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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47- The Southern Temple Mount Wall
A 22-foot wide street also ran along the southern wall of the Temple. About 37 feet of this street can still be seen at the southwest corner, where it begins to
ascend rapidly through a series of stairs until it reaches the Double Gate. Although we know the route, the street is not visible after the initial 37-foot section until
it reaches the Double Gate. At the Double Gate it is again visible down to the Triple Gate. Stairs run up to this street from the south, coming up
the Ophel from the south. The remains of these stairs are also still visible. In fact, they are still useful to visitors. As the street continues along the southern wall
toward the east a series of vaults, similar to the vaults under the street along the Western Wall, were built to support it. These vaults, or arches, supported the street along the southern wall and were also used as shops.


Galyn stands on the street that ran along the southern Temple Mount wall. Large, original Herodian ashlar stones still sit where they did 2,000 years
ago in the course of stones that Galyn is looking at. The stones above these large six foot stones are not Herodian. The Romans knocked the Temple
Mount down to this course of large ashlars on the south and quit. The cut margins and the raised bosses of a course of Herodian ashlar can be seen setting below by Galyn's feet at street level. The Mount of Olives can be seen in the background.


CLICK HERE FOR A MUCH LARGE IMAGE OF THE VIEW OF THE SOUTHERN TEMPLE MOUNT WALL FROM AS SEEN FROM SOUTH OF THE CITY OF DAVID.

Above: This is a view of the eastern two-thirds of the southern wall. Notice the how quickly the ground level drops off as the wall continues toward the east (right). The dome of the Al Aqsa Mosque can be seen where Solomon’s Porch, or the Royal Stoa, of the Jews once stood on the south side of the Temple Mount.

 


Since 1967 when the Israelis took control of eastern Jerusalem, extensive excavation has been done in this area called the Ophel south of the Temple Mount.

 


A labeled model of the south wall of the Temple Mount as it appeared in 66 AD.

 


A view of the south wall of the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives.

 


A view of the southern wall and the excavation done in the Ophel area. Notice the location of these things:

  1. paved street,
  2. the Double Gate,
  3. the Triple Gate,
  4. marks from the Burnt Herodian Arches, and
  5. the two large sets of stairs (not labeled) leading up to the Double and Triple Gates. It may also be of interest to recognize where the remains of the Akra, the old Seleucid fortress, is.


The same view as above but closer and in color.

 

 


The worn steps cut into the bedrock of Mount Moriah as it ascends to the Temple Mount in front of the Double Gate in the Ophel.

 


This flight of stairs is 210 feet wide. The stairs are a combination of smooth stone slabs and carved bedrock. The stairs alternate between a 35 inch run
(the length of the step) and a 12 inch run, except for the first and last three steps, which are all 12 inches. The alternating step width caused the Jewish
worshippers to proceed toward the Temple Mount with a steady, unrushed pace. Jewish writings record Gamaliel (the Apostle Paul’s Jewish instructor and the
man who suggested the release of the Apostles in Acts 5:34) sitting on these steps with the elders:

It happened once with Rabban Gamaliel and the elders, that they were sitting on the stairs in the Temple Mount. -Tosefta Sanhedrin 2:6

In this photo, Galyn leans against a tower of the Knights Templar that was built right up against the Double Gate by the Crusaders to protect the city from
Muslim invaders. A lintel from the Umayyad Period (661-750 AD) can be seen over the Double Gate. Part of the lintel was covered up by the Knights Templar
when they built their fortification in about 1129 AD.

 


Entrance through the Double Gate led to a staircase in an underground tunnel that would
lead worshippers in the New Testament times up to the surface of the Temple Mount
complex. They would emerge on the Temple Mount from the stairway seen in the photo
below.

This is a photo from the Temple Mount where the worshipper would emerge after
entering the Double Gate. Today this entrance is only accessible to Muslims
(down the stairs into the tunnel are the decorations in the rock walls and domed
ceilings left from the Temple). The building behind this is the Al Aqsa Mosque
which is considered the third most holy site in the world for Muslims after
Mecca and Medina.

 

 


A view of the eastern half of the Double Gate. This gate led into a magnificently decorated tunnel under the Temple Mount's Royal Stoa (Solomon’s Porch) which
led to a set of stairs that brought the worshipper up to the surface of the Temple Mount. The distance from the street level in front of the Double Gate up the stairs to the Temple Mount surface is about 46 feet
.

 


The upside down inscription is from the Roman statue of Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) that the Bordeaux Pilgrim recorded seeing when he was on the
Temple Mount in 333 AD. The statue was destroyed by the Byzantine Christians after 333 AD, the Jews in 614 AD or the Muslims in 638 AD. This reused block
is the only part found so far of the two statues (one of Hadrian, and this one of Antoninus Pius.)

 


Shown rightside-up, the inscription reads:

"To Titus Aelius Hadrianus
Antoninus Augustus Pius
The father of the fatherland, pontifex, augur
Decreed by the Decurions
"

Hadrian’s inscription reads in the original Latin as seen above:

TITO AEL HADRIANO
ANTONINO AUG PIO
P P PONTIF AUGUR
D D

Translation of Latin:

To Titus Ael[ius] Hadrianus
Antoninus Aug[ustus] Pius
the f[ather] of the f[atherland], pontif[ex], augur.
D[ecreed] by the D[ecurions]


A view looking east-southeast down the steps over the Kidron Valley toward the southern summit of the Mount of Olives. At the foot of these stairs are numerous
mikvah (ritual baths) used by the Jews for purification. These mikvah were likely used by the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 for baptizing the 3,000 new
Jewish believers in the name of Jesus. On that day, these steps would have been crowded - first, because it was the Jewish feast of Pentecost, and second,
because of the events recorded in Acts chapter 2.
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Notice the four trapezoidal stones forming the arch
of the Double Gate from the days of Herod, and the
large horizontal lintel directly below them with the
wide margin and boss. The decorative arch attached
to the face of the wall is from the late 600’s AD. Also
notice the square stone that sets immediately to the
right (east) of the fourth trapezoidal stone, even with
the top of the arch. This stone is etched with a Roman
inscription and was placed in the wall upside down. It
is the base of a Roman statue that sat on the Temple
Mount in the days of Hadrian after the second Jewish
revolt was quenched in 135 AD.


Above the Umayyad Arch (built in the 600's AD by the Muslims) are four trapezoidal stones which form the arch of Herod's New Testament Temple Mount
entrance. Below the trapezoidal stones is a large horizontal stone with a wide margin and boss carved into it. This is the lintel for the Herodian Double Gate.
To the left behind the Crusader wall, the rest of the gate can be seen.

 

 

The Triple Gate led visitors under the Temple Mount through a decorated tunnel beneath the Royal Stoa on the south end of Solomon’s Colonnade, then to
a stairway which took worshippers up to the outer courtyard of the Temple Mount. This Triple Gate is likely the “Beautiful Gate” of Acts 3:2:

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer – at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was
being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter
and John about to enter, he asked them for money . . . Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful . . . While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade.
- Acts 3:1-11


The Triple Gate can be seen at the top of these rebuilt stairs. The Triple Gate is 230 feet east of the Double Gate
and is 51 feet wide. Each of the three gates is 13 feet wide with two 6 foot piers separating them.

To the left (west) side of the first gate of the three, decorative rock carvings in the door jamb can still be seen on the ashlar stone that was part of the Triple
Gate or Beautiful Gate. The highly decorated stones may be the reason it was called “The Beautiful Gate.” Jesus and the apostles would have surely walked
through this gate that led up to the outer courts and Solomon’s Porch, where the early church in Jerusalem met daily.

 


This is the left (west) side, or jamb, or the Triple Gate. This stone was part of the New Testament gate called "The Beautiful Gate."
There is a Hebrew inscription on the carved molding of the jamb of the Triple Gate. The inscription, possibly a memorial, consists of the names of two Jews who
had died. The inscription is dated at around 750 AD when the Muslim Abassid dynasty ruled, and Jews could only worship at the gates of the Temple Mount.

This is all that remains of Herod's original gate, called the Beautiful Gate, that served as an entrance to the tunnel and staircase that still exist behind this blocked gate. This ashlar is 48 inches long. Eighteen inches are decorated with a classical gate profile, and the remaining 30 inches are carved in a style typical of Herodian ashlars. The Triple Gate was rebuilt during the Umayyad Dynasty (661-750). The Crusaders blocked it shut to protect themselves from the Muslims around 1100.


The remains of the jamb of the Beautiful Gate can be seen in the stone on the
left (west) side of the Triple Gate.

 

 


Toni stands on the street pavement along the southern Temple Mount wall between the Double and Triple Gates at the top of the large staircases. The large six-foot-tall ashlars behind her are original Herodian stones remaining from the Temple Mount that was destroyed in 70 AD. This course of ashlars is double the height of the average
ashlar because they served as the “master course.” Notice that at the street level, the margin and bosses of a lower course of ashlars can be seen directly behind Toni’s feet.


This photo is looking west toward the Double Gate and the wall of the tower of the Knights Templar. The Triple Gate was
directly behind me when the photo was taken. The Double Gate and Triple Gate are 230 feet apart. The course of six-foot
ashlars from the New Testament days can be seen in this course which is just left of the Triple Gate and continues to the Double Gate. The stones above this course are the work of Romans, Jews or Muslims (no one knows for sure) who rebuilt the southern wall of the Temple Mount.

 


A Hebrew inscription of the name Berachia Bar Gedalya Bayrav in one of the large six-foot ashlars located
between the Double and Triple Gates can be seen. (This is not the same inscription seen above beside the Triple Gate.)
All we know for sure is the name that is inscribed. The details of who, when and why are unknown.


Further to the east on the south wall is the Single Gate. It was cut by the Knights Templar and is not original to the Temple Mount. The Crusaders used this
gate to access the caverns below the Temple Mount, where they kept their horses. The caverns are called “Solomon’s Stables.” The gate was blocked shut by
Saladin in 1187 when the Muslims returned. Below this arch are the remains of other arches that supported the Herodian street that ran the full length of the southern
wall. The vaulted rooms created by this arched support system were used as shops. The intense heat from the Roman fire in 70 AD seared the wall below the Single
Gate, and created burnt impressions of the arches. The impressions burnt onto the Herodian ashlars still clearly show where these shops and their vaulted walls stood.

 


The intense heat of the Roman destruction created burnt impressions on the southern wall of the Temple Mount, outlining the arches of the vaulted rooms that
supported the paved street as it descended. Shops were located in these vaulted rooms under the street.
 

A close up of a burnt impression.


The columned courtyard of a public building in the Muslim palace complex, from around 700 AD. These pillars were taken from Byzantine Christian churches
that had been destroyed.

 


Pavement (or floor) among the ruins in the Ophel below the stairs.

Herodian ashlars setting south of the Temple Mount.
  Watch Galyn's video taken from the southern steps of the Temple.
 

A drawing of the southwest corner of the Temple Mount showing details of Robinson's Arch and the southern Temple Mount wall with its
Double Gate, Beautiful Gate and the huge staircase.
 

 

   
  .
The very top stone in the very upper right corner of this photo is a piece of stone from the base of a statue of Antoninus Pius that stood on the temple mound (outlined in blue). The stone contains an inscription. Hadrian would have had the statue set on the temple mount along with the Temple of Jupiter that he built after his defeat of the Jews in 135 AD.
Hadrian’s inscription reads:
TITO AEL HADRIANO
ANTONINO AUG PIO
P P PONTIF AUGUR
D D

Translation of Latin:
To Titus Ael[ius] Hadrianus
Antoninus Aug[ustus] Pius
the f[ather] of the f[atherland], pontif[ex], augur.
D[ecreed] by the D[ecurions]
 
The block with the inscription from the statue has been reused and is placed in the southern wall of the Temple Mount upside down.
Close up of the upside down block with the inscription
The Roman Temple of Jupiter was torn down by Constantine. The stones were used later by the Muslims to build the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This inscription was found and placed upside down to replace a broken stone above this gate.

Hershel Shanks (archaeologist and editor of Biblical Archaeology Review) says:
"Hadrian erected an equestrian statue of himself on the Temple Mount. The anonymous fourth-century pilgrim known only as the Bordeaux Pilgrim reports that he saw two statues of Hadrian on the Temple Mount when he visited the site. The Bordeaux Pilgrim probably mistakenly identified the second statue; Hadrian's successor, Antonius Pius (138-161 AD), probably added an equestrian statue of himself, which the Bordeaux Pilgrim saw. . . It is quite possible the the Bordeaux Pilgrim saw this inscription when it was part of a statue on the Temple Mount. But he misread it. Antonius had been adopted by Hadrian and named as his successor in 138 A.D. Thus, Antoninus's name included the name of Hadrian. The Bordeaux Pilgrim apparently looked only at the first two lines and concluded that it was a second statue of Hadrian. Both had a thick beard and looked much alike when they were older. Some modern scholars have made the same mistake and read the same inscription now in secondary use as referring to Hadrian instead of Antoninus. They apparently focused on the name Hadrianus, ignoring the following name, Antoninus.
 
   
   
   

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