The city of Jerusalem underwent many changes throughout Bible times. When King David captured the city from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:6-10; 1 Chronicles 11:4-9), it was a relatively small fortress positioned next to the Gihon Spring–-a dependable source of water that later enabled the city to withstand various sieges (2 Kings 18:13-19:37; 2 Chronicles 32; Isaiah 36-37). King Solomon built the Temple of the Lord on a threshing floor north of the city (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21), and the city continued to grow. King Hezekiah eventually expanded the walls to encompass a much larger area and replaced the old Jebusite tunnel with another tunnel (probably called Shiloah) to channel water more securely from the Gihon Spring to the Lower Pool (later called the Pool of Siloam/Shiloah) and the king’s garden. This new tunnel is probably what Isaiah 8:5-8 refers to when it rebukes the people of Judah for rejecting the gently flowing waters of Shiloah to support the Arameans. Many years later in 586 B.C. the Babylonians attacked the city, destroyed the city and the Temple, and sent many Judeans into exile (2 Kings 25:1-21; 2 Chronicles 36:17-21; Jeremiah 39:1-10; 52:1-30).
The Greek cities of Ephesus and Miletus, once prosperous port towns on the west coast of Asia Minor, have long since silted up (see modern shoreline in dark blue). Paul and John both conducted ministries in this region, and John was eventually exiled to the nearby island of Patmos (Acts 19; Revelation 1:9).
When Paul was being transferred to Rome under arrest, believers from Rome traveled down the Appian Way as far as the Forum of Appius to meet Paul and escort him back to Rome–a distance of 40 miles (Acts 28:13-15).
Most people don’t realize that roads were as important in Bible times as they are today. Many of the events of the Bible took place in towns that lay along main roads (see below). King Solomon also became very wealthy partially because he controlled the very important trade routes that passed through Israel, which connected several other major nations (Egypt, Assyria, the Hittites, etc.).
On our new blog we plan to post lots of great maps created with Bible Mapper. We hope that as you enjoy them you learn more about the world of the Bible and thereby come to understand God’s Word better.