JERUSALEM The etymology of the name is not certain; it is apparently of Semitic origin. An Egyptian notice from the third quarter of the nineteenth century B.C. mentions Urusalimum. The Assyrians called it Ursalimmu. Modern scholars take these names to mean "founded by the god Shalem," a god of the Amorites (Jerusalem is said to have been founded by Amorites and Hittites; (Ezek 16:3,45).

In time, however, the second part of the name became associated with shalom ("peace") in Hebrew minds, and Jerusalem came to mean "city of peace." Romans and Greeks called it Hierosolyma. To the Arabs it is El Kuds, meaning "holy town."

The first city of Israel, and the "holy city" for three great world religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

The "holy city" is located fourteen miles W of the Dead Sea, thirty-three miles E of the Mediterranean. Bethlehem lies about five miles to the SE. The city is situated on an uneven rocky plateau at an elevation of 2,550 feet. It is 3,800 feet above the level of the Dead Sea. It is poetically called "beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth" (Ps 48:2). Its location has helped to give it prestige.

Jerusalem stands at a point where three steep-sided little wadis join to form one valley. They are the Kidron, Tyropoeon, and Hinnom valleys. The Kidron runs N and S and lies on the E of the city. Between it and the Tyropoeon Valley (also N-S) a long, narrow spur extends southward; on this stood the Jebusite town conquered by David. Then a western hill (now known as Zion) stands between the Tyropoeon and the Hinnom, which runs N and S and then curves in an easterly direction to join the other two valleys. To the E of the Kidron rises the Mount of Olives.

The Court of the Gentiles



Chief Priests


Construction of the Temple

Court of the Gentiles


Easton's Bible Dictionary




Herod the Great

Historical Sources

Interpreted Text




Jerusalem City

Jesus and the Temple

Modern Jerusalem Photo

Money Changers

Naves Topical Bible


pop Antonia Fortress

pop Bridge Across Kidron Valley

pop Court of the Gentiles

pop Court of the Women

pop East Gate

pop Nicanor Gate

pop Pool of Israel

pop Royal Stoa

pop Solomon's Porch

pop Temple

pop The Court of Israel

pop The Sanctuary

pop Western Wall





Smith's Bible Dictionary

Soreg Inscription

Interpreted Text

The Columbia Encyclopedia

The Court of the Gentiles

The Court of the Priests

The Eastern Gate and Prophecy

The Fortress of Antonia

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

The Population

The Temple

Warning Inscription

The Court of the Gentiles


The Court of the Gentiles

Bible History Online

The Story of the Bible

© Bible History Online (

Related Content

The Court of the Gentiles
Table of Contents

The Temple
The Court
The Warning
The Moneychangers
Historical Sources