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Is Jerusalem originally an Israeli or a Palestinian city?
Archaeological evidence suggests that the first settlement was established near Gihon Spring between 4500–3500 BCE.The first known mention of the city was in c. 2022 BCE in the Middle Kingdom Egyptian Execration Texts in which the city was recorded as Rusalimum. The root S-L-M in the name is thought to refer to either "peace" (compare with modern Salam or Shalom in modern Arabic and Hebrew) or Shalim, the god of dusk in the Canaanite religion.Archaeological evidence suggests that by the 17th century BCE, the Canaanites had built massive walls (4 and 5 ton boulders, 26 feet high) on the eastern side of Jerusalem to protect their ancient water system.By c. 1550–1400 BCE, Jerusalem had become a vassal to Egypt after the Egyptian New Kingdom under Ahmose I and Thutmose I had reunited Egypt and expanded into the Levant. The Amarna letters contain correspondence from Abdi-Heba, headman of Urusalim and his suzerain Amenhotep III.The power of the Egyptians in the region began to decline in the 12th century BCE, during the Bronze Age collapse. The Battle of Djahy (Djahy being the Egyptian name for Canaan) in 1178 BCE between Ramesses III and the Sea Peoples marked the beginning of this decline. The gradual loss of a central power gave rise to independent kingdoms in the region.According to the Bible, Jerusalem at this time was known as Jebus and its independent Canaanite inhabitants at this time were known as Jebusites.According to the Bible, the Israelite history of the city began in c. 1000 BCE, with King David's sack of Jerusalem (??????) , following which Jerusalem became the City of David and capital of the United Kingdom of Israel. According to the Books of Samuel, the Jebusites managed to resist attempts by the Israelites to capture the city, and by the time of King David were mocking such attempts, claiming that even the blind and lame could defeat the Israelite army. Nevertheless, the mastext for the Books of Samuel states that David managed to capture the city by stealth, sending his forces through a "water shaft" and attacking the city from the inside. (Mayam HaShiloah)Archaeologists now view this as implausible as the Gihon spring • the only known location from which water shafts lead into the city • is now known to have been heavily defended (and hence an attack via this route would have been obvious rather than secretive).An older Septuagint text, however, suggests that rather than by a water shaft, David's forces defeated the Jebusites by using daggers rather than through the water tunnels coming through the Gihon spring. There was another king in Jerusalem, Araunah, during, and possibly before, David's control of the city, according to the biblical narrative, who was probably the Jebusite king of Jerusalem.The city, which at that point stood upon the Ophel, was, according to the biblical account, expanded to the south, and declared by David to be the capital city of the Kingdom of Israel. David also, according to the Books of Samuel, constructed an altar at the location of a threshing floor he had purchased from Araunah; a portion of biblical scholars view this as an attempt by the narrative's author to give an Israelite foundation to a pre-existing sanctuary.Later, according to the biblical narrative, King Solomon built a more substantive temple, the Temple of Solomon, at a location which the Book of Chronicles equates with David's altar. The Temple became a major cultural centre in the region; eventually, particularly after religious reforms such as those of Hezekiah and of Josiah, the Jerusalem temple became the main place of worship, at the expense of other, formerly powerful, ritual centres, such as Shiloh and Bethel. However, according to K. L. Noll, in Canaan and Israel in Antiquity: A Textbook on History and Religion, the Biblical account of the centralization of worship in Jerusalem is a fiction, although by the time of Josiah, the territory he ruled was so small that the Jerusalem temple became de facto the only shrine left. Solomon is also described as having created several other important building works at Jerusalem, including the construction of his palace, and the construction of the Millo (the identity of which is somewhat controversial). Archaeologists are divided over whether the biblical narrative is supported by the evidence from excavations. Eilat Mazar contends that her digging uncovered remains of large stone buildings from the correct time period, while Israel Finkelstein disputes both the interpretation and the dating of the finds.When the Kingdom of Judah split from the larger Kingdom of Israel (which the Bible places near the end of the reign of Solomon, c. 930 BCE, though Israel Finkelstein and others dispute the very existence of a unified monarchy to begin with, Jerusalem became the capital of the Kingdom of Judah, while the Kingdom of Israel located its capital at Shechem in Samaria. Thomas L. Thompson argues that it only became a city and capable of acting as a state capital in the middle of the 7th century.Both the Bible and regional archaeological evidence suggest the region was politically unstable during the period 925–732 BCE. In 925 BCE, the region was invaded by Egyptian Pharaoh Sheshonk I of the Third Intermediate Period, who is possibly the same as Shishak, the first Pharaoh mentioned in the Bible who captured and pillaged Jerusalem. Around 75 years later, Jerusalem's forces were likely involved in an indecisive battle against the Neo-Assyrian King Shalmaneser III in the Battle of Qarqar. According to the bible, Jehoshaphat of Judah was allied to Ahab of the Northern Kingdom of Israel at this time.The Bible records that shortly after this battle, Jerusalem was sacked by Philistines, Arabs and Ethiopians, who looted King Jehoram's house, and carried off all of his family except for his youngest son Jehoahaz.Two decades later, most of Canaan including Jerusalem was conquered by Hazael of Aram Damascus. According to the Bible, Jehoash of Judah gave all of Jerusalem's treasures as a tribute, but Hazael proceeded to destroy "all the princes of the people" in the city. And half a century later, the city was sacked by Jehoash of Israel, who destroyed the walls and took Amaziah of Judah prisoner.By the end of the First Temple Period, Jerusalem was the sole acting religious shrine in the kingdom and a centre of regular pilgrimage; a fact which archaeologists generally view as being corroborated by the evidence, though there remained a more personal cult involving Asherah figures, which are found spread throughout the land right up to the end of this era.Jerusalem was the capital of the Kingdom of Judah for some 400 years. It had survived an Assyrian siege in 701 BCE by Sennacherib, unlike Samaria, the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel, that had fallen some twenty years previously. According to the Bible, this was a miraculous event in which an angel killed 185,000 men in Sennacherib's army. According to own account preserved in the Taylor prism, an inscription contemporary with the event, the king of Judah, Hezekiah, was "shut up in the city like a caged bird" and eventually persuaded Sennacherib to leave by sending him "30 talents of gold and 800 talents of silver, and diverse treasures, a rich and immense booty".Siege of Jerusalem in 597 BCE led to the city being overcome by the Babylonians, who then took the young King Jehoiachim into Babylonian captivity, together with most of the aristocracy. Zedekiah, who had been placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar (the Babylonian king), rebelled, and Nebuchadnezzar, who at the time (587/586 BCE) was ruler of a most powerful empire, recaptured the city, killed Zedekiah's descendants in front of him, and plucked out Zedekiah's eyes so that that would be the last thing he ever saw. The Babylonians then took Zedekiah into captivity, along with prominent members of Judah.The Babylonians then burnt the temple, destroyed the city's walls, and appointed Gedaliah son of Achikam as governor of Judah. After 52 days of rule, Yishmael, son of Netaniah, a surviving descendant of Zedekiah, assassinated Gedaliah after encouragement by Baalis, the king of Ammon. Some of the remaining population of Judah, fearing the vengeance of Nebuchadnezzar, fled to Egypt. The Jews left Jerusalem completely and ceased to belong to them.According to the Bible, and perhaps corroborated by the Cyrus Cylinder, after several decades of captivity in Babylon and the Achaemenid conquest of Babylonia, Cyrus II of Persia allowed the Jews to return to Judah and rebuild the Temple. The books of Ezra-Nehemiah record that the construction of the Second Temple was finished in the sixth year of Darius the Great (516 BCE), following which Artaxerxes I sent Ezra and then Nehemiah to rebuild the city's walls and to govern the Yehud province within the Eber-Nari satrapy. These events represent the final chapter in the historical narrative of the Hebrew Bible.When Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, Jerusalem and Judea fell under Greek control and Hellenistic influence. After the Wars of the Diadochoi following Alexander's death, Jerusalem and Judea fell under Ptolemaic control under Ptolemy I and continued minting Yehud coinage. In 198 BCE, as a result of the Battle of Panium, Ptolemy V lost Jerusalem and Judea to the Seleucids under Antiochus the Great.Under the Seleucids many Jews had become Hellenized and with their assistance tried to Hellenize Jerusalem, eventually culminating in a rebellion by the High Priest Matityahu ben Yo?anan and his five sons: Simon, Yochanan, Eleazar, Jonathan and Yehuda ha-Makabi, also known as the Maccabees. As a result of the rebellion, Jerusalem became the capital of the independent Hasmonean Kingdom.The Hasmonean Kingdom lasted for 103 years. It was ruled by Simon Maccabaeus, the son of Matityahu; then by his son Yochanan, known as John Hyrcanus, who started minting his own Hasmonean coins; then by his son Yehuda Aristobulus; then by his wife Salome Alexandra; then by his brother Alexander Yannai; then by his sons Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II. When the brothers Hyrcanus and Aristobulus each asked for Rome to intervene on their behalf, Judea fell under the greater rule of Rome as an autonomous province but still with a significant amount of independence. The last Hasmonean king was Aristobulu’s son Antigonus II Matityahu.In 37 BCE, Herod the Great captured Jerusalem after forty-day siege, ending Hasmonean rule. Herod ruled the Province of Judea as a client-king of the Romans, rebuilt the Second Temple, upgraded the surrounding complex, and expanded the minting of coins to many denominations. Pliny the Elder, writing of Herod's achievements, called Jerusalem "t he most famous by far of the Eastern cities and not only the cities of Judea."The Talmud comments that "He who has not seen the Temple of Herod has never seen a beautiful building in his life." And Tacitus wrote that "Jerusalem is the capital of the Jews. In it was a Temple possessing enormous riches."Herod also built Caesarea Maritima which replaced Jerusalem as the capital of the Roman province. In 6 CE, following Herod's death in 4 BCE, Judea and the city of Jerusalem came under direct Roman rule through Roman prefects, procurators, and legates (see List of Hasmonean and Herodian rulers). Nevertheless, Herod's descendants remained nominal kings of Iudaea Province as Agrippa I (41–44) and Agrippa II (48–100)In 66 CE, the Jewish population rebelled against the Roman Empire in what is now known as the First Jewish–Roman War or Great Revolt. Roman legions under future emperor Titus reconquered and subsequently destroyed much of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Also the Second Temple was burnt and all that remained was the great external (retaining) walls supporting the esplanade on which the Temple had stood, a portion of which has become known as the Western Wall. Titus' victory is commemorated by the Arch of Titus in Rome.Agrippa II died c. 94 CE, which brought the Herodian dynasty to an end almost thirty years after the destruction of the Second Temple. After the end of this revolt, Jews continued to live in Jerusalem in significant numbers, and were allowed to practice their religion, only if they paid the Jewish Tax.In the 1st century CE, Jerusalem became the birthplace of Early Christianity from the murder of Christ. According to the New Testament, it is the location of the crucifixion, resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ.It was in Jerusalem that, according to the Acts of the Apostles, the Apostles of Christ received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and first began preaching the Gospel and proclaiming his resurrection. Jerusalem eventually became an early centers of Christianity and home to one of the five Patriarchates of the Christian Church.My conclusion is that it is duly proven that Jerusalem, perhaps the oldest city in the world, was built by the Canaanites. They kept it and the Jebusites developed it until the invasion of the aggressive Jewish people took it away, in the time of King David. Later the city received other invasions and was occupied by Assyrians, Chaldeans, Hasmonean Greeks and Romans, until there was condemned, judged and crucified Our Lord Jesus Christ at the hands of the Jews.As was the prediction made by Jesus before his death, the curtains of the temple would be torn and the city would be destroyed, and the people who condemned would be scattered.The prophecy was fulfilled and the Jews left Jerusalem, which was occupied by the Byzantine Empire and then by the hordes of Islam.Obviously, Uru-sa-lim or Al Kuds was not originally a Jewish place, nor was it from anyone in particular.On the other hand, it can be said that the Palestinians are direct descendants of the first architects of that city, the Canaanites and Jebusites.The Hebrew occupations never were not too long and always that people ended up conquered and dispersed throughout the world.In any case, a tiny group of Jews inhabited the city at all times, proportional to the small percentage of Hebrews who are scattered throughout the world. But very little time they ruled the place. I do not believe I am mistaken saying that only since the United Nations resolution of the partition of the British Mandate over Palestine, in 1948 to nowadays, is the larger period of Jewish rule over the Holy City. But it is an occupation resisted and maintained at the cost of permanent violence, which is exercised by the fearsome Zionist armees on the original Palestinian population.Nevertheless, not everything is said about Jerusalem yet, and history will tell us if that will be the scene of the second coming of Christ, preceded by Armageddon, the place where the last battle of good versus evil will take place.SOURCES:Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913), “Jerusalem (Before 71 CE)” Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.Daniel Pipes: “Constructing a Counterfeit History of Jerusalem” Retrieved 7 January 2011.Jerusalem (71–1099) • Catholic Encyclopedia articleJerusalem, Latin Kingdom of (1099–1291) • Catholic Encyclopedia articleJerusalem (After 1291)• Catholic Encyclopedia article4,000-year-old cemetery uncovered in Jerusalem (8 November 2006)History.com • Jerusalem Timeline from Kind David to the 20th CenturyTalmud Bavli Archives - Bavli OnlineIsrael Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman (2022). The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9780743223386.Thompson, Thomas L., 1999, The Bible in History: How Writers Create a Past, Jonathan Cape, London, ISBN 978-0-224-03977-2 p. 207A. Stewart, Palestine Pilgrims Text Society, Vol. 9–10, pp. 384–91Al-Khalidi, Walid (ed.), All that remains: the Palestinian villages occupied and depopulated by Israel in 1948, (Washington DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992)
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