Dome of the Spirits Temple theory of Dr. Kaufman and Widener, and others.
by Norma Robertson

When we are looking into the locations for the original threshing floor of King David then we must begin with Solomon's Temple and the typography on the eastern ridge. People like to just use the inner courts of Herod's Temple and place it where they believe the Temple once stood.

The Golden Gate, which was built by the Byzantine empire hundreds of years after the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, is straight across from the little Dome of the Spirits. There is bedrock under the Dome so that must be the threshing floor, right?  No, not right. King David saw the threshing floor from the City of David. He would not, under any circumstances, be able to see over the peak of the Mountain to the other side of it where the Dome of the Spirits is located. But people look at the flat Temple Mount today and assume that is what it was like in the time of Solomon.  No, it was a 75-foot-high mountain, according to Josephus.

The second problem is the so called Golden gate. There are the ruins of the original gate, built by Hezikiah under the Golden gate. It is the gate Nehemiah spoke of.  Problem is, if you look at the map below, the older gate is about 50' below the level of the Dome of the Spirits. So, it is an east gate, but not an east gate of the Temple. Also, Nehemiah didn't rebuild any gates or walls of the Temple. He just rebuilt the city wall and it's gates. 

The third problem with this location is fresh running water. There was no aqueduct in this area, so no fresh water for cleaning the Priest court of the Blood. No fresh running water for the High Priest to cleanse himself twice daily. No way to fill the laver by lowering it down into the pool below the Priest court. Cisterns have no fresh running water.

All will agree that Herod rebuilt the Temple on the same threshing floor where Solomon's Temple stood. In Herod's Temple the courts were cleansed by water from the aqueduct. Just as it was since the time of Solomon.  Neither the upper or lower aqueducts go anywhere near the Dome of the Spirit.  The cleansing water came from Etam Spring near Jerusalem via an aqueduct, as we learn from these sources.

 Abaye, a Jewish sage of the 4th century was quoted as saying; "If these orifices be now opened, the water rushes in from all sides, and the marble floor of the sanctuary is washed clean of the blood of the sacrifices, if it be ever so much, and thus cleansed of itself, and in the easiest manner. There can be, moreover, never a want of water in these artificially constructed tubes, as it is conducted hither FROM A LARGE NATURAL SPRING (ETAM), which to a certainty can never dry...

Tosefta Pesachim, Ch. 3, Par. 12,"How is the Azara cleaned? Seal the area and let the water from the aqueduct enter till it becomes clean like milk."
 
(Quotes,  "The Hidden Secrets of the Temple Mount" by Tuvia Sagiv)

You can see the lower aqueduct entering over Wilson's arch is built at a southeast angle, away from the Dome of the Rock platform. That is because the Temple was at the south end of the Temple Mount.

Warren map

Below is DR. Kaufmen's diagram with the Holy of Holies located on the Dome of the Spirits bedrock straight across from the Golden gate. Of course Josephus tells us that the Temple of Herod was one furlong by one furlong SQUARE. Not whatever shape this is in Kaufman's diagram.  His Northwest corner of the Temple platform is actually falling into the 200 foot long 50 foot deep moat on Warren's map.


The forth problem is the Moat
Josepus speaks of the foss/moat, also called the ditch, north of Fort Antonia. War of the Jews Book 5 Chapter 4

When he comes to the description of the siege by Titus, AD 70, the Temple with its enclosure, and the tower of Antonia at the north-west angle of the enclosure, having been entirely rebuilt by Herod, BC 17,  Josephus says that the design of Titus was

"to take the Temple at the tower of Antonia;" and that for this purpose he raised great banks; one of which was at the tower of Antonia, and the other at about 20 cubits from it; and that for the purpose of obtaining materials or filling up the immense fosse and ravine to the north of the Temple, he had to bring them from a great distance; and that the country all round for a distance of 19 or 12 miles was made perfectly bare in consequence.





Layout for Herod's Temple and Fort Antonia in 70 AD by Norma Robertson