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Lewis H B
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Solomon and Herods' Temples

Herod's Temple as it was in 70AD.


  Pictures and information about the building of the temple in OUR generation.

Where was the temple of Solomon ??? 

excerpts from

Josephus, a Jew who was an eyewitness of the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome in 70AD and the author of "The antiquities of the Jews" and "The Jewish wars"(available online) said the Temple of Herod was built high up on a platform that had four walls around it forming a precise square of 600 feet on each side. Josephus said the wall of its southeast corner had its foundations directly in the deepest part of the Kidron Valley (in the streambed itself) and that its height was 300 cubits (450 feet, or about the height of a modern 40 story building). This description in no way fits the dimensions of the Haram. Near the northwest corner Josephus said this external Temple wall was connected to Fort Antonia by two side-by-side colonnade roadways (each 600 feet long). Josephus then said that Fort Antonia itself was built around a notable "Rock" that was viewed as the centerpiece feature of the interior of the Fort (which was also known as the Praetorium). This well-recognized "Rock" in the Praetorium around which Fort Antonia was built was called the lithostrotos in the Gospel of John (19:13) and Christ stood on it when judged by Pilate. Josephus said that Antonias size was much larger than the Temple (he described Fort Antonia as the size of a city and it contained a full legion of Roman troops with many open spaces for military exercises and training). Fort Antonia was so large that Josephus said it obscured the whole of the Temple square from the north. These plain and simple descriptions made by Josephus are depicted in the drawing that Ritmeyer dislikes and they are in precise accord with what Josephus (as an eyewitness) states in the clearest of language.

Another eyewitness account was given by Aristeas in 285 B.C. He said the Temple at Jerusalem had within its precincts a natural spring of water, and Tacitus the Roman historian in 100 A.D. also mentioned this inexhaustible spring that was located within the walls of the Temple just before its destruction by the Romans. In my replication in BAR, the professional artist was able to comfortably fit the 600 feet square Temple with its 40 stories high platform as being located over the Gihon Spring (the only spring of water in Jerusalem within a radius of five miles). It was also simple and very logical to show the two colonnade roadways near the northwest angle of the external Temple wall extending a further 600 feet northward to intersect with the southwest corner of Fort Antonia. All geographical features mentioned by Josephus, and incorporating the eyewitness account of Aristeas, and the statement of Tacitus (and by other eyewitness accounts that I have recorded in my book "The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot") fit precisely into place as shown by Josephus. To be sure of the truthfulness of the drawing, the artist reviewed the latest editions of Josephus literary works to scrutinize each geographical feature in a precise way.

Eleazar, the final Jewish commander at Masada, related three years after the war was finished at Jerusalem. He gives an eyewitness account of how the Romans preserved Fort Antonia (the Haram) among the ruins. What Eleazar said to the 960 Jewish people (who were to commit suicide rather than fall into the hands of General Silva who was on the verge of capturing the Fortress of Masada) is very important in regard to our present inquiry. This final Jewish commander lamented over the sad state of affairs that everyone could witness at this twilight period of the conflict after the main war with the Romans was over.

Jerusalem was to Eleazar a disastrous spectacle of utter ruin. There was only one thing that remained of the former Jerusalem that Eleazar could single out as still standing. This was the Camp of the Romans that Titus permitted to remain as a monument of humiliation over the Mother City of the Jews. Eleazar acknowledged that this military encampment had been in Jerusalem before the war, and that Titus let it continue after the war. The retention of this single Camp of the Romans, according to Eleazar, was a symbol of the victory that Rome had achieved over the Jewish people. His words are recorded in War VII.8,7. Several words and phrases need emphasizing, and I hope I have done so:

"And where is now that great city [Jerusalem], the metropolis of the Jewish nation, which was fortified by so many walls round about, which had so many fortresses and large towers to defend it, which could hardly contain the instruments prepared for the war, and which had so many ten thousands of men to fight for it? Where is this city that was believed to have God himself inhabiting therein? it is now demolished to the very foundations, and hath nothing left but THAT MONUMENT of it preserved, I mean THE CAMP OF THOSE [the Romans] that hath destroyed it, WHICH STILL DWELLS UPON ITS RUINS; some unfortunate old men also lie ashes upon the of the Temple [the Temple was then in total ruins all of it had been burnt to ashes], and a few women are there preserved alive by the enemy, for our bitter shame and reproach."

What Eleazar said must be reckoned as an eyewitness account of the state of Jerusalem in the year A.D.73. This narrative is of utmost importance to our question at hand. This is because Eleazar admitted that the City of Jerusalem and all its Jewish fortresses had indeed been demolished "to the very foundations." There was nothing left of the City or the Temple. This is precisely what Jesus prophesied would happen.

Eleazar even enforced this. He mentioned the "wholesale destruction" of the city. He said that God had "abandoned His most holy city to be burnt and razed to the ground" (War VII.8,6 Loeb). And then, a short time later, Eleazar concluded his eyewitness account by stating: "I cannot but wish that we had all died before we had seen that holy city demolished by the hands of our enemies, or the foundations of our Holy Temple dug up, after so profane a manner" (War VII.8,7).

Yes, even the very foundation stones that comprised the Temple complex (including its walls) had been uprooted and demolished. They were then "dug up" and not even the lower courses of base stones were left in place. According to Eleazar, the only thing left in the Jerusalem area was a single Roman Camp that still hovered triumphantly over the ruins of the City and the Temple. He said that Jewish Jerusalem "hath nothing left." The only thing continuing to exist was the "monument" (a single monument) preserved by Titus. And what was that "monument"? Eleazar said it was "the camp of those that destroyed it [Jerusalem], which still dwells upon its ruins."

What could this Camp of the Romans have been? This is quite easy to discover when one reads the accounts of the war as recorded by Josephus. The main military establishment in Jerusalem prior to the war was Fort Antonia located to the north of the Temple (which is now the Haram esh-Sharif). In my new book "The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot," I will give an abundance of information to show that the Haram was considered Roman property even before the war. Because Antonia was the property of Rome, they had no reason to destroy those buildings that already belonged to the Romans. That is why Titus left Fort Antonia (the Haram esh-Sharif) and its walls in tact (as we see them today).

AND scripture shows the Gihon spring was just south of the Altar in the Temple...Ezekiel 47:1  Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.

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