The first mention we have of Jerusalem in the Masoretic Old Testament is when Abraham was returning from recovering Lot and the people of Sodom, and he stopped there and gave some of the spoils of war to Melchizedek. There are two mysteries here. Jerusalem and Melchizedek.
There are two short writings among the Hebrew literature that is available to the public concerning Melchizedek. The one says he was a younger son of a younger son, meaning that his family was not catalogued specifically, as only the first-born were named for lack of space. That means that neither his mother nor his father were named among the public records, hence “without mother and without father [among the names]” indicates a person with no social importance or political status whatsoever. The writing continues, saying that Shem came to his parents when he was a young man and requested that he be allowed to accompany Shem on one of his journeys and the parents agreed. Shem took him to the cave at Macpelah that Abraham later bought as a burying place for Sarah and where the bodies of Adam and Eve were interred after they were removed from Noah’s ark, and taught him how to guard and keep it, set him over a group of assistants, then left him there for the rest of his life to perform those functions. Shem returned to Melchizedek’s parents and told them that he had died during the journey so that they wouldn’t look for him or worry about him. We learn two things from this: the bodies of Adam and Eve were taken into the ark and brought out when the flood was past; and, Macpelah is where Adam and Eve are buried.
Melchizedek means “king of peace”, and Jerusalem means “city named ‘Peace'”. Melchizedek’s childhood name was recorded in the writings, but is generally ignored in favor of his title. Some believe it to be Shem himself, but Melchizedec was actually a city-king under Shem’s direct protection.
The next time Jerusalem is mentioned at any length other than Abraham’s passage near it is when David was driving the enemies of Israel out of the land. One of the fortifications of the enemies was Jerusalem, and he laid siege against it. His soldiers went up the water shaft and took the hill that became the city of David but they were unable to take the rest of that ridge of hills at that time. David made that his main camp because it was impossible to take, assuming he fortified the water tunnel some way. He later bought the rest of the ridge for the temple.
When David established the ridge as his headquarters, it became his capital. When the temple was built there, it became the central focus of the nation. The nation, however, was not the great empire like Babylon or Egypt. It was a member of a coalition of nations that included all of the city-states of the Phoenicians, their close relatives in Syria, and after the death of Solomon, Egypt through the influence of Jeroboam. It is not referred to in any of the ancient writings as a solo nation, but as the group to which it belonged, depending on which member was the leading trader at that time. During the days of David and Solomon, it was Tyre. After the ascendancy of Jeroboam, it was Egypt. This has thrown historians a boomerang curve for over 500 years, because they are looking for it under the wrong name and in the wrong place.
All of the records of Israel and Judah were kept on papyrus, which deteriorates rapidly and was burned to make heat and cook food for the invading armies. All the history of the Israelites would have been lost except for the inheritance by Judah of the writings that Noah took aboard the ark that Abraham translated and preserved, and those written after the flood by Noah, Shem, Abraham and Jacob that Judah preserved by distributing copies among the principal men of his descendants, who have hidden them and re-copied them over this entire time.
Jerusalem was the queen of all cities in its time of glory, and will be again when the remnant of the 10 northern tribes return, rebuild the temple, and re-establish the trading activities of the Phoenicians, the people with whom they merged. Then the temple will be rebuilt and the treasures of all nations will flow to it.