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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Jerusalem's 'Temple Zero' Predicament!


The southern room - animal processing and grain press
The lead archaeologist says its Middle Bronze Age, but the tour guides say Iron Age and the City of David is silent? For the uninitiated that’s an impossible gap of 600 years!

In 2011 lead archaeologist Eli Shukron discovered 4 hidden bedrock rooms preserved by a false wall. They feature an altar, a grain press, an oil press and a stone monument known as a matzevah. Small loops chiseled in bedrock corners were once used to tie small animals before they were sacrificed. He openly attributes the rooms to MalchiTzedek’s Shalem, but the matzevah he unwittingly says cannot be Jacob's because"...we're talking about Jerusalem...” (See the video @7:40).

The matzevah of Jacob
This is where Eli and I diverge. Jacob’s matzevah was erected at a place he called Beit El, which according to the clearest geophysical reference in the bible (2Kings 23:4) is on eastern face, on the southern end of Mount Moriah, Jerusalem. Exactly at the location in this blog-post! Eli falls victim to the confusing arguments promoted by Jeroboam after King Solomon built the first temple at its alternative location on Mount Moriah.

The ramifications of Eli's statements strengthen me to overcome ignorance, which I justify because archaeologists are not biblical scholars nor the alternative. Who can blame them? However, the City of David has a far greater responsibility to reveal facts. Jerusalem's "temple zero" predates King David so why didn't he identify these rooms as the location at which his son Solomon would  build the first temple further up the mountain?

If you're fortunate enough to visit this place, tour guides may tell you King David built it to house the Ark of the Covenant during the 37 years before the first temple was built. Or that the rooms already existed so he brought the Ark here to rest and this is where he built a tent to house it. But, nothing in their explanation addresses why King David would permit a matzevah, a practice abolished in the bible ~350 years before him. Worse, they won't tell you of the Middle Bronze Age evidence that predates King David to Jacob, Isaac, Abraham and MalchiTzedek. They promote confusion by saying things that are not helpful to absolving ignorance.

The simplest answer is that King David never found these four rooms. However, someone after him, in the mid-late Iron Age did because Middle Bronze Age evidence was found in the area surrounding these rooms, but the rooms had been filled with soft sand, preserved and cleared of Middle Bronze Age evidence.

I've written extensively about these rooms, you can explore my blog for more, but Jerusalem's Temple Zero predicament challenges interpretations of Jewish law and tradition that preceded King David. Fundamentally, if this is Jacob's Beit El then established ancient traditions also declare it to be the site of the future, final temple, which competes with present views and raises questions that may be too hard for people to answer.