Jerusalem is one of the most famous cities in the world and is of great significance to the adherents of the three major monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). It was here that father Abraham met Melchizedek after the battle of the kings, and where he would later attempt to offer his son Isaac upon an altar. It was here that king David made the city his nation’s capitol. It was here that Solomon built the Temple of the Lord—a temple that was later sacked by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, a king who also deported so many of the cities inhabitants. It was to this city that a group of exiles returned when Cyrus the Great of Persia issued a decree allowing the captive peoples to return to their homeland.
The Temple of God was rebuilt by Zerubbabel, only to be sacked and desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes—an event which sparked the great Maccabean revolt. It was in this city that Herod the Great had his crowning achievement—a great new temple in Jerusalem. It was in this city that our Savior was presented to the Lord when He was but 40 days of age, and where He would later cleanse the Temple, heal the sick, suffered the humiliation of a trial and finally be crucified as a criminal—only to be buried, and then rise from the grave three days later.
Jerusalem is where the apostles preached the first sermon even given in the name of our resurrected Lord, and where they would perform so many of their miracles. This same city was destroyed by the Roman general Titus in A.D. 70, as predicted by our Lord in Matthew 24. This city is also considered sacred by the people of Islam, since, according to their tradition, their prophet Muhammad allegedly took his Night Journey here around A.D. 621.
For many years I have wanted to put together a booklet on the history of Jerusalem, but I knew that would be no easy task—the city has such a long history that it is hard to take it all in! However, the brethren in Zion, Illinois encouraged me to get to work on this booklet and I am now pleased to offer it here. This booklet contains the outlines I used to preach a six lesson series on the history of Jerusalem and I hope it will be of benefit to you as you study the Bible.
Jerusalem, The City Of Our God is a free book you can download—it includes a discussion of the history of Jerusalem from the time of Abraham until the Moslem invasion of the Holy Land. There is also a section on sites to see in Jerusalem today. This free 35-page booklet also has a complete bibliography and twenty color photographs (PDF file; 3MB).