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From these measures it is evident that from the outer wall to the edge of the uppermost platform or court there was a distance of 50+50+50=150 cubits all around the Temple Area, on every side: the intervening platform, or level between the two ranges of steps, being only 50 cubits, forming the Court of Israel. The upper pavement was 200 cubits wide, and the western half of 100 cubits was covered by the House or Temple and its surroundings.
"So he measured the court [of the House or Temple] 100 cubits long and 100 cubits broad, foursquare: and the altar that was before the house."Ezek. xl., 47; see also xli., 13, 14.
The breadth of the House was 100 cubits,
or half the width of the pavement or plat
form. On either side of the House were chambers, each story being 50 cubits wide in front.-Ezek. xliii.
The breadth was 50 cubits, v. 2.
South side like the north, v. II.
Thus, the width of the upper platform was 50+100+50=200 cubits. We can now obtain the total width of the Temple Area: 150+200+150=500 cubits, from outer wall to outer wall. But, if the platform or Court of Israel be taken as the limit—not including the steps or ascent-its width would be 100+200+100=400 cubits only. This is what Josephus means when he says:
"The hill was walled all round and in compass four furlongs [or 1,600 cubits], each angle containing in length a furlong [or 400 cubits]."—"Antiq.” XV., II, 3.
This estimate merely includes the wall built up to the edge of the platform or Court, and does not include the width of space for the range of steps forming the ascent, which added another 50 cubits on each side, making the total width 500 cubits from eastern outer wall of inclosure to western outer wall. The actual center of this Area was at the middle of the little gateway in front of the steps leading to the Grand Porch of the Temple, or between the forefront of the two brazen pillars, Jachin and Boaz. The distance from this position to the outer inclosure wall on any side was 250 cubits=369.26122 ft., or half the diameter of the Temple Area.
Now, when Mr. Beswick measured the distance of the Apex of the Sakhra, as now found in the Mosque of Omar, from the western wall of the Haram as a base of verification, he found it exactly 250 cubits =369 ft. 3.13 inches, which is the identical distance, given in the Bible, of the central spot in the Temple Area from its western side. This is the leading test and the simplest, because it admits of direct verification by any one who will take the trouble. And it is only one out of a hundred tests, all depending upon the same base of verification, and placed beyond dispute by making it purely a numerical proof independent of all theory.
THE LEADING TEST OF THIS DISCOVERY.
Mr. Beswick's leading test is the distance of the Old Rock as a central station from the west wall of the Haram as a base line
of verification. The gate to the Porch of Solomon's Temple was 250 cubits=369.26 ft. from the western wall; and this was the Central Spot in the Old Temple Area. Mr. Beswick measured the distance of the Sakhra from the western wall to see how far it could be identified with "the top of the mountain" where Ezekiel (chap. xliii., 12) said the Temple and its Area were placed, and which is given as the Law of the House as to its site. The principal entrance to the Kubbat as Sakhra is on the west side through a deserted Bazaar. He measured the distance
from the gate-way, Bab el Katinin, to the steps of the platform, and found it 102 cubits=150.658 ft.; from bottom of steps to outer side of Bab al Gharby Gate, 78 cubits =115.21 ft.; from thence to outer side of the Mosque wall, or to the side-post of doorway, 6 cubits=8.86227 ft.; thickness of wall, 4 cubits=5.9 ft.; inside face of wall to the
western vertical edge of the Sakhra, 45 cubits 66.467 ft.; thence to the proper front of the rock, 15 cubits=22.1557 ft.; total distance from Gate-way of the Bath, or western wall, to the proper vertex or apex of the Sakhra, 250 cubits=369.26 ft. exactly the distance of the central spot in the Old Solomonic Temple Area from the western wall, and from any one of the four sides of the Court of Israel in the days of King Solomon. And this leading test proves that the top of the mountain in Solomon's day, and the modern Sakhra now in the Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem, occupied the same, identical position as a central station, and are at the same distance from the western wall—the measurement being absolutely identical, 250 cubits=369.26 ft.
MEASUREMENTS OF COURTS IN SOLOMON'S
As the entire width of the Temple Area in Solomon's day was 500 cubits, its half would be 250 cubits, which would be the distance of the center where the easterly façade of the pillars and porch stood. The Moslem Rock, Sakhra, is at precisely the same distance, 250 cubits from the western wall; so that the center of the Temple Courts and the Old Rock, Sakhra, occupy precisely the same site. All horizontal distances are made parallel with the base line formed by the western wall of the Haram Inclosure, and all perpendicular distances from this base line are made parallel with the standard line drawn from the Sakhra perpendicular to the western wall. The western wall is Mr. Beswick's base line, by which the length of all east and west walls are measured; and the line joining the Old Rock with this base is his first standard offset by which all north and south sides of the pavements and courts are measured. And if all other measurements agree with this location of the base line, and of the Old Rock as a central station, the demonstration of this identity of site is certain and complete. And such is the actual fact. Mr. Beswick has tested every measurement on the spot; evidences of the pavements having extended to given distances from the Sakhra are to be found on all four sides of the Haram. His leading test is therefore complete. Temple Area in Solomon's day was a quadrangle, whose four sides were each 500 cubits in length, outside measure; but the pavement or court without the ascending steps was only 400 cubits in width. The Sakhra was the central core of the whole Temple Area, of the upper quadrangular pavement, and of every other quadrangular pavement beneath it. It was 100 cubits from each of the four sides of the upper pavement, 200 cubits from the sides of the lower pavement, and 250 cubits from the Inclosure Wall. And all these measures accord with the levels, scarpings, and contour plan of the whole rocky surface as it is now seen in the Haram. If all the platforms
and courts of the Temple could be taken | The first level of 2,423.38 ft. (above the Medtogether and placed upon the rocky surface iterranean), on which the mosque platform of the Haram as one entire whole, it would rests, was the level of that grand ascent of fit upon that rocky surface as upon a mold. steps outside of the Courts of Solomon's TemThe rocky contour is simply the bare out-ple, which the Queen of Sheba so much adline or foundation plan of the Temple pave-mired. It was the entrance level to the Court of Israel. The second level, on which the
ments or courts.
SAKHRA CUT TO THE LEVELS OF THE TEM
The surface of the Sacred Rock Moriah bears the marks of rough chiseling, and of having been cut down to suit a given level which has once covered it with either wood or stone. Captain Wilson, of the Royal Ordnance Survey, says of the Sakhra: "The surface of the rock bears the marks of hard treatment and rough chiseling. On the western side it is cut down in three steps, and on the northern side in an irregular shape, the object of which could not be discovered." The first vertical cutting is 1.8463 ft., then a sudden slope of 1.969 ft., and another vertical cutting of 5.4158 ft. The step formed by this last cutting forms the basement of rock upon which the mosaic floor of the mosque rests. This slope and cutting are equal to 1.9694+5.4158-7.3852 ft.
marble pavement of the mosque itself rests (2,430.647 ft.), was the level of the pavement or uppermost level of the Court of Israel; and the third level, or highest vertical step on the apex of the Sakhra (2,438.1535 ft.) below the sloped cutting of 1.9694 ft., was the level of the upper pavement or Court of Priests in Solomon's Temple. The marble pavement of the mosque, according to Mr. Beswick's measurement, is 4.8 ft. lower than the apex of the rock, with a level of 2,435.1996 ft. above the Mediterranean Sea. The rock underneath has a level of 2,430.7683 ft., and the marble pavement was found by measurement to be 3 cubits (4.4311 ft.) deep. The vertical cutting of the rock is about one ft. (0.9847 ft.) greater than the depth of pavement, so that the slope and cutting are 7.3852 ft. The sheik of the mosque said that the Moslems have a tradition that the Sakhra hangs in the air 7 ft. above the gen
eral level of the Sanctuary; so the Moslem | the head of which has the same level as the fanatics turn the fact to good account, that Court of Gentiles. The rock, in fact, has the rocky level under the mosque pavement been cut down and sloped all around the is exactly 7.3852 ft. higher than the general Sakhra as a CENTRAL CORE to the shape level of the Haram near the platform. and levels of the pavements or courts.
The top of the Sakhra has a level of 2,440 ft. Its western side has evidently been cut down into three steps at the successive depths of 1.8463, 7.3852, and 22.1556 ft.; or to the three successive levels 2,408.612, 2,430.768, and 2,438.1535 ft., corresponding with the levels of the three courts or platforms. The first stepping was the general level of the Temple Area outside of the courts, which afterward became the level of the Gentile Court. The second stepping was the level of the Court of Israel. The third and highest stepping was the level of the Court of Priests, on which the Temple itself stood. The three vertical cuttings of this apex of the Old Rock correspond to the successive heights of these three courts or platforms, the total height being 1.846 +7.385+22.155 31.388 ft., which is the height of the apex above the general level of the rock around the outer sides of the Haram Inclosure (or 2,440 -2,408.612=31.388 ft.). This remarkable fact cannot be mere coincidence. In short, the rock all around is cut and scarped and sloped down as if to a pattern, and made to take the general shape of the Temple Area, having its sudden slopes exactly where the steps and ascents to the two courts were, and now are found at exactly the same distances from the Sakhra as a central spot or station. The outline of the whole Rocky Area is the same as the general outline of the whole Temple Area, platform with platform, and slopes with ranges of steps, as shown in the above diagram.
contour has been given to it, with levels to
TABLE OF ELEVATIONS-SITE OF SOLOMON'S
The grand ascent (alath) or ramp-steps by which the Jews went up to the Temple Courts in Solomon's day was a ramp or stepped sidewalk all around the outer wall of the Temple Courts on the north, south, From the Sakhra to the south-west angle and east sides. It was outside the walls, of the Haram there is a dip of 140 ft.; to and up this ramp of steps the devout worthe south-east angle 160 ft.; to the north-shiper ascended in order to enter the outer east angle a dip of 120 ft. The ridge of the Sakhra slopes to the Triple Gate in the south wall 60 ft. in 400, or one in 6.5 ft. To the north it slopes to a natural valley,
gates to the Court of Israel. Having entered the gates, he passed up another range of 7 steps inside the walls before reaching the pavement or Court. This grand ascent out
side the walls was the one which the Queen of Sheba so much admired (1 Kings, x., 5). The bottom of this grand ramp was the general level of the palace grounds or street level outside the Courts. The total height of the grand ascent outside (10 cubits) and of the 7 steps inside (5 cubits) was 10+5= 15 cubits=22.15567 ft., and the difference between the levels was 2,423 ft.-2,408 ft. Herod cut away the rock forming this grand ramp, and carried it inside, thereby making the ascent inside the greater, consisting of 14 instead of 7 steps, thus forming two ranges into one grand stepped ascent of 14 steps, from the Court of Gentiles to the inner Court of Israel, the total height being 15 cubits, as in the days of Solomon.
"That second Court of the Temple was called 'The Sanctuary,' and was ascended to by 14 steps from the first Court.
"This Court was four-square; the height of its buildings, although it was on the outside 40 cubits, was hidden by the steps, and on the inside that height was but 25 cubits [hence height of steps-15 cubits]."-Josephus, "Wars," v., 5, 2.
In Herod's Temple, therefore, the site of the grand ascent was converted by Herod into the Court of Gentiles, and the rock cut away where necessary, so that the, grand ascent was carried inward and added to the former ascent, so that the ascent from the Court of Gentiles to the Court of Israel consisted of 14 steps, whose total height was 15 cubits 22.15567 feet.
Mr. Beswick concludes from this result
wall to the interior to make room for the Court of Gentiles, the rock has been cut away in two places only, north and south. In the north the rock has cropped up too high, so that a deep scarp has been cut to get the required level for the Gentile Court, namely, 2,408 feet, and this deep scarp is visible along the entire northern edge of the mosque platform. A careful, systematic survey of the Sakhra, and the rock underneath the platform, proves clearly that its successive levels fit truly, and correspond with such levels, heights, lengths, and requirements, as would suit the Temple of Solomon and its successor built by Herod as closely as the nature of the case would admit of, or could reasonably be expected.
It would be well if those who undertake to give Biblical illustrations and plans of Herod's Temple would take notice of this important fact, which occupies a subordinate place in Mr. Beswick's reconstruction of the Temple Area.
SITE OF THE HOLY PLACE.
Mr. Beswick says that the western side of the inner door-way, Bab al Gharby, is exactly 45 cubits 66.467 ft., from the Sakhra, and that the exact site of the Most Holy Place in the Old Temple is underneath the door-sill of this western entrance to the Dome of the Rock. The width of this doorway is also exactly 20 cubits = 29.54 ft., being the same width as the Nave and Holy
that the different ancient levels on the Sacred | Place in Solomon's Temple. And there is Rock, made for the pavements and courts of Solomon's Temple, were left unmutilated by Herod, and that while he utilized them when he rebuilt this famous edifice, he also preserved them, and left the ancient landmarks upon the Sacred Rock in situ. In removing the grand ramp from the outer
an unexplained tradition to this effect among the Moslems of to-day, although no traveler but Mr. Prime has mentioned it. The tradition says, that there is a crypt, or vault, underneath the western side of the building, which is regarded as the Holy of Holies, and is said to contain the armor of