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Location of Solomon's Temple

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Josephus: Temple Aerial Photo
-Temple Mount
Warren's Survey Map
-With  descriptions
-Ruins reveal the location
Water Channels and levels
-Map and info
Ophel Steps
Fort Antonia
-On the highest hill
Nehemiah Map
-Map of City Wall
Double Gate
-Not Huldah Gate
Southeast Corner 
-Who built it?
Temple Platform
-Original location
Wailing wall
-A little history

Water Channels on the Temple Mount
Warren map

Finding this map on-line many years after I began this web site
was a wonderful confirmation!
And I believe it is the last puzzle piece needed in putting this picture together.

Charles Warren's Water Channel Map

As you can see there are NO water channels leading to the Dome of the Rock area.

The Lower Aqueduct

The aqueduct coming from Bethlehem (Solomon's Pools) that entered the temple mount over Wilson's Arch was called Ein Etam by the Jews. This Lower Aqueduct was built by Solomon bringing water to the Temple from the Etam Spring (Ain Atan) near Solomon’s pools. The Jerusalem Talmud  (Yoma 31) says that a conduit ran from Atan (Ain Atan, Ein Etan, Spring Etam) to the Temple.  https://www.scribd.com/document/507657403/Yoma-31


See Etem 

 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...

THE EIN ETAM IS 23 CUBITS HIGHER THAN THE AZARAH (the priest's court)". (Bab. Tal. Yoma 31a), From: "The Spring (Fountain) of Siloah...En Shiloach" (The Springs and Pools of Jerusalem) and that using the aqueduct waters derived from the Etam Spring the “high priest would immerse himself on the Day of Atonement” (Bab. Tal. Zebahim 54b)

Lower and Upper Aqueducts Jerusalem

Etam was in reference to the Lower Aqueduct which entered the Mount via the bridge (at Wilson's Arch).   

The other aqueduct was the Upper Aqueduct which was first built by Herod and re-built, or built upon by Pontius Pilate and the 10th legion as stone pipes (part of a siphon system). Its destination appears to be 'Hezekiah's Pool' in the Upper City.

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 in red taken from "The Hidden Secrets of the Temple Mount" by Tuvia Sagiv)

This of course would also require a duct to drain the water which flooded over the azarah each day.  That drain was located near the southwest corner of the ramp leading up to the altar where they burnt the offerings. This channel "blood channel" emptied into the Kidron Valley.

Can there be any question left as to which spring the water for the Temple came from? It came from Etam spring NOT the Gihon Spring.

The Brazen Laver
There were two reason for " living water" on the Azarah/priests court; one was to cleanse the court daily and the other was to fill the brazen laver, which was a very large pot or tub on a pedestal which held a great amount of fresh "living" water. It had faucets around the sides of it which could be opened for the cleaning of hands and feet for the purpose of purity.  It had to be emptied each night and refilled in the morning with fresh water.  During the second temple period a new way of filling the laver was devised called the muchni.

The Muchni
Ben Katin, one of the High Priests who served during the era of the Second Temple, devised a system for retrieving the water each morning using the mechanism of the muchni, meaning "machinery," The laver was submerged into a specially-made pool under the court. The laver was then hoisted up by the first priest in the morning.

Note: Muchni is also a name for a type of wagon wheel.  Wheels installed under the laver may have been needed to roll it from it's place; between  the altar and the House of God, over to where the underground pool was located under the azarah for refilling it. The "hoisting up" of this large pot full of many, many gallons of water by just one priest would have required an elaborate pulley system.

I believe this is the pool, that I have marked with the green arrow on the map below, would have been used for filling the Brazen Laver.

Temple mount water channels
When I laid my Diagram over this map the pool was right next to the Temple!
Another branch of the water channel ended at the Priest Court, and another went to where the chamber of the Hearth would have been located for filling the Mikveh below it.
Water Channel Pool

I'd like to give my opinion on a the channel running north to south, red arrow, that ends abruptly. Since we know water doesn't flow uphill then this section of the channels must have begun at the aqueduct and flowed downhill from there.

UNDER DOUBLE GATE HALLS below the Al Aqsa Mosque

Recently photographs from 1927 have been released that show a Jewish mikveh (bath) under the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Jewish mikveh under Al Aksa
It is located somewhere beneath the double passage halls below the Al Aqsa Mosque. Notice the measuring rod and ladder on the floor of this Mikveh, which shows its immense size. In my theory this Mikveh would have been located under the Chamber of the Hearth. This shows us that water channels went down to this level beneath the Priest court.

"We theorized in October that the American Colony photographer gained access to the area under the al Aqsa Mosque, partially destroyed in the 1927 earthquake. Nadav Shragai, a scholar on Jerusalem sites, reported in a Yisrael HaYom article last year, that Robert Hamilton, director of the British Mandate Antiquities Authority, had explored under the mosque at the time. He "photographed, sketched, excavated and analyzed" what he saw. But he promised the Islamic Authorities, the Waqf, that he would make "no mention of any findings that the Muslims would have found inconvenient" such as findings from the time of the Jewish Temples." israeldailypicture.com

A Dome of the Rock location for the Temple would have made it impossible to supply running water to the Temple.

 According to the Mishnah, the way that blood was washed from the floor of  the Priest's Court where sacrifices were performed was to open the floodgate of the aqueduct directly into the court.

The Jerusalem Water Aqueduct

"The water canals that supplied Jerusalem began in the area of the Hebron mountains, passed through the Solomon's Pools near Bethlehem, and flowed to Jerusalem. The lowest canal reached the Temple Mount through the Jewish Quarter and the Wilson Bridge. According to the ancient authorities, the water conduit supplied water to the High Priests' mikveh (ritual bath) located above the Water Gate, and it also supplied water for the rinsing of the blood off the Azarah (Priests court). Portions of this aqueduct are plainly visible to this day.

"Living water," that is fresh flowing water, not water from a cistern, was required for the ritual bath (mikveh) used by the temple priests, and for the washings of the temple in connection with the sacrifices.

A survey of the level of the aqueduct reveals that if the Temple had been located at the same elevation as the present Dome of the Rock shrine, the aqueduct would be too low to serve either the Azarah or the Water Gate. " Lambert Dolphin  

water levels Temple Mount

Part of the aqueduct is still in existence. . In fact, remains of the aqueduct itself show that after entering the Temple Mount across Wilson's Arch, it turned to the southeast towards the Al Aksa fountain and its associated cisterns which points to a lower location for the Temple.

Also see: Who Built the Lower Aqueduct?

Locating Solomon's Temple 
by Norma Robertson




Locating Solomon's Temple
Book 1

Book 2

Created Aug 2007