Attacks on Jerusalem Timeline

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Attacks on the city of Jerusalem have occurred many times throughout history by various armies, nations, and world powers. Below is a list of some of the major battles that have occurred over control of the ancient city of David.

Judah Attacks
After 1380 B.C.

Jerusalem, at this time, is known as Jebus and is inhabited by the Jebusites. A partial siege by the tribe of Judah against the Jebusites takes place a short time after the death of Joshua (Judges 1:8).

King David Conquers
1003 B.C.

King David takes the city. The city becomes the capital of a united Israel and is henceforth known as Jerusalem (the city of David - 2Samuel 5:6 - 7, 9 - 10, see also 1Chronicles 12:23 - 39).

Egypt Attacks
925 B.C.

Shishak, king of Egypt, takes Jerusalem during the reign of Judah's King Rehoboam (2Chronicles 12:9, 1Kings 14:25 - 26). The temple is plundered.

Philistines Attack
850 B.C.

The Philistines, Arabians, and Ethiopians lay siege during the rule of King Jehoram (2Chronicles 21:16). The King's palace is sacked and the Temple plundered.

Israel Attacks
792 B.C.

Jehoash, king of Israel, attacks Amaziah, king of Judah (2Kings 14:13, 14). Jerusalem and the Temple are pillaged. Jehoash captures Amaziah and takes him captive to northern Israel.

Rezin and Pekah
735 - 732 B.C.

Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, king of Israel, go to war against Ahaz, king of Judah (2Chronicles 28). Ahaz seeks the aid of Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria, to deliver him. In 732 Tiglath-Pileser conquers Damascus and executes Rezin.

Assyrian Empire Lays Siege
701 B.C.

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, tries to lay siege to the city during the reign of King Hezekiah (2Chronicles 32). He threatens to destroy it but God has the Angel of the Lord kill 185,000 troops as they prepare to enter (2Kings 18 - 19).

Babylon's First Attack
605 B.C.

The prophet Daniel and his companions are taken captive to Babylon.

Babylon's Second Attack
597 B.C.

Nebuchadnezzar again attacks the city (2Chronicles 36:10). He captures King Jehoiachin whom he takes to Babylon.

Babylon's Third Attack
586 B.C.

Nebuchadnezzar attacks Jerusalem a third time. He burns the temple, destroys the city and carries all the temple's treasures to Babylon (2Kings 24:13, 2Chronicles 36).

General Nicanor
320 B.C.

General Nicanor of Egypt marches on Syria and takes control of the area, which includes Jerusalem.

Antiochus the Great
About 200 B.C.

Jerusalem is besieged and taken by Antiochus the Great.

Antiochus Epiphanes
175 B.C.

The new ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire is Antiochus Epiphanes. He pillages Jerusalem then places an altar to the pagan god Zeus within the Temple. He also begins to force Greek culture into Judea and outlaws both the Sabbath and circumcision. This event is a prophetic shadow or partial fulfillment of prophecy that will fully occur in the near future (Daniel 9, 11).

Jerusalem Retaken by Maccabees
164 B.C.

Judas Maccabeus (Judah the Maccabee) leads an army of Jewish dissidents to victory over the Seleucids. The city is captured and the temple is rededicated.

Seleucids Take City
134 B.C.

Seleucid King Antiochus VII Sidetes recaptures the city. According to Jewish historian Josephus, John Hyrcanus opens King David's sepulcher and removes three thousand talents of silver to pay Antiochus to spare the city. Assuming a modern value of $21 per troy ounce, the total value of all 3,000 talents is $68.9 million U.S.

The Roman Republic
63 B.C.

The Roman Republic, under Pompey the Great, occupies Palestine (Judea) and takes Jerusalem.

The Parthians
40 B.C.

Antigonus, son of former Judean king Aristobulus II, joins forces with the Parthian military and storms Jerusalem. The purpose of the fight is to unseat Aristobulus' uncle Hyrcanus II from power. When Hyrcanus is eventually captured, the Parthians mutilate him in order to disqualify him from ever serving as High Priest. According to the historian Josephus, Judean governor Herod, upon hearing the Parthians seek to kill him, flees to Rome to seek help. He is made "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate.

Herod the Great Attacks
37 B.C.

Herod the Great, after fleeing to Rome for help after the Parthians chased him out of Judea, returns to the area with Roman soldiers in order to retake the city. He conquers Jerusalem and assumes his responsibilities as ruler.

Roman Empire Destroys City
70 A.D.

The Roman legions take Jerusalem by storm. The burn and level both the city and its glorious temple.

Bar Kochba Revolt
132 - 135 A.D.

A political revolt is started by Simon Bar Kochba against the Romans. Although he initially controls Jerusalem for three years, the Romans brutally crush his rebellion and gain back control of the city.

Omar the Great
636 - 637 A.D.

Caliph Omar the Great besieges and captures the city.

The First Crusade
1099 A.D.

The city is captured by the army of the first Crusade. They murder almost all the Jews and Muslims.

1187 A.D.

The city is taken from the Crusaders by Saladin.

1244 A.D.

Jerusalem is taken by the Khwarezmian Tartars, a Persia-based dynasty.

1247 A.D.

The Tartars are driven out of Jerusalem by the Ayyubids.

Ottoman Empire Expelled
1917 A.D.

The Ottoman Empire, which had controlled Jerusalem since at least 1517, was expelled from the city through attacks by the British under General Edmund Allenby.

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