Jerusalem - A City on Seven Hills

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Map of ancient Jerusalem and its seven hills

31° 47' N, 35° 13' E
(31.783333, 35.216667)

In the Bible, the city of Jerusalem is referenced using different names, titles and designations. In ancient times the city was referred to as Salem (Genesis 14:18). The city was named Jebus (Joshua 18:28, Judges 19:10) before King David conquered it in 1003 B.C. Additionally, the city has been referred to as Zion (1Kings 8:1, Zechariah 9:13), the city of David (2Samuel 5:7, Isaiah 22:9), the city of God (Psalm 46:4), the city of the great King (Psalm 48:2), God's holy mountain (Daniel 9:16, 20) and the holy city (Matthew 4:5) to name a few.

The two most notable destructions of Jerusalem and its temple were by the world empires of Babylon and Rome. In 586 B.C. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon burned the temple and destroyed the city (2Kings 24:13, 2Chronicles 36). The demise of the grand temple built by King Solomon occurred in the Jewish year 3175 on the 9th day of Ab. This day corresponds on our modern calendar to Tuesday, July 17, 586 B.C. In 70 A.D., just five years after the rebuilding of the temple completed (started by Herod the Great in 20 B.C.) the Romans conquered Jerusalem. Once again, the city was left in ruins and the temple burned to the ground. The destruction of God's temple the second time, just like the first, happened on Ab 9 on the Jewish calendar (in the Jewish year 3830). This date corresponds to Saturday, August 4th, 70 A.D.

Jerusalem's seven hills are Mount Scopus, Mount Olivet and the Mount of Corruption (all three are peaks in a mountain ridge that lies east of the old city), Mount Ophel, the original Mount Zion, the New Mount Zion and the hill on which the Antonia Fortress was built.

Jerusalem is not the only city in the world considered or historically believed to be built on seven hills. Others include Rome, Babylon, Moscow, Mecca, Lisbon, Tehran and Amman. More than nineteen cities in the United States also lay claim to be founded on seven hills.

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