JERUSALEM: BIBLE FORTRESS
This was how Jerusalem looked - an inaccessible fortress built on a rock
Jerusalem's ancient name was "Jebus". This is not, of course, a photograph of Jebus (the original name of Jerusalem) or the ridge attacked by David.
But it shows the sort of rock formation on which the fortress of Jebus stood - a small spur of land jutting out from a flat rock plateau to its north.
See the plan below. The top, larger enclosure contained the threshing floor and the village/town of Jebus.
The small enclosure in the bottom right of the plan shows the fortress.
WHAT WAS AN ANCIENT FORTRESS LIKE?
Fortresses at this period in history usually had the following tactical features:
Jebus had all these features.
The fortress looked impregnable, and technically it was. According to the Bible, the townspeople taunted David and his soldiers with the fact that even the blind and lame could hold the city/fortress against him. They were right - if he had tried to scale the cliffs.
But David used his wits.
He looked for its weak spot - in this case, the underground water shaft that led from the walled town down to its water supply.
Note: One of the greatest problems faced by ancient cities was supplying water during a siege. Fortresses had to be built high up on hills, for defense. But water was usually in the valley below. An enemy could easily cut off the water supply and let the people within the citadel die of thirst.
This was the set-up at Jerusalem. David knew this, and managed to penetrate the tunnel. He was then able to scale the water shaft and attack Jebus from the shaft of the well. He was, as we know, successful.
The spring at Jebus (shown in blue) ran underneath the rock spur.
Other Online Bible Websites
Study famous and historical people, places, artwork and archaelogy of the Holy Bible online.
For more online Bible study resources and activities, visit the following websites:
www.bible-people.info - stories of the Bible's most famous men and women - Moses, Judas, John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene and more
www.womeninthebible.net - all about Bible women, good and bad: Ruth, Deborah, Mary of Nazareth, Jezebel
www.bible-archaeology.info - archaeological evidence and the Bible - what can we prove?
http://www.bible-art.info/ - Bible paintings and artworks: Nativity, Resurrection, Esther, Martha and Mary
http://www.bible-topten.com/ - Top Ten heroes, bad women, ways to hell, young people, villains, murders, films
http://www.bible-architecture.info/ - more about houses, palaces, temples and fortresses
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