We have conclusively shown in previous pieces that it would have been
impossible for the Temple of Solomon to have been built on the "Haram
Al-Sharif". However, that does not imply that our location above the Gihon
Spring is problem free. To be intellectually honest therefore requires
that we point out those problems. It is something that the proponents of
the "Haram" theory should have done years ago.
Firstly a brief recap. of the main reasons the earlier Temples could NOT have
been built upon the Haram Al-Sharif.
1) Leen Ritmeyer who is the world's leading expert on the architecture of the
Haram states that in many places there are 30 to 40 courses of the original
Herodian Structure BELOW ground. This in addition to the massive remains
still above the ground from that era. How then could Josephus (the ONLY
contemporaneous account of the geography of Jerusalem at the time) and those he
quotes, maintain that Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed down to bedrock
with NOTHING remaining. The fact is that anyone viewing Jerusalem AFTER
the destruction MUST have seen a massive structure still intact. If that
structure was NOT Jerusalem and NOT the site of the Temple it MUST have been the
Roman Fort Antonia.
2) Like many of the Christian sites in Jerusalem, the whereabouts of the
original site of the Temple was lost for many generations. It has to be
remembered that is was only 150 years ago that the City of David was thought to
be on the Western Hill. The discovery of the inscription in Hezekiah's tunnel
was the proof that was needed. Before that it was taken for granted that
Zion and the City of David were in what turned out to be completely the wrong
location. Scholars were still arguing the facts less than 100 years ago.
3) From any tactical and geographical consideration the original Temple of
Solomon would never have been built in an exposed northern "suburb". It
must rather have been built in the Center of the City of David which by
coincidence is right beside the Gihon Spring.
4) For religious and practical reasons (due to the vast amount of animal
sacrifices taking place) it was necessary to build the Temple near fresh running
water. There is none on the Haram and only the Gihon Spring was such a
source at the time of King David and King Solomon.
5) Josephus was quite precise in describing the southern Royal Court of the
Temple enclosure. It stretched from valley to valley and was 606 ft. long.
The minimum distance from valley to valley on the Temple Mount is 917 ft. We
have published maps which show that this description exactly fits the location
above the Gihon Spring.
6) Fort Antonia was described by Josephus as being like a city with large
areas for troop parades etc. A legion of troops (5000 fighting and 5000
support) was housed there. Only the Haram fits the description and the
small area now designated the site of the Fort would have been impossibly small.
7) King Solomon built the Temple on the site of the threshing floor of
Araunah which was IN the City of David. The Haram never was.
8) Like all major fortresses Josephus describes Fort Antonia as being built
over a "rock" the highest point of the area. No Biblical description of
the Temples includes such a feature.
9) The "Wailing Wall" in the early literature including the Talmud refers to
the western wall of the Temple itself. Nobody believes that the wall
described today is anything other than the outer wall of a Herodian structure.
Where is the original "Wailing Wall"?
10) In 2000 years of research, excavation and exploration including a
protracted search by the Templars, not ONE single artifact from the Temples of
Jerusalem has ever been found. This fact alone has given ammunition to the
minimalists who claim that both King David and King Solomon were mythical
characters and that Solomon's Temple never even existed.
Now the problems.
1) If one goes to Jerusalem today and looks over the Haram from the Mount of
Olives, one cannot help but be impressed by the sheer massive size of the
structure, especially the walls surrounding the location of the Dome of the Rock
and the Al Aksa Mosque.
Leen Ritmeyer, the foremost architectural expert on the Haram in the world
today states that the number of levels of Herodian stones under the ground far
exceeds those that are obvious above ground today. Thus at the end of the
destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. this structure was massive and impressive.
It almost dwarfs the City of David.
Now this of course is the reason why the Haram could NOT have been the
location of the Temple. Contrary to the eyewitness reports it was not
overturned in such a way that no stone rested upon another nor destroyed to the
level of the foundations.
Here is the problem. It was so massive and so much remained, why did
not eyewitness to the events of the destruction of even afterwards refer to this
massive structure? You can't miss it today with Jerusalem totally built up
all around it, how much more obvious it must have been with total destruction
everywhere. Yes, nobody refers to it as if it didn't exist. Only
Eleazar makes an oblique reference.