Overgrown with Thickets

Around 2,750 years ago the prophet Micah wrote; “Zion will be ploughed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple mount a mound overgrown with thickets.” (Micah 3:12b NIV)

Ploughed up like a field

The Prophet Micah spoke of a time when God’s people in Israel would be “ploughed like a field” and that Jerusalem would become a heap of rubble and the temple mount overgrown with thickets because of Israel’s rebellion and wickedness against God and for their rejection of their Messiah the Lord Jesus. In 586 BC the Babylonians destroyed the Temple when they sacked Jerusalem. Then in 70AD the Romans also destroyed the Temple and levelled it completely not leaving one stone upon another but all were cast down. After the Bar-Kokhba rebellion (132-135 CE) the Roman armies under Hadrian ploughed Jerusalem with a yoke of oxen. Jews were sold into slavery and many were transported to Egypt. Judean settlements were not rebuilt. Jerusalem was turned into a pagan city called Aelia Capitolina and the Jews were forbidden to live there. They were permitted to enter only on the 9th of Av to mourn their losses in the revolt.

The Bar-Kokhba Revolt

Hadrian changed the country’s name from Judea to Syria Palestina (Palestine derived from the word Philistine). Before the revolt Hadrian had requested that the site of the Temple actually be moved from its original location. He also began deporting Jews to North Africa. These acts of Roman superiority over the Jewish people were most probably the main catalysts that started the Bar-Kokhba rebellion in Israel against the Roman occupiers. Because of the devastation wrought by foreign armies sacking Jerusalem over time it would seem that the original location of the Temple has actually been lost if we accept the prophecy of Micah. There are no thickets on the site of the supposed Temple Mount today. During its long history, Jerusalem has been attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, besieged 23 times, and destroyed twice.

What if it is not where they say it is?

Today the Dome of the Rock Mosque sits on the supposed site of the Temple Mount but what if its real location is not where they say it is? There is Biblical, historical and archaeological evidence to suggest that the real site of the Temple is actually located within the original City of David. While there is an increasing number of Jewish, Messianic and Christian scholars writing on this subject today and videos and documentaries being released on the Internet, there are at least seven things to seriously consider in this matter concerning the real location of the Jewish Temple.

#1. The City of David

The City of David in the Bible was built on the site of the original Jebusite Fortress which was built on a very large hill or tell where it could easily be defended from all sides and sat over a natural water source. When David’s men took this Jebusite City they went up the water shaft under the city which would have been the water source for the city from the Gihon Springs, the only water gusher for around a 5 mile radius in Israel. King David renamed this Jebusite city and fortress the City of David also called the fortress of Zion. (2 Samuel 5:6-9)

#2. The Gihon Springs

The Gihon Springs was the only gusher of running water which would have been needed for the sacrifices and offerings being continuously made in the Temple. “Gihon” actually means “gusher.” The real Mt Zion would have also been located in the City of David and the Ark of the Covenant was brought up from there by David. (1 Kings 8:1) Running water was essential to wash away the blood from the sacrifices which the gusher at the Gihon Springs would have supplied. When you consider that at the dedication of the Temple Solomon offered up 22,000 cattle and a 120,000 sheep and goats the blood would have had to have been washed away with fresh running water with so many sacrifices being offered. (1 Kings 8:62) The blood was poured out at the base of the altar and it would have been drained into the flowing water of the Gihon Springs to be washed away in the running water which would purify itself. It is also significant to note that King Solomon was anointed King at Gihon. (1 Kings 1:38) Hezekiah’s Tunnel had its source at the Gihon Springs as well which is located in the original City of David and was the water source for the city and the Temple sacrifices. When you view an Arial map of Jerusalem you will see that Hezekiah’s Tunnel, with its source at the Gihon Springs, is nowhere near the current site of the Dome of the Rock.

#3. The threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite

David built an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Samuel 24:18) the future sight of the Temple. King Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem (the City of David) on Mt Moriah where Abraham had been prepared to sacrifice his son, the same location on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. (2 Chronicles 3:1)  Araunah was a Jebusite from the original city of the Jebusites which had become the City of David.

#4. Overgrown with thickets

According to the prophet Micah the Temple Mount was to be “ploughed like a field, Jerusalem would become a heap of rubble and the temple mound overgrown with thickets.” (Micah 3:12) In 70AD the Temple was completely destroyed by the Romans and levelled and not one stone was left upon another but all were thrown down so we must question whether the Western Wailing Wall is in fact a part of the Temple? Since 70AD for over 2,000 years since that time the original site has been lost and today there would be thickets overgrowing the original site of the Temple Mount near the Gihon Springs in the City of David.

#5. The fortress Antonia

The Dome of the Rock sits on solid bedrock and it most certainly is not ploughed like a field or overgrown with thickets as we are told in the prophet Micah. Most likely the Dome of the Rock Mosque actually sits within the parameters of the fortress Antonia which would have overlooked the original Temple. According to Josephus there were two colonnades that linked the fortress with the Temple. The fortress Antonia had four towers with one higher than the others that overlooked the Temple compound so the Romans could keep an eye on what the Jews were doing within the Temple precincts. Josephus writes; “”The general appearance of the whole was that of a tower with other towers at each of the four corners; three of these turrets were fifty cubits high, while that at the south-east angle rose to seventy cubits and so commanded a view of the whole area of the temple.” (B.J. v. 238) In the scale model of the Temple currently in Jerusalem the size of the fortress Antonia would be inaccurate and would have been much larger than depicted by the original designer and builder of this scale model. Josephus is the authoritative source for the description of the Antonia Fortress and he wrote about its interior. It is described as “a small city, a palace for a king and a barracks for many soldiers. There were apartments, cloisters, baths and large courtyards.” It would have had to have been quite large and the scale model of it in Jerusalem is just too small.

#6.  According to Ernest L.Martin

From his years of research into the original location of the Temple and the fortress Antonia the late Ernest L. Martin, PH.D wrote concerning the fortress itself; “This Herodian structure housed the Tenth Legion left by Titus after the Roman/Jewish War of 66 to 73 C.E. The Tenth Legion continued its presence within its walls for over 200 years until the Legion left for Ailat on the Red Sea in 289 C.E. The Haram esh-Sharif (Fort Antonia) is the only remaining part of the Jerusalem that existed in the period of Herod and Jesus. And the present Jewish authorities have mistakenly accepted its Western Wall as being the wall of Herod’s Temple. They are wrong! It is actually the Western Wall of Fort Antonia.” A Legion in the first half of the first Century consisted of between 4,000 and 6,000 soldiers. The scale model in Jerusalem of the fortress Antonia is far too small to house such a large number of Roman soldiers. The rectangular shape of the supposed Temple Mount area itself would be able to accommodate a legion, its camp followers, shops and bazaars and markets including aqueducts for bathing and drinking and washing. The rectangular formation of the area surrounding the Dome of the Rock was the standard formation the Romans would use to set up their camp or fortress.

#7. According to the Lord Jesus

The Lord Jesus clearly said concerning the destruction of the Temple that everything would be destroyed; “And He said to them (His disciples), “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” (Matthew 24:2) Over the last 2,000 years the original location of the Temple Mount would have been overgrown with thickets according to the prophet Micah. This most certainly does not describe the situation on the current site where the Dome of the Rock Mosque sits on solid bedrock. The western Wailing Wall would have to be a retaining wall of the original fortress Antonia and not a retaining wall of the Temple as this would invalidate the prophetic words of the Lord Jesus who said that everything would be levelled completely. Historically this is what the Romans did to the Temple in 70AD when they levelled everything.

Ken Klein-a Messianic Jew

Ken Klein, a Jewish Bible teacher and film maker has produced an excellent and informative video titled; “Jerusalem and the Lost Temple of the Jews” it is a real “eye-opener” on this whole subject. It is available through Amazon.

Have the Jewish people been deceived?

The evidence being gathered today on this subject would suggest that the present supposed site of the Temple is in fact not the original site at all and when the Muslims built the Dome of the Rock thinking they were building it on the site of the Jewish Temple they built it in the wrong place. Also because Israel by enlarge to this day have rejected God’s living tabernacle the Messiah our Lord Jesus, the question can be asked have they also been deceived and in fact worship at the retaining wall of the fortress Antonia? Possibly this is why God has not revealed the real site of the Temple as yet and “Israel’s House still lies to them desolate” and the Temple Mount buried to this day and overgrown by thickets? (Daniel 9:26b) (Matthew 23:38) (Micah 3:12)