Jerusalem--The Shrine of Three Faiths (02:00)
Jerusalem's holiness has made it the most fought-over city in history. Piece together Jerusalem's fractured history with historian host, Simon Sebag Montefiore.
3200 BC - 7th Century AD (02:32)
Trace the origins of Jerusalem from Canaan to Ophel Hill, the site of sacred temples. Continue through steep ravines providing spring water.
Early Canaanite Structures (02:45)
View two towers designed to protect the life-giving springs discovered in 1990 by archeologist Ronny Reich. Reich explains the first holy significance of Jerusalem.
Historical Context of the Bible (02:14)
Many stories of the Bible originate in oral Hebrew tradition. Verses from the Bible detail Jerusalem's significance for the Hebrew people.
King David (02:20)
The Israelites’ new religion rejects pagan gods and worships only Yahweh. The king David unites the twelve warring tribes and chooses Jerusalem to become the magnificent capital.
Historical Debate (02:22)
Archeologist Israel Finkelstein recounts how David found an existing settlement. Others believe David made Jerusalem holy when he summoned the Arc of the Covenant to Jerusalem to be housed in a new temple on Mount Moriah.
King Solomon (02:56)
Solomon, son of David, constructs the Holy Temple on the Temple Mount, the first Jewish temple. For Jews it is the holiest place and a site of pilgrimage. We learn of the kingdom's split into Israel and Judah.
Assyrian Attack (02:56)
As the Assyrians conquer northern Israel, Hebrew King Hezekiah fortifies Jerusalem. View his tunnel carved through solid stone assuring access to the spring. When Assyria abandons the assault, the Jews attribute divine intervention.
Tumultuous History (01:14)
Hezekiah's son, Manasseh rejects Yahweh, embraces pagan gods and introduces child sacrifices. Upon his death, Jews cast out the pagan idols and prepare to defend themselves against the next wave of powerful attackers.
The Babylonians (01:46)
King Nebuchadnezzar lays siege to Jerusalem. Breaching the walls in 586 BC, he burns the city to the ground, deports 40,000 Jews to Babylon and creates the Jewish theme of exile and the dream to return home.
Book of Lamentations (01:55)
This portion of the Hebrew Bible mourns the destruction of the temple. For Jews, it feels like the death of an entire people. In 539 BC, Cyrus of Persia conquers Babylon and sends the Jews back to Jerusalem until the time of Alexander the Great.
The Greeks (02:44)
Greek culture thrives but it contradicts Jewish purity ideals. Greek king Antiochus attempts to wipe out Judaism. He storms Jerusalem, erects Greek idols, and sacrifices pigs in holy temples provoking a religious revolt led by Matthias.
Judah the Hammer (00:58)
The son of Matthias, Judah Maccabee (Aramaic for hammer) forms a small group of pious rebels. The band heroically defies the mighty Greek army and recaptures Jerusalem in this first recorded holy war. His dynasty becomes the Maccabees.
The Romans (03:20)
The Maccabees weaken from infighting and Romans take over Jerusalem. Herod is named king of Judea. Ruthless and barbaric, he builds the Second Temple. We learn details of his gruesome death. Judea passes to Herod's inept son.
Anointed King (01:48)
The Romans rule in alliance with the high priests. In Galilee, Jesus Christ begins preaching, fulfilling Jewish prophecies to bring forth the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. As a practicing Jew he is a direct challenge to Roman rule.
Death and Resurrection (02:15)
In Jerusalem, Jesus attacks the money changers of the temple claiming they have turned God's house into a den of thieves. Jesus is arrested and sentenced to die by crucifixion by Pontius Pilate. Buried in a cave, Jesus rises 3 days later.
Followers of Christ (00:56)
The Nazarenes still worshiped as Jews in Jewish temple. Thirty years later they established themselves separately. Roman incompetence spurns Jewish rebellion. Vespasian and son Titus advance on Jerusalem with sixty thousand men.
Death of a City (03:31)
With Jerusalem under siege, Titus orders every escapee to be crucified. After four months, Jerusalem falls to Titus. Listen to Josephus' historical account detail the massacre and horrors of Roman soldiers rampant in the city.
Lost Motherland (01:23)
Titus orders the destruction of the rest of the temple. Some of the stones still lie where they fell. Sixty years later Hadrian hopes to crush all traces Judaism. Jews must live without their temple or city.
Secret Religion (02:54)
Hadrian renames the province Palestina after the Jew's enemy. He rebuilds the city in Roman style. See fragments of Hadrian's Forum. The Nazarenes separate and begin to worship in secret. The city's population dwindles.
Emperor Constantine (03:18)
In 312 AD Constantine converts to Christianity and appoints his mother Helena to rebuild the city. Relics become important as the city transforms into a holy Christian shrine for pilgrims. Holy Jewish sites are appropriated for Christian worship.
Islam is Coming (01:09)
Jews are still banished from the city. By the sixth century, Rome has fallen. Jerusalem languishes under the weakening rule of Byzantium. The new powerful religion of Islam bursts forth from the deserts of Arabia with Jerusalem in its sight.
Credits: Wellspring of Holiness: Jerusalem--The Making of a Holy City (00:27)
Credits: Wellspring of Holiness: Jerusalem--The Making of a Holy City
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