is hence called "the mount of offence," 1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13, "the mount of corruption." Josephus (Ant. 8:7, section 4) praises the roads which Solomon paved with black stone, probably the durable basalt from Argob. "Solomon made silver in Jerusalem (common) as stones, and cedars as sycamore trees" (1 Kings 10:27; 2 Chronicles 9:27; Ecclesiastes 2:9). At the disruption under Rehoboam the priests, Levites, and better disposed of the people flocked from the northern kingdom to Judah and Jerusalem which the king fortified (2 Chronicles 11:5-17).
But fortifications avail nothing without God's favor. He and his people forfeited this by idolatries (1 Kings 14:22-28; 1 Kings 14:2 Chronicles 12). So Shishak, Jeroboam's ally, came up against Jerusalem. Rehoboam at once surrendered all the treasures of Jehovah's house, and of the palace, including Solomon's 300 golden shields (three pounds in each) in the house of the forest of Lebanon (1 Kings 10:17), for which Rehoboam substituted brazen shields. Asa, after overthrowing the Ethiopian Zerah who thought to spoil Jerusalem as Shishak did, brought in the sacred offerings which his father Abijah had dedicated from the war with Jeroboam (2 Chronicles 13:16-20), and which he himself had dedicated from the Ethiopian spoil, into the house of the Lord, silver, gold, and vessels (1 Kings 15:15; 2 Chronicles 14:12-13). So he replaced the vessels taken by Shishak. Asa also rebuilt Jehovah's altar before the porch (2 Chronicles 15:8). Jehoshaphat, Asa's son, probably added "the new court" to the temple (2 Chronicles 20:5).
The fourth siege of Jerusalem was in the reign of Jehoram, Jehoshaphat's son. In punishment for his walking in the Israelite Ahab's idolatries instead of the ways of his father, and for his slaying his brothers, Jehovah smote him with a great stroke, stirring up the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabians near the Ethiopians to break into Judah, slay all his sons except the youngest (in retributive justice both to himself and his sons: 2 Chronicles 21:4; 2 Chronicles 21:10-20; 2 Chronicles 22:1; 2 Chronicles 24:7), and carry away all the substance in the king's house, and his wives; he himself also died of sore disease by Jehovah's visitation, and was excluded from "the sepulchres of the kings," though buried in the city of David. Keil denies the certainty of Jerusalem having been taken this time, as "Judah" does not necessarily include Jerusalem which is generally distinctly mentioned; "the king's house" is not necessarily the palace, what may be meant is all whatever substance of the king's house (family) was found.
But it is hard to see how they could carry away his sons and wives without taking the capital. Next Joash (and Jehoiada in his 23rd year of reign (2 Kings 12:6-16; 2 Chronicles 24:4-14) repaired the temple after its being injured by the Baal worshippers of Athaliah's rein. (See ; JEHOIADA.) Joash apostatized at Jehoiada's death. Then Hazael (by God's appointment) set his face to go up to Jerusalem, and Joash bought him off only at the sacrifice of all the treasures in the temple and palace. Two of his servants slew him. Like Jehoram he was excluded from the royal sepulchres, whereas Jehoiada, his subject, was honoured with burial there. Amaziah, intoxicated with his success against Edom whose idols, in spite of a prophet's warning, he adopted, challenged Joust of Israel. (See .) The latter conquered at Bethshemesh at the opening of the hills 12 miles W. of Jerusalem. Taking Amaziah prisoner he brought him to Jerusalem and there broke down the wall from the Ephraim or Benjamin gate to the corner gate (N.W. of the city) 400 cubits (the first time the walls were injured, probably at the N.W. corner), and took all the silver and gold and vessels in God's house under charge of the Obed Edom family, and the treasures of the palace, and hostages.
Josephus (9:9, section 9) says that he compelled the inhabitants to open the gates by threatening to kill Amaziah otherwise. Uzziah repaired the walls, building towers at the corner gate (the N.W. corner of the city: 2 Chronicles 26:9; Nehemiah 3:19-24), at the turning of the wall (E. of Zion, so that the tower at this turning defended both Zion and the temple from attacks from the S.E. valley), and at the valley gate (on the W. of the city, where now is the Jaffa gate) opening to Hinnom. Also he made engines to be on the towers and bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones with. The great earthquake in his reign (Amos 1:1) was a physical premonition of the social revolutions about to visit the guilty nation as a judgment from God (Matthew 24:7-8). Jotham "built the high gate of the house of the Lord" connecting the palace and the temple (2 Chronicles 23:20; 2 Chronicles 27:3); and built much at the wall of Ophel, the S. slope of Moriah, the wall that connected Zion with the temple mount. Under Ahaz Jerusalem was besieged by Rezin of Syria and Pekah of Israel (2 Kings 16:5-6). Josephus (Ant. 9:12, section 1) says it withstood them" for a long time," doubtless owing to the fortifications of the two previous kings.
Rezin during it made an expedition to Elath, which he transferred from the Jews to Edom. On his return, finding Jerusalem still not taken, he ravaged Judea, and leaving Pekah at Jerusalem he carried a number of captives to Damascus. Ahaz then ventured to meet Pekah in open battle and was utterly defeated, losing 120,000 slain, besides numerous captives, all of whom however by the prophet Oded's counsel were sent back. Jerusalem was uninjured. (See 2 Chronicles 29:3; 2 Chronicles 29:36). (See on this and Sennacherib's invasion.)as to his mutilation of the temple, in vassalage to Tiglath Pileser.) Hezekiah "in the first year of his reign" "suddenly," i.e. with a promptness that took men by surprise, restored all that his father had desecrated (
Hezekiah stopped the outflow of the source of the Kedron N.E. of the city, to which nachal is applied as distinguished from the Hinnom valley S. and W., which is called ge , and brought it within, underground, to the W. side of the city of David, which must therefore have been on the E. (2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chronicles 32:4; 2 Chronicles 32:30; Isaiah 22:9-11), i.e., to the valley Tyropeon between the E. and W. divisions of the city, where traces of the channel still exist. He made strong or fortified the ΜΙLLΟ (the article marks it as a well known place), probably a large tower at one particular part of the wall (Judges 9:6; Judges 9:46; Judges 9:49, where Μille is interchanged with Μigdol "a tower".) (See .) The name, which means "the filling," originated probably in the fact that this castle filled or completed the fortification of the city of David. It was situated (1 Chronicles 11:8) at the N.W. corner of the wall, on the slope of the Tyropeon valley, where Zion had least height and therefore needed most strengthening (1 Kings 11:27).
Manasseh on his restoration from Babylon built a fresh wall outside the city of David on the W. side of Gihon in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate (2 Chronicles 33:14), and continued Jotham's works enclosing Ophel, and raising the fortress up to a very great height. (See on the renovation of the temple in his reign). "The second (or lower) part" of the city, ha-Mishoneh, "the college," is mentioned as Huldah's place of residence (2 Chronicles 34:22; 2 Kings 22:14). The fish gate on the N. resounds with cries at the foe's approach (in the prophecy of Zephaniah 1:10) first; then the second or lower part of the city, Acra; then the hills Zion and Moriah last. Josiah's successor Jeroahaz gave place to Jehoiakim. (See ; JEHOIAKIM.) Nebuchadnezzar, after defeating Pharaoh Necho at Carchemish, marched to Jerusalem, carried off the temple vessels, and fettered Jehoiakim as Necho's tributary, intending to take him to Babylon; but afterward for his ally Josiah's sake, Jehoiakim's father, restored him as a vassal (2 Chronicles 36:6-7). Three years after Jehoiakim rebelled, and Nebuchadnezzar sent Chaldaean, Syrian, Moabite, and Ammonite "bands" to chastise him (2 Kings 24:2).
Nebuchadnezzar in person came up against Jehoiachin, who surrendered in the third month of his reign, wishing to spare the city the horrors of a lengthened siege when he saw resistance would be unavailing (2 Kings 24:10-13; Josephus, B. J., 6:2). (See .) Nebuchadnezzar carried, away all the temple and palace treasures, and some of Solomon's gold vessels heretofore still left, which he cut in pieces, leaving only a few (Jeremiah 27:19); also the princes, men of wealth, and skilled artisans, in all 10,000, leaving only the poorest behind. Zedekiah he made king under an oath of allegiance by God (2 Chronicles 36:13; Ezekiel 17:13-18). In violation of this oath Zedekiah, relying on Pharaoh Hophra, revolted. Nebuchadnezzar then began the siege of Jerusalem, surrounding it with troops, in Zedekiah's ninth year, tenth day of the tenth month. From forts erected on lofty mounds around he hurled missiles into the city, and battered the walls and houses and gates with rams (Jeremiah 32:24; Jeremiah 33:4; Jeremiah 52:4; Jeremiah 52:6; Ezekiel 21:22).
On Pharaoh Hophra's approach the siege was for a brief space intermitted (Jeremiah 37:5-11); but the Chaldeans returned and took Jerusalem after the inhabitants had suffered much by famine and pestilence (Jeremiah 32:24; 2 Kings 25:3; Lamentations 5:10) in Zedekiah's 11th year, on the ninth day of the fourth month, a year and a half from the beginning of the siege. Nebuchadnezzar was meanwhile at Riblah, watching the siege of Tyre. The breach in the walls of Jerusalem was made at midnight, and the Jews knew nothing until the Chaldean generals took their seats (Jeremiah 39:3) "in the middle gate" (between Zion the citadel and the lower city on the N.), or as the Jewish historian says, "in the middle court of the temple" (Josephus, Ant. 10:8, section 2). Zedekiah stole out by a gate on the S. side, and by the royal gardens fled across Kedron and Olivet, but was overtaken in the Jericho plains, and brought for judgment to Riblah. On the seventh day of the next (the fifth) month Nebuzaradan, the commander of the king's body guard, arrived, and after collecting the captives and booty, on the tenth day he burnt the temple, palace, and chief buildings, and threw down the walls (Jeremiah 52:12-14), so that they soon became "heaps of rubbish" (Nehemiah 4:2).
The Assyrian regular custom was for the generals to sit in council at the gate, the usual place of public assembly, at the close of a siege The Imperial Bible Dictionary supposes Zion's superior strength caused the month's delay between the princes sitting in the gate on the ninth day of the fourth month and the final desolation on the seventh day of the fifth month; but the account above is more probable. The king's orders had to be first obtained from Riblah before the final destruction took place under Nebuzaradan, who carried out Nebuchadnezzar's instructions. Meantime the horrors described in Lamentations 2:4; Lamentations 5:11-12, slaughter of old and young, and violation of women, took place in the upper city, Zion, as well as the lower. "In the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion He poured out His fury like fire. They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the city of Judah. Princes are hanged up by their hand," etc. (On the numbers carried away, and who returned, Gedaliah's murder, and the rebuilding of the temple, etc. see CAPTIVITY; GEDALIAH; CYRUS; EZRA; HAGGAI; NEHEMIAH.)
42,360 returned with Zerubbabel's caravan (Ezra 2:64), carrying back the old temple vessels besides other treasures (Ezra 5:14; Ezra 6:5). On the first day of the seventh month Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel set up the altar and kept the feast of tabernacles (Ezra 3:1-6). In the second year the temple foundation was laid, amid tears of the old men and the trumpets' notes sounded by the priests and cymbal music of the Levites. The work, after many interruptions by Samaritan enemies influencing Artaxerxes or Pseudo-Smerdis, (they failed apparently with Ahasuerus, Cyrus' successor), then by Tatnai governor W. of the river, was finally completed on the third day of the last month, Adar, in the sixth year of Darius, by the Jews encouraged through the prophesying of Haggai (Haggai 1:4-9) and Zechariah. (Ezra 4; Ezra 5; Ezra 6:14-15 ff) (See .) Psalm 137 gives us a glimpse of the yearnings after Jerusalem of the captives in Babylon. The Jews still commemorate the chief events of this period by fasts: Nebuchadnezzar's investment of Jerusalem the 10th of Tebeth (January 5); Nebuzaradan's destruction of the temple, also Titus', 10th of Ab (July 29); Gedaliah's murder.
3rd Tisri (September 19); Ezekiel and the captives at Babylon hearing the news of the temple's destruction, 9th Tebeth; the Chaldees entering the city, also Titus' making, a breach in Antonia, 17th Tammuz (July 8). The new temple was 60 cubits lower than Solomon's (Josephus Ant. 15:11, section 1). After 58 years' interval Ezra (457 B.C.: Ezra 7-8) led a second caravan of priests, Levites, Nethinims, and laymen, 1777 in all, with valuable offerings of the Persian king, and of the Jews still remaining in Babylon; he corrected several irregularities, especially the alliance with and retention of foreign wives, which had caused such sin and sorrow to the nation formerly. Eleven years afterward Nehemiah arrived (445 B.C.), and gave the finishing stroke to the national organization by rebuilding and dedicating the wall (enclosing Jerusalem as well as Zion), notwithstanding the mockings and threats of the Horonite Sanballat, the ruler of the Samaritans, and Tobiah the Ammonite. Ezra cooperated with him (Nehemiah 8) by reading publicly the law at a national assembly on the first of the seventh month, the anniversary of the first return of Zerubbabel's caravan; then followed the grand and formal observance of the feast of tabernacles with a fullness of detail such as had not been since Joshua's days, for the earlier observance in Ezra 3:1; Ezra 3:4 was only with burnt offerings, etc.
(See Nehemiah 13:4-9; Nehemiah 13:28, "one of the sons (probably meaning grandson or descendant; Manasseh according to Josephus, Ant. 11:7, section 2) of Joiada," Eliashib's (whose un-Jewish conduct Nehemiah corrected) son, married the daughter of Sanballat. Manasseh became the first priest of the Samaritan temple on Gerizim. Joiada's son Jonathan (Nehemiah 12:11) or Johanan murdered his brother Joshua in the temple, through rivalry for the high priesthood. Bagoas, the Persian general, thereupon entered the sanctuary itself, saying he was less unclean than the body of the murdered man, and imposed a tribute of 50 darics for every daily lamb sacrificed for seven years. (See THE GREAT and JADDUA on their interview at Sapha: Mizreh, Scopus, or the Nob of Isaiah, the high ridge N. of the city, crossed by the northern road, whence the first view, a full one, of both the temple and city is obtained.) In 320 B.C it fell into Ptolemy Soter's hands because the Jews would not fight on the sabbath. Many Jews were transported to Egypt and N. Africa (Josephus, Ant. 12:1, Apion 1:2).on his abolition of usury, and attention to the genealogies, so important to the Jews.) According to
Simon the Just, a leading hero with the Jews, succeeded his father Onias in the high priesthood (300 B.C.). He repaired the sanctuary, added deep foundations to gain a larger surface (Sirach 50:1-4), coated the great sea or cistern in the court with brass, and fortified the city walls. Ptolemy Philadelphus caused the Septuagint Greek translation of the Old Testament to be made at Alexandria (255 B.C.), and for the purpose sent Aristeas to Jerusalem in Eleazar's high priesthood, and bestowed rich gifts on the temple (Josephus, Ant. 12:2, section 5-10, 15). Jerusalem became a prey subsequently to rival parties, at one time taken by Antiochus the Great (203 B.C.), then retaken by Scopas the Alexandrian general, who garrisoned the citadel, then again delivered by the Jews to Antiochus, who rewarded them by presents for the temple, which He decreed should be inviolable, and by remitting taxes. Antiochus Epiphanes, the subject of Daniel's prophecy (Daniel 8; Daniel 11), sold the high priesthood while Onias III. was alive to the high priest's brother Joshua. (See .) The latter, under the Graecised name Jason, introduced at Jerusalem.
Greek dress, sports, and gymnasia where young men were trained naked (1 Maccabees. 1; 2 Maccabees 4-5), and endeavoured to "become uncircumcised." obliterating the Jews' distinctive mark. Onias )assuming the Greek name Μenelaus ) in his turn bought the high priesthood from Antiochus with the consecrated plate of the temple, and drove away Jason, who however again returned but soon retreated and perished beyond Jordan. Antiochus carne to Jerusalem, slew Ptolemy's adherents, and, guided by Menelaus into the sanctuary, carried off the golden altar, candlestick, and table of shewbread, vessels, utensils, and 1800 talents, also numerous captives. Resolving to exterminate the Jews utterly, in two years he sent Apollonius to carry out his purpose. On the sabbath when the Jews were at their devotions an indiscriminate slaughter took place, the city was spoiled and burnt, and the walls demolished. Seizing on Zion, the city of David "on an eminence in the lower city," i.e. in the eastern hill, not the western hill or upper city (Josephus, Ant. 12:9, section 3; 5, section 4), "adjoining the northern wall of the temple, and so high as to overlook it," the enemy fortified it with a turreted wall, securing their booty, cattle and women prisoners.
Antiochus decreed pagan worship throughout his kingdom, and sent Athenaeus to Jerusalem to enforce it. The temple was reconsecrated to Jupiter Olympias (2 Maccabees 6). Pagan riot, reveling, and dalliance with harlots took place within the sacred precincts. The altar was filled with profane things, sabbath keeping was forbidden, the Jewish religion proscribed. The Jews on the king's birthday were forced monthly to eat of idol sacrifices, and to go in procession carrying ivy on Bacchus' feast. Pigs' flesh was offered to Zeus on an altar set on Jehovah's brazen altar, and the broth sprinkled about the temple (Josephus Ant. 12-13). Many heroically resisted; so, amidst torments and bitter persecutions, the ancient spirit of the theocracy revived (Hebrews 11:34-38). See for their terrible and heroic sufferings for their faith 2 Maccabees 6:10-31; 2 Maccabees 7. Judas Maccabeus then gathered 6,000 faithful Jews (chapter 8), and praying God to look upon the downtrodden people, the profaned temple, the slaughter of harmless infants, and blasphemies against His name, be could not be withstood by the enemy.
With 10,000 he defeated Lysias with 60,000 choice footmen and 5000 horsemen at Bethsura, in Idumea. Judas' prayer (1 Maccabees 4) before the battle breathes the true spirit of faith: "Blessed art Thou, O Saviour of Israel, who didst quell the violence of the mighty man by the band of Thy servant David, and gavest the host of strangers into the hand of Jonathan the son of Saul and his armour bearer: shut up this army in the hand of Thy people Israel ... and let all those that know Thy name praise Thee with thanksgiving." On the third anniversary of the desecration, the 25th of Chisleu, 165 B.C., he dedicated the temple with an eight days' feast (alluded to in John 10:22, and apparently observed by our Lord though of human ordinance). Then he strengthened the temple's outer wall. On Eleazar his brother's death in battle, Judas retired to Jerusalem and endured a severe siege, which ended in Lysias advising Antiochus (son of Epiphanes) to grant the Jews their own laws, their liberty, and their fortress. Judas subsequently defeated Nicanor, general of the usurper Demetrius, whence the gate E. of the great court was named Nicanor. Judas died (161 B.C.) in battle with Bacchides, Nicanor's successor, and all Israel mourned for him; "how is the valiant man fallen that delivered Israel!" (1 Maccabees 9) Jonathan and Simon, Judas' brothers, succeeded to the command of Israel, and rebuilt the walls as a solid fortification round Zion.
Simon succeeded as high priest and leader at Jonathan's death, and took the lower city, Acra, which had been so long in the foe's hands. He cast down the citadel and lowered the eminence on which it stood, so that the temple overtopped all the other buildings; and he filled up the valleys with earth, in order to make them on a level with the narrow streets of the city, thus the entire depth of the temple foundations did not appear. (Josephus, Ant. 13:6, section 7; B.J., 5:5, section 1). Then he built a fort on the N.W. side of the temple hill, so as to command Acra, namely, Baris, where he resided, afterward the well known Antonia John Hyrcanus his son succeeded. Antiochus Sidetes, king of Syria, besieged Jerusalem, and then and then only a want of water was experienced, which was relieved by a fall of rain. Ultimately the siege ended in terms of peace. The name Maccabee was first given to Judas, from the initials of the Hebrew "Who among the gods is like unto Thee, O Jehovah?" (Exodus 15:11) or of the sentence, "Mattathias (whose third son was Judas), a priest (of the course of Joarib, the first of the 24 courses, but not high priest), son of Johnnan"; or from makabah "a hammer," as Charles Martel (hammer or mallet) is named from his prowess.
"Asmonaeans" is the proper family designation, from Hashmon, the great grandfather of Mattathias. Aristobulus, Hyrcanus' son, succeeded as high priest, and assumed the title "king." Alexander next succeeded. Then his sons Aristobulus and Hyrcanus by their rivalries (in which for the first time the animosities of the sects, the Pharisees and Sadducees come into prominence) caused the interference of Pompey the Roman general (63 B.C.), who after a siege took the temple by storm, the priests all the time calmly performing regularly their rites, and many being slain while thus engaged. What most astonished the Romans was to find no image or shrine in the holy of holies. Pompey allowed Hyrcanus to remain high priest without the title "king." He reverently left the treasures and sprees in the temple untouched; he merely laid a tribute upon the city, and destroyed the walls. The greedy Crassus two years later (54 B.C.) not only plundered what Pompey had spared, but also what the Jews throughout the world had contributed, namely, 10,000 talents or 2,000,000 British pounds, and this though the priest in charge had given him a bar of gold on condition of his sparing everything else. Julius Caesar confirmed Hyrcanus in the high priesthood, and gave him civil power as ethnarch, and made his chief minister Antipater the Idumean, Herod's father, procurator of Judaea. (See.)
Upon Antipater's assassination Herod and Phasaelus his sons, with Hyrcanus, resisted Antigonus (Aristobulus' son and Hyrcanus' nephew), who with a Parthian army attacked Jerusalem. Five hundred Parthian horsemen with Antigonus were admitted on pretence of mediating. Phasaelus was killed, Herod escaped. Hyrcanus knelt before the new king his nephew, who then bit off his ears to incapacitate him from being high priest. Herod ultimately, with the Roman governor of Syria, Sosius, took Jerusalem by siege and storm. Antigonus gave himself up from the Baris, which remained untaken, and at last was killed by Antony's command. Herod slew the chiefs of the Asmonaeans, and the whole sanhedrim, except the two great founders of the Jewish rival schools, Hillel and Shammai, and finally Hyrcanus, more than 80 years old, the last of the Asmonaeans. Still the old spirit of the Maccabees survived. Every attempt Herod made at Greek and Roman innovations upon Jewish religious feeling was followed by outbreaks. This was the case on his building a theater, with quinquennial games in honour of Caesar, at Jerusalem, and placing around trophies which the Jews believed to contain figures of men.
He enlarged the Baris at the W. end of the N. wall of the temple, built by John Hyrcanus on the foundations of Simon Maccabeus, and named it Antonia after his friend Mark Antony. He occupied the Asmonaean palace at the eastern side of the upper city adjoining the end of the bridge joining it to the S. part of the temple. He built a new palace at the N.W. corner of the upper city (where now stands the Latin convent), next the old wall, on his marriage to a priest Simon's daughter. His most magnificent work was to rebuild the temple from its foundations; two (years were spent in preparations beginning 20 or 19 B.C.), one and a half in building the porch, sanctuary, and holy of holies (16 B.C.). But the court and cloisters were not finished until eight years subsequent to the beginning of the work (9 B.C.). The bridge of Herod between the upper city and what had been the royal cloister of Solomon's palace, S.W. of the temple, was now rebuilt, of which part (Robinson's arch, so-called from its discoverer) still remains. Nor was the temple considered completed until A.D. 64, under Herod Agrippa II and the procurator Albinus.
So in John 2:20 the Jews said to our Lord, "forty and six years has this temple been in building" (Greek), namely, 20 years from beginning the work to the era A.D. when Christ was in His fourth year, 27 years added brings us to His 30th year when He begun His ministry, so the year when the Jews said it would be the 46th or 47th year from the temple work being begun. Herod also built three great towers on the old wall in the N.W. corner near the palace, and a fourth as an outwork; called Hippicus, Phasaelus, Mariamne, and Psephinus. The Jews were indignant at his fixing a golden eagle, the symbol of Roman authority, over the sanctuary, in violation of the second commandment, and two rabbis instigated disciples to pull it down; the rabbis were burnt alive. Herod died some months after Christ's birth. (See , on his cruelty in cutting up the clamoring Jews assembled for the Passover, and his appointment at Rome as ethnarch of Judea.) Judea was now become a Roman province, the procurator of which resided at Caesarea on the coast, not at Jerusalem. Coponius first was procurator, accompanied by Cyrenius or Quirinus, now a second time prefect of Syria, charged with carrying out the assessment (Luke 2:2-3) which had already been prepared for in his first tenure of office at Christ's birth. (See .)
Coponius took possession of the high priest's state robes, which were to be put after use in a stone chamber under the seal of the priests, in charge of the captain of the guard. Christ's visit to the temple (Luke 2:42) took place while Coponius ruled. Ambivius, Annius Rufus, and Val. Gratus successively held the office, then Pontius Pilate, Joseph Caiaphas being high priest. Pilate transferred the winter quarters of the Roman army from Caesarea to Jerusalem. The Jews resented his introduction of the eagles and images of the emperor, and they were withdrawn; also his applying the sacred revenue from redeeming vows (Corban) to an aqueduct bringing water 200 or 400 stadia (Jos. Ant. 18:3, section 2; B. J. 2:9, section 4) into the city. In A.D. 27 our Lord attended the first Passover recorded since His childhood (John 2:13). At the Passover A.D. 30 our Lord's crucifixion and resurrection took place. Pilate was recalled in A.D. 37, and Vitellius, prefect of Syria, let the Jews again keep the high priest's vestments, and removed Caiaphas, and gave the high priesthood to Jonathan, Annas' son. Petronius superseded Vitellius, who brought an imperial order for erecting in the temple Caligula's statue.
The Jews protested against this order, and by Agrippa's intercession it was countermanded. Claudius' accession brought an edict of toleration to the Jews. (See'S first act in taking possession of his kingdom was to visit the temple, and sacrifice, and dedicate the golden chain with which the late emperor had presented him after his release from captivity; it was hung over the treasury. Outside the second wall, which enclosed the northern part of the central valley of the city, lay the Bezetha or new town, this Agrippa enclosed with a new and third wall, which ran from the tower Hippicus at the N.W. corner of the city northward, then by a circuit to the E., then southward until it joined the S. wall of the temple at the W. bank of Kedron valley. In A.D. 45 commenced a famine which lasted two years, and which was alleviated by Helena, queen of Adiabene, a convert to Judaism, who visited Jerusalem A.D. 46. Her tomb, three stadia from the city, formed one of the points in the course of the new wall (B.J., 5:4, section 2). Felix succeeded Cumanus at the request of the high priest, Jonathan. (See .)
The Sicarii , whose creed it was to rob and murder all whom they deemed enemies of Judaism, were employed by Felix to assassinate Jonathan for remonstrating with him respecting his wicked life. The murder was committed while the high priest was sacrificing! A riot at Caesarea caused the recall of Felix, A.D. 60. Porcius Festus succeeded, who is described as upright (B.J., 2:14, section 1). (See FESTUS.) But as time went on "all things grew from worse to worse" (Ant. 20:9, section 4). Gessius Florus (A.D. 65) tested the Jews' endurance to the last point, desolating whole cities and openly allowing robbers to buy impunity in crime. He tried to get the treasure from the temple, but after plundering the upper city failed. Young Eleazar, son of Ananias, led a party which withheld the regular offerings from the Roman emperor, virtually renouncing allegiance. So the last Roman war began, in spite of the remonstrances of the peace party, who took possession of the upper city.
The insurgents from the temple and lower city, reinforced by the Sicarii, drove them out, and set on fire the Asmonaean palace, the high priest's house, and the archives repository, "the nerves of the city" (B.J., 2:17, section 6); next they slew the Roman garrison, and burnt Antonia; then they murdered treacherously the soldiers in the three great towers who had been forced out of Herod's palace after a resistance of three weeks. Next the high priest and his brother were found in the aqueduct and slain. Cestius Gallus marched from Scopus on the city through the Bezetha, but was obliged to retire from the N. wall of the temple, E. of and behind Antonia, back to Scopus, where he was utterly defeated in November, A.D. 66. C. Gallus' first advance and retreat gave the Christians the opportunity of fleeing as Christ counselled them, "when ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains" (Matthew 24:16). Vespasian, until the fall of Gistala, in October or November, A.D. 67, was subduing the northern country. John son of Levi escaped to Jerusalem, and in two years and a half (A.D. 70) Titus began the siege, the Zealots then having overcome the moderate party.
The Zealots were in two parties: one under John of Giscala and Eleazar, holding the temple and Antonia, 8,400 men; the other under Simon Burgioras in the tower Phasaelus, holding the upper city, from the Coenaculum to the Latin convent, the lower city in the valley, and the Acre N. of the temple, 10,000 men and 5,000 Idumeans. Strangers and pilgrims swelled the number to 600,000 (Tacitus). Josephus says a million perished in the siege, and 40,000 were allowed to depart into the country, besides an immense number sold to the army, part of the "97,000 carried captive during the whole war" (B.J., 6:9, section 3). This number is thought an exaggeration. Our Lord's prophecy (Luke 19:41-44) was literally fulfilled: "thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side." Out of 27 sieges this was the only one in which Jerusalem was surrounded by a wall. Titus, with 30,000 men, including four legions and auxiliaries (the 12th and 15th on Scopus far to the N., the 5th a little behind, and the 10th on Olivet), forced an entrance through the first wall by the battering ram called "the conqueror," then through the second.
Then, withdrawing the 10th from Olivet, he gave the Jews time for offering terms of peace, but in vain. Next he attacked the temple at Antonia and the city near the monument of John Hyrcanus simultaneously; but John undermined and fired at one point the Roman banks made for their batteries (catapults, balistae, and rams), and Simon assailed and fired the rams at the other point. Titus then resolved to surround the whole city with a wall, to prevent intercourse with the country on the S. and W. sides. The wall was completed in three days. Then Antonia was taken on June 11. The period of bombarding the temple is named by the Jews "the days of wretchedness." On the 28th of June the daily "sacrifice (Daniel 9:27) ceased" from want of an officiating priest, and Titus again in vain invited to a surrender. On July 15th a soldier, contrary to Titus' intention, fired the temple, and all Titus' efforts to stop the fire were unavailing, the very same month and (day that Nebuchadnezzar burnt the first temple, God marking the judgment plainly as from Him.
Titus himself recognized this: "we fought with God on our side, it is God who pulled the Jews out of these strongholds, for what could the hands of men or machines have availed against these towers?" The infatuation and divisions of the Jews "shortened those days" in order that "the elect," the seed of future Israel "might be saved" (Matthew 24:22). On September 11th at last the Romans gained the upper city; even still John and Simon might have made terms, had they held the three great towers which were deemed impregnable; but they fled, and were taken to grace the Roman conqueror's triumph at Rome. The city and temple were wholly burnt and destroyed, excepting the W. wall of the upper city and Herod's three great towers, which were left as memorials of the strength of the defenses. The old and weak were killed, the children under 17 sold as slaves, the rest were sent to the Egyptian mines, the amphithe tres, and Rome, where they formed part of Titus' triumphal train. The 10th legion under Terentius Rufus "so thoroughly leveled and dug up, that no one visiting Jerusalem would believe it had ever been inhabited" (Josephus B.J. 7:1, section 1), fulfilling Christ's words, cf6 "they shall lay thee even with the ground and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation" (in mercy).
The Jews revolted again under Barchochab ("son of a star") who pretended to be the Messiah prophesied of by Balaam (Numbers 24:17), "there shall come a star out of Jacob," when the emperor Hadrian tried to colonize Jerusalem with h
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Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Jerusalem'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/j/jerusalem.html. 1949.
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20