The Haram esh-Sharif (aka “Temple Mount”) seems to always be in the news! Once, when visiting the site I saw, a person actually praying in the “Dome of the Prophet” (Qubbat al–Nabi).
View looking northeast at the “Dome of the Prophet” (= Qubbat al–Nabi). Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download.
The “Dome of the Prophet” is located about 20 yards northwest of the Dome of the Rock. This is a single person prayer area built in 1539 “to mark the site where Muhammad led the prophets in prayer before his ascension into Heaven.”
The large umbrellas in the background shaded worshipers during Friday Prayers during the month of Ramadan.
Daniel Smith has created an informative, beautiful, video that illustrates what Solomon’s Temple looked like. This 3D model is based upon 1 Kings 6 and 7 and uses some of the material that Leen Ritmeyer presented in his excellent book The Quest. Ritmeyer says:
Although I don’t agree with some of the details, the video is well worth watching.
Recently there has been some interesting discussion on how much of the temple was covered by gold plating—see for example Leen Ritmeyer Here (plus reference to The Biblical Archaeological Review)
The “Golden Vine” as presented in Avi–Yonah’s model of the temple (= a “minimalist” view as to the amount of gold used). Note on the top of the temple the “golden spikes” to prevent birds from alighting and “pooping” in the Temple precincts. Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download.
Ritmeyer discusses the various views regarding the ‘gold plating’ of the temple and the magnitude of the vine, he is more of a “maximalist” than Avi–Yonah. He also cites the following from Josephus:
From its summit protruded sharp golden spikes to prevent birds from settling upon them and polluting the roof. (War 5.207–226 and also Ant. 15.391-395)
Please see image above.
In March of 2014, when visiting Capernaum, I noticed that the Franciscans had tried the same technique to ward off the pigeons.
Note the two pigeons contentedly nesting among the spikes(!) above the light on the left! Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download.
It looked to me like the Franciscans were trying the old “Second Temple technique” to deter the two nesting pigeons—unsuccessfully! Hmmmm . . . .
In his recent blog Leen Ritmeyer, THE expert on the history/archaeology of the Temple Mount, has shared some very very unique photos including an underground tunnel that leads from cistern #10 to a Byzantine building.
Note Cistern #10 in the lower portion of the diagram.
Also included is a rarely seen photo of the “Cradle of Jesus” that is/was located at the southeastern corner of the Temple Mound (evidently in the so-called “Solomon’s Stables”).
The “Cradle of Jesus” in the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount (in the so-called “Solomon’s Stables” — Please see the link to Ritmeyer’s blog for the complete article
For the complete article Click Here (a 5 minute read with 5 wonderful photos and an informative diagram).
PS — The Temple Mount may not have been devoid of structures as previously thought!! See his article.
Leen Ritmeyer has done more for our understanding of the Temple Mount (Haram esh-Sharif) than anyone else. So far he has published 8 different studies including informative diagrams that describe the development of the Temple Mount through history: Mount Moriah, … Continue reading →