Ancient JerusalemJerusalem - After the exodus from Egypt, the ancient Kingdom of Israel was established in the land of Canaan over the next several centuries. First under Joshua who led the Israelite army against the Canaanites, and then later under a series of Judges who served as protectors. Finally, in the 11th century, the Bible says the Israelites demanded a king to lead them (1 Samuel 8:4-5). And so, the prophet Samuel anointed Saul of the tribe of Benjamin to become Israel's first king. But it was his successor, David, who would be its greatest king. For one thing, David captured the Canaanite city of Jerusalem and made it the capital seven years into his reign. Until then, Hebron had been Israel's capital. For this achievement, Jerusalem has been dubbed the "City of David". It is very old; much older than the Kingdom of Israel itself. In the Bible, it is mentioned all the back in the Book of Genesis as the city of Salem (Genesis 14:18). Archaeological evidence indicates it has been a permanent settlement since the early Bronze Age. It is situated in the Judean Mountains at an elevation of about 2500 feet (760 m). In its history, it has been destroyed twice, once by the Babylonians and once by the Romans; only to be rebuilt both times. Since the building of the First Temple by King Solomon, Jerusalem has been considered the holiest city in Judaism. Since the early Middle Ages it has been considered the third holiest city in Islam. And Christians consider it holy as well.