Was the Temple Mount Not the Site of Solomon’s Temple?

20 Oct

As conflict rages in Gaza, and anti-Semitic riots erupt in European cities, something is happening deep within Jerusalem that could change the course of history.

Israel’s holy city is dominated by the 36-acre Temple Mount, on which sits the Dome of the Rock, or Mosque of Omar, which has occupied the spot since around 692 A.D., following the Muslim conquest in 638 A.D. The building is atop a massive foundation built more than two thousand years ago.

It has been believed since the Crusades about 1,000 years ago that the Temple Mount was the site of Solomon’s Temple, which the Babylonians destroyed in 586 B.C., some lesser temples and finally, Herod’s Temple, which the Roman General Titus destroyed in 70 A.D.

Part of the Temple Mount structure constitutes the Western Wall, which Jews believe is the sole remaining section of Herod’s Temple.

The problem: The Bible itself in several places clearly says that both temples were erected in the City of David or Zion, which is a far smaller, 12-acre area now being excavated about 600 feet south of the Temple Mount in the City of David Jerusalem Walls National Park.

The implications are enormous, as explained in a new book, Temple, by Robert Cornuke of the Bible Archeology Search and Exploration Institute based in Colorado Springs. Mr. Cornuke, who some describe as the “Christian Indiana Jones,” is an FBI-trained investigator and former SWAT team member who has spent years searching for prominent places in the Bible. In the book’s introduction, he credits Dr. Paul Feinberg for alerting him to “the revolutionary work of the late archeologist and author, Dr. Ernest L. Martin,” an originator of the theory that the Bible points away from the Temple Mount as the site of Israel’s great temples.

A few years ago, following strictly biblical references, Mr. Cornuke also found striking evidence for an alternative Mount Sinai, such as an inexplicably burned up mountain top and 12 stone altars at the mountain’s base. That account is in his book The Search for the Real Mt. Sinai.

His current offering has far greater potential to shake up prophetic Holy Land debates.

Last summer, Mr. Cornuke accompanied Eli Shukron, director of excavations at the City of David, through recently discovered passages buried for centuries. Mr. Cornuke, who is also a novelist, draws a suspenseful, non-fiction narrative as he takes the reader down ancient pathways.

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