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|The Ancient Steps of the Ophel||Josephus: Temple|
-Map of City Wall
I thought that finding the water channels ending with a pool next to the Temple was probably the finally thing to confirm this southern location, but to my delight, there was even more to come. This is a bit complicated so please bare with me.
When Herod came into power over the Jews he desired to build a new Temple. This required that he tear down the old Temple and build a new one in its place. But Herod's Temple would be much wider then the old Temple It's porch would be width of 100 cubits. This required some adjustments to be made in the platform. Solomon had created the original platform. It included the Temple courts, the woman's court, and the portico on the east, called Solomon's porch. This platform was called the Way, meaning the way to the Holy of Holies, or was called a street. We can see part of it today as the walkway from double gate to the end of triple gate.
In my theory this 10 cubit wide street (identified in the above photo) would have been the chel (a walkway that ran along side the inner wall of the temple courts and woman's court) of the old temple.
In the Mishna it says that Herod set the foundation stone for the new Temple a little to the north and west of the original. In doing this it actually caused the northern section/court of the Temple compound to become smaller.
The only way the northern section of the Temple compound could be made smaller is if the platform was increased in width towards the north by Herod.
If my location for the Temple is correct then I should be able to find evidence in the ruins to confirm it for me.
On Warren's map I marked out the size of Solomon's platform in dashed lines. Because it was the original platform built by Solomon building up a flat area on which to build then his porch on the east would be on this platform. He claimed the land as far as he could and could go no furter because of the valleys on the east and west. Charles Waren and Charles Wilson provided drawings which include the northeast corner of Solomon's platform.
You can follow the dashed line from Triple Gate to Double Gate. Double Gate has a western hall and an eastern hall separated by huge columns down the center. The east hall continues as a passageway for another 190 feet longer than the western hall. The section appears to have been built after the fact. Notice that the western hall ends with what looks like a nipple.
This nipple looked to me like it would fit an opening in a gate.
When I laid my diagram over the top of the map I could see that the nipple fit perfectly into the opening in the north inner gate. But I have laid a diagram of Herod's inner gates over the top, not Solomon's gates. I did this because these halls were created following the pattern, and perhaps some remaining ruins, of Herod's inner gates. Notice the gate goes beyond Solomon's platform. To me this shows that even though the double halls were made after 70 AD there was still enough of the old ruins of Herod's gates left as to indicating an opening that could be dug through.
Herod's Temple was to be built more to the north, causing the platform to have to be extended more to the north. Then for the inner gates to line up with the new temple then the northern inner gate also had to be more to the north . As you can see on the map above, Herod's north inner gate would extended beyond Solomon's platform plus there must be a chel (walkway) on the north. He would have to increase the size of the platform big enough for a inner wall and also the 10 cubit wide chel.
However, Solomon's gates would have been smaller and a little closer together allowing for the 10 cubit wide Chel. In the map below we can see that Solomon's gates and the chel, on both north and south.
Now to the interesting part of this. All of Herod's adjustments actually made the "open space" or northern section of the Temple compound smaller.
I believe that someone doing this sort of study must begin with Solomon's Temple and compound. Then add on Herod's extended courts. The reason for this is because Herod did not let his builders make any changes in the east wall, which means no changes in Solomon's Porch, or the East Gate. Herod said it was too beautiful to change.
So where is the evidence that shows Herod increased the size of the platform to the north? Remember that Herod built the Temple and upper courts and gates, but the walls of his extended compound were added later by his son and grandson and were not totally complete until 66 AD, just a few years before its destruction in 70 AD. This means the old walls, of what is called Solomon's temple, remained for the protection of the new temple. So when it is said the northern section was decreased in size by Herod they are speaking of the compound within Solomon's old walls not Herod's extended compound.
Can I prove it through the ruins? Yes.
Notice the the eastern passage of double gate (the one that extends further north). Notice it ends as if it goes through a gate opening and then circles out. So where was the gate they dug into through its opening?
It would have been Solomon's old north gate.
The below map and diagram is unique in that it is Solomon's outer walls
but Herod's New Temple and gates, etc., and it shows the extended platform
and chell to the north.
Notice the east passage ends as it enters into where Solomon's old outer north gate would have been. On a different map, which was created by Charles Wilson, it shows that a portion of this old building still remains underground and is the entrance to the passageway near the Mosque above, by means of a ladder.
Also take note of the fact that the northern section of the compound is now decreased in size. This is because Herod increased the platform to the north to build his bigger Temple. If you look back to Solomon's porch you can see where solomon's platform ended and measure how much Herod increased the platform. It appears to be about 20 cubits @ a regular Hebrew cubit of 17.5 inches. (about 29 feet)
This causes the southern section of the Temple compound to have the most "open space", then the women's court, followed by the northern section, which had the least amount of open space.
But this gets even more interesting to me. It reveals how Herod handled the problem of the Temple being built more to the north than the old one, and yet leaving the East gate of Solomon remaining in the same place. How then could one see through the east gate and also through the inner gate and into the Temple itself. The angle would be wrong. Easily remedied, just make the inner gate a double gate with a double wide opening.
Back when I first began this in Nov 2000 I really had no idea what I was doing. I was trying to fit the gates in using the layout of Ezekiels temple and gates as my example and hadn't done very much reserch. I hadn't learned yet about the inner east gate being a double wide gate. Had never heard of the mishna at that time. Plus info wasn't really "out there" on the web as it is today. My layout was very elementery and was constantly changing as I gained new information. It was at that time that the Lord gave me a dream about the east inner gate. The dream was about an old, distinguished, Hebrew woman and her daughter. The time had come for them to receive their inheritance. Someone handed the daughter a beautiful box, kind of like an ornate jewelry box. What belonged to the old women was inside and what belonged to the younger one was the outside. They opened the box and the old women reached in with both hands to pull out what was hers. But it was part of the structure of the box itself. If she removed it the box would fall apart. They had to share the box with the old and the new as one. I woke up and knew that the east inner gate was a double gate, and began to draw it that way. A few months later I ran across the information on the net about the double gate.
I wondered why the Lord had brought this gate to my attention, in a dream, when he could have just helped me find the information on the net. But now I think I know why. That gate would end up being one of those "special things" that would help to prove this theory in a unique way.
You can see that Solomon's gate is directly across from the southern half of the double gate. With the double wide doors of the inner gate open one would be able to see into the temple and view the curtain of the Holy of Holies with no problem. Even the High Priest could see it from the Mount of Olives when burning the Red Heifer.
New! "Locating Solomon's Temple"
now on Video!