Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Two ways to prove the exact site of the Temple

The difference between authentic, lasting scholarship and transient scholarship is the ability to looks facts in the eye and not distort them. Many of the critics of Dr Ernest L Martin's identification of the site of the Temple have yet to deal with two key aspects of the issue. (Truth-seekers can look at the facts impartially. But remember the Temple's location is a highly emotional topic because of religious traditions. It is today a political issue of global importance!)

1. The size of the Temple. Josephus (Antiquities bk 15, 398ff) says the Temple was a square built like a fortress. Each side was one Roman furlong or between 185 to 200 meters. The circumference was four furlongs. It had two connecting colonnades or elevated passageways on either side like arms on a body, one furlong each, making six furlongs. See map below. The Talmud is more or less in agreement.

Josephus and many other witnesses such as Eusebius etc also say that after the war, ALL the huge stones of the Temple were removed and the top of the temple hill was plowed! Some modern critics say Josephus exaggerated as the Haram is the Temple Mount and its huge stones (some 560 tons!) are still standing in place.

Did Josephus exaggerate? The Haram site of the al Aksa-Dome of the Rock site is 3.8 to FOUR times the size Josephus describes. Eusebius and others say only the Roman fort or Antonia remained in his days. The Haram is not square. It is oblong or trapezoidal. The sides are 280 meters north, 485 meters west, 460 meters east and 280 meters south. It is the shape of a typical Roman fort ( of which we still have examples around Europe).

The other feature often neglected  is the external Miphkad altar, associated with the Red Heifer ceremony, mentioned both in the Hebrew Bible, NT Hebrews and the Talmud. This lies to the east across the Kidron valley and was connected by a passage of amazing architecture. (Eye-witness Josephus says Jerusalem had features that many Romans etc could not even conceive of, let alone build! Remember it was Jewish engineers who built mountain-top city of Masada and the amazing Caesarea habour with its huge 15 m stone blocks set as a breakwater 60m deep in rough Mediterranean seas, p442.)

The Miphkad altar on Mount of Olives was identified by Dr Martin in his book on Golgotha as also near the place of crucifixion, outside boundaries of the City and Temple, p vii. In spite of wars and occupations, these sites all belong by right and by purchase to the Jewish family of David and Solomon. By divine Law they may not be sold or rented permanently to anyone else, Lev 25:23-30. After more than 3000 years the properties are still David's and his offspring.

2. There is no fresh water source in the Haram site. There are several huge underground cisterns or resevoirs for rain water and imported water. Such water was not acceptable for a Temple, either for washings or for sacrifices. Both the Bible (which is replete with references) and ancient secular sources say that the Temple had an inexhaustible supply of water that gushed from within. There is only one source in the whole extended area. That is the Gihon Spring, located 200 meters (around a Roman furlong) from the Haram. This is the area where archaeologists recently found a small gold bell of the type that the Bible describes was on the edge of the high priest's robe. It was in the drainage channel south of the Haram. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/145970#.V0PmyzGpX7Y 

Where did all the great Temple stones go? Josephus describes the destruction. In the fire the massive gold stores were melted and seeped into the stones. So the Romans got the enslaved population to destroy everything. The gold market plummeted due to the huge sales of gold, says Josephus. What was not taken as building blocks for the empire would have been dumped into the Kidron hundreds of feet below. Why have they not been found? The Valley bottom is estimated to be a couple of hundreds of feet under the top soil, according to British surveyors.

'Truth seekers' need to take the ancient records seriously, keep digging for Truth but also know where to dig!

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