Jerusalem, Israel

Geographic position

31.7833° N, 35.2167° E


Occom’s Mission to the Montauks


Abu-Amr, Ziad. “The Significance of Jerusalem: A Muslim Perspective.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture. 2.2 (1995). Web. "Jerusalem." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 22 Oct. 2013.>. "Jerusalem." Encyclopedia of Religion. Ed. Lindsay Jones. 2nd ed. Vol. 7. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. 4834. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 22 Oct. 2013.

General note

Jerusalem is located in the uplands of Judaea in the southern West Bank in Israel and is an old Canaanite settlement. In the biblical narrative, King David of Israel makes Jerusalem his capital and his son Solomon builds a temple there. Since 587 BCE, Jerusalem has changed hands many times from the southern kingdom of Judah to the Babylonians, who exiled the Jews, to the Persians, to the Greeks, to the Greco-Macedonian dynasty of the Seleucids, to the Romans, who controlled the city for six and half centuries. The exiled Jews who were allowed to return by the Greeks sometime after 538 BCE came to think of Jerusalem as a symbol for the Children of Israel, and thus the historical city was transformed into something holy and heavenly—-a city that represented the presence of God. Around 330CE, Roman Emperor Constantine identified sites related to the life and death of Jesus Christ in Palestine, and Jerusalem (the place of Jesus’ execution and burial) became a Christian holy city and Palestine a Christian holy land. The Islamic prophet Muhammad visited Jerusalem on a journey in the sixth century, and it became “the first Qibla, the initial direction toward which the Prophet Muhammad and the early Muslim community turned their faces in prayer” (Abu-Amr par. 2). In 638 CE, Muslims from the south of Jerusalem took the city from the Roman Empire and began building mosques and temples, including the Dome of the Rock. Today the world’s three major religions consider Jerusalem a sacred space. Claims to the city have been a heated issue specifically between Jews and Muslims, as both believe they have religious claims to control the city, and Palestinians and Israelis have continued to struggle over political control of the city. Occom gave a sermon on Ephesians 5:15 in Montauk in 1760 and near the end cites Luke 15 calling for “Light, of Life and light at last to the Heavenly Jerusalem.”