The Jerusalem Channel
Imagine what would happen tomorrow if Israeli archeologists made an astounding discovery that would allow the immediate construction of the holy Third Temple.
For many Orthodox Jews, there’s just one obstacle standing in the way: the gold-domed Islamic shrine on top of the so-called Temple Mount known as the Dome of the Rock. Others believe a deal can be made for both edifices to sit side by side.
Traditionally the world has viewed this real estate impasse as the reason for the delay of the prophetic fulfilment of a new temple construction.
I’ve just completed an afternoon re-exploring the extraordinary archeological dig at the City of David. It’s difficult to keep up with all the new discoveries at Ir Davide (the City of David).
This ancient site hundreds of yards to the south and lower than the so-called Temple Mount was the original Jesubite fortress conquered by King David. This area just outside today’s Dung Gate became the city of Jerusalem known to David, his son Solomon, the prophets, Jesus and his apostles.
The archeologists have already uncovered David’s royal palace and many other ruins such as the Siloam pool and King Hezekiah’s tunnel that date back almost 3,000 years.
What I was really pondering during my latest visit to the City of David was the provocative theory now being considered thanks to recent evidence that perhaps the Temples of Solomon and the time of Jesus were never actually built up on what is known today as the Temple Mount, but were actually located here in the City of David.
It’s an idea with profound implications for the Jewish people, and for the world.
The first time I heard this claim about the Temples having been located in the City of David was from the writings of the late author/Bible teacher Ernest Martin and more recently from a lecture (with sketches) by Robert Cornuke who styles himself as a Biblical archeologist. Cornuke has written a book called “Temple!”
Cornuke maintains that the rectangular space in the photos above where the Dome of the Rock is located was actually the Roman Antonia fortress which housed the Roman legions occupying Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. He conducted a straw vote at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer site, and asked various religious Jews if they would consider the possibility that they had fallen victim to “history’s greatest archeological blunder–” that they could be worshipping at the wall of the Roman fortress. He said Jewish people over the age of 40 generally could not countenance the possibility of his theory, whereas younger Jewish worshippers found the possibility interesting and “cool.”
It’s fascinating that Jewish archeologists are sifting through rubble taken from under the area known today as the Temple Mount and called by the Arabs the Haram Al Sharif. Archeologists are looking for clues of the Temple and are worried that priceless Temple treasures could be destroyed. But are they looking in the wrong place? Could God, being a God of surprises, be protecting the real site?
After all, the real site would be hard to authenticate because Jesus himself predicted that not one stone of the second Temple would remain intact.
What incontrovertible evidence would the Jewish people need to change their minds?
The discovery of the Temple’s famous ark of the covenant in the City of David?
In the year 2,000, our ministry held a Tabernacle of David celebration at the Gihon Springs at the place where the original Tabernacle of David was located (1 Kings 1:39 ). In those days little did we know that this could possibly have also been the location of the Temples.
While we were investigating these latest claims in the City of David, both my husband and myself received separately the following word from Psalm 26: 8-12, “I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells. . . . My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD.”
Only God knows the real location, and we are sure he will confirm the exact location, sooner or later. And yes, we know the Apostle Paul prophesied that tragically the Man of Sin will stand in the temple of God (2 Thessalonians 2:4), so we are indeed headed for difficult days. But every prophecy must be fulfilled in its own time.
Watch this space!