2 Were There Jewish Temples on Temple Mount

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    Were There Jewish Temples on Temple Mount? Yes

    The preponderance of archaeological and historical evidence is overwhelming and

    the argument that there is 'no proof' of the Temples is a modern political


    Ruth Schuster and Ran Shapira Oct !" #!$ %& (M

    ) panoramic view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.*avidson +orris

    Was there once a great Jewish temple on Jerusalem,s Temple Mount? Yes. *oes

    an- scholar genuinel- dout there was? +o" sa- archaeologists who have spent

    their lives stud-ing Jerusalem. /0 feel stupid even having to comment on it"/ sa-s

    *r. Yuval 1aruch" a leading 0sraeli archaeologist who has studied Jerusalem

    throughout his career./ *emanding proof that the Temples stood on the Mount

    is li2e demanding proof that the ancient stone walls surrounding Jerusalem"

    which stand to this da-" were the ancient stone walls surrounding Jerusalem"/ headds.

    The contention that there is no proof the Temples e3isted" let alone on the

    Mount" is an artifact of the recent 0sraeli4)ra conflict. Jewish" 5hristian and

    Muslim tradition has alwa-s held the Mount sacred and none 6ueried the

    e3istence of the Temples. /) 1rief 7uide to al48aram al4Sharif"/ pulished in

    9nglish - the Supreme Muslim 5ouncil itself in !:$" states& /The site is one of

    the oldest in the world. 0ts sanctit- dates from the earliest ;perhaps from pre4

    historic< times. 0ts identit- with the site of Solomon's Temple is e-ond

    dispute. )s well as eing sacred to Jews" the hilltop pla=a" which could go ac2

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    as much as $"### -ears" is sacred to Muslims as the place from which the

    (rophet Mohammed ascended to heaven. +o Muslim scholars would agree to e

    interviewed for this article.

    Jewish tradition sa-s the >irst Temple was uilt - ing Solomon on Temple

    Mount. 0t was destro-ed - the 1a-lonians" who e3pelled the Jews from theland" in aout $@A 1.5.9. When the Jews were allowed to return from e3ile some

    decades later" the- uilt a new temple on the site" ut it was a simple structure.

    Their ma2eshift effort was not to the taste of ing 8erod" who swept awa- the

    sha- house of worship" created a great platform on the top of the Mount and

    had the grand Second Temple erected on it" within a massive compound.

    The Second Temple was destro-ed and looted - the Romans in A# 5.9." under

    9mperor Titus. 8ow much of this can e proved? )lmost all.

    5arved in stone)rchaeologists cannot conclusivel- point to stones the- 2now comprised the

    Second Temple" let alone the first one. 1ut as (rof. 0srael >in2elstein" a world4

    renowned e3pert on Jerusalem archaeolog-" spells out in an email to 8aaret="

    /There is no scholarl- school of thought that douts the e3istence of the >irst


    )ll the archaeologists 8aaret= spo2e with for this article elieve that if Temple

    Mount could e e3cavated B which it never has een B such evidence would e

    found" even if man- of the stones were repurposed over the centuries. 1ut

    concrete finds definitivel- from the Temple e3ist in aundance" sa-s 1ar40lan

    Cniversit- (rof. 7ariel 1ar2a-" an archaeologist who has spent man- -ears

    wor2ing in Jerusalem" and the area of Temple Mount in particular.

    /Two copies of inscriptions prohiiting the entr- of nonelievers to the Temple

    have een found on Temple Mount" which Josephus wrote aout. These

    inscriptions were on the dividing wall that surrounded the Second Temple" which

    prevented non4Jews from accessing the interior of the DTempleE court-ard"/

    1ar2a- sa-s" adding that oth were written in ancient 7ree2. The /warning/

    stone" which is at the 0stanul )rchaeological Museum" warns non4Jews of the

    perils of entering the sacred Temple. There were additional" similar inscriptions

    in Fatin" he sa-s.

    )nother inscription in stone" /To the trumpeting place"/ was found in !:G@ at the

    southwest corner of Temple Mount. /0t is 2nown that trumpets were lown at

    the corners of Temple Mount" to declare the advent of Shaat and other

    dates"/ 1ar2a- e3plains. Josephus" the ancient historian of ephemeral lo-alties"

    e3plains that it was customar- for a Temple priest to /stand and to give notice"- sound of trumpet" in the afternoon of the approach" and on the following

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    evening of the close" of ever- seventh da-./ The stone is now at the 0srael



    )n inscried stone discovered in !:G@ - 1enHamin Ma=ar" stating& /leeit

    hate2i-a/ 4 To the Trumpeting (lace. 0t elonged to the Second Temple. Yoavd"

    0srael Museum" Wi2imedia 5ommons

    The /warning inscription/& '+o foreigner ma- enter within the alustrade around

    the sanctuar- and the enclosure. Whoever is caught" on himself shall he put

    lame for the death which will ensue' Oncenwawhile" 0stanul )rchaeolog-Museum" Wi2imedia 5ommons

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    *r. Yuval 1aruch& >eels sill- having to even comment on whether the Temples

    e3isted. 5ourtes- of the 0srael )nti6uities )uthorit-

    ) mi2veh found at the foot of the Western Wall itself. Michal >attal

    >urther concrete evidence attests to Jerusalem,s uni6ueness in religious

    oservance. /The ancient cit- of Jerusalem at the time of the >irst Temple was

    clearl- a hu of ritual worship"/ sa-s 1aruch" who heads the 0srael )nti6uities

    )uthorit-,s Jerusalem district. /The hundreds of mi2vehs Dritual purificationathsE found around the Temple Mount compound and Jewish artifacts made of

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    stone found there show that until the Temple's destruction" at least" Jerusalem

    was an 'ir mi2dash' Dhol- cit-E" where what matters is the house of worship.

    )thens and Ol-mpia were li2e that" too./

    While the Second Temple ma- e long gone" ra=ed - the Romans to punish the

    reellious Jews" the outer walls surrounding the magnificent temple compounduilt - ing 8erod ;IAB 1.5.9.< still e3ist B most notal- the Western Wall"

    which has ecome the holiest site in Judaism.

    ! Fess famous" ut e6uall- remar2ale" are the doule /Shaarei 8ulda/ arched

    gates through the walls enclosing the Second Temple 5ompound. These still e3ist

    toda-" complete" roof and all ;although at some point the 8ulda entrances were

    walled up

  • 7/23/2019 2 Were There Jewish Temples on Temple Mount


    The 8ulda gates once led into the Second Temple compound. )t some point" the-

    were walled up. 1achrach" Wi2imedia 5ommons

    ) model showing Sha'arei 8ulda" the doule gates into the Second Temple5ompound. The 8ulda entrance is loc2ed up ut still e3tant. 5ourtes- of the

    0srael )nti6uities )uthorit-

    /+o wonder remnants of the >irst and Second Temples themselves have not

    een found"/ Ma=ar writes in an email to 8aaret=. /What has een found"

    including - m- grandfather Dpioneering archaeologist 1enHamin Ma=arE" are the

    remains of magnificent uildings that support historic sources descriing the

    construction of the >irst and Second Temples" and the surrounding compounds"in detail./

    While the Mount remains une3cavated" the 5it- of *avid site right ne3t to it has

    een and is eing e3plored. /Remains uncovered over decades in e3cavations at

    the 5it- of *avid" and the area connecting the 5it- of *avid to Temple Mount"

    support" without reservation" the historic descriptions of the eginning of

    Jerusalem" and its development from a 5anaanite town e3isting $"### -ears ago"

    to the heavil- fortified 0sraelite capital "### -ears ago" to the da-s of ing

    *avid %"### -ears ago" to the cit- that developed northward in the da-s of ing

    Solomon ;around !#th centur- 1.5.9.

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    The )rch of Titus" showing the /Spoils of Jerusalem/ relief on the inside arch.

    *nalor#!" Wi2imedia 5ommons

    ) closeup from the )rch of Titus" showing spoils 4 including a grand menorah 4

    looted from the Second Temple. *nalor#!" Wi2imedia 5ommons

    ) "###4-ear old chisel used to uild the Western Wall& *id a uilder drop it

    and Hust not other to clim down and pic2 it up? 5lara )mit" 0srael )nti6uities


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    Yet more solid evidence is found with elaoratel- stamped coins from the 1ar

    ocha era ;second centur- 5.9.ridman snort. /0t wasn't an-where else B ever-where else has een

    e3cavated"/ she sa-s. /The Muslims uilt the mos6ue there ecause it was a hol-

    site the- con6uered the land and stamped it with a mos6ue. That's what the-

    did in Mecca as well B the aaa is a pagan site" a meteor that had eenworshipped./

    +o stone left standing

    *etractors argue that the precise location of the Temples on the Mount is not

    2nown" that no remnants of the actual Temples can e proven to e3ist and"

    therefore" ma-e the- never e3isted.

    0ndeed" actual archaeological finds at the site are scant- B ecause" as noted"

    Temple Mount has never een e3cavated.

    )rchaeolog- as a science is" for the sa2e of argument" some ## -ears old. )ndthroughout much of that time" Temple Mount was paved over" 1aruch notes.

    ;0n the course of uilding 9l4Marwani" a new mos6ue sited underneath )l4)6sa

    and dedica


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