The Jerusalem of David’s time, located on a narrow strip of land (Mount Moriah), was about ten acres in size and populated by aprroximately 1,500 people. The city was naturally defended by the Kidron Valley to the east and the Tyropean Valley to the west. It was originally named Zion and received fresh water from the Spring of Gihon.
Events that happened there included Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac (Gen. 22:1-2, 14); David purchasing the threshing floor of Araunah, which became the site of the temple (2 Sam. 24:18-25); and Solomon building the temple on Mount Moriah (2 Chron. 3:1-2).
The lower city housed most of the common people during Jesus? day. It was built on the slope of the Western Hill, reaching into the Tyropean Valley; where Jesus sent the blind man to wash the mud from his eyes in the Pool of Siloam.
The upper city was the highest area in Jerusalem (located on the Western Hill now named Mount Zion). Herod built his palace here, and many wealthy Jews also lived in the upper city. The area was dominated by affluent Hellenists.
Although not named by many ancient sources, this district inside the Second Wall held many shops and markets. Jesus walked through the area on market day on his way to the cross.
During and after Jesus’ time, the city expanded north, and many wealthy people built large villas in this new area of Jerusalem. Herod Agrippa walled it about thirty or more years after Jesus’ crucifixion.
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