End Times Prophecy (Eschatology) Premillennial
Premillennial Temple Study Part 1
Temple Study Part 2
Premillennial Temple Study
Premillennial Temple Study Part 4
Premillennial Temple Study Part 5
Temple Study Part 6
Premillennial Temple Study
Premillennial Temple Study Part 8
Premillennial Temple Study Part 9
Temple Study Part 10
Premillennial Temple Study
Premillennial Temple Study Part 12
Premillennial Temple Study Part 13
Temple Study Part 14
Premillennial Temple Study
Geniza Documents: the Temple was South of the Moriah Platform
records, called the Geniza documents, found at a synagogue in Egypt
record that Umar the Second Caliph allowed some Jewish families to resettle in
The Cairo Geniza – The Cairo
Geniza is an accumulation of almost
manuscripts that were found in the genizah
or store room of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat, presently
Geniza – A genizah (or geniza;
plural: genizot or genizoth or genizahs)
is the store-room or depository in a synagogue
(or cemetery), usually specifically for worn-out Hebrew-language books and papers
on religious topics that were stored there before they could receive a proper
cemetery burial, it being forbidden to throw away writings containing the name
of God (even personal letters and legal contracts could open with an invocation
of God). In practice, genizot also contained
writings of a secular nature, with or without the customary opening invocation,
and also contained writings in other languages that use the Hebrew alphabet (Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian,
Yiddish)….By far, the best-known genizah, which is famous
for both its size and spectacular contents, is the Cairo Geniza,
discovered in 1864 by Jacob Saphir, and chiefly studied by Solomon Schechter.
the works found in the Cairo Geniza is a document referred to as Sefer HaYishuv.
Sefer HaYishuv (which in Hebrew means, “Book of Settlement”) records the account
of Jewish families who wished to live in Jerusalem
during the time of Omar (Umar), the second caliph. Umar lived between 586 and
– Umar (c.
586-590 CE – 7 November
644), also known as
Umar the Great or Farooq
the Great was the most powerful of
the four Rashidun
Caliphs and one of the most powerful and influential Muslim rulers.
He was a sahaba
(companion) of the Islamic prophetMuhammad.
He succeeded Caliph Abu Bakr
(632–634) as the second Caliph
of Rashidun Caliphate on 23 August634. – wikipedia.org
following quotes indicate that these Jewish families wished to live near the site
of their former Temple.
They designate the Temple’s
location specifically as the southern part near the waters of Siloam (Shiloah).
When the Caliph Omar visited Jerusalem shortly after the
conquest, he asked the Jews: ‘Where would you wish to live in the city? And they
answered, in the southern part; and that is the marketplace of the Jews.’ Their intention was
to be close to the temple and its gates,
as well as the waters of Siloam for ritual bathing. The Emir of the Believers granted this to
them. – Sepher HaYishuv, quoted from Getting Jerusalem Together, Archeological
Seminar Ltd., by Fran Alpert, p. 32
decreed that seventy households should come. They agreed to that. After that he
asked: “Where do you wish to live within the city?’
They replied, ‘In the southern section of the city, which is the market of the
Jews.’ Their request was to enable them
to be near the site of the Temple
and its gates, as well as to the water of Shiloah, which could be used
for immersion. The Emir of Believers granted them this. So seventy households
including women and children moved from Tiberias and established settlements in
buildings whose foundations had stood many generations. – quoted from Reuven Hammer,
The Jerusalem Anthology,
how Moshe Gil records this. “A section
of the Jewish chronicle mentioned above [from the Geniza documents], which
was copied (or written) sometime during the eleventh century, notes that, when they [the Tiberias Jewish authorities] spoke with Umar [or, Omar]
about the possibility of a renewed Jewish community in Jerusalem, the Jews asked
for permission to settle in the southern part [my emphasis] of the city, near the gates
of the ‘Holy Site’ (that is, the Temple) and near the pool of Siloam. 320 On receiving Umar’s consent, the Jews
proceeded to build there, using construction materials that were readily available
and that had previously been used in the old, now ruined structures. According
to this source, the area in which the Jews took up residence is the site of the
Jewish marketplace ‘to this very day’.” – “The Jewish Community” in The
History of Jerusalem, p.171. Words in parentheses are Gil’s, quoted
from Ernest L. Martin, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, p. 244
to these Jewish records of the seventh century, the Jews at that time believed
that their Temple was on the southern portion of
Jerusalem in the
area of Davidic Jerusalem south of the Moriah Platform.
fact that the Jews believed their Temple was south of the Moria Platform is confirmed
by several facts from the Geniza documents. First, the Muslims were already building
shrines on the Moriah Platform site at this period. Muslim constructions included
a small prayer house at the location of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the very southern
end of the platform.
Al-Aqsa Mosque – The al-Aqsa
Mosque was originally a small prayer house built by the Rashidun
during this period Muslims were also building houses just south of the Moriah
Platform. Buildings in this location are from the Umayyad Period in the seventh
century AD. Also notice from the quote below that the Dome of the Rock, which
is even farther north than the al-Aqsa Mosque, was completed in 692. Coupled with
construction of the al-Aqsa Mosque, this means that the entire Moriah Platform
underwent Muslim construction projects during earlier in the seventh century.
Caliphate - Banu Umayyah, Umayyad Caliphate,
661–750...The Umayyad Caliphate
the second of the four Islamic caliphates established after the death of Muhammad.
It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams,
the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph....Abd al-Malik (685-705), who
reconsolidated Umayyad control of the caliphate....The second major event of the early reign
of Abd al-Malik was the construction of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Although the chronology
remains somewhat uncertain, the building seems to have been completed in 692.
of the quotes below were taken from the website of the Jerusalem
This is the archeological organization that oversees the area from the Moriah
Platform to the Hinnom
Valley. (Photos of archeological
remains from these houses are available online at the web addresses listed with
– About Us – The Jerusalem
Israel’s most important antiquity
site, reaches the Temple Mount on the north, the slope of the Mount of Olives
and the Kidron Valley
on the east, and the Valley
of Hinnom on the west and
the south. – http://www.archpark.org.il/...
the photos at the websites show these Umayyah houses were being built during the
seventh century at around the same time that the Jewish families from Cairo requested
to live in the southern part of of Jerusalem near the Pool of Siloam near the
The remains of the Umayyad palaces from the
early Islamic period temple mount in the back ground – http://www.photozion.com/...
Byzantine residential house: A Byzantine residential house (6th-7th C AD) was uncovered under the Umayyad
palace on the south side of the temple mount. The plastered walls and mosaic
floor of one of the rooms are seen in the following photo. The mosaic stones are white, and the decorations
are red and black. There are other rooms, rock-cut cavities and courtyards. –
M. Kenyon (1961-1967) – In 1965 Kenyon cut a section (j) in order to investigate
the western face of the Ottoman wall, at the point that it turns northward to
the Temple Mount, opposite the Double (Hulda) Gate. She cut another section (SI)
on the eastern side of the southeastern corner of the Temple
Mount. Here she uncovered
Byzantine dwellings built atop a rock cutting (5 m high) that continued the line
of the eastern wall; these she dated to the late Roman period. At a distance of 10 m to the south of the
Al-Aqsa mosque Kenyon unearthed wall tops of a massive building dating to the
Byzantine period. Three years later Mazar identified these remains as Building
II of the Umayyad period. – http://www.archpark.org.il/...
excavation revealed important data on the history of Early Islamic Jerusalem.
Four edifices, about 90 x 90 m each, were
unearthed and dated to the Umayyad period (7th-8th centuries CE). These buildings
are probably part of an official facility erected by the caliph Al-Walid, and
shedding new light on the status of Jerusalem during the Islamic
period. – http://www.archpark.org.il/excavations2.shtml
19: An Umayyad Building South of the Huldah Gates – An
imposing public building from the Umayyad period stands south of the staircase
leading up to the Huldah gates. Like the building to the west (see Tour 1,
Site 13), this structure has rectangular rooms, arranged around a central courtyard
surrounded by porticoes. – http://www.archpark.org.il/...
13: The Umayyad Palace
South of the South Wall – A large building occupies the space between the south
wall of the Temple Mount and the present Old City
wall. It was built by the Umayyad rulers
in the early years of Muslim rule in Jerusalem (second half of the seventh and first
half of the eighth centuries CE). Judging from the sheer size of the building,
its location (adjacent to the Temple Mount)
and the details of its plan, it was probably a palace. Restoration and reconstruction
work has been carried out at the site. The palace extends from the Temple
Mount in the north beneath the Old City
wall in the south, and from the main entrance in the west to the Ottoman city
wall in the east (the Umayyad wall is narrower than the Ottoman wall above it
and is built of lighter-colored stones). – http://www.archpark.org.il/...
construction of Muslim shrines and houses at the southern end of the Moriah Platform
coupled with the Jewish desire to live in the south near the Pool of Siloam makes
it clear that the Jews did not identify the Moriah Platform as the location of
their Temple. Instead, they wished to live south of these Muslim areas. And it
was this area south of the Moriah Platform that Jews of the seventh century identified
as the location of their Temple.
should also take note of that Geniza documents record that the Jews also mentioned
the gates of their former Temple. It is true that all ancient structures
had gates or entrances. The identification of various gates on the Moriah Platform
with names used in the Mishnah or the Bible for the gates of the Temple
in itself does nothing to prove that the platform’s gates actually belonged to
the Temple. On the contrary, the Geniza documents
indicate that Jews at the time of the seventh century AD believed that the gates
of their Temple
were not on the Moriah Platform as is held today. Instead, they believed the Temple’s gates were south
of the platform near the waters of Shiloah. This is a reference to the Gihon Spring
and the Pool of Siloam.
Siloam – Siloam is an ancient Greek name derived from the more ancient Hebrew Shiloah. the Arabic: Silwan,
was derived form the Greek, Siloam. It
is an ancient site in Jerusalem, south of the Old City….Siloam
is the site of the >Pool of Siloam, the outlet of the waters of the Gihon Spring.
of Siloam – Pool of Siloam is a rock-cut pool on the southern slope of the City of David (believed to be the original site
of Jerusalem) now outside the walls of the Old City to the southeast. The pool was fed by the waters
of the Gihon Spring – wikipedia.org
seventh century facts can be illustrated in a diagram showing the location of
the seventh century Muslim buildings in relation to the area where the Jewish
families requested to live. (See Umayyad Diagram.)
that the Temple was near the Pool of Siloam which
is nearby the Valley of Hinnom.
Umar’s own work to identify the site of the Temple
resulted in a location somewhere near the Valley of Hinnom.
(We must remember that the account of Eutychius indicates that the site of the
Temple had not been built
upon by Romans or Byzantines. And yet both groups had built on the Moriah Platform.)
Here is Eutychius’ account of Umar being shown the site of the Temple by Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem.
Omar said to him: ‘You owe me a rightful debt. Give me a place in which I
might build a sanctuary.’ The patriarch
said to him: ‘I will give to the Commander of the Faithful a place to build
a sanctuary where the kings of Rum were unable
to build. It is the rock where God spoke to Jacob and which Jacob called the
Gate of Heaven and the Israelites the Holy of Holies. It is in the center of the world and was a
Temple for the Israelites,
who held it in great veneration and wherever they were they turned their faces
toward it during prayer. But on this condition, that you promise in a written
document that no other sanctuary wil be built inside of Jerusalem. Therefore, Omar ibn al-Khattab wrote him the
document on this matter and handed it over to him. [Sophronius then remarked that
this area was in ruins when] [t]hey were Romans when they embrace the Christian
religion, and Helena, the mother of Constantine
built the churches of Jerusalem.
The place of the rock and the area around it were deserted ruins and they poured dirt over the rock so that
great was the filth above it. The Byzantines,
however, neglected it and did not hold it in veneration, nor did they build a
church over it because Christ our Lord said in his Holy Gospel ‘Not a stone will
be left upon a stone which will not be ruined and devasted.’ For this reason,
the Christian left it as a ruin and did not build a church over it. So Sophronius
took Omar ibn al-Khattab by the hand and stood him over the filth. Omar, taking
hold of his cloak filled it with dirt and threw it into the Valley
of Gehenna. – Eutychius, translated by
F.E. Peters, Jerusalem, pp.189-190, citing frm D. Baldi,
Enchiridion Locoum Sanctorum, pp.447-8,
quoted by Earnest L. Martin, The Temples
that Jerusalem Forgot, p. 123, Footnote, 160
– Sophronius (560 in Damascus
– March 11, 638 in Jerusalem) was the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem
from 634 until his death,… died soon
after the fall of Jerusalem to the caliphUmar I in 637, but not before he had negotiated
the recognition of civil and religious liberty for Christians in exchange for
tribute - an agreement known as Umari Treaty. The caliph himself came to Jerusalem, and met with the
patriarch at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Sophronius invited
Umar to pray there, but Umar declined, fearing to endanger the Church's status
as a Christian temple. – wikipedia.org
Valley of Gehenna
(Hinnom) is located to the south of Davidic Jerusalem. Clearly, the site that
was shown to Umar was in a location nearby the Hinnom
Valley. The nearest location
is the area of Davidic Jerusalem. By contrast the Dome of the Rock is about .6
miles (1 km) north of the Hinnom
Valley. At this location
in the area of Davidic Jerusalem, Umar and his Muslim associates removed the garbage
that had accumulated over the Temple
since the early Byzantine Period. Clearly, these seventh century accounts involving
the Muslim Caliph and Jewish families relocating to Jerusalem indicate that the
Temple was south of the Moriah Platform.
the Temple, and the Dome of the
this point, we should also mention the modern convention that Umar built the Dome
of the Rock upon the site of the former Jewish Temples. First let us note that
this convention is based on an assumption that the Dome of the Rock is the site
of the Temple.
Therefore, it is also assumed that the site Sophronius showed Umar was the future
site of the current Dome of the Rock. In the previous section we examined historical
documents that contradict this notion.
modern descriptions of these events usually credit Ka’ab, a Jewish rabbi who had
converted to Islam, with showing Umar the site of the Temple.
al-Ahbar – Ka‘b
al-Ahbār (full name Abū
Ishaq Ka‘b ibn Mati‘ al-Humyari al-Ahbār) was a prominent rabbi
of the clan of Dhu Ra'in or Dhu al-Kila.…Kaab
accompanied Khalif Umar
in his voyage to Jerusalem (Al-Quds) He helped
locate the foundations of the ancient Jewish temple where Umar built the Aqsa
Mosque. He also helped later find the place of the Rock while he was looking for
the Holy of Holies. Umar cleaned it from rubble and fenced it and an Umayyad Khalif
later built the Dome of the Rock over it as an integral part of the Aqsa Mosque.
points must be made concerning the involvement of Ka’ab. While it is hard to deny
accounts of Ka’ab’s involvement, we must ask the question whether it is advisable
to trust the estimations of a Jewish rabbi converted to Islam. Whether Ka’ab’s
conversion was sincere or insincere doesn’t matter. Either way, his desire to
please the Caliph brings either his commitment to the truth or his ability to
evaluate the truth into question. In any case, Ka’ab seems not to have had a high
regard for earlier traditions and found it acceptable to discard them for new
trends. Additionally, we are talking about the views of a man who lived over 500
years after the Temple was destroyed and after
several centuries when Jews were not even allowed to enter the city of Jerusalem.
As such, whatever evidence Ka’ab’s account provides should be weighed accordingly
against earlier and more credible sources.
accordance with this, we must also note that these conventional explanations involving
Ka’ab do no account for the information that is provided by the historical documents
themselves. As we have seen, the accounts of Umar and Sophronius are provided
by the Arab-Christain historian Eutychius. This account clearly indicates that
the site of the Temple had not been built upon by the Romans
or Byzantines. In fact, the site was an area for dumping garbage. By contrast,
Eutychius reports that both the Romans and the Byzantines had built on the Moriah
Platform at the future site of the Dome of the Rock.
the mother of Constantine built the churches of
Jerusalem. The place
of the rock and the area around it were deserted ruins and they poured dirt over the rock so that great was the filth above it.
The Byzantines, however, neglected it and did not hold it in veneration, nor did
they build a church over it because Christ our Lord said in his Holy Gospel ‘Not
a stone will be left upon a stone which will not be ruined and devasted.’ For
this reason, the Christian left it as a ruin and did not build a church over it.
– Eutychius, translated by F.E. Peters, Jerusalem,
pp.189-190, citing frm D. Baldi, Enchiridion
Locoum Sanctorum, pp.447-8, quoted by Earnest L. Martin, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, p. 123,
Temple Mount – About 325
it is believed that Constantine's
mother, St. Helena, built a small church on the Mount
in the 4th century, calling it the Church
of St. Cyrus and St. John, later on enlarged and called the Church of the
Holy Wisdom. The church was later destroyed
and on its ruins the Dome of the Rock was built.
Since it is known that Helena ordered the Temple of Venus to the west of the
Temple Mount to be torn down to construct the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, presumably she also ordered the Temple of Jupiter on
the Temple Mount to be torn down to construct the Church of St. Cyrus and St.
John. – wikipedia.org
to modern conventions which identify the Dome of the Rock with the site of the
Temple, the historical record of Umar and the Temple
identifies a location for the Temple
that was not on the Moriah Platform. Instead, the site of the Temple
was near the Gihon Spring, the Pool of Siloam, and the Valley of Hinnom.
These areas are all south of the Moriah Platform and the Umayyah buildings and
Muslim shrines that were being built in the seventh century. And again, the site
of the Temple
was a garbage dump that had not been built on by the Romans or Byzantines. In
contrast, the Romans and Byzantines built upon the Moriah Platform at the site
of the Dome of the Rock.
reports from a later date provide alternate versions of the discovery of the Temple
site by Umar. The account below is the record given by the thirteenth century
rabbi, Isaac ben Joseph of Corbeil.
ben Joseph of Corbeil – Isaac ben Joseph of Corbeil (13th
century) was a French rabbi and Tosefist who flourished in the second half of the thirteenth century. – wikipedia.org
to Isaac ben Joseph, Umar learned of the site of the Temple
from an old man. Like Eutychius, Isaac ben Joseph notes that the site of the Temple was used by the uncircumcised
Byzantines as a place to dump gargage. He also reports that Umar and his associates
cleansed the site of the garbage.
the words of a Jewish visitor in 1334 C.E., Isaac ben Joseph: The king, who
had made a vow to build up again the ruins of the sacred edifice, if God put the
in his power, demanded of the Jews that
they should make known the ruins to him. For the uncircumcised in their hate against
the people of God, had heaped rubbish and filth over the spot, so that no one
knew exactly where the ruins stood. Now there was an old man then living who said: “If the king will take
an oath to preserve the wall, I will discover unto him the place where the ruins
of the Temple
were.” So the king straightway placed his hand on the thigh of the old man
and swore an oath to do what he demanded. When
he had shown him the ruins of the Temple
under a mound of defilements, the king had the ruins cleared and cleansed, taking
part in the cleansing himself, until they were all fair and clean. After that he had them all set up again, with
the exception of the wall, and made them a very beautiful Temple, which he consecrated
to his God. (Elkin N. Adler, Jewish Travelers: A Treasury of Travelogues from Nine Centuries, 2nd
ed. [New York:
Hermon Books, 1966], pp.130-1. - quoted by Earnest L. Martin, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, p. 243
is important to note that Isaac ben Joseph and Eutychius agree with one another
on the site of the Temple,
its condition, and Umar’s cleansing it of debris. But we can also notice that
Isaac ben Joseph reports that Umar promised to preserve a certain wall. The account
concludes by explaining that Umar took the ruins of the Temple and set them up again as a Temple to his God. By this we know that Isaac
ben Joseph is referring to a Muslim shrine that Umar built. But we must note that
Isaac ben Joseph states that “the wall” was not used in Umar’s new building.
to Isaac ben Joseph, there was a wall of the Jewish Temple that existed in the
seventh century that Umar promised to preserve. Umar then took the ruins of the
Temple and built
a Muslim shrine. As we continue, we must first realize that Umar did not build
the Dome of the Rock. He did, however, construct the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the southern
end of the Moriah Platform.
Mosque – The al-Aqsa Mosque was originally a small prayer house built by the Rashidun
caliph Umar, but was rebuilt and expanded by the Ummayad
caliph Abd al-Malik
and finished by his son al-Walid in 705 CE. – wikipedia.org
– Umar, c. 586-590
CE – 7 November, 644, also
known as Umar the Great or Farooq the Great was the most powerful
of the four Rashidun
Caliphs and one of the most powerful and influential Muslim rulers. – wikipedia.org
Dome of the Rock was built by one of Umar’s successors over 40 years after Umar’s
death. So, the site where Umar built a shrine is not the Dome of the Rock.
The Dome of the Rock – The Dome of
the Rock was erected between 685 and 691 CE. The names of the two engineers
in charge of the project are given as: Yazid Ibn Salam from Jerusalem and Raja Ibn Haywah
from Baysan. Umayyad
Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan who initiated construction
of the Dome, - wikipedia.org
al-Malik – Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan
(646-705) was the 5th Umayyad Caliph. – wikipedia.org
we must note that according to Isaac ben Joseph “the wall” at the Temple
site was not a part of Umar’s new building. This clearly means that the location
of Umar’s new building was not the same site as the Temple. Instead, Umar took stones from the Temple site and used them
to build his mosque. However, as he had promised, Umar did not take stones from
“the wall” at the Temple
site. Instead, since he had promised to preserve the wall, he left it standing
at the site of the Temple.
From this we know that the stones of the Temple
that were used in Umar’s building were moved to another location. They were not
erected at the Temple
site where this particular wall was left intact.
similar account comes from a rabbinical authority of the tenth century, three
centuries after the Geniza documents and the construction of the al-Aqsa Mosque
and the Dome of the Rock. This document reports that the Arabs allowed the Jews
to pray at the Temple’s
gates in exchange for keeping the site clear of refuse.
letter written at the end of the tenth century from Jerusalem by a Rabbinic Jewish
authority asking for donations of money to help Jewish people in Jerusalem has
survived….”…It was God’s will that we found favor with the Ishmaelite rulers.
At the time of their invasion and conquest of Palestine
from the Edomites, the Arabs came to Jerusalem
and some Jews showed them the location of the Temple. This group of Jews has lived among
them ever since. The Jews agree to keep
the site clear of refuse, in return for which they were granted the privilege
of praying at its gates….” – A. Holtz, The Holy City: Jews on Jerusalem (New York: W.W. Norton, 1971), pp.122-3,
quoted by Earnest L. Martin, The Temples
that Jerusalem Forgot, p. 241
again that the site of the Temple cannot be the site of the Dome of the
Rock or any building the Umar constructed. Neither the Dome of the Rock nor the
Al-Aqsa Mosque needed to be cleansed of refuse. Both sites were in use as Muslim
Jewish and Christian accounts require that we discard the idea that the Temple
was located near the Dome of the Rock or Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Moriah Platform.
The Temple site
that was shown to Umar was not located on the Moriah Platform at all. It was further
south, near the Hinnom
Valley and the Pool of Siloam.
It was an area that had never been built upon but had been used as a place to
dump garbage. Clearly the site of the Temple was south of the platform in proximity
to these sites around Davidic Jerusalem.