For the Jewish people, Jerusalem is a dream.
A dream of being worthy of creating a place, a home, where heaven and earth meet.
It is not one man’s dream, but a dream of an entire nation linked together over thousands of years. It starts with Abraham and Isaac, and together, hand in hand, it is passed to King David, King Solomon, down the line until modern times, when the Jewish people have returned to the Holy Land.
The history of Jerusalem is long, and full of construction and of destruction.
The first mention of Jerusalem in the Bible goes back to the book of Genesis when Abraham visits Jerusalem to partake in the victorious banquet with Malchi-zedek King of Shalem (Jerusalem) his ally.
A little more than 3000 years ago, King David purchased the land for the future Temple and established the City of David.
David’s son, King Solomon built the first Temple which stood until 586 BCE when it, and Jerusalem, were destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.
In 539 BCE, King Cyrus of Persia allowed the Jews to return back to Israel. Seventy years after the destruction of the First Temple, the Second Temple was built and stood for nearly 600 years until the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and burned down the Temple.
The Jewish nation entered their long and painful exile, but Jerusalem continued to be in the memory, prayers and actions of Jews around the world.
Over the next 2000 years, Jerusalem became of holy signifigance to two new religions- Christianity and Islam. Jerusalem became a pilgrimage site for all three monotheistic religions, with devotees being drawn to the religious intensity and spirituality of Jerusalem.
All in all, Jerusalem has been fought over by armies of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids, Romans, Byzantines,Persians, Arabs, Seljuks, Crusaders, Mongols, Mamelukes, Turks, British, Jordanians and Modern Israel. It is a city that has been besieged about forty different times and destroyed (at least partially) on thirty-two different occasions. Unfortunately, Jerusalem, “The City of Peace” has known wars and destruction since it existence was first known to us from the Biblical record.