Bible Meaning: Founded peaceful, teaching of peace, set ye double peace
Strong's Concordance #H3389, #G2414
Jerusalem was at one time called Jebusi (Joshua 18:16, 28) and Jebus (1Chronicles 11:4). It was populated by a people known as the Jebusites. In 1003 B.C., after all the Israelite tribes accept him as their king, David attacks and conquers Jebus. He then renames it and makes it his capital.
Jerusalem continues 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.
The city conquered by David 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 called the city 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, it is called a holy city (Matthew 4:5) and the city of the great King (Matthew 5:35).
New Testament events
The city 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 the holy city 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.
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.
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.
2Kings 24:11, 14
And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.
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.
2Chronicles 32:10 - 11
Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem?
Doth not Hezekiah persuade you to give over yourselves to die by famine and by thirst, saying, The Lord our God shall deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
Acts 1:7 - 8
And he (Jesus) said unto them (his disciples), It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
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.
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.
Revelation 21:1 - 2
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.