With one throw David was transformed from an obscure shepherd boy to God’s warrior,conqueror of Jerusalem, direct MORE?
Goliath (Hebrew: , Modern Tiberian ; Arabic: جالوت, Ǧālūt (Qur'anic term), جليات Ǧulyāt (Christian term)) or Goliath of Gath (one of five city states of the Philistines) is a giant Philistine warrior defeated by the young David, the future king of Israel, in Bible's Books of Samuel (1 Samuel 17).
The original purpose of the story was to show David's identity as the true king of Israel. Post-Classical Jewish traditions stressed Goliath's status as the representative of paganism, in contrast to David, the champion of the God of Israel. Christian tradition gave him a distinctively Christian perspective, seeing in David's battle with Goliath the victory of God's King over the enemies of God's helpless people as a prefiguring of Jesus' victory over sin on the Cross and the Church's victory over Satan.
The account of the battle between David and Goliath is told in 1 Samuel, chapter 17. Saul and the Israelites are facing the Philistines near the Valley of Elah. Twice a day for 40 days, Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, comes out between the lines and challenges the Israelites to send out a champion of their own to decide the outcome in single combat, but Saul and all the Israelites are afraid. David, bringing food for his elder brothers, hears that Saul has promised to reward any man who defeats Goliath, and accepts the challenge. Saul reluctantly agrees and offers his armor, which David declines, taking only his sling and five stones from a brook.
David and Goliath confront each other, Goliath with his armor and shield, David with his staff and sling. "The Philistine cursed David by his gods." but David replies: "This day Jehovah will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that God saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is God’s, and he will give you into our hand."
David hurls a stone from his sling with all his might and hits Goliath in the center of his forehead, Goliath falls on his face to the ground, and David cuts off his head. The Philistines flee and are pursued by the Israelites "as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron". David puts the armor of Goliath in his own tent and takes the head to Jerusalem, and Saul sends Abner to bring the boy to him. The king asks whose son he is, and David answers, "I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite."
Goliath's stature grew at the hand of narrators or scribes: the oldest manuscripts — the Dead Sea Scrolls text of Samuel, the first-century historian Josephus, and the fourth century Septuagint manuscripts — all give his height as "four cubits and a span" (6 feet 9 inches or 2.06 m); later manuscripts increase this to "six cubits and a span" (9 feet 9 inches or 2.97 m).
The biblical account describes Goliath as falling on his face after he is struck by a stone that sank into his forehead. British rabbi Jonathan Magonet has discussed some of the textual difficulties this raises. In the first place, he notes that archaeological information suggests that Philistine helmets generally had a forehead covering, in some cases extending down to the nose. Why (he asks) should David aim at such an impenetrable spot (and how did it hit with such force to penetrate thick bone)? And why should Goliath fall forward when struck by something heavy enough to stop him, rather than backwards? An answer to both questions, Magonet suggests, lies in the Hebrew word meitzach, normally translated forehead. A word almost identical with it appears earlier in the passage — the word mitzchat, translated as "greaves" — the flexible leg-armour that protected Goliath's lower leg (see I Samuel 17: 6). It is possible, grammatically in the passage, for the same word to be used in verse 49, a reconstruction of which, replacing meitzach with mitzchat, would imply that the stone sank down behind Goliath's leg-armour (as his leg was bent), making it impossible for him to straighten his leg, and causing him to stumble and fall. Then David removed the head of Goliath to show all that the giant was killed.
The earliest manuscripts, such as the fourth-century AD Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209 do not contain the verses describing David coming each day with food for his brothers, nor 1 Samuel 17:55–58 in which Saul seems unaware of David’s identity, referring to him as "this youth" and asking Abner to find out the name of his father. The narrative therefore reads that Goliath challenges the Israelites to combat, the Israelites are afraid, and David, already with Saul, accepts the challenge. This removes a number of ambiguities which have puzzled commentators: it removes 1 Samuel 17:55–58 in which Saul seems not to know David, despite having taken him as his shield-bearer and harpist; it removes 1 Samuel 17:50, the presence of which makes it seem as if David kills Goliath twice, once with his sling and then again with a sword; and it gives David a clear reason, as Saul’s personal shield-bearer, for accepting Goliath’s challenge. Scholars drawing on studies of oral transmission and folklore have concluded that the non-Septuagint material “is a folktale grafted onto the initial text of … 1 Samuel.”
A Goliath makes another appearance in 2 Samuel 21:19, which tells how Goliath the Gittite was killed by “Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite.” The fourth-century B.C. 1 Chronicles explains the second Goliath by saying that Elhanan "slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath", apparently constructing the name Lahmi from the last portion of the word "Bethlehemite" ("beit-ha’lahmi"). The King James Bible translators adopted this into their translation of 2 Samuel 21:18–19, although the Hebrew text at this point makes no mention of the word "brother". "Most likely, storytellers displaced the deed from the otherwise obscure Elhanan onto the more famous character, David."
Tell es-Safi, the biblical Gath and traditional home of Goliath, has been the subject of extensive excavations by Israel’s Bar-Ilan University. The archaeologists have established that this was one of the largest of the Philistine cities until destroyed in the ninth century BC, an event from which it never recovered. A potsherd discovered at the site, and reliably dated to the tenth to mid-ninth centuries BC, is inscribed with the two names “alwt” and “wlt.” While the names are not directly connected with the biblical Goliath, they are etymologically related and demonstrate that the name fits with the context of late-tenth/early-ninth-century BC Philistine culture. The name “Goliath” itself is non-Semitic and has been linked with the Lydian king Alyattes, which also fits the Philistine context of the biblical Goliath story. Aren Maeir, director of the excavation, comments: "Here we have very nice evidence [that] the name Goliath appearing in the Bible in the context of the story of David and Goliath … is not some later literary creation."
The underlying purpose of the story of Goliath is to show that Saul is not fit to be king (and that David is). Saul was chosen to lead the Israelites against their enemies, but when faced with Goliath he refuses to do so; Goliath is a giant, and Saul is a very tall man. His exact height is not given, but he's a head taller than anyone else in all Israel [1 Samuel 9:2]) which implies he was over 6-feet-tall (1.83 m); and Saul's armour and weaponry are apparently no worse than Goliath's (and David, of course, refuses Saul's armour in any case). "David declares that when a lion or bear came and attacked his father's sheep, he battled against it and killed it, [but Saul] has been cowering in fear instead of rising up and attacking the threat to his sheep (i.e. Israel)."
The armor described in 1 Samuel 17 is typical of Greek armor of the sixth century BC rather than of Philistines armor of the tenth century, and narrative formulae such as the settlement of battle by single combat between champions is characteristic of the Homeric epics (the Iliad) but not of the ancient Near East. The designation of Goliath as a איש הביניים, "man of the in-between" (a longstanding difficulty in translating 1 Samuel 17) appears to be a borrowing from Greek "man of the metaikhmion (μεταίχμιον)", i.e. the space between two opposite army camps where champion combat would take place.
A story very similar to that of David and Goliath appears in the Iliad, where the young Nestor fights and conquers the giant Ereuthalion. Each giant wields a distinctive weapon—an iron club in Ereuthalion’s case, a massive bronze spear in Goliath’s; each giant, clad in armor, comes out of the enemy’s massed array to challenge all the warriors in the opposing army; in each case the seasoned warriors are afraid, and the challenge is taken up by a stripling, the youngest in his family (Nestor is the twelfth son of Neleus, David the seventh or eighth son of Jesse). In each case an older and more experienced father figure (Nestor’s own father, David’s patron Saul) tells the boy that he is too young and inexperienced, but in each case the young hero receives divine aid and the giant is left sprawling on the ground. Nestor, fighting on foot, then takes the chariot of his enemy, while David, on foot, takes the sword of Goliath. The enemy army then flees, the victors pursue and slaughter them and return with their bodies, and the boy-hero is acclaimed by the people.
According to the Babylonian Talmud (Sotah 42b) Goliath was a son of Orpah, the sister-in-law of Ruth, David's own great grandmother (Ruth → Obed → Jesse → David). Ruth Rabbah, a haggadic and homiletic interpretation of the Book of Ruth, makes the blood-relationship even closer, considering Orpah and Ruth to have been full sisters. Orpah was said to have made a pretense of accompanying Ruth but after forty paces left her. Thereafter she led a dissolute life. According to the Jerusalem Talmud Goliath was born by polyspermy, and had about one hundred fathers.
The Talmud stresses the thrasonical Goliath's ungodliness: his taunts before the Israelites included the boast that it was he who had captured the Ark of the Covenant and brought it to the temple of Dagon; and his challenges to combat were made at morning and evening in order to disturb the Israelites in their prayers. His armour weighed 60 tons, according to rabbi Hanina; 120, according to rabbi Abba bar Kahana; and his sword, which became the sword of David, had marvellous powers. On his death it was found that his heart carried the image of Dagon, who thereby also came to a shameful downfall.
In Pseudo-Philo, believed to have been composed between 135 BCE. and 70 CE, David picks up seven stones and writes on them the names of his fathers, his own name, and the name of God, one name per stone; then, speaking to Goliath, he says "Hear this word before you die: were not the two woman from whom you and I were born, sisters? And your mother was Orpah and my mother Ruth ..." After David strikes Goliath with the stone he runs to Goliath before he dies and Goliath says "Hurry and kill me and rejoice." and David replies "Before you die, open your eyes and see your slayer." Goliath sees an angel and tells David that it is not he who has killed him but the angel. Pseudo-Philo then goes on to say that the angel of the Lord changes David's appearance so that no one recognizes him, and thus Saul asks who he is.
Goliath appears in chapter 2 of the Qur'an (II: 247-252), in the narrative of David and Saul's battle against the Philistines. Called "Jalut" in Arabic, Goliath's mention in the Qur'an is concise, though it remains a parallel to the account in the Hebrew Bible. Muslim scholars have tried to trace Goliath's origins, most commonly with the Amalekites. Goliath, in early scholarly tradition, became a kind of byword or collective name for the oppressors of the Israelite nation before David. Muslim tradition sees the battle with the Philistines as a prefiguration of the Prophet's battle of Badr, and sees Goliath as parallel to the enemies that the Prophet faced.
American actor Ted Cassidy portrayed Goliath in the TV series Greatest Heroes of the Bible in 1978. Italian actor Luigi Montefiori portrayed this nine-foot-tall giant in Paramount's 1985 live-action movie King David as part of a flashback. Big Idea's popular VeggieTales episode was called "Dave and the Giant Pickle", where Phil Vischer voiced Goliath.
In 2005, Lightstone Studios released a direct-to-DVD movie musical titled "One Smooth Stone", which was later changed to "David and Goliath". It is part of the Liken the Scriptures (now just Liken) series of movie musicals on DVD based on scripture stories. Thurl Bailey, a former NBA basketball player, was cast to play the part of Goliath in this film.
Goliath was portrayed by Conan Stevens in the 2013 TV miniseries The Bible.
The Italians used Goliath as an action superhero in a series of Biblical adventure films (peplums) in the early 1960s. He possessed amazing strength, and the films were similar in theme to their Hercules and Maciste movies. After the classic Hercules (1958) became a blockbuster sensation in the film industry, a 1959 Steve Reeves film Terrore dei Barbari (Terror of the Barbarians) was retitled Goliath and the Barbarians in the United States, (after Joseph E. Levine claimed the sole right to the name of Hercules); the film was so successful at the box office, it inspired Italian filmmakers to do a series of four more films featuring a beefcake hero named Goliath, although the films were not really related to each other. (The 1960 Italian film David and Goliath starring Orson Welles was not one of these, since that movie was a straightforward adaptation of the Biblical story).
The four titles in the Italian Goliath series were as follows:
The name Goliath was later inserted into the film titles of three other Italian muscle man movies that were retitled for distribution in the United States in an attempt to cash in on the Goliath craze, but these films were not originally made as Goliath movies in Italy.
Both Goliath and the Vampires (1961) and Goliath and the Sins of Babylon (1963) actually featured the famed superhero Maciste in the original Italian versions, but American distributors didn't feel the name Maciste had any meaning to American audiences. Goliath and the Dragon (1960) was originally an Italian Hercules movie called The Revenge of Hercules.
David (Hebrew: , Modern Tiberian ; ISO 259-3 Dawid; Arabic: ; Strong's: Daveed) according to the Hebrew Bible, was the second king of the United Kingdom of Israel, and according to the New Testament Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus. His life is conventionally dated to c. 1040–970 BCE, his reign over Judah c. 1010–1002 BCE, and his reign over the United Kingdom of Israel c. 1002–970 BCE.
The Books of Samuel, 1 Kings, and 1 Chronicles are the only sources of information on David, although the Tel Dan stele (dated c. 850–835 BCE) contains the phrase (bytdwd), read as "House of David", which most scholars take as confirmation of the existence in the mid-9th century BCE of a Judean royal dynasty called the House of David.
He is depicted as a righteous king, although not without faults, as well as an acclaimed warrior, musician, and poet, traditionally credited for composing many of the psalms contained in the Book of Psalms.
David is central to Jewish, Christian, and Islamic doctrine and culture. Biblical tradition maintains that a direct descendant of David will be the Messiah, and in Islam he is considered to be a prophet.
God rejects Saul as king. The prophet Samuel seeks a new king from the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem. Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, "The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives." So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was ruddy and handsome. Then the Lord said, "Rise and anoint him; this is the one." So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
An evil spirit from the Lord tormented Saul (1 Samuel 16:14) and his attendants suggest he send for David, a young warrior famed for his bravery and for his skill with the harp. Saul does so, and makes David one of his armor-bearers. From then on, "whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him."
The Israelites, under King Saul, faced the Philistines near the Valley of Elah. He heard the Philistine giant Goliath challenge the Israelites to send their own champion to decide the outcome in single combat. But neither the soldiers nor King Saul himself had the courage to face the Philistine adversary. David told Saul he was prepared to face Goliath alone. Saul tried to fit him with a suit of armor, but none were small enough. David decided to face the giant without armor. He picked five smooth stones from a nearby brook. David struck Goliath in the forehead with a stone from his sling. Goliath fell dead. David took Goliath's sword and beheaded him. The Philistines fled in terror. Saul inquired about the name of the young champion, and David told him that he was the son of Jesse.
Saul makes David a commander over his armies and offers him his daughter Michal in marriage for bringing 100 foreskins of the Philistines but David brings back 200, saying "God was with me". David is successful in many battles, and his popularity awakes Saul's fears — "What more can he have but the kingdom?" By various stratagems the jealous king seeks his death, but the plots only endear David the more to the people, and especially to Saul's son Jonathan, who loves David (1 Samuel 18:1, 2 Samuel 1:25–26). Warned by Jonathan, David flees into the wilderness, where he gathers a band of followers and becomes the champion of the oppressed while evading the pursuit of Saul. He accepts the town of Ziklag from the Philistine king Achish of Gath, but continues secretly to champion the Israelites. Achish marches against Saul, but David is excused from the war on the accusation of the Philistine nobles that his loyalty to their cause cannot be trusted.
Jonathan and Saul are killed in battle with the Philistines at Mount Gilboa. David mourns their deaths, especially that of Jonathan, his friend. He goes up to Hebron, where he is anointed king over Judah. In the north, Saul's son Ish-Bosheth becomes king of the tribes of Israel. War ensues between Ish-Bosheth and David, until Ish-Bosheth is murdered. The assassins bring the head of Ish-Bosheth to David hoping for a reward, but David executes them for their crime against the Lord's anointed. Yet with the death of the son of Saul, the elders of Israel come to Hebron and David, who is 30 years old, is anointed King over Israel and Judah.
David conquered the Jebusite fortress of Jerusalem, and made it his capital. "Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house." David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, intending to build a temple, but God, speaking through the prophet Nathan, announced that the temple would be built at a future date by one of David's sons (Solomon). God made a covenant with David, promising that He will establish the house of David : "Your throne shall be established forever."
With God's help, David was victorious over his people's enemies. The Philistines were subdued, the Moabites to the east paid tribute, along with Hadadezer of Zobah, from whom David took gold shields and bronze vessels.
David commits adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Bathsheba becomes pregnant. David sends for Uriah, who is with the Israelite army at the siege of Rabbah, so that he may lie with his wife and conceal the identity of the child's father. Uriah refuses to do so while his companions are in the field of battle and David sends him back to Joab, the commander, with a message instructing him to abandon Uriah on the battlefield, "that he may be struck down, and die." David marries Bathsheba and she bears his child, "but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord." The prophet Nathan confronts David, saying: "Why have you despised the word of God, to do what is evil in his sight? You have smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife." Nathan presents three punishments from God for this sin. First, that the "sword shall never depart from your house" (2 Samuel 12:10); second, that "Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel" (2 Samuel 12:12); and finally, that "the son born to you will die" (2 Samuel 12:14).
David repents, yet God "struck the [David's] child ... and it became sick ... [And] on the seventh day the child died." David leaves his lamentations, dresses himself, goes to the House of the Lord and worships, and then returns home to eat. His servants ask why he wept when the baby was alive, but ends his mourning when the child dies. David replies: "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The L may be gracious to me and let the child live.' But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."2 Samuel 12:22–23
David's son Absalom rebels against his father. They come to battle in the Wood of Ephraim. Absalom is caught by his hair in the branches of an oak and David’s general Joab kills him as he hangs there. When the news of the victory is brought to David, he does not rejoice, but is instead shaken with grief: "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!"
When David has become old and bedridden, Adonijah, his eldest surviving son and natural heir, declares himself king and worthy to marry Abishag. Bathsheba, David's favorite wife, and Nathan the prophet go to David and procure his agreement that Solomon, Bathsheba's son, should sit on the throne. Thus, the plans of Adonijah collapse, and Solomon becomes king.
It is to Solomon that David gives his final instructions, including his promise that the line of Solomon and David will inherit the throne of Judah forever, and his request that Solomon kill his oldest enemies on his behalf.
David dies and is buried in the City of David, having ruled forty years over Israel, seven in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem.
David was born in Bethlehem, in the territory of the Tribe of Judah. His grandfather was Oved, whose mother was the Moabite Ruth and whose grandmother was the prostitute Rahav, who are two of the most famous women of the Bible, even though they were "goyim", i.e. they did not belong to the chosen people. David's father was named Jesse. His mother is not named in the Bible, but the Talmud identifies her as Nitzevet daughter of Adael. David had seven brothers and was the youngest of them all. David also had two sisters, Zeruiah and Abigail. He had eight wives: Michal, the second daughter of King Saul; Ahinoam the Jezreelite; Abigail the Carmelite, previously wife of Nabal; Maachah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; Haggith; Abital; Eglah; and Bathsheba, previously the wife of Uriah the Hittite.
The Book of Chronicles lists David's sons by various wives and concubines. In Hebron he had six sons 1 Chronicles 3:1–3: Amnon, by Ahinoam; Daniel, by Abigail; Absalom, by Maachah; Adonijah, by Haggith; Shephatiah, by Abital; and Ithream, by Eglah. By Bathsheba, his sons were: Shammua; Shobab; Nathan; and Solomon. His sons born in Jerusalem by other wives included: Ibhar; Elishua; Eliphelet; Nogah; Nepheg; Japhia; Elishama; and Eliada. 2 Samuel 5:14–16 According to 2 Chronicles 11:18, Jerimoth, who is not mentioned in any of the genealogies, is mentioned as another of David's sons. According to 2 Samuel 9:11, David also welcomed Jonathan's son Mephibosheth to his table after giving him the land which previously belonged to King Saul.
David also had at least one daughter, Tamar by Maachah, who was raped by Amnon, her half-brother. Her rape leads to Amnon's death. 2 Samuel 13:1–29 Absalom, Amnon's half-brother and Tamar's full-brother, waits two years, then avenges his sister by sending his servants to kill Amnon at a feast to which he had invited all the king's sons. 2 Samuel 13
Two archaeological finds, the Tel Dan Stele and the Mesha Stele, have direct bearing on the question of the existence of a historical David. The first of these is an Aramean victory stele (inscribed stone) discovered in 1993 at Tel Dan and dated c. 850–835 BCE: it contains the phrase (bytdwd), and the reading "House of David" for this "is now widely accepted". The Mesha Stele from Moab, dating from approximately the same period, may also contain the name David in line 12, where the interpretation is uncertain, and in line 31, where one destroyed letter must be supplied.
The evidence from surface surveys indicates that Judah at the time of David was a small tribal kingdom. The Bronze and Iron Age remains of the City of David, the original urban core of Jerusalem identified with the reigns of David and Solomon, were investigated extensively in the 1970s and 1980s under the direction of Yigal Shiloh of the Hebrew University, but failed to discover significant evidence of occupation during the 10th century BCE, In 2005 Eilat Mazar reported the discovery of a Large Stone Structure which she claimed was David's palace, but the site is contaminated and cannot be accurately dated.
The biblical account about David comes from the Books of Samuel and the Books of Chronicles. Chronicles merely retells Samuel from a different theological vantage point, and contains little (if any) information not available there, and the biblical evidence for David is therefore dependent almost exclusively on the material contained in the chapters from 1 Samuel 16 to 1 Kings 2.
Since Martin Noth put forward his analysis of the Deuteronomistic history, biblical scholars have accepted that these two books form part of a continuous history of Israel, compiled no earlier than the late 7th century BCE, but incorporating earlier works and fragments. Samuel's account of David "seems to have undergone two separate acts of editorial slanting." The original writers show a strong bias against Saul, and in favour of David and Solomon. Many years later the Deuteronomists edited the material in a manner that conveyed their religious message, inserting reports and anecdotes that strengthened their monotheistic doctrine. Some of the materials in Samuel I and II — notably the boundary, allotment and administrative lists — are believed to be very early, since they correspond closely to what we know of the territorial conditions of the late Davidic-early Solomonic period.
Beyond this, the full range of possible interpretations is available. The late John Bright, in his History of Israel (which went through four editions from 1959 to 2000), takes Samuel at face value. Donald B. Redford, however, thinks all reconstructions from Biblical sources for the United Monarchy period are examples of "academic wishful thinking". Thomas L. Thompson rejects the historicity of the biblical narrative, "The history of Palestine and of its peoples is very different from the Bible's narratives, whatever political claims to the contrary may be. An independent history of Judea during the Iron I and Iron II periods has little room for historicizing readings of the stories of I-II Samuel and I Kings."Amihai Mazar however, concludes that based on recent archeological findings, like those in City of David, Khirbet Qeiyafa, Tel Dan, Tel Rehov, Khirbet en-Nahas and others "the deconstruction of United Monarchy and the devaluation of Judah as a state in 9th century is unacceptable interpretation of available historic data". According to Mazar, based on archeological evidences, United Monarchy can be described as a "state in development"
Some interesting studies of David have been written: Baruch Halpern has pictured David as a lifelong vassal of Achish, the Philistine king of Gath; Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman have identified as the oldest and most reliable section of Samuel those chapters which describe David as the charismatic leader of a band of outlaws who captures Jerusalem and makes it his capital. Steven McKenzie, Associate Professor of the Hebrew Bible at Rhodes College and author of King David: A Biography, states the belief that David actually came from a wealthy family, was "ambitious and ruthless" and a tyrant who murdered his opponents, including his own sons.
1 Samuel 16:12 "And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him, for this is he." - Holy Bible; English Standard Version. 1 Samuel 17:41-43 "And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance."
The Hebrew word for 'ruddy' used in the above passages is admoni (ואדמני), from the root ADM (אדם, see also Adam and Edom). "Admoni", reddish-brown, was the ideal colour for men, and indicates David's heroic nature. Despite the fact his hair is not mentioned in the passages, the description led to a later Sephardic and Ashkenazi tradition that David was a red-head.][
While almost half of the Psalms are headed "A Psalm of David" (although the phrase can also be translated as "to David" or "for David") and tradition identifies several with specific events in David’s life - Psalms 3, 7, 18, 34, 51, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 63 and 142., the headings are late additions and no psalm can be attributed to David with certainty.
Psalm 34 is attributed to David on the occasion of his escape from the Abimelech (king) Achish by pretending to be insane - according to the narrative in 1 Samuel 21, instead of killing the man who had exacted so many casualties from him, Abimelech allows David to depart, exclaiming, "Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?"
David is an important figure in Judaism. Historically, David's reign represented the formation of a coherent Jewish kingdom centered in Jerusalem. David is an important figure within the context of Jewish messianism. In the Hebrew Bible, it is written that a human descendant of David will occupy the throne of a restored kingdom and usher in a messianic age.
David is also viewed as a tragic figure; his acquisition of Bathsheba, and the loss of his son are viewed as his central tragedies.
Many legends have grown around the figure of David. According to one Rabbinic tradition, David was raised as the son of his father Jesse and spent his early years herding his father's sheep in the wilderness while his brothers were in school. Only at his anointing by Samuel – when the oil from Samuel's flask turned to diamonds and pearls – was his true identity as Jesse's son revealed.
David's adultery with Bathsheba was only an opportunity to demonstrate the power of repentance, and the Talmud states that it was not adultery at all, quoting a Jewish practice of divorce on the eve of battle. Furthermore, according to Talmudic sources, the death of Uriah was not to be considered murder, on the basis that Uriah had committed a capital offence by refusing to obey a direct command from the King. However, in tractate Sanhedrin, David's broken heart pleads and numerous actions for forgiveness are discussed, God ultimately forgives but would not remove his sins from Scripture.
According to midrashim, Adam gave up 70 years of his life for the life of David. Also, according to the Talmud Yerushalmi, David was born and died on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks). His piety was said to be so great that his prayers could bring down things from Heaven.
The concept of the Messiah is important in Christianity. Originally an earthly king ruling by divine appointment ("the anointed one", as the title Messiah had it), the "son of David" became in the last two pre-Christian centuries the apocalyptic and heavenly one who would deliver Israel and usher in a new kingdom. This was the background to the concept of Messiahship in early Christianity, which interpreted the career of Jesus "by means of the titles and functions assigned to David in the mysticism of the Zion cult, in which he served as priest-king and in which he was the mediator between God and man." The early Church believed that "the life of David [foreshadowed] the life of Christ; Bethlehem is the birthplace of both; the shepherd life of David points out Christ, the Good Shepherd; the five stones chosen to slay Goliath are typical of the five wounds; the betrayal by his trusted counsellor, Achitophel, and the passage over the Cedron remind us of Christ's Sacred Passion. Many of the Davidic Psalms, as we learn from the New Testament, are clearly typical of the future Messiah." In the Middle Ages, "Charlemagne thought of himself, and was viewed by his court scholars, as a 'new David'. [This was] not in itself a new idea, but [one whose] content and significance were greatly enlarged by him." The linking of David to earthly kingship was reflected in later Medieval cathedral windows all over Europe through the device of the Tree of Jesse, its branches demonstrating how divine kingship descended from Jesse, through his son David, to Jesus.
Western Rite churches (Lutheran, Roman Catholic) celebrate his feast day on 29 December, Eastern-rite on 19 December. The Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches celebrate the feast day of the "Holy Righteous Prophet and King David" on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers (two Sundays before the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord), when he is commemorated together with other ancestors of Jesus. He is also commemorated on the Sunday after the Nativity, together with Joseph and James, the Brother of the Lord.
In the Latter Day Saint movement, the Book of Mormon offers a negative commentary on David's practice of polygamy. In the Book of Jacob, the Nephite nation begins to practice polygamy, justifying it by the example of David and Solomon. In response the prophet Jacob denounces both David's taking of "many wives" and the Nephites' taking of multiple wives, though he stops short of denouncing polygamy altogether.
Editions of the Doctrine and Covenants utilized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest Latter Day Saint denomination, state that of David's sexual relationships, only his relationship with Bathsheba was a sin. However, in consequence of this sin and the further sin of killing Uriah, David had "fallen from exaltation" and would not be married to any of his wives in the next life.
The Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research argues that there is no contradiction between the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants because the Lord authorized David to have some wives, but not "many" wives. They see a parallel between Jacob 2:24 and Deuteronomy 17:17, which some rabbis interpreted as a limit of four wives per husband. When David took Bathsheba, he crossed the line into having "many" wives, which he was not authorized to do. Jacob's denunciation then becomes, not a complete denunciation of David's polygamy, but a denunciation of unauthorized indulgence in polygamy.
The Community of Christ, the second-largest Latter Day Saint faction, does not accept the validity of 132nd section of the LDS Doctrine and Covenants; nor does the Church of Christ (Temple Lot), the Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite), and many other smaller factions. Although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite) accepted the validity of polygamy as an institution, they do not accept Doctrine and Covenants 132, nor do they believe that Joseph Smith instituted or taught it (they believe that James Strang was responsible for that, when he released his Book of the Law of the Lord in 1850).
David (Arabic داود, Dāwūd) is a highly important figure in Islam as one of the major prophets sent by God to guide the Israelites. David is mentioned several times in the Qur'an, often with his son Solomon. The actual Arabic equivalent to the Hebrew Davīd is Wadūd, which means beloved. This happens to be a Sifat (Attribute) of God in the Qur'an.In the Qur'an: David killed Goliath (II: 251), Goliath was a powerful king who used to invade random kingdoms and villages. Goliath was spreading evil and corruption. When David killed Goliath, God granted him kingship and wisdom and enforces it (XXXVIII: 20). David is made God's "vicegerent on earth" (XXXVIII: 26) and God further gives David sound judgment (XXI: 78; XXXVII: 21–24, 26) as well as the Psalms, which are regarded as books of divine wisdom (IV: 163; XVII, 55). The birds and mountains unite with David in uttering praise to God (XXI: 79; XXXIV: 10; XXXVIII: 18), while God instructs David in the art of fashioning chain-mail out of iron (XXXIV: 10; XXI: 80). Together with Solomon, David gives judgment in a case of damage to the fields (XXI: 78) and David judges in the matter between two disputants in his prayer chamber (XXXVIII: 21–23). Since there is no mention in the Qur'an of the wrong David did to Uriah nor is there any reference to Bathsheba, Muslims reject this narrative.
Muslim tradition and the hadith stress David's zeal in daily prayer as well as in fasting. Qur'an commentators, historians and compilers of the numerous Stories of the Prophets elaborate upon David's concise Qur'anic narratives and specifically mention David's gift in singing his Psalms as well as his musical and vocal talents. His voice is described as having had a captivating power, weaving its influence not only over man but over all beasts and nature, who would unite with him to praise God.
In the Baha'i Faith, David is described as a reflection of God and one among a long line of prophets who came in the shadow of the dispensation of Moses to develop and consolidate the process he set in motion. The Kitáb-i-Íqán describes David as being "among the more exalted Manifestations who have appeared during the intervening period between the revelations of Moses and Muhammad, ever altered the law of the Qiblih".
In European Christian culture of the Middle Ages, David was made a member of the Nine Worthies, a group of heroes encapsulating all the ideal qualities of chivalry. His life was thus proposed as a valuable subject for study by those aspiring to chivalric status. This aspect of David in the Nine Worthies was popularised firstly through literature, and was thereafter adopted as a frequent subject for painters and sculptors.
Famous sculptures of David include (in chronological order) those by:
For a considerable period, starting in the 15th century and continuing until the 19th, French playing card manufacturers assigned to each of the court cards names taken from history or mythology. In this context, the King of Spades was often known as "David".
"Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them!" is a slogan on a T-shirt by Florida clothing company David and Goliath. The slogan is printed next to a cartoon image of a boy running away from five stones flying in his direction. magazinePeople ran a story on the T-shirt, opening with a quote from a then 10-year-old girl, "I want to make boys feel bad because it's fun."
In December 2003, radio-host and fathers' rights activist Glenn Sacks started a campaign against the T-shirts, on the grounds of misandry. This raised national attention and led to the removal of the shirts from several thousand retail outlets. The debate between Sacks and the clothing designer, Todd Goldman, was covered by hundreds of television and radio stations. More than 300 publications in half a dozen countries ran articles covering the issue. These included TIME, Forbes, The Washington Post, and The Guardian in the United Kingdom.][
The T-shirt was designed by company founder Todd Goldman, who started David and Goliath in 1999 with "Boys are Smelly" T-shirts. It now features clothes with a variety of slogans, such as "Boys tell lies, poke them in the eyes!" or "The stupid factory, where boys are made". "Boys are stupid ..." has evolved into a successful object for merchandise, which includes all types of clothes, mugs, key chains, posters and other items. In 2005 Goldman published a book with the same title. In 2006, it was translated and published in Russia.][
Goldman claims that the campaign against his company boosted its sales. According to the Wall Street Journal, the sales volume of David and Goliath was expected to rise to US$ 100 million in 2005, up from US$ 90 million in the previous year.
Los Angeles based radio host and father's rights activist Glenn Sacks initiated a campaign against the T-shirts in 2003. He claimed that they were part of a general societal mood that stigmatizes and victimizes boys. The company says that the shirts are not meant to encourage violence.
The campaign against the line received support from several men's rights groups, such as the National Coalition of Free Men, but also from groups with broader agendas, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, and other talk show hosts including Laura Schlessinger, Marc Germain and Al Rantel. Many critics of the T-shirts pointed out that similar slogans directed against girls or ethnic groups would be widely regarded as unacceptable, with Rush Limbaugh speculating that a "Girls lie and will break your heart. Throw rocks at them" T-shirt would not have received a "cute little headline" in the newspaper.][ The campaign led to the removal of the shirts by several retailers, including Bon-Macy's, and Claire's, a total of more than 3,000 retail outlets. The slogan has also been criticized by Bernard Goldberg in his book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, where Todd Goldman, the shirts' creator, was listed as number 97.
In a Boulder Daily Camera article, later condemned by its editorial board, Linda Scott, faculty member at University of Illinois, expressed support for the T-shirts as revenge for boys' "bullying". Helen Grieco, executive director of the National Organization for Women discounted the issue as unimportant and depicted Sacks as hypocritical, alleging he publicizes anti-women views in his radio broadcasts. Others, like San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jane Ganahl ridiculed Sacks' efforts in an article saying, "shut up and get a life, already". Rush Limbaugh criticized this approach.][ Ganahl argued that the T-shirts are perceived as harmless fun by children and that sexism against women is a far more widespread and substantial problem in United States' society.
Glenn Sacks responded to criticism of the campaign, asserting that the criticism was dismissive of the feelings of boys and that the idea that boys should laugh at the joke at their expense creates a "double bind" for boys.
Many retail outlets responded to the campaign by withdrawing their stock of the shirts from public sale. Several corresponded with Sacks in person. The vice president of public relations for Universal Studios made a public statement in response to the campaign.
In Canada, the complaints by the Canadian Children's Rights Council resulted in numerous major retail chain stores stopping their sales of the merchandise. The Bay, Canada's oldest retailer and one of the largest retailers in Canada, was persuaded by the Canadian Children's Rights Council not only to discontinue selling the merchandise, but to not purchase anything in the future from the company manufacturing the T-shirts and merchandise.
Sacks and Goldman were invited to air their debate on CNBC. The televised debate took place on the February 24, 2004, hosted by Dylan Ratigan.][ Ratigan opened the show by displaying pictures of the T-shirts and asking Sacks, "what's the issue? They're having a good time here." Sacks, a former high school teacher, replied "yes, it's humor, but it's adult humor being played out on little boys. Twelve year-old boys don't get the humor, but they feel the insult."
Goldman was asked if he felt an "obligation to consider the impact" of the products on young boys. He replied, "no" but claimed, "we sell [to] 16, 17, 18 year-olds, you know, college students." Sacks objected that Goldman had been quoted saying the products were his "top selling junior line." Goldman pointed out that his company sells many "positive shirts, including ones with the slogans 'It's all about me' and 'Chicks Rule!'" He noted that he was very pleased with the extra publicity Sacks' campaign had generated, and that sales had increased. Ratigan, as host, asked Sacks if he thought this meant his campaign had backfired. Sacks said, "we've knocked 'Boys are Stupid' products out of 3,500 stores — that has to have an effect."
Goldman claimed his products had only lost "five percent" of their retail outlets. Ratigan, pressed him further on the point and Goldman conceded, "yes I guess it has been over 3,000." Ratigan replied, "Todd, that's an awful lot of retail stores."
Sacks took the opportunity to note, "I can't even find the 'Boys are Stupid' products anywhere. I can't continue the campaign because we can't even find anyone who still has the stuff." Goldman replied, "you need to get out more." Ratigan closed the show, offering Goldman, "congratulations on the success of your business."
The "Boys are stupid ..." theme has become an icon in the ongoing debates regarding gender issues.
"The age-old gender war is being sold to our children in new, and some argue, insidious ways," wrote Jeffrey Zaslow for The Wall Street Journal. "If the kiddies want to volunteer for trench duty in fruitless gender wars when they turn 18, that's their business," wrote Clay Evans, concerned to see under-18s have a less adversarial introduction to learning to relate to the opposite sex. Emily Garringer also makes reference to the T-shirt in the course of her analyses of male and female habits in dating practices.
However, Goldman himself says that his T-shirts have nothing to do with the girl-power movement, "I'm a guy. I couldn't give a rat's ass about girl empowerment. Our market is teenage girls. I know what sells." The company later branched out to menswear.][
A shepherd , or sheepherder, is a person who tends, feeds, or guards flocks of sheep. The word stems from an amalgam of sheep herder.
Shepherding is one of the oldest occupations, beginning some 6,000 years ago in Asia Minor. Sheep were kept for their milk, meat and especially their wool. Over the next millennia, sheep and shepherding spread throughout Eurasia. Henri Fleisch tentatively suggested the Shepherd Neolithic industry of Lebanon may date to the Epipaleolithic and that it may have been used by one of the first cultures of nomadic shepherds in the Beqaa Valley.
Some sheep were integrated in the family farm along with other animals such as chickens and pigs. To maintain a large flock, however, the sheep must be able to move from pasture to pasture; this required the development of an occupation separate from that of the farmer. The duty of shepherds was to keep their flock intact and protect it from wolves and other predators. The shepherd was also to supervise the migration of the flock and ensured they made it to market areas in time for shearing. In ancient times shepherds also commonly milked their sheep, and made cheese from this milk; only some shepherds still do this today.
In many societies, shepherds were an important part of the economy. Unlike farmers, shepherds were often wage earners, being paid to watch the sheep of others. Shepherds also lived apart from society, being largely nomadic. It was mainly a job of solitary males without children, and new shepherds thus needed to be recruited externally. Shepherds were most often the younger sons of farming peasants who did not inherit any land. Still in other societies, each family would have a family member to shepherd its flock, often a child, youth or an elder who couldn't help much with harder work; these shepherds were fully integrated in society.
Shepherds would normally work in groups either looking after one large flock, or each bringing their own and merging their responsibilities. They would live in small cabins, often shared with their sheep and would buy food from local communities. Less often shepherds lived in covered wagons that travelled with their flocks.
Shepherding developed only in certain areas. In the lowlands and river valleys, it was far more efficient to grow grain and cereals than to allow sheep to graze, thus the raising of sheep was confined to rugged and mountainous areas. In pre-modern times shepherding was thus centred on regions such as the Middle East, Greece, the Pyrenees, the Carpathian Mountains, and Scotland.
Sheep can feed on rough pasture which is unsuitable for cattle or agriculture, including, in summer mountainous terrain, which implies seasonal herding along routes now known as drovers' roads. This (for primitive human drovers) implies advanced hiking and survival skills. A strong, multi-purpose stick can be used for balance, examining dangerous undergrowth and for defence against attack by predators.
The innovation of a hook merely facilitates the recovery of fallen animals by ensnaring them by neck or leg. For this reason the crook has been used as a religious symbol of care (particularly in difficult circumstances) such the badge of office for a Mithraic Pater and the Christian bishops' crosier.
In modern times, shepherding has changed dramatically. The abolition of common lands in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth century moved shepherding from independent nomads to employees of massive estates. Some families in Africa and Asia have their wealth in sheep, so a young son is sent out to guard them while the rest of the family tend to other chores. In the USA, many sheep herds are flocked over public BLM lands.
Wages are higher than was the case in the past. Keeping a shepherd in constant attendance can be costly. Also, the eradication of sheep predators in parts of the world have lessened the need for shepherds. In places like Britain, hardy breeds of sheep are frequently left alone without a shepherd for long periods of time. More productive breeds of sheep can be left in fields and moved periodically to fresh pasture when necessary. Hardier breeds of sheep can be left on hillsides. The sheep farmer will attend to the sheep when necessary at times like lambing or shearing.
European exploration led to the spread of sheep around the world, and shepherding became especially important in Australia and New Zealand where there was great pastoral expansion. In Australia squatters spread beyond the Nineteen Counties of New South Wales to elsewhere, taking over vast holdings called properties and now stations.
Once driven overland to these properties, sheep were pastured in large unfenced runs. There, they required constant supervision. Shepherds were employed to keep the sheep from straying too far, to keep the mobs as healthy as possible and to prevent attacks from dingoes and Wedge-tailed Eagles. Lambing time further increased the shepherd's responsibilities.
Shepherding was an isolated, lonely job that was firstly given to assigned convict servants. The accommodation was usually poor and the food was lacking in nutrition leading to dysentery and scurvy. When free labour was more readily available others took up this occupation. Some shepherds were additionally brought to Australia on the ships that carried sheep and were contracted to caring for them on their arrival in the colony. Sheep owners complained about the inefficiency of shepherds and the shepherds' fears of getting lost in the bush.
Typically sheep were watched by shepherds during the day, and by a hut-keeper during the night. Shepherds took the sheep out to graze before sunrise and returned them to brush-timber yards at sunset. The hut-keeper usually slept in a movable shepherd's watch box placed near the yard in order to deter attacks on the sheep. Dogs were also often chained close by to warn of any impending danger to the sheep or shepherd by dingoes or natives.
In 1839 the usual wage for a shepherd was about AU₤50 per year, plus weekly rations of 12 pounds (5.4 kg)} meat, 10 pounds (4.5 kg) flour, 2 pounds (0.91 kg) sugar and 4 ounces (110 g) tea. The wage during the depression of the 1840s dropped to ₤20 a year.
During the 1850s many shepherds left to try their luck on the goldfields causing acute labour shortages in the pastoral industry. This labour shortage leads to the widespread practice of fencing properties, which in turn reduced the demand for shepherds. Over 95% of New South Wales sheep were grazing in paddocks by the mid-1880s. An 1890s census of fencing in New South Wales recorded that 2.6 million kilometres of fencing had been erected there with a contemporary cost of A$3 billion. Boundary riders and stockmen replaced shepherds working on foot, who have not been employed in Australia and New Zealand since the start of the 20th century.
Metaphorically, the term "shepherd" is used for God, especially in the Judeo-Christian tradition (e.g. Psalm 23), and in Christianity especially for Jesus, who called himself the Good Shepherd. The Ancient Israelites were a pastoral people and there were many shepherds among them. It may also be worth noting that many Biblical heroes were shepherds, among them the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob, the twelve tribes, the prophet Moses, and King David; and the Old Testament prophet Amos, who was a shepherd in the rugged area around Tekoa. In the New Testament, angels announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds.
The same metaphor is also applied to priests, with Roman Catholic, Church of Sweden, and Anglican bishops having the shepherd's crook among their insignia (see also Lycidas). In both cases, the implication is that the faithful are the "flock" who have to be tended. This is in part inspired by Jesus's injunctions to Peter, "Feed my sheep", which is the source of the pastoral image in Lycidas. The term "Pastor", originally the Latin word for "shepherd", is now used solely to denote the clergy of most Christian denominations.
is one of the thrusts of Biblical scripture. This illustration encompasses many ideas, including God's care for his people and his discipline to correct the wandering sheep. The tendency of humans to put themselves into danger's way and their inability to guide and take care of themselves apart from the direct power and leading of God is also reinforced with the metaphor of sheep in need of a shepherd.
Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, prided himself in being part of a rich tradition of prophets who found their means of livelihood as shepherds.
Sikhism also has many mentions of shepherd tales. There are many relevant quotations, such as "We are the cattle, God almighty is our shepherd."
This concept has also been used frequently by critics of organized religion to present an unflattering portrayal.
The shepherd, with other such figures as the goatherd, is the inhabitant of idealized Arcadia, which is an idyllic and natural countryside. These works are, indeed, called pastoral, after the term for herding. The first surviving instances are the Idylls of Theocritus, and the Eclogues of Virgil, both of which inspired many imitators such as Edmund Spenser's The Shepheardes Calender. The shepherds of the pastoral are often heavily conventional and bear little relation to the actual work of shepherds.
Shepherds and shepherdesses have been frequently immortalized in art and sculpture. Among the best known is the neoclassical Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen's Shepherd Boy with Dog.][
In the Latin American literary classic Empire of Dreams (Yale, 1994) by Giannina Braschi, shepherds invade the city of New York in a pastoral revolution.
The shepherd, in such works, appears as a virtuous soul because of his living close to nature, uncorrupted by the temptations of the city. So Edmund Spenser writes in his Colin Clouts Come Home Againe of a shepherd who went to the city, saw its wickedness, and returned home wiser, and in The Faerie Queene makes the shepherds the only people to whom the Blatant Beast is unknown.
Many tales involving foundlings portray them being rescued by shepherds: Oedipus, Romulus and Remus, the title characters of Longus's Daphnis and Chloe, and The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare. These characters are often of much higher social status than the characters who save and raise them, the shepherds themselves being secondary characters. Similarly, the heroes and heroines of fairy tales written by the précieuses often appeared as shepherds and shepherdesses in pastoral settings, but these figures were royal or noble, and their simple setting does not cloud their innate nobility. In Hans Christian Andersen's "The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep" (1845), the porcelain shepherdess carries a gilt crook and wears shoes of gilt as well. Her lover is a porcelain chimney sweep with a princely face "as fair and rosy as a girl's", completely unsmudged with soot.
The Shepherd by Frederick Forsyth is the story of a flight from Germany to England undertaken by a young Vampire pilot one Christmas Eve.
Biographies of David Ben-Gurion published in the early years of Israel emphasized his having been a shepherd immediately after his arrival in the country in the 1900s. Later, however, historians concluded that he had been involved only very briefly in this profession and was not good at it.
A sling is a projectile weapon typically used to throw a blunt projectile such as a stone, clay or lead "sling-bullet". It is also known as the shepherd's sling.
A sling has a small cradle or pouch in the middle of two lengths of cord. The sling stone is placed in the pouch. The middle finger is placed through the loop, the other string has a tab that is placed between the thumb and forefinger. The sling is swung and with a flick of the wrist the tab is released at the precise moment. This frees the projectile to fly to the target. The sling derives its effectiveness by essentially extending the length of a human arm, thus allowing stones to be thrown farther than they could be by hand.
The sling is inexpensive and easy to build. It has historically been used for hunting game and in combat. Film exists of Spanish Civil War combatants using slings to throw grenades over buildings into enemy positions on the opposite street. Today the sling interests sportsmen as a wilderness survival tool and as an improvised weapon.
The sling is an ancient weapon known to Neolithic peoples around the Mediterranean, but it is likely to be much older. It is possible that the sling was invented during the Upper Paleolithic at a time when new technologies, such as the atlatl and the bow and arrow, were emerging. With the exception of Australia, where spear throwing technology such as the woomera predominated, the sling became common all over the world, although it is not clear whether this occurred because of cultural diffusion or independent invention.
Whereas sling-bullets are common finds in the archaeological record, slings themselves are rare. This is because a sling's materials are biodegradable and because slings are low-status weapons, rarely preserved in a wealthy person’s grave.
The oldest known, surviving, slings—radiocarbon dated to ca. 2500 BC—were recovered from South American archaeological sites located on the coast of Peru. The oldest known, surviving, North American sling—radiocarbon dated to ca. 1200 BC—was recovered from Lovelock Cave, Nevada.
The oldest known extant slings from the Old World were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, who died about 1325 BC. A pair of finely plaited slings were found with other weapons. The sling was probably intended for the departed pharaoh to use for hunting game.
Another Egyptian sling was excavated in El-Lahun in Al Fayyum Egypt in 1914 by William Matthew Flinders Petrie. It now resides in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. It was found alongside an iron spearhead. Petrie dated it to about 800 BC. The remains are broken into three sections. Although fragile, the construction is clear: it is made of bast fibre (almost certainly flax) twine; the cords are braided in a 10-strand elliptical sennit and the cradle seems to have been woven from the same lengths of twine used to form the cords.
Representations of slingers can be found on artifacts from all over the ancient world, including Assyrian and Egyptian reliefs, the columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, on coins and on the Bayeux Tapestry.
The sling is mentioned by Homer and by other Greek authors. The historian of the retreat of the Ten Thousand, 401 BC, relates that the Greeks suffered severely from the slingers in the army of Artaxerxes II of Persia, while they themselves had neither cavalry nor slingers, and were unable to reach the enemy with their arrows and javelins. This deficiency was rectified when a company of 200 Rhodians, who understood the use of leaden sling-bullets, was formed. They were able, says Xenophon, to project their missiles twice as far as the Persian slingers, who used large stones.
Ancient authors seemed to believe, incorrectly][, that sling-bullets could penetrate armour, and that lead projectiles, heated by their passage through the air, would melt in flight. In the first instance, it seems likely that the authors were indicating that slings could cause injury through armour by a percussive effect rather than by penetration.][ In the latter case we may imagine that they were impressed by the degree of deformation suffered by lead sling-bullet after hitting a hard target.][
Various ancient peoples enjoyed a reputation for skill with the sling. Thucydides mentions the Acarnanians and Livy refers to the inhabitants of three Greek cities on the northern coast of the Peloponnesus as expert slingers. Livy also mentions the most famous of ancient skillful slingers: the people of the Balearic Islands. Of these people Strabo writes: And their training in the use of slings used to be such, from childhood up, that they would not so much as give bread to their children unless they first hit it with the sling.
The late Roman writer Vegetius, in his work De Re Militari, wrote:
The sling is mentioned in the Bible, which provides what is believed to be the oldest textual reference to a sling in the Book of Judges, 20:16. This text was thought to have been written about 1000 BC, but refers to events several centuries earlier.
The Bible provides a famous slinger story, the battle between David and Goliath from the First Book of Samuel 17:34-36, probably written in the 7th or 6th century BC, describing events alleged to have occurred around the 10th century BC. The sling, easily produced, was the weapon of choice for shepherds for fending off animals. Due to this fact the sling was a commonly used weapon by the Israelite militia. Goliath was a tall, well equipped and experienced warrior champion. In this story, the shepherd David convinces Saul to let him fight Goliath on behalf of the Israelites. Unarmoured and equipped only with a sling, David defeats the warrior champion Goliath with a well-aimed shot to the head.
Use of the sling is also mentioned in Second Kings 3:25, First Chronicles 12:2, and Second Chronicles 26:14 to further illustrate Israelite use.
Ancient peoples used the sling in combat and armies included specialist slingers, as well as equipping regular soldiers with slings. As a weapon, the sling had several advantages. A sling bullet lobbed in a high trajectory can achieve ranges approaching 400 m; the current Guinness World Record distance of an object thrown with a sling stands at 477.0 m, set by David Engvall in 1992 using a metal dart. Larry Bray held the previous world record (1982), in which a 52 g stone was thrown 437.1 m. Modern authorities vary widely in their estimates of the effective range of ancient weapons and of course bows and arrows could also have been used to produce a long-range arcing trajectory, but ancient writers repeatedly stress the sling's advantage of range. The sling was light to carry and cheap to produce; ammunition in the form of stones was readily available and often to be found near the site of battle. The ranges the sling could achieve with molded lead glandes was only topped by the strong composite bow or, centuries later, the heavy English longbow, both at massively greater cost.
Caches of sling ammunition are found at the sites of Iron Age hill forts of Europe. 40,000 sling stones were found at Maiden Castle, Dorset. It is proposed that Iron Age hill forts of Europe were designed to maximise the effectiveness of defending slingers.
The hilltop location of the wooden forts would have given the defending slingers the advantage of range over the attackers and multiple concentric ramparts, each higher than the other, would allow a large number of men to create a hailstorm of stone. Consistent with this, it has been noted that, generally, where the natural slope is steep, the defences are narrow and where the slope is less steep, the defences are wider.
A classic sling is braided from non-elastic material. The classic materials are flax, hemp or wool; those of the Balearic islanders were said to be made from a type of rush. Flax and hemp resist rotting, but wool is softer and more comfortable.
Braided cords are used in preference to twisted rope because a braid resists twisting when stretched. This improves accuracy.][
The overall length of a sling could vary significantly and a slinger may have slings of different lengths, the longer sling being used when greater range is required. A length of about 61 to 100 cm (2.00 to 3.3 ft) would be typical.
At the centre of the sling, a cradle or pouch is constructed. This may be formed by making a wide braid from the same material as the cords or by inserting a piece of a different material such as leather. The cradle is typically diamond shaped and, in use, will fold around the projectile. Some cradles have a hole or slit that allows the material to wrap around the projectile slightly thereby holding it more securely; some cradles take the form of a net.
At the end of one cord, a finger-loop is formed. This cord is called the retention cord.][ At the end of the other cord it is common practice to form a knot.][ This cord is called the release cord. The release cord will be held between finger and thumb to be released at just the right moment. The release cord may have a complex braid to add bulk to the end. This makes the knot easier to hold and the extra weight allows the loose end of a discharged sling to be recovered with a flick of the wrist.][
Polyester is an excellent material for modern slings, because it does not rot or stretch and is soft and free of splinters.][
Modern slings are begun by plaiting the cord for the finger loop in the center of a double-length set of cords.][ The cords are then folded to form the finger-loop. The cords are plaited as a single cord to the pocket. The pocket is then plaited, most simply as another pair of cords, or with flat braids or a woven net. The remainder of the sling is plaited as a single cord, and then finished with a knot. Braided construction resists stretching, and therefore produces an accurate sling.][
The simplest projectile was a stone, preferably well-rounded. Suitable ammunition is frequently from a river. The size of the projectiles can vary dramatically, from pebbles weighing no more than 50 g (2 oz) to fist-sized stones weighing 500 g (1 lb) or more.
Projectiles could also be purpose-made from clay; this allowed a very high consistency of size and shape to aid range and accuracy. Many examples have been found in the archaeological record.
The best ammunition was cast from lead. Leaden sling-bullets were widely used in the Greek and Roman world. For a given mass, lead, being very dense, offers the minimum size and therefore minimum air resistance. In addition, leaden sling-bullets are small and difficult to see in flight.
In some cases, the lead would be cast in a simple open mould made by pushing a finger or thumb into sand and pouring molten metal into the hole. However, sling-bullets were more frequently cast in two part moulds. Such sling-bullets come in a number of shapes including an ellipsoidal form closely resembling an acorn - this could be the origin of the Latin word for a leaden sling-bullet: glandes plumbeae (literally leaden acorns) or simply glandes (meaning acorns, singular glans).
Other shapes include spherical and, by far the most common, the biconical, which resembles the shape of the shell of an almond nut or a flattened American football.
The ancients do not seem to have taken advantage of the manufacturing process to produce consistent results; leaden sling-bullets vary significantly. The reason why the almond shape was favoured is not clear: it is possible that there is some aerodynamic advantage, but it seems equally likely that there is some more prosaic reason such as the shape being easy to extract from a mould or that it will rest in a sling cradle with little danger of rolling out.
Almond shaped leaden sling-bullets were typically about 35 mm (1 3/8 in) long and about 20 mm (3/4 in) wide weighing approximately 28 g (0.99 oz). Very often, symbols or writings were moulded into lead sling-bullets. Many examples have been found including a collection of about 80 sling-bullets from the siege of Perusia in Etruria from 41 BC, to be found in the museum of modern Perugia. Examples of symbols include a stylised lightning bolt, a snake, and a scorpion - reminders of how a sling might strike without warning. Writing might include the name of the owning military unit or commander or might be more imaginative: "Take this," "Ouch," and even "For Pompey's backside" added insult to injury, whereas dexai ("take this" or "catch!") is just sarcastic.
Julius Caesar writes about clay shot being heated before slinging, so that it might set light to thatch.
By the Middle Ages the shepherd's sling was largely militarily extinct outside the Iberian peninsula, where the Spanish and Portuguese infantry favoured it against light and agile Moorish troops; a sling projectile, while dangerous even against an armoured opponent, could be lethal against a light and unarmoured foe. The staff sling (see below) continued to be used in sieges and the sling was used as a part of large siege engines.
The sling continued in use for the hunting of game.
The sling was known throughout the Americas.
In the ancient Andean civilizations such as Inca Empire slings were made from llama wool. These slings typically have a cradle that is long and thin and features a relatively long slit. Andean slings were constructed from contrasting colours of wool; complex braids and fine workmanship result in beautiful patterns. Ceremonial slings were also made; these were large, non-functional and generally lacked a slit. To this day, ceremonial slings are used in parts of the Andes as accessories in dances and in mock battles. They are also used by llama herders; the animals will move away from the thump of a stone. The stones are not slung to hit the animals, but to persuade them to move in the desired direction.
The sling was used for hunting and warfare. One notable use was in Incan resistance against the conquistadors. These slings were apparently very powerful; in 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, historian Charles C. Mann quoted a conquistador, who said that an Incan sling "could break a sword in two pieces" and "kill a horse." Some slings could hurl massive stones and its span could be as much as 86 inches (2.18 m) and could weigh an impressive 14.4 ounces (408g).
The staff sling, also known as the stave sling, fustibalus (Latin), fustibale (French), consists of a staff (a length of wood) with a short sling at one end. One cord of the sling is firmly attached to the stave and the other end has a loop that can slide off and release the projectile. Staff slings are extremely powerful because the stave can be made as long as two meters, creating a powerful lever. Ancient art shows slingers holding staff slings by one end, with the pocket behind them, and using both hands to throw the staves forward over their heads.
The staff sling has a similar range to the shepherd's sling, and can be as accurate in practiced hands. It is generally suited for heavier missiles and siege situations as staff slings can achieve very steep trajectories for slinging over obstacles such as castle walls. The staff itself can become a close combat weapon in a melee. The staff sling can throw heavy projectiles a much greater distance and at a higher arc than a hand sling. Staff slings were in use well into the Age of Gunpowder, as grenade launchers; and were used in ship-to-ship combat to throw incendiaries as well.
The kestros (also known as the kestrosphendone, cestrus or cestrosphendone) is a sling weapon mentioned by Livy and Polybius. It seems to have been a heavy dart flung from a leather sling. It was invented in 168 BC and was employed by some of the Macedonian troops of King Perseus in Third Macedonian war.
The trebuchet was a siege engine which uses the power of men pulling on ropes or the energy stored in a raised weight to rotate what was, again, a staff sling. It was designed so that, when the throwing arm of the trebuchet had swung forward sufficiently, one end of the sling would automatically become detached and release the projectile. Some trebuchets were small and operated by a very small crew; however, unlike the onager, it was possible to build the trebuchet on a gigantic scale: such giants could hurl enormous rocks at huge ranges. Trebuchets are, in essence, mechanised slings.
Classic traditional woolen slings are still in use in the Middle East by Arab nomads and Bedouins to ward off jackals and hyenas. They were also used during the various Palestinian Intifadas against modern army personnel and riot police. The sling is used today as a weapon primarily by protestors, launching either stones or incendiary devices, such as Molotov cocktails. International Brigades used slings to throw grenades during the Spanish Civil War. Similarly, the Finns made use of sling-launched Molotov cocktails in the Winter War against Soviet tanks. Slings were used in the 2008 disturbances in Kenya.
The sling is of interest to athletes interested in, for example, breaking distance records. Traditional slinging is still practiced as it always has been in the Balearic Islands. And competitions and leagues are common. In the rest of the world the sling is primarily a hobby weapon and a growing number of people make and practice with them. In recent years 'slingfests' have been held in Wyoming, USA, in September 2007 and in Staffordshire, England, in June 2008.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the current record for the greatest distance achieved in hurling an object from a sling is: 477.10 m (1,565 ft 3 in), using a 127 cm (50 in) long sling and a 62 g (2.2 oz) dart. This was achieved by David Engvall at Baldwin Lake, California, USA on 13 September 1992. Those of a more traditional bent may prefer the Guinness record for slinging a stone: 437.10 m (1,434 ft 1 in), using a 129.5 cm (51.0 in) long sling and a 52 g (1.8 oz) ovoid stone, set by Larry Bray in Loa, Utah, USA on 21 August 1981.
The principles of the sling may find use on a larger scale in the future; proposals exist for tether propulsion of spacecraft, which functionally is an oversized sling to propel a spaceship.
A skillful throw requires just one rapid rotation. Some slingers will rotate the sling slowly once or twice to seat the projectile in the cradle.
One makes an overhand throw, using the sling to extend one's arm. The motion is similar to bowling a cricket ball. This is relatively accurate, instinctive and quite powerful. One faces 60 degrees away from the target, with one's non-throwing hand closest to the target : thus, imagining the thrower at the center of a large horizontal circle with the target at the 12 o'clock position, a right-handed thrower would orient one's body toward 2 o'clock, with the arm rotating vertically in the 12 o'clock plane. The coordinated motion is to move every part of the body, legs, waist, shoulders, arms, elbows and wrist in the direction of the target in order to add as much speed as possible to the stone. One releases the projectile near the top of the swing, where the projectile will proceed roughly parallel to the surface of the earth.
Another method of release said to be favoured by slingers firing into grouped or massed targets is an underhand throw. The motion is similar to that of throwing a softball. The trajectory arc is relatively high. The thrower stands 60 degrees away from the target, and takes one step forward from the trailing foot, letting the sling swing forward. Range is said to be increased with this method, sacrificing accuracy. Several historians have conjectured that this was the most commonly used method in ancient warfare due to its practicality.
There are also sideways releases, in which the swing goes around. These throws make it very easy to miss the target by releasing the projectile at a slightly wrong time. Other slinging methods can be seen, but many authorities deprecate them.
Gath, Gat, or Geth (Hebrew: , Winepress; Latin: ), often referred to as Gath of the Philistines, was one of the five Philistine city-states, established in northwestern Philistia. According to the Bible, the king of the city was Achish, in the times of Saul, David, and Solomon. It is not certain whether this refers to two or more kings of the name 'Achish' or not. Gath was also the home city of Goliath and his brothers, as well as of Itai and his 600 soldiers who aided David in his exile from Absalom. David, while running from Saul, escaped to Gath, and served under its king Achish. During Solomon's reign, Shemei goes to Gath to return his escaped slave (I Kings 2:39–2:40). In II Kings 12:18, the city of Gath is mentioned as being captured by Hazael of Aram Damascus. Recent excavations at the site have produced dramatic evidence of a siege and subsequent destruction of the site in the late 9th century BC, most probably related to this event.
Gath is also mentioned in the El-Amarna letters as Gimti/Gintu, ruled by a king Shuwardata, and possibly by Abdi-Ashtart as well.
Today the site of ancient Gath is the site of an active archaeological dig and of the Tel Tzafit National Park.
The 19th-century scholar Edward Robinson proposed that Gath be identified with Tell es-Safi, and this identification was generally accepted until the early 20th century. In the 1920s, famed archaeologist W. F. Albright disputed this identification, writing that "The archaeological exploration of Tell el-Safi did not yield a shred of evidence for the identification with Gath". Albright suggested another site, Tell 'Areini (now close to the city of Kiryat Gat) which, despite some opposition, was accepted to the point that the Israel Government Names Committee renamed it as Tel Gat in 1953. However, excavations at Tell 'Areini starting in 1959 found no Middle Bronze Age traces and the excavators proposed instead that Gath be identified with a third site Tell en-Nejileh (Tel Nagila), a possibility that itself was abandoned after excavations in the 1980s. Attention then returned to Tell es-Safi, and it is now again the most favored site as the location of Gath.
Gath, Tell es-Safi and Tel Zafit (Arabic: , ; Hebrew: , ) are Arabic and Hebrew names for the ancient mound now identified as Gath, one of the five cities in the ancient Canaanite and Philistine Pentapolis (along with Gaza, Ekron, Ashkelon, and Ashdod). It is a large multi-period site that is located in central Israel, approximately half way between Jerusalem and Ashkelon, on the border between the southern Coastal Plain of Israel and the Judean foothills.
Although first noted by explorers in the mid-19th century AD, and subsequently briefly excavated in 1899 by the British archaeologists F.J. Bliss and R.A.S. Macalister, extensive exploration of the site was not conducted until 1996, when a long-term project was commenced at the site, directed by Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Since 1996, excavations, surveys and other studies have been conducted at the site, focusing on various cultures, periods and aspects relating to the site, its culture and history, and its surroundings.
The site was inhabited from Proto-Historic through Modern times. The earliest evidence for settlement is from the Chalcolithic Period (c. 5th millennium BC), after which there is continuous occupation until the modern Palestinian village of Tell es-Safi, abandoned during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.
During the Early Bronze Age there is evidence of a large urban site, apparently similar to other EB III urban sites in southern Canaan, such as nearby Tel Yarmut.
Scant evidence of this period was found on the tell in the form of stray sherds. In the vicinity of the tell (to the east, in Area C6) evidence of tombs and possible domestic activities were found.
Finds from the MB IIB (and a few MB IIA) were found on various parts of the tell in the survey (including a scarab of Khyan, found in the 1960s). Recently, in the 2006 season, evidence of an impressive MB IIB fortification was found in the vicinity of the summit of the tell, comprising a stone wall/tower and a packed earth rampart/glacis.
The Late Bronze remains at the site are impressive as well, evidence of the Canaanite city of Gath, which is mentioned in the El-Amarna letters. Finds from this period include a large, apparently public building, cultic-related finds, and a small collection of Egyptiaca, including two Egyptian Hieratic inscriptions, both inscribed on locally-made vessels. This city was apparently destroyed at the end of the Late Bronze Age, most probably with the arrival of the Philistines.
During the Iron Age, the site becomes a major Philistine site, "Gath of the Philistines," one of the five cities of the Philistine "Pentapolis," known from biblical and extra-biblical sources. Settled from the earliest phases of the Philistine culture (ca. 1175 BC), evidence of the various stages of the Philistine culture have been found. In particular, finds indicating the gradual transformation of the Philistines, from a non-local (Aegaean) culture, to a more locally-oriented culture abound. This process, which has been termed "Acculturation" or "Creolization" can be seen in various aspects of the Philistine culture, as the Iron Age unfolds.
Of particular importance are the strata dating to the 10th-9th century BC, in which rich assemblages of finds were uncovered. These strata enable the study of the entire sequence of the Philistine culture, since at other Philistine sites (such as Ekron, Ashdod, and Ashkelon) these phases are not well represented.
According to the Jerusalem Post archeologists have uncovered a Philistine temple and evidence of a major earthquake in biblical times, during digs carried out at the Tel Tzafit National Park. Other major finds there were evidence of the destruction of Gath by Hazael King of Aram- Damascus around 830 BCE, and evidence of the first Philistine settlement in Canaan.
A very impressive, site-wide destruction is evidenced at the site during the late Iron Age IIA (c. late 9th century BC). Throughout the site there is evidence of this destruction, and well-preserved assemblages of finds. The dating of this destruction to the late 9th century BC is a strong indication that it can be related to the conquest of Gath by Hazael, King of Aram Damascus, as mentioned in II Kings 12:18. Evidence of a large-scale siege system that was found surrounding the site, is apparently related to this event. This siege system, which comprises a man-made siege trench, a related berm (earth embankment) and other elements, is currently the earliest archaeological evidence "on the ground" for an ancient siege system. It could also be in relation to the conquest of Gath by Uzziah(2 Chronicles 26:6);coinciding well with the siege technology described in 2 Chronicles 26:15.
Among the numerous finds from this destruction level, one can note the impressive pottery assemblage, various cultic objects, a bone tool workshop, and assorted other finds.
In the 2005 season, below the late 9th-century BCE destruction level, in a stratum dating to an earlier phase of the Iron Age IIA, an important inscription was found. Scratched on a sherd typical of the Iron Age IIA, two non-Semitic names written in Semitic "Proto-Canaanite" letters were found. These two names, "ALWT" (אלות) and "WLT" (ולת), are etymologically similar to the name Goliath (גלית), the well-known Philistine champion, who according to the biblical text, was a native of Gath.
These two name fragments might indicate that names similar to the name Goliath were in use in Philistia during the Iron Age IIA, approximately the same time as Goliath is described in the Bible. Although not proof of Goliath's existence, the ostracon provides evidence of the cultural milieu of this period. In any case, they provide a useful example of the names used by the Philistines during that time, and the earliest evidence for the use of an alphabetic writing system in the Philistine culture.
Following the destruction of the site by Hazael, Philistine Gath lost its role as a primary Philistine city. Although the site was settled during later periods, it never regained its role as a site of central importance. During the Crusader period, following the conquest of the land during the First Crusade, a small fortress, named "Blanche Garde" for the dramatic white chalk cliffs that guard its western approach, was built at the site as part of the Crusader encirclement of Fatimid Ashkelon. This site was subsequently captured by the Ayyubids, and served the basis for the Medieval and Modern village of Tell es-Safi, which existed until 1948. The ruins of the castle and the village can be seen on the site today. Portions of the exterior fortifications of the castle have been excavated in recent years.
Gath was a common place name in ancient Israel and the surrounding regions. Various cities are mentioned in the Bible with such names as Gath of the Philistines, Gath-Gittaim, and Gath Carmel, and other sites with similar names appear in various ancient sources, including the Amarna letters. A Gittite is a person from Gath.
Battle of the Valley of Elah
Books of Samuel
),[i] located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.
During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BCE. In 1538, walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond its boundaries.
According to the Biblical tradition, King David established the city as the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel and his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple. These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the Ist Millenium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish People. The sobriquet of holy city (עיר הקודש
, transliterated ‘ir haqodesh
) was probably attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times. The holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority, was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus's crucifixion there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. In Islamic tradition in 610 CE it became the first Qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer (Salah), and Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years later, ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Quran. As a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres (0.35 sq mi), the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount and its Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.
Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it. Currently, Israel's Basic Law refers to Jerusalem as the country's "undivided capital". The international community has rejected the latter annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel. The international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the city hosts no foreign embassies.
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 208,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem, which is sought by the Palestinian Authority as the capital of Palestine.
All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israel's parliament), the residences of the Prime Minister and President, and the Supreme Court. Jerusalem is home to the Hebrew University and to the Israel Museum with its Shrine of the Book. The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo has ranked consistently as Israel's top tourist attraction for Israelis.
A city called Rušalim
in the Execration texts of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (c. 19th century BCE) is widely, but not universally, identified as Jerusalem. Jerusalem is called Urušalim
in the Amarna letters of Abdi-Heba (1330s BCE).
The name “Jerusalem” is variously etymologized to mean "foundation (Sumerian yeru
, ‘settlement’/Semitic yry,
‘to found, to lay a cornerstone’) of the god Shalem", the god Shalem was thus the original tutelary deity of the Bronze Age city.
The form Yerushalem
(Jerusalem) first appears in the Bible, in the book of Joshua. According to a Midrash, the name is a combination of Yhwh Yir'eh
("God will see to it", the name given by Abraham to the place where he began to sacrifice his son) and the town "Shalem".
Shalim or Shalem was the name of the god of dusk in the Canaanite religion, whose name is based on the same root S-L-M from which the Hebrew word for "peace" is derived (Salam or Shalom in modern Arabic and Hebrew). The name thus offered itself to etymologizations such as "The City of Peace", "Abode of Peace", "dwelling of peace" ("founded in safety"), alternately "Vision of Peace" in some Christian authors. The ending -ayim
indicates the dual, thus leading to the suggestion that the name Yerushalayim
refers to the fact that the city sits on two hills. However, the pronunciation of the last syllable as -ayim
appears to be a late development, which had not yet appeared at the time of the Septuagint.
The most ancient settlement of Jerusalem, founded as early as the Bronze Age on the hill above the Gihon Spring, was according to the Bible named Jebus. Called the "Fortress of Zion" (metsudat Zion
), it was renamed by David as the City of David, and was known by this name in antiquity. Another name, "Zion", initially referred to a distinct part of the city, but later came to signify the city as a whole and to represent the biblical Land of Israel. In Greek and Latin the city's name was transliterated Hierosolyma
(Greek: Ἱεροσόλυμα; in Greek hieròs
, means holy), although the city was renamed Aelia Capitolina for part of the Roman period of its history.
In Arabic, Jerusalem is most commonly known as , transliterated as al-Quds
and meaning "The Holy" or "The Holy Sanctuary". Official Israeli government policy mandates that , transliterated as Ūršalīm
, which is the cognate of the Hebrew and English names, be used as the Arabic language name for the city in conjunction with . .
Given the city's central position in both Jewish nationalism (Zionism) and Palestinian nationalism, the selectivity required to summarise more than 5,000 years of inhabited history is often influenced by ideological bias or background (see Historiography and nationalism). For example, the Jewish periods of the city's history are important to Israeli nationalists (Zionists), whose discourse suggests that modern Jews descend from the Israelites and Maccabees, whilst the Islamic, Christian and other non-Jewish periods of the city's history are important to Palestinian nationalism, whose discourse suggests that modern Palestinians descend from all the different peoples who have lived in the region. As a result, both sides claim the history of the city has been politicized by the other in order to strengthen their relative claims to the city, and that this is borne out by the different focuses the different writers place on the various events and eras in the city's history.
Ceramic evidence indicates occupation of the City of David, within present-day Jerusalem, as far back as the Copper Age (c. 4th millennium BCE), with evidence of a permanent settlement during the early Bronze Age (c. 3000–2800 BCE). The Execration Texts (c. 19th century BCE), which refer to a city called rwš3lmm,
variously transcribed as Rušalimum
and the Amarna letters (c. 14th century BCE) may be the earliest mention of the city. Some archaeologists, including Kathleen Kenyon, believe Jerusalem was founded by Northwest Semitic people with organized settlements from around 2600 BCE. Nadav Na'aman argues its fortification as the centre of a kingdom dates to around the 18th century BCE. The first settlement lay on the Ophel ridge. The biblical account first mentions Jerusalem ("Salem") as ruled by Melchizedek, an ally of Abraham.
In the late Bronze Age Jerusalem was the capital of an Egyptian vassal city-state, a modest settlement governing a few outlying villages and pastoral areas, with a small Egyptian garrison and ruled by appointees such as king Abdi-Heba, At the time of Seti I and Ramesses II, major construction took place as prosperity increased.
This period, when Canaan formed part of the Egyptian empire corresponds in biblical accounts to Joshua’s invasion. In the bible, Jerusalem is defined as lying within territory allocated to the tribe of Benjamin though occupied by Jebusites. David is said to have conquered these in the Siege of Jebus, and transferred his capital from Hebron to Jerusalem which then became the capital of a united Kingdom of Israel, and one of its several religious centres. The choice was perhaps dictated by the fact that Jerusalem did not form part of Israel’s tribal system, and was thus suited to serve as the centre of its federation. Opinion is divided over whether a Large Stone Structure and a nearby Stepped Stone Structure may be identified with King David's palace, or dates to a later period.
According to the Bible, King David reigned for 40 years. The generally accepted estimate of the conclusion of this reign is 970 BCE.]
[ The Bible records that David was succeeded by his son Solomon, who built the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah. Solomon's Temple (later known as the First Temple
), went on to play a pivotal role in Jewish history as the repository of the Ark of the Covenant. On Solomon's death, ten of the northern Tribes of Israel broke with the United Monarchy to form their own nations, kings, prophets, priests, traditions relating to religion, capitals and temples in northern Israel. The southern tribes, together with the Aaronid priesthood, remained in Jerusalem, with the city becoming the capital of the Kingdom of Judah. Archeological remains from the ancient Israelite period also include Hezekiah's Tunnel, an aqueduct built by Judean king Hezekiah and decorated with ancient Hebrew inscription, known as Siloam Inscription, Broad Wall a defensive fortification built in the 8th century BCE, also by Hezekiah, Monolith of Silwan, Tomb of the Royal Steward, which were decorated with monumental Hebrew inscriptions, and Israelite Tower, remnants of ancient fortifications, built from large, sturdy rocks with carved cornerstones. A huge water reservoir dating from this period was discovered in 2012 near Robinson's Arch, indicating the existence of a densely built-up quarter across the area west of the Temple Mount during the Judean kingdom.
When the Assyrians conquered the Kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE, Jerusalem was strengthened by a great influx of refugees from the northern kingdom. The First Temple period ended around 586 BCE, as the Babylonians conquered Judah and Jerusalem, and laid waste to Solomon's Temple.
In 538 BCE, after 50 years of Babylonian captivity, Persian King Cyrus the Great invited the Jews to return to Judah to rebuild the Temple. Construction of the Second Temple was completed in 516 BCE, during the reign of Darius the Great, 70 years after the destruction of the First Temple. In about 445 BCE, King Artaxerxes I of Persia issued a decree allowing the city and the walls to be rebuilt. Jerusalem resumed its role as capital of Judah and center of Jewish worship.
From Second Temple period many ancient Jewish tombs have been discovered in Jerusalem. Among them, The Tomb of Simon the Temple Builder, discovered north of Old City contains human remains in ossuary decorated by Aramaic inscription which reads "Simon the Temple Builder." The Tomb of Abba, also located north of the Old City contains Aramaic inscription with Paleo-Hebrew letters reading: "I, Abba, son of the priest Eleaz(ar), son of Aaron the high (priest), Abba, the oppressed and the persecuted, who was born in Jerusalem, and went into exile into Babylonia and brought (back to Jerusalem) Mattathi(ah), son of Jud(ah), and buried him in a cave which I bought by deed" The Tomb of Benei Hezir located in Kidron Valley is decorated by monumental Doric columns and Hebrew inscription, identifying it as the tombs of Second Temple priests. The Tombs of the Sanhedrin is an underground complex of 63 rock-cut tombs located in a public park in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sanhedria. These tombs, used probably by members of Sanhedrin inscribed by ancient Hebrew and Aramaic writings are dated to between 100 BCE and 100 CE.
When Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, Jerusalem and Judea came under Macedonian control, eventually falling to the Ptolemaic dynasty under Ptolemy I. In 198 BCE, Ptolemy V lost Jerusalem and Judea to the Seleucids under Antiochus III. The Seleucid attempt to recast Jerusalem as a Hellenized city-state came to a head in 168 BCE with the successful Maccabean revolt of Mattathias and his five sons against Antiochus Epiphanes, and their establishment of the Hasmonean Kingdom in 152 BCE with Jerusalem again as its capital.
In 63 BCE, Pompey the Great intervened in a Hasmonean struggle for the throne and captured Jerusalem, extending the influence of the Roman Republic over Judea. Following a short invasion by Parthians, backing the rival Hasmonean rulers, Judea became a scene of struggle between pro-Roman and pro-Parthian forces, eventually leading to the emergence of Edomite Herod, who would be appointed King of the Jews by the Roman senate and establish the Herodian dynasty.
As Rome became stronger it installed Herod as a Jewish client king. Herod the Great, as he was known, devoted himself to developing and beautifying the city. He built walls, towers and palaces, and expanded the Temple Mount, buttressing the courtyard with blocks of stone weighing up to 100 tons. Under Herod, the area of the Temple Mount doubled in size. Shortly after Herod's death, in 6 CE Judea came under direct Roman rule as the Iudaea Province, although Herod's descendants through Agrippa II remained client kings of neighbouring territories until 96 CE. Roman rule over Jerusalem and the region began to be challenged with the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. Jerusalem once again served as the capital of Judea during the three-year rebellion known as the Bar Kokhba revolt, beginning in 132 CE. The Romans succeeded in suppressing the revolt in 135 CE. Emperor Hadrian combined Iudaea Province with neighboring provinces to create Syria Palaestina
, erasing the name of Judea, romanized the city, renaming it Aelia Capitolina, and banned the Jews from entering it on pain of death, except for one day each year (9 Ab). These anti-Jewish measures which affected also Jewish Christians, was taken to ensure 'the complete and permanent secularization of Jerusalem.' The enforcement of the ban on Jews entering Aelia Capitolina continued until the 4th century CE.
In the five centuries following the Bar Kokhba revolt, the city remained under Roman then Byzantine rule. During the 4th century, the Roman Emperor Constantine I constructed Christian sites in Jerusalem, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Jerusalem reached a peak in size and population at the end of the Second Temple Period, when the city covered two square kilometers (0.8 sq mi.) and had a population of 200,000. From the days of Constantine until the 7th century, Jews were banned from Jerusalem.
The eastern continuation of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, maintained control of the city for years. Within the span of a few decades, Jerusalem shifted from Byzantine to Persian rule and returned to Roman-Byzantine dominion once more. Following Sassanid Khosrau II's early 7th century push into Byzantine, advancing through Syria, Sassanid Generals Shahrbaraz and Shahin attacked the Byzantine-controlled city of Jerusalem (Persian: ). They were aided by the Jews of Palaestina Prima, who had risen up against the Byzantines.
In the Siege of Jerusalem (614), after 21 days of relentless siege warfare, Jerusalem was captured. The Byzantine chronicles relate that the Sassanid army and the Jews slaughtered tens of thousands of Christians in the city, many at the Mamilla Pool and destroyed its Byzantine monuments and churches, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The episode has been the subject of much debate between historians. The conquered city would remain in Sassanid hands for some fifteen years until the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius reconquered it in 629.
Byzantine Jerusalem was conquered by the Arab armies of Umar ibn al-Khattab in 634. Among Muslims of Islam's earliest era it was referred to as Madinat bayt al-Maqdis
("City of the Temple") which was restricted to the Temple Mount. The rest of the city "... was called Iliya, reflecting the Roman name given the city following the destruction of 70 c.e.: Aelia Capitolina
". Later the Temple Mount became known as al-Haram al-Sharif
, “The Noble Sanctuary”, while the city around it became known as Bayt al-Maqdis
, and later still, al-Quds al-Sharif
"The Noble City". The Islamization of Jerusalem began in the first year A.H. (620 CE), when Muslims were instructed to face the city while performing their daily prostrations and, according to Muslim religious tradition, Muhammad's night journey and ascension to heaven took place. After 16 months, the direction of prayer was changed to Mecca. In 638 the Islamic Caliphate extended its dominion to Jerusalem. With the Arab conquest, Jews were allowed back into the city. The Rashidun caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab signed a treaty with Monophysite Christian Patriarch Sophronius, assuring him that Jerusalem's Christian holy places and population would be protected under Muslim rule. Christian-Arab tradition records that, when led to pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest site for Christians, the caliph Umar refused to pray in the church so that Muslims would not request conversion of the church to a mosque. He prayed outside the church, where the Mosque of Umar (Omar) stands to this day, opposite the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. According to the Gaullic bishop Arculf, who lived in Jerusalem from 679 to 688, the Mosque of Umar was a rectangular wooden structure built over ruins which could accommodate 3,000 worshipers. When the Muslims went to Bayt Al-Maqdes for the first time, They searched for the site of the Far Away Holy Mosque (Al-Masjed Al-Aqsa) that was mentioned in Quran and Hadith according to Islamic beliefs. Contemporary Arabic and Hebrew sources say the site was full of rubbish, and that Arabs and Jews cleaned it. The Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik commissioned the construction of the Dome of the Rock in the late 7th century. The 10th-century historian al-Muqaddasi writes that Abd al-Malik built the shrine in order to compete in grandeur with Jerusalem's monumental churches. Over the next four hundred years Jerusalem's prominence diminished as Arab powers in the region jockeyed for control. A messianic Karaite movement to gather in Jerusalem took place at the turn of the millennium, leading to a "Golden Age" of Karaite scholarship there, which was only terminated by the Crusades.
In 1099, The Fatimid ruler expelled the native Christian population before Jerusalem was conquered by the Crusaders, who massacred most of its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants when they took the solidly defended city by assault, after a period of siege, and left the city emptied of people; later the Crusaders created the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The city had been virtually emptied and recolonized by a variegated inflow of Greeks, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Georgians, Armenians, Syrians, Egyptians, Nestorians, Maronites, Jacobite Monophysites, Copts and others, to block the return of the surviving Muslims and Jews. The north-eastern quarter was repopulated with Eastern Christians from the Transjordan. As a result, by 1099 Jerusalem’s population had climbed back to some 30,000.
In 1187, the city was wrested from the Crusaders by Saladin who permitted Jews and Muslims to return and settle in the city. Under the terms of surrender, once ransomed, 60,000 Franks were expelled. The Eastern Christian populace was permitted to stay. Under the Ayyubid dynasty of Saladin, a period of huge investment began in the construction of houses, markets, public baths, and pilgrim hostels as well as the establishment of religious endowments. However, for most of the 13th century, Jerusalem declined to the status of a village due to city's fall of strategic value and Ayyubid internecine struggles.
In 1244, Jerusalem was sacked by the Khwarezmian Tartars, who decimated the city's Christian population and drove out the Jews. The Khwarezmian Tartars were driven out by the Ayyubids in 1247. From 1250 to 1517, Jerusalem was ruled by the Mamluks. During this period of time many clashes occurred between the Mamluks on one side and the crusaders and the Mongols on the other side. The area also suffered from many earthquakes and black plague.]
[ Some European Christian presence was maintained in the city by the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.
In 1517, Jerusalem and environs fell to the Ottoman Turks, who generally remained in control until 1917. Jerusalem enjoyed a prosperous period of renewal and peace under Suleiman the Magnificent – including the rebuilding of magnificent walls around the Old City. Throughout much of Ottoman rule, Jerusalem remained a provincial, if religiously important center, and did not straddle the main trade route between Damascus and Cairo. The English reference book Modern history or the present state of all nations
written in 1744 stated that "Jerusalem is still reckoned the capital city of Palestine".
The Ottomans brought many innovations: modern postal systems run by the various consulates and regular stagecoach and carriage services were among the first signs of modernization in the city. In the mid 19th century, the Ottomans constructed the first paved road from Jaffa to Jerusalem, and by 1892 the railroad had reached the city.
With the annexation of Jerusalem by Muhammad Ali of Egypt in 1831, foreign missions and consulates began to establish a foothold in the city. In 1836, Ibrahim Pasha allowed Jerusalem's Jewish residents to restore four major synagogues, among them the Hurva. In the 1834 Arab revolt in Palestine, Qasim al-Ahmad led his forces from Nablus and attacked Jerusalem, aided by the Abu Ghosh clan, entered the city on 31 May 1834. The Christians and Jews of Jerusalem were subjected to attacks. Ibrahim's Egyptian army routed Qasim's forces in Jerusalem the following month.
Ottoman rule was reinstated in 1840, but many Egyptian Muslims remained in Jerusalem and Jews from Algiers and North Africa began to settle in the city in growing numbers. In the 1840s and 1850s, the international powers began a tug-of-war in Palestine as they sought to extend their protection over the region's religious minorities, a struggle carried out mainly through consular representatives in Jerusalem. According to the Prussian consul, the population in 1845 was 16,410, with 7,120 Jews, 5,000 Muslims, 3,390 Christians, 800 Turkish soldiers and 100 Europeans. The volume of Christian pilgrims increased under the Ottomans, doubling the city's population around Easter time.
In the 1860s, new neighborhoods began to develop outside the Old City walls to house pilgrims and relieve the intense overcrowding and poor sanitation inside the city. The Russian Compound and Mishkenot Sha'ananim were founded in 1860, followed by many others that included Mahane Israel (1868), Nahalat Shiv'a (1869), German Colony (1872), Beit David (1873), Mea Shearim (1874), Shimon HaZadiq (1876), Beit Ya'aqov (1877), Abu Tor (1880s), American-Swedish Colony (1882), Yemin Moshe (1891), and Mamilla, Wadi al-Joz around the turn of the century. In 1867 an American Missionary reports an estimated population of Jerusalem of 'above' 15,000, with 4,000 to 5,000 Jews and 6,000 Muslims. Every year there were 5,000 to 6,000 Russian Christian Pilgrims. In 1874 Jerusalem became the center of a special administrative district, independent of the Syria Vilayet and under the direct authority of Istanbul called the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem.
Until the 1880s there were no formal orphanages in Jerusalem, as families generally took care of each other. In 1881 the Diskin Orphanage was founded in Jerusalem with the arrival of Jewish children orphaned by a Russian pogrom. Other orphanages founded in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 20th century were Zion Blumenthal Orphanage (1900) and General Israel Orphan's Home for Girls (1902).
In 1917 after the Battle of Jerusalem, the British Army, led by General Edmund Allenby, captured the city, and in 1922, the League of Nations at the Conference of Lausanne entrusted the United Kingdom to administer the Mandate for Palestine, the neighbouring mandate of Transjordan to the east across the River Jordan, and the Iraq Mandate beyond it.
From 1922 to 1948 the total population of the city rose from 52,000 to 165,000 with two thirds of Jews and one-third of Arabs (Muslims and Christians). The situation between Arabs and Jews in Palestine was not quiet. In Jerusalem, in particular, Arab riots occurred in 1920 and in 1929. Under the British, new garden suburbs were built in the western and northern parts of the city and institutions of higher learning such as the Hebrew University were founded.
As the British Mandate for Palestine was expiring, the 1947 UN Partition Plan recommended "the creation of a special international regime in the City of Jerusalem, constituting it as a corpus separatum
under the administration of the UN." The international regime (which also included the city of Bethlehem) was to remain in force for a period of ten years, whereupon a referendum was to be held in which the residents were to decide the future regime of their city. However, this plan was not implemented, as the 1948 war erupted, while the British withdrew from Palestine and Israel declared its independence. The war led to displacement of Arab and Jewish populations in the city. The 1,500 residents of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City were expelled and a few hundred taken prisoner when the Arab Legion captured the quarter on 28 May. The Arab Legion also attacked Western Jerusalem with snipers. Arab residents of Katamon, Talbiya, and the German Colony were driven from their homes. By the end of the war Israel had control of 12 of Jerusalem's 15 Arab residential quarters. An estimated minimum of 30,000 people had become refugees.
The war of 1948 resulted in Jerusalem being divided, with the old walled city lying entirely on the Jordanian side of the line. A no-man's land between East and West Jerusalem came into being in November 1948: Moshe Dayan, commander of the Israeli forces in Jerusalem, met with his Jordanian counterpart Abdullah el-Tell in a deserted house in Jerusalem’s Musrara neighborhood and marked out their respective positions: Israel’s position in red and Jordan's in green. This rough map, which was not meant as an official one, became the final line in the 1949 Armistice Agreements, which divided the city and left Mount Scopus as an Israeli exclave inside East Jerusalem. Barbed wire and concrete barriers ran down the center of the city, passing close by Jaffa Gate on the western side of the old walled city, and a crossing point was established at Mandelbaum Gate slightly to the north of the old walled city. Military skirmishes frequently threatened the ceasefire. After the establishment of the State of Israel, Jerusalem was declared its capital city. Jordan formally annexed East Jerusalem in 1950, subjecting it to Jordanian law, and in 1953 declared it the "second capital" of Jordan. Only the United Kingdom and Pakistan formally recognized such annexation, which, in regard to Jerusalem, was on a de facto
basis. Also, it is dubious that Pakistan recognized Jordan's annexation.
After 1948, since the old walled city in its entirety was to the east of the armistice line, Jordan was able to take control of all the holy places therein, and contrary to the terms of the armistice agreement, denied Jews access to Jewish holy sites, many of which were desecrated. Jordan allowed only very limited access to Christian holy sites. Of the 58 synagogues in the Old City, half were either razed or converted to stables and hen-houses over the course of the next 19 years, including the Hurva and the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue. The Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives was desecrated, with gravestones used to build roads and latrines. Israeli authorities razed many ancient tombs in the ancient Muslim Mamilla Cemetery in West Jerusalem to facilitate the creation of a parking lot and public lavatories in 1964. Many other historic and religiously significant buildings were demolished and replaced by modern structures. During this period, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque underwent major renovations. The Jewish Quarter became known as Harat al-Sharaf
, and was resettled with refugees from the 1948 war. In 1966 the Jordanian authorities relocated 500 of them to the Shua'fat refugee camp as part of plans to redevelop the area.
In 1967, despite Israeli pleas that Jordan remain neutral during the Six-Day War, Jordanian forces attacked Israeli-held West Jerusalem on the war's second day. After hand to hand fighting between Israeli and Jordanian soldiers on the Temple Mount, the Israel Defense Forces captured East Jerusalem, along with the entire West Bank. East Jerusalem, along with some nearby West Bank territory, was subsequently annexed by Israel, as were the city's Christian and Muslim holy sites. On 27 June 1967, a few weeks after the war ended, Israel extended its law and jurisdiction to East Jerusalem and some surrounding area, incorporating it into the Jerusalem Municipality. Although at the time Israel informed the United Nations that its measures constituted administrative and municipal integration rather than annexation, later rulings by the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the government's view that East Jerusalem had become part of Israel.]
[ In 1980, Israel passed the Jerusalem Law as an addition to its Basic Laws, which declared Jerusalem the "complete and united" capital of Israel. Following the annexation, 22 of the 24 countries that had previously recognized (West) Jerusalem as Israel's capital relocated their embassies in Tel Aviv. Costa Rica and San Salvador followed suit in 2006.]
[ Israel conducted a census of Arab residents in the areas annexed. Residents were given permanent residency status and the option of applying for Israeli citizenship.
Jewish and Christian access to the holy sites inside the old walled city was restored. Israel left the Temple Mount under the jurisdiction of an Islamic waqf
, but opened the Western Wall to Jewish access. The Moroccan Quarter, which was located adjacent to the Western Wall, was evacuated and razed. to make way for a plaza for those visiting the wall. On 18 April 1968, an expropriation order by the Israeli Ministry of Finance more than doubled the size of the Jewish Quarter, evicting its Arab residents and seizing over 700 buildings of which only 105 belonged to pre-1948 Jewish inhabitants. The old quarter was thus extended into the Mughrabi Harat Abu Sa'ud, and other quarters steeped in Arab and Palestinian history. The order designated these areas for public use, but were intended for Jews alone. The government offered 200 Jordanian dinars to each displaced Arab family.
After the Six-Day War the population of Jerusalem increased by 196% The Jewish population grew by 155%, while the Arab population grew by 314%. The proportion of the Jewish population fell from 74% in 1967 to 72% in 1980, to 68% in 2000, and to 64% in 2010. Israeli Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon proposed building a ring of Jewish neighborhoods around the city's eastern edges. The plan was intended to make East Jerusalem more Jewish and prevent it from becoming part of an urban Palestinian bloc stretching from Bethlehem to Ramallah. On 2 October 1977, the Israeli cabinet approved the plan, and seven neighborhoods were subsequently built on the city's eastern edges. They became known as the Ring Neighborhoods. Other Jewish neighborhoods were built within East Jerusalem, and Israeli Jews also settled in Arab neighborhoods.
The annexation of East Jerusalem was met with international criticism. Following the passing of the Jerusalem Law, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution that declared the law "a violation of international law" and requested all member states to withdraw all remaining embassies from the city. The Israeli Foreign Ministry disputes that the annexation of Jerusalem was a violation of international law. A poll conducted by Palestinian Center for Public Opinion and American Pechter Middle East Polls for the Council on Foreign Relations, among East Jerusalem Arab residents in 2011 revealed that 39% of East Jerusalem Arab residents would prefer Israeli citizenship contrary to 31% who opted for Palestinian citizenship. According to the poll, 40% of Palestinian residents would prefer to leave their neighborhoods if they would be placed under Palestinian rule.
Under the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine passed by the UN in 1947, Jerusalem was envisaged to become a corpus separatum administered by the United Nations. While the Jewish leaders accepted the partition plan, the Arab leadership (the Arab Higher Committee in Palestine and the Arab League) rejected it, opposing any partition. In the war of 1948, the western part of the city was occupied by forces of the nascent state of Israel, while the eastern part was occupied by Jordan. The international community largely considers the legal status of Jerusalem to derive from the partition plan, and correspondingly refuses to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the city.
Following the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel extended its jurisdiction and administration over East Jerusalem, establishing new municipal borders.
In 2010, Israel approved legislation giving Jerusalem the highest national priority status in Israel. The law prioritized construction throughout the city, and offered grants and tax benefits to residents to make housing, infrastructure, education, employment, business, tourism, and cultural events more affordable. Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon said that the bill sent "a clear, unequivocal political message that Jerusalem will not be divided", and that "all those within the Palestinian and international community who expect the current Israeli government to accept any demands regarding Israel's sovereignty over it's [sic
] capital are mistaken and misleading".
The status of the city, and especially its holy places, remains a core issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israeli government has approved building plans in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City in order to expand the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem, while some Islamic leaders have made claims that Jews have no historical connection to Jerusalem, alleging that the 2,500-year-old Western Wall was constructed as part of a mosque. Palestinians regard Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, and the city's borders have been the subject of bilateral talks. A team of experts assembled by Ehud Barak in 2000 concluded that the city must be divided, since Israel had failed to achieve any of its national aims there. A poll taken at the same time indicated that 65-70% of the public regarded it as a divided city, and 56% would accept a partition. On the other hand, a poll conducted in June 2013 found 74% of Israeli Jews reject the idea of a Palestinian capital in any portion of Jerusalem, although 72% of the public regarded it as a divided city.
A strong longing for peace is symbolized by the Peace Monument (with farming tools made out of scrap weapons), facing the Old City wall near the former Israeli-Jordanian border and quoting from the book of Isaiah in Arabic and Hebrew.
On 5 December 1949, the State of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, proclaimed Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and since then all branches of the Israeli government—legislative, judicial, and executive—have resided there, except for the Ministry of Defense, located at HaKirya in Tel Aviv. At the time of the proclamation, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan and thus only West Jerusalem was proclaimed Israel's capital.
In July 1980, Israel passed the Jerusalem Law as part of the country's Basic Law. The law declared Jerusalem the unified capital of Israel, de facto annexing it.]
[ The status of a "united Jerusalem" as Israel's "eternal capital" has been a matter of immense controversy within the international community. United Nations Security Council Resolution 478, passed on 20 August 1980, declared that the Basic Law was "null and void and must be rescinded forthwith". Member states were advised to withdraw their diplomatic representation from Jerusalem as a punitive measure. Most of the remaining countries with embassies in Jerusalem complied with the resolution by relocating them to Tel Aviv, where many embassies already resided prior to Resolution 478. Currently, there are no embassies located within the city limits of Jerusalem, although there are embassies in Mevaseret Zion, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and four consulates in the city itself.
In 1995, the United States Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which required, subject to conditions, that that country's embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, U.S. presidents have argued that Congressional resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem are merely advisory. The Constitution reserves foreign relations as an executive power, and as such, the United States embassy is still in Tel Aviv. Due to the non-recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, some non-Israeli press use Tel Aviv as a metonym for Israel.
On 28 October 2009, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and Palestine if peace is to be achieved.
The Palestinian National Authority views East Jerusalem as occupied territory according to United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. The Palestinian Authority claims Jerusalem, including the Haram al-Sharif, as the capital of the State of Palestine, The PLO claims that West Jerusalem is also subject to permanent status negotiations. However, it has stated that it would be willing to consider alternative solutions, such as making Jerusalem an open city.
Some states, such as Russia and China, recognize the Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. UN General Assembly resolution 58/292 affirmed that the Palestinian people have the right to sovereignty over East Jerusalem.
Many national institutions of Israel are located in Kiryat HaMemshala in Givat Ram in Jerusalem as a part of the Kiryat HaLeom project which is intended to create a large district that will house most government agencies and national cultural institutions. Some government buildings are located in Kiryat Menachem Begin. The city is home to the Knesset, the Supreme Court, the Bank of Israel, the National Headquarters of the Israel Police, the official residences of the President and Prime Minister, the Cabinet, and all ministries except for the Ministry of Defense (which is located in central Tel Aviv's HaKirya district) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (which is located in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon LeZion, nearby Beit Dagan). Prior to the creation of the State of Israel, Jerusalem served as the administrative capital of the British Mandate for Palestine, which included present-day Israel and Jordan. From 1949 until 1967, West Jerusalem served as Israel's capital, but was not recognized as such internationally because UN General Assembly Resolution 194 envisaged Jerusalem as an international city. As a result of the Six-Day War in 1967, the whole of Jerusalem came under Israeli control. On 27 June 1967, the government of Levi Eshkol extended Israeli law and jurisdiction to East Jerusalem, but agreed that administration of the Temple Mount compound would be maintained by the Jordanian waqf, under the Jordanian Ministry of Religious Endowments. In 1988, Israel ordered the closure of Orient House, home of the Arab Studies Society, but also the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization, for security reasons. The building reopened in 1992 as a Palestinian guesthouse. The Oslo Accords stated that the final status of Jerusalem would be determined by negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. The accords banned any official Palestinian presence in the city until a final peace agreement, but provided for the opening of a Palestinian trade office in East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority regards East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. President Mahmoud Abbas has said that any agreement that did not not include East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine would be unacceptable. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has similarly stated that Jerusalem would remain the undivided capital of Israel. Due to its proximity to the city, especially the Temple Mount, Abu Dis, a Palestinian suburb of Jerusalem, has been proposed as the future capital of a Palestinian state by Israel. Israel has not incorporated Abu Dis within its security wall around Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority has built a possible future parliament building for the Palestinian Legislative Council in the town, and its Jerusalem Affairs Offices are all located in Abu Dis.
The Jerusalem City Council is a body of 31 elected members headed by the mayor, who serves a five-year term and appoints eight deputies. The former mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupolianski, was elected in 2003. In the November 2008 city elections, Nir Barkat came out as the winner and is now the mayor. Apart from the mayor and his deputies, City Council members receive no salaries and work on a voluntary basis. The longest-serving Jerusalem mayor was Teddy Kollek, who spent 28 years—-six consecutive terms-—in office. Most of the meetings of the Jerusalem City Council are private, but each month, it holds a session that is open to the public. Within the city council, religious political parties form an especially powerful faction, accounting for the majority of its seats. The headquarters of the Jerusalem Municipality and the mayor's office are at Safra Square (Kikar Safra
) on Jaffa Road. The municipal complex, comprising two modern buildings and ten renovated historic buildings surrounding a large plaza, opened in 1993 moved from the Jerusalem Historical City Hall Building. The city falls under the Jerusalem District, with Jerusalem as the district's capital.
Jerusalem is situated on the southern spur of a plateau in the Judean Mountains, which include the Mount of Olives (East) and Mount Scopus (North East). The elevation of the Old City is approximately 760 m (2,490 ft). The whole of Jerusalem is surrounded by valleys and dry riverbeds (wadis
). The Kidron, Hinnom, and Tyropoeon Valleys intersect in an area just south of the Old City of Jerusalem. The Kidron Valley runs to the east of the Old City and separates the Mount of Olives from the city proper. Along the southern side of old Jerusalem is the Valley of Hinnom, a steep ravine associated in biblical eschatology with the concept of Gehenna or Hell. The Tyropoeon Valley commenced in the northwest near the Damascus Gate, ran south-southeasterly through the center of the Old City down to the Pool of Siloam, and divided the lower part into two hills, the Temple Mount to the east, and the rest of the city to the west (the lower and the upper cities described by Josephus). Today, this valley is hidden by debris that has accumulated over the centuries. In biblical times, Jerusalem was surrounded by forests of almond, olive and pine trees. Over centuries of warfare and neglect, these forests were destroyed. Farmers in the Jerusalem region thus built stone terraces along the slopes to hold back the soil, a feature still very much in evidence in the Jerusalem landscape.]
Water supply has always been a major problem in Jerusalem, as attested to by the intricate network of ancient aqueducts, tunnels, pools and cisterns found in the city.
Jerusalem is 60 kilometers (37 mi) east of Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean Sea. On the opposite side of the city, approximately 35 kilometers (22 mi) away, is the Dead Sea, the lowest body of water on Earth. Neighboring cities and towns include Bethlehem and Beit Jala to the south, Abu Dis and Ma'ale Adumim to the east, Mevaseret Zion to the west, and Ramallah and Giv'at Ze'ev to the north.
Mount Herzl, at the western side of the city near the Jerusalem Forest, serves as the national cemetery of Israel.
The city is characterized by a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa
), with hot, dry summers, and mild, wet winters. Snow flurries usually occur once or twice a winter, although the city experiences heavy snowfall every three to four years, on average, with short-lived accumulation. January is the coldest month of the year, with an average temperature of ; July and August are the hottest months, with an average temperature of , and the summer months are usually rainless. The average annual precipitation is around 550 mm (22 in), with rain occurring almost entirely between October and May. Jerusalem has nearly 3,400 annual sunshine hours.
Most of the air pollution in Jerusalem comes from vehicular traffic. Many main streets in Jerusalem were not built to accommodate such a large volume of traffic, leading to traffic congestion and more carbon monoxide released into the air. Industrial pollution inside the city is sparse, but emissions from factories on the Israeli Mediterranean coast can travel eastward and settle over the city.
Jerusalem's population size and composition has shifted many times over its 5,000 year history. Since medieval times, the Old City of Jerusalem has been divided into Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian quarters.
Most population data pre-1905 is based on estimates, often from foreign travellers or organisations, since previous census data usually covered wider areas such as the Jerusalem District. These estimates suggest that since the end of the Crusades, Muslims formed the largest group in Jerusalem until the mid-nineteenth century.
Between 1838 and 1876, a number of estimates exist which conflict as to whether Jews or Muslims were the largest group during this period, and between 1882 and 1922 estimates conflict as to exactly when Jews became a majority of the population.
In December 2007, Jerusalem had a population of 747,600—64% were Jewish, 32% Muslim, and 2% Christian. At the end of 2005, the population density was 5,750.4 /km2 (14,893 /sq mi). According to a study published in 2000, the percentage of Jews in the city's population had been decreasing; this was attributed to a higher Muslim birth rate, and Jewish residents leaving. The study also found that about nine percent of the Old City's 32,488 people were Jews.
In 2005, 2,850 new immigrants settled in Jerusalem, mostly from the United States, France and the former Soviet Union. In terms of the local population, the number of outgoing residents exceeds the number of incoming residents. In 2005, 16,000 left Jerusalem and only 10,000 moved in. Nevertheless, the population of Jerusalem continues to rise due to the high birth rate, especially in the Haredi Jewish and Arab communities. Consequently, the total fertility rate in Jerusalem (4.02) is higher than in Tel Aviv (1.98) and well above the national average of 2.90. The average size of Jerusalem's 180,000 households is 3.8 people.
In 2005, the total population grew by 13,000 (1.8%)—similar to Israeli national average, but the religious and ethnic composition is shifting. While 31% of the Jewish population is made up of children below the age fifteen, the figure for the Arab population is 42%. This would seem to corroborate the observation that the percentage of Jews in Jerusalem has declined over the past four decades. In 1967, Jews accounted for 74 percent of the population, while the figure for 2006 is down nine percent. Possible factors are the high cost of housing, fewer job opportunities and the increasingly religious character of the city, although proportionally, young Haredim are leaving in higher numbers.]
[ The percentage of secular Jews, or those who 'wear their faith lightly' is dropping, with some 20,000 leaving the city over the past 7 years (2012). They now number 31% of the population, the same percentage as the rising ultra-orthodox population. Many move to the suburbs and coastal cities in search of cheaper housing and a more secular lifestyle. In 2009, the percentage of Haredim in the city was increasing. As of 2009, out of 150,100 schoolchildren, 59,900 or 40% are in state-run secular and National Religious schools, while 90,200 or 60% are in Haredi schools. This correlates with the high number of children in Haredi families.
While some Israelis see Jerusalem as poor, rundown and riddled with religious and political tension, the city has been a magnet for Palestinians, offering more jobs and opportunity than any city in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Palestinian officials have encouraged Arabs over the years to stay in the city to maintain their claim. Palestinians are attracted to the access to jobs, healthcare, social security, other benefits, and quality of life Israel provides to Jerusalem residents. Arab residents of Jerusalem who choose not to have Israeli citizenship are granted an Israeli identity card that allows them to pass through checkpoints with relative ease and to travel throughout Israel, making it easier to find work. Residents also are entitled to the subsidized healthcare and social security benefits Israel provides its citizens, and have the right to vote in municipal elections. Arabs in Jerusalem can send their children to Israeli-run schools, although not every neighborhood has one, and universities. Israeli doctors and highly regarded hospitals such as Hadassah Medical Center are available to residents.
Demographics and the Jewish-Arab population divide play a major role in the dispute over Jerusalem. In 1998, the Jerusalem Development Authority proposed expanding city limits to the west to include more areas heavily populated with Jews.
Within the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the Jewish birthrate and a steady decrease in the Arab birthrate. In May 2012, it was reported that the Jewish birthrate had overtaken the Arab birthrate. Currently, the city's birthrate stands about 4.2 children per Jewish family and 3.9 children per Arab family. In addition, increasing numbers of Jewish immigrants chose to settle in Jerusalem. In the last few years, thousands of Palestinians have moved to previously fully Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, built after the 1967 Six-Day War. In 2007, 1,300 Palestinians lived in the previously exclusively Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev and constituted three percent of the population in Neve Ya'akov. In the French Hill neighborhood, Palestinians today constitute one-sixth of the overall population.
Jerusalem's Jewish population is overwhelmingly religious. Only 21% of Jewish residents are secular. In addition, Haredi Jews comprise 30% of the city's adult Jewish population. In a phenomenon seen rarely around the world, the percentage of Jewish men who work, 47%, is exceeded by the percentage of Jewish women who work, 50%.
Critics of efforts to promote a Jewish majority in Jerusalem say that government planning policies are motivated by demographic considerations and seek to limit Arab construction while promoting Jewish construction. According to a World Bank report, the number of recorded building violations between 1996 and 2000 was four and half times higher in Jewish neighborhoods but four times fewer demolition orders were issued in West Jerusalem than in East Jerusalem; Arabs in Jerusalem were less likely to receive construction permits than Jews, and "the authorities are much more likely to take action against Palestinian violators" than Jewish violators of the permit process. In recent years, private Jewish foundations have received permission from the government to develop projects on disputed lands, such as the City of David archaeological park in the 60% Arab neighborhood of Silwan (adjacent to the Old City), and the Museum of Tolerance on Mamilla cemetery (adjacent to Zion Square). Opponents view such urban planning moves as geared towards the Judaization of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem has been sacred to Judaism for roughly 3000 years, to Christianity for around 2000 years, and to Islam for approximately 1400 years. The 2000 Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem lists 1204 synagogues, 158 churches, and 73 mosques within the city. Despite efforts to maintain peaceful religious coexistence, some sites, such as the Temple Mount, have been a continuous source of friction and controversy.
Jerusalem has been sacred to the Jews since King David proclaimed it his capital in the 10th century BCE. Jerusalem was the site of Solomon's Temple and the Second Temple. Although not mentioned in the Torah / Pentateuch, it is mentioned in the Bible 632 times. Today, the Western Wall, a remnant of the wall surrounding the Second Temple, is a Jewish holy site second only to the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount itself. Synagogues around the world are traditionally built with the Holy Ark facing Jerusalem, and Arks within Jerusalem face the "Holy of Holies". As prescribed in the Mishna and codified in the Shulchan Aruch
, daily prayers are recited while facing towards Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Many Jews have "Mizrach" plaques hung on a wall of their homes to indicate the direction of prayer.
Christianity reveres Jerusalem for its Old Testament history, and also for its significance in the life of Jesus. According to the New Testament, Jesus was brought to Jerusalem soon after his birth and later in his life cleansed the Second Temple. The Cenacle, believed to be the site of Jesus' Last Supper, is located on Mount Zion in the same building that houses the Tomb of King David. Another prominent Christian site in Jerusalem is Golgotha, the site of the crucifixion. The Gospel of John describes it as being located outside Jerusalem, but recent archaeological evidence suggests Golgotha is a short distance from the Old City walls, within the present-day confines of the city. The land currently occupied by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is considered one of the top candidates for Golgotha and thus has been a Christian pilgrimage site for the past 2000 years.
Jerusalem is considered by some as the third-holiest city in Sunni Islam. For approximately a year, before it was permanently switched to the Kaaba in Mecca, the qibla
(direction of prayer) for Muslims was Jerusalem. The city's lasting place in Islam, however, is primarily due to Muhammad's Night of Ascension (c. CE 620). Muslims believe Muhammad was miraculously transported one night from Mecca to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, whereupon he ascended to Heaven to meet previous prophets of Islam. The first verse in the Qur'an's Surat al-Isra
notes the destination of Muhammad's journey as al-Aqsa
(the farthest) mosque, in reference to the location in Jerusalem. The hadith, the recorded sayings of the Prophet Mohammad, name Jerusalem as the location of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Today, the Temple Mount is topped by an Islamic landmark intended to commemorate the event—al-Aqsa Mosque, derived from the name mentioned in the Qur'an, and also the place from which Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to Heaven.
Although Jerusalem is known primarily for its religious significance, the city is also home to many artistic and cultural venues. The Israel Museum attracts nearly one million visitors a year, approximately one-third of them tourists. The 20-acre (81,000 m2) museum complex comprises several buildings featuring special exhibits and extensive collections of Judaica, archaeological findings, and Israeli and European art. The Dead Sea scrolls, discovered in the mid-20th century in the Qumran Caves near the Dead Sea, are housed in the Museum's Shrine of the Book.
Beside Israel Museum is the Bible Lands Museum near the The National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel, which includes the Israel Antiquities Authority offices. A World Bible Center is planned to be built next to Mount Zion on a place called: the Bible Hill
. The planned World Kabbalah Center is to sit on the nearby promenade overlooking old city.
The Youth Wing, which mounts changing exhibits and runs an extensive art education program, is visited by 100,000 children a year. The museum has a large outdoor sculpture garden and a scale-model of the Second Temple. The Rockefeller Museum, located in East Jerusalem, was the first archaeological museum in the Middle East. It was built in 1938 during the British Mandate.
The national cemetery of Israel is located at the city's western edge, near the Jerusalem Forest on Mount Herzl. The western extension of Mount Herzl is the Mount of Remembrance, where the main Holocaust museum of Israel is located. Yad Vashem, Israel's national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, houses the world's largest library of Holocaust-related information. It houses an estimated 100,000 books and articles. The complex contains a state-of-the-art museum that explores the genocide of the Jews through exhibits that focus on the personal stories of individuals and families killed in the Holocaust. An art gallery featuring the work of artists who perished is also present. Further, Yad Vashem commemorates the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis, and honors the Righteous among the Nations.
The Museum on the Seam, which explores issues of coexistence through art, is situated on the road dividing eastern and western Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, established in the 1940s, has appeared around the world. The International Convention Center (Binyanei HaUma
) near the entrance to city houses the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The Jerusalem Cinemateque, the Gerard Behar Center (formerly Beit Ha'am) in downtown Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Music Center in Yemin Moshe, and the Targ Music Center in Ein Kerem also present the arts. The Israel Festival, featuring indoor and outdoor performances by local and international singers, concerts, plays, and street theater has been held annually since 1961, and Jerusalem has been the major organizer of this event. The Jerusalem Theater in the Talbiya neighborhood hosts over 150 concerts a year, as well as theater and dance companies and performing artists from overseas. The Khan Theater, located in a caravanserai opposite the old Jerusalem train station, is the city's only repertoire theater. The station itself has become a venue for cultural events in recent years as the site of Shav'ua Hasefer
(an annual week-long book fair) and outdoor music performances. The Jerusalem Film Festival is held annually, screening Israeli and international films.
The Ticho House in downtown Jerusalem houses the paintings of Anna Ticho and the Judaica collections of her husband, an ophthalmologist who opened Jerusalem's first eye clinic in this building in 1912. Al-Hoash, established in 2004, is a gallery for the preservation of Palestinian art.
In 1974 the Jerusalem Cinematheque was founded. In 1981 it was moved to a new building on Hebron Road near the Valley of Hinnom and the Old City.
Jerusalem was declared the Capital of Arab Culture in 2009. Jerusalem is home to the Palestinian National Theatre, which engages in cultural preservation as well as innovation, working to rekindle Palestinian interest in the arts. The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music sponsors the Palestine Youth Orchestra which toured the Gulf states and other Middle East countries in 2009. The Islamic Museum on the Temple Mount, established in 1923, houses many Islamic artifacts, from tiny kohl flasks and rare manuscripts to giant marble columns. While Israel approves and financially supports Arab cultural activities, Arab Capital of Culture events were banned because they were sponsored by the Palestine National Authority. In 2009, a four-day culture festival was held in the Beit 'Anan suburb of Jerusalem, attended by more than 15,000 people
The Abraham Fund and the Jerusalem Intercultural Center] (JICC) promote joint Jewish-Palestinian cultural projects. The Jerusalem Center for Middle Eastern Music and Dance is open to Arabs and Jews and offers workshops on Jewish-Arab dialogue through the arts. The Jewish-Arab Youth Orchestra performs both European classical and Middle Eastern music.
In 2006, a 38 km (24 mi) Jerusalem Trail was opened, a hiking trail that goes to many cultural sites and national parks in and around Jerusalem.
In 2008, the Tolerance Monument, an outdoor sculpture by Czesław Dźwigaj, was erected on a hill between Jewish Armon HaNetziv and Arab Jebl Mukaber as a symbol of Jerusalem's quest for peace.
Jerusalem is the state broadcasting center of Israel. The Israel Broadcasting Authority's main office is located in Jerusalem, as well as the TV and radio studios for Israel Radio, Channel 2, Channel 10, and part of the radio studios of BBC News. Local media entities include newspapers such as The Jerusalem Times
Historically, Jerusalem's economy was supported almost exclusively by religious pilgrims, as it was located far from the major ports of Jaffa and Gaza. Jerusalem's religious landmarks today remain the top draw for foreign visitors, with the majority of tourists visiting the Western Wall and the Old City, but in the past half-century it has become increasingly clear that Jerusalem's providence cannot solely be sustained by its religious significance.
Although many statistics indicate economic growth in the city, since 1967 East Jerusalem has lagged behind the development of West Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the percentage of households with employed persons is higher for Arab households (76.1%) than for Jewish households (66.8%). The unemployment rate in Jerusalem (8.3%) is slightly better than the national average (9.0%), although the civilian labor force accounted for less than half of all persons fifteen years or older—lower in comparison to that of Tel Aviv (58.0%) and Haifa (52.4%). Poverty in the city has increased dramatically in recent years. According to a report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), 78% of Palestinians in Jerusalem lived in poverty in 2012. This marks a steady increase from 2006 when 64% of Palestinians were in poverty. While the ACRI attributes the increase to the lack of employment opportunities, infrastructure and a worsening educational system, Ir Amim blames the legal status of Palestinians in Jerusalem. In 2006, the average monthly income for a worker in Jerusalem was NIS5,940 (US$1,410), NIS1,350 less than that for a worker in Tel Aviv.]
During the British Mandate, a law was passed requiring all buildings to be constructed of Jerusalem stone in order to preserve the unique historic and aesthetic character of the city. Complementing this building code, which is still in force, is the discouragement of heavy industry in Jerusalem; only about 2.2% of Jerusalem's land is zoned for "industry and infrastructure." By comparison, the percentage of land in Tel Aviv zoned for industry and infrastructure is twice as high, and in Haifa, seven times as high. Only 8.5% of the Jerusalem District work force is employed in the manufacturing sector, which is half the national average (15.8%). Higher than average percentages are employed in education (17.9% vs. 12.7%); health and welfare (12.6% vs. 10.7%); community and social services (6.4% vs. 4.7%); hotels and restaurants (6.1% vs. 4.7%); and public administration (8.2% vs. 4.7%). Although Tel Aviv remains Israel's financial center, a growing number of high tech companies are moving to Jerusalem, providing 12,000 jobs in 2006. Northern Jerusalem's Har Hotzvim industrial park is home to some of Israel's major corporations, among them Intel, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ophir Optronics and ECI Telecom. Expansion plans for the park envision one hundred businesses, a fire station, and a school, covering an area of 530,000 m2 (130 acres).
Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the national government has remained a major player in Jerusalem's economy. The government, centered in Jerusalem, generates a large number of jobs, and offers subsidies and incentives for new business initiatives and start-ups.
In 2010, Jerusalem was named the top leisure travel city in Africa and the Middle East by Travel + Leisure magazine
Jerusalem is served by highly developed communication infrastructures, making it a leading logistics hub for Israel.
The Jerusalem Central Bus Station, located on Jaffa Road, is the busiest bus station in Israel. It is served by Egged Bus Cooperative, which is the second-largest bus company in the world, The Dan serves the Bnei Brak-Jerusalem route along with Egged, and Superbus serves the routes between Jerusalem, Modi'in Illit, and Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut. The companies operate from Jerusalem Central Bus Station. Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and routes between Jerusalem and locations in the West Bank are served by the East Jerusalem Central Bus Station, a transportation hub located near the Old City's Damascus Gate. The Jerusalem Light Rail initiated service in August 2011. According to plans, the first rail line will be capable of transporting an estimated 200,000 people daily, and has 23 stops. The route is from Pisgat Ze'ev in the north via the Old City and city center to Mt. Herzl in the south.
Another work in progress is a new high-speed rail line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is scheduled to be completed in 2017. Its terminus will be a new underground station (80 m (262.47 ft) deep) serving the International Convention Center and the Central Bus Station, and is planned to be extended eventually to Malha station. Israel Railways operates train services to Malha train station from Tel Aviv via Beit Shemesh.
Begin Expressway is one of Jerusalem's major north-south thoroughfares; it runs on the western side of the city, merging in the north with Route 443, which continues toward Tel Aviv. Route 60 runs through the center of the city near the Green Line between East and West Jerusalem. Construction is progressing on parts of a 35-kilometer (22 mi) ring road around the city, fostering faster connection between the suburbs. The eastern half of the project was conceptualized decades ago, but reaction to the proposed highway is still mixed.
Jerusalem is home to several prestigious universities offering courses in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Founded in 1925, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been ranked among the top 100 schools in the world. The Board of Governors has included such prominent Jewish intellectuals as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. The university has produced several Nobel laureates; recent winners associated with Hebrew University include Avram Hershko, David Gross, and Daniel Kahneman. One of the university's major assets is the Jewish National and University Library, which houses over five million books. The library opened in 1892, over three decades before the university was established, and is one of the world's largest repositories of books on Jewish subjects. Today it is both the central library of the university and the national library of Israel. The Hebrew University operates three campuses in Jerusalem, on Mount Scopus, on Giv'at Ram and a medical campus at the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital. the Academy of the Hebrew Language are located in the Hebrew university in Givat Ram and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities located near the Presidents house.
Al-Quds University was established in 1984 to serve as a flagship university for the Arab and Palestinian peoples. It describes itself as the "only Arab university in Jerusalem". New York Bard College and Al-Quds University agreed to open a joint college in a building originally built to house the Palestinian Legislative Council and Yasser Arafat’s office. The college gives Master of Arts in Teaching degrees. Al-Quds University resides southeast of the city proper on a 190,000 square metres (47 acres) Abu Dis campus. Other institutions of higher learning in Jerusalem are the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, whose buildings are located on the campuses of the Hebrew University.
The Jerusalem College of Technology, founded in 1969, combines training in engineering and other high-tech industries with a Jewish studies program. It is one of many schools in Jerusalem, from elementary school and up, that combine secular and religious studies. Numerous religious educational institutions and Yeshivot
, including some of the most prestigious yeshivas, among them the Brisk, Chevron, Midrash Shmuel and Mir, are based in the city, with the Mir Yeshiva claiming to be the largest. There were nearly 8,000 twelfth-grade students in Hebrew-language schools during the 2003–2004 school year. However, due to the large portion of students in Haredi Jewish frameworks, only fifty-five percent of twelfth graders took matriculation exams (Bagrut
) and only thirty-seven percent were eligible to graduate. Unlike public schools, many Haredi schools do not prepare students to take standardized tests. To attract more university students to Jerusalem, the city has begun to offer a special package of financial incentives and housing subsidies to students who rent apartments in downtown Jerusalem.
Schools for Arabs in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel have been criticized for offering a lower quality education than those catering to Israeli Jewish students. While many schools in the heavily Arab East Jerusalem are filled to capacity and there have been complaints of overcrowding, the Jerusalem Municipality is currently building over a dozen new schools in the city's Arab neighborhoods. Schools in Ras el-Amud and Umm Lison opened in 2008. In March 2007, the Israeli government approved a 5-year plan to build 8,000 new classrooms in the city, 40 percent in the Arab sector and 28 percent in the Haredi sector. A budget of 4.6 billion shekels was allocated for this project. In 2008, Jewish British philanthropists donated $3 million for the construction of schools in Arab East Jerusalem. Arab high school students take the Bagrut
matriculation exams, so that much of their curriculum parallels that of other Israeli high schools and includes certain Jewish subjects.
The two most popular sports are football (soccer) and basketball. Beitar Jerusalem Football Club is one of the most well known in Israel. Fans include political figures who often attend its games. Jerusalem's other major football team, and one of Beitar's top rivals, is Hapoel Jerusalem F.C. Whereas Beitar has been Israel State Cup champion seven times, Hapoel has won the Cup only once. Beitar has won the top league six times, while Hapoel has never succeeded. Beitar plays in the more prestigious Ligat HaAl, while Hapoel is in the second division Liga Leumit. Since its opening in 1992, Teddy Kollek Stadium has been Jerusalem's primary football stadium, with a capacity of 21,600. The most popular Palestinian football club is Jabal Al Mukaber (since 1976) which plays in West Bank Premier League. The club hails from Mount Scopus at Jerusalem, part of the Asian Football Confederation, and plays at the Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium at Al-Ram, across the West Bank Barrier.
In basketball, Hapoel Jerusalem plays in the top division. The club has won the State Cup three times, and the ULEB Cup in 2004.
The Jerusalem Marathon, established in 2011, is an international marathon race held annually in Jerusalem in the month of March. The full 42-kilometer race begins at the Knesset, passes through Mount Scopus and the Old City's Armenian Quarter, and concludes at Sacher Park. In 2012 the Jerusalem Marathon drew 15,000 runners, including 1,500 from fifty countries outside Israel.
Jerusalem has traditionally had a low-rise skyline. About 18 tall buildings were built at different times in the downtown area when there was no clear policy over the matter. One of them, Holyland Tower 1, Jerusalem's tallest building, is a skyscraper by international standards, rising 32 stories. Holyland Tower 2, which has been approved for construction, will reach the same height.
A new master plan for the city will see many high-rise buildings, including skyscrapers, built in certain, designated areas of downtown Jerusalem. Under the plan, towers will line Jaffa Road and King George Street. One of the proposed towers along King George Street, the Migdal Merkaz HaYekum, is planned as a 65-story building, which would make it one of the tallest buildings in Israel. At the entrance to the city, near the Jerusalem Chords Bridge and the Central Bus Station, twelve towers rising between 24 and 33 stories will be built, as part of a complex that will also include an open square and an underground train station serving a new express line between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and will be connected by bridges and underground tunnels. Eleven of the skyscrapers will be either office or apartment buildings, and one will be a 2,000-room hotel. The complex is expected to attract many businesses from Tel Aviv, and become the city's main business hub. In addition, a complex for the city's courts and the prosecutor's office will be built, as well as new buildings for Central Zionist Archives and Israel State Archives. The skyscrapers built throughout the city are expected to contain public space, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, and it has been speculated that this may lead to a revitalization of downtown Jerusalem.
See List of Israeli twin towns and sister cities