Archaeological studies indicate that the city is very ancient, having been established perhaps more than 2,000 years before it was captured from the Jebusites by King David about 1,000 B.C.
Jerusalem had earlier been named Salem (Genesis 14:18) and Jebus (1 Chronicles 11:4). Salem meant peace (see Bible History).
The city is mentioned throughout The Bible, over 600 times in the Old Testament (see Old Testament Fact File), somewhat less in the New Testament (see New Testament Fact File). The first mention of the name Jerusalem is found in Joshua chapter 10.
The first Temple was constructed by King Solomon (see also Solomon's Kingdom) over a period of about 12 years, with completion around 950 B.C. The original Temple (see Temples) was destroyed by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar about 587 B.C. (see Why Babylon?). The first Temple lasted about 360 years. The Herodian Temple, as constructed by Herod the Great, existed at the time of Jesus Christ. It was a continuation of earlier reconstruction work done by Jews who had been allowed to return by the Persians after the Babylonian Captivity. The second Temple was destroyed by the Roman Legions under Titus in 70 A.D. at the conclusion of the Jewish War (see Fall of Jerusalem In 70 A.D. and Ancient Empires - Rome). Bible prophecy clearly indicates that one more Temple is going to be constructed in Jerusalem. It is most definitely The Place To Watch
The city is 2,550 feet (777 meters) above sea level. Its latitude is 32 degrees north (about the same as the southern U.S.), and its longitude is 35 degrees east (the same as Moscow to the north, and east Africa to the south).
The Dead Sea is 14 miles (23 kilometers) east.
The Jordan River is 19 miles (31 kilometers) east.
The Mediterranean Sea is 34 miles (55 kilometers) west.
Bethlehem is 5 miles (8 kilometers) south.
Nazareth is 63 miles (102 kilometers) north.
Samaria is 30 miles (49 kilometers) north.
Hebron is 19 miles (31 kilometers) south.
Egypt is 300 miles (485 kilometers) southwest.
Assyria and Babylon were 720 miles (1,170 kilometers) east.
Persia (see Ancient Empires - Persia) was 1,050 miles (1,700 kilometers) east.
Greece (see Ancient Empires - Greece) is 825 miles (1,340 kilometers) northwest.
Rome is 1,550 miles (2,510 kilometers) northwest.
Fact Finder: Will Jerusalem one day be the capital of the earth?
Also, see Prophecy