Nebi Samwil is the highest and most prominent landmark located 5 mi. [8 km.] northwest of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Although not on the route of typical tours, serious tours may indeed stop there, for the view from there is terrific in all directions. In the past we have been able to ascend to the roof of the mosque to view the country side, but even without this, the views from the foot of the mosque are still very good.
Where else can you get a view of the Central Benjamin Plateau (which is one of the busiest areas in the Historical Books of the Old Testament)? Besides viewing Gibeon and Ramallah to the north, Gibeah to the east, the modern city of Jerusalem is spread out in all its glory to the south. To the southeast the three towers on the Mount of Olives are clearly visible in the distance. But students invariably ask, can we see the Temple Mount from here?
We have peered through binoculars in all kinds of weather trying to find the Gold Dome of the “Dome of the Rock” that now stands where the First and Second Temples stood. On very very rare occasions someone has said, oh, there it is! But it has never been that clear!#$@!
Well, sorting though some of my photos taken from Nebi Samwil I thought I would see if the Golden Dome of the Rock appeared in any of them. Voilà! It does! Note that Nebi Samwil is at 2906 ft. above sea level while the Dome of the Rock is at 2437 ft. And that the City of David (= the Old Ancient Core) is to the south of the Dome and decreases in elevation as one goes south.
More on the Biblical significance of Nebi Samwil in a future post (next Wednesday?).