The first occurrence of the name
as a city,¹
is in Judges
and confirms the fact that the first occurrence
contains an epitome of its subsequent history.
The history of the city
has been a record of its sieges.
No fewer than twenty-seven go to complete the list.
This number is striking
in the light of Appendix No.
being composed of 3×9,
the factors being those of Divine completeness (3),
and judgment (9) respectively (=3³).
A cycle of ordinal completeness is
marked by the 10th and 20th (2×10) sieges.
These were the two characterized by the
destruction of the Temple by fire,
which is in accord with the number 10,
being that of ordinal perfection.
(See Appendix 10.)
Both also were foretold:
the former by Jer. and Ezek.;
the latter by our Lord.
Seven is the number of spiritual perfection,
and it is worthy of note that the 7th,
14th (2×7), and 21st (3×7)
sieges were each the subject of Divine prophecy.
Further, a 28th (4×7) siege, yet future,
is foretold in Zech. 14, etc.
While 14 (2×7)
of the sieges are recorded in Holy Scripture,
13 are recorded in profane history.
The following is a complete list of the sieges:
By the tribe of Judah against the Jebusites, about 1443
This was some 700 years before Rome was founded.
It was only partial,
for in David's reign we still find the Jebusites
occupying the citadel (the future Zion).
The solemn words in Judges
describing this first siege,
vividly portray the after history of the city.
By David against the Jebusites
By Shishak king of Egypt,
To this there was only a feeble resistance;
and the Temple was plundered.
By the Philistines, Arabians,
and Ethiopians, against Jehoram
In this siege the royal palace was sacked,
and the Temple again plundered.
By Jehoash king of Israel,
against Amaziah king of Judah
The wall was partially broken down,
and the city and Temple pillaged.
By Rezin king of Syria,
and Pekah king of Israel, against Ahaz
28), about 630
The city held out,
but Ahaz sought the aid of
Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria,
for whom he stripped the Temple.
By Sennacherib king of Assyria,
In this case the siege was raised
by a Divine interposition,
as foretold by Isaiah the prophet.
By Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,
when the Temple was partly pillaged.
By Nebuchadnezzar again,
when the pillage of the Temple was carried further,
and 10,000 people carried away.
In this case the Temple was burnt with fire,
and the city and the Temple lay
desolate for fifty years.
king of Jerusalem had been mentioned in Joshua
etc., but not the city as such.
There will be a 28th
according to Zechariah 14,
which will be raised by Messiah,
even as the 7th was by Jehovah.
By Ptolemy Soter king of Egypt,
against the Jews, 320
More that 100,000 captives were taken to Egypt.
By Antiochus the Great, about 203
a general of Alexander, about 199
who left a garrison.
By Antiochus IV,
surnamed Epiphanes, 168
This was the worst siege since the 10th.
The whole city was pillaged;
10,000 captives taken;
the walls destroyed;
the altar defiled;
ancient manuscripts perished;
the finest buildings were burned;
and the Jews were forbidden to worship there.
Foretold Daniel 11.
By Antiochus V, surnamed Eupator,
against Judas Maccabaeus, about 162
This time honorable terms were made,
and certain privileges were secured.
By Antiochus VII,
surnamed Sidetes king of Syria,
against John Hyrcanus, about 135
By Hyrcanus (son of Alex.
Jannaeus) and the priest Aristobulus.
The siege was raised by Scaurus,
one of Pompey's lieutenants, about 65
By Pompey against Aristobulus, about 63
The machines were moved on the Sabbath,
when the Jews made no resistance.
Only thus was it then reduced;
12,000 Jews were slain.
[Antigonus, son of Aristobulus,
with a Parthian army,
took the city in 40
but there was no siege,
the city was taken by a sudden surprise.]
Herod with a Roman army besieged the city in 39
for five months.
69 (See Appendix 50. VI.).
The second Temple (Herod's) was burnt,
and for fifty years the city disappeared from history,
as after the 10th siege (Jeremiah
The Romans had again to besiege the city in
135 against the false Messiah, Bar-Cochebas,
who had acquired possession of the ruins.
The city was obliterated,
and renamed Ælia Capitolina,
and a temple was erected to Jupiter.
For 200 years the city passed out of history,
no Jews being permitted to approach it.
This siege was foretold in Luke
After 400 years of so-called Christian colonization,
Chosroes the Persian (about
559) swept through the country;
thousands were massacred,
and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was destroyed.
The Emperor Heraclius afterwards defeated him,
and restored the city and the church.
The Caliph Omar, in
636-7, besieged the city against Heraclius.
It was followed by capitulation on favorable terms,
and the city passed into the hands of the Turks,
in whose hands it remains to the present day.
Afdal, the Vizier of the Caliph of Egypt,
besieged the two rival factions of Moslems,
and pillaged the city in 1098.
In 1099 it was besieged by
the army of the first Crusade.
In 1187 it was besieged by
Saladin for seven weeks.
The wild Kharezmian Tartar hordes,
captured and plundered the city,
slaughtering the monks and priests.