Jerusalem during the Early Old Testament

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).

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Roads of Israel

Many 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. Good roads allowed trade to flourish and people to move throughout the country, including military troops heading to battle. Three primary routes passed through Israel: 1) the Great Trunk Road, connecting Egypt with Mesopotamia and Anatolia; 2) the Central Ridge Route, connecting towns within the heartland of Israel; and 3) the King’s Highway, which passed through the land that lay east of the Jordan River. King Solomon became very wealthy partially because he controlled all these important trade routes during his reign.

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