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ORIGIN OF JERUSALEM.
which in after days received the appellation of Bezetha. Upon the western side of this plateau of hills were two other smaller ones, necessary to be introduced here; the one Gareb, to the north; the other Gihon, a long sloping elevation to the south. *
Such was the situation and original appearance of this very memorable spot, which at a very early period of the world's history became celebrated. When the twelve spies were sent by Moses to “search the land of Canaan,” they brought back word that “the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled and very great." There can, I think, be little doubt that one of these strongholds was the city of Jebus, (afterwards Jerusalem,) belonging to the Jebusites, who with the Hittites and the Amorites dwelt in the mountains or hill country of Judea. Josephus, however, says, that the first city in this place was built by Melchizedec, and was called Salem. He twice alludes to its origin ;-in the seventh book of the Antiquities he writes, -“ Under our forefather Abraham it was called Salem or Solyma ; but after that time, some say Homer mentions it by the name of Solyma, for he named the temple Solyma, according to the Hebrew language, which denotes security ;” and again, in the sixth book of the Wars, chap. x. he says,
“ But he who first built it was a potent man among the Canaanites, and is in our tongue called Melchizedec, The Righteous King, for such he really was, on which account he was there the first priest of God, and first built a temple there and called the city Jerusalem, which was formerly called Salem.” This, according to our biblical chronology, occurred A. M. 2023; but the Jewish historian makes it in the 2559th year of the world. Some copies of Josephus are said to have here “Salem or Hierosolyma ;" and many still
* My meaning will be better understood by a reference to the accompanying plan of the hills and valleys, &c. formed by an accurate and laborious examination on the spot. I have in it endeavoured to reduce the ground, now covered by ruins, as much as possible to the state that it must have presented before any city was built upon it. I have also transferred to it Mr. Catherwood's plan of the modern city, but divested of those traditionary places which are completely foreign to my present purpose. For the workmanship of this map, I am much indebted to my friend, C. B. Cradock, Esq.
DERIVATION OF THE NAME.
derive the word from Hieros-Salem (Sacred Salem); this, however, is a Greek derivation for which we have no authority. Dr. Whiston ingeniously supposes it to have been called Jerusalem “after Abraham had received that oracle Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide,' Gen. xxii. 14. The latter word Jireh, with a little alteration prefixed to the old name Salem Peace, will be Jerusalem.” And certainly on this spot, the Almighty did subsequently provide himself with a sacrifice in his well-beloved Son.* Acknowledging tha tSalem was the original name of the city, the prefix Jebus, the name of the king who conquered it, would, with the alteration of a single letter, afford us the present name;
and history presents'us with many instances of the names of cities being derived from similar sources.
The first notice which we have of Salem is that related in the book of Genesis, xiv. xvii., and xviii. ;t where it is recorded that Abram, when returning from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, was met by the king of Sodom, and Melchizedec, who was king of Salem, and priest of the Most High, in the vale of Shaveh, which is the king's dale, or, as is generally supposed, the valley of Jehoshaphat. M. Poujoulat, in his most interesting “Histoire de Jerusalem,” has lately called in question the general opinion as to the origin or derivation of the word Jerusalem, and certainly the subject is one not devoid of difficulty. “Is the city of Salem, of which Melchizedec was pontiff and king, identical with Jerusalem ?" asks the French historian, who wishes to show that the city here
* Victor Bythner, in his Lyra Prophetica, writes: “Obwiz' idem quod • visio pacis,' sive' visio perfecta.' Ab 07874. videbit,' (ab 1787 'aspexit,') et o 3w.par,' et 'perfecta.' Mons Moria olim dictus Obw cui Abraham nomen, 0787477774Dominus' videbit, i. e. providebit, indidit, Gen. xx. 14: appellata est urbs wir'in forma duali ob duas partes urbis, scil: Obw in monte Zion sita, et 1787 montem Moria, qui postea Zioni junctus et inclusus.” It was, however, “ upon one of the mountains in the land of Moriah ” that Abraham was desired to offer up his son; and if this really be the locality of that great type, it may not appear fanciful to suppose, that upon the exact spot where stood the altar for Isaac's sacrifice, the Saviour, the great antitype, was afterwards offered up. + It is also mentioned by David, Psalm lxxvi. 1, 2; and Psalm cx, 4.
Chateaubriand and Mr. Buckingham include Mount Moriah within the city of Melchizedec, but I cannot see any warrant for such a supposition.
TRADITIONS CONCERNING MORIAH.
referred to was the “Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan,” and mentioned in Genesis xxxii. 18, as that to which Jacob came from Padan-Aram ; but there is no authority in Scripture to warrant our believing that this was the city of Melchizedec. The site of the former is still discoverable on the road from Jerusalem to Nablous, a short distance to the N. E. of Beitin, the ancient Bethel ; St. John informs us that the Baptist “was baptizing in Enon, near to Salem,” (John üi. 23,) and it is not probable that Josephus, who wrote about seventy-five years afterwards, would confound the Salem of Jacob with the original name of Jerusalem or the city of Melchizedec.
It is said, that fifty years after its first building, it was taken by the Jebusites, the descendants of Jebus, the son of Canaan, who erected a fortress on Mount Sion, a place that offered this warlike people an advantageous position for converting it into an acropolis, like that of most ancient cities. By these people it was first called Jerusalem, probably in memory of their forefather. Joshua, it is reported, made himself master of the lower city Acra, which the children of Israel retained in common with the original inhabitants, till David, in the eighth year of his reign, took the fortress of Sion, and drove the Jebusites down out of it, B. c. 1048 (2 Sam. v.); from which time it received the name of The City of David, to distinguish it from the lower city. It was included in the lot of Benjamin, and that of Judah ran by its walls on the southern side, through the valley of Hinnom. Here we have both Sion and Acra or Salem, as it was originally called, within the compass of Jerusalem. David fortified the acropolis, or upper city, from a place called Millo,* and inwards.
Solomon succeeded, and he commenced to build the temple on Mount Moriah, to the east of the then existing town. Concerning this hill there is a tradition among the Israelites to the present day; and it is also related in the Targum, that “Solomon began to build the house of the sanctuary of the Lord at Jerusalem, in the place where Abraham prayed and worshipped in the name of the Lord. This is the place of the earth where all generations shall worship the Lord. Here Abraham was about to offer his son Isaac for a burnt offering ; but he was snatched away by the word
* Millo appears to have been that internal valley afterwards called Tyropæon.
HISTORY OF JERUSALEM.
of the Lord, and a ram placed in his stead. Here Jacob prayed when he fled from the face of Esau, his brother; and here the angel of the Lord appeared to David, at which time David built an altar unto the Lord in the threshing-floor which he bought from Araunah, the Jebusite.”
At this period we see that the three hills originally mentioned became enclosed within the city, which then attained to a splendour and eminence it has never since equalled. And now, in process of time, this city, after many unheeded warnings and denunciations, was wholly destroyed by that extraordinary instrument of the Almighty's power, Nebuchadnezzar, in the year of the world 3390, (2 Chron. xxxvi.) B. c. 610, and its inhabitants carried away into captivity. After seventy years a new epoch takes place. The Chaldean empire passes into the Persian, and Cyrus gives permission to Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple, which is afterwards accomplished under Darius, (Ezra, vi.) but the city walls remained prostrate, till the return of Nehemiah, B. C. 446. Now, at this time, though the walls and gates were broken down, yet their foundations must have remained, for not only was the prophet able to trace the walls, but afterwards the people took particular and defined portions, some of which they rebuilt —others we read, that they only repaired. As we know of no other destruction of the city, we must suppose that this same wall remained in situ up to the days of our Saviour and Josephus. We therefore refer to the description of the Jewish antiquary, and with a map so constructed, and studying the natural position of the ground, we shall be able to trace the respective portions built by the Jews after the return from Babylon. There is, however, one exception to this. We learn from authentic sources, that the city becoming so populous, that it was unable to contain its inhabitants within its walls, a large suburb sprung up on the sloping ground, to the north of Acra. This in time became a part of the metropolis, and as the wall which separated it from the southern town would be of little use, it was in all probability neglected. In process of time, when Judea became a Roman province, and wars and dissensions sprang up on all sides, Herod Agrippa encircled part of this northern suburb with a wall, which was afterwards completed by the Jews themselves by permission of Claudius. The part thus added was called Bezetha Cenopolis,
THE DESCRIPTION OF JOSEPHUS.
or the new city, in contradistinction to Salem, or the old city, or Sion, or the upper city. I introduce this here because it a valid objection to all the maps, plans, and topographical dissertations that have ever been written upon Jerusalem in this country; for the persons who made those plans have fallen into the error of placing the gates and other landmarks mentioned by the early Scripture writers, and particularly by Nehemiah, in this outer northern wall of Agrippa, which was not built for many centuries after. Other geographers have marked separate portions of the wall, aš that built by Manasseh, &c. but this appears to me to have been built round an internal portion of the City of David, on Mount Sion, probably between it and Acra, (2 Chron. xxxiii.) and both this wall and that of Hezekiah were before the time of Nebuchadnezzar's destruction, and they consequently merged into the walls of Nehemiah.
We now turn to the text of Josephus, which, as it has often been tortured and perverted, I shall here introduce verbatim. The bare reading of the description given of the city in the fourth chapter of the fifth book of the “ Wars of the Jews" will not, however, put us in possession of all that the learned antiquary knew or related of the situation of the different walls and towers ; for in numberless other places he enters into a detail of the parts attacked and defended, from which we learn more than from those particularly allotted to their explanation.
“The city of Jerusalem was fortified with three walls, on such parts as were not encompassed with unpassable valleys; for in such places it hath but one wall.* The city was built upon two hills, which are opposite to one another, and have a valley to divide them asunder, at which valley the corresponding rows of houses on both hills end. Of these hills, that which contains the upper city is much higher, and in length more direct. Accordingly it was called the Citadel by King David ; he was father of that Solomon who built this temple at the first, but by us it is called
Many persons, and among the rest, Dr. Robinson, understand this to mean three concentric walls ; and that in some places, all three existed opposite onea nother; whereas, not one of the walls encompassed more than half of the city. (See Map.)