History Timeline of Jerusalem
Jerusalem first settled on the Ophel above the Gihon Spring.
19th Century BCE
Jerusalem listed in the Egyptian Execration Texts - first recorded mention of the city as Rusalimum.
The Hyksos Period - 1750 BCE–1500 BCE
14th Century BCE – Letters by local ruler of Jerusalem appears in diplomatic correspondence as Urusalim in the Amarna Archives.
1010-970 – The reign of King David.
1003 – King David establishes Jerusalem as Capital of United Kingdom of Israel.
970-931 – The reign of King Solomon.
950 – King Solomon commences construction of the First Temple.
931 – Division of Kingdom into Israel and Judah.
837-800 – The reign of Hezekiah, King of Judah - tunnels conduit from Gihon spring to Siloam pool.
721 – Assyrians conquer northern Kingdom of Israel and carry 10 of the 12 tribes into captivity and eventual dispersal.
701 – Hezekiah successfully withstands Sennacherib's assault on Jerusalem.
598-587 – Nebuchadnezzar's second invasion.
597 – Babylonians capture Jerusalem.
588-586 – Nebuchadnezzar's third invasion.
586 – Destruction of Jerusalem and of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar, and the exile of the Jews to Babylon (Lam 1.4 / 2.2).
582 – The desolation of the city was completed (Jer. 40-44), the final carrying captive into Babylon all that still remained, so that it was left without an inhabitant.
539 – Fall of Babylon.
The Persian Period - 537 BCE–332 BCE
538 – Edict of Cyrus.
537 – Remnant of about 50.000 Jews return from Babylon by edict of King Cyrus.
536 – Jerusalem was again built, after a captivity of seventy years, "in the first year of Cyrus" (Ezra 1:2, 3, 5-11). Zerubbabel ("Seed of Babylon") led the first band of Jews, numbering 42.360, from the Babylonian Captivity, in the first year of Cyrus.
520 – Work begins on rebuilding the Temple.
515 – Completion and rededication of the Second Temple under Zerubbabel (Ezra 6.15-18).
458 – Ezra the Scribe comes from Babylon - Law revived.
445 – Nehemiah appointed governor of Judea by Artaxerxes, was king of the Persian Empire from 464BCE to 424BCE. He belonged to the Achaemenid dynasty and was the successor of Xerxes I. He is mentioned in two books in the Bible, Ezra and Nehemish. He allowed the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem. He was followed on the throne by his son Xerxes II.
397 – Ezra, the Scribe initiates religious reforms.
The Hellenistic Period - 332 BCE–63 BCE
332 – Alexander the Great of Macedonia (356-323BCE) defeats Darius III of Persia at Gaugamela and conquers Palestine from the Persians (Daniel 11.3) captures Jerusalem and Helenization begins.
323 – Death of Alexander in Babylon - Wars of Succession begin.
320 – Ptolemy I (dynasty of Egyptian Kings that ruled between 323-30BCE) captures Jerusalem.
320-198 – Rule of the Egyptian Ptolemies.
198-167 – Rule of the Syrian Seleucids (a Macedonian dynastywhich ruled various area in Asia Minor and the Middle East between 321-64BCE).
169 – Seleucid king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-163BCE) outlaws Judaism and on December 25th, profanes the Temple. During his reign there was much intrigue for the high priesthood on the part of Jason and Menelaus, and because of their misbehaviour Antiochus visited Jerusalem in 169 and insisted on entering the holy of holies, and carried off some of the gold and silver vessels. Pressure from Egypt convinced him of the necessity to hellenize Palestine, and measures against the old religion resulted in the cessation of the sacrifices in the Temple and the erection of a Greek altar on the site of the old one on 25 December 167.
The Hasmonean Period - 167 BCE–63 BCE
166 – The priest Mattathias begins a Maccabean revolt.The revolt led by Mattathias HaHashmonai and his 5 sons led to the reconsecration of the Temple just 3 years later. Antiochus, who on coins of the later years of his reign called himself (Theos) Epiphaneus ‘(god) manifest’, died on campaign in Media in 164.
167-141 – Maccabean War of Liberation. The Maccabees founded the Hasmonean royal line and established Jewish independence in the Land of Israel for about 100 years. The Hasmonean Dynasty was founded by a resolution, adopted in 141 BCE, at a large assembly "of the priests and the people and of the elders of the land, to the effect that Simon should be their leader and high priest forever, until there should arise a faithful prophet" (1 Maccabees xiv. 41).
164 – Judah Maccabee recaptures Jerusalem and restores the Temple.
166-160 – Rule of Judah the Maccabee.
160-143 – Rule of Jonathan.
150 – Essene community founded. The Essenes were a religious sect of Judaism that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE. Many scholars today believe there were a number of separate bur related groups that had in common mystic, eschatological, messianic and ascetic beliefs that were referred to as the "Essenes".
143-135 – Rule of Simon Maccabeus, who was a son of Mattathias Maccabeus and became the first king of the Hasmonean Dynasty.
The Roman Period - 63 BCE–324 CE/AD
63 – General Pompey captures Jerusalem for Rome.
63-37 – Hasmonean rules continues but under the protection of Rome.
40 – Rome appoints Herod (74BCE-march4BCE) King of Judea. Herod I, also known as Herod the Great, was a Roman client-king of Judea. (To the majority of Christians Herod is best known from the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 2, that gives an account of the events leading up to and including what subsequently has become to be referred to by Christians as the "Massacre of the Innocents").
40-AD 4 – Reign of Herod the Great.
37 – King Herod the Great captures Jerusalem.
19 – Preparation of stones for the rebuilding of the Temple.
18 – Herod starts actual rebuilding of the Temple.
10 – Although not complete until AD63, Temple is dedicated.
About 5/4 John the Baptist, Jesus of Nazareth born (year approximate).
04 – Herod the Great dies and Herod Archaleus becomes ethnarch of Samaria, Judea and Idumea (4BCE-6CE).
BCE to CE:
26-36 – Pontius Pilate, Roman procurator of Judea for 10 years, who condemned Jesus to crucifixion.
31 – April 25 / Nisan 14: Crucifixion of Jesus.
41-44 – Agrippa, king of Judea, builds new city wall (The "Third Wall"). Agrippa I also called the Great (c.10 BC - AD 44), king of Judea, the grandson of Herod the Great, and son of Aristobulus and Berenice. His original name was Marcus Julius Agrippa, and he is the king named Herod in the Acts of the Apostles, in the Bible.
44 – Death of Herod Agrippa.
63 – Temple completed.
66-73 – The Great Revolt - The War of the Jews against the Romans.
70 – Fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the Second Temple by Titus Flavius.
73 – Fall of Masada.
132-135 – Bar Kochba's war of freedom - Simon bar Kokhba was a Jewish military leader who led Bar Kokhba's revolt against the Romans in 132 CE, establishing an independent state of Israel which he ruled for three years as Nasi ("prince," or "president"). His state was conquered by the Romans in 135 CE following a two-year war. Originally named Simon Bar Koziba, he was given the name Bar Kokhba (Aramaic for "Son of a Star", referring to , "A star has shot off Jacob") by his contemporary, the Jewish sage Rabbi Akiva, who contemplated the possibility that Bar Kochba could be the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. (Some have considered Kozeba, meaning "deceiver", to also be a rabbinic nickname for the rebel). Jerusalem again the Jewish Capital.
135 – Emperor Hadrian's total destruction of Jerusalem and building of new walls and new city renamed Aelia Capitolina. "Aelia" came from Hadrian's nomen gentile, Aelius, while "Capitolina" meant that the new city was dedicated to Jupiter Capitolinus, to whom a temple was built on the site of the Jewish temple. Roman enforcement of this prohibition continued through the fourth century. The city was without walls, protected by a light garrison of the Tenth legion, during the Late Roman Period. The detachment at Jerusalem, which apparently encamped all over the city’s western hill, was responsible for preventing Jews from returning to the city.
The Byzantine Period - 324–638
326 – Queen Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, visits Jerusalem, determines locations of events associated with the last days of Jesus, and causes churches to be build to commemorate them, most notably the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in AD 335. (A sepulchre (also spelled "sepulcher") is a burial chamber. In ancient Hebrew practice, it was carved into the rock of a hillside. The term is often used for the supposed burial site of Jesus in Jerusalem, over which the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been erected).
438 – Empress Eudocia (422-462) permits Jews to live in Jerusalem (she was the only daughter of Eastern emperor Theodosius II and of his wife, the poetess Aelia Eudocia.
614 – Persian conquest of Jerusalem. When Heraclius took power, the Empire was in a desperate situation. The Persian King Khosrau II, used the death of Maurice as an excuse to launch a war against the Byzantines. Khosrau had at his court a man who claimed to be Maurice's son Theodosius, and Khosraudemanded that the Byzantines accept him as Emperor. The Persians had slowly gained the upper hand in Mesopotamia over the course of Phocas's reign; when Heraclius' revolt resulted in civil war, the Persians took advantage of the internal conflict to advance deep into Syria. Emperor Heraclius offered peace terms to the Persians upon his accession, but Khosrau refused to treat with him, viewing him as just another usurper of Theodosius' throne. Heraclius' initial military moves against the Persians ended disastrously, and the Persians rapidly advanced westward. They took Damascus in 613, Jerusalem in 614 (damaging the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and capturing the Holy Cross in the process).
629 – The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius recaptures the city. In 630, he reached the height of his power when he marched triumphantly into Jerusalem and restored the True Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. But unfortunately for his war-weary empire, and unknown to him at the time, Muhammad had only recently succeeded in unifying all the nomadic tribes of the Arabian Peninsula. The Arabs, who had been too divided in the past to pose a military threat, now comprised one of the most powerful states in the region, and were animated by their new conversion to Muhammad's religion of Islam.
The Early Muslim Period - 638–1099
637 – Six years after Mohammed's death, Umar ibn al Khattāb (581-November 3.644), also known as Omar or Umar, became the second caliph of Islam. After a prolonged siege of Jerusalem, the Muslims took the city. `Umar was given the key to the city by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius, and invited to pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Umar chose to pray some distance from the Church, so as not to endanger its status as a Christian temple. Fifty-five years later, the Mosque of `Umar was constructed on the site where he prayed. Jews are readmitted to Jerusalem.
691 – Dome of the Rock completed by Caliph Abd al-Malik (646-705).
710 – After the Dome of the Rock (690), the first wooden Al-Aqsa Mosque was constructed by the Umayyads, completed in 710, by Caliph al-Walid (668-715), an Umayyad caliph, who ruled from 705-715. There is some evidence that the mosque was built out of the ruins of the auxiliary Second Temple building called the Chanuyos. The structure has been destroyed by earthquakes and rebuilt at least five times. The last major rebuild was in 1035.
1009 – In 1009, Caliph al-Hakim destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, then under Fatimid control, and persecuted the Christians and other dhimmis in Palestine (Dhimmi, or Zimmi as defined in classical Islamic legal and political literature, is a person living in a Muslim state who is a member of an officially tolerated non-Islamic religion). Although the church was rebuilt by Byzantine emperor Constantine IX in 1048, its destruction was remembered by Christians in Western Europe for the rest of the century. Though conditions for pilgrims and Christian inhabitants improved somewhat in the Holy Land under Hakim's successors in the 11th century, the destruction of the church was used to support the First Crusade; in 1096, after the Council of Clermont, there was even a forged letter published, supposedly written by Pope Sergius IV, calling for a Crusade in 1009.
The Crusader Kingdom - 1099–1244
1099 – Crusaders, led by Godfrey de Bouillon, capture of Jerusalem following Pope Urban's call in 1096. Baldwin I declared King of Jerusalem.
1187 – Kurdish general Saladin captures Jerusalem from Crusaders. He permits Jews and Muslims to return and settle in the city.
1192 – Richard the Lion Heart attempts to re-capture Jerusalem but fails. Treaty with Saladin permitting Christians to worship at their Holy sites.
1219 – City walls razed by Sultan Malik-al-Muattam.
1244 – Cairo allied with the Khwarismian Turks, who'd been knocking about Syria for a few years after the death of their king. They were fierce fighters and had once held a great kingdom between the Caspian and the Aral Sea, before the Mongols had driven them out. Since then, they were more like marauding nomads.They'd been up around Edessa (Greece) when receiving the Sultan's invitation to alliance. They started moving south. By the time anyone realized the danger they represented, it was much too late. The Khwarismians entered Jerusalem on 11 July 1244. They killed some of the inhabitants, but the Sultan negotiated on their behalf. On 23 August, six thousand Christians were allowed to leave the city. As they marched away, they saw Frankish flags hoisted on the ramparts. Some argued to keep going, but two thousand or so turned back. They were all killed beneath the walls. The other four thousand were attacked repeatedly by raiders. Only three hundred reached Jaffa.The Khwarismians, meanwhile, had sacked the city. They killed everyone in an Armenian convent. They broke into the Holy Sepulchre and killed the few priests who'd refused to leave. They dug up the bones of the Kings of Jerusalem and set fire to the church itself. After pillaging the city of everything of value, they left. Jerusalem was nearly empty. End of Crusader rule.
The Mameluk Period - 1260–1517
1244 – Mameluk Sultans defeat the Ayyubids and rule Jerusalem.
1260 – The Mameluks of Egypt capture Jerusalem.
1267 – Nahmanides arrives from Spain, revives the Jewish congregation and establishes synagogue and center of learning bearing his name. He is commonly known as Ramban, being an acronym of his Hebrew name and title, Rabbi Moshe Ben Nahman.
1275 – Marco Polo stops in Jerusalem on his way to China.
1348 – The Black Death Plague hits Jerusalem.
1488 – Rabbi Obadiah of Bertinoro settles in Jerusalem and leads the community.
He lived in the second half of the fifteenth century in Italy; died in Jerusalem about 1500. He was a pupil of Joseph ben Solomon Colon (known as the Maharik).
The Ottoman Turkish Period - 1517–1917
1517 – Ottomans accomplish peaceful takeover of Jerusalem.
1537-1541 – Unwalled since 1219, Sultan Suleiman ("The Magnificent"), rebuilds the city walls including the present day 7 gates and the "Tower of David". The Damascus gate in 1542.
1700 – Rabbi Yehuda He'Hassid arrives, starts building "Hurva" Synagogue. The Hurva synagogue was the main synagogue in Jerusalem in the 15th-16th centuries, attributed to Rabbi Moses Ben Nahman (Ramban), until the Ottomans closed it in 1589 because the Muslim incitement. It was burned by Arabs in 1721 (Hurva means ruin in Hebrew) , but again rebuilt by Zionist in the 19th century. When it was captured by the Arab Legion of Jordan during the battle for Old Jerusalem in 1948, they dynamited it to show that they controlled the Jewish quarter.
1836 – First visit of Sir Moses Montefiore.
1838 – First consulate (British) opened in Jerusalem.
1860 – First Jewish settlement outside walls of the city.
1898 – Visit by Dr. Theodor Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization.
The British Mandate Period - 1917–1948
1917 – British conquest and General Allenby's (186101936) entry into Jerusalem. First governor of Palestine during British Mandate.
1918 – Dr. Chaim Weizmann lays foundation stone of Hebrew University on Mount Scopus.
1920 – Sir Herbert Samuel appointed first British High Commissioner and "Government House" established in Jerusalem.
1925 – Hebrew University buildings inaugurated.
1947 – United Nations Resolution recommending the partition of Israel.
The Israeli Period - 1948 —
14 May 1948 – British Mandate ends and State of Israel Proclaimed.
14 May 1948-Jan 1949 – Israel War of Liberation.
28 May 1948 – New City of Jerusalem remains intact but Jewish Quarter in Old City falls.
April 1949 – Israel-TransJordan Armistice Agreement signed, whereby Jerusalem divided between the two countries.
13 Dec 1949 – Jerusalem is Declared Capital of the State of Israel.
1965 – Teddy Kollek elected Mayor of Jerusalem.
5 June 1967 – Jordan shells and mortars New City on opening day of the Six Day War.
7 June 1967 – Israeli troops capture Old City and Jerusalem reunites.
23 June 1967 – Moslems, Christians and Jews are again given access to their Holy Places.
1980 – Jerusalem Basic Law enacted declaring united Jerusalem to be capital of Israel.
1994 – Mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO.