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Jerusalem

A city located in modern Israel. It is the most significant city in biblical history. Some of the most sacred spots for Christians, Jews, and Muslims are in this city and are visited regularly by many faithful believers. It is often referred to as the holy city.

Once known as Salem (Gen. 14:18; Ps. 76:2), Jerusalem was a Jebusite city until it was captured by David (Josh. 10:1; 15:8; 2 Sam. 5:6–7), who made it his capital. Until then it had served mostly as a mountain fortress, about 2600 feet (800 meters) above sea level. It is surrounded by deep valleys on all sides except the north.

During King David’s reign in Jerusalem, he occupied a wooden palace. However, during the reign of Solomon, the people did many things to beautify the city, including building the king’s palace and the temple.

After the kingdoms of Israel and Judah divided, Jerusalem remained the capital of Judah. It was often attacked by invading armies (1 Kgs. 14:25; 2 Kgs. 14:13; 16:5; 18–19; 24:10; 25). Under Hezekiah, Jerusalem became the center of religious worship, but was partly destroyed in 320 B.C., 168 B.C., and 65 B.C. Herod rebuilt the walls and the temple, but in A.D. 70 the Romans entirely destroyed it.