Greg Wilson (11 March 2018)
Re: James (4 March 2018)
Temple Mount we see today, minus Herod's southern 100 meter extension, is the location of Solomon's Temple. That same mount was the location of the Second Temple built under Zerubbabel in circa 536-516 BC. Herod's Temple was built on Temple Mount but in a different location that Solomon's and Zerubbabel's projects. Herod extended the temple platform adding to its southern flank. This is proven by the "straight joint" north of the SE corner of the mount. Excavations from the late 1800's and from Kathleeen Kenyon in the earlie 1960's prove this point. (Digging Up Jerusalem at pages 176-178 and plates 35 and 36)
Kenyon observed that the platform foundation stones used at the lower courses were circa 500's BC. She did this by observing that the stones were of the masonry type which originated from Tyre and Sidon. Solomon (circa 980BC) used stone masons and timber framers from Tyre and Sidon. (2 Samuel 5:11, 1 Kings 5) Zerubbabel also hired masons from Tyre and Sidon to repair the Babylonian damage from the 586BC destruction. (Ezra 3:6-7). The character of the cut face of the stones can be archeologically dated to stone masons of Tyre and Sidon in both the Solomon and Zerubbabel construction projects.
I am aware that there is a group of people today who assert that the temples were in the northern section of the City of David, the area known as the Ophel or in the City of David. There is compelling archeological evidence of a sacrificial alter and associated sacrificial elements underground in the City of David, south of the Ophel, near the Gihon Spring. Archeologist, Eli Shukron, discovered this area in the City of David. It is highly likely that it would associated with Melchizedek, the Priest of God Most High. (Hebrews 7:1; Genesis 14:18)
I have read Bob Cornuke's book titled, "Temple, and Ernest Martin's book The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot. Cornuke's book restates Martin's hypothesis and updates it. Their hypotheses fail to defeat the clear and convincing archeological evidence as confirmed by Scripture that the First and Second Temples were outside of the City of David. These gentlemen's arguments cannot overcome Scripture. Read their books and then study 1 Kings 7:51-1 Kings 8:66.
King Solomon removed the Ark of the covenant from the City of David and transported to the First temple for dedication. (1 Kings 8:1). So, the Scriptures of Truth tell us that Solomon's temple was not in the City of David, as Cornuke and Martin assert. I have corresponded with Cornuke and inquired about 1 Kings 8. His explanation is nothing short of fiction. He says that the Ark was removed from the City of David and taken to a place of greater size, one which could accommodate the thousands of Jews and the slaughter of thousands of animals. Then taken back to the Temple which he says was in the City of David, in part, because of Shukron's discoveries. There is no Scriptural evidence to support his speculative claim.
The Temple mount foundation blocks which Kenyon discovered at the straight joint prove that there was a platform existing in 536BC, centuries before Rome came to power. I know that Cornuke and Martin assert that the 42 acre temple mount site was Fort Antonia, the site of Roman occupation in Jesus's day. I know they say there was no water up there for sacrifices, implying the Gihon Spring, below the City of David, was the sole source of water for cleaning up all of the sacrificial blood, etc. That assertion is simply untrue. In the 1860's Charles W. Wilson and Sir Charles Warren conducted extensive Temple mount underground surveys and excavations which proved a plethora of water course ways and cisterns. There was plenty of fresh (flowing water) under temple mount during the First and Second Temple periods. Archeologist Benjamin Mazar has and is conducting archeological excavations today. All of the evidence "in the ground" proves Cornuke and Martin wrong.
Finally, let's speculate about Satan's work in these last two millennia. Do you think that he, the anointed Cherub, knows the location of God's former Temples? Certainly! Then can you consider that he orchestrated the placement of two Islamic buildings on top of God's mountain. One contains the engraving, "God has no son." One structure, the Dome of the Rock and the other at the southern end, the Mosque of Omar. It is all about real estate and Satan, who desires to ascend to the mountain of God, who has placed his claims on God's Holy ground.(Isaiah 14:13-14) Satan's declarations lead us to know where the First and Second Temples were located.
Your reading assignment, if you have an open mind, follows:
Read Kenyon's Book: Digging Up Jerusalem, Kathleen M. Kenyon, Praeger Publishers, New York, NY 1974
Read: Jerusalem: Excavating 3000 Years of History, Kathleen M. Kenyon, Thames and Hudson, Ltd. 1967