20 Facts about Jerusalem

Jerusalem is one of the most famous cities in the world. Yet, in spite of Jerusalem’s fame, even those who recognize the city actually know little of it.

Join us as we explore 20 facts about Jerusalem! 

What Makes Jerusalem Important?

Before we look at our list of 20 facts about Jerusalem, let us briefly consider why Jerusalem is important.

For the majority of Believers it is easy to realize that God serves as the true reason of Jerusalem’s importance. He chose to write His Name upon Jerusalem. Various temples honoring God were built there—likely including “Temple Zero,” where Melchizedek served as a king and priest. 

Our Messiah was put to death and then raised to life three days later in Jerusalem, and when He returns to us again, He is to come to Jerusalem. The city also served as the capital for various kings, such as David. And it is Jerusalem where the thousand-year reign on Earth is to be! 

For others, however, the reasons why Jerusalem is important are not so clear cut. Some view it as a place of religious importance; some as a historical “landmark” possibly added to their list of places to go; and so on. Yet, no matter the reasons to which people attribute Jerusalem’s importance, it is still a city certainly worth knowing more about.

20 Facts about Jerusalem

  1. The Old City of Jerusalem is currently “divided” into four quarters. These are the Jewish Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, and the Armenian Quarter.
  2. There are eight permanent gates along the walls of the Old City. Among these is the Eastern, or Golden Gate, where our Messiah Yeshua once entered through and where He is to enter again. It is currently sealed; however, nothing can stop our God!
Sun shining down on the Golden Gate in Jerusalem.
  1. Prior to the Six-Day War, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan from 1949 to 1967. The restoration of all of Jerusalem to Israel during the Six-Day War is the primary reason Jerusalem Day is celebrated every year in Israel.
  2. Jerusalem is mentioned over 800 times in various versions of the Bible (including both headings and text body). Additionally, versions such as the NLT mention Jerusalem over 1,000 times! Because other names for Jerusalem do exist in the Word, the actual mentions of Jerusalem exceed these estimates considerably. Alternative names for Jerusalem include “City of Truth,” “The Holy Mountain,” and the like.
  3. Many authorized signs and street names in Jerusalem—and Israel as a whole—are written in three languages: Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Privately owned signs, buildings, or stores do not always have their signs in each of these languages. However, it is not uncommon to see bilingual or trilingual signage even among those privately owned.
  4. God chose to write His Name upon Jerusalem: “Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel” (2 Chronicles 6:6). No other city has such a distinction.
  5. Jerusalem has an elevation of 2,474 feet; this is 75 feet less than Bethlehem, but approximately 3,884 feet greater than the Dead Sea which has the lowest elevation on Earth at minus 1,410.8 feet below sea level!
  6. Though Jesus traveled between the Sea of Galilee and Jerusalem often, it was actually a considerable walk of 75 miles or more. If going to Jerusalem from the Sea of Galilee, the terrain rises approximately 3,000 feet in elevation.
  7. Municipal laws in Jerusalem require that all buildings be faced with local “Jerusalem stone.” This requirement dates back to British Mandate, but has continued to the Jerusalem of today. Interestingly, not only is this stone more expensive to use than most other options, but today is also generally quarried in the desert, not in Jerusalem itself. The name, “Jerusalem stone,” relates more to ancient times when the stone was quarried in the city.
  8. Just as it was during the reign of biblical kings, such as David, Jerusalem remains the capital of the Promised Land known as Israel. Unfortunately, many nations around the world fail to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, thereby essentially failing to recognize the nation’s sovereignty.
  9. Estimates vary, but as of April 2022, the population of Jerusalem was somewhere between 890,000 and 957,000. The total area of Jerusalem consists of 48 to 49 square miles; though the Old City (0.35 sq. mi) and land surrounding it consists of a much smaller area.
  10. In the Old City of Jerusalem, today is a replica of the Great Menorah or the Golden Menorah that would have originally been found in the Temple. This replica, designed by the Temple Institute, is located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City; it is based upon academic and biblical research. As with the original menorah, this replica is made with pure gold—45 kg of 24 karat gold—and is over six and a half feet in height. Along with other replicas made to replace lost and/or stolen Temple articles, it was made for the eventual Third Temple. 
  11. The city of “Salem,” where Melchizedek served as both king and priest, is believed by many scholars to be the city of Jerusalem. The first Temple in Jerusalem, therefore, where Melchizedek served, would actually be what is currently known as “Temple Zero.”
  12. When the sun is reflected at a certain angle each day, the city of Jerusalem appears beautifully gold; this is why Jerusalem is also known as “Jerusalem of Gold.”
  13. The majority of the Old City portion of Jerusalem is accessed by foot. Small numbers of vehicles that have special permits can drive in certain portions of the Old City, and of course there are exceptions for emergency vehicles, but even so, there are still many streets and alleys within the city that are impossible and/or difficult to reach by car.
  14. Jerusalem’s flag is full of symbolism. Like the flag of Israel, it has two horizontal blue stripes that are reminders of the tallit (prayer shawls) worn by many citizens of Jerusalem and Israel. Bearing a shield with a rampant lion—a symbol of the tribe of Judah—the flag represents Jerusalem as the capital city of biblical Judah. As Believers, we also see the connection to our Messiah—the Lion of Judah. Behind the lion is a golden wall that represents Jerusalem as a whole, but more so, the Western or Wailing Wall. The lion and wall behind are bordered by olive branches that speak of peace—Jerusalem sometimes referred to as the City of Peace. On the whole, the shield, a common shape among crests, represents a tool of defense and war. Lastly, above the shield is the name of the city in Hebrew, Yerushalayim. 
  15. King David was the first of Israel’s kings to reign—at least during the bulk of his rule—in Jerusalem. David’s son, Solomon, would continue this tradition, as would many kings of Judah after the split between Judah and Israel.
  16. Hezekiah’s Tunnel runs under the Old City from the Pool of Siloam to Gihon Pool, and is 583 yards in length or about one-third of a mile. Interestingly, though the most prominent, Hezekiah’s Tunnel is not the only ancient tunnel to run under the Old City.
  17. The Western Wall—also known as the Wailing Wall or the Kotel—today is only about one-third of its original height. Originally, it would have been around 200 feet in height, while today it is almost 60 feet. Of the many stones that make the wall, the largest is 44 feet long and weighs 570 tons!
  18. The Lord desires us to pray for the PEACE of JERUSALEM. He has a special love for Jerusalem that is displayed in this request; a special love for His people living there. This love is further demonstrated through God’s promise to bless those who bless His people Israel—Jerusalem included—and in the many prophecies that promise the restoration of not only Israel as a whole, but of Jerusalem as well.

Why is Jerusalem Significant to Believers? 

“See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.”

—Isaiah 49:16

As we can see from many of the facts about Jerusalem we have explored, the city has a special connection with God. After all, Jerusalem is the city on which God has chosen to write His Name. It is the location where God had His Son arrive in triumph to be sacrificed, then rise again. But it is also the place where Yeshua will return! It is where the Temples that served God were built. It is the city which our Great God chose for us to pray…

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.’ For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, ‘Peace be within you.’ Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good.”

—Psalm 122:6-9

As Believers, we understand that Jerusalem is important because it is important to our God. That alone should be more than enough, but the Lord also blesses us for praying for Jerusalem! He even allows us to know His plans for Jerusalem, and what signs to look for there and elsewhere, in order to understand the times we are in… AND to know what to expect as we near the time for our Messiah’s return.

Let us therefore pray for the peace of Jerusalem. 

Let us be watchful, knowing that the time of our Messiah’s return is near.