Jerusalem In the Time of David (c. 1010–970 b.c.)

About four millennia ago, Melchizedek was king of Jerusalem, which was then called Salem (Gen. 14:18). This was an unwalled city, which was taken over in c. 1850 b.c. by the Jebusites, who built a city wall around it and called it Jebus (see 1 Chron. 11:4).

King David captured this city after having ruled for seven years in Hebron (2 Sam. 5:5). The city was strongly fortified, especially the area around the Gihon Spring, where massive towers dating from this period have been excavated. The Jebusites were so confident of their fortifications that they taunted David, saying that even the blind and the lame would prevent him from capturing their city (2 Sam. 5:6).

However, Joab, David’s commander-in-chief, managed to secretly enter the city through its water system and open the gates for David to take control (1 Chron. 11:6). The Jebusite Citadel was destroyed and replaced by the “stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David” (2 Sam. 5:7).

Later on in his life, David built an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, which stopped a plague sent by God upon Israel from reaching Jerusalem (2 Sam. 24:18–25).

Jerusalem In the Time of David