In Search Of Solomon’s Temple Mount -- By: Bryant G. Wood
BSP 7:2 (Spring 1994) p. 63
In Search Of Solomon’s Temple Mount
In approximately 970–963 BC, Solomon built a temple to Yahweh. It was erected north of Jerusalem on land purchased by his father David on Mt. Moriah where Abraham offered Isaac (2 Sm 24:18–24; 2 Chr 3:1; Gn 22:1–2). Solomon’s engineers first had to construct a platform or podium in order to provide a level area for the Temple. This “First Temple,” as it is called, lasted until the Babylonian destruction in ca. 587 BC (2 Kgs 25:8–9; 2 Chr 36:19). It was then rebuilt by Zerubbabel (the “Second Temple”), ca. 520–515 BC (Ezr 4:24; 6:15), and later extensively refurbished by Herod, ca. 20–18 BC. Herod’s Temple was the Temple of the New Testament frequented by Jesus, the Disciples and the apostle Paul.
Herod had the Temple Mount significantly enlarged to the north, west and south. This gigantic platform still exists in the Old City of Jerusalem today. It is here that the Muslim mosques of the Dome of the Rock, or Mosque of Omar, and El Aqsa are located. Thus, the Temple built by Solomon
BSP 7:2 (Spring 1994) p. 64
lies buried beneath the fill of Herod’s Temple Mount and later debris and constructions. Because the area is under Arab control and is sacred to them excavations beneath the Temple Mount are not practical at the present time. Even though it is not feasible to excavate Solomon’s Temple, it is possible to make a determination of the extent of Solomon’s supporting platform, and from there to estimate the original location of the Temple.
Recent researches by archaeological architect Leen Ritmeyer have resulted in a well-argued case for the location of Solomon’s original Temple Mount. It is based on several lines of evidence:
1. The bottom step of the northwest steps of the Muslim platform on which the Dome of the Rock is located is made up of pre-Herodian stones and is not parallel with the Muslim platform, but with the eastern wall of Solomon’s, and later, Herod’s podium. It is quite likely part of the western wall of the original Temple Mount later rebuilt by Zerubbabel
2. A quarried rock ledge on the north side of the Muslim platform suggests that the northe...
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