"Believe it or not but Jerusalem, more precisely Zedekiah’s Cave near Damascus Gate, has for years been the General Quarter for the Freemasons Order. The order’s local chamber was “King Solomon’s Cave.” Members of the mysterious and secret group, established following special authorization from the Ottomans – who also had some members of the order among them – used to meet there, until the outcome of the War of Independence in 1948 prevented them from continuing. Immediately following the Six Day War in 1967, the local order resumed its activities and meetings there.
"Last week, a no-less-mysterious event took place at the cave, which attracted many members from around the world to Jerusalem. The entire event – on which no details have yet been released – was headed by the supreme president of the Freemasons World Order.” (est. Sept. 18)
History (GoIsrael): This mysterious cave located east of Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem goes back about 1,000 feet under the northern Old City wall, and about 2,000 years in history. Make that 2,600 years, if you include the legend that gave it its name.
It is said that Zedekiah, Jerusalem’s last biblical king, a Babylonian puppet deposed of during the final siege on the city, attempted to flee Jerusalem to Jericho through this cave.
He was captured and brought before the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, where his sons were murdered in front of him and his eyes were put out (2 Kings 25:1-6).
In keeping with this tragic story, at the back of the cave is a tiny spring, known as “Zedekiah’s tears.” That is were you discover the cave has no exit; archaeologists tell us that in fact it was a quarry from which Herod the Great hewed stone to build the Temple.
The cave’s dramatic lighting reveals signs of the quarrying. In 1868, the first meeting of Freemasons in Ottoman Palestine was held by candlelight in Zedekiah’s Cave.
Geography (Wikipedia): "The entrance to Zedekiah's Cave is just beneath the Old City wall, between the Damascus and Herod Gates, about 500 feet (150 m) east of the former. Beyond the narrow entrance, the cave slopes down into a vast 300-foot-long auditorium-like chamber. Drops of water, known as “Zedekiah's tears”, trickle through the ceiling.
"Beyond the “auditorium” are a series of artificial galleries hewn by ancient stonecutters into chaotic, sometimes bizarre, patterns and formations. Paths give access to every corner of the quarry system, which takes at least 30 minutes to explore thoroughly. Chisel marks are visible in many sections and in some galleries huge, nearly finished building blocks destined for some long-ago structure are locked into the rock where the stonecutters left them centuries ago. In a few places the stones are marked by Arabic, Greek, Armenian and English charcoal and engraved graffiti (e.g., "W. E. Blackstone Jan. 1889"). Several plaques explaining some of the myriad legends associated with the site have been mounted on the cave walls.
"From entrance to the farthest point, the cave extends about 650 feet (200 m). Its maximum width is about 330 feet (100 m) and its depth is generally about 30 feet (9.1 m) below the street level of the Muslim Quarter, although there are several lower levels and blocked tunnels too."
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