Where was Jesus Crucified? and Where is the Temple?

(Sabbath During UB)

Fred R. Coulter—April 19, 2003

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Greetings, brethren, this is the regular Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

  • Where was Jesus crucified?
  • Why would that be an important question?

It comes out of the Wyatt Archeological Research. This man Ron Wyatt in 1978 claimed that he was sightseeing near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, and he found a quarry called the Calvary Escarpment. The account says that he was digging there and he dug in and found a little tunnel where he had to scoot underneath to get into it, and, lo and behold, he came into one of the chambers below the temple area where he allegedly saw the Ark of the Covenant.

Then he came back and the room was all filled with clutter and junk, and when he came back there were supposedly four angels there who had moved everything out of the way. They took him over and showed him the Ark of the Covenant, and the blood on the Mercy Seat, and said that this was Jesus blood. Because where Jesus was crucified was over the area where that tunnel was under the Temple Mount. It becomes a very important question: Is that true? Because some people get all excited and say that if Jesus' blood was really put on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies then that proves that Jesus was the Messiah. We'll find out. Is that true? Could that possibly have been so?

Another report says that they analyzed the blood and they found that, lo and behold, there were 24 chromosomes. Now we have never seen the report, and the account goes on saying that the only thing that God the Father contributed to the virgin Mary, so that Jesus would be born, was the 'Y' chromosome so He would be a male. We'll just answer that question here: that would be a ridiculous thing. Because if that were so, then who would Jesus look like? He would have to look like Mary, wouldn't He? Except only being a male, according to that!

I give this account, kind of like a double F-minus, simply because if that were really the blood of Jesus, which we will show that it's an impossibility that it could have been, there would be enough genetic deterioration because of just being left in the condition as it was, that you could never tell really what it was.

So, let's answer the first question that what Jesus had to receive from the Father was the full-fledged twenty-three chromosomes from the Father When He divested Himself to become a human being, that's what He had to bring with Him into the impregnation of the conception in the virgin Mary. He had to have all 46 chromosomes, 23 from His mother, 23 from the Father, for several different reasons. If He only had twenty-three He could not have looked like His Father.

John 14:7: "'If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. But from this time forward, you know Him and have seen Him.' Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and that will be sufficient for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long a time, and you have not known Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father…" (vs 7-9).

Jesus bore the image of His Father, not the image of His mother, though He was born of the seed of woman. So, we can answer that question: Where was Jesus crucified?

I've got several books here: The Coming Last Days' Temple by Randall Price, so I surveyed this on my four-hour plane trip coming home from Houston. It has some very interesting things in it but they have it all wrong where the temple is going to be. I also have another book here that was written by Dr. Ernest Martin, who actually did archeological excavations under the Hebrew University auspices with Dr. Professor Benjamin Mazar during the late 60s and 70s all around the area that this Ron Wyatt is talking about. He shows from history the true account as to where the temple really was. That means that that would tell us also where the underground caverns would be, and if Ron Wyatt dug in those areas, or whether he didn't.

This is going to be a very interesting Sabbath. This is going to be an interesting study. The Temple Mount at Jerusalem originally done by Dr. Robert Martin (no relative of Earnest Martin). He gives a summary of the Temple Mount. I'm going to read parts of this and you can follow along with it, and we'll read from that. But what I want to do first is I want to show you a geographical sketch of the temple area during Jesus day. We're going to see something that's very important, and then I will show you the topographical outline as to the geographical area there: Jerusalem of the Old Testament shows the Temple site.

{referring to maps, etc. as shown on video}

This is a topographical map. Let's start where the Dome of the Rock is located, because everyone claims that the Dome of the Rock is the place where the temple stood. We are going to show from history, and what we present here and from the Scriptures, that it was not located here. We can also say that the Arabs never had it right, and the Jews have lost the knowledge of where the Temple was, because the geographical area was changed.

We're going from north to south, and this is called the southeast ridge. Coming south we will see that on either side here is the Valley of Kidron. Right here, and it goes all the way down. Over here to the left of that is the Mount of Olives, which will actually be on your right. To the right of that as you look at the picture, to the right of it to the east is the Mount of Olives. Now as we come down here I want you to note this location where the Gihon Springs are. That's important, and that will have a great deal to do as to where the location of the Temple actually was.

Then we come down a little further and then we have what would be in here, the City of David. They say the City of David was here. Everything has been shifted north. When we come down to the bottom of this ridge we find three valleys come together: The Tyropean Valley, Kidron Valley and the Valley of Hinnom. This is where Armageddon is going to be, in the Valley of Hinnom, going out from Jerusalem.

I want you to notice as you look at the map how steep that the sides of this ridge are; they are nearly a cliff, and that becomes very important. Now as we come down around and come over to this side of the Tyropean Valley, you will notice that the sides go down much more gently. They are not so steep. Now what happened between the time of the building of the Temple down to modern time, they gradually filled this area in and built the area, and it became known as upper Jerusalem.

Now, let's come up to what is known as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is the alleged place where Jesus was buried. You will notice that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is west of the Temple. This becomes a very important thing. If this is the location where Jesus was buried, then He had to have been crucified over here in this area. You can see that's an awful long way away from any position over here where you may say the Temple would be. Let's look at some Scriptures concerning where Jesus was crucified, and where He was buried, and let's look at some important Scriptures for us to understand.

First of all, let's see where they went after they completed Jesus' last Passover. Did they go west to where the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was? or Where did they go?

Luke 22:39: "Then He left the house and went, as He was accustomed… [or known to] …to the Mount of Olives…" Where is the Mount of Olives? It is to the east! You go to the east where the Mount of Olives is and it's in the exact opposite direction.

"…and His disciples also followed Him" (v 39). Where did He go on the Mount of Olives? We know that He went to a garden called Gethsemane! That's where He was arrested. So, after the Passover He went out to the Mount of Olives. Now why is that an important thing? Well, Jesus frequented the Mount of Olives quite a bit with His disciples. He taught them there. Eusebius records that on the Mount of Olives was a big cave, and it was on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives, not the western side. Remember the western side of the Mount of Olives faces toward the eastern part of the Temple. We will see that becomes a very important thing.

Now let's look at some Scriptures concerning the Mount of Olives and why it is important. We're going to see something else as we look at the geographical area as explained to us here in the New Testament.

Luke 19:29: "Now, it came to pass that as He approached Bethphage and Bethany, toward the mountain called the Mount of Olives…" He came up from Jericho, made His way up. Descended up to Jerusalem and right near the summit of the Mount of Olives you have on the eastern side, you have Bethphage and Bethany.

"…He sent two of His disciples, saying, 'Go into the village across from you …" (vs 29-30). And then He went and got the colt and they brought it to Him!

Verse 37: "And as He drew near to the city, already being at the descent of the Mount of Olives…" The road came up to Bethany and Bethphage, and then the road went around the top of the Mount of Olives and then down toward the Temple area down toward the Kidron Valley. The Kidron Valley had a double-decked bridge that went across and went into the eastern gate of the Temple. This is where Jesus came with His triumphal entry. On

"…all the multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and to praise God with a loud voice for all the works of power that they had seen, saying, 'Blessed be the King, Who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!' And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to Him, 'Master, rebuke Your disciples.' But He answered and said to them, 'I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would cry out.' And when He came near and saw the city… [from that point of view looking down, we will see that He could see the temple area and the city] …He wept over it, saying, 'If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things for your peace; but now they are hidden from your eyes'" (vs 37-42). Then He prophesied that it was going to be encircled and destroyed.

Luke 21:37: "And during the day He was in the temple teaching, and at night He went out and lodged on the mountain called the Mount of Olives."

So, during the last days of Jesus' life, when He would go down from the Mount of Olives, He would cross over the bridge, come up the eastern gate, and go into the Temple and teach the people, and then He would come out and lodge at night.

Now, it's very possible that at night He went ahead and stayed in that cave near the Garden of Gethsemane. This shows us a lot concerning the Mount of Olives, and we'll see that will become a very key and important thing in identifying where Jesus was crucified. He could not have been crucified west of the Temple where the alleged Church of the Holy Sepulcher is. He had to be crucified east of the Temple. There is a very important reason why it had to be there.

When Jesus was there in Jerusalem, He was at the Mount of Olives and then He would go down and go into Jerusalem. John 18 is where He was arrested, and this becomes an important thing. One of the things that the Romans liked to do when they executed a criminal was crucify him, or execute him close to the place where he was arrested. Where was He arrested? We are going to see He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, and He was on the Mount of Olives.

John 18:1: "After saying these things, Jesus went out with His disciples to a place beyond the winter stream of Kidron, where there was a garden into which He and His disciples entered. And Judas, who was betraying Him, also knew of the place because Jesus had often gathered there with His disciples" (vs 1-2). He was arrested right there!

Now let's look at something that becomes really a very profound and important thing, which is this: We will see from the evidence, for this becomes a very important thing for us to understand.

Luke 23:44: "Now, it was about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was split down the middle…. [very key geographical thing in identifying where Jesus was crucified] …And after crying out with a loud voice, Jesus said, 'Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.' And when He had said these things, He expired. Now, after seeing the things that took place, the centurion glorified God, saying, 'Truly, this Man was righteous.'" (vs 44-47).

Let's see what else occurred and why this becomes a very important thing in identifying where Jesus was crucified.
Matthew 27:50: "And after crying out again with a loud voice, Jesus yielded up His spirit. Then suddenly the veil of the temple was ripped in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook, and the rocks were split, so that the tombs were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had died, were resurrected after His resurrection; and they came out of the tombs. Then they entered into the Holy city, and appeared to many. Then the centurion and those with him who had been keeping guard over Jesus, after seeing the earthquake and the things that took place…" (vs 50-54).

Have you ever seen an earthquake? I have seen an earthquake; not only felt it, but I've seen it. And you hear it, too. I remember one day I was driving down the street and all of a sudden my car wobbled and I thought I had a flat tire. I pulled over and slowed down and the car was still doing. The telephone poles and my car were swaying. You can see the earthquake! This was so great they saw it. What did they see?

"…after seeing the earthquake and the things that took place, were filled with fear, and said 'Truly this was the Son of God!'" (v 54).

What did they see? The veil was rent in two! Let's look at the diagram which shows the diagram of the face of the Temple. And we will see where that veil actually was. Then I'll read to you out of another book, by Earnest Martin, called The Secrets of Golgotha.

Looking at this picture, this hand drawing of the Temple, what you have, you have the Temple and it faces east. If you look at the other map that you have you will find that facing east it faces what? It faces the Mount of Olives. Also, if you look carefully at the drawing, right up here at the top, you have what is called the stone lintel. You can read a little bit more of this in the last chapter of The Christian Passover book. This stone lintel weighed many, many tons because it held the veil. Now here's the veil, which is a great hanging curtain. Here's the description of it.

This is a general view of the temple looking directly westward…

from your eastern point looking west

…into the Court of Israel, showing the circular steps leading up to the Nicanor Gate and then beyond into the grand area of the Holy Place itself. Between the two Corinthian pilasters…

that is, these right here that rose up on each side

…was the enormous curtain that was suspended from a stone lintel [which is this right here] which was at least thirty feet wide…

the stone lintel

…and weighing about thirty tons. This curtain was the one, which tore from top to bottom at the time of Christ's death on the Mount of Olives. It was perfectly feasible to view the whole of this gigantic curtain from the top of [Mount] Olivet.

Now this is a picture taken from the book Secrets of Golgotha.

Let's come back to the drawing, the map of Jerusalem in Old Testament times, and I want you to look at where the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was. Clear west! And even if the Temple were here, which it wasn't, the Temple faced east. If He was crucified here, there is no way that they could have seen the veil torn in two from top to bottom. The only place you could see it would be from the Mount of Olives looking west.

The Temple faced east, and all the worship service and everything that took place at the Temple was facing west. This is the front of the temple so in the back of the Temple, as we will see a little bit later on, is where the Holy of Holies was located. In order for them to see this huge great veil torn… now it was about the thickness of the palm of a hand of a man, being about four to six inches thick. This was no small little feat that took place. And so great was the earthquake that the judgment chamber called, the chamber of hewn stones where Jesus was judged, was so damaged that the Sanhedrin could no longer meet in that location. They never met there again. The very last judgment that they had was the judgment against Jesus Christ.

Let's look at some Scriptures concerning where Jesus was buried. He was buried, as we will see, right close to where He was crucified.

John 19:38: "Now, after these things, Joseph (the one from Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but having concealed it for fear of the Jews) asked Pilate that he might take Jesus' body away; and Pilate gave him permission. Then he came and took away the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who had come to Jesus by night at the first, also came, bearing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took Jesus' body and wound it in linen cloths with the aromatics, as is the custom among the Jews to prepare for burial. Now, there was a garden in the place where He was crucified…" (vs 38-41)—right along side of it.

So, if it were at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, there would have to be a place right there where the tomb should have been.

"…and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because of the preparation of the Jews, they laid Jesus there; for the tomb was near" (vs 41-42).

Let's see the parallel account here where Jesus was buried. He was buried right close to where He was crucified:

Luke 23:50: "And behold, there came a man named Joseph, a member of the council, a good and righteous man, (he did not consent to the council and their deed) from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, and who was also himself waiting for the Kingdom of God. He, after going to Pilate, begged for the body of Jesus. And after taking it down, he wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb hewn in a rock, in which no one had ever been laid" (vs 50-53).

Now let's look at Matthew's account, and that will tell us a little bit more and see the same thing, and see where He was buried.

Matthew 27:57: "And when evening was coming on, a rich man of Arimathea came, named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. After going to Pilate, he begged to have the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given over to him. And after taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen cloth, and placed it in his new tomb… [this tells us that Joseph of Arimathea owned the tomb] …which he had hewn in the rock; and after rolling a great stone to the door of the tomb, he went away" (vs 57-60).

Right near where Jesus was crucified there had to be a place where there was a tomb that was hewn out of the stone, and also there had to be a place where there was a cave where Jesus taught His disciples.

I'm going to read to you some excerpts from a book that explains where Jesus was crucified:

from: Secrets Of Golgotha by Ernest Martin http://www.askelm.com/golgotha/Golgotha%20Chap%2007.pdf
http://www.askelm.com/golgotha/gol001.htm

It must be realized that there was no difficulty in witnessing the tearing of the Temple curtain from the Mount of Olives…

Whereas, if you were west of the Temple, you would never see it. You would never know that it was ripped. Yes, you would have felt the earthquake, you would have seen the effects of that, but you would never see the veil being rent.

…which was a Sabbath Day's journey of about half a mile away from the Temple mount (Acts 1:12).

Let's also understand where was it that Jesus gave the prophecy of Matt. 24? It was on the Mount of Olives and called the Olivet Prophecy! Where was it that Jesus ascended from when He left to go to heaven for the final and last time? From the Mount of Olives! Where is it that He is coming to when He returns? To the Mount of Olives! So, the Mount of Olives becomes a very important thing. And as we will see if we have enough time, perhaps some of the other historical references showing that that was an important site for true Christians.

Describing the veil:

This outer curtain was 55 cubits high and 16 cubits wide (over 80 feet tall and 24 feet in breadth) (Josephus, War V.210-214). This curtain was a magnificent creation of art. Josephus (who was an eyewitness) described it as a wonderfully made tapestry woven with the finest materials (ibid.). And how majestic it was! Imagine a curtain about 24 feet wide and as high as a modern eight-story building. It is important to realize how enormous in size this curtain was because one might wonder how people standing about half a mile distant could witness it tear from the top down.

We're going to see that's going to be a very important feature.

There is a very important altar that is in connection with the Temple worship, which was on the Mount of Olives. That had to do with all sin offerings including the Day of Atonement sin offerings, as well as the red heifer, had to be burned wholly outside the camp. They weren't burnt at the altar. They were slaughtered at the altar, the blood was sprinkled at the altar, and then the sacrifice had to be carried out to what is called the Miphkad Altar. And the Miphkad Altar was located near the summit on the western side of the Mount of Olives. That was important, because when they had the sacrifice of the red heifer, the high priest had to be able to look directly down into the Temple area. Also, for the Day of Atonement it was very important.

This was the Holiest roadway into the Temple.

that is, off the Mount of Olives and up the east gate

Indeed, the whole area of the Mount of Olives in front of the eastern part of the Temple was considered the most sacred region outside the walls of Jerusalem because it faced the Holy of Holies. The holiness was further enhanced because at the top of the Mount of Olives was the "clean place" where the Red Heifer was burnt to ashes and (as we will see later) the bodies of the sin offerings mentioned by the author of the Book of Hebrews were burnt to ashes.

From this summit area of the Mount of Olives one could look westward over the eastern wall of the Temple directly into the sanctuary itself.

into the temple area itself

The eastern wall of the Temple enclosure was made lower than the other walls surrounding the Temple in order to allow a full view of the sanctuary interior including the curtain that was hanging in front of the Holy Place.

"All the [Temple] walls were high, save only the eastern wall, because the [High] Priest that burns the [Red] Heifer and stands on the top of the Mount of Olives should be able to look directly into the entrance of the Sanctuary when the blood…[of the Red Heifer] …is sprinkled."             Mishnah Middoth 2:4

This altar was considered 'outside the camp.' I mean just on the edge of the outside of the camp. What you had was the first part of the camp of Israel was the Holy of Holies. The second part was the Holy place with the altar outside there and then the court of the men to the edge of the Temple. The third camp was from the edge of the temple up to the Miphkad Altar on the Mount of Olives, and that was considered the whole Temple area. So, Jesus was crucified 'without the camp,' probably very close to the Miphkad Altar, which is very significant because Jesus was a sin offering, wasn't He?

It talks a little bit more about the Miphkad Altar. It says referring to it:

"It is said here… [in Leviticus 4:12]: …Without the Camp, and it is said there… [in Numbers 19:3]: …Without the Camp. Just as here… [in Leviticus] …it means outside the three Camps… [of the priests, of the Levites, and of the Israelites] …so does it mean there… [in Numbers] …outside the three Camps; and just as there[Numbers 19:3] …it means TO THE EAST OF JERUSALEM, so does it here[Leviticus 4:12] …TO THE EAST OF JERUSALEM."
Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 68a

This is where they were burnt. Let's look at a prophecy of where the altar we go to, is located. Let's come to Hebrew 13, referring to the difference between the altar in the Temple area, and the altar to which we come to.

Hebrews 13:10: "We have an altar from which those who… [worked at the temple] …are serving the present earthly tabernacle do not have authority to eat; for pertaining to those animals whose blood is brought into the Holy places by the high priest for a sin offering, the bodies of all these are burned outside the camp" (vs 10-11)—outside the camp at the Miphkad Altar!

Verse 12: "For this reason, Jesus, in order that He might sanctify the people by His own blood, also suffered outside the gate."

Where the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is located was within the gates of Jerusalem. This is outside the gate.

Verse 13: "So then, let us go forward to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach."

"The Miphkad Altar and the sin offerings which were sacrificed on it was really a cardinal part of the Temple complex that existed in the time of Christ. This altar was not one with a ramp leading up to a square elevated area, but it is described in the Mishnah as a pit in which the animals could be burnt to ashes (Parah 4:2). The Miphkad Altar was located outside the walls of the Temple (as Ezekiel 43:21 states), but [the bridge across the Kidron Valley and] the roadway leading up to the altar (and including the altar itself) were part of the ritualistic furniture associated with the Temple services....Christ was crucified near the Miphkad Altar…"
Ernest L. Martin, The Secrets of Golgotha

{Referring to Handout (pictures found in book by Ernest Martin)}

We're going to do is find out where the Temple was located. We know that it was west of the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives stood east. And on the Mount of Olives was the Miphkad Altar where you could look directly down into the Temple area, which becomes a very important point in locating where Jesus was crucified. We can't find the exact spot, but we can be close enough to it to be assured that He was crucified on the Mount of Olives. We're going to look at some other diagrams, and we're going to show concerning the Temple.

The next geographical drawing, which is a line drawing showing the elevations. Here is where they believed the Temple mount was, but we're going to see that's not where it was. The reason why it wasn't there, and the reason why they assume that it is there today.

I want you to see the Kidron Valley going here showing the depths. But what do we have over here? This is the Mount of Olives. What they would do, they would come down the Mount of Olives this way, cross over to the bridge, and we are going to see that the Temple was actually where the Gihon Spring is located. Why did they get it confused? How did that ever happen? What is the importance of the Gihon Springs?

Let's look at the next one showing the elevation, which becomes an important thing to understand. This is the Kidron Valley. The dotted line, as it goes from south to north is the Kidron Valley during the days of David. Here shows the Kidron Valley. That's what it is today. Now then, here is the southeast ridge, showing where the temple area was, and I'll point that out to you. Let's come up this way, and I want you to notice this darkened area with the big mound here, and the other darkened area right here. Then you come up and you come to the Dome of the Rock.

We're going to read in a little bit that this is where the City of David was. The reason that this darkened area is here, to show that this mount right here was cut down during the days of the Hasmonian Empire. That is during the days of the Maccabees. It was cut down and the dirt was used to fill in the Tyropean Valley and build upper Jerusalem. Here is where the spring of Gihon was, located directly below here. Where the Dome of the Rock is there is no natural water. And that becomes a profound and important marker as to where we can establish that the temple was located, and we will see it was located here. Now also this top ridge as we go here, this is the western hill.

Here is a reconstruction of the Temple area and what it really looked like. It's vastly different than what is projected today. First of all let's look at the Kidron Valley. We're going to see that this buildup of rock here was a tremendous thing and a great work. We are also going to see that directly below this were the Gihon Springs, where they could have the water to cleanse the Temple, to bathe the priests, to clean the sacrifices.

Here is the Temple area. It's not very big. The Temple area is only 600 feet by 600 feet by 600 feet. You can see the Temple as it's facing east. I want you to also notice something that's very important. That is the walkways on the top of the colonnades, all the way around. I'll explain what that is for. Then when we come up the colonnades up to here we have Fort Antonia.

Fort Antonia was a total of 36 acres. Right here is where the Dome of the Rock is. We will see that the Dome of the Rock is not the location of the Temple. And the Dome of the Rock was Fort Antonia, which was the Roman fort. Each one of these towers (three of the four towers), were 50 cubits high, or about 75 feet. The southeast tower, right here, was 75 cubits high, or 105 feet high, and this gave the Romans a great view into the Temple area. As you look at the base of Fort Antonia going down into the Valley of Kidron, you see that they had three layers of stone, which were smooth stone, and they were put together with iron rings, and this was so that an enemy could not come up and dig in and attack the fort. this was a very secure area.

This shows an overview of it looking down. The Roman troops, always constantly guarded the temple. They would come down on this walkway on the top of the colonnades. This was actually 45 feet wide. It gave them almost instant access to the Temple area. Of course, the Temple area was very small. Now here it shows the Temple facing east. Here would be the Temple facing west. So, you can see the impossibility of Jesus being crucified near the place of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, because that was west. I want you to keep this in mind because we'll talk about this a little bit later here.

Let's take the printout we have on The Temple Mount at Jerusalem, and this is a summary written by Robert Martin, taken from the book by Earnest Martin, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot. Now when that's combined with this other book, The Secrets of Golgotha, and they both cover much of the same ground - where Jesus was crucified. But this one deals on the location of the Temple. Because with all the material that we have and that we've seen with the maps that we have seen, that looking across from the Mount of Olives right down into the Temple area, had to be a location where Jesus was crucified.

Now let's talk about the Temple here, and let's talk about the things that he covers. Now this is just a six-page summary. This is a 300 and some page book. So we've garnered it down to the very bare essentials, and by the way this book is now out of print, unfortunately, but can be found at: http://www.askelm.com/TempBook/Temples000.pdf

The Temple Mount at Jerusalem
A Summary of Ernest L. Martin's book
"The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot"
{https://www.cbcg.org/studies-templemount.html}

Josephus gives a different perspective of the Temple than what is accepted by most historians today.…"

that we have in this book, which shows that it's going to be a great, mammoth temple! No, it's not going to be a great mammoth temple. Just no way around it. All the pictures that are shown of what the Jews' conceive the temple will be like, what they are doing is this: they are praying that God will cause an earthquake and destroy the Mosque of Omar, which is the Dome of the Rock. Then they can be allowed to build their temple there. Well, lo and behold, where are they going to get the water? Because, as we will see, we've got the information here, which shows the size of Fort Antonia and the size of the Temple, and so forth.

Let's come to the second paragraph where he talks about how the Jews don't like to accept Josephus, but he was a historian and saw these things.

However, Josephus was fully aware of the cardinal features of the Temple Mount: It was built directly over the subterranean Spring of Gihon..."

Not where these maps that I've shown you show where it was located. As we have seen, Gihon was located right under the Temple area. Where they say the Temple area was, up here where Fort Antonia was, it wasn't there. The reason is, is that this whole shaded area, this big mound was actually higher than the Temple area and cut off the view of the Temple from the south looking north. In the days of Simon the Hasmonean, as recorded in the book of the Maccabees,  they totally cut down the mound where the City of David was.

…These features…

with the spring and so forth

…were also witnessed by Aristeas of Egypt three hundred years before Josephus and confirmed by the Roman historian Tacitus (115 AD), who quoted eyewitnesses that were in Jerusalem before 70 AD) Josephus informs us that Mount Zion, the City of David, was the first citadel protecting the Temple Mount from the south. Later, John Hyrcanus (Maccabees) built a palace north of the Temple Mount called Baris….

Baris later became Fort Antonia. It was used by the:

…Hasmonean princes…

and later

Herod the Great made it into a citadel. He renamed it Fort Antonia, in honor of Marcus Anthony. With great effort, Herod built Fort Antonia into a large enclosed area for the Romans to garrison an entire Legion

of 10,000 troops

…along with their auxiliary personnel.

It would require a separate community to be built. We have not understood the great power and presence and force of the Roman troops and Fort Antonia in relationship to the Temple.

Josephus Understood the Symbolism of the Gihon Spring

Gihon Spring was the only natural spring of pure water within five miles of Jerusalem in any direction. Pure water was an indispensable requirement for the essential rituals of the Temple. Because of this spring of pure water, the Temple was a microcosm of the Garden of Eden. (One of the rivers that flowed through the Garden of Eden was the river Gihon.) The water of Gihon was symbolic of the Water of Life. Ophel and the Gihon Spring are synonymous.

The Gihon Spring was about a quarter mile south from today's Dome of the Rock….

Which was the location of Fort Antonia. Ophel, which is the second little mount here

…Ophel and the Gihon Springs are synonymous....

…This information is [a vital key] crucial in determining the correct location of the Temple Mount….

So, you have a problem. Wherever Ron Wyatt dug was not in the place where the Temple was. If you have ever read anything about how these various sites in Jerusalem were discovered, it was by dreams and visions. Likewise today, associated with where the Temple was, and associated with these things are also dreams and visions, which are just as lying today as they were then.

Now please understand this: never gauge anything on the sincerity of people in presenting their cause, because they can sincerely believe something, which is not true. However, if Ron Wyatt truly did make a video of it, and he went back to his hotel—as it is claimed, when he was in Jerusalem—and saw the video of what he had seen with of the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant, then he should have kept it so we would have known about it. But he took it back and allegedly gave it to one of the four angels that was in that subterranean place that he allegedly had excavated, which was allegedly right under the place where Jesus was crucified. But he didn't excavate under the Mount of Olives. And the subterranean caves of the Temple were below the Temple, and not below where Jesus was crucified on the Mount of Olives.

Josephus was fully aware of the symbolism involving the Gihon Spring and the Throne or the Holy of Holies of Almighty God, which the learned men of Judaism have ignored.

The Location of Mount Zion, Ophel, and Fort Antonia

Josephus understood that the original site of Mount Zion (it was actually a mound) was located on the southern third of the southeast ridge….

which is the one we have been looking at all along

This was where David had built his city, and it became known as the "Lower City" of Jerusalem. The limits of David and Solomon's Jerusalem were between Kidron Valley to the east and Tyropoeon Valley to the west, with both valleys merging at the south end of the southeast ridge….

The Tyropoeon Valley would be filled in

...The Tyropoeon Valley was gradually populated as Jerusalem grew toward the west during the time of King Uzziah. In the latter part of the second century BC, the Maccabees extensively populated this valley, and it became known as the "Upper City."

The Hinnom Valley was to the immediate west at the south end of the western hill adjoining the Kidron and Tyropoeon Valleys at the foot of the southeast ridge….

On the southern third of this ridge there were two mounds: Zion and "Ophel" (literally "humped mount"). From south to north, the two mounds together were about 400 yards in length.

We're not talking about a large area. We're talking, a total, 1,600 feet, which then is approximately a little more than a quarter of a mile. We're not talking very much space here. Then it talks about how it went up and joined the area where the Fort Antonia was.

No Rock Outcropping Associated with the Temple

In the Mosque of Omar, which has the Dome, in the center of it they have that outcropping of rock. This is where Mohammed allegedly ascended to heaven. So that's why they built it there. Are there a lot of lying spirits associated with Jerusalem? Yes indeed! Now here is the key:

There is no reference in Scripture or any secular historical source that describes a natural outcropping of rock located at the highest point of the ridge or hill that was associated with the Temple Mount. This includes the sites of the Temple floor, the Holy of Holies and the Altar of Burnt Offering.

The Altar of Burnt Offering was formally used as a threshing floor….

So, the top of that second mound was flat.

Remember how we saw how the Temple lay with that huge wall going up.

Solomon built the east wall of the Temple that reached upwards from the base on the east side of the hill.  The foundation was built below the Kidron Valley floor, and the visible wall began from the bottom of the valley and extended upwards for three hundred cubits (450 feet).

As one would stand on the Mount of Olives viewing the Temple, it was a very spectacular thing.

The top of the hill and an artificial embankment that Solomon had built along the Kidron Valley was completely filled in with rubble and large rocks known as millo. The millo filled this embankment until it reached the top of Mount Ophel, 300 cubits—about 40 to 45 stories—above the Kidron Valley floor,

If you have ever stood and looked up at a skyscraper, I mean, you get the feeling of what it really was. That's why this was such a spectacular thing. I think the picture that was drawn here that we showed you does not do justice to the 450 feet here. I think it should go down proportionately a whole lot more to show 450 feet.

Solomon built no walls on the north, west, and south sides. However, in the course of time this hilltop area was enlarged, filling in some of those areas

to the north, to the west, and to the south

…and enclosing the hill from its base at the floor of the Kidron Valley in the east and the Tyropoeon Valley in the west. Its southern and northern sides extended westward over the ridge between the Kidron and Tyropoeon valleys. The final foundation of the Temple was shaped like a cube, and the area on top of the Temple Mount was a perfect square platform.

And as we'll see later, 600 feet by 600 feet. Only two football lengths wide and long. Whereas, Fort Antonia, as we will see, occupied 36 acres.

The Gihon Spring

The Temple Mount had a natural spring with an unlimited supply of water coming from underneath the Holy of Holies. Scriptural references require a water source to be associated with the Temple and its function. The Gihon Spring is referred to numerous times in the book of Psalms and by the prophets.

During the time of David and Solomon, Gihon Spring supplied the Siloam Pool and fed the Kidron Valley. Toward the end of the eighth century BC, King Hezekiah built a tunnel to supply underground water from the Gihon Spring to western Jerusalem (II Chron. 32:30).

And he built it because he was expecting a siege from Sennacherib.

Before 70 AD, the Jews often used the word "Siloam" to describe the whole system of the Gihon Spring—Siloam Pool, Hezekiah's underground tunnel and the channels into the Kidron Valley. (Christians did not use the name "Gihon" but continued to use "Siloam" to describe this water network even into modern times.)

It is most significant that the pure water of Gihon Spring under the Temple Mount ran near the seat of the Holy of Holies, symbolic of the seat of Almighty God's throne. John's description of God's throne in Revelation shows a river of water coming out from beneath the throne…

So here again, we have the symbolism. Because when Moses gave the pattern for the tabernacle, God told him, 'Make it after the pattern that is given you.' Then David, when he drew the plans for the Temple, these were given to him from God. That's why there had to be the Gihon Spring and the unlimited supply of water.

  • How are you going to wash away all this blood?
  • What are you going to do with it?
  • How are you going to keep it clean so it can be clean?

Because these things were supposed to be in clean areas.

  • How are you going to keep it in such a condition that it's not going to just be overrun with flies?

If you've done any slaughtering or anything, you know that the flies come just instantly. So they had to have all that water (Rev. 21:1). Then it shows, he gives some prophecies of the destruction of the Temple.

Let's talk about Fort Antonia. Now, when Jesus was judged in the chamber of hewn stones by the Sanhedrin, where did they take Him? They took Him up to Pilate! Where was Pilate? His residence was there at the northwestern end of Fort Antonia. The judgment hall was there. The Jews didn't want to enter in there because they would be unclean. And when it's connected with the Passover, what are you really dealing with? Fort Antonia was actually Roman property. So, technically and legally, if the Jews would have entered into Fort Antonia, if they would have—the Jewish priests and so forth—entered into the judgment hall, they would have been in a foreign country and they would have had to have taken the second Passover.

Fort Antonia's walls were 40 cubits (60 feet) high….

I tell you, these were intelligent people. They knew how to move stone. They didn't do it by grunting and scraping, like they've tried to imitate building the Pyramids. They had ways of moving stones. And I'm sure they had crane-like levers to lift the stones up and stack them up and make them fit absolutely perfectly.

Inside these walls, the buildings and grounds were built on a level platform.

That's the area where the Dome of the Rock is; that's why it's all flat. And you see, the Western Wailing Wall where the Jews come to pray at the Western Wailing Wall, so-called the most holy place in Jerusalem, they're coming to Fort Antonia and they are still accepting Caesar as their god. Remember they said, 'We have no king but Caesar'

Josephus wrote that all of Fort Antonia was built over and around a rock outcrop at the summit of the ridge….

Today it is called the Dome of the Rock. Today, the remainder of this protruding rock is covered by a dome that was built by Abdul el-Malik, and completed in 691A.D. This dome mosque:

…occupies only a very small fraction of the entire surface area of the 36-acre artificial platform that the Romans built. [for Fort Antonia].

When Jesus said, 'All the stones would be removed,' the Temple destroyed, everyone has wondered why are those stones were still there, that they think are of the Temple area? The answer is, that was never the Temple area! That was Fort Antonia. Do you think the Romans are going to destroy their property? No! They kept their fortress there and the troops there, and they literally took every stone down. When you look at that and you understand the proportion of it, they took every stone down, all the way to the Kidron Valley, and they had the Jewish slaves do it.

The way they did it, they would build huge fires; get the rock really hot. Then they would take the water from the Gihon Spring and pour on it, and it would crack the rocks, and then they would make them use the iron levers and split it apart. And of course, the Romans would come along and pick up all of the melted gold. Because the gold that melted and went down in the crevice of those rocks from the Temple was more than just the gold overlaying the inside of the Temple. The truth is, the Temple was the bank, the 'international bank' of the Jews. And all of the rich Jews put their gold in safekeeping in the Temple. What better place to put it? They were after all that gold that melted down and ran in the cracks. They took it down to every single stone. Not one left upon another.

Fort Antonia and the Roman Legion

A Roman Legion had 5,000 infantry troops and with them 5,000 support personnel….

A Legion is 10,000.

…There were 833 military personal per acre within Fort Antonia.

In there they had their own temple and everything that they needed. They could eat their unclean food in there. That's where the swine from over in Decapolis came from. The swine were raised on the other side of the River Jordan, and then they were slaughtered and brought over to the Romans up in Fort Antonia.

It would only be expected that the Roman garrison would be the most prominent feature of Jerusalem. This was to continually remind the Jews that they were expected to be subservient to their master's supremacy. The Temple did not in any way compete with the Roman fortress of Antonia as the most prominent area in Jerusalem. The Roman authority in Jerusalem was there for all to see. The fortress was four and a half times greater than the area of the Temple Mount. It overlooked and dominated the Temple Mount. For the Roman strategy was clearly to dominate the Jews with the use of psychological warfare in order to maintain a level of fear, to secure Jewish conformity to Roman authority.

Now here's what is missed

The crowds that assembled at the Temple during the Holy Days were overseen by 2,000 Roman troops. In order to prevent disorder and riots among the Jews...

which they were known to do. And you can read of that in Josephus.

...they were stationed on a 45-foot wide walkway built atop the four colonnades that surrounded the Temple grounds….

During the Jewish festivals, there were three rotations of guards, totaling 6,000 soldiers, each day.

Remember when Paul went up to do sacrifice, and the Jews found him there? And they were ready to kill him? You notice how quickly the Roman centurion and the soldiers were there? Because when they saw this riot developing, they ran down the colonnades, ran down to the Temple grounds, because there were stairs coming down to the Temple grounds, and they reached and grabbed Paul and saved his neck. Then when Paul was on the stairs he asked the Roman centurion, 'Can I speak to the crowd?' He said, 'Go ahead.' So, he spoke to them in Hebrew, told them what he was doing. And you can read that account there in Acts 21 and 22. And as soon as he came to the word 'Gentiles,' there was a riot. And so this centurion brought him back, took him up the steps, went on the colonnades and took him up into Fort Antonia for his own safekeeping. Now you've got a picture of what it is like. If you look at these diagrams it will help you understand that part of the New Testament even more.

Josephus' Description of the Colonnades

The colonnades between the Temple and Fort Antonia were extended around the outer edge of the entire Temple Mount platform. These colonnades were roofed with the roadway 30 cubits (45 feet) wide. The colonnade roadway was the vantage point from which the Roman troops were able to guard the entrances and exits to and from the Temple as well as keep a watchful eye on the inside area of the court (with the exception of the inside of the Temple).

Josephus went on to describe it, and so forth.

There was a plaza of 600 feet between the walls of the Temple Mount and Fort Antonia.

That was actually the Court of the Gentiles. Right in this area. See, so when Jesus made His triumphal entry, He came down the Mount of Olives, across the bridge Kidron, up here, and came in the East Gate. So this gives us a real good bird's-eye view of the Temple area.

What can we conclude from all of this? Jesus was crucified on the Mount of Olives near the Miphkad Altar! They saw down into the Temple area, and when the veil rent in two. Jesus was buried in a sepulcher right near where He was crucified. Now you can follow through on that with A Harmony of the Gospels.

The blood of Jesus Christ was not shed over the Ark of the Covenant, directly below the Holy of Holies in the subterranean caves. His blood was shed on the ground.

John 19:34: "But one of the soldiers had pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water had come out."

He shed His blood. We don't know how high up the cross was that Jesus was crucified on. But it was high enough that there was a spear that it went up into His side. I have shown before, going through the crucifixion of Christ, that it probably went up His side and pierced His heart so that almost all of His blood would be poured out. Then Jesus was buried, as we read, and put into the tomb.

This is on the Wave Sheaf Offering Day. Let's understand something here very important. Jesus was resurrected, Whatever blood that He still had on Him after He was resurrected, because His body didn't see corruption, which meant that the blood that was still with Him on His body or on His garments had not seen corruption either. Where was that taken? We will see.

John 20:17: "Jesus said to her, 'Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brethren and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'"

So on the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, when Jesus ascended the Mount of Olives. Whatever blood that was there, His perfect blood of His sacrifice, whatever remnant was left, that was taken to the throne of God in heaven above. Not deposited on an Ark of a Covenant, which God was rejecting and going to destroy forty years after the death of Jesus Christ.

We can conclude, based upon the evidence in the Bible, and based upon the evidence in history, that that could not have been the blood of Jesus. He was not crucified anywhere near the place that would be necessary for any of His blood to come down on the Holy of Holies. Therefore, we can conclude that any of these things have to be another modern lying wonder to confuse people as to the truth about Jesus' crucifixion. Later we see that Jesus came back to the earth, as we've already seen, and appeared to His disciples.

Isn't it interesting that Jesus ascended the first time after His resurrection from the Mount of Olives, came back down and was seen forty days and forty nights of His disciples. Then when it was time for Him to ascend into heaven, where did He go? He went out to the Mount of Olives.
Acts 1:3: "To whom… [to the apostles] …also, by many infallible proofs, He presented Himself alive after He had suffered, being seen by them for forty days, and speaking the things concerning the Kingdom of God. And while they were assembled with Him, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem but to 'await the promise of the Father…'" (vs 3-4)—the Holy Spirit. Then He told them, no, that He's not going to restore the Kingdom to Israel (v 7)

Verse 8: "But you yourselves shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth." Today that still continues through the writings of the apostles!

Verse 9: "And after saying these things, as they were looking at Him, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. Now, while they were gazing intently up into heaven as He was going up, two men in white apparel suddenly stood by them, Who also said, 'You men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into heaven?….'" (vs 9-11)—you go do what He said!

After the angel said Christ is going to come in like manner that He left from the Mount of Olives, and He's coming back to the Mount of Olives.

Verse 12: "Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem, being about the distance of a Sabbath's journey."

So they went down the road and across the bridge and on over through the Temple area into Jerusalem. Remember they kept preaching from Solomon's porch up there in the Temple area. There's some other things that show after 70A.D. that there was a Church of God located on the Mount of Olives that Eusebius writes about that later became a Franciscan monastery, which later is the area where they found the ossuary for the bones of Simon bar Jonah. Peter was never buried in Rome.

Now let's see what Zechariah 14:4 tells us, the day He returns: "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east…"

  • that's where He was crucified
  • that's where He ascended into heaven
  • that's where He's coming back

"...and the Mount of Olives shall split in two, from the east and to the west, and make a very great valley...." (v 4). That's going to do in all those armies!

"...And half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 'And you shall flee to the valley of My mountains...'" (vs 4-5).

That's where Christ is going to return, to the Mount of Olives. He taught His disciples there, He lodged there, He prayed His last prayer there, He was crucified there; He ascended to heaven the first time, came back for forty days, ascended to heaven second time from the Mount of Olives, and when He returns from heaven He's coming right to the Mount of Olives.

Is God consistent or not? Yes! So, I think with that in locating where Jesus was crucified and locating the true location of the temple we can say with full confidence that whatever Ron Wyatt found was not real.

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • John 14:7-9
  • Luke 22:39
  • Luke 19:29-30, 37-42
  • Luke 21:37
  • John 18:1-2
  • Luke 23:44-47
  • Matthew 27:50-54
  • John 19:38-42
  • Luke 23:50-53
  • Matthew 27:57-60
  • Hebrews 13:10-13
  • John 19:34
  • John 20:17
  • Acts 1:3-4, 8-12
  • Zechariah 14:4-5

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 21:1
  • Acts 21; 22; 1:7

Also referenced: Books:

  • The Coming Last Days Templeby Randall Price
  • The Temple Mount at Jerusalem (originally done by Dr. Robert Martin, no relation to Ernest Martin)
  • Jerusalem of the Old Testament
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • Secrets Of Golgotha by Ernest Martin
  • The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot by Ernest Martin {http://www.askelm.com/TempBook/Temples000.pdf}
  • A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter

FRC:
Reformatted/Corrected: bo—3/2019

BOOKS