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Published: August 7th 2020
There are many cities in the world, big and small, noisy and quiet, for business and leisure, but there is not a single city in the world that looks like Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the cradle of three religions – Jewish, Christian and Muslim. Its atmosphere is saturated with the rich and ancient history of the universe and the birth of humanity. Only in Jerusalem can you feel the power of history and the vulnerability of man to time. In this city, you can see how the ancient past and the turbulent present touch.
"Jerusalem, you are a city built to unite all»
This is what king David called the capital of the Jewish people and their state in Psalm 122. What makes Jerusalem so special in our eyes?Bible researchers have counted 70 names of Jerusalem: The city of David, Ariel, Jebus, Salim, Zion, and many others. Under its main name, Jerusalem is mentioned 820 times in the old and New Testaments! (For comparison: Hebron-78 times, Beit El-69, Shiloh – 40).Various hypotheses have been made about the origin of the city's name. "Yerushalem" is divided into two words: "IR" (or "ieru") and "Shalem". "Ieru" may be derived from the verb "to see". "Shalem" in Hebrew means "whole", "self-sufficient". Another version of "Jerusha" - inheritance, "El" - B-g – "inheritance of G-d" is also common»
The capture of Jerusalem was carried out by David apparently in 1002 BC by his own retinue without the help of a tribal militia, which provided the captured city with the status of Royal property. Having taken possession of the city and successfully defended it from the attacks of the Philistines, David could rightfully call it IR David – the city of David and move to it from Hebron the capital of the United Kingdom.And most importantly, David founded the dynasty of Israel's kings – from now on, the true king of Israel must be from the house of David, i.e., be his descendant.
By moving the Ark of the Covenant to the city, David also made Jerusalem the religious center of the Kingdom of Israel. In Jerusalem, as we know from the Bible, on mount Moriah, Abraham had to sacrifice Isaac, his long-awaited son – this circumstance could not but affect the choice of David, known for his spirituality.But David could not build a Temple – he is not the right person for this mission. He can choose a place for a Temple, create a plan, and raise funds to build it, but he is denied the honor of erecting such a sacred building, because "he has shed much blood and waged great wars." His son, Solomon, the wisest of men, must build the Temple. And he builds it in a Holy place on mount Moriah.
The temple became the only sanctuary for the entire country – from now on, all the sacrifices in Israel and Judea were offered only in one place – the capital of the Davidic dynasty. It was an amazing move, uniting the people politically and religiously. The construction of the Temple fully established the authority of the Cohen priests who performed the services and the Levites who guarded the Holy place. The post of high priest remained one of the key positions in the politics of ancient Israel.
The time of Solomon's reign was a Golden time for the Kingdom. The wisdom of Solomon became a byword, and about his masculine strength there were legends-Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. But after his death, the United Kingdom was divided into two warring halves: Israel and Judah.Israel United 10 tribes, and Judah two-Judah and Benjamin. In 723 BC, the Kingdom of Israel was invaded by Assyria; most of its population was taken captive and settled in small groups in various areas of this vast power. This is how the first Jewish Diaspora began - these 10 tribes are considered lost.
But Judea, with its capital in Jerusalem, continued to exist until 586 BC, when the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the first Temple on 9 AB and took the Jews into Babylonian slavery.But after 70 years, a Second Temple was built - by Jews who returned from Babylonian captivity after the permission of the Persian king Cyrus. Jerusalem again becomes the ideological and religious center of the Jews, their stronghold and pride.
The Kingdom of Israel is captured by Alexander the great, then there was a short period of rule of the Hasmonean Jewish dynasty. The Hasmonean dynasty ruled Judea for more than a century (from 164 to 63 BC), the last period in history when the state was ruled by a Jewish dynasty.From 63 BC, Judea became a vassal of Rome, and in 40 BC it was divided into Judea, Samaria, Galilee, and Perea (Zaiordania).
The Temple, and Jerusalem itself, reached its peak of beauty in the time of king Herod. Despite his boisterous activity, Herod did not enjoy the support of the people. He was not of the house of David, and, as we have already said, the true king of Israel should only be of the house of David!Discontent with his brutal rule is brewing among the people, and, as a result, the rapid growth of Messianic sentiments – the Messiah must come and deliver the people from the hated foreign rule. The Messianic movement reached its apogee at the turn of our era… Jesus of Nazareth-everyone knows that. We will talk about him, his time and his deeds in more detail on our tour later, but for now we will return to the history.As Jesus predicted, the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 ad by the Romans and has not been rebuilt since. It was destroyed on the same day – 9 AV. This day is still celebrated throughout the Jewish world by fasting... mourning for the Temple.
After the destruction of the Temple, 1940 years passed. Let us now recall these years of estrangement. In the history of the city, they are divided into 5 main periods. for convenience, we will round up some numbers:
1. Roman-Byzantine period-more than 500 years. Metropolis-Roman, then Byzantine Empire.
2. Muslim Arab period-about 500 years. The main metropolis is the Caliphate of Baghdad.
3. The Christian period of about 200 years. Semi-independent Principality of the crusaders.
4. Muslim Mameluke period-about 300 years. Metropolis-Egypt.
5. Muslim Ottoman period-about 400 years. The Metropolis Of Turkey.
The secret of the longevity of Jerusalem, its extraordinary resilience on the steepest turns of history, apparently, is that it had the amazing fate to embody the spiritual aspirations of almost half of humanity. Everyone who comes to this city experiences its extraordinary aura; the believer consciously surrenders to the charms of the Holy city, the non-religious person is amazed at the almost physical contact with the flow of history, with its myths, which in Jerusalem become a living reality.
It is very easy to fall in love with Jerusalem as a tour guide in Israel
. If you trust the city and let it lead you through its tangled streets, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience.
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