Historians have closely examined the impact of the image of the Roman Empire on British imperial thought, especially as a model of bureaucratic efficiency and legal justice. This article argues that a complementary model, that of ancient Jerusalem, also shaped the way the British perceived their imperial mission and responsibilities. Whereas ancient Rome provided lessons regarding the effective management of an empire, Jerusalem offered a moral justification for the imperial enterprise itself. The British, like the ancient Israelites, understood that their prominence among the nations was divinely mandated and would be maintained only so long as they adhered to those moral principles as laid down by God. The British Empire, like the two cities after which it was modeled, was to be Eternal by means of its effective governance and Holy through its moral uprightness.