The Topography Of Jerusalem -- By: Samuel Wolcott

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 027:107 (Jul 1870)
Article: The Topography Of Jerusalem
Author: Samuel Wolcott


The Topography Of Jerusalem

Rev. Samuel Wolcott

In a former Article (Vol. xxiv. pp. 116-140) we concluded, as we supposed, our examination of this topic, with a refutation of the singular theory which Mr. Fergusson had advanced respecting “the identity of the hills Zion and Moriah.” In a preceding number of the present volume (pp. 191-196) we find still another theory, defended by Rev. John Forbes, LL.D., Edinburgh, which is as novel as the former, affirming the identity of the hills Zion and Akra. This originated with Captain Warren, the British engineer who has made such important and interesting subterranean explorations in Jerusalem, and who appears to have enlivened his labors below ground with historical researches above, which are quite independent of his professional work. It is propounded by him, in “Quarterly Statement, No. III.,” of the “Palestine Exploration Fund,” under the title: “The Comparative Holiness of Mounts Zion and Moriah” (pp. 76-88). It is only of late that we have had access to the latter paper, and we now propose to examine the two together in relation to the point under discussion.

Both writers assume, and one expressly concedes (Warren, pp. 80, 81), the baselessness of the Fergusson theory. That has found no recent supporter, and will never, probably, be put forward again. The new theory, we apprehend, will be as transient as the other; and, in venturing to speak freely of the traditional and historical Mount Zion, as “the pseudo-Zion,” Mr. Forbes will probably discover that he has been presumptuous.

A decisive test of the new theory, which does not appear to have occurred to either writer, is the ascertained course of the ancient walls. We read: “David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jesus…..David took the stronghold of Zion; the same is the City of David…..David dwelt in the fort, and called it the City of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward” (2 Sam. 5:6–9; 1 Chron. 11:4–9). “And Solomon took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the City of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about…..Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the City of David his father” (1 Kings 3:1; 11:27). If we can ascertain the courses of these ancient walls, we have ascertained the seat of the ancient royal residence, and the site of the true Zion.

In this particular, Josephus has fortunately given us the desired in-

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