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Significance Of Jerusalem – World History – Free PDF Download

JERUSALEM

  • Jerusalem is a city located in modern-day Israel and is considered by many to be one of the holiest places in the world.
  • Jerusalem is a site of major significance for the three largest monotheistic religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity, and both Israel and Palestine have claimed Jerusalem as a capital city.
  • Because of these strong, age-old associations, bloody conflicts to control the city and sites within it have been waged for thousands of years.

 HISTORY

  • Scholars believe the first human settlements in Jerusalem took place during the Early Bronze Age—somewhere around 3500 B.C.
  • In 1000 B.C., King David conquered Jerusalem and made it the capital of the Jewish kingdom. His son, Solomon, built the first holy Temple about 40 years later.
  • The Babylonians occupied Jerusalem in 586 B.C., destroyed the Temple, and sent the Jews into exile. About 50 years after that, the Persian King Cyrus allowed Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.
  • Alexander the Great took control of Jerusalem in 332 B.C. Over the next several hundred years, the city was conquered and ruled by different groups, including the Romans, Persians, Arabs, Fatimids, Seljuk Turks, Crusaders, Egyptians, Mamelukes and Islamists.

 EVENTS

  •  In 37 B.C., King Herod restructured the second Temple and added retaining walls to it.Jesus was crucified in the city of Jerusalem around 30 A.D.The Romans destroyed the second Temple in 70 A.D.
  • In 632 A.D., Muhammad, the Islamic prophet, died and was said to have ascended to heaven from Jerusalem. Many European Christians started pilgrimages to Jerusalem in the 1st century A.D. From about 1099 to 1187, Christian crusaders occupied Jerusalem and deemed the city a major religious site.
  • The Ottoman Empire ruled Jerusalem and much of the Middle East from about 1516 to 1917.

 EVENTS

  • After World War I, Great Britain took over Jerusalem, which was part of Palestine at the time. The British controlled the city and surrounding region until Israel became an independent state in 1948.
  • Jerusalem was divided during the first 20 years of Israel’s existence. Israel controlled the Western portions of it, while Jordan controlled East Jerusalem. After the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel seized all of Jerusalem.

JUDAISM

  • Jerusalem has been the holiest city in Judaism and the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE.
  • The city of Jerusalem is given special status in Jewish religious law. In particular, Jews outside Jerusalem pray facing its direction.
  • Jerusalem appears in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) 669 times and Zion (which usually means Jerusalem, sometimes the Land of Israel) appears 154 times.
  • According to the Hebrew Bible, the First Temple, at the site known as the Temple Mount today, was built by King Solomon and finished in 950 BC, and Mount Moriah is where Abraham almost sacrificed his son and talked to God.

CHRISTIANITY

  • Jerusalem is mostly important to Christianity because that is where Jesus Christ was brought to occasionally as a child, preached to the poor in his adult life, crucified in the end of his life, and resurrected by God.
  • The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is said to have been built over the location where Jesus was crucified and where the tomb was buried.

 ISLAM

  • Jerusalem is considered a sacred site in Islamic tradition, along with Mecca and Medina. Islamic tradition holds that previous prophets were associated with the city.
  • Due to such significance, it was the first Qibla (direction of prayer) for Muslims and the prophet Muhammad designated the Al-Aqsa for pilgrimage.
  • Muhammad declared himself to be the last prophet of the JudaicChristian Religions and he founded a third Abrahamic religion: Islam.
  • The Dome of the Rock is an Islamic sacred shrine in Jerusalem, built on the Temple Mount. It is believed this is where Muhammad ascended into heaven and was given the second pillar of Islam, to pray five times a day, from Allah, which is still used today.

 TEMPLE MOUNT

  • The Temple Mount is a compound located on a hill in Jerusalem that’s comprised of about 35 acres of land. It contains religious structures such as the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • The site is also the location of the first and second Temples and the spot where many Jewish prophets taught.The Temple Mount is thought to be the third holiest site in Islam (after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia) and where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
  • Christians also believe the site is significant to their faith. It’s a place that prophets mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, and was visited by Jesus according to the New Testament.

DOME OF THE ROCK

  • In 691 A.D., the Dome of the Rock, a gold-domed Islamic shrine, was built on the site of the destroyed Jewish Temples in Jerusalem.
  • The Dome, located on the Temple Mount, was built by Caliph Abd al-Malik. It’s the oldest surviving Islamic building and was constructed at the very site where Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to heaven.
  • A silver-domed mosque, called al-Aqsa, sits adjacent to the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. Both structures are considered holy to Muslims

WESTERN WALL (WAILING WALL)

  • The Western Wall is a section of ancient remnant wall from the second Jewish Temple. It’s located on the western side of the Temple Mount and is sometimes referred to as the “Wailing Wall” because many Jews pray and weep at the site of the destroyed Temple.
  • Each year, millions of Jews from around the world visit the wall. Because Muslims control the Temple Mount (the true site of the ancient Temples), the Western Wall is considered the holiest place where Jews can pray.

CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE

  • The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built in 335 A.D., is the site where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified and where his resurrection occurred. It’s located in the Christian quarter of Jerusalem.
  • Thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world travel to this church each year. Many regard it as the holiest Christian site in the world.

 

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