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  NEHEMIAH'S WALL

Nehemiah at a wall in Jerusalem

 

7 And he said to me, Son of man, behold the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel for ever; and the house of Israel shall not profane my holy name any more, not they, nor their kings, by their harlotry, nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places.

8 In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and only the wall between me and them, they have profaned my holy name by their abominations that they have committed; therefore I have consumed them in my anger.

9 And let them put away their harlotry, and the carcasses of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in their midst for ever. Ezekiel Chapter 43

 

(My readers will be surprised that I quote from a prophet as I have maintained a policy of not dealing with faith but only with evidence. However, there is no question that historical nuggets can be found in such writings. For example one does not need to debate whether or not Jesus actually prophesied about the destruction of the Temple. The important fact is that the Gospels written AFTER the destruction mentions that no stone would lie upon another. If that had not been the case, it is doubtful if it would have been included.)

I digress. What is the importance of the above quote? It does more than imply that the tombs of the King's of Israel are close to the "House of the Lord" or "The Temple".

We know the general location of the Tomb of King David. It is described in Nehemiah Chapter 3. It is at the southern end of the City of David. A great distance from "The Temple Mount" where "The Temple" is supposed to have been built. It is however very close to the position of the Temple in its more logical place, over the Gihon Spring.

From such small clues, a new adventure and expedition begins.

I decided to try and draw the walls of Jerusalem from the time of Nehemiah now taking into account that the Temple was NOT on the Temple Mount, but in the position we have described. This is the result.

Two major discoveries emerged.

1) The answer to where the protection for the North of the City of David was to be found.

2) The EXACT location of the Sepulcher of David. (we shall go there with modern sub-surface investigation equipment to confirm the hypothesis very soon.)

We have seen in past lectures that The City of David was impregnable on three sides, the south, the east and the west because of the valleys that separates them from the surrounding hills. Only in the North would it be vulnerable.

The question has always been, "what was that protection"?

Now we have answers not only to what protected the East Hill, but when the population expanded to the West Hill and what was its protection.

The highest point on the East Hill of course is "The Sakhra" on which the Dome of the Rock was built. Until now it was believed to be the site on which Solomon built the Temple, but it is much more logical that it was the site of a fortress to protect the Northern end of David's small city.

There are two reasons for that.

1) Why would Solomon build a sacred place in the most vulnerable spot of "The City of David", its unprotected northern border?

2) In fact the later travelers to Jerusalem described the Temple as being in the CENTER of the City, in its more logical place. One builds the center of ones religious and cultural life in the CENTER of ones City not its most vulnerable suburb.

We now know in fact what protected the northern border. Two fortresses. One for the east hill built over the Sakhra and called The Tower of Sammeah or just "Meah" (hundred).   Probably named because 100 guards were stationed there. The Tower protecting the Western Hill was therefore the Tower of Hananeel. Both are found on Nehemiah's wall and archaeological evidence for that wall in that position is also available. It is called by archaeologists "The Ancient North Wall" but they were never sure what it was for. Now we know.

We can also make more sense regarding who lived on the West and East Hills and when. Essentially the East Hill, The City of David was just that. It was the place where the King and his immediate household, the tabernacle and then the Temple and the members of the Temple court lived together with their guards. The rest of the people lived on the West Hill.

As we stated above, we can now pinpoint the exact spot of King David's Sepulcher from the archaeology and the historical writings of the Old Testament. Next week we shall publish the map that explains all.

"Temple" Series of lectures

 

Michael S. Sanders

Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Irvine California

 




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