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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Jerusalem

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je - roo´sa - lem :

I. The Name

1. In Cuneiform

2. In Hebrew

3. In Greek and Latin

4. The Meaning of Jerusalem

5. Other Names

II. Geology, Climate and Springs

1. Geology

2. Climate and Rainfall

3. The Natural Springs

III. The Natural Site

1. The Mountains Around

2. The Valleys

3. The Hills

IV. General Topography of Jerusalem

1. Description of Josephus

2. Summary of the Names of the Five Hills

3. The Akra

4. The Lower City

5. City of David and Zion

V. Excavations and Antiquities

1. Robinson

2. Wilson and the Palestine Exploration Fund (1865)

3. Warren and Conder

4. Maudslay

5. Schick

6. Clermont-Ganneau

7. Bliss and Dickie

8. Jerusalem Archaeological Societies

VI. The City's Walls and Gates

1. The Existing Walls

2. Wilson's Theory

3. The Existing Gates

4. Buried Remains of Earlier Walls

5. The Great Dam of the Tyropoeon

6. Ruins of Ancient Gates

7. Josephus' Description of the Walls

8. First Wall

9. Second Wall

10. Third Wall

11. Date of Second Wall

12. Nehemiah's Account of the Walls

13. Valley Gate

14. Dung Gate

15. Fountain Gate

16. Water Gate

17. Horse Gate

18. Sheep Gate

19. Fish Gate

20. The "Old Gate"

21. Gate of Ephraim

22. Tower of the Furnaces

23. The Gate of Benjamin

24. Upper Gate of the Temple

25. The Earlier Walls

VII. Antiquarian Remains Connected with the Water Supply

1. Gihon: The Natural Spring

2. The Aqueduct of the Canaanites

3. Warren's Shaft

4. Hezekiah's "Siloam" Aqueduct

5. Other Aqueducts at Gihon

6. Bir Eyyub

7. Varieties of Cisterns

8. Birket Israel

9. Pool of Bethesda

10. The Twin Pools

11. Birket Hammam El Batrak

12. Birket Mamilla

13. Birket es Sultan

14. "Solomon's Pools"

15. Low-Level Aqueduct

16. High-Level Aqueduct

17. Dates of Construction of these Aqueducts

VIII. Tombs, Antiquarian Remains and Ecclesiastical Sites

1. "The Tombs of the Kings"

2. "Herod's Tomb"

3. "Absalom's Tomb"

4. The "Egyptian Tomb"

5. The "Garden Tomb"

6. Tomb of "Simon the Just"

7. Other Antiquities

8. Ecclesiastical Sites

IX. History

1. Tell el-Amarna Correspondence

2. Joshua's Conquest

3. Site of the Jebusite City

4. David

5. Expansion of the City

6. Solomon

7. Solomon's City Wall

8. The Disruption (933 bc)

9. Invasion of Shishak (928 bc)

10. City Plundered by Arabs

11. Hazael King of Syria Bought Off (797 bc)

12. Capture of the City by Jehoash of Israel

13. Uzziah's Refortification (779-740 bc)

14. Ahaz Allies with Assyria (736-728 bc)

15. Hezekiah's Great Works

16. Hezekiah's Religious Reforms

17. Manasseh's Alliance with Assyria

18. His Repair of the Walls

19. Josiah and Religious Reforms (640-609 bc)

20. Jeremiah Prophesies the Approaching Doom

21. Nebuchadnezzar Twice Takes Jerusalem (586 bc)

22. Cyrus and the First Return (538 bc)

23. Nehemiah Rebuilds the Walls

24. Bagohi Governor

25. Alexander the Great

26. The Ptolemaic Rule

27. Antiochus the Great

28. Hellenization of the City under Antiochus Epiphanes

29. Capture of the City (170 bc)

30. Capture of 168 bc

31. Attempted Suppression of Judaism

32. The Maccabean Rebellion

33. The Dedication of the Temple (165 bc)

34. Defeat of Judas and Capture of the City

35. Judas' Death (161 bc)

36. Jonathan's Restorations

37. Surrender of City to Antiochus Sidetes (134 bc)

38. Hasmonean Buildings

39. Rome's Intervention

40. Pompey Takes the City by Storm

41. Julius Caesar Appoints Antipater Procurator (47 bc)

42. Parthian Invasion

43. Reign of Herod the Great (37-4 bc)

44. Herod's Great Buildings

45. Herod Archelaus (4 bc-6 ad)

46. Pontius Pilate

47. King Agrippa

48. Rising against Florus and Defeat of Gallus

49. The City Besieged by Titus (70 ad)

50. Party Divisions within the Besieged Walls

51. Capture and Utter Destruction of the City

52. Rebellion of Bar-Cochba

53. Hadrian Builds Aelia Capitolina

54. Constantine Builds the Church of the Anastasis

55. The Empress Eudoxia Rebuilds the Walls

56. Justinian

57. Chosroes 2 Captures the City

58. Heracleus Enters It in Triumph

59. Clemency of Omar

60. The Seljuk Turks and Their Cruelties

61. Crusaders Capture the City in 1099

62. The Kharizimians

63. Ottoman Turks Obtain the City (1517 ad)

X. Modern Jerusalem

1. Jews and "Zionism"

2. Christian Buildings and Institutions

Literature

I.the Name

1. In Cuneiform

The earliest mention of Jerusalem is in the Tell el-Amarna Letters (1450 bc), where it appears in the form Uru-sa-lim; allied with this we have Ur-sa-li-immu on the Assyrian monuments of the 8th century bc.

The most ancient Biblical form is ירוּשׁלם , yerūshālēm , shortened in Psalm 76:2 (compare Genesis 14:18 ) to Salem, but in Massoretic Text we have it vocalized ירוּשׁלם , yerūshālaim . In Jeremiah 26:18 ; Esther 2:6 ; 2 Chronicles 25:1 ; 2 Chronicles 32:9 we have ירוּשׁלים , yerūshālayim , a form which occurs on the Jewish coins of the Revolt and also in Jewish literature; it is commonly used by modern Talmudic Jews.

2. In Hebrew

The form Hebrew with the ending - aim or - ayim is interpreted by some as being a dual, referring to the upper and lower Jerusalem, but such forms occur in other names as implying special solemnity; such a pronunciation is both local and late.

3. In Greek and Latin

In the Septuagint we get ( Ἰερουσαλήμ , Ierousalḗm ), constantly reflecting the earliest and the common Hebrew pronunciation, the initial letter being probably unaspirated; soon, however, we meet with ( Ἱερουσαλήμ , Hierousalḗm ) - with the aspirate - the common form in Josep hus, and ( Ἱεροσόλυμα , Hierosóluma ) in Macc (Books 2 through IV), and in Strabo. This last form has been carried over into the Latin writers, Cicero, Pliny, Tacitus and Suetonius. It was replaced in official use for some centuries by Hadrian's Aelia Capitolina , which occurs as late as Jerome, but it again comes into common use in the documents of the Crusades, while Solyma occurs at various periods as a poetic abbreviation.

In the New Testament we have ( Ἱερουσαλήμ , Hierousalḗm ), particularly in the writings of Luke and Paul, and ( τὰ Ἱεροσόλυμα , tá Hierosóluma ) elsewhere. The King James Version of 1611 has Ierosalem in the Old Testament and Hierusalem in the New Testament. The form Jerusalem first occurs in French writings of the 12th century.

4. The Meaning of Jerusalem

With regard to the meaning of the original name there is no concurrence of opinion. The oldest known form, Uru-sa-lim, has been considered by many to mean either the "City of Peace" or the "City of (the god) Salem," but other interpreters, considering the name as of Hebrew origin, interpret it as the "possession of peace" or "foundation of peace." It is one of the ironies of history that a city which in all its long history has seen so little peace and for whose possession such rivers of blood have been shed should have such a possible meaning for its name.

5. Other Names

Other names for the city occur. For the name Jebus see JESUS . In Isaiah 29:1 , occurs the name אריאל , 'ărı̄'ēl probably "the hearth of God," and in Isaiah 1:26 the "city of righteousness." In Psalm 72:16 ; Jeremiah 32:24 f; Ezekiel 7:23 , we have the term העיר , hā‛ı̄r , "the city" in contrast to "the land." A whole group of names is connected with the idea of the sanctity of the site; ‛ı̄r ha -ḳōdhesh , the "holy city" occurs in Isaiah 48:2 ; Isaiah 52:1 ; Nehemiah 11:1 , and yerūshālayim ha -ḳedhōshāh , "Jerusalem the holy" is inscribed on Simon's coins. In Matthew 4:5 ; Matthew 27:53 we have ἡ ἁγία πόλις , hē hagı́a pólis , "the holy city," and in Philo, Ἱερόπολις , Hierópolis , with the same meaning.

In Arabic the common name is Beit el Maḳdis , "the holy house," or el Muḳaddas , "the holy," or the common name, used by the Moslems everywhere today, el Ḳūds , a shortened form of el Ḳūds esh Sherēf , "the noble sanctuary."

Non-Moslems usually use the Arabic form Yerusalēm .

II. Geology, Climate, and Springs

1. Geology

The geology of the site and environs of Jerusalem is comparatively simple, when studied in connection with that of the land of Palestine as a whole (see GEOLOGY OF PALESTINE ). The outstanding feature is that the rocks consist entirely of various forms of limestone, with strata containing flints; there are no primary rocks, no sandstone (such as comes to the surface on the east of the Jordan) and no volcanic rocks. The lime stone formations are in regular strata dipping toward the Southeast, with an angle of about 10 degrees.

On the high hills overlooking Jerusalem on the East, Southeast and Southwest there still remain strata of considerable thickness of those chalky limestones of the post-Tertiary period which crown so many hilltops of Palestine, and once covered the whole land. On the "Mount of Olives," for example, occurs a layer of conglomerate limestone known as Nāri , or "firestone," and another thicker deposit, known as Ka‛kūli , of which two distinct strata can be distinguished. In these layers, especially the latter, occur pockets containing marl or haur , and in both there are bands of flint.

Over the actual city's site all this has been denuded long ages ago. Here we have three layers of limestone of varying density very clearly distinguished by all the native builders and masons:

(1) Mizzeh helu , literally, "sweet mizzeh," a hard, reddish-grey layer capable of polish, and reaching in places to a depth of 70 ft. or more. The "holy rock" in the temple-area belongs to this layer, and much of the ancient building stone was of this nature.

(2) Below this is the Melekeh or "royal" layer, which, though not very thick - 35 ft. or so - has been of great importance in the history of the city. This rock is peculiar in that when first exposed to the air it is often so soft that it can be cut with a knife, but under the influence of the atmosphere it hardens to make a stone of considerable durability, useful for ordinary buildings. The great importance of this layer, however, lies in the fact that in it have been excavated the hundreds of caverns, cisterns, tombs and aqueducts which honeycomb the city's site.

(3) Under the Melekeh is a Cenomanian limestone of great durability, known as Mizzeh Yehudeh , or "Jewish mizzeh." It is a highly valued building stone, though hard to work. Geologically it is distinguished from Mizzeh helu by its containing ammonites. Characteristically, it is a yellowish-grey stone, sometimes slightly reddish. A variety of a distinctly reddish appearance, known as Mizzeh ahmar , or "red mizzeh," makes a very ornamental stone for columns, tombstones, etc.; it takes a high polish and is sometimes locally known as "marble."

This deep layer, which underlies the whole city, comes to the surface in the Kidron valley, and its impermeability is probably the explanation of the appearance there of the one true spring, the "Virgin's Fount." The water over the site and environs of Jerusalem percolates with ease the upper layer, but is conducted to the surface by this hard layer; the comparatively superficial source of the water of this spring accounts for the poorness of its quality.

2. Climate and Rainfall

The broad features of the climate of Jerusalem have probably remained the same throughout history, although there is plenty of evidence that there have been cycles of greater and lesser abundance of rain. The almost countless cisterns belonging to all ages upon the site and the long and complicated conduits for bringing water from a distance, testify that over the greater part of history the rainfall must have been, as at present, only seasonal.

As a whole, the climate of Jerusalem may be considered healthy. The common diseases should be largely preventable - under an enlightened government; even the malaria which is so prevalent is to a large extent an importation from the low-lying country, and could be stopped at once, were efficient means taken for destroying the carriers of infection, the abundant Anopheles mosquitoes. On account of its altitude and its exposed position, almost upon the watershed, wind, rain and cold are all more excessive than in the maritime plains or the Jordan valley. Although the winter's cold is severely felt, on account of its coinciding with the days of heaviest rainfall (compare Ezra 10:9 ), and also because of the dwellings and clothes of the inhabitants being suited for enduring heat more than cold, the actual lowest cold recorded is only 25 degrees F., and frost occurs only on perhaps a dozen nights in an average year. During the rainless summer months the mean temperature rises steadily until August, when it reaches 73, 1 degrees F., but the days of greatest heat, with temperature over 100 degrees F. in the shade at times, occur commonly in September. In midsummer the cool northwest breezes, which generally blow during the afternoons and early night, do much to make life healthy. The most unpleasant days occur in May and from the middle of September until the end of October, when the dry southeast winds - the sirocco - blow hot and stifling from over the deserts, carrying with them at times fine dust sufficient in quantity to produce a marked haze in the atmosphere. At such times all vegetation droops, and most human beings, especially residents not brought up under such conditions, suffer more or less from depression and physical discomfort; malarial, "sandfly," and other fevers are apt to be peculiarly prevalent. "At that time shall it be said ... to Jerusalem, A hot wind from the bare heights in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow, nor to cleanse" (Jeremiah 4:11 ).

During the late summer - except at spells of sirocco - heavy "dews" occur at night, and at the end of September or beginning of October the "former" rains fall - not uncommonly in tropical downpours accompanied by thunder. After this there is frequently a dry spell of several weeks, and then the winter's rain falls in December, January and February. In some seasons an abundant rainfall in March gives peculiar satisfaction to the inhabitants by filling up the cisterns late in the season and by producing an abundant harvest. The average rainfall is about 26 inches, the maximum recorded in the city being 42,95 inches in the season 1877-78, and the minimum being 12,5 inches in 1869-70. An abundant rainfall is not only important for storage, for replenishment of the springs and for the crops, but as the city's sewage largely accumulates in the very primitive drains all through the dry season, it requires a considerable force of water to remove it. Snow falls heavily in some seasons, causing considerable destruction to the badly built roofs and to the trees; in the winter of 1910-11 a fall of 9 inches occurred.

3. The Natural Springs

There is only one actual spring in the Jerusalem area, and even to this some authorities would deny the name of true spring on account of the comparatively shallow source of its origin; this is the intermittent spring known today as ‛Ain Umm ed deraj (literally, "spring of the mother of the steps"), called by the native Christians ‛Ain Sitti Miriam (the "spring of the Lady Mary"), and by Europeans commonly called "The Virgin's Fount." All the archaeological evidence points to this as the original source of attraction of earliest occupants of the site; in the Old Testament this spring is known as GIHON (which see). The water arises in the actual bottom, though apparent west side, of the Kidron valley some 300 yards due South of the south wall of the Ḥaram ̌ . The approach to the spring is down two flights of steps, an upper of 16 leading to a small level platform, covered by a modern arch, and a lower, narrower flight of 14 steps, which ends at the mouth of a small cave. The water has its actual source in a long cleft (perhaps 16 ft. long) running East and West in the rocky bottom of the Kidron valley, now many feet below the present surface. The western or higher end of the cleft is at the very entrance of the cave, but most of the water gushes forth from the lower and wider part which lies underneath the steps. When the water is scanty, the women of Siloam creep down into the cavity under the steps and fill their water-skins there; at such times no water at all finds its way into the cave. At the far end of the cave is the opening of that system of ancient tunnel-aqueducts which is described in VI, below. This spring is "intermittent," the water rising rapidly and gushing forth with considerable force, several times in the 24 hours after the rainy season, and only once or twice in the dry. This "intermittent" condition of springs is not uncommon in Palestine, and is explained by the accumulation of the underground water in certain cavities or cracks in the rock, which together make up a reservoir which empties itself by siphon action. Where the accumulated water reaches the bend of the siphon, the overflow commences and continues to run until the reservoir is emptied. Such a phenomenon is naturally attributed to supernatural agency by the ignorant - in this case, among the modern fellahin , to a dragon - and natives, specially Jews, visit the source, even today, at times of its overflow, for healing. Whether this intermittent condition of the fountain is very ancient it is impossible to say, but, as Jerome ( Comm. in Esa , 86) speaks of it, it was probably present in New Testament times, and if so we have a strong argument for finding here the "Pool of Bethesda." See BETHESDA .

In ancient times all the water flowed down the open, rocky valley, but at an early period a wall was constructed to bank up the water and convert the source into a pool. Without such an arrangement no water could find its way into the cave and the tunnels. The tunnels, described below (VI), were constructed for the purpose (1) of reaching the water supply from within the city walls, and (2) of preventing the enemies of the Jews from getting at the water (2 Chronicles 32:4 ). The water of this source, though used for all purposes by the people of Siloam, is brackish to the taste, and contains a considerable percentage of sewage; it is quite unfit for drinking. This condition is doubtless due to the wide distribution of sewage, both intentionally (for irrigation of the gardens) and unintentionally (through leaking sewers, etc.), over the soil overlying the rocks from which the water flows. In earlier times the water was certainly purer, and it is probable, too, that the fountain was more copious, as now hundreds of cisterns imprison the waters which once found their way through the soil to the deep sources of the spring.

The waters of the Virgin's Fount find their way through the Siloam tunnel and out at ‛Ain Silwân (the "spring" of Siloam), into the Pool of Siloam, and from this source descend into the Kidron valley to water the numerous vegetable gardens belonging to the village of Siloam (see SILOAM ).

The second source of water in Jerusalem is the deep well known as Bı̂r Eyyûb , "Job's well," which is situated a little below the point where the Kidron valley and Hinnom meet. In all probability it derives its modern name from a legend in the Ḳorân ( Sura 38 5,40-41) which narrates that God commanded Job to stamp with his foot, whereupon a spring miraculously burst up. The well, which had been quite lost sight of, was rediscovered by the Crusaders in 1184 ad, and was by them cleaned out. It Isaiah 125 ft. deep. The supply of water in this well is practically inexhaustible, although the quality is no better than that of the "Virgin's Fount"; after several days of heavy rain the water overflows underground and bursts out a few yards lower down the valley as a little stream. It continues to run for a few days after a heavy fall of rain is over, and this "flowing Kidron" is a great source of attraction to the native residents of Jerusalem, who pour forth from the city to enjoy the rare sight of running water. Somewhere in the neighborhood of Bı̂r Eyyûb must have lain ‛En - Rogel , but if that were once an actual spring, its source is now buried under the great mass of rubbish accumulated here (see EN-ROGEL ).

Nearly 600 yards South of Bı̂r Eyyûb is a small gravelly basin where, when the Bı̂r Eyyûb overflows, a small spring called ‛Ain el Lozêh (the "spring of the almond") bursts forth. It is not a true spring, but is due to some of the water of Job's well which finds its way along an ancient rock-cut aqueduct on the west side of the Wâdy en Nâr , bursting up here.

The only other possible site of a spring in the Jerusalem area is the Ḥammâm esh Shefâ , "the bath of healing." This is an underground rock-basin in the Tyropoeon valley, within the city walls, in which water collects by percolation through the débris of the city. Though once a reservoir with probably rock-cut channels conducting water to it, it is now a deep well with arches erected over it at various periods, as the rubbish of the city gradually accumulated through the centuries. There is no evidence whatever of there being any natural fountain, and the water is, in the dry season, practically pure sewage, though used in a neighboring Turkish bath.

G.A. Smith thinks that the JACKAL 'S WELL (which see) mentioned by Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:13 ), which must have been situated in the Valley of Hinnom, may possibly have been a temporary spring arising there for a few years in consequence of an earthquake, but it is extremely likely that any well sunk then would tap water flowing a long the bed of the valley. There is no such "spring" or "well" there today.

III. The Natural Site

Modern Jerusalem occupies a situation defined geographically as 31 degrees 46 feet 45 inches North latitude., by 35 degrees 13 feet 25 inches East longitude. It lies in the midst of a bare and rocky plateau, the environs being one of the most stony and least fruitful districts in the habitable parts of Palestine, with shallow, gray or reddish soil and many outcrops of bare limestone. Like all the hill slopes with a southeasterly aspect, it is so thoroughly exposed to the full blaze of the summer sun that in its natural condition the site would be more or less barren. Today, however, as a result of diligent cultivation and frequent watering, a considerable growth of trees and shrubs has been produced in the rapidly extending suburbs. The only fruit tree which reaches perfection around Jerusalem is the olive.

1. The Mountains Around

The site of Jerusalem is shut in by a rough triangle of higher mountain ridges: to the West runs the main ridge, or water parting, of Judea, which here makes a sweep to the westward. From this ridge a spur runs Southeast and East, culminating due East of the city in the MOUNT OF OLIVES (which see), nearly 2,700 ft. above sea-level and about 300 ft. above the mean level of the ancient city. Another spur, known as Jebel Deir abu Tōr , 2,550 ft. high, runs East from the plateau of el Buḳei‛a and lies Southwest of the city; it is the traditional "Hill of Evil Counsel." The city site is thus dominated on all sides by these higher ranges - "the mountains (that) are round about Jerus" ( Psalm 125:2 ) - so that while on the one hand the ancient city was hidden, at any considerable distance, from any direction except the Southeast, it is only through this open gap toward the desert and the mountains of Moab that any wide outlook is obtainable. This strange vision of wilderness and distant mountain wall - often of exquisite loveliness in the light of the setting sun - must all through the ages have been the most familiar and the most potent of scenic influences to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

2. The Valleys

Within the enfolding hills the city's proper site is demarked by two main valleys. That on the West and Southwest commences in a hollow occupied by the Moslem cemetery around the pool Birket Mamilla . The valley runs due East toward the modern Jaffa Gate, and there bends South, being known in this upper part of its course as the Wâdy el Mês . In this southern course it is traversed by a great dam, along which the modern Bethlehem road runs, which converts a large area of the valley bed into a great pool, the Birket es Sultân . Below this the valley - under the name of Wâdy er Râbâbi - bends Southeast, then East, and finally Southeast again, until near Bı̂r Eyyûb it joins the western valley to form the Wâdy en Nâr , 670 ft. below its origin. This valley has been very generally identified as the Valley of Hinnom (see HINNOM .)

The eastern valley takes a wider sweep. Commencing high up in the plateau to the North of the city, near the great water-parting, it descends as a wide and open valley in a southeasterly direction until, where it is crossed by the Great North Road, being here known as Wâdy el Jôz (the "Valley of the Walnuts"), it turns more directly East. It gradually curves to the South, and as it runs East of the city walls, it receives the name of Wâdy Sitti Miriam (the "Valley of the Lady Mary"). Below the Southeast corner of the temple-area, near the traditional "Tomb of Absalom," the valley rapidly deepens and takes a direction slightly to the West of South. It passes the "Virgin's Fount," and a quarter of a mile lower it is joined by el Wād from the North, and a little farther on by the Wâdy er Râbâbi from the West. South of Bı̂r Eyyûb , the valley formed by their union is continued under the name of Wâdy en Nâr to the Dead Sea. This western valley is that commonly known as the Brook Kidron, or, more shortly, the "Brook" ( naḥal ), or ravine (see KIDRON ), but named from the 5th century onward by Christians the VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT (which see). The rocky tongue of land enclosed between these deep ravines, an area, roughly speaking, a little over one mile long by half a mile wide, is further subdivided into a number of distinct hills by some shallower valleys. The most prominent of these - indeed the only one noticeable to the superficial observer today - is the great central valley known to modern times by the single name el Wād , "the valley." It commences in a slight depression of the ground a little North of the modern "Damascus Gate," and after entering the city at this gate it rapidly deepens - a fact largely disguised today by the great accumulation of rubbish in its course. It traverses the city with the Ḥaram to its east, and the Christian and Moslem quarters on rapidly rising ground to its west. Its course is observed near the Bâb es Silseleh , where it is crossed by an ancient causeway, but farther South the valley reappears, having the walls of the Ḥaram (near the "wailing place" and "Robinson's arch") on the East, and steep cliffs crossed by houses of the Jewish quarter on the West. It leaves the city at the "Dung Gate," and passes with an open curve to the East, until it reaches the Pool of Siloam, below' which it merges in the Wâdy Sitti Miriam . This is the course of the main valley, but a branch of great importance in the ancient topography of the city starts some 50 yards to the West of the modern Jaffa Gate and runs down the Suwaikat Allûn generally known to travelers as "David's Street," and thus easterly, along the Tarı̂k bâb es Silseleh , until it merges in the main valley. The main valley is usually considered to be the Tyropoeon, or "Cheesemongers' Valley" of Josephus, but some writers have attempted to confine the name especially to this western arm of it.

Another interior valley, which is known rather by the rock contours, than by surface observations, being largely filled up today, cuts diagonally across the Northeast corner of the modern city. It has no modern name, though it is sometimes called "St. Anne's Valley." It arises in the plateau near "Herod's Gate," known as es Ṣahra , and entering the city about 100 yards to the East of that gate, runs South-Southeast., and leaves the city between the Northeast angle of the Ḥaram and the Golden Gate, joining the Kidron valley farther Southeast. The Birket Israel runs across the width of this valley, which had far more influence in determining the ancient topography of the city than has been popularly recognized. There is an artificially made valley between the Ḥaram and the buildings to its north, and there is thought by many to be a valley between the Southeast hill, commonly called "Ophel" and the temple-area. Such, then, are the valleys, great and small, by which the historic hills on which the city stood are defined. All of them, particularly in their southern parts, were considerably deeper in ancient times, and in places the accumulated débris Isaiah 80 ft. or more. All of them were originally torrent beds, dry except immediately after heavy rain. The only perennial outflow of water is the scanty and intermittent stream which overflows from the Pool of Siloam, and is used to irrigate the gardens in the Wâdy Sitti Miriam .

3. The Hills

The East and West valleys isolate a roughly quadrilateral tongue of land running from Northwest-West to South-Southeast, and tilted so as to face Southeast. This tongue is further subdivided by el Wād into two long ridges, which merge into each other in the plateau to the North. The western ridge has its actual origin considerably North of the modern wall, being part of the high ground lying between the modern Jaffa road to the West, and the commencement of the Kidron valley to the East. Within the city walls it rises as high as 2,581 ft. near the northwestern corner. It is divided by the west branch of the Tyropoeon valley into two parts: a northern part - the northwestern hill - on which is situated today the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the greater part of the "Christian quarter" of the city, and a southern hill - the southwestern - which is connected with the northwestern hill by but a narrow saddle - 50 yards wide - near the Jaffa Gate. This hill sustains the citadel (the so-called "Tower of David"), the barracks and the Armenian quarter within the walls, and the Coenaculum and adjacent buildings outside the walls. This hill is from 2,500 to 2,350 ft. high along its summit, but drops rapidly on its southwestern, southern and southeastern sides. In its central part it falls much more gently toward the eastern hill across the now largely filled valley el Wad.

The eastern ridge may be reckoned as beginning at the rocky hill el - Edhemı̂yeh - popularly known as Gordon's Calvary - but the wide trench made here by quarrying somewhat obscures this fact. The ridge may for convenience be regarded as presenting three parts, the northeastern, central or central-eastern, and southeastern summits. The northeastern hill within the modern wall supports the Moslem quarter, and rises in places to a height of over 2,500 ft.; it narrows to a mere neck near the "Ecce Homo" arch, where it is joined to the barracks, on the site of the ancient Antonia. Under the present surface it is here separated from the temple summit by a deep rocky trench.

The central, or central-eastern, summit is that appearing as es Sakhra , the sacred temple rock, which Isaiah 2,404 ft. high. This is the highest point from which the ground rapidly falls East, West, and South, but the natural contours of the adjacent ground are much obscured by the great substructures which have been made to sustain the temple platform.

The sloping, southeastern, hill, South of the temple area appears today, at any rate, to have a steady fall of from 2,350 ft. just South of the Ḥaram southern wall to a little over 2,100 ft. near the Pool of Siloam. It is a narrow ridge running in a somewhat curved direction, with a summit near 200 ft. above the Kidron and 100 ft. above the bed of the Tyropoeon. In length it is not more than 600 yards, in width, at its widest, only 150 yards, but its chief feature, its natural strength, is today greatly obscured on account of the rubbish which slopes down its sides and largely fills up its surrounding valleys. In earlier times, at least three of its sides were protected by deep valleys, and probably on quite two-thirds of its circumference its summit was surrounded by natural rocky scarps. According to Professor Guthe, this hill is divided from the higher ground to the North by a depression 12 ft. deep and 30-50 yards wide, but this has not been confirmed by other observers. The city covering so hilly a site as this must ever have consisted, as it does today, of houses terraced on steep slopes' with stairways for streets.

IV. General Topography of Jerusalem

From the foregoing description of the "natural site," it will be seen that we have to deal with 5 natural subdivisions or hills, two on the western and three on the eastern ridges.

1. Description of Josephus

In discussing the topography it is useful to commence with the description of Josephus, wherein he gives to these 5 areas the names common in his day ( BJ , V, iv, 1,2). He says: "The city was built upon two hills which are opposite to one another and have a valley to divide them asunder ... Now the Valley of the Cheesemongers, as it was called, and was that which distinguished the hill of the upper city from that of the lower, extended as far as Siloam" (ibid., V, iv, 1). Here we get the first prominent physical feature, the bisection of the city-site into two main hills. Farther on, however, in the same passage - one, it must be admitted, of some obscurity - J osephus distinguishes 5 distinct regions:

(1) The Upper City or Upper Market Place

(The hill) "which sustains the upper city is much higher and in length more direct. Accordingly, it was called the citadel ( φρούριον , phroúrion ) of King David ... but it is by us called the Upper Market Place." This is without dispute the southwestern hill.

(2) Akra and Lower City

"The other hill, which was called Akra, and sustains the lower city, was double-curved" ( ἀμφίκυρτος , amphı́kurtos ). The description can apply only to the semicircular shape of the southeastern hill, as viewed from the "upper city." These names, "Akra" and "Lower City," are, with reservations, therefore, to be applied to the southeastern hill.

(3) The Temple Hill

Josephus' description here is curious, on account of its indefiniteness, but there can be no question as to which hill he intends. He writes: "Over against this is a third hill, but naturally lower than the Akra and parted formerly from the other by a fiat valley. However, in those times when the Hasmoneans reigned, they did away with this valley, wishing to connect the city with the temple; and cutting down the summit of the Akra, they made it lower, so that the temple might be visible over it." Comparison with other passages shows that this "third hill" is the central-eastern - the "Temple Hill."

(4) Bezetha

"It was Agrippa who encompassed the parts added to the old city with this wall (i.e. the third wall) which had been all naked before; for as the city grew more populous, it gradually crept beyond its old limits, and those parts of it that stood northward of the Temple, and joined that hill to the city, made it considerably larger, and occasioned that hill which is in number the fourth, and is called 'Bezetha,' to be inhabited also. It lies over against the tower Antonia, but is divided from it by a deep valley, which was dug on purpose.... This new-built part of the city was called 'Bezetha' in our language, which, if interpreted in the Greek language, may be called the 'New City.'" This is clearly the northeastern hill.

(5) The Northern Quarter of the City

From the account of the walls given by Josephus, it is evident that the northern part of his "first wall" ran along the northern edge of the southwestern hill; the second wall enclosed the inhabited part of the northwestern hill. Thus Josephus writes: "The second wall took its beginning from the gate which they called Gennath in the first wall, and enclosing, the northern quarter only reached to the Antonia." This area is not described as a separate hill, as the inhabited area, except on the South, was defined by no natural valleys, and besides covering the northwestern hill, must have extended into the Tyropoeon valley.

2. Summary of the Names of the Five Hills

Here then we have Josephus' names for these five districts:

(1) Southwestern Hill

Southwestern Hill, "Upper City" and "Upper Market Place"; also the Summary, Phrourion , or "fortress of David." From the 4th century ad, this hill has also been known as "Zion," and on it today is the so-called "Tower of David," built on the foundations of two of Herod's great towers.

(2) Northwestern Hill

"The northern quarter of the city." This district does not appear to have had any other name in Old Testament or New Testament, though some of the older authorities would place the "Akra" here (see infra ). Today it is the "Christian quarter" of Jerusalem, which centers round the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

(3) Northeastern Hill

"Bezetha" or "New City," even now a somewhat sparsely inhabited area, has no name in Biblical literature.

(4) Central-Eastern Hill

The "third hill" of Josephus, clearly the site of the Temple which, as Josephus says ( BJ , V, v), "was built upon a strong hill." In earlier times it was the "threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite." On the question whether it has any claims to be the Moriah of Genesis 22:2 , as it is called in 2 Chronicles 3:1 , see MORIAH . The temple hill is also in many of the Hebrew writings called Zion, on which point see ZION .

(5) Southeastern Hill

This Josephus calls "Akra" and "Lower City," but while on the one hand these names require some elucidation, there are other names which have at one period or another come to be applied to this hill, namely, "City of David," "Zion" and "Ophel." These names for this hill we shall now deal with in order.

3. The Akra

In spite of the very definite description of Josephus, there has been considerable difference of opinion regarding the situation of the "Akra." Various parts of the northwestern, the northeastern, the southeastern hills, and even the central-eastern itself, have been suggested by earlier authorities, but instead of considering the various arguments, now largely out of date, for other proposed sites, it will be better to deal with the positive arguments for the southeastern hill. Josephus states that in his day the term "Akra" was applied to the southeastern hill, but in references to the earlier history it is clear that the Akra was not a whole hill, but a definite fortress ( ἄκρα , ákra = "fortress").

(1) It was situated on the site, or on part of the site, which was considered in the days of the Maccabees to have been the "City of David." Antiochus Epiphanes (168 bc), after destroying Jerusalem, "fortitled the city of David with a great and strong wall, with strong towers and it became unto them an Akra" (1 Maccabees 1:33-36 ). The formidable fortress - known henceforth as "the Akra" - became a constant menace to the Jews, until at length, in 142 bc, it was captured by Simon, who not only razed the whole fortress, but, according to Josephus ( Ant. , XIII , vi, 7; BJ , V, iv, 1), actually cut down the hill on which it stood. He says that "they all, labouring zealously, demolished the hill, and ceasing not from the work night and day for three whole years, brought it to a level and even slope, so that the Temple became the highest of all after the Akra and the hill upon which it was built had been removed" ( Ant. , XIII , vi, 7). The fact that at the time of Josephus this hill was evidently lower than the temple hill is in itself sufficient argument against any theory which would place the Akra on the northwestern or southwestern hills. (2) The Akra was close to the temple (1 Maccabees 13:52 ), and from its walls the garrison could actually overlook it (1 Maccabees 14:36 ). Before the hill was cut down it obscured the temple site (same place) . (3) It is identified by Josephus as forming part, at least, of the lower city, which (see below) bordered upon the temple (compare BJ , I, i, 4; V, iv, 1; vi, 1). (4) The Septuagint identifies the Akra with Millo (2 Samuel 5:9 ; 1 Kings 9:15-24 ; 2 Chronicles 32:5 ).

Allowing that the original Akra of the Syrians was on the southeastern hill, it is still a matter of some difficulty to determine whereabouts it stood, especially as, if the statements of Josephus are correct, the natural configuration of the ground has been greatly altered. The most prominent point upon the southeastern hill, in the neighborhood of Gihon, appears to have been occupied by the Jebusite fortress of ZION (which see), but the site of the Akra can hardly be identical with this, for this became the "City of David," and here were the venerated tombs of David and the Judean kings, which must have been destroyed if this hill was, as Josephus states, cut down. On this and other grounds we must look for a site farther north. Sir Charles Watson ( PEFS , 1906,1907) has produced strong topographical and literary arguments for placing it where the al Aḳsa mosque is today; other writers are more inclined to put it farther south, somewhere in the neighborhood of the massive tower discovered by Warren on the "Ophel" wall (see MILLO ). If the account of Josephus, written two centuries after the events, is to be taken as literal, then Watson's view is the more probable.

4. The Lower City

Josephus, as we have seen, identified the Akra of his day with the Lower City. This latter is not a name occurring in the Bible because, as will be shown, the Old Testament name for this part was "City of David." That by Lower City Josephus means the southeastern hill is shown by many facts. It is actually the lowest part of the city, as compared with the "Upper City," Temple Hill and the Bezetha; it is, as Josephus describes, separated from the Upper City by a deep valley - the Tyropoeon; this southeastern hill is "double-curved," as Josephus describes, and lastly several passages in his writings show that the Lower City was associated with the Temple on the one end and the Pool of Siloam at the other (compare Ant , XIV , xvi, 2; BJ , II, xvii, 5; IV, ix, 12; VI, vi, 3; vii, 2).

In the wider sense the "Lower City" must have included, not only the section of the city covering the southeastern hill up to the temple precincts, where were the palaces ( BJ , V, vi, 1; VI, vi, 3), and the homes of the well-to-do, but also that in the valley of the Tyropoeon from Siloam up to the "Council House," which was near the northern "first wall" (compare BJ , V, iv, 2), a part doubtless inhabited by the poorest.

5. City of David and Zion

It is clear (2 Samuel 5:7 ; 1 Chronicles 11:5 ) that the citadel "Zion" of the Jebusites became the "City of David," or as G. A. Smith calls it, "David's Burg," after its capture by the Hebrews. The arguments for placing "Zion" on the southeastern hill are given elsewhere (see ZION ), but a few acts relevant especially to the "City of David" may be mentioned here: the capture of the Jebusite city by means of the gutter (2 Samuel 5:8 ), which is most reasonably explained as "Warren's Shaft" (see VII); the references to David's halt on his flight (2 Samuel 15:23 ), and his sending Solomon to Gihon to be crowned (1 Kings 1:33 ), and the common expression "up," used in describing the transference of the Ark from the City of David to the Temple Hill (1 Kings 8:1 ; 2 Chronicles 5:2 ; compare 1 Kings 9:24 ), are all consistent with this view. More convincing are the references to Hezekiah's aqueduct which brought the waters of Gihon "down on the west side of the city of David" (2 Chronicles 32:30 ); the mention of the City of David as adjacent to the Pool of Shelah (or Shiloah; compare Isaiah 8:6 ), and the "king's garden" in Nehemiah 3:15 , and the position of the Fountain Gate in this passage and Nehemiah 12:37 ; and the statement that Manasseh built "an outer wall to the City of David, on the west side of Gihon" in the naḥal , i.e. the Kidron valley (2 Chronicles 33:14 ).

The name appears to have had a wider significance as the city grew. Originally "City of David" was only the name of the Jebusite fort, but later it became equivalent to the whole southeastern hill. In the same way, Akra was originally the name of the Syrian fort, but the name became extended to the whole southeastern hill. Josephus looks upon "City of David" and "Akra" as synonymous, and applies to both the name "Lower City." For the names Ophel and Ophlas see OPHEL .

V. Excavations and Antiquities

During the last hundred years explorations and excavations of a succession of engineers and archaeologists have furnished an enormous mass of observations for the understanding of the condition of ancient Jerusalem. Some of the more important are as follows:

In 1833 Messrs. Bonorni, Catherwood and Arundale made a first thorough survey of the Ḥaram (temple-area), a work which was the foundation of all subsequent maps for over a quarter of a century.

1. Robinson

In 1838, and again in 1852, the famous American traveler and divine, E. Robinson, D.D., visited the land as the representative of an American society, and made a series of brilliant topographical investigations of profound importance to all students of the Holy Land, even today.

In 1849 Jerusalem was surveyed by Lieuts. Aldrich and Symonds of the Royal Engineers, and the data acquired were used for a map constructed by Van de Vilde and published by T. Tobler.

In 1857 an American, J.T. Barclay, published another map of Jerusalem and its environs "from actual and minute survey made on the spot."

In 1860-1863 De Vogüé in the course of some elaborate researches in Syria explored the site of the sanctuary.

2. Wilson and the Palestine Exploration Fund (1865)

In 1864-65 a committee was formed in London to consider the sanitary condition of Jerusalem, especially with a view to furnishing the city with a satisfactory water-supply, and Lady Burdett-Coutts gave 500 pounds toward a proper survey of Jerusalem and its environs as a preliminary step. Captain (later Lieutenant-General Sir Charles) Wilson, R.E., was lent by the Ordnance Survey Department of Great Britain for the purpose. The results of this survey, and of certain tentative excavations and observations made at the same time, were so encouraging that in 1865 "The Palestine Exploration Fund" was constituted, "for the purpose of investigating the archaeology, geography, geology, and natural history of the Holy Land."

3. Warren and Conder

During 1867-70 Captain (later Lieutenant-General Sir Charles) Warren, R.E., carried out a series of most exciting and original excavations all over the site of Jerusalem, especially around the Ḥaram ̌ . During 1872-75 Lieutenant (later Lieutenant-Colonel) Conder, R.E., in the course of the great survey of Western Palestine, made further contributions to our knowledge of the Holy City.

4. Maudslay

In 1875 Mr. Henry Maudslay, taking advantage of the occasion of the rebuilding of "Bishop Gobat's Boys' School," made a careful examination of the remarkable rock cuttings which are now more or less incorporated into the school buildings, and made considerable excavations, the results being described in PEFS (April, 1875).

In 1881 Professor Guthe made a series of important excavations on the southeastern hill, commonly called "Ophel," and also near the Pool of Siloam; his reports were published in ZDPV , 1882.

5. Schick

The same year (1881), the famous Siloam inscription was discovered and was first reported by Herr Baurath Schick, a resident in Jerusalem who from 1866 until his death in 1901 made a long series of observations of the highest importance on the topography of Jerusalem. He had unique opportunities for scientifically examining the buildings in the Ḥaram , and the results of his study of the details of that locality are incorporated in his wonderful Temple model. He also made a detailed report of the ancient aqueducts of the city. Most important of all were the records he so patiently and faithfully kept of the rock levels in all parts of the city's site whenever the digging of foundations for buildings or other excavations gave access to the rock. His contributions to the PEF and ZDPV run into hundreds of articles.

6. Clermont-Ganneau

M. Clermont-Ganneau, who was resident in Jerusalem in the French consular service, made for many years, from 1880 onward, a large number of acute observations on the archaeology of Jerusalem and its environs, many of which were published by the PEF . Another name honored in connection with the careful study of the topography of Jerusalem over somewhat the same period is that of Selah Merrill, D.D., for many years U.S. consul in Jerusalem.

7. Bliss and Dickie

In 1894-97 the Palestine Exploration Fund conducted an elaborate series of excavations with a view to determining in particular the course of the ancient southern walls under the direction of Mr. T.J. Bliss (son of Daniel Bliss, D.D., then president of the Syrian Protestant College, Beirût), assisted by Mr. A.C. Dickie as architect. After picking up the buried foundations of walls at the southeastern corner where "Maudslay's scarp" was exposed in the Protestant cemetery, Bliss and Dickie followed them all the way to the Pool of Siloam, across the Tyropoeon and on to "Ophel" - and also in other directions. Discoveries of great interest were also made in the neighborhood of the Pool of Siloam (see SILOAM ).

Following upon these excavations a number of private investigations have been made by the Augustinians in a large estate they have acquired on the East side of the traditional hill of Zion.

In 1909-1911 a party of Englishmen, under Captain the Honorable M. Parker, made a number of explorations with very elaborate tunnels upon the hill of Ophel, immediately above the Virgin's Fount. In the course of their work, they cleaned out the whole Siloam aqueduct, finding some new passages; they reconstructed the Siloam Pool, and they completed Warren's previous investigation in the neighborhood of what has been known as "Warren's Shaft."

8. Jerusalem Archaeological Societies

There are several societies constantly engaged in observing new facts connected with the topography of ancient Jerusalem, notably the School of Archaeology connected with the University of Stephens, under the Dominicans; the American School of Archaeology; the German School of Biblical Archaeology under Professor Dalman, and the Palestine Exploration Fund.

VI. The City's Walls and Gates

1. The Existing Walls

Although the existing walls of Jerusalem go back in their present form to but the days of Suleiman the Magnificent, circa 1542 ad, their study is an essential preliminary to the understanding of the ancient walls. The total circuit of the modern walls Isaiah 4,326 yards, or nearly 2 1/8 miles, their average height Isaiah 35 ft., and they have altogether 35 towers and 8 gates - one of which is walled up. They make a rough square, with the four sides facing the cardinal points of the compass. The masonry is of various kinds, and on every side there are evidences that the present walls are a patchwork of many periods. The northern wall, from near the northwestern angle to some distance East of the "Damascus Gate," lies parallel with, though somewhat inside of, an ancient fosse, and it and the gate itself evidently follow ancient lines. The eastern and western walls, following as they do a general direction along the edges of deep valleys, must be more or less along the course of earlier walls. The eastern wall, from a little south of Stephen's Gate to the southeastern angle, contains many ancient courses, and the general line is at least as old as the time of Herod the Great; the stretch of western wall from the so-called "Tower of David" to the southwestern corner is certainly along an ancient line and has persisted through very many centuries. This line of wall was allowed to remain undestroyed when Titus leveled the remainder. At the northwestern angle are some remains known as Ḳala‛at Jalûd ("Goliath's castle"), which, though largely medieval, contain a rocky core and some masonry of Herodian times, which are commonly accepted as the relics of the lofty tower Psephinus.

2. Wilson's Theory

The course of the southern wall has long been a difficulty; it is certainly not the line of wall before Titus; it has none of the natural advantages of the western and eastern walls, and there are no traces of any great rock fosse, such as is to be found on the north. The eastern end is largely built upon the lower courses of Herod's southern wall for his enlarged temple-platform, and in it are still to be found walled up the triple, single and double g
Map of Location

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Jerusalem'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/isb/j/jerusalem.html. 1915.

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Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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