Jerusalem Cross Section
Map of Jerusalem's Cross SectionThe modern city of Jerusalem as seen from the south, with some Biblical locations. Click here to see a map of Jerusalem in the First Century AD.
Jerusalem in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Topography. --To convey an idea of the position of Jerusalem, we may say, roughly, that the city occupies the southern termination of the table-land which is cut off from the country round it on its west, south and east sides by ravines more than usually deep and precipitous. These ravines leave the level of the table-land, the one on the west and the other on the northeast of the city, and fall rapidly until they form a junction below its southeast corner. The eastern one --the valley of the Kedron, commonly called the valley of Jehoshaphat --runs nearly straight from north by south. But the western one --the valley of Hinnom-- runs south for a time, and then takes a sudden bend to the east until it meets the valley of Jehoshaphat, after which the two rush off as one to the Dead Sea. How sudden is their descent may be gathered from the fact that the level at the point of junction -about a mile and a quarter from the starting-point of each-- is more than 600 feet below that of the upper plateau from which they began their descent. So steep is the fall of the ravines, so trench-like their character, and so close do they keep to the promontory at whose feet they run, as to leave on the beholder almost the impression of the ditch at the foot of a fortress rather than of valleys formed by nature. The promontory thus encircled is itself divided by a longitudinal ravine running up it from south to north, called the valley of the Tyropoeon, rising gradually from the south, like the external ones, till at last it arrives at the level of the upper plateau, dividing the central mass into two unequal portions. Of these two, that on the west is the higher and more massive, on which the city of Jerusalem now stands, and in fact always stood. The hill on the east is considerably lower and smaller, so that to a spectator from the south the city appears to slope sharply toward the east. Here was the temple, and here stands now the great Mohammedan sanctuary with its mosques and domes. The name of MOUNT ZION has been applied to the western hill from the time of Constantine to the present day. The eastern hill, called MOUNT MORIAH in 2Ch 3:1 was as already remarked, the site of the temple. It was situated in the southwest angle of the area, now known as the Haram area, and was, as we learn from Josephus, an exact square of a stadium, or 600 Greek feet, on each side. Full Article
Jerusalem in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
III. The Natural Site.
Modern Jerusalem occupies a situation defined geographically as 31 degrees 46 feet 45 inches North latitude., by 35 degrees 13 feet 25 inches East longitude. It lies in the midst of a bare and rocky plateau, the environs being one of the most stony and least fruitful districts in the habitable parts of Palestine, with shallow, gray or reddish soil and many outcrops of bare limestone. Like all the hill slopes with a southeasterly aspect, it is so thoroughly exposed to the full blaze of the summer sun that in its natural condition the site would be more or less barren. Today, however, as a result of diligent cultivation and frequent watering, a considerable growth of trees and shrubs has been produced in the rapidly extending suburbs. The only fruit tree which reaches perfection around Jerusalem is the olive.
1. The Mountains Around:
The site of Jerusalem is shut in by a rough triangle of higher mountain ridges: to the West runs the main ridge, or water parting, of Judea, which here makes a sweep to the westward. From this ridge a spur runs Southeast and East, culminating due East of the city in the MOUNT OF OLIVES (which see), nearly 2,700 ft. above sea-level and about 300 ft. above the mean level of the ancient city. Another spur, known as Jebel Deir abu Tor, 2,550 ft. high, runs East from the plateau of el Buqei`a and lies Southwest of the city; it is the traditional "Hill of Evil Counsel." The city site is thus dominated on all sides by these higher ranges--"the mountains (that) are round about Jerus" (Ps 125:2)--so that while on the one hand the ancient city was hidden, at any considerable distance, from any direction except the Southeast, it is only through this open gap toward the desert and the mountains of Moab that any wide outlook is obtainable. This strange vision of wilderness and distant mountain wall--often of exquisite loveliness in the light of the setting sun--must all through the ages have been the most familiar and the most potent of scenic influences to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Full Article
The Bible Mentions Much Concerning "Jerusalem"
Isaiah 40:9 - O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift [it] up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
Ezra 6:3 - In the first
year of Cyrus the king [the same] Cyrus the king made a decree
[concerning] the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the
house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let
the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof
threescore cubits, [and] the breadth thereof threescore cubits;
1 Kings 12:27 - If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, [even] unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
Zechariah 3:2 - And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: [is] not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
Jeremiah 44:9 - Have ye forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, and the wickedness of the kings of Judah, and the wickedness of their wives, and your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, which they have committed in the land of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem?
2 Kings 12:18 - And Jehoash king of Judah took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat, and Jehoram, and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own hallowed things, and all the gold [that was] found in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and in the king's house, and sent [it] to Hazael king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem.
Lamentations 2:13 - What thing shall I take to witness for
thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of
Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort
thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach [is] great like the
sea: who can heal thee?
2 Kings 19:21 - This [is] the word that the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, [and] laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.
Isaiah 37:22 - This [is] the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, [and] laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.
Jeremiah 24:1 - The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs [were] set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
1 Chronicles 29:27 - And the time that he reigned over Israel [was] forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three [years] reigned he in Jerusalem.
Zechariah 14:4 - And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, [and there shall be] a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
Isaiah 66:20 - And they shall bring all your brethren [for] an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.
1 Kings 10:26 - And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem.
1 Chronicles 28:1 - And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 5:5 - In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.
Jeremiah 52:13 - And burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great [men], burned he with fire:
Joshua 15:8 - And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same [is] Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that [lieth] before the valley of Hinnom westward, which [is] at the end of the valley of the giants northward:
2 Kings 25:8 - 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:
1 Kings 2:11 - And the days that David reigned over Israel [were] forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 24:16 - 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.
Ezra 5:17 - Now therefore, if [it seem] good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure house, which [is] there at Babylon, whether it be [so], that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.
Ecclesiastes 1:16 - I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all [they] that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
2 Samuel 10:14 - And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 17:12 - Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these [things mean]? tell [them], Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;
1 Kings 14:21 - And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam [was] forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name [was] Naamah an Ammonitess.
2 Kings 23:5 - And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.
2 Chronicles 34:3 - For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.
Jeremiah 17:26 - And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the LORD.
Nehemiah 13:19 - And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and [some] of my servants set I at the gates, [that] there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.
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