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Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus

The heavily fortified city of Jerusalem lay atop adjacent hills in the mountainous region of Judea. It therefore proved difficult even for the Romans to recapture during the Jewish revolt, although they eventually did so in a.d. 70 after a bitter siege. The oldest portion of Jerusalem, called “the city of David” and “Mount Zion,” lay to […]

Galilean Fishing Boat

This illustration shows the type of boat that Jesus and his disciples probably used, based on the remains of an approximately 2,000-year-old fishing boat found on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It could hold 15 men, and was 26.5 feet long, 7.5 feet wide, and 4.5 feet high (8.1 x 2.3 x […]

The City of Nineveh

Nineveh, which was situated at the confluence of the Tigris and Khoser rivers (modern-day Mosul, Iraq), was first settled in the seventh millennium b.c. According to the Bible, Nimrod was the founder of the city (Gen. 10:11). Major excavations took place under the direction of Henry Layard from 1845 to 1854. The diagram pictures the results of […]

The City of Babylon

The city of Babylon reached its zenith under Nebuchadrezzar II (Nebuchadnezzar of Scripture, who reigned 605–562 b.c.). He restored and enlarged it, making it the largest city seen in the world up to that time. The Euphrates River flowed through it, with the oldest quarter of the city lying on the east bank of the river. […]

Ezekiel’s Temple Vision

Ezekiel’s final vision of an ideal temple (and city, and land; chs. 40–48) forms a counterpart to the vision of chs. 8–11. In each case he is taken on a tour of the structure, but whereas in the earlier vision he discovers abominations and perverted worship, in this final vision all is in readiness for the perpetual […]

Zerubbabel’s Temple

The rebuilding of Jerusalem’s temple was done in stages (c. 536–516 b.c.). First, the altar was built, so that sacrifices could again be made (Ezra 3:2–3). The second phase was the laying of the foundation of the temple. This elicited mixed reactions from the people. Some rejoiced that the foundation was laid, while others, especially the […]

Bronze Basins and Stands

In the temple courtyard there were 10 bronze wheeled stands that held 10 basins filled with water—five on the south side of the temple, five on the north side. They were used to rinse off the animal parts that were used for the burnt offerings (1 Kings 7:27–38; 2 Chron. 4:6). Each stand was 6 feet […]

Solomon’s Temple and Palace Complex

To get to the new quarter that Solomon built from the old city of David, one had to pass through the gate in the northern Davidic city wall. Going in a northerly direction, the new complex consisted of an entrance hall, the so-called Hall of Pillars (1 Kings 7:6); the House of the Forest of […]