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The Millo

The Millo was a Canaanite (see Who Were The Canaanites? and The Truth About Israel and the "Palestinians") fortification that existed prior to the time King David took the city for Israel in about 1000 BC. It was located just beyond Mount Zion (see Fact Finder question below) and outside of the City Of David (see also Bible Places), although it was within the city of Jerusalem in later years as the Israelites extended the city walls (see also The Gates Of Old Jerusalem). The Millo consisted of earth-filled walls which served as the city's northern defense perimeter when pre-Israelite Jerusalem was known as Jebus, named after the Jebusites who occupied it. David extended the Millo, and both King Solomon (reigned about 972 to 932 BC) and King Hezekiah (reigned about 724 to 695 BC) did extensive work on it according to their own requirements.

Jerusalem In one of the most notable events of Bible History, David took Jerusalem for Israel, according to God's Will:

"And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, "You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off" - thinking, "David cannot come in here."

"Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. And David said on that day, "Whoever would smite the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack the lame and the blind, who are hated by David's soul." Therefore it is said, "The blind and the lame shall not come into the house."

"And David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the city of David. And David built the city round about from the Millo inward." (2 Samuel 5:6-9 RSV)

"And David dwelt in the stronghold; therefore it was called the city of David. And he built the city round about from the Millo in complete circuit; and Joab repaired the rest of the city. And David became greater and greater, for The Lord of hosts was with him." (1 Chronicles 11:7-9 RSV)

Among his other building projects, including the original Temple (see Temples, also Raiders Of The Lost Ark), Solomon built upon the Millo:

"And this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon levied to build the house of The Lord [see also "My Father's House"] and his own house and the Millo and the wall of Jerusalem" (1 Kings 9:15 RSV)

"But Pharaoh's daughter went up from the city of David to her own house which Solomon had built for her; then he built the Millo" (1 Kings 9:24 RSV)

"Solomon built the Millo, and closed up the breach of the city of David his father." (1 Kings 11:27 RSV)

King Joash of Judah (see Kings of Israel and Judah and Israelite Dynasties) was assassinated at the Millo by some of his servants (see also Assassins):

"Now the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? His servants arose and made a conspiracy, and slew Joash in the house of Millo, on the way that goes down to Silla." (2 Kings 12:19-20 RSV)

In the time Assyrian king Sennacherib invaded Judah (the Assyrians had long before destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel, before turning on Judah, see The Galilee Captivity), King Hezekiah of Judah fortified the Millo as part of his defense of Jerusalem. It turned out to be unnecessary; Sennacherib blasphemed God while about to attack the city, so God annihilated the Assyrian invasion force of 185,000 troops (see The Day Sennacherib Challenged God):

"After these things and these acts of faithfulness Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah [see Judea] and encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them for himself. And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and intended to fight against Jerusalem, he planned with his officers and his mighty men to stop the water of the springs that were outside the city [see Hezekiah's Tunnel]; and they helped him. A great many people were gathered, and they stopped all the springs and the brook that flowed through the land, saying, "Why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water?" He set to work resolutely and built up all the wall that was broken down, and raised towers upon it, and outside it he built another wall; and he strengthened the Millo in the city of David." (2 Chronicles 32:1-5 RSV)

Fact Finder: What is the Biblical meaning of "Zion"?
See Who, What or Where Is Zion?

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