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Jerusalem - it's name means to point out, to show, or to teach peace.

It is first read about in Genesis (Gen. 14:18) simply as Salem, under the rule of Melchizedek, who the Hebrew writer refers to as the king of peace (Heb 7:1-2). We know that these are the same cities because of Psalm 76:2.

Throughout the scriptures this city has had many names, many symbols to reference it. It has been called:

1. Jerusalem - it's literal and most well known name. Because it was the capital of the kingdom, this name is also figuratively applied to all the people of Israel, the whole kingdom, and later the southern kingdom of Judah, throughout the prophets and it is used this way by Christ himself in the NT (Math. 23:37).

2. Zion - One of the mountains/hills on which the city of Jerusalem is built (it is on the south side, clockwise from the Mount Olivet [the mountain of olives]). Zion is a metonym for the city of Jerusalem in that it's name is used interchangeably with that of the city's. It is a synechdote in that it is often used to refer to all of the kingdom of Judah, specifically its people. The Psalms refer to it this way (Psa 76:2), as do the prophets (Isa 2:3), and even the New Testament (Rom. 9:33 referring back to Isa. 8:14).

3. The Holy Mount - Isa. 57:6; Daniel 9:16-20; Joel 3:17; Zech. 8:3

4. City of God - Another reference to the city of Jerusalem is the city of God. In Psalm 46 Zion is called the city of God and it is a powerful chapter in regard to the ultimate purpose of this study. Again in Psalm 48 the city of God references Jerusalem, Zion as the people of God. Daniel prays for the city of God, Jerusalem, again the holy mount (Daniel 9:16-20).

5. The Holy City - Jerusalem is called "the holy city" in the Old Testament in Neh. 11:1; Isa. 52:1; Daniel 9:24 and in the New Testament in Matt. 4:5 and Matt. 27:53.

6. The faithful city - Isa. 1:21; Isa 1:26

And just as Jerusalem is God's faithful city, the capital of His kingdom of the Old Testament, so too is Jerusalem referred to in negative terms:

7. The harlot/whore - This image is a powerful image representing how God viewed his people's desire to be like other nations, to worship their gods, to marry their women, to be "multicultural" and reject God. Isa. 1:21; Jer. 2:2, 20; Jer. 3; Ezek. 16; and Ezek. 23.

8. Adulterer - This is one of the most profound and probably least known references to Jerusalem. It is one that implies that in the Old Testament, God had two spiritual wives, Israel (Jer. 3:8) and her sister kingdom, the old Jerusalem/Judea (Jer. 3:9), and He divorced them. (Again read Isa. 57:3; Jer. 3; Ezek. 16; and Ezek. 23.)

This is just a scattering of verses throughout the Bible referencing the old, physical Jerusalem, but they are important descriptions that we will certainly come back to through this study.

In Truth and Love.

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