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
Ditch On the North Side of Antonia
his writings, Josephus mentions a ditch or man-made valley that was originally
on the north side of the Fortress of Antonia. Note that Josephus states that this
ditch was on the north side of the Roman Fortress of Antonia built by Herod the
It was Agrippa who encompassed the parts added to the old city with this wall, which had
been all naked before; for as the city grew more populous, it gradually crept
beyond its old limits, and those parts of it that stood northward of the temple,
and joined that hill to the city, made it considerably larger, and occasioned
that hill, which is in number the fourth, and is called "Bezetha," to
be inhabited also. It lies over against the tower Antonia, but is divided from
it by a deep valley, which was dug on purpose, and that in order to hinder the
foundations of the tower of Antonia from joining to this hill, and thereby affording
an opportunity for getting to it with ease, and hindering the security that arose
from its superior elevation; for
which reason also that depth of the ditch made the elevation of the towers more
remarkable. This new-built part of the city was called "Bezetha,"
in our language, which, if interpreted in the Grecian language, may be called
"the New City."
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 5, Chapter 4, Paragraph 3
Sir Charles Warren reported
the existence of a ditch in the area that today is north of the Dome of the Rock.
Dan Bahat references the location of Warren’s
ditch. It is north of the Dome of the Rock and south of the traditional site of
Antonia at the Umariya
In the nineteenth century, Sir Charles
Warren, the famous British archeologist, who worked in Jerusalem, discovered that
this little [settle] was severed by a moat…(108:04) Here is the small moat
discovered by Charles Warren…. And so there is a good order. The ancient Temple Mount, the moat, which
protects it, and the fortress, the Baris, which is here, which was later completely
raised to the ground by Herod the Great
when he built the Antonia,…(117:39) You can see here the Holy of Holies with the Dome of the Rock, north the
moat discovered by Charles Warren….in order to protect the Antonia which was
here traverses the entire hill as originally was back when the Beera [Baris] was
still existing there. Here you can see again, the same picture but upside down,
again in the normal way, here you can see the corner. You can see the Temple
Mount with the Holy of Holies, the moat
dividing between the Temple
Mount and that. (122:19)…First
of all, this is the upper Temple Mount,
where the Temple,
the Dome of the Rock is here. Here you can see some rock sticking out, but from
this line all the way to this line, this is the ancient moat discovered by Charles
Warren….(126:09) The trees which are
growing there, which you cannot see in the slide because it is from the top, the
trees are actually growing in an enormous flower pot which is actually, this moat
filled in with soil. There is no bedrock underneath here. – Dan Bahat, The
Traditional Location of the Temples, (the approximate times of Bahat’s comments
are noted in parenthesis behind within the text,) http://www.templemount.org/lectures.html
Bahat, Tuvia Sagiv also points out the same location of Warren’s
ditch between the Dome of the Rock and the Umariyah
School where Antonia is conventionally
placed. However, as Sagiv explains, there is no ditch north of the traditional
site of Antonia at the Umariyah
School. As Sagiv explains,
if Warren’s ditch
is the ditch mentioned by Josephus then the Antonia must be south of this ditch.
This means that the traditional placement of Antonia at the Umariyah School
north of Warren’s
ditch is wrong. Instead, the Antonia would need to be south of this ditch which
would place it at the rock beneath the Dome of the Rock. This would mean that
the Moriah Platform was the place of Antonia and that the Temple would then have to be south of the platform
and not at the Dome of the Rock location where Bahat places it.
I have another problem. In between those two elements there is a ditch, which is covered nowadays.
Let us go back to the sources, Josephus Flavius is talking about a ditch. But
according to his expression, he says that the ditch was in the north of the Antonia.
From the Antonia to the Temple itself you go down by steps. There was no ditch between both of them. So,
if this is the ditch Josephus Flavius is talking about, it means that the Antonia
should be on the south. Or maybe, there is another ditch here. But there is no
ditch there. So, it doesn’t work….So, it’s very strange to find that between the
Antonia and the Temple Mount and the Temple itself, a ditch, when he said the
ditch was in the north. And it makes sense, the ditch should protect the Antonia
and the enemy should come from the north….And the ditch is here in the south.
What comes out? That the Dome of the Rock, the rock of the Dome of the Rock, this
is the rock of the Antonia. It means all the problems we have are solved immediately. The ditch is
in the right place. And the rock is the rock of the Antonia. And the Temple is in the south.
– Tuvia Sugiv, 1995, The Coming Temple, Presentation 2, Koinonia House, 46 minutes
and 47 seconds, http://store.khouse.org/...
I would like to tell you about the famous
ditch, the moat Dan Bahat has spoken about which has a lot of connection to
Kaufman’s theory. Here you see the Dome of the Rock, the rock on which the Dome of the Rock
stands. Here is the Antonia according to the archeologists. And in between these
two elements there is a moat, a ditch discovered by Sir Charles Warren. And the
question is, how come that there is a ditch in the area itself? Because according
to the description of Josephus Flavius from Antonia you entered directly inside
the Temple Mount.
There is a description of a ditch in Josephus Flavius, but he said that the ditch
was in the north of the Antonia. So, let us say if this is the ditch that Josephus
Flavius is talking about, Antonia should be in the south. It doesn’t work.
And the main question to Professor Kaufman, if you say that the Temple was here, it means that the Temple was in the ditch. It doesn’t make sense.
– Tuvia Sagiv, The Southern Location of the Temples, 17 minutes and 19 seconds, http://www.templemount.org/lectures.html
Dan Bahat and Tuvia Sagiv use Warren’s claim to
refute Asher Kaufman’s view which would place the Temple directly on top of or within that ditch.
would like to tell you about the famous ditch, the
moat Dan Bahat has spoken about which has a lot of connection to Kaufman’s theory….And
the main question to Professor Kaufman, if you say that the Temple was here, it
means that the Temple was in the ditch. It doesn’t make sense. – Tuvia Sagiv,
The Southern Location of the Temples, 17 minutes and 19 seconds, http://www.templemount.org/lectures.html
we take the theory of Dr. Asher Kaufman and we put the Holy of Holies where it
was it will create a mess of the Temple Mount because the northern half of the
Temple will fall down into a very deep valley – Dan Bahat, The Traditional
Location of the Temples, 48 minutes and 27 seconds, http://www.templemount.org/lectures.html
if we take again, Asher Kaufman’s suggestion, it will be somewhere here. This
is where the Holy of Holies will be. And you understand that the result is, that
the entire Temple and the Temple
Mount already in such an
old date, will be inside the valley instead of being on the top. – Dan Bahat,
The Traditional Location of the Temples, 1 hour, ten minutes, and 19 seconds,
responds by pointing out that Warren did not dig in the area of the ditch.
Instead, according to Kaufman, Warren
merely supposed that there was a ditch there because he saw no rock outcroppings
in the area.
Dan Bahat spoke well of your theory, except he said your Temple would fall off into his mote, which
is a flower pot. Would you answer that please?
I thought I’d prove to Dan Bahat that he’s wrong. Just about here there is a claim that there is a moat, that there was
a moat there. Warren
refers to it in his book of 1884. But he says, he thinks that, and if you
read that very carefully, up here, and I haven’t got the statement with me, but
apparently there was a moat there. But
he couldn’t dig. He surely plans a moat about, in man’s dimensions, about
150 feet wide and I think 20 feet deep. But
he couldn’t dig. He wasn’t allowed to dig. So, how did he know? He didn’t know.
He just guessed. And I think he guessed because, according to what he thought,
between about here and about there, there is no evidence of rock on the surface.
Actually, there’s a little bit more, which I’ve discovered. So, Dan Bahat’s idea is built upon false foundations.
– Dr. Asher S. Kaufman, The Northern Location of the Temples, 47 minutes and 20
of Warren’s assumption parallels Bahat’s support
for the ditch. Bahat himself identifies the ditch because there is no bedrock
visible at the surface. (Remember that the location of the ditch has not been
excavated to see where the bedrock begins below the surface of the Moriah Platform.)
you can see some rock sticking out, but from this line all the way to this line,
this is the ancient moat discovered by Charles Warren….(126:09) The trees which are growing there, which you cannot see in the slide because
it is from the top, the trees are actually growing in an enormous flower pot which
is actually, this moat filled in with soil. There is no bedrock underneath here.
– Dan Bahat, The Traditional Location of the Temples, (the approximate
times of Bahat’s comments are noted in parenthesis behind within the text,) http://www.templemount.org/lectures.html
Josephus certainly speaks of the existence of such a ditch that was created for
fortification purposes on the north side of Antonia. However, the identification
of this ditch today just north of the Dome of the Rock may be disputable. In any
case, it is unlikely be resolved without further excavation on the Moriah Platform.
However, if Warren’s claim that there is a ditch north of
the Dome of the Rock is a valid one and we can identify this with the ditch that
Josephus’ says was on the north side of Antonia, then Antonia Fortress was located
south of this ditch. This would mean that the Antonia was located on the site of the Dome of the Rock as other historical
data indicate. Consequently, Antonia would occupy the southern portion of the
Moriah Platform. This would require that the Temple itself was south of the platform.
Capitolina and Hadrian’s Temple to Jupiter
know from the historical record that Hadrian built a new city on the site of Jerusalem which he called Aelia Capitolina.
– Aelia Capitolina (Latin
in full: Colonia Aelia Capitolina)
was a city built by the emperor Hadrian,
and occupied by a Roman colony, on the site of Jerusalem,
which was still in ruins from the Great Jewish Revolt in 70 A.D. – wikipedia.org
first intention wasn’t to build a Roman city or desecrate the site of the Jewish
Temple. Rather, he wanted to rebuild the city of Jerusalem
as a gift to the Jews.
– When Emperor Hadrian vowed to rebuild Jerusalem
from the wreckage in 130 A.D., he considered reconstructing Jerusalem as a gift for the Jewish people. The
Jews awaited with hope, because Hadrian was considered a moderate. – wikipedia.org
though Hadrian felt his endeavor was a favor to the Jews, he was not well received
by them. The source of this lack of gratitude was two statues that Hadrian had
placed in the city and a temple that he had built to the Roman god Jupiter. It
is important to note that the placement of these two statues was what began the
enmity between Hadrian and the Jews who would revolt. Hadrian did not place the
statue as an act of triumph or spite after he had put down the revolt.
Temple Mount – Hadrian had
intended the construction of the new city as a gift to the Jews, but since he
had constructed a giant statue of himself in front of the Temple of Jupiter and
the Temple of Jupiter had a huge statue of Jupiter inside of it,…It was also the normal practice of the adherents
of the Hellenic religion to sacrifice pigs before their deities.
In addition to this, Hadrian issued a decree prohibiting the practice of circumcision.
These three factors, the graven images,
the sacrifice of pigs before the altar, and the prohibition of circumcision, constituted for non-Hellenized radical Zealot Jews a
new abomination of desolation, and thus Bar Kochba
launched the Third Jewish Revolt. – wikipedia.org
the Jews revolted, Hadrian decided to rebuild Jerusalem
as Aelia Capitolina. However, he decided not to restore the Temple. This fact is attested to by Epiphanius
of Salamis, in the fourth century AD.
of Salamis – Epiphanius wrote a work of biblical antiquarianism,
called, for one of its sections, On Measures and Weights. It was composed in Constantinople
for a Persian priest, in 392. - wikipedia.org
was the second year of his reign when he [Hadrian] went up to Jerusalem, the famous and much-praised city
which had been destroyed by Titus the son of Vespasian. He found it utterly destroyed
and God’s Holy Temple a ruin, there being nothing where the city
had stood but a few dwellings and one small church…[Then] Hadrian decided to restore the city, but not the Temple. – Epiphanius, On Weights and Measures,
Dindorf ed., vol IV, pp.17-18.
the revolt, the new city
was constructed to the exclusion of Jews who were banned from it. And Hadrian
named the city after himself (Aelia) and in dedication to the Roman god Jupiter
– Publius Aelius Hadrianus…was
from AD 117 to 138, – wikipedia.org
Aelia Capitolina – Aelia came
from Hadrian's nomen gentile, Aelius, while Capitolina
meant that the new city was dedicated to Jupiter
to whom a temple was built – wikipedia.org
the destruction which occurred under Vespasian and Titus, these Jews rebelled
during the reign of Hadrian and tried to go back to the old commonwealth and
way of life….when these Jews made their attack against
the Emperor, they forced him again to destroy Jerusalem completely. For Hadrian
came and utterly subdued them; he obliterated every remnant of their city.
To prevent the Jews from making such an impudent
attempt in the future, he set up a statue of himself. But he realized that, with
the passage of time, his statue would one day fall. – John Chrysostom, Homily
V, Section XI,
left his statues in his new Roman city in defiance of the Jews.
the research of scholars like Tuvia Sagiv, the Moriah Platform is generally held
to be the location of Hadrian’s temple to Jupiter. (The first quote below is from
the Jerusalem Post.)
to research compiled by Dr. Moshe Sharon…. "Jupiter's Temple
in Baalbek had
exactly the three features which we find in the Al-Aksa complex: the polygon building
in the front where the worshipers assembled, the open space where the god's statue
stood and the rectangular main temple. The same symmetrical line which goes through
the three components of Jupiter's Temple also goes
through the Al-Aksa complex, and both plans fit each other perfectly," writes
and Sagiv's theory is potentially incendiary because it suggests the Al-Aksa complex
was built on pre-existing foundations and was not designed according to Muhammad's
famous Night Journey to Jerusalem.
– Alex Sorin, The Shape of the Holy, Jerusalem Post, jpost.com,
The Roman Temple at Baalbek, Lebanon
– When a map of the Baalbek Temple is overlaid on the present structures of the
a striking similarity can be seen. – by Lambert Dolphin and Michael Kollen, On The Location
First and Second Temples
is from Baalbek. And this is the
wall court of Jupiter Temple which was built in the second century. The height
of these stones is approximately, it’s bigger than the stones we have in here,
in Jerusalem. But it’s the same style with the curb all around, with the border all
around. When I came to Baalbek,
I was not there, but I tried to find the books and literature about it. Here you have the plan of a Jupiter temple
in Baalbek. You
see. Here is the temple itself. Here is the court. And here is the polygon which
is an entrance area. When I saw this I said, “Well, wait a moment, I know this.”
And now, let’s go to our area and see. You see. Here is the Dome of the Rock,
here is the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in between them there is a line, a symmetric line.
You see. All the area, you know it’s very strange. All the area is not rectangular
exactly. There is no one line which is parallel to another. It’s a lot of elements
with no relationship between them. But between these two elements there is a line
which combines them together. So, I’ve taken the temple of Baalbek,
Jupiter temple in Baalbek.
I brought it to the same scale. It’s not
only a map on a map. It’s the same scale. You see. It means that what we see in
Baalbek, the entrance
fits the Dome of the Rock that we see here and the Jupiter temple fits the Al-Aqsa
Mosque. It means that what the Arabs built on the elements was the remains of
a Roman building, a Roman temple. The court is like Baalbek. And the elements
inside is also the same that as Baalbek.
Do we have any evidence that in the second century a temple to Jupiter was built
Yes. It’s very simple. Hadrian, who have a very, very strong fight with Bar Kochba,
destroyed Jerusalem, built here a Temple to Jupiter and avoid the Jews to
changed the name of the city to Aelia Capitolina.
And so, what we have nowadays is the project
which was built by this fellow, Hadrian. And it means that the Wailing Wall, what we
see, the Wailing Wall, where Jews are praying here, has nothing to do with the
It’s Jupiter’s wall. And all this project
all around is something which was made by the Romans. Now you have to ask
me, but why? What’s the reason that Hadrian had built such a huge building in
this area at the edge of the empire. Now, we have to understand something about
this fellow. Hadrian was an emperor who decided to bring peace to Rome.
He gave back area which had been conquered by Julianus. And he decided that he
would stop wars. And he decided that the edge of the empire would be, on the east,
Israel, Syria, Lebanon
and on the west, Britain.
And we know on this side the famous Hadrian wall in England,
And in our area he built the temples in order to show that this is the end of
the empire. Because he was a very religious person. And he understood that it’s
not enough to say this is the border of my empire. The culture, the religious
of the Romans, must be the border. And therefore he has a lot of soldiers without
any aim nowadays because there were no walls, no more walls. So the only way was
to make and build a lot of buildings all over the Roman Empire. Half
of Eton in Greece
was made by Hadrian. Rome, Rome itself, part of it was made, built by Hadrian.
And here in Israel, and in Baalbek, and Damascus, he built these huge temple courts
for Jupiter and changed the name of the city to Aelia, which is his private name
and Capitolina is the names of the gods he believes. And maybe by this we can solve one of the
most important problems we have in Jerusalem.
After the Six Days Wars, the archeologists came to Jerusalem and tried to find where is Aelia Capitolina.
And they didn’t find it till now. The Cardo, I hope you have seen it is from a
later time, the Byzantine period. So, where is Aelia Capitolina? There is no evidence.
Only some coins. But the answer is very simple. This is Aelia Capitolina. This
is the terminus of the holy place of Aelia Capitolina. And all the problem is
solved immediately. And the Jewish Temple is just inside, covered. Because
it maybe that Hadrian decided to destroy the Jewish Temple. He knows all the troubles
the Romans have from the Jews was from this Temple. And therefore, he
covered all the area of the Jewish Temple, which is inside here and build this wonderful court which is in
the style of the second century and it’s walls is like Baalbek. And this is Aelia Capitolina. Till
now everything I’ve spoke with you, is logical. You can check me. Everything is
very simple. The whole difference is the moment you look at it in three dimension
system everything jumps out. It’s very simple. – Tuvia Sagiv, The Southern Location
of the Temples,
43 minutes and 37 seconds, http://www.templemount.org/lectures.html
are some historical and archeological grounds for
identifying the Moriah Platform with the site of Hadrian’s temple to Jupiter.
The most relevant
issue is a subsequent claim that Hadrian’s temple to Jupiter was built directly
on top of the former site of the Jewish Temple. If this is the case, then it would
constitute some evidence that the Jewish Temple was located on the Moriah Platform.
However, we must be clear. Simply proving that Hadrian built a temple or camp
on the Moriah Platform does not prove that this was the site of the former Temple. What is necessary is to demonstrate
that Hadrian built his temple to Jupiter on the site of the Temple itself.
Dio, the Roman historian of the second century AD recorded the history of Hadrian
Dio – Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus
(c. AD 155 or 163/164
to after 229), known in English as Cassius Dio, Dio Cassius,
or Dio (Dione. lib) was a noted Roman historian> and public servant. Dio published a history of Rome
in 80 volumes, beginning with the legendary arrival of Aeneas in Italy
through the subsequent founding of Rome and then to 229; a period
of about 1,400 years. Of the 80 books, written over 22 years, many survive into
the modern age intact or as fragments, providing modern scholars with a detailed
perspective on Roman history. – wikipedia.org
his chronicle, Cassius Dio makes two relevant statements concerning Hadrian’s
constructions at Jerusalem.
He first records that Hadrian founded a city in the place of Jerusalem. Similarly, he then states that Hadrian
built a temple to Jupiter on the site of the Temple.
Chapter 12. 1 At Jerusalem [Hadrian] founded
a city in place of the one which had been razed to the ground, naming it Aelia
Capitolina, and on the site of the temple of the god he raised a new temple to
Jupiter. – HADRIAN'S DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM IN 135 C.E., ROMAN HISTORY,
BOOK LXIX, written by CASSIUS DIO COCCEIANUS in c. 222 C.E., Dio's Roman History,
Loeb series, Macmillan, 1914-27. Transl. Earnest Cary.
Dio’s record indicates a parallel between the construction of Aelia Capitolina
and the construction of the temple to Jupiter. Both were built on the site of
former Jewish constructions. Aelia Capitolina was built on the site of Jerusalem.
And the temple to Jupiter was built on the site of the Jewish Temple.
as we know, early Jerusalem (at the time of David) was on the
southern portion of the Moriah ridge, south of the Moriah Platform. If the Moriah
Platform was a part of Hadrian’s reconstruction as Sagiv and others have shown,
then it must be the case that Aelia Capitolina did not occupy the exact site of
the earliest Jerusalem.
Instead, it was further north on the Moriah ridge than the site of ancient Jerusalem.
historical reports have confirmed that Hadrian’s new city of Aelia
Capitolina was built slightly north of earlier, Davidic Jerusalem,
which was on the southern portion of the Moriah ridge. One of these reports comes
from Azariah dei Rossi, the sixteenth century Jewish commentator.
Azariah dei Rossi – Azariah
ben Moses dei Rossi was an Italian-Jewish physician and scholar. He was born at Mantua in 1513
or 1514; and died in 1578. He was descended from an old Jewish family which, according
to a tradition, was brought by Titus from Jerusalem.
He is known chiefly for his book Me'or
Eynaim (Hebrew, Light of the Eyes) in which he used critical
methods to test the literal truth of the Aggadah,
the non legalistic and narrative portions of the Talmud. His
views were sharply criticised by Judah Loew ben Bezalel (the Maharal of Prague)
in the latter's Be'er ha-Golah. Dei Rossi's great work, Me'or Enayim ("Light of the Eyes")
(Mantua, 1573-75; Berlin,
1863-66), includes the two works already mentioned and a third entitled Imre
Binah. The latter is divided into four
parts; the first part contains a survey of the Jews at the time of the Second Temple,
narrates the origin of the Septuagint, points out
the contradictions between some of the beliefs of the Talmudists and
the proved results of scientific research, records the origin of the Jewish
colonies in Alexandria
chronicles the wars of Bar KokhbaRomans, etc. Dei Rossi quotes from the writings
whose orthodoxy he questions. He criticizes him for having allegorized Biblical
narratives of facts, and points out that the Alexandrian philosopher never gives
the traditional interpretation of the Biblical text. In the second part Dei Rossi criticizes a number of the assertions of
(many of his criticisms being repeated by later commentators), and gives explanations
of various aggadic passages which can not be taken literally (as, for instance,
the aggadah which attributes the death of Titus to a gnat which entered his brain
while he was returning to Rome). The third
part is devoted to a study of Jewish chronology and translations from the writings
of Philo, Josephus, and others, with commentaries. The fourth part deals
with Jewish archeology, describing the shapes of the priestly garments and the glory of the Second Temple,
and giving the history of Queen
Helen and her two sons. – wikipedia.org
his book, Light of The Eyes, Dei Rossi
discussed the Jewish understanding that Hadrian’s renovations of Jerusalem
were north of the original site of the city and not exactly on the same location.
Rossi in his book "Light of the Eyes," 35 relates a belief that was widespread
in the sixteenth century among scholarly Jews.…De’ Rossi wrote authoritatively
to assure the Jews of his time that they were wrong to think that Hadrian had
built Aelia several miles north from the original site of the Jerusalem of David
and Herod. – Dei Rossi, Light of The
Eyes, p. 250, quoted from Dr. Earnest L. Martin, http://www.askelm.com/...,
Major "Keys" in Discovering the Lost Temples of Jerusalem
Note what De’ Rossi said…Other Jews were saying that "the
present site of Mount Moriah [where the Temple was once built] was about five
miles away from Jerusalem [north of the original Jerusalem of David and Herod]"
(p.250). – Dei Rossi, Light of The Eyes, p. 250, quoted
from Dr. Earnest L. Martin, http://www.askelm.com/...,
Major "Keys" in Discovering the Lost Temples of Jerusalem
Dei Rossi only corrected this Jewish understanding by explaining that the site
of Hadrian’s new city was the result of incorporating
the area that was north of the former city of Jerusalem.
Rossi’s exact statement was: "The Gentile historians, whose evidence he cites
for the life of Hadrian and restoration of Jerusalem, simply state that he destroyed
it and then enlarged it … enlarged it to the north so that the cemeteries which
had been an arrow’s shot outside the city came within the walls." – Dei Rossi, Light of The Eyes, quoted from
Dr. Earnest L. Martin, http://www.askelm.com/...,
Major "Keys" in Discovering the Lost Temples of Jerusalem
importantly, Dei Rossi stated that the site of the Jewish Temple was not in the
area that Hadrian built his new city.
De’ Rossi stated: "OUR HOLY SITE [Moriah] HAS NOT
BEEN TRANSFORMED INTO A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ANY OTHER PEOPLE" (p.250). – Dei Rossi,
Light of The Eyes, p. 250, quoted from Dr. Earnest L. Martin, http://www.askelm.com/...,
Major "Keys" in Discovering the Lost Temples of Jerusalem
Rossi’s observations can be coupled with the biblical and historical fact that
was on the southern portion of the Moriah Platform. Taken together these sources
inform us of the meaning of Cassius Dio’s comments. Hadrian did not build Aelia
Capitolina directly on top of the exact site occupied by Jerusalem. Instead, Hadrian’s
new city was slightly
to the north. These historical facts provide at least two reasons that the Jewish
Temple was not on the Moriah Platform.
the Moriah Platform seems to have been included in Hadrian’s new
city, Aelia Capitolina. And yet Jewish commentators such
as Dei Rossi, Kimchi, and Maimonides, along with Christian historians all report
that no Gentile shrine was every built on the site of the Jewish Temple. The idea
that the Temple site was in the courtyards
of the Roman, Christian, and Muslim holy buildings would be a clear contradiction
of the reports of these historians. We must be fair to the intentions of these
historians and writers. When they indicated that the site of the Jewish Temple
had not been built upon by other nations they were were not hanging the veracity
of their reports on a technicality. They weren’t saying that the site of the Temple
was within a platform renovated by Gentiles and entirely crowded by the structures
of the pagans although the exact, specific spot of the Temple had been narrowly avoided. On the contrary,
these writers meant that the site of the Temple had not been incorporated into the pagan
shrines and holy places at all. So, while it seems quite valid to identify the
Moriah Platform structures with the place of Hadrian’s temple to Jupiter, this
only proves that the Moriah Platform is not the site of the Temple.
Cassius Dio’s remarks that Hadrian built his temple on the site of the former
Jewish Temple must be taken in accordance with other known historical facts. One
of these facts is that Aelia Capitolina, which Cassius Dio says was built on the
place of Jerusalem, was not actually built on the
exact site of Jerusalem. It was instead, slightly to its north
as Dei Rossi recounts. Because
historical reports indicate that this was the case, we must understand Cassius
Dio to merely be saying that Aelia Capitolina was a replacement for the demolished
new Roman city was in the nearby vicinity of the former city of Jerusalem. However, it was
not directly on top the former Jewish metropolis. Likewise, Cassius Dio’s comments
on the Temple
should be understood in the same way. In other words, Cassius Dio is simply reporting
that Hadrian built a temple to Jupiter in his new city of Aelia Capitolina to replace the
Jewish Temple of Jerusalem. Therefore, his remarks do not in any way indicate
that Aelia Capitolina or the temple to Jupiter occupied the exact spot of the
former city of Jerusalem
or the Jewish Temple, respectively. His remarks only indicate that Aelia Capitolina
and the temple to Jupiter stood as an adjacent replacement of Jerusalem’s place within
the region. They were not built at an arbitrary location in Palestine. They were not built near the close-by
cities of Bethlehem or Bethany
or even Jericho.
They were built at Jerusalem,
slightly to the north of the original city.
Tower Was Part of Antonia and North of the Temple
Sugiv claims that infrared scans of the Moriah Platform reveal a pentagonal structure
beneath the surface of the platform at the Dome of the Rock. This pentagon is
part of Sagiv’s means of demonstrating a correlation between the Moriah Platform
and the temple at Baalbek, Lebanon.
If a pentagonal
structure does exist it may represent the remains of the earlier Byzantine church
that occupied the site. This would fit well with the fact that the Muslims copied
the architecture of the Byzantine structures in their design of the Dome of the
of the Rock - The Dome - Exterior - The
Dome is in the shape of a Byzantine martyrium, a structure intended for the
housing and veneration of saintly relics, and
is an excellent example of middle Byzantine art. - wikipedia.org
we have seen Byzantine churches did, in fact, occupy the current site of the Dome
of the Rock.
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
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
course, the Byzantines copied Roman architectural designs as well. So, evidence
of a pentagonal foundation would seem to confirm the earlier presence of both
Hadrianic and Byzantine buildings just as historical sources report.
most relevant point is that Sagiv identifies this pentagonal structure at the
site of the Dome of the Rock as the structure Josephus’ calls Strato’s Tower.
we saw by the infra-red. So, again, what is the pentagram? I’ve never heard about
a pentagram in Jerusalem.
But, there is a pentagram in Jerusalem.
I tried to look at coins and ceramic remains. Trying to see if there is any stem
of pentagrams, or a pentagrama, or something like that. And here we find on ceramic
jars a paint of a pentagram and inside, a pentagram. And more than that, you know what’s written
And it was found only in the second in the third century before Christus. Only
in this period do we find it. Is there any connection between the pentagram we
find here and this stems? Maybe it means that all the jars should come to this
fortress or whatsoever….So, I’m asking
myself, so in the second and the third centuries before Christus in the Hellenistic
period maybe there was a tower or a building which had the shape of a pentagram.
So, I went back to the source trying to find if there is any temple, and tower
which was only in this period, not afterward. And it’s interesting that Josephus Flavius
said that Antigonus, the brother of Aristobulus, he was walking in the Jewish
Temple and then he was asked to come to Aristobulus, who lived in the Antonia
and he went through the Straton Tower and was killed there by the soldiers of
Aristobulus. And then in this title,
Josephus Flavius said that the same tower was also in Caesarea.
was also in Caesarea. So, I say to myself that
maybe what we see here is the Straton
Tower. So, let us go to Caesarea, maybe we will find there a pentagram. Now, we
are going to Caesarea. In Caesarea, here is the
Christian period, here is the Herod[ian] period, and here you can see the Straton,
the ancient city of Caesarea.
And what we can see in Straton, they found the wall of Straton. Here are two towers
on the entrance of the city and here, a pentagram. Here is the round tower and here is the pentagram….And
now we try to find what’s the meaning of Straton? Straton comes from the name
of Ashtoreth, the goddess Ashtoreth, which was well known over all the Asian east.
From Ashtoreth came Ishtar and from Ishtar, Strat and from Strat, Straton, Straton’s
Tower. So maybe this is a religious tower. And what is it? I tried to read about
the Ashtoreth and what is written in the sources is that the star of Ashtoreth
is Venus. And the sign of Ashtoreth is pentagram. So maybe we find the remains
of the Ashtoreth tower in Caesarea. Do we
have any evidence about Ashtoreth tower in Jerusalem? It’s in Hebrew, but I will try to
translate it to English. And it’s written here that Joshiyahu [Josiah], one of
the last kings of Judah, was very good for God and he destroyed, and read what’s
written here, he destroyed the sage which were above Jerusalem in the south of
the Moshrite Mountain which were built by Solomon the King to Ashtoreth of the Phoenicians. And we know
that in Caesarea, Straton was built by the Phoenicians,
too. So, there was an Ashtoreth in
the Phoenicians built Straton in the fourth century. There is a relationship in
this project. And Josephus Flavius said, what he says is that Antigonus left the
Temple went to the Straton
Tower to the Antonia where
his brother slept there. So, this is the right position. And this is the Ashtoreth and maybe this is
the reason why they didn’t build the Temple
on this place. This is a paganic place they put it here. – Tuvia Sugiv, 1995,
The Coming Temple, Presentation 2, Koinonia House, 1 hour, 12 minutes, and 49
is Josephus’ account which Sagiv is discussing. In his account of the murder of
Antigonus by his brother Aristobulus, Josephus discusses the particular location
within Antonia called Strato’s Tower. According to this account, Aristobulus lay
sick in the Antonia when he gave the command for his brother to be killed. He
then placed guards in a passage below the Antonia who were to lay in wait for
his brother Antigonus. When Antigonus heard of Aristobulus’ illness he headed
toward Antonia to see him using this subterranean passage. When he arrived at
the section of the passage that was near Strato’s Tower, the guards attacked and
most important fact provided in the history below is that Josephus reports that
Strato’s Tower was within and beneath Antonia Fortress.
Now Aristobulus, by degrees, and unwillingly, gave credit to these accusations;
and accordingly he took care not to discover his suspicion openly, though he provided
to be secure against any accidents; so he placed the guards of his body in a certain
dark subterranean passage; for he lay
sick in a place called formerly the Citadel, though afterwards its name was changed
to Antonia; and he gave orders that if Antigonus came unarmed, they should
let him alone; but if he came to him in his armor, they should kill him. He also
sent some to let him know beforehand that he should come unarmed. But, upon this
occasion, the queen very cunningly contrived the matter with those that plotted
his ruin, for she persuaded those that were sent to conceal the king's message;
but to tell Antigonus how his brother had heard he had got a very the suit of
armor made with fine martial ornaments, in Galilee; and because his present sickness
hindered him from coming and seeing all that finery, he very much desired to see
him now in his armor; because, said he, in a little time thou art going away from
4. As soon as Antigonus heard
this, the good temper of his brother not allowing him to suspect any harm from
him, he came along with his armor on, to show it to his brother; but when he was going along that dark passage
which was called Strato's Tower, he was slain by the body guards, and became an eminent instance how
calumny destroys all good-will and natural affection, and how none of our good
affections are strong enough to resist envy perpetually.
And truly any one would be surprised at Judas upon this occasion. He was of the
sect of the Essens, and had never failed or deceived men in his predictions before.
Now this man saw Antigonus as he was passing along
by the temple, and cried out to his acquaintance, (they were not a few who
attended upon him as his scholars,) "O strange!" said he, "it is
good for me to die now, since truth is dead before me, and somewhat that I have
foretold hath proved false; for this Antigonus is this day alive, who ought to
hare died this day; and the place where he ought to be slain, according to that
fatal decree, was Strato's Tower, which
is at the distance of six hundred furlongs from this place; and yet four hours
of this day are over already; which point of time renders the prediction impossible
to be fill filled." And when the old man had said this, he was dejected in
his mind, and so continued. But in a little time news came that Antigonus
was slain in a subterraneous place, which was itself also called Strato's Tower,
by the same name with that Cesarea which lay by the sea-side; and this ambiguity
it was which caused the prophet's disorder. – Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book
1, Chapter 3, Paragraphs 3-5
There was also an occult passage built
for the king; it led from Antonia to the inner temple, at its eastern gate; over
which he also erected for himself a tower, that he might have the opportunity
of a subterraneous ascent to the temple, in order to guard against any sedition
which might be made by the people against their kings. It is also reported, (25)
that during the time that the temple was building, it did not rain in the daytime,
but that the showers fell in the nights, so that the work was not hindered. And
this our fathers have delivered to us; nor is it incredible, if any one have regard
to the manifestations of God. And thus was performed the work of the rebuilding
of the temple. – Josephus, Antiquities, Book 15, Chapter 10
Sagiv has identified the location of Strato’s Tower at the site of the Dome of
the Rock, this constitutes additional proof that the Moriah Platform is the site
of Antonia. Since Strato’s Tower was within the confines of the Herodian fortress
of Antonia, if Strato’s Tower was on the Moriah Platform, then the Moriah Platform
must be the site of Antonia. If this is the case, then the site of the Temple
must again be south of the Moriah Platform since the Temple was south of Antonia fortress.
we can conclude at this point is that historical information on the location of
Hadrian’s statues, the Jupiter Temple,
and Aelia Capitolina is either inconclusive or it confirms that the Moriah Platform
is the site of Antonia. This would in turn require that the Temple was located south
of the Moriah Platform as other biblical and historical data has indicated.
Cave Where the Temple Once
is sometimes claimed that the cave beneath the rock of the Dome of the Rock (known
as the Well of Souls) can be used to identify the former location of the Temple.
Well of Souls – The Well
of Souls is the name of a natural
cave located immediately
beneath the Sakhrah (the Foundation Stone) in the Dome of the
Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
In addition to a small well shaped hole in the stone that looks into the cave,
there is also an entrance on the southern side, via a set of steps passing through
a gap between the stone and the surrounding bedrock.
The cave takes the form of a moderately sized room
(similar in floor space to the stone), the ceiling curving to the ground gently,
and the floor having been flattened and carpeted. The southern end of the cave,
through which the steps enter it, has man-made walls
to provide structural support to the cave roof above the steps. – wikipedia.org
Foundation Stone – The Foundation
Stone (Hebrew: translit.
Even haShetiya) or Rock (Arabic:
Sakhrah, Hebrew: translit.:
Sela) is the name of the rock at the heart of the Dome of the
Rock in Jerusalem. It is also
known as the Pierced Stone due
to its having a small hole on the southeastern corner that enters a cavern beneath
the rock, known as the Well of Souls.
Though he identifies the “pierced stone” with another location, Dr. Asher
Kaufman reports on the connection others have made between the “pierced stone”
mentioned by the Bordeaux Pilgrim and the former site of the Temple.
is the Dome of the Rock. We’re looking southeast approximately. And this little
dome is within the Holy of Holies. It was enforced there, about four and a half
meters high, I’m sure you’ve already seen it. Let us look at the floor of this
little dome. It’s not completely rock. If you looked at it carefully the rock
protrudes on two portions, a little portion here on the southern side. And there’s
a much bigger portion on the northern side. But on the eastern side there is a
small strip of masonry and there are even two flagstones and they are covering
something on the rock as if there is a hole in the rock. One doesn’t know how
deep the hole is. But it might be something
connection with the Pilgrim from Bordeaux who referred
to the foundation stone of the Temple being pierced. Anyway, you do know, that
this is the claim, that this is the foundation stone of the Temple. – Dr. Asher S.
Kaufman, The Northern Location of the Temples,
38 minutes and 45 seconds, http://www.templemount.org/lectures.html
While presenting his view that the Temple was located at the Dome of the Rock,
Dan Bahat also mentions “the Cave” that functioned as a Jewish synagogue.
interesting thing about it is that during the early medieval since it is so near
to the Holy of Holies. And you remember, I told you, the Jews were very clean,
and were praying always next to the Holy of Holies. The eastern end here, which
you see in the slide, you see here, was the nearest possible point for a Jew to
get nearest. Since they were not allowed
to go onto the Temple
Mount, this was the nearest
point that they could go to. And this became their own volume of the cistern,
became a synagogue and for 450 years it
was the main synagogue of the Jews in Jerusalem. It was called “the Cave.” And we
know, we’ve got many contemporary sources who tell us about it. Unfortunately,
it lost its originally shape with a flat roof and everything which befell Jerusalem
in the year 1033. An earthquake, which we’ve got many details of. Dan Bahat, The
Traditional Location of the Temples, 1 hour, seventeen minutes, and 39 seconds,
Dan Bahat summarizes the
logic behind these arguments. He indicates that early accounts report the existence
of a “pierced stone” or cave near the site of the Temple.
One of these accounts comes from the Bordeaux Pilgrim in 333 AD. This account
mentions two statues of Hadrian near a cave or “pierced stone” that Jews visited
and venerated every year.
Burdigalense – The Itinerarium Burdigalense (also known
as the Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum)
is the oldest known Itinerarium,
written by an anonymous pilgrim from Burdigala (present-day Bordeaux). It tells of the writer's journey
to the Holy Land
by land through Northern Italy and the Danube valley to Constantinople,
through Asia Minor
and then back by way of Macedonia, Otranto,
Rome, and Milan. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia: The report of his journey outside Palestine
is little more than a dry enumeration of the cities through which he passed, and
of the places where he stopped or changed horses, with their respective distances.
For the Holy Land he also briefly notes the important
events which he believes to be connected with the various places. In this he falls
into some strange blunders, as when, for instance, he places the Transfiguration on Mount Olivet.
Such errors, however, are also found in subsequent writers. His description of Jerusalem, though short, contains information
of great value for the topography of the city. – wikipedia.org
The following are the most important notices of Jerusalem
from the fourth to the twelfth centuries: The
earliest description is that written by the unknown Pilgrim of Bordeaux, who was
in Jerusalem in the year 333, while Constantine's Church was being built….There
are the two statues of Hadrian, and there is not far from the statues a pierced
stone (lapis pertusus), (1) to which coine the Jews every year and anoint it,
and bewail themselves with groans, and tear their garments, and thus depart.
And there is the house of Hezekiah, King of Judah. –
(In process, November 9, 1996, by Michael Kollen),
The early pilgrims
before 530 A.D. speak, as we have seen, of the Temple enclosure as in ruins. The Bordeaux Pilgrim mentions
the vault and tanks, the ramparts and the ‘pierced stone,’ near which was Hadrian's
statue. – http://templemount.org/warren1.html,
Excerpts from The Survey of Western Palestine, by Col. Sir Charles Warren, K.C.M.G., R.E.,
and Capt. Claude Reigner Conder, R.E.; The Committe of the Palestine Exploration
Fund, Inc 1, Adam Street, Adelphi, London, WC., England, 1884. ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY
Similarly, a short, sixth century work called Breviarius remarks on the
site of the Temple
and a cave that was located there. Breviarius notes that this site was south of
the Byzantine church which was called the Church of the Holy Wisdom (Saint Sophia).
Let us now return to the little book by an unknown
author which is called the “Breviarius’,
i.e. ‘Short Description of Jerusalem’.
It is very short, barely 62 lines in all, and the date usually assigned to it
is about the same as that of Theodosius, 527-80. – Travel and Travellers of
the Middle Ages, Arthur, Percival Newton, E. D. Hunt, p. 50, http://books.google.com/...
this same period, an account by Antoninus of Piacenza (the Piacenza Pilgrim) also
refers to the Byzantine Church of the Holy Wisdom.
Footnote 168: In
a Christian account of the early 6th century called Breviarius ( a short account)
of Jerusalem we are told that south of the Church of the Holy Wisdom “you come
to the Temple built by Solomon, but there is nothing left there apart from a single
cave.” – Wilkinson, Jerusalem Pilgrims Before the Crusades,
p. 61, quoted from Earnest L. Martin, the Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, p. 126
of Piacenza – The
sixth-century pilgrim Antoninus of Piacenza who
described the holy places of Jerusalem in the 570s
is confused often with Saint Antoninus of Piacenza, who is venerated as a saint and martyr
in the Roman Catholic Church, with a feast day of 13 November in the Ambrosian
calendar. The saint was said to be a member of the legendary Theban Legion and
to have been martyred at Piacenza,
of which he is reckoned a patron. Of Antoninus, the historical pilgrim, F.
Bechtel reported in The Catholic Encyclopedia
(1910). "In manuscripts he is sometimes styled Antoninus the Martyr,
through ignorant confusion of the writer with the martyr St. Antoninus who is
venerated at Piacenza.
He is the last writer who saw Palestine before the Moslem
conquest. Although he covered in his travels nearly the same extensive territory
as the Spanish nun, his work contains but few details not found in other writers;
it is, moreover, marred by gross errors and by fabulous tales which betray the
most naive credulity." The itinerary of Antoninus is valued by the historian as documenting the
extent of the sixth-century trade catering to the pious pilgrims in the Holy Land: "We went to Kana, where our Lord was
present at the marriage feast," Antoninus reports, "and we reclined
on the very couch." Inspired by such a vivid figuration of Biblical truth,
Antoninus indulged the classic tourists' act: "and there, unworthy as I was,
I wrote the names of my parents". Antoninus' description of the chalice of onyx that was venerated in
the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and
of the Holy Lance in the Basilica of Mount Zion form early attestations of the
cultus of these two relics. 1 e.g. at Patron Saints Index 2 The Catholic Encyclopedia,
s.v. "Itineraria" 3 A block of marble found at Elateia, inscribed in
Byzantine Greek "This stone is from Kana in in Galilee, where Our Lord Jesus
Christ turned the water into wine" and the further inscription "Antoninus",
was identified with Antoninus of Poacenza when the block was moved to the Chapel
of Saint Eleutherios near the Cathedral, Athens. ("Archaeological News",
The American Journal of Archaeology and of the History of the Fine Arts 1885:230.
According to the Antoninus of Piacenza,
this church was the location of the Praetorium where Pilate heard Jesus case.
And at this site there was particular rock feature which had been in the center
of the Praetorium.
Praetorium – In the New Testament,
praetorium refers to the palace of Pontius Pilate,
the Roman procurator of Judea.
According to the New Testament, this is
where Jesus Christ
was tried and condemned to death. – wikipedia.org
church is described very well (and accurately) in a
sixth century work written by the Piacenza Pilgrim. He said (words in brackets mine):
“We also prayed at the Praetorium,
where the Lord’s case was heard: what is there now is the basilica of Saint Sophia,
which is in front of the Temple of Solomon below the street which runs down to
the spring of Siloam outside Solomon’s porch. In this basilica is the seat where Pilate sat to hear the Lord’s case,
and there is also the oblong stone which used to be in the center of the
Praetorium. The accused person whose case was being heard was made
to mount this stone so that
everyone could hear and see him. The Lord
mounted it when he was heard by Pilate, and his footprints are still
on it.” – quoted from Earnest L. Martin, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, p.
the Bordeaux Pilgrim indicated that there was a “pierced stone” at or near the
former site of the Temple.
This pierced stone is taken to be the same as a cave mentioned in other writings
of the same period. According to the Breviarius, there was a cave at the former
site of the Temple.
But, the Temple site was south of the Byzantine Church of the Holy Wisdom. And finally,
according to Antoninus of Piacenza, the place of the Church of the Holy Wisdom
was the site of the Roman Praetorium where Jesus was tried by Pilate.
was an enlargement of the earlier Church
of St. Cyrus and St. John. It was located at the Dome of the
Rock on the Moriah Platform (the former site of Hadrian’s temple to Jupiter).
Consequently, the cave associated with the Temple’s
location would have to be south of the Dome of the Rock.
– 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
looking at the historical accounts concerning this cave near the Temple
we can see that they provide no support for the notion that the Temple
was located on the Moriah Platform. Instead, the cave mentioned by the Bordeaux
Pilgrim and Breviarius only provide further indications that the Moriah Platform
is the site of Antonia and that the Temple was south of this platform.
his book, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot,
Ernest L. Martin reports that the Geniza documents confirm that this important
cave was in southeast Jerusalem where Jews felt David had built his
altar. This is a reference to the altar David built at the threshing floor of
Ornan the Jebusite which later became the site of the Temple.
We now have Jewish
documents from the Geniza in Egypt
that such a cave was used as a synagogue in southeast Jerusalem (as I will soon show) where Jews felt
David had built his altar. – Earnest L. Martin,
the Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, p. 126
2 Samuel 24:18 And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto
the LORD in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite.
fact, there are a number of caves and tunnels in the area of Davidic Jerusalem
and on the Moriah Platform. Excavation at the “City of David” archeological site
on the southern portion of the Moriah ridge has revealed a number of caves and
tunnels beneath the surface of this ancient area of Davidic Jerusalem.
it is apparent that Hadrian erected quite a number of statues and shrines to Roman
gods throughout his new city. In fact, after the Jewish Revolt,
Hadrian intended to completely erase all Jewishness in the area. So, he built
Aelia Capitolina and dedicated it to the Roman gods. In addition to the temple of Jupiter
(which had two statues) and the statue (or statues) at the site of the Temple, Hadrian built a shrine
to Venus. This shrine formerly occupied the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,
which is very near to the Moriah Platform in the “Old City” area
Mount – 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
Church of the Holy Sepulchre – In the early second
century, the site of the present Church had been a temple of Aphrodite;
several ancient writers alternatively describe it as a temple to Venus,
the Roman equivalent to Aphrodite.…Although Eusebius
does not say as much, the temple of Aphrodite was probably built as part of Hadrian's
reconstruction of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina
in 135, following the destruction of the Jewish Revolt of 70 and Bar Kokhba's revolt of 132–135. – wikipedia.org
fact is that Hadrian built a number of statues and shrines to Roman gods in his
new city of Aelia
Capitolina. And this makes sense since Hadrian dedicated the city to the Roman
gods and sought to eradicate any trace of Jewishness by submersing it in Roman
culture. Likewise, numerous caves exist beneath the surface of the Moriah ridge’s
northern and southern portions. Clearly then, pointing to a cave or the likely
former location of Roman statue hardly constitutes proof that any particular site
must be the location of the Jewish Temple.
it is difficult to reconcile the historical record with the idea that Jews were
gathering at a cave located beneath the Roman, Byzantine, and Muslim shrines that
continuously occupied the Moriah Platform during the long periods when Jews were
banned from entering the city. In addition, the idea of a cave venerated by Jews
beneath Roman, Byzantine, and Muslim shrines would directly contradict historical
records stating that no nation had built a holy place on top of the site of the
the Jewish Temple. For these reasons, historical references to a cave near the
former site of the Jewish Temples do not provide any support for the conclusion
that the Temple was located at the
Dome of the Rock or in any other location on the Moriah Platform. To the contrary,
when taken in totality and in accordance with other historical statements, references
to a cave near the Temple
require the opposite conclusion. As such, these issues only provide further evidence
that the Temple
was located south of the Moriah Platform which was actually the site of the Antonia.