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We learn of the Place of the Trumpeting through Josephus as he describes the towers built by the Jewish Rebels who had taken over the city prior to its destruction. The rebels split into two groups and began warring against each other. One faction held the Temple and they built towers on the corners of the Temple compound to get a higher advantage for their arrows. One of those towers was built above the Xystus. So first we need to find out where that was.
Josephus traces the path of the
northern part of the First
Wall of Jerusalem in The War of the Jews 4.2:
"Now that wall began on the north, at the tower called "Hippicus," and extended as far as the "Xistus," a place so called, and then, joining to the council-house, ended at the west cloister of the temple."
The Xystus was a plaza used for assembly, to hear public speeches made from the west wall of the Temple Mount.
The ruins of the Council House were discovered by Charles Warren in the 1860′s. It is located near the Western Wall and the bridge over Wilson’s Arch.
The Place of the Trumpeting was located at what is now thought to be the southwest corner of the Temple Mount.
At the base of the southwest corner the remains of “The Place of the Trumpeting” stone was found. It lay where it had landed after the destruction of the Temple.
Josephus tells the location of the towers that the rebels built. War of the Jews Book 4, 9.12
one at the north-east corner of the court,
one above the Xystus, the
third at another corner over against the lower city, and the last was
erected above the top of the Pastophoria, where one of the priests
stood of course, and gave a signal beforehand, with a trumpet at the
beginning of every seventh day,
It is most important to remember that the towers were built on corners of the Temple. This means that the tower built above the Xystus was built at a corner of the temple. As we can see there is no longer a corner in that place. But if there were it would be built at what used to be the northwest corner of Herod’s 600 x 600 foot Temple.
That gives us the southwest corner of Herod’s Temple. Then measure 600 feet towards the east and that gives us the southeast corner. Then measure north to find the northeast corner of Herod’s Temple where Josephus wrote that the first tower was built.
This graphic shows my Temple diagram laid over the map with the towers.
the towers built on these corners they were able to protect all of the
entrances to the temple.
In this theory there is a lower southern court. The lower Herodian extended court, which was the last court to be built, had a gate in the middle. This gate would have entered into the lower Herodian court and Herod’s Royal Stoa. The red arrow shows another wall built along side the South wall of the Mount in the above photo.
Josephus wrote in war of the Jews 5; 5.2 that the bedrock was at it's lowest at this point at the southwest corner. From bedrock to the top of the wall was 300 cubits (437 feet). and then it was filled in to make it level with the streets of the city. Is the southwest corner of the Temple Mount 437 feet from the top of what would have been a gate at Robinson's arch down to where they found the Jewish mikveh under the wall? I believe it is around 125 feet . Not even close to 437 feet as Josephus records it.
"Locating Solomon's Temple"
now on Video!