Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:1
Welcome to my Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious! Inertia and tradition are incredibly powerful to the point where we can find ourselves completely oblivious to what we see before us.
Case in point? The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. The first problem is that it’s there and Jesus predicted that all of the buildings of the temple would be completely destroyed. Furthermore, Josephus Flavius recorded that this indeed happened about 70 A.D.
Second problem? That wall is not in Jerusalem! Zion, The City of David did not actually include the current Temple Mount. That designation referred to the area immediately south of said Wailing Wall on lower ground. If you read the Bible carefully – and if you’re much smarter than I am – you can see it clearly describes where Jerusalem is and where it ain’t.
CLUES THAT I MISSED AND HAVE BEEN SCHOOLED ON:
The Spring of Gihon. This is the spring that supplied 100% of Jerusalem’s water, It is the only water source in that entire area. It was the spring that fed the pool of Siloam, that provided the priests with water for ritual washing, that provided the water needed, if you’re slaughtering very large numbers of animals for sacrifices. That spring is more than 3 football fields south of the Temple Mount. Depending upon where the Temple might have been located on said mount, you’re talking a hike of a quarter to a half mile from Gihon. That’s pretty unlikely for a priest who needs to be ritually clean for the Temple.
The Roman Garrison. Where was it? How many soldiers? How big would it have to be? Rome kept a legion of troops to maintain order in Jerusalem. It was located outside of Jerusalem. A legion is estimated at 6000 soldiers and 4000 support personnel. Successful armies don’t make a habit of opting for the low ground. The Romans would have taken the Temple Mount, which is almost exactly the size and shape of an average Roman fort. We even know the name given at that time: Ft. Antonio after Marc Antony.
The Dome of the Rock. The rock itself, to be specific. The current tradition is that Solomon’s temple was built over the rock such that the Holy of Holies contained it. The problem is that it’s too big to big contained the Holy of Holies at about 50 feet across at one point.
And he made the Most Holy Place. Its length was according to the width of the house, twenty cubits, and its width twenty cubits. 2 Chronicles 3:8
That’s 29.5 feet square.
Why is this important? The Jews – and not a few Christians – believe that a third temple will be built, heralding the coming of Christ; the first time according to Jews, the second time according to Christians. If the proper site for the first and second temples is on the Temple Mount, The Dome of the Rock presents a problem. Muslims are bound to get a little upset if anyone tries to raze one of their most venerated sites for over 1000 years.
But, if the correct site is in The City of David 600 feet south, it can get built without inciting World War III. Indeed, archeological excavations are in process, and all indications so far is that this is the place!!