Background Information Old Testament New Testament New Testament (cont.) Gentile Period (cont.)
1-Biblical Jerusalem 16-Salem, Jebus 33-Ashlar Stones 51-Bethesda Pool 68-Saint Anne's Church
2-History of Jerusalem 17-Milo, Jebusite Wall 34-Temple Mount 52-Holy Sepulcher 69-Sultan's Pool
3a-Map of Today's City 18-Gihon Springs 35-NE of End of Wall 53-Garden Tomb 70-Citadel
3b-The Four Quarters 19-City of David 36-SE End of Wall 54-Fort Antonia 71-Colonnade Column
3c-Photos 20-David's Palace 37-Western Wall 55-Phasael Tower  
3d-Silwan 21-Temple Mount 38-West Wall Tunnel 56-Struthion Pool  
4-The Walls Today 22-Solomon's Walls 39-Mikvah, Ritual Baths 57-Gethsemane  
5-The Gates Today 23-Solomon's Quarries 40-The Large Mikvah 58-Tombs in Hinnom Miscellaneous
6-Archaeology Periods 24-Broad Wall 41-Wilson's Arch 59-Jerusalem Tombs Archaeological Finds
7-Archaeology History 25-Hezekiah's Tunnel 42-Warren's Gate Gentile Period Jason's Tomb
8-Old Ancient Core 26-Middle Gate 43-Barclay's Gate 60-Ecce Homo Lazarus' Tomb
9-Kidron Valley 27-Nehemiah's Wall 44-Robinson's Arch 61-Roman Inscription Tomb of David
10-Central Valley Hasmonean 45-Western Wall Street 62-Cardo Maximus Via Dolorosa
11-Hinnom Valley 28-Walls and Towers 46-Western Wall Shops 63-Roman Road Hezekiah's Pool
12-Mount of Olives 29-Aqueduct 47-South Temple Wall 64-Nea Church  
13-Mount Moriah 30-Acra 48-Archaeology Park 65-Al Aqsa Mosque  
14-Western Hill Mt Zion 31-Temple Mount 49-Siloam Road 66-Dome of the Rock  
15-Ophel 32-Tombs in Kidron 50-Siloam Pool 67-Temple Mount  
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23- Solomon's Quarries

The entrance to Solomon’s Quarries built by Suleiman in 1535 is under the north wall of the Old City, and sits on the rock escarpment of Mount Moriah. Solomon’s Quarries are also known as Zedekiah’s Cave or Zedekiah’s Grotto.

The stones for Solomon’s temple may have been hewn and taken from this quarry around 970 BC (1 Kings 6:1):

Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills, as well as thirtythree hundred foremen who supervised the project and directed the workmen. At the king’s command they removed from the quarry large blocks of quality stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple. The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and the men of Gebal (Byblos) cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple. -1 Kings 5:15-18

It seems certain that King Herod returned here in 19 BC for some of the stone used to build his temple. Some of the stones in the Western Wall, for example,
could easily have originated in this quarry.


The quarry entrance is under the north wall of the Old City about 500 feet to the east of the Damascus Gate. It was concealed during the Ottoman Empire by Suleiman in 1540 for security reasons and was not rediscovered until 1854 when James Barclay found it and snuck in one night. Josephus mentions the “Royal Caverns” (War 5:147) in his discussion of the north wall and gate built by Herod Agrippa I in 41BC on the same location as today’s wall and Damascus Gate. This quarry became known as Zedekiah’s Cave because 2 Kings 25 and Jeremiah 52 tell how Zedekiah fled the city of Jerusalem in 586 even though the Babylonian army had encircled the city for 24 months and had even entered to city to pillage and burn. How did Zedekiah escape entrapment in the city of Jerusalem at that time? The Bible indicates that he and his troops used a gate at night, but legend and the system of caves under the city provide additional information. There is reported a tunnel from the royal palace of David that was connected to the cave system under the Temple Mount on Mount Moriah, which would have been connected to this quarry. In fact, many ancient accounts and even modern reports claim that this cave system extends all the way to Jericho 13 miles away.


Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled. They left the city at night through the gate between the two walls near the king’s
garden, though the Babylonians were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah (Jordan Valley), but the Babylonian army pursued King
Zedekiah and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered, and he was captured.

- Jeremiah 52:7-9 (2 Kings 25:4-6)


Galyn stands in Solomon’s Quarries where stones for the Temple were taken. This quarry leads to many tunnels that run under the Old City and the
Temple Mount.

This quarry is located under Mount Moriah. The area open for visitors today is just north of the Temple Mount about 30 feet beneath the Muslim Quarter in the Old
City. There is a system of tunnels and caves used by the Jewish priests of the Old and New Testament to move about under the Temple Mount. The quarry is
about 330 feet wide and 650 feet deep.

Some believe that in one of these secret tunnels lies the hidden Ark of the Covenant.

He (Josiah) said to the Levites, who instructed all Israel and who had been consecrated to the Lord: ‘Put the sacred ark in the temple (“beth” meaning“house”) that Solomon son of David king of Israel built. It is not to be carried about on your shoulders.
- 2 Chronicles 35:3

This verse is saying either:

  1. The Ark of the Covenant was moved out of the Most Holy Place located in the Temple to an undisclosed location during the evil days of Manasseh, and was being returned to the Temple in Josiah’s day.
  2. The Ark of the Covenant was moved here by King Josiah after he heard the prophecy from Huldah concerning the coming destruction of the Temple which was to occur after Josiah’s death.

If the Ark was being moved by Josiah to a place of hiding for protection, then it would have been taken to the “temple” or “house” (from the word “bet” or “beth”
meaning “house”) that Solomon had made under the Temple. When Solomon built the Temple he would have prepared a hiding place deep inside Mount
Moriah to protect the Ark in times of great rebellion or wickedness. God spoke to Solomon concerning a future time when the very Temple that Solomon had
built would be destroyed and the people deported because of their sin:

If you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot
Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. And though this temple is now so imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’
- 2 Chronicles 16:19-21

Solomon may have responded to this warning by preparing a place for the Ark to be placed in the days of Israel’s great apostasy. If this is true then the Ark
was never seen by the Babylonians in 586 BC and would have remained hidden there even after the Jewish return from exile through the New Testament days up until today. This hiding place would have been accessible through Solomon’s Quarry, which provides access to a variety of tunnels and caves under the
Temple Mount.


A section where the walls and ceiling show signs of the removed ashlars.

The hard white limestone, called malaky, used by Herod is visible throughout this quarry. A variety of other types of limestone can also be seen here.

Chisel marks can be seen and piles of chipped rock remain. The location of removed ashlars is marked and even some finished blocks, ready to be removed,
remain attached in the quarry.


The stone ashlars were taken from this quarry. The straight cuts and grooves of the square blocks that were removed can still be seen.

 


Bedrock in the quarry that has been left in place.

 


Galyn's shadow can be seen in Solomon's Quarry.
 


Chippings from the rock blocks that have been left.

 


Toni walks deeper into the maze of caverns in the quarry that extends to a width of 330 feet.

 


Chisel marks can be seen in the walls and ceilings, while chipped pieces remain in piles on the ground.

 


Galyn and Toni under Mount Moriah in Solomon's Quarries. Notice the square cuts and straight grooves left from the removal of ashlar stones
used to build in the city of Jerusalem above.
 
 Watch Galyn's video from Solomon's Quarries
 

JERUSALEM: HISTORY, ARCHAEOLOGY AND
APOLOGETIC PROOF OF SCRIPTURE

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