Part Four and Final
These beautiful gates, including the construction underneath the southern platform, are described in the books written by the historian, Flavius Josephus, who lived during the 1st century CE and was an eyewitness of what King Herod added and built atop the Holy Temple Mount.
Flavius Josephus even explained with many details how King Herod re-modeled the Holy Temple itself upon the same exact location of the First and the Second Holy Temples on the Holy Temple Mount. The Temple of Herod was, at that time, the tallest building in the world with a height of more than 50 meters, which corresponds to a 20-story building of today. According to biblical law, he did not move the location of the Holy Temple on the Holy Temple Mount, but on the same exact location, he was able to re-model the Holy Temple to such a height and still abide by biblical law. The Holy of Holies was located inside Herod's Temple and the stones of this building were marble-stone and they reflected the aura of a blue color like heaven.
In the writings of Josephus, it says that the edifice of Herod's Temple was so beautiful that those who never saw this Holy Temple never saw a beautiful building in all of their life. The statuesque building was located specifically and primarily on the 'foundation rock'
which still exists until today on the Holy Temple Mount.
Josephus, who saw with his own eyes the Holy Temple and the Holy Temple Mount that King Herod re-modeled, gives us details about the constructions that Herod built inside the Holy Temple itself and also on the Holy Temple Mount. Important details and archaeological remains of Herod's Temple and its compound including details even from the First Holy Temple of King Solomon, were found on the Holy Temple Mount after the Six Days War. We could confirm word-for-word what Flavius Josephus wrote on this important subject and especially that the Holy Temple Mount was and is the one-and-only location of both Holy Temples. Josephus' descriptions have been considered by historians throughout history until today as honest and completely faithful to the facts of history measured on a serious and scientific level.
After the destruction of the Second Holy Temple in the year 70 CE, Jews who survived the destruction never forgot the Holy Temple Mount and it's location which always signified the time when King Solomon built the First Holy Temple. The message about the Holy Temple Mount and its location was transmitted from father to son through centuries of Jewish history. The Jewish people never allowed themselves to forgot the Holy Temple and its location on the Holy Temple Mount and were faithful to what they swore: “...if I will forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her skill. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy...” Psalm 137:5, 6.
How could they ever forget the place of the house of their beloved G-D in Jerusalem?! Throughout 2,000 years of exile, Jews were oftentimes forbidden to ascend to the Holy Temple Mount, but they did everything possible to come and make pilgrimages to the Holy Temple Mount and they even tried to sacrifice their personal sacrifices, especially the sacrifice of Passover. Their prayers, their hearts, their faces and their hopes were always directed toward the location of the Holy Temple Mount. Even their dead were buried for thousands of years even until today with their faces directed toward the Holy Temple Mount in order to await the coming of the Messiah. This will happen when the G-D of Israel brings forth the resurrection and every one will enter the Holy Temple Mount in order to worship their beloved G-D, the G-D of Israel, in the coming Third Holy Temple. All of these buried Jewish bodies have been silent witnesses, as their faces are directed toward the Holy Temple Mount, that this is the real location of both Holy Temples and the location for the Third Holy Temple. Inside Jewish homes there is a custom practiced to this day that on the eastern wall there is a portion of the wall intentionally left unfinished as a daily reminder to never forget the destruction of the Holy Temple and the Holy Temple Mount at its location in Jerusalem.
There is a very exciting and historical story about the great Rabbi Akiva who lived after the destruction of the Second Holy Temple. In approximately the year 150 CE, one day he walked together with his students on the Holy Temple Mount and suddenly they saw a fox that was running out of the ruins of the Holy Temple. All of Rabbi Akiva's students began to weep and cry when they saw the fox coming from the location of the Holy of Holies of the G-D of Israel. The rabbi asked them not to weep but rather to know that if the prophecies about the destruction of the Holy Temple were fulfilled, then this means that the prophecies of the redemption will also be fulfilled and soon to come. Rabbi Akiva and his students walked on the Holy Temple Mount and not on any other place.
Scandalous New Books Negate Har Habayit
How could the title of one of the two books which have been written that suggest an alternative location for the building of the Third Holy Temple be called: “The Temples That Jerusalem Forgot”
? How could these two books, including the book “Temple”
, claim that the First and Second Holy Temples may have been built down the slope of the City of David and not on the mountain at the top of the slope where the 'foundation rock' is located until this very day?
In the year 638 CE when the Muslims occupied the Land of Israel, Jerusalem and the Holy Temple Mount, as we previously described, they cleared away the garbage that the Byzantine Christians had heaped on top of the ruins of the Holy Temple. They also removed all of the ruins of the Holy Temple and threw them out of the eastern wall of the Holy Temple Mount and the pile of ruins formed a hill that still exists until today. Later the Muslims constructed a Muslim cemetery upon this hill which also exists until today.
The Golden Gate
They believed that by blocking the Golden Gate of the Holy Temple Mount
with this hill and cemetery that they could and still can prevent the coming Messiah ben David from entering to the Holy Temple Mount. They also believe, mistakenly, that the Messiah will be a priest and therefore, as a priest, he is not allowed to cross through a cemetery on his way through the Golden Gate. However, the Messiah will be a descendant of King David who was not a priest. The Golden Gate exists until today on the eastern wall of the Holy Temple Mount but it is covered and blocked by the hill that we have described. When the Third Holy Temple will be built, this hill will be removed and the Golden Gate will be opened. The Temple Mount Faithful Movement is presently acting for the immediate opening of the Golden Gate, the most important and holy gate on the Holy Temple Mount. This gate was directed toward the location of the Holy Temple and the Holy of Holies. Every morning at sunrise when the sun's rays shone from the Mount of Olives in the east, it was an exciting view to watch how the rays of light entered through the gates of the Holy Temple directly to the Holy of Holies. This holy gate is directed until today toward the location of the Dome of the Rock which is the location of the Holy of Holies.
The Arabic Guide
[...] [D]uring the Six Days War [...] Suddenly there appeared on the Holy Temple Mount a civilian person speaking to me in English and he said, “I am an Arabic tour guide. My job was to guide tourists and people on the Holy Temple Mount and I know every point and place on this Jewish Temple Mount. Even in the Qur'an, it is written that one day G-D will return the Jews to the Land of Israel and they will build their Holy Temple. And now these verses have been fulfilled. I have been sent here by G-D to show you the exact location of the Holy Temple where you should now build the Third Temple and to show you every other location on the Holy Temple Mount that has remained from the First and Second Temples.”
This Arabic gentleman took us again to the Dome of the Rock and showed us the 'foundation rock' and said that this is the location of the Holy of Holies where you should build the Holy of Holies of the Third Temple.
Dome of the Chain
Then he showed us the Dome of the Chain and said, “Here you should build the altar of the Third Temple”.
Hilda Tunnels, Golden Gate
Then he took us to the beautiful Hulda Tunnels from where the Jews entered in order to worship inside the Holy Temple. Then he took us to the location of the eastern Golden Gate and he said that it was covered by the Arabs to prevent the Messiah from entering. He continued, “You should clean it and open it so that your Messiah will come through this gate.”
Then he took us to one of the complexes of the Holy Temple on the Holy Temple Mount (which also survived until today, which today is mistakenly called 'Solomon's Stables'). He said that this complex was part of the Temple compound where the temple priests could exit in order to purify themselves. And so, he took us from place to place and then suddenly, he disappeared.
Years later when we had meetings with soldiers who were the witnesses of this great and exciting occurrence, everyone was sure that the man was an angel who was sent by G-D in order to show us the exact location of the First and Second Temples and for the Third Holy Temple and to share with us the call of G-D: “Build immediately my Holy House”.
[...] Another great moment of my personal life was when I was severely injured as a young Israeli officer during a heavy eight-hour battle on the Golan Heights and G-D appeared with His angels during this battle. Thanks to G-D Who fought together with us, my unit of 150 soldiers defeated thousands of Syrian soldiers, just like in biblical times. On this day of battle, when I became gravely injured by an Israeli tank that accidentally ran over me, G-D and His angels appeared as I laid in the field of battle completely paralyzed and He spoke to my heart telling me that I still have to fulfill an important mission in my life. Later in the hospital, there arrived observers of the United Nations who told me that the Syrian Arab officers shared with them that they could not shoot and kill me because I was totally surrounded by angels of G-D. This was the moment that I swore to dedicate my life to the rebuilding of the Holy Temple to the G-D of Israel on the Holy Temple Mount. Like in the field of battle, I knew that G-D had called me and anointed me for this extremely important mission. I will share more details about this memorable event in another article.
After the 1967 Six Days War when I founded the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement, I had the privilege to visit again and again on the Holy Temple Mount. I saw with my own eyes remains of the Holy Temples and the Holy Temple Mount. I knew very clearly and was sure that this is the exact location of the First and the Second Holy Temples and will be the location of the Third Holy Temple.
The Tunnel of the Priests
One of the most exciting places that the historian Flavius Josephus described in his book “The Wars of the Jews,” is the 'tunnel of the priests'
. He wrote that the gate of this tunnel was located on the western wall of the Holy Temple Mount that King Herod built. In the year 1981 when the righteous rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Yehudah Getz, was cleaning-out the rabbinical tunnel of the Hasmonean period that extends along the western wall of the Holy Temple Mount in a northerly direction from the Western Wall, he discovered the gate to the 'tunnel of the priests'
. The gate was blocked not by the original Herodian stones, but rather by the stones that the Arabs commonly used after they occupied Jerusalem. Rabbi Getz immediately removed the stones and opened the gate. Suddenly before him, there appeared an exciting and beautiful tunnel whose direction led directly toward the location of the Holy of Holies to one of the secret rooms under the 'foundation rock'. He immediately knew from the Kabbalah and from the Talmud and from the writings of the historian, Josephus, that this was the original Herodian 'tunnel of the priests'.
Through this special tunnel the priests used to enter to the Holy Temple in order to worship inside it's precincts. This tunnel enabled them to remain separated from other Jewish pilgrims who also entered the Holy Temple to worship. In this way the priests could retain their condition of extra purification.
The Ark of the Covenant
The discovery of the priestly tunnel was another extremely exciting and outstanding moment in the life of Israel and also in my own personal life. The Ark of the Covenant was about to be discovered! It all happened in the middle of the night when Rabbi Getz first opened the gate and suddenly discovered the priestly tunnel and though it was after the midnight hour, I suddenly heard my phone ringing. When I picked up the phone, there on the line was Rabbi Getz. With greatest excitement he declared, “Please come immediately! The dream of your life is about to be fulfilled and become a reality. We are going to discover and pick-up the Ark of the Covenant. As we have heard from those who prophesied, the moment that the Holy Ark will be discovered, the Holy Temple will immediately be rebuilt!”
I was so moved and excited that I had not time to even put on my shoes but only to run to this tunnel.
When I arrived and saw the tunnel, I knew immediately that this was the 'tunnel of the priests'
that Josephus had described. Despite that the tunnel was filled with garbage and dirty muddy water that the Arabs allowed to drain through the opening on the Holy Temple Mount, I immediately felt the glory of G-D covering every inch of the area including the walls and the arches of this beautiful godly tunnel. My eyes were attracted to the extension of the tunnel when suddenly Rabbi Getz and I hugged each other with tears in our eyes. Rabbi Getz exclaimed, “We are so near to the most Holy Ark of the Covenant! We are so close to the rebuilding of the Holy Temple!”
Workers began immediately to clean-out the tunnel. Only a few days would be necessary to completely clean-out the tunnel and to reach the secret room underneath the holy 'foundation rock' where the Ark of the Covenant is located. The Ark of the Covenant has been located there since the righteous King of Judah, King Josiah from the House of David, commanded the Levites to hide the Ark of the Covenant in a secret room underneath the 'foundation rock':
“...and he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the LORD, put the holy ark in the house which Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel, did build...II Chronicles 35:3.
King Josiah knew through prophecy that soon will come the Babylonians to destroy the Holy Temple and he wanted to prevent the Ark of the Covenant from being taken to Babylon.
The UN Interferance
Unfortunately, a few days later the media heard about the discovery of this 'tunnel of the priests'.
It was immediately published and the Arabs started to demonstrate on the Holy Temple Mount. The Security Council of the United Nations passed a resolution that the Jews are digging underneath the Holy Temple Mount in order to rebuild their Third Temple.
This United Nations' resolution called on Israel to stop the work on the tunnel and to block it. Weakness of the Israeli leadership and pressure from the United Nations led the Religious Affairs Ministry of Israel to block the tunnel.
Again Israel missed another major, godly and historic moment. The discovery of the Ark of the Covenant could lead to the immediate rebuilding of the Holy Temple of G-D, to the complete redemption of Israel and to the opening of the door to the coming of Messiah ben David. The Faithful Movement declared that Israel exhibited the same weakness that the defense minister of Israel, Moshe Dayan, demonstrated after the Six Days War in 1967.
Moshe Dayan considered that a billion Muslims and perhaps the rest of the nations of the world may come to destroy Israel if Israel would remove the Muslim enemy and its pagan shrines from the Holy Temple Mount. Instead of trusting the G-D of Israel and His promises to stand with Israel against any human power, Dayan showed weakness when he considered, mistakenly and sinfully, that if Israel removes the foreign Islamic occupation and its pagan shrines from the Holy Temple Mount and immediately builds the Third Holy Temple, that the Islamic and Arab enemies of Israel together with the great powers will come to destroy Israel.
The Faithful Movement's declaration stated that no human power in the world and especially not any feeble weakness of the Israeli government can stop the determination of the G-D of Israel and His call to His people to rebuild His Holy Temple on the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement intends to answer the call of G-D to His people Israel to rebuild the Holy Temple.
“The Holy Temple should be built and will be built in the lifetime of our generation! Israel and even the entire world can gain peace and safety only when the Holy Temple of G-D stands on the Holy Temple Mount and the G-D of Israel and the universe dwells in the midst of His people Israel and the entire world in the holy capital of Israel in Jerusalem! Real peace will come to Israel and to the entire world only when the Holy Temple is rebuilt!”
With all things considered, the discovery of this holy priestly underground tunnel within the precincts of the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem was clearly additional solid evidence that the Holy Temple Mount is the authentic location of the First and Second Holy Temples and the same location of the coming Third Holy Temple.
Very important pieces of evidence regarding the Holy Temple Mount being the only location of both Jewish Temples are the artifacts that archaeologists have recovered from the earthen debris that the Arabs have more recently and carelessly discarded from the Holy Temple Mount. Tons of this earthen rubble were heaped into the Kidron Valley just east of the Temple Mount. Many interesting artifacts that were used in the First and Second Holy Temples have already been sifted-out from the 13,000 tons of earth that were taken away from the Holy Temple Mount by the Muslims not many years ago. The recovery of these valuable artifacts is an ongoing project that is yet to be completed but those remains that have already been found have confirmed again and again that the Holy Temple Mount is the location of both of the Jewish Holy Temples.
The massive archaeological diggings that have been carefully conducted by Israel in the areas around the Holy Temple Mount, especially at the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount, have uncovered remarkable archaeological finds that supply ample evidence that the Holy Temple Mount is the original location of both Jewish Temples.
The original huge Herodian stones from the wall of the Holy Temple Mount that fell when the Romans destroyed it were discovered by Israeli archaeologists near the southern section of the western wall and they are another piece of clear evidence that the Holy Temple Mount is the true location of both Holy Temples. Everyone can view these huge stone remains until today.
There was such excitement and acknowledgment of a major historical moment when one of the stones that was discovered at the southwestern corner of the Holy Temple Mount was found with it's original engraved words: “Beit HaT'kiyot”
, which means in Hebrew: 'the place from where the priests on the Holy Temple Mount blew the shofar (horn)'
. When the Holy Temple stood, the shofar was blown every Friday in order to announce the beginning of the Sabbath to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Flavius Josephus, and even the Talmud, say that the priests used to blow the shofar on the top corner of the southwestern wall of the Holy Temple Mount exactly in the same place where this stone was discovered in the archaeological diggings. This exciting discovery, like many others, confirmed again so very distinctly that the Holy Temple Mount is the location of both of the Jewish Temples.
Rabbi General Shlomo Goren
Immediately after the 1967 Six Days War, the chief rabbi of the Israeli army, Rabbi General Shlomo Goren, called the commanders of the Israeli army to immediately remove the foreign Arab pagan shrines from the Holy Temple Mount and to build the Third Holy Temple. He blew the shofar at the location of the Holy Temple on the Holy Temple Mount. He measured the entire area of the Holy Temple Mount and the location of the Holy Temple and the Holy of Holies. His measurement fit completely 100% with the measurement of the Holy Temple
and the Holy Temple Mount that the historian, Josephus, who lived during the time when the Holy Temple still stood and after the destruction of the Holy Temple, shared in his book. It also fit with the measurement listed in the volume “Midot” of the Talmud that was written when the Holy Temple was still standing.
There is much more evidence which corroborates that the Holy Temple Mount is absolutely the authentic location of the First and the Second Jewish Temples. However, what we have shared until now confirms without any doubt that the Holy Temple Mount is the only correct location of the Jewish Temples. All of this substantive evidence ultimately cancels any other theory about the location of the Holy Temples. This article was written because I want that everyone in Israel and in the world will know the exact and correct location of the First and the Second Holy Temples and that they will not become misinformed about this critically important subject. The Holy Temple Mount and the 'foundation rock' were very clearly shown to King David by the G-D of Israel to be the eternal location where the G-D of Israel will dwell in His Holy Temple among His people Israel and where He placed His Name forever. This can never be changed in any way. This is the very Word of G-D.
The Third Holy Temple that Israel will build is going to be an 'house of prayer for all nations' as the prophet Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 56:7. Everyone in the world should know that the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the only correct location of the two previous Jewish Temples and it will be the location of the Third Holy Temple exactly as the G-D of Israel has shown to His people Israel.
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Some editing and all highlighting are mine, for clarity and emphasis.