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Solomon's Temple Complex 

(400) This hill was walled all round, and in compass four furlongs, [the distance of] each angle containing in length a furlong: Josephus Antiquities Book 15, Chapter 11.

 

(411) but the fourth front of the temple, which was southward, had indeed itself gates in its middle, as also it had the royal cloisters, with three walks, which reached in length from the east valley unto that on the west, for it was impossible it should reach any farther; Josephus Antiquities Book 15, Chapter 11.

 

These two quote from Josephus are probably two of the most important when it comes to defining exactly where the Temple stood. A furlong or a stade was about 606ft in length.

The Southern Wall of the Temple Mount (The Haram) where the Royal Porch was supposedly situated does reach from valley to valley. The problem is to do that it has to be at least 922ft in length. Hence what Josephus was describing could not have been the Haram Al-Sharif as we know it today.

Many have asked why, when I referred to a forthcoming book by Ernest Martin, I never mentioned it again and could not recommend it. Those who have it note that my name is in the index but not in the body of the book. The fact is that after the original thesis was discussed, the book turned out to be deeply flawed and Martin was not open to any critique.

One of the major problems with his placing the Temple in the position mentioned in the book is that his Southern Wall does not and cannot go from valley to valley. Thus he cannot mention the above quotes in his book which is one of the strongest pieces of evidence why the original Temple of Solomon and the subsequent Temple of Herod could NOT have been on the Temple Mount.

Even the solution provided by Arvidson does not satisfy the above quotes and hence we have had to do our own map.

This therefore is the position of Solomon's Temple, his Palace and associated buildings together with his inner courts which were later enlarged by Herod.

For reference, we have added the position of where Herod's one furlong square walls would eventually be built and where the Haram Al-Sharif would eventually be built. The latter we contend was the fortress Antonia and not "The Temple Mount".

For the last 100 years or so Benzinger's sketch of Solomon's Temple Complex (in his Baedecker's guide book to Palestine and Syria 1906) is the one most often used to describe how Solomon positioned his palace and associated buildings. However we see no reason why the walls of the outer court were "stepped" and therefore we have positioned them in their more logical position. After all Josephus was clear that Herod EXTENDED the walls of Solomon's Temple not repositioned them. We have included the Benzinger sketch and our revision. In fact Josephus was clear in that Herod doubled them.

1. (401) Accordingly, in the fifteenth year of his reign, Herod rebuilt the temple, and encompassed a piece of land about it with a wall; which land was twice as large as that before enclosed. Josephus, Wars Book 1, Chapter 21.

 

As you can see from the map the total square footage of the Herod's square is 606ft x 606ft - 367,236 sq. ft. Half of that would be 183,618 sq. ft. Thanks to the brilliant cartography of Linda Shanks we have the total area of Solomon's outer court under my thesis 183,600 sq. ft.

I rest my case.

This is a picture I took of the location where Solomon's Temple was built. It is now a junk yard in the City of David.

 

Michael S. Sanders
Irvine, California
Thursday, July 19, 2001


 

The temple complex superimposed
on picture downloaded from Google


Google Picture of the
City of David as
it is today.

Click on the pictures for
the original size

 

 

 

 

"Temple" Series of lectures


 




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