Bible Meaning: Founded peaceful, teaching of peace, set ye double peace
Strong's Concordance #H3389, #G2414
Jerusalem, before the time of David, was called Jebus (1Chronicles 11:4) and populated by the Jebusites. Jebus means, "threshing place" or "trodden" (Strong's #H2982). In 1003 B.C., after all the Israelite tribes accept him as their king, David attacks and conquers Jebus. He renames it Jerusalem and makes it his capital city.
Jerusalem continue to be the capital of a united Israel under Solomon. After the kingdom splits in 930 it becomes the capital of the Kingdom of Judah. It stays Judah's capital until it is destroyed, and its temple burned down, by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. Though later rebuilt, the city and its temple would suffer many more attacks throughout its long history.
Jerusalem is referenced a variety of ways in the Bible. It was first known as Salem (Genesis 14:18), then Jebus (Judges 19:10), then as the city of David (2Samuel 6:12) after the king conquered it. In the Psalms David referred to it as the city of God (Psalm 46:4) and the city of the Lord of hosts (Psalm 48:8).
The prophet Isaiah labels Jerusalem the city of righteousness (Isaiah 1:26), Ariel (a symbolic name meaning lion or lioness of God, 29:1) and the city of the Lord (60:14). Jeremiah references it as the Lord our righteousness (Jeremiah 33:16), the perfection of beauty and the joy of the whole earth (Lamentations 2:15). The minor prophet Zechariah calls it Zion, the city of truth, the mountain of the Lord of hosts and the holy mountain all in one verse (Zechariah 8:3)!
In the New Testament, Jerusalem is called a holy city (Matthew 4:5) and the city of the great King (Matthew 5:35).
New Testament events
Jerusalem was also one of the centers of Jesus' ministry and the place where he was arrested, tried, killed and resurrected from the dead. The ministry of the two witnesses will be centered in the city, which will ultimately be recreated and made eternal by God himself.
Scripture reveals, after Pentecost in 30 A.D., groups of believers met in Jerusalem homes to eat and thank the Eternal for all He had done (Acts 2:46 - 47). Even though the apostles were arrested in the city, beaten, and told not to preach Christ, they still spread the gospel in every house they visited (Acts 5:40 - 42).
Saul, before he became apostle Paul, persecuted believers in Jerusalem by entering houses Christians used as gathering places and dragging them off to prison (Acts 8:3). Peter, after he was miraculously freed from Herod's prison, went directly to the home of John Mark's mother where believers were gathered to pray for him (Acts 12:12).
For more information, please see our timeline of historic attacks on the city and our map showing what it looked like anciently. We also have fascinating articles on the New Jerusalem soon to be constructed by God and the beautiful gemstones He will place within it as an eternal memorial to the twelve apostles.
As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.
1Chronicles 11:4 - 5
And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus: where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.
And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.
In Hebron he (King David) reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.
And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.
And the king (Solomon) made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycomore trees that are in the vale, for abundance.
And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.
2Kings 25:8 - 9
And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem . . .
And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire.
Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem?
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost (Spirit) is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
And the word of God increased: and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly: and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
But ye are come unto mount Sion (Zion), and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels . . .
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.