A Response to Dr. Ernest Martin -- By: Leen Ritmeyer

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 14:4 (Fall 2001)
Article: A Response to Dr. Ernest Martin
Author: Leen Ritmeyer


A Response to Dr. Ernest Martin

Leen Ritmeyer

The preceding article espouses a new theory for the siting of the First and Second Temple by Dr. E. Martin. The following response by Dr. Ritmeyer is a condensation of a much more detailed review that can be seen at Dr. Ritmeyer’s web site, http://dialspac.dial.pipex com/ritmeyer.—Ed.

In some of the latest issues of Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) an advertisement appeared under the heading Who Moved the Temple. The body of the ad announced a hook The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot by Ernest Martin. Part of the advertisement consists of a drawing purporting to show the Temple sited outside of what is considered by most of the scholarly community to be the Temple Mount. Many people have asked me to comment on this portrayal and the following is my critique of Dr. Martin’s theory.

The Temple Mount during the reign of Herod according to L. Ritmeyer.

The Theory

The main thrust behind Martin’s idea is that the location of the Temple is over the Gihon Spring. He equates Zion with the site of the Temple and begins by stating that Zion was limited to the southern end of the southeastern ridge of Jerusalem. The Temple was built there, he claims, because of the Gihon Spring. “The Bible even indicated that the Temple was abutting to the northern side of the City of David.” writes Martin. Further, he alleges that David placed the Ark of the Covenant over the Gihon Spring, quoting Ps 87: “all my springs are in thee” and Ps 116.

I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the Lord’s house [within the Temple], in the midst [center] of thee, O Jerusalem (KJV).

Martin tries to derive further support for his theory from the Book of Revelation where we are told that those who were thirsty could drink from “the fountain (spring) of water that issued from the New Jerusalem that would come down from heaven to earth” (Rv 21:6, KJV) He then moves on to the prophecy of Jesus Who, according to his interpretation, told His disciples that “not one stone of the Temple and its support buildings would be left on top the other.” He theorizes that all the walls of the Temple and the Temple Mount were torn down to their foundations just as Jesus prophesied. Only the Antonia, which he equates with the Herodian Temple Mount, escaped the destruction of AD 70.

Martin then interprets Josephus who said that the Temple Mount was “a precise square of one stadium lengt...

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