MembersDavid’s Purchase and the Bible as Legal Contract

While the name Jerusalem is usually rendered as “City of Peace,” there are a number of alternative and additional meanings.

By Aviel Schneider |
Second Temple Model Photo: Miriam Alster/FLASH90

The Hebrew Yerushalayim does not appear in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). In Genesis 14:18, the city is called Salem: “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.”


It is only in the Book of Joshua (18:28) that the name we know, Yerushalayim, appears for the first time: “…and the Jebusite (that is, Jerusalem).” This is the passage in which the king of the city of Jerusalem enters into a covenant with four other kings in the south of the country against the children of Israel. The next verse in the Bible mentioned Jerusalem is Judges 1:21: “But the sons of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem; so the Jebusites have lived with the sons of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day.”

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