View of part of the excavations at the City of David in Jerusalem
View of part of the excavations at the City of David in Jerusalem

What is the…
City of David

Hebrew: עיר דוד —transliteration: Ir David

This is the name of 2 biblical cities, both strongly associated with the life of King David.

  1. City of David, an area of Jerusalem

    David took from the Jebusites the fortress of Mount Zion. He “dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David” (1 Chronicles 11:7).

    This is the name afterwards given to the castle and royal palace on Mount Zion, as distinguished from Jerusalem generally (1 Kings 3:1; 8:1).

    It is on the southwest side of Jerusalem, opposite the so-called temple mount, with which it was connected by a bridge over the Tyropoeon valley.

    The exact location of the City of David was lost for centuries after the total Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. when surviving Jews were banned from the Jerusalem.


    The City of David was rediscovered by archaeologists beginning in 1860, with excavations continuing to this day. The site is now a very important Israeli national park.

    Much has been uncovered here (partial list)…

    • Canaanite fortress
    • seal that mentions the city of Bethlehem, writen in ancient Hebrew script (Solomon’s Temple period)
    • possible palace of King David—massive foundations and a structure that seems to date to the time of King David and appears to be remains of a palace, although there is some dispute
    • King Hezekiah’s tunnel
    • numerous clay seals found bearing Hebrew names
    • a very large fortress surrounding the Gihon Spring with underground passages
    • a tower that was part of the city walls in the days of Nehemiah (The Second Temple period)
    • gold bell with an attached loop (The Second Temple period)—probably was sewn on a garment worn by a high Jerusalem official
    • stone etching of a Jewish menorah
    • Pool of Siloam (aka Shiloah Pool) (The Second Temple period)
    • sections of the main road of the City of David (The Second Temple period)
    • a major water channel beneath the above road (The Second Temple period)
    Streaming video— 
    Discovery of an ancient water channel
    Video by Fox News
    Length: 4 minutes
    • a large residential building “that may have been part of the royal property of Queen Helene, a queen that converted to Judaism and lived in the city during that time period” (end of The Second Temple period)
    • a Herodian road from Shiloah Pool to the Western Wall (Herod’s Temple period)
    • a seal with the Aramaic words “Daka Le’Ya” (Pure for God), apparently the official seal used by Temple officials approving the purity of a sacrifice or object
    • numerous finds “testifying to the days of the revolt against the Romans and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem” / many artifacts from Jews hiding from the Romans during the city’s destruction (70 A.D.)
  2. City of David, in the hill country of Judah

    also known as: Bethlehem and Ephratah, etc.

    Bethlehem is called the “city of David” in Luke 2:4 and 11), because it was David’s birthplace, early home and the place of his annointing by God by the Prophect Samuel (1 Samuel 17:12).

Also see

Article Version: April 27, 2022