Press of the BeComingOne Church



Place of the Holy Temple: Its Real Location?

by Walter R. Dolen

(c) 2001

Because of prophecy pertaining to the Temple, the knowledge of the exact location of the Holy Temple of Israel is very important. Today almost everyone thinks that the location of the Temple is the huge flat trapezoid area called Haram esh-Sharif by the Arabs or the Temple Mount by today's Jews. But today's Temple Mount may not be, and probably is not, the real temple Mount. How can this be you ask? Do read on as we examine some of the evidence.

Jerusalem, today
looking from south
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Size and shape of Temple Mount

The present "Temple Mount" measures about 930 feet on the south, about 1040 feet on the north, about 1560 feet on the east, and about 1600 feet on the west. This area is much larger than the descriptions of the Temple Mount in Christ's time or the Temple Mount in Solomon's time. According to the famous Jewish writer Josephus, who lived at the time Jerusalem was destroyed (about 40 years after Christ died), the size of the temple area was an exact square of about 600 feet by 600 feet (furlong [stade] by furlong [stade] or about 200 meters by 200 meters or since stade means stadium, the size was a stadium's width by a stadium's length). This description is found in Josehpus' Antiquities of the Jews, Book 15, Chapter 11, Paragraph 3:

3. So Herod took away the old foundations, and laid others, and erected the temple upon them, being in length a hundred cubits, and in height twenty additional cubits, which [twenty], upon the sinking of their foundations (23) fell down; and this part it was that we resolved to raise again in the days of Nero. Now the temple was built of stones that were white and strong, and each of their length was twenty-five cubits, their height was eight, and their breadth about twelve; and the whole structure, as also the structure of the royal cloister, was on each side much lower, but the middle was much higher, till they were visible to those that dwelt in the country for a great many furlongs, but chiefly to such as lived over against them, and those that approached to them. The temple had doors also at the entrance, and lintels over them, of the same height with the temple itself. They were adorned with embroidered veils, with their flowers of purple, and pillars interwoven; and over these, but under the crown-work, was spread out a golden vine, with its branches hanging down from a great height, the largeness and fine workmanship of which was a surprising sight to the spectators, to see what vast materials there were, and with what great skill the workmanship was done. He also encompassed the entire temple with very large cloisters, contriving them to be in a due proportion thereto; and he laid out larger sums of money upon them than had been done before him, till it seemed that no one else had so greatly adorned the temple as he had done. There was a large wall to both the cloisters, which wall was itself the most prodigious work that was ever heard of by man. The hill was a rocky ascent, that declined by degrees towards the east parts of the city, till it came to an elevated level. This hill it was which Solomon, who was the first of our kings, by Divine revelation, encompassed with a wall; it was of excellent workmanship upwards, and round the top of it. He also built a wall below, beginning at the bottom, which was encompassed by a deep valley; and at the south side he laid rocks together, and bound them one to another with lead, and included some of the inner parts, till it proceeded to a great height, and till both the largeness of the square edifice and its altitude were immense, and till the vastness of the stones in the front were plainly visible on the outside, yet so that the inward parts were fastened together with iron, and preserved the joints immovable for all future times. When this work [for the foundation] was done in this manner, and joined together as part of the hill itself to the very top of it, he wrought it all into one outward surface, and filled up the hollow places which were about the wall, and made it a level on the external upper surface, and a smooth level also. This hill was walled all round, and in compass four furlongs, [the distance of] each angle containing in length a furlong: but within this wall, and on the very top of all, there ran another wall of stone also, having, on the east quarter, a double cloister, of the same length with the wall; in the midst of which was the temple itself. This cloister looked to the gates of the temple; and it had been adorned by many kings in former times; and round about the entire temple were fixed the spoils taken from barbarous nations; all these had been dedicated to the temple by Herod, with the addition of those he had taken from the Arabians.

We see that the size of the present Temple Mount is much larger than the one described by Josephus or the early Jewish writing called the Mishnah. The Mishnah states that the Temple Mount was a perfect square 500 cubits by 500 cubit or about 750 feet by 750 feet. The Mishnah was compiled at least 130 years after the Romans destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, which was after all eye witnesses had died. But Josephus was an eye witness of the attack on Jerusalem. He wrote his history shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem. More than likely Josephus' measurements of the size of the Temple Mount are close to correct. Also we see that the present shape of the Temple Mount is radically different from a square shaped structure. The shape of the present Temple Mount is a trapezoid. The dimensions of Moses' Tabernacle and Solomon's Temple were proportional (nm661 [664]). The Jews for religious reasons would not have allowed the enclosure for the Temple to be an odd shape. An area 930 by1600 by 1040 by 1560 is not even close to a proportional shape. There is something wrong here.

Present Flat Temple Mount

The present flat "Temple Mount" is not a flattened hill, but a built-up hill. The walls surrounding the hill were used as retaining walls in order to fill in the lower sides of the hill and make a flat area on top. This method of building a flat platform was a common practice then and is still used today. Josephus mentions this method in Book 15, Chapter 11, Paragraph 3 of his Antiquities of the Jews.  The high walls also made it difficult for invaders to get inside the walled area. A survey and topographical drawing of the hill was done by Warren in the late 19 century (The Survey of Western Palestine, by Col. Sir Charles Warren, K.C.M.G., R.E., and Capt. Claude Reigner Conder, R.E., 1884).

Topographical Survey of Temple Mount
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How Flat Mounts are built
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Also the area south of today's "Temple Mount" has been lowered and leveled several times before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem; originally the mount south of today's "Temple Mount" was much higher (Ernest L. Martin, The Temples that Jerusalem forgot, chapters 22-23).

We all know where Jerusalem is, don’t we? And we all know where the Temple Mount is, don’t we? Or do we?

Jesus Christ, who we believe is God, predicted that Jerusalem and the Temple would be totally destroyed, down to their very foundations.

NAU Luke 19:41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43 "For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

NAU Luke 21:5 And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said, 6 "As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down."

In context of the rest of the scriptures, the truest sense of this destruction of Jerusalem is at the time of Christ’s coming (Mat 24:1-3):

NAU Matthew 24:1 Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down." 3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen [Temple buildings destroyed], and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

But this destruction probably also pointed to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans approximately 40 years after Christ’s death. Predictions in the Bible happen in cycles; and the cycles keep repeating themselves until they come true in the truest antitypical sense. We write a little about these cycles in our Prophecy Papers, especially part 5 (PR5). The Bible itself does not mention the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, but the Jewish historian, Josephus, did mention the destruction. Josephus was actually there and witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. What better proof than a real witness to the invasion? Of course, since Josephus’ writing is not a part of the Bible, his words are not inspired, and thus may be mistaken in part. Nevertheless, he is a witness and I don’t see why he would give a wrong description of the size and shape of Jerusalem. So let’s look at what Josephus said about Rome's invasion of Jerusalem and the physical description of this city.

Josephus Writing on the Destruction of Jerusalem

Entire City of Jerusalem and Holy Temple destroyed:

Book VII

1. NOW as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury, (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done,) Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison, as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind. (The Wars Of The Jews, book seven, chapter 1)

To conclude, when he entirely demolished the rest of the city, and overthrew its walls, he left these towers as a monument of his good fortune, which had proved his auxiliaries, and enabled him to take what could not otherwise have been taken by him. (War, book 6, chap 9, 1)

But later these same towers were also destroyed and the western wall of the City was also destroyed (Martin, Temples, pp. 15-17, 39-49). The western wall Josephus described was the western wall of the city, not the western wall of the Temple Mount -- "the wall as enclosed the city on the west side." Josephus elsewhere said that the western side of the city was the upper city, but the Temple was in the lower city on Mount Moriah (War, book 5, 4, 1), thus not near the western wall of the city. Thus the so-called western wall that the Jews worship at is supposed to be the western wall of the Temple Mount, but the Romans destroyed the temple and its wall, and only planned to save the western wall of the city so that future generation would see what a great city the Roman had destroyed. But as it turned out the Romans also destroyed the western wall of the city while only leaving fort Antonia as a monument to the Romans (see later). Thus the western wall that the Jews worship at is not the western wall of the Temple, but the western wall of something else. 

The suburbs of the city of Jerusalem also destroyed:

And now the Romans set fire to the extreme parts of the city, and burnt them down, and entirely demolished its walls. (War, book 6, chap 9, 4)

1. THUS did the miseries of Jerusalem grow worse and worse every day, and the seditious were still more irritated by the calamities they were under, even while the famine preyed upon themselves, after it had preyed upon the people. And indeed the multitude of carcasses that lay in heaps one upon another was a horrible sight, and produced a pestilential stench, which was a hindrance to those that would make sallies out of the city, and fight the enemy: but as those were to go in battle-array, who had been already used to ten thousand murders, and must tread upon those dead bodies as they marched along, so were not they terrified, nor did they pity men as they marched over them; nor did they deem this affront offered to the deceased to be any ill omen to themselves; but as they had their right hands already polluted with the murders of their own countrymen, and in that condition ran out to fight with foreigners, they seem to me to have cast a reproach upon God himself, as if he were too slow in punishing them; for the war was not now gone on with as if they had any hope of victory; for they gloried after a brutish manner in that despair of deliverance they were already in. And now the Romans, although they were greatly distressed in getting together their materials, raised their banks in one and twenty days, after they had cut down all the trees that were in the country that adjoined to the city, and that for ninety furlongs round about, as I have already related. And truly the very view itself of the country was a melancholy thing; for those places which were before adorned with trees and pleasant gardens were now become a desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down: nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change: for the war had laid all the signs of beauty quite waste: nor if any one that had known the place before, had come on a sudden to it now, would he have known it again; but though he were at the city itself, yet would he have inquired for it notwithstanding. (War, book 6, chap1, paragraph )

City dug up to its foundations by the Romans to retrieve the Jewish treasures hidden underground:

And as he [Titus] came to Jerusalem in his progress, and compared the melancholy condition he saw it then in, with the ancient glory of the city, and called to mind the greatness of its present ruins, as well as its ancient splendor, he could not but pity the destruction of the city, so far was he from boasting that so great and goodly a city as that was had been by him taken by force; nay, he frequently cursed those that had been the authors of their revolt, and had brought such a punishment upon the city; insomuch that it openly appeared that he did not desire that such a calamity as this punishment of theirs amounted to should be a demonstration of his courage. Yet was there no small quantity of the riches that had been in that city still found among its ruins, a great deal of which the Romans dug up; but the greatest part was discovered by those [ Jews] who were captives, and so they [Romans] carried it away; I mean the gold and the silver, and the rest of that most precious furniture which the Jews had, and which the owners had treasured up under ground, against the uncertain fortunes of war. (War, Book 7, 5, 2)

Foundations of Holy Temple Dug Up

And I cannot but wish that we had all died before we had seen that holy city demolished by the hands of our enemies, or the foundations of our holy temple dug up after so profane a manner. But since we had a generous hope that deluded us, as if we might perhaps have been able to avenge ourselves on our enemies on that account, though it be now become vanity, and hath left us alone in this distress, let us make haste to die bravely. (War, Book 7, chap 8, 7)

City Burned; Jews' Archives Burned

So he [Titus] ordered this proclamation to be made to them, That they should no more come out to him as deserters, nor hope for any further security; for that he would henceforth spare nobody, but fight them with his whole army; and that they must save themselves as well as they could; for that he would from henceforth treat them according to the laws of war. So he gave orders to the soldiers both to burn and to plunder the city [Jerusalem]; who did nothing indeed that day; but on the next day they set fire to the repository of the archives, to Acra [lower city], to the council-house, and to the place called Ophlas; at which time the fire proceeded as far as the palace of queen Helena, which was in the middle of Acra; the lanes also were burnt down, as were also those houses that were full of the dead bodies of such as were destroyed by famine. (War, Book 7, chap 6, 3)

Fort Antonia Spared

City of Jerusalem Demolished to its very foundations, but Fort Antonia was Spared from the Total Destruction of Jerusalem

This was Eleazar's speech to them [of Masada].... And where is now that great city, the metropolis of the Jewish nation, which vas fortified by so many walls round about, which had so many fortresses and large towers to defend it, which could hardly contain the instruments prepared for the war, and which had so many ten thousands of men to fight for it? Where is this city that was believed to have God himself inhabiting therein? It is now demolished to the very foundations, and hath nothing but that monument of it preserved, I mean the camp of those [Romans] that hath destroyed it, which [the camp] still dwells upon [or over] its ruins; some unfortunate old men also lie upon the ashes of the temple, and a few women are there preserved alive by the enemy, for our bitter shame and reproach. (War, Book 7, chap 8, 7)

The camp of the Romans that remained was Fort Antonia or the “tower” of Antonia. Although Titus “gave orders to his soldiers that were with him to dig up the foundations of the tower of Antonia” (War, Book 6, chap 2, 1), he only gave these orders when the Jewish forces had held the fort for a time. Only some of the foundation of Fort Antonia was overthrown (War, book 6, 2, 7), since later the fort became an encampment for him and his troops: “So Titus retired into the tower of Antonia, and resolved to storm the Temple the next day, early in the morning, with his whole army, and to encamp round about the holy house.” (War, book 6, 4, 5)

Fort Antonia built over or around a rock; "Temple Mount" built around a rock

According to Josephus (War, book 5, chap 5, 8) Fort Antonia was built around a huge rock 75 feet high (50 cubits). Today's "Temple Mount" also is built around a huge rock that is now covered over by the Dome of the Rock.

Fort Antonia had stairs going down from it to the Temple; "Temple Mount" has stairs on south side

On the south side of Fort Antonia adjacent to the Temple were passages or stairs down to the cloisters that connected the Fort to the Temple (War, book 5, chap 5, 8). These are the same stairs that the Roman soldiers came down from the higher Fort  (camp [parembole], "castle," or "barracks") to save Paul from the Jews (Act 21:30-40). Today, if you go to Jerusalem, you can see these same steps on the south side of the so-called Temple Mount.

Stairs going down to real Temple Mount area
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Fort Antonia had a moat on its north side; "Temple Mount" has moat on north side

According to Warren's excavation in Jerusalem in the 19th century "there is a moat between the Dome of the Rock and the El-Omariah School." (The Hidden Secrets of the Temple Mount, Tuvia Sagiv) This school is just north of the Temple Mount, therefore the moat is just north of the so-called Temple Mount:

"The Moat: The Ancient Moat exists today between the Dome of the Rock and The El Omariah school. Though filled in with dirt and planted as a garden, the location of this moat is just North of the edge of the paved Platform [Temple Mount]. According to the conventional theories, the El Omariah school is the site of the Antonia Fortress. Therefore the Moat would have been located between the Temple and the Antonia Fortress. However, according to the literary sources, the Moat was located to the North of the Antonia Fortress! If this moat is indeed the moat mentioned in the historical sources, the Antonia Fortress should be situated South of this moat. The logical location for a defensive moat protecting the Northern approach to Fortress Antonia and the City, would be immediately to the North of Antonia." (The Hidden Secrets of the Temple Mount, Fig. 24, by Tuvia Sagiv, found on Internet at: )

Josephus also described a moat on the north side of Fort Antonia as being a "deep valley dug on purpose" and the "depth of the ditch made the elevation of the towers more remarkable" ((War, book 5, chap 4, 2).  This moat or "ditch" was built in order to keep Fort Antonia "from joining to this hill ["Bezetha," north of the fort], and thereby affording an opportunity for getting to it with ease, and hindering the security that arose from its superior elevation." In other words, ignoring the awkward wording of the translation of Josephus's book, this "ditch" was a moat that helped to keep invaders out of the fort by having the moat separate the fort from the hill.

Original Jerusalem was located on a Crescent-Shaped Hill

Josephus in his Wars of the Jews (book 5, chapter 4) said that Jerusalem was built on two main hills. The first hill, the upper city since it was higher, was built on the higher western hill, which in the past was mistakenly named Zion. The upper city of Christ and Josephus's time was apparently, according to Martin, built in the second or third century BC and was continually built until the time of the apostles (p. 267). (Today's writings of Josephus also mistakenly called this upper hill David's Citadel.) Josephus then describes the lower eastern hill as a crescent-shaped hill on which the lower city of Jerusalem was built:

But the other hill [as opposite to the upper western part of the city] was called "Acra," and sustains the lower city, is of the shape of a moon when she is horned [crescent-shaped hill] (War, book 5, ch 4, Para 1)

He then mentions a third hill over against the crescent shaped hill but then says this hill was originally ["naturally"] lower than the lower city of Acra, but that Acra had been cut down in the past. He also mentioned that there was a valley between the upper and lower city; he called this valley the "Valley of the Cheese-mongers," but today we call it the Tyropoeon Valley. The Tyropoeon Valley today has been partially filled in over the ages with garbage and land fill. Martin gives us other quotes from others that also call Jerusalem a crescent-shaped city (pp 267-268).

Alfred Edersheim in his book on The Temple also gives information as to the shape of the part of Jerusalem that was called Acra in Josephus's time:

To the north and the east, opposite Zion, and divided from it by the deep Tyropoeon Valley were the crescent-shaped Acra [lower city] and Moriah, the latter [Acra] with Ophel as its southern outrunner.” (Chap 1, “Four Hills,” Alfred Edersheim, The Temple)

Edersheim was not an eye witness to topography of Jerusalem, he took his information mainly from Josephus and other sources, but here he agrees that Jerusalem, at least the lower city of Jerusalem (Acra) was crescent-shaped. He did make a mistake by saying that Zion was on the western hill. He made this mistake because at the time Edersheim wrote it was a mistaken notion that the western hill was Zion. Although not clear from this quote, Edersheim also mistakenly located Mount Moriah outside of the lower city (Acra). Today, the City of David is almost universally identified as being located on the crescent-shaped hill. And from scripture we know that Zion and the City of David are one in the same (2 Sam 5:7). The upper city did not exist in David's time, and it was David and Solomon who located and set the location of the Temple -- on Mount Moriah, as God had directed through Abraham and scripture.

Crescent-shaped Jerusalem
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Is Today's Temple Mount the Same Temple Mount of Jesus Christ's Time?

From the information above, we see that the present size and shape of today's Temple Mount is radically different to the eye-witnessing account of Josephus. Also very important are the predictions made by Jesus Christ when he predicted that Jerusalem and its temple would be completely destroyed (see above). But today we see that the so-called Temple Mount wall structure has as many as 10,000 large stones (Martin, p. 12, 20-21). An important book by Ernest L. Martin called The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot (copyright 2000) brings these and other contractions to the world's attention. We don't agree with all the information in Marin's book, nevertheless, it is an important book because it helps us to remove an old mindset that may be blinding us to the real location of the Temple Mount. Is the present Temple Mount in Jerusalem the real Temple Mount of David and Solomon? If not, the mistake will have repercussions for today and for the prophecy pertaining to the Beast. If the present Temple Mount is not the real one, then Israel will be free to build one on its true location without bringing too much flack from the Arabs. Today both the Arabs and Jews believe that the "Temple Mount" is in the same location as the holy Dome of the Rock and much antagonism, fighting, and killing have occurred due to this and other old wounds between the Arabs and Jews.

Biblical Evidence for the Location of the Temple Mount

Let's see what the Bible has to say about the Temple Mount. After all it is the words of the Bible that supercede all other works of mankind.

Abraham and the Hill of Moriah

Abraham was told by God to go to the "land of Moriah" and to offer his son as a burnt offering "on one of the mountains" in this land of Moriah ( Gen 22:2). Of course, God was not telling Abraham to kill his son, but this was said to him as a shadow of the true sacrifice of God's son, Jesus Christ, in this very same area. Abraham here represented God the Father allowing his own son to be sacrificed for the sins of mankind. God provided a substitute lamb for Abraham to sacrifice (Gen 22:14) "in the mount of the LORD it shall be seen." This lamb of Abraham's time was a shadow of the real Lamb of God, who was Jesus Christ. See and read the God Papers for more detailed information.

Jerusalem is the Same City of the Jebusites and Melchizedek, and the Same City of David and also called Fort Zion

In Abraham's time Jerusalem was also called Salem and was the city of King Melchizedek (Gen 14:18). This Salem is the same city as Zion (Psa 76:2), and Zion is the city of Jerusalem and the city of David, and the city of the Jebusites:

NAU 2 Samuel 5:6 Now the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, and they said to David, "You shall not come in here, but the blind and lame will turn you away"; thinking, "David cannot enter here." 7 Nevertheless, David captured the stronghold [fort] of Zion, that is the city of David. 8 David said on that day, "Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him reach the lame and the blind, who are hated by David's soul, through the water tunnel." Therefore they say, "The blind or the lame shall not come into the house." 9 So David lived in the stronghold [fort] and called it the city of David. And David built all around from the Millo and inward.

As we see this city was also called a fort or stronghold. In some translations it describes this fort as the Ophel (2 Ch 33:14; etc), which is a transliteration of the Hebrew, which also means fort or stronghold.

Solomon Builds Temple on Mount Moriah

King Solomon built the Temple on the very mount Moriah where Abraham was going to sacrifice his son, and this area was the place that David had prepared, which was at one time the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

NAU 2 Chronicles 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

Jehovah of Hosts dwells on Mount Moriah (Zion)

NAU Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.

This is also called God's Holy Mountain (Isa 27:13; 56:7; Dan 9:16) or Holy Hill (Jer 31:23) or the Holy Place (Dan 8:11), and thus the Holy City (Isa 52:1).

Jerusalem to be the World Headquarters of the Kingdom of God

At the end of the old age, this very hill, Mount Moriah, will be the capital of the worldwide Kingdom of God:

NAU Zechariah 14:1 Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. 5 ...  9 And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one. 10 All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin's Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king's wine presses. 11 People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security. 12 ... 16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18 If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the LORD smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.

Acts 1:11 They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away.

The Apostles saw Christ the God go up to heaven from the mount of Olives and Acts 1:11-12 tells us he will return in like matter, except that he will come down from heaven (instead of going up) to rule as King of Kings in Jerusalem for as Zech 14:4 said "In that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem's on the east." With Christ will be the saints coming with him and this will be the Spiritual Jerusalem coming down from heaven (Rev 3:12; 21:2; 21:10).

Temple Mount was close to a Water Source

When we look at the lower city of Jerusalem on its crescent-shaped hill we notice that directly oppose to the center of the hill is a water spring that dates back at least 3000 years. This water source helps us to identify the real location of the original Jerusalem, which was the City of David, which was Zion, which was Mount Moriah, which was the hill God's Temple was built on, which was the location of the Temple in Christ's time, which was the location of the Temple destroyed by the Romans, which is the location of the new Temple where the Beast will stand (just before Christ's return) and through blasphemy will call himself God.

Gihon Spring

The Gihon Spring is the only spring within five miles of Jerusalem. Water was vital and important to any ancient city. It was also important for the Holy Temple, with its many rituals of cleansing. There is a "spring" located about a third of a mile south of Jerusalem, called En-Rogel or the Rogel Spring, but it is actually a well, not a spring (Martin, p. 292-292). Psalm 87:1-3, 7 mention springs of water in Zion or Jerusalem. Since the Gihon Spring is the only true spring of water within five miles of Jerusalem, then it is this spring that was within Jerusalem. The so-called Warren Shaft, rediscovered in the middle of the 19th century leads from the Gihon Spring to summit of the Ophel, and may well have been the source of water for the Temple. Hezekiah made an aqueduct (2 Chron 32:30) that took water from the Gihon Spring and brought water into the city of Jerusalem. This aqueduct is actually a tunnel that runs under the city of David leading to a pool on the west side of the lower city. This tunnel is also called Siloam tunnel. Two other aqueducts have also been discovered coming from the spring (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, p. 1229): one on a lower level and one on a higher level than Hezekiah's. Martin points to other scripture that point (through type and antitype) to the existence of a spring of water in Jerusalem (chapter 20-21). This spring was the "fountain of Israel" (Psa 68:24-26; Jer 17:12-13; etc.).  This spring in no way comes up into today's Temple Mount, but did/does come up through the Warren Shaft and Hezekiah's tunnel into the City of David, the original  Jerusalem, which is south of today's so-called Temple Mount. This is another indication that the real location of the Temple Mount is south of today's Temple Mount and across from the Gihon Spring. From the Holman Bible Atlas (1998):

The Jebusite city David conquered was about ten acres in size, concentrated on the southeastern hill above the Gihon Spring (2 Sam 5). The water supply system of this era has been thoroughly explored. From inside the city's fortifications on the east, an entrance chamber and tunnel led down to a vertical shaft thirteen meters deep (known today as Warren's Shaft) directly over another horizonal [sic] tunnel that brought water from the Gihon Spring. (p. 113)

 More detail on the factor of the Gihon Spring is found in Martin's book.

Hezekiah's Tunnel
[click to enlarge]

Hezekiah's Tunnel
[click to enlarge]

Warren's Shaft
[click to enlarge]

City of David
as it looks today
[click to enlarege]

More pictures of the tunnel here

In this very short  review of scripture we see how important the Temple Mount area was. Also we know that the Beast (man of sin) will stand up in the Temple at the end of the age and claim to be God (2 Thes 2:4; see PR3). But we have also seen that today's Temple Mount area is too large, is the wrong shape, and has too many stones still standing for the wall to be the remains of the real Temple Mount. From this and other evidence we can see the possibility that today's Temple Mount is not the real Temple Mount of Solomon or the Temple Mount of Christ's time. Christ predicted that the Temple and the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed, but scripture also said that the Beast would stand in the Temple at the end of the world. There is no Temple now standing. And today's Temple Mount may not even be the real one. Can Israel or anyone else change the place of the Temple Mount? No. God put much emphasis on the exact location of the Temple. It was to be on a certain hill that God pointed out to Abraham and only that hill.

Where then is Today's Temple Mount?

As Martin goes a long way toward proving in his book, today's Temple Mount is actually the camp of the Romans called by some, Fort Antonia. Fort Antonia was the only structure left after the Roman invasion of Jerusalem. It was only spared because it was a Roman fort, and not really a part of Jerusalem. Therefore, today's Jews are worshipping at the western wall of the Fort that the Romans used to destroy Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. What an irony. The real Temple Mount is south of today's false Temple Mount. The real Temple Mount should be across from the Gihon Spring in the area called Ophel.

Real Location of the Holy Temple
[click to enlarge]

This paper was origianlly written and/or posted on May 6, 2001                         Home




The Ophel, the biblical name apparently given to a certain part of a settlement or city that is elevated from its surroundings, probably means fortified hill or risen area. In the Hebrew Bible the Ophel refers to a specific part in two cities: the extended City of David (the oldest part of Jerusalem), as in the Book of Chronicles and the Book of Nehemiah (2 Chronicles 27:3; 33:14, Nehemiah 3:26; 11:21), and at Samaria, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Israel, mentioned in the Second Book of Kings (2 Book of Kings 5:24). The Mesha Stele is the only extra-biblical source using the word, also in connection to a fortified area.

Ophel, with article ha-ophel, is a common noun known from two Ancient Semitic languages, Biblical Hebrew and Moabitic.[3] As a place name or description it appears several times in the Hebrew Bible and once on the Mesha Stele from Moab.[3] There is no ultimate agreement as to its exact meaning, and scholars have long been trying to deduce it from the different contexts it appears in.[3] When used as a common noun, it has been translated as "tumors" (1 Samuel 5:9, 12; 6:5), and in a verbal form it was taken to mean "puffed up" (Habakkuk 2:4), this indicating that the root might be associated with "swelling".[3] When referring to a place, it seems from the context to mean either hill, or fortified place, or a mixture of the two, i.e. a fortified hill, and by considering the presumed meaning of the root, it might signify a "bulging or rounded" fortification.[3]

Biblical verses in which it has been translated either as "fortified place " (tower, citadel, stronghold etc.) or "hill" are 2 Kings 5:24, 2 Chronicles 27:3 and 33:14, Isaiah 32:14, Nehemiah 3:26 and 11:21, and Micah 4:8.[3] On the Mesha Stele, named for the king of Moab who erected it, Mesha says: "I built Q-R-CH-H (? Karhah), the wall of ye'arim [forests], and the wall of ophel and I built its gates and I built its towers."[3] Here ophel is commonly translated as "citadel".[4]

{From Wikileaks on Jan 4, 2017}


Threshing Floor of Ornan is the place of Jerusalem
Also called Bethel, City [House] of David, Mt Moriah, Zion, Salem, Luz, etc.

A threshing floor is a flat area of land, many times on a hill close or at the edge of a city or farm, where grain from the field was threshed (removing the grain/seed from the husks/straw) and winnowed (removing the chaff from the grain by use of the wind after throwing up the grain in the air). The wind blows away the lighter chaff.

The Temple of King Solomon was built on/near the threshing floor of Ornan, the Jebusite. The threshing floor site was bought by King David for 600 shekels of gold to build an altar for God. [1 Chron 21:22-25] The Oxen and fire wood for the sacrifice was bought by David from Ornan/Araunah for 50 shekels also. [2 Sam 24:18-25]

2Ch 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the BeComingOne in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where [the BeComingOne] had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan [Araunah] the Jebusite. [2 Sam 24:18]

This Moriah is in the same place as Zion, the City of David. [2 Sam 5:7] This is the same place where David build his fort (stronghold, gated city). [2 Sam 5:9] The same place is Salem [Psa 76:2], where Melchizedek king of Salem was a priest of God. [Gen 14:18] The same place is Jerusalem (Jeru-Salem). Since salem means "peace," [Heb 7:2] it is by some called the, city of peace. This is the same place of the dream of Jacob (ladder or stairway to heaven) which he called Bethel ("house of God") and was once called Luz, where he also set up a stone pillar and built there also an altar as David also did many years later. [Gen 28:18-22; 35:1, 6, 14-15; Judges 1:22-26]

Pertaining to the location of Bethel and Ai : Outside of the many Biblical verses above, Bethel's connection to the Gilon Spring and the archaeological finds over the last 200 years at the site of Jerusalem (which is a lot of evidence), there is no hard evidence for the physical location of Bethel or of Ai (see). Knowing this, then it is possible that Abraham's "Bethel" is actually the real place of Jerusalem and not the "Bethel" we see on today's maps. There may have been two cities of Bethel as there were two Luz's (Judges 1:22-26) or maybe the Bethel of Abraham was simply misplaced by modern students and there is only one Bethel-- Jacob's Bethel. Bethel simply means "house of God." Any city king could have built a temple (house of god) and then named the area, Bethel. Very few city locations from the Bible are certain. Even the old City of David was misidentified up until the late 19th century. It was misidentified as being on the western hill and not the lower hill above the Gihon spring. But today the place of the original Jerusalem (Bethel, Zion, etc.) is certain because of scriptural descriptions and archaeological finds.

Mount Moriah with it's Dome of the Rock is not the real location for the Mount of Moriah. The real location is the hill that existed in David's time that held the threshing floor he purchased from Ornan. The real Mount Moriah is in the land of Moriah as mentioned in Genesis 22:2 where Abraham was to sacrifice his son Isaac. [Gen 22:2-14] The so-called foundation stone on top of today's "Temple Mount" is nothing but the top of a 75 foot high rock that Josephus said Ft. Antonia was built over and around. [Josephus, Wars, V.5,8, see Greek text] This rock was the area called the Praetorium, where Christ was judged by Pilate. [Mark 15:16] This Praetorim (also called a Palace) was the Roman fort (Ft. Antonia) north of the Temple and thus was unclean for the Jews. [John 18:28-29] See Ernest L. Martin's book, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, for greater details, and connect to the documents and films below for further information.

Thus, this same place may well be, and probably is, the same place Abram (Abraham) built an altar to God and called upon his name. [Gen 12:8] This may well be where Abram returned after the time he spent in Egypt; he had gone to Egypt because there was a famine in the land of the Canaanites. [Gen 12:20-13:4] This may well be the place where Abraham took his son Isaac, after he sojouned in the land of the Philistines for many days, to sacrifice him because God was testing him. [Gen 21:34-22:1-10] God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son Isaac and instead Abraham sacrificed a lamb [Gen 22:11-14], which typically represented God's sacrifice of his son Jesus in the Jerusalem area-- the same area where Abraham attempted to sacrifice his son.

Some info and speculation about the name Jerusalem can be found here.


More info:

Note: I don't agree with everything said in these links below, but it will give you a general idea of the truth.

Go here first: Temple Mount? or

Info about the City of David and archaeology finds: and and

Go here for arguments against those who don't believe the position I took above: and and here and

George Wesley Buchanan interview (Jan 2009) about the location of the temple; he also beleives now that the real temple must have been right by the Gihon Spring. Here

There is a new film (DVD), Jerusalem and the Lost Temple of the Jews, pertaining to this subject. Be sure to take a look at it and buy it from:

Ken Klein Productions (DVD)
or stream it from Amazon for a small fee:


Other Links concerning Jerusalem:

Gihon Spring and here and here and here (film) and here (strange markings)

[Four Photos above taken in a cave on the hill above the Gihon spring]

and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here

Scripture: here

David's Palace: here and here

YouTube movies pertaining to the Temple Mount: here and here and here
and here



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