It is first mentioned in Scripture under the name Salem Genesis 14:18
& Psalms 76:2. When first mentioned under the name Jerusalem,
Adonizedek was its king Joshua 10:1. It is afterwards named among the
cities of Benjamin Judges 19:10
& I Chronicles 11:4, but in the time of David it was divided
between Benjamin and Judah. After the death of Joshua the city was taken
and set on fire by the men of Judah Judges 1:1-8, but the Jebusites
were not wholly driven out of it. The city is not again mentioned till
we are told that David brought the head of Goliath thither I Samuel 17:54.
David afterwards led his forces against the Jebusites still residing
within its walls, and drove them out, fixing his own dwelling on Zion,
which he called "the city of David" II Samuel 5:5-9 & I Chronicles
11:4-8. Here he built an altar to the Lord on the threshing-floor of
Araunah the Jebusite II Samuel 24:15-25, and thither he brought up the
ark of the covenant and placed it in the new tabernacle which he had
prepared for it. Jerusalem now became the capital of the kingdom.
After the death of David, Solomon built the temple, a house for
the name of the Lord, on Mount Moriah 1010 B.C. He also greatly
strengthened and adorned the city, and it became the great centre of all
the civil and religious affairs of the nation Deuteronomy 12:5-14; 14:23; 16:11-16 & Psalms 122.
After the disruption of the kingdom on the accession to the
throne of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, Jerusalem became the capital of
the kingdom of the two tribes. It was subsequently often taken and
retaken by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and by the kings of Israel II
Kings 14:13-14; 18:15-16; 23:33-35; 24:14; II Chronicles 12:9; 26:9;
27:3-4; 29:3; 32:30 & 33:11, till finally, for the abounding
iniquities of the nation, after a siege of three years, it was taken and
utterly destroyed, its walls razed to the ground, and its temple and
palaces consumed by fire, by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon II
Kings 25; II Chronicles 36 & Jeremiah 39 in 588 B.C. The desolation
of the city and the land was completed by the retreat of the principal
Jews into Egypt Jeremiah 40-44, and by the final carrying captive into
Babylon of all that still remained in the land, 52:3, so that it was
left without an inhabitant 582 B.C. Also note Leviticus 26:14-39 &
But the streets and walls of Jerusalem were again to be built, in
troublous times Daniel 9:16-25, after a captivity of seventy years.
This restoration was begun 536 B.C., "in the first year of Cyrus" Ezra
1:2-11. The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah contain the history of the
re-building of the city and temple, and the restoration of the kingdom
of the Jews, consisting of a portion of all the tribes. The kingdom thus
constituted was for two centuries under the dominion of Persia, till
331 B.C, and thereafter, for about a century and a half, under the
rulers of the Greek empire in Asia, till 167 B.C. For a century the Jews
maintained their independence under native rulers, the Asmonean
princes. At the close of this period they fell under the rule of Herod
and of members of his family, but practically under Rome, till the time
of the destruction of Jerusalem, 70 A.D. The city was then laid in
The modern Jerusalem by-and-by began to be built over the immense beds of rubbish resulting from the overthrow of the ancient city; and whilst it occupies certainly the same site, there are no evidences that even the lines of its streets are now what they were in the ancient city. Till A.D. 131 the Jews who still lingered about Jerusalem quietly submitted to the Roman sway. But in that year the emperor (Hadrian), in order to hold them in subjection, rebuilt and fortified the city. The Jews, however, took possession of it, having risen under the leadership of one Bar-Chohaba (i.e., "the son of the star") in revolt against the Romans. Some four years afterwards (A.D. 135), however, they were driven out of it with great slaughter, and the city was again destroyed; and over its ruins was built a Roman city called Aelia Capitolina, a name which it retained till it fell under the dominion of the Mohammedans, when it was called el-Khuds, i.e., "the holy."
In A.D. 326 Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine, made a
pilgrimage to Jerusalem with the view of discovering the places
mentioned in the life of our Lord. She caused a church to be built on
what was then supposed to be the place of the nativity at Bethlehem.
Constantine, animated by her example, searched for the holy sepulchre,
and built over the supposed site a magnificent church, which was
completed and dedicated A.D. 335. He relaxed the laws against the Jews
till this time in force, and permitted them once a year to visit the
city and wail over the desolation of "the holy and beautiful house."
In A.D. 614 the Persians, after defeating the Roman forces of the
emperor Heraclius, took Jerusalem by storm, and retained it till A.D.
637, when it was taken by the Arabians under the Khalif Omar. It
remained in their possession till it passed, in A.D. 960, under the
dominion of the Fatimite khalifs of Egypt, and in A.D. 1073 under the
Turcomans. In A.D. 1099 the crusader Godfrey of Bouillon took the city
from the Moslems with great slaughter, and was elected king of
Jerusalem. He converted the Mosque of Omar into a Christian cathedral.
During the eighty-eight years which followed, many churches and convents
were erected in the holy city. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was
rebuilt during this period, and it alone remains to this day. In A.D.
1187 the sultan Saladin wrested the city from the Christians. From that
time to the present day, with few intervals, Jerusalem has remained in
the hands of the Moslems. It has, however, during that period been again
and again taken and retaken, demolished in great part and rebuilt, no
city in the world having passed through so many vicissitudes.
In the year 1850 the Greek and Latin monks residing in Jerusalem had a fierce dispute about the guardianship of what are called the "holy places." In this dispute the emperor Nicholas of Russia sided with the Greeks, and Louis Napoleon, the emperor of the French, with the Latins. This led the Turkish authorities to settle the question in a way unsatisfactory to Russia. Out of this there sprang the Crimean War, which was protracted and sanguinary, but which had important consequences in the way of breaking down the barriers of Turkish exclusiveness.
Modern Jerusalem "lies near the summit of a broad mountain-ridge,
which extends without interruption from the plain of Esdraelon to a
line drawn between the southern end of the Dead Sea and the southeastern
corner of the Mediterranean." This high, uneven table-land is
everywhere from 20 to 25 geographical miles in breadth. It was anciently
known as the mountains of Ephraim and Judah.
"Jerusalem is a city of contrasts, and differs widely from Damascus, not merely because it is a stone town in mountains, whilst the latter is a mud city in a plain, but because while in Damascus Moslem religion and Oriental custom are unmixed with any foreign element, in Jerusalem every form of religion, every nationality of East and West, is represented at one time."
Jerusalem is first mentioned under that name in the Book of
Joshua, and the Tell-el-Amarna collection of tablets includes six
letters from its Amorite king to Egypt, recording the attack of the
Abiri about B.C. 1480. The name is there spelt Uru-Salim ??"city of
peace"). Another monumental record in which the Holy City is named is
that of Sennacherib's attack in B.C. 702. The "camp of the Assyrians"
was still shown about A.D. 70, on the flat ground to the north-west,
included in the new quarter of the city.
The city of David included both the upper city and Millo, and was
surrounded by a wall built by David and Solomon, who appear to have
restored the original Jebusite fortifications. The name Zion (or Sion)
appears to have been, like Ariel ("the hearth of God"), a poetical term
for Jerusalem, but in the Greek age was more specially used of the
Temple hill. The priests' quarter grew up on Ophel, south of the Temple,
where also was Solomon's Palace outside the original city of David. The
walls of the city were extended by Jotham and Manasseh to include this
suburb and the Temple II Chronicles 27:3 & 33:14.
Jerusalem is now a town of some 50,000 inhabitants, with ancient mediaeval walls, partly on the old lines, but extending less far to the south. The traditional sites, as a rule, were first shown in the 4th and later centuries A.D., and have no authority. The results of excavation have, however, settled most of the disputed questions, the limits of the Temple area, and the course of the old walls having been traced.
TEMPLE: The temple erected by the exiles on their return from Babylon had stood for about five hundred years, when Herod the Great became king of Judea. The building had suffered considerably from natural decay as well as from the assaults of hostile armies, and Herod, desirous of gaining the favour of the Jews, proposed to rebuild it. This offer was accepted, and the work was begun in 18 B.C., and carried out at great labour and expense, and on a scale of surpassing splendour. The main part of the building was completed in ten years, but the erection of the outer courts and the embellishment of the whole were carried on during the entire period of our Lord's life on earth John 2:16-21, and the temple was completed only A.D. 65. But it was not long permitted to exist. Within forty years after our Lord's crucifixion, his prediction of its overthrow was accomplished Luke 19:41-44. The Roman legions took the city of Jerusalem by storm, and notwithstanding the strenuous efforts Titus made to preserve the temple, his soldiers set fire to it in several places, and it was utterly destroyed A.D.70, and was never rebuilt.
Several remains of Herod's stately temple have by recent
explorations been brought to light. It had two courts, one intended for
the Israelites only, and the other, a large outer court, called "the
court of the Gentiles," intended for the use of strangers of all
nations. These two courts were separated by a low wall, as Josephus
states, some 4 1/2 feet high, with thirteen openings. Along the top of
this dividing wall, at regular intervals, were placed pillars bearing in
Greek an inscription to the effect that no stranger was, on the pain of
death, to pass from the court of the Gentiles into that of the Jews. At
the entrance to a graveyard at the north-western angle of the Haram
wall, a stone was discovered by M. Ganneau in 1871, built into the wall,
bearing the following inscription in Greek capitals: "No stranger is to
enter within the partition wall and enclosure around the sanctuary.
Whoever is caught will be responsible to himself for his death, which
There can be no doubt that the stone thus discovered was one of those originally placed on the boundary wall which separated the Jews from the Gentiles, of which Josephus speaks.
It is of importance to notice that the word rendered "sanctuary" in the inscription was used in a specific sense of the inner court, the court of the Israelites, and is the word rendered "temple" in John 2:15 & Acts 21:28-29. When Paul speaks of the middle wall of partition Ephesians 2:14, he probably makes allusion to this dividing wall. Within this partition wall stood the temple proper, consisting of, (1) the court of the women, 8 feet higher than the outer court; (2) 10 feet higher than this court was the court of Israel; (3) the court of the priests, again 3 feet higher; and lastly (4) the temple floor, 8 feet above that; thus in all 29 feet above the level of the outer court.
The summit of Mount Moriah, on which the temple stood, is now
occupied by the Haram esh-Sherif, i.e., "the sacred enclosure." This
enclosure is about 1,500 feet from north to south, with a breadth of
about 1,000 feet, covering in all a space of about 35 acres. About the
centre of the enclosure is a raised platform, 16 feet above the
surrounding space, and paved with large stone slabs, on which stands the
Mohammedan mosque called Kubbet es-Sahkra, or known as, the "Dome of
the Rock," or the Mosque of Omar. This mosque covers the site of
Solomon's temple. In the centre of the dome there is a bare, projecting
rock, the highest part of Moriah, measuring 60 feet by 40, standing 6
feet above the floor of the mosque, called the sahkra, i.e., "rock."
Over this rock the altar of burnt-offerings stood. It was the
threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. The exact position on this
"sacred enclosure" which the temple occupied has not been yet definitely
ascertained. Some affirm that Herod's temple covered the site of
Solomon's temple and palace, and in addition enclosed a square of 300
feet at the south-western angle. The temple courts thus are supposed to
have occupied the southern portion of the "enclosure," forming in all a
square of more than 900 feet. It is argued by others that Herod's temple
occupied a square of 600 feet at the south-west of the "enclosure."
It was the scene of some of the most memorable events of Jewish history. Galilee also was the home of our Lord during at least thirty years of his life. The first three Gospels are chiefly taken up with our Lord's public ministry in this province. "The entire province is encircled with a halo of holy associations connected with the life, works, and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth." "It is noteworthy that of his thirty-two beautiful parables, no less than ninteen were spoken in Galilee. And it is no less remarkable that of his entire thirty-three great miracles, twenty-five were wrought in this province. His first miracle was wrought at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, and his last, after his resurrection, on the shore of Galilee's sea. In Galilee our Lord delivered the Sermon on The Mount, and the discourses on `The Bread of Life,' on `Purity,' on 'Forgiveness,' and on `Humility.' In Galilee he called his first disciples; and there occurred the sublime scene of the Transfiguration" (Porter's Through Samaria).
When the Sanhedrin were about to proceed with some plan for the condemnation of our Lord John 7:45-52, Nicodemus interposed in his behalf. Note here Deuteronomy 1:16-17 & 17:8. They replied, "Art thou also of Galilee?.... Out of Galilee ariseth no prophet." This saying of theirs was "not historically true, for two prophets at least had arisen from Galilee, Jonah of Gath-hepher, and the greatest of all the prophets, Elijah of Thisbe, and perhaps also Nahum and Hosea. Their contempt for Galilee made them lose sight of historical accuracy" (Alford, Com.).
The Galilean accent differed from that of Jerusalem in being broader and more guttural Mark 14:70.
The Sea of Galilee, Matthew 4:18 & 15:29, is mentioned in the Bible under three other names.
In the Old Testament it is called the "sea of Chinnereth" Numbers 34:11; Joshua 12:3 & 13:27, as is supposed from its harp-like shape. The "lake of Gennesareth" in Luke 5:1.
John 6:1 & 21:1, calls it the "sea of Tiberias" The modern Arabs retain this name, Bahr Tabariyeh.
This lake is 12 1/2 miles long, and from 4 to 7 1/2 broad. Its surface is 682 feet below the level of the Mediterranean. Its depth is from 80 to 160 feet. The Jordan enters it 10 1/2 miles below the southern extremity of the Huleh Lake, or about 26 1/2 miles from its source. In this distance of 26 1/2 miles there is a fall in the river of 1,682 feet, or of more than 60 feet to the mile. It is 27 miles east of the Mediterranean, and about 60 miles north-east of Jerusalem. It is of an oval shape, and abounds in fish.
Its present appearance is thus described: "The utter loneliness and absolute stillness of the scene are exceedingly impressive. It seems as if all nature had gone to rest, languishing under the scorching heat. How different it was in the days of our Lord! Then all was life and bustle along the shores; the cities and villages that thickly studded them resounded with the hum of a busy population; while from hill-side and corn-field came the cheerful cry of shepherd and ploughman. The lake, too, was dotted with dark fishing-boats and spangled with white sails. Now a mournful, solitary silence reigns over sea and shore. The cities are in ruins!"
This sea is chiefly of interest as associated with the public ministry of our Lord. Capernaum, "his own city" Matthew 9:1, stood on its shores. From among the fishermen who plied their calling on its waters he chose Peter and his brother Andrew, and James and John, to be disciples, and sent them forth to be "fishers of men" Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16:20 & Luke 5:1-11. He stilled its tempest, saying to the storm that swept over it, "Peace, be still" Matthew 8:23-27 & Mark 7:31-35, and here also he showed himself after his resurrection to his disciples in John 21.
"The Sea of Galilee is indeed the cradle of the gospel. The subterranean fires of nature prepared a lake basin, through which a river afterwards ran, keeping its waters always fresh. In this basin a vast quantity of shell-fish swarmed, and multiplied to such an extent that they formed the food of an extraordinary profusion of fish. The great variety and abundance of the fish in the lake attracted to its shores a larger and more varied population than existed elsewhere in Palestine, whereby this secluded district was brought into contact with all parts of the world. And this large and varied population, with access to all nations and countries, attracted the Lord Jesus, and induced him to make this spot the centre of his public ministry."
This city is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was the home of Joseph and Mary Luke 2:39, and here the angel announced to the Virgin the birth of the Messiah Luke 1:26-28. Here Jesus grew up from his infancy to manhood Luke 4:16, and here he began his public ministry in the synagogue Matthew 13:54, at which the people were so offended that they sought to cast him down from the precipice whereon their city was built Luke 4:29. Twice they expelled him from their borders Matthew 13:54-58, and he finally retired from the city, where he did not many mighty works because of their unbelief Matthew 13:58, and took up his residence in Capernaum.
Nazareth is situated among the southern ridges of Lebanon, on the steep slope of a hill, about 14 miles from the Sea of Galilee and about 6 west from Mount Tabor. It is identified with the modern village en-Nazirah, of six or ten thousand inhabitants. It lies "as in a hollow cup" lower down upon the hill than the ancient city. The main road for traffic between Egypt and the interior of Asia passed by Nazareth near the foot of Tabor, and thence northward to Damascus.
It is supposed from the words of Nathanael in John 1:46, that the city of Nazareth was held in great disrepute, either because, it is said, the people of Galilee were a rude and less cultivated class, and were largely influenced by the Gentiles who mingled with them, or because of their lower type of moral and religious character. But there seems to be no sufficient reason for these suppositions. The Jews believed that, according to Micah 5:2, the birth of the Messiah would take place at Bethlehem, and nowhere else. Nathanael held the same opinion as his countrymen, and believed that the great "good" which they were all expecting could not come from Nazareth. This is probably what Nathanael meant. Moreover, there does not seem to be any evidence that the inhabitants of Galilee were in any respect inferior, or that a Galilean was held in contempt, in the time of our Lord.
CAPERNAUM: Capernaum, also known as Nahum's town, is a Galilean city frequently mentioned in the history of our Lord. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament. After our Lord's expulsion from Nazareth Matthew 4:13-16 & Luke 4:16-31. Capernaum became his "own city." It was the scene of many Acts and incidents of his life Matthew 8:5-15; 9:2-17; 15"1-20 & Mark 1:32-34. The impenitence and unbelief of its inhabitants after the many evidences our Lord gave among them of the truth of his mission, brought down upon them a heavy denunciation of judgement Matthew 11:23.
It stood on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. The "land of Gennesaret," near, if not in, which it was situated, was one of the most prosperous and crowded districts of Palestine. This city lay on the great highway from Damascus to Acco and Tyre. It has been identified with Tell Hum, about two miles south-west of where the Jordan flows into the lake. Here are extensive ruins of walls and foundations, and also the remains of what must have been a beautiful synagogue, which it is conjectured may have been the one built by the centurion Luke 7:5, in which our Lord frequently taught John 6:59; Mark 1:21 & Luke 4:33. Others have conjectured that the ruins of the city are to be found at Khan Minyeh, some three miles further to the south on the shore of the lake. "If Tell Hum be Capernaum, the remains spoken of are without doubt the ruins of the synagogue built by the Roman centurion, and one of the most sacred places on earth. It was in this building that our Lord gave the well-known discourse in John 6, and it was not without a certain strange feeling that on turning over a large block we found the pot of manna engraved on its face, and remembered the words, `I am that bread of life: your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead."
1. The verb metamelomai is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas Matthew 27:3.
2. Metanoeo, meaning to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge.
3. The cognate noun metanoia, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.
Evangelical repentance consists of, a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness; an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ and an actual hatred of sin Psalms 119:128; Job 42:5-6 & II Corinthians 7:10, and turning from it to God; and a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.
The true penitent is conscious of guilt Psalms 51:4-9; of pollution Psalms 51:7-10, and of helplessness Psalms 51:11 & 109:21-22. Thus, he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance Psalms 51:1 & 130:4.
JOHN: John, the Apostle, was the brother of James the "Greater" Matthew 4:21; 10:2; Mark 1:19; 3:17 & 10:35. He was one, probably the younger, of the sons of Zebedee Matthew 4:21 and Salome Matthew 27:56 & Mark 15:40, and was born at Bethsaida. His father was apparently a man of some wealth Mark 1:20; Luke 5:3 & John 19:27. He was doubtless trained in all that constituted the ordinary education of Jewish youth. When he grew up he followed the occupation of a fisherman on the Lake of Galilee. When John the Baptist began his ministry in the wilderness of Judea, John, with many others, gathered round him, and was deeply influenced by his teaching. There he heard the announcement, "Behold the Lamb of God," and forthwith, on the invitation of Jesus, became a disciple and ranked among his followers John 1:36-37 for a time. He and his brother then returned to their former avocation, for how long is uncertain. Jesus again called them Matthew 4:21 & Luke 5:1-11. And now they left all and permanently attached themselves to the company of his disciples. He became one of the innermost circle Matthew 17:1; 26:37; Mark 5:37 & 13:3. He was the disciple whom Jesus loved. In zeal and intensity of character he was a "Boanerges" Mark 3:17. This spirit once and again broke out Matthew 20:20-24; Mark 10:35-41 & Luke 9:49-54. At the betrayal he and Peter follow Christ afar off, while the others betake themselves to hasty flight John 18:15. At the trial he follows Christ into the council chamber, and thence to the praetorium 18:16-28 and to the place of crucifixion 19:27-27. To him and Peter, Mary first conveys tidings of the resurrection 20:2, and they are the first to go and see what her strange words mean. After the resurrection he and Peter again return to the Sea of Galilee, where the Lord reveals himself to them 21:1-7. We find Peter and John frequently after this together Acts 3:1 & 4:13. John remained apparently in Jerusalem as the leader of the church there Acts 15:6 & Galatians 2:9. His subsequent history is unrecorded. He was not there, however, at the time of Paul's last visit Acts 21:15-40. He appears to have retired to Ephesus, but at what time is unknown. The seven churches of Asia were the objects of his special care Revelation 1:11. He suffered under persecution, and was banished to Patmos 1:9, whence he again returned to Ephesus, where he died, probably about 98 A.D., having outlived all or nearly all the friends and companions even of his maturer years. There are many interesting traditions regarding John during his residence at Ephesus, but these cannot claim the character of historical truth.
ZEBEDEE: Zebedee was a Galilean fisherman, the husband of Salome (q.v.), and the father of James and John, two of our Lord's disciples Matthew 4:21; 27:56 & Mark 15:40. He seems to have been a man of some position in Capernaum, for he had two boats Luke 5:4 and "hired servants" Mark 1:20 of his own. No mention is made of him after the call of his two sons by Jesus.