The previous article began talking about Al-Quds, the city of peace that has gained wide fame and a great place in human history, and mentioned that its Hebrew name is Jerusalem, which was mentioned for the first time in the Bible when the father of the patriarchs Abraham and Melchizedek, king of Salem met. The city of Jerusalem was founded by the Jebusites and was called Jebus after its founders, while the name Land of Canaan is given to the city of Jebus and its surrounding cities. While the name Jerusalem goes back to god Shalem of peace among the Canaanites, while some consider it a Hebrew-origin name that means “possessing peace” or “foundation of peace.” The Arabic name for the city is Al-Quds or Bayt Al-Maqdis.
Afterwards, Jerusalem city was mentioned in the days of Prophet Joshua, who led the people of Israel after the death of Prophet Moses, titled as the Converser with God. The Hebrew people were on their way to the land of Canaan which God promised to give them. During the entry of Prophet Joshua into Canaan, King Adoni-Zedek, the king of Jerusalem, is mentioned. King Adoni-Zedek decided to fight Israel: “Now it came to pass when Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard how Joshua had taken Ai and had utterly destroyed it—as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king—and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them, that they feared greatly.” He sent to the kings of the cities of Hebron, Jarmoth, Lachish, and Eglon requesting their support in fighting the Gibeonites who made peace with Prophet Joshua. When the Gibeonites learned that the armies were coming against them, they sent to Prophet Joshua to save them from the kings coming against them. He came to aid the, and fought the five kings, defeating and killing all of them. However, the Bible mentions that in the days of Prophet Joshua, the Jebusites lived with the children of Israel: “As for the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem, the children of Judah were not able to expel them, so the Jebusites lived with the children of Judah in Jerusalem”; Jerusalem was the portion of the tribe of Benjamin, the youngest son of Jacob the Prophet.
After the death of Prophet Joshua, the era of the judges who ruled over the Hebrews began, and during that era, the children of Israel fought the Canaanites and the Perizzites and defeated their king, Adoni-Bezek: “they caught him and cut off his thumbs and big toes. And Adoni-Bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to gather scraps under my table; as I have done, so God has repaid me.” Then they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.” Then the children of Judah fought the city of Jerusalem, seized it and set it on fire, but the Jebusites continued to live there with the children of Benjamin.
Jerusalem city is again mentioned when Prophet David was able to defeat the mighty Goliath and beheaded him, during the war of the Israelites with the Philistines: “And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.” Then Prophet David first reigned in Hebron, then he reigned over all the tribes of the children of Israel. He decided to set Jerusalem as his capital after he seized the Fortress of Zion and called it “the City of David”: “In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.” Prophet David lived in the city of Jerusalem, and built a house of cedar wood for himself. Then he brought the Ark of God’s Covenant from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David, and placed the Ark in the tent that he had set up for it. Then later, David the Prophet bought a threshing floor (a place for collecting and storing the land’s crops) owned by a person named Araunah the Jebusite in order to build a temple for the Lord on it, but God told David the Prophet – through the mouth of Prophet Nathan – that the House of the Lord would be built by his son, King Solomon who would succeed him. So David the Prophet prepared for his son Solomon what he would need to build the temple, which was later named after him: “The Temple of Solomon” Then he commanded him before his death: “I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; that the Lord may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,’ He said, ‘you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ Stories about Jerusalem are to be continued… and stories about beautiful Egypt never end!
The General Bishop
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center