The Temple in Jerusalem over the threshing floor which is presently under the Al Kas fountain.


  1. Solomon built the temple on the threshing floor David bought. The Dome of the rock is the highest point of the temple mount. Threshing floors were never built on hills, but in curved valleys, like directly under the Al Kas Fountain. Under the dome of the Rock, was where the Fortress of Antonia stood. In 135 AD, Hadrian filled in about 50 feet of earth over top of where the temple stood and enlarged the temple mount and built a temple of Jupiter where we see the Dome of the rock today. In 325 AD Constantine tore down the Temple of Jupiter and assumed Hadrian built the temple of Jupiter on top of the spot where the temple of Solomon once stood. Constantine built an octagon church on the site. In 700 AD the Muslims found the foundations of Constantine's octagon church and built the dome of the Rock we see today.
  2. "On the Temple Mount he (Hadrian) erected a temple to Jupiter with an equestrian statue of himself in front of it." (The temple of Jerusalem, Joan Comay, 1975, p199)
  3. Where was the threshing floor on the temple mount?
  4. Tuvia Sagiv's theory focuses on Hadrian building a Temple of Jupiter on the temple mount in 135 AD. Hadrian had built many large scale projects including the Jupiter on the Temple in Baalbek, Lebanon, that is still standing to this day. Sagiv, being an architect by trade, noticed that both the Temple of Jupiter in Baalbek and the Islamic buildings we see on the temple mount today, were almost an exact match in both design and scale. The similarity between a hexagon shaped Jupiter "Forecourt" with the Dome of the Rock and the Jupiter Temple with the Al-Aqsa mosque is nothing short of stunning.

Detailed high resolution photos of the Temple of Jupiter in Baalbek, Lebanon.


Temple of Jupiter photo gallery

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Click image above to see photos

A. The sequence from Herod's Temple, to Temple of Jupiter, to Dome of the Rock:

  1. From 2 Macc 6, we learn that in 167 BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes attacked Jerusalem setting up a temple to Jupiter and offering pig sacrifices. He ordered the Jews to worship idols and stop keeping the Sabbath and practicing circumcision. A major theme in 2 Macc is that the Jews triumph over Antiochus in the end and regain control of the temple again.
  2. After Titus destroyed the Temple in 70 AD, Hadrian became Caesar in 117 - 138 AD. Hadrian, revisits the actions of he predecessor Antiochus IV Epiphanes and sets up a Temple of Jupiter on the Temple mount, ordering circumcision to cease and expelling the Jews from Jerusalem altogether. He not only made himself the object of worship in this temple, but made Jerusalem the capital city of the Roman world for the worship of Jupiter. He also built an temple to Jupiter in Baalbek, Lebanon that is still standing today. Just as Hitler deceived British Prime Minister Chamberlain in 1938 AD that there would be "peace in our time", so too Hadrian deceived the Jews to believe that he was peacefully rebuilding the Jewish Temple, when in fact he was constructing the world headquarters "Temple of Jupiter". As construction began, the Jews probably even helped in thankfulness and praise to Hadrian. But when the Jews finally learned of Hadrian's true intent, as did England learn of Hitler's, they rebelled and a huge war broke out in 132 AD where 85 major Jewish towns were destroyed and 580,000 Jewish men were killed. The false promises of peace of Hadrian and Hitler both resulted in major holocausts against the Jews. Israel came to the promised land with about 600,000 men and they were finally expelled from the land by having about 600,000 men killed by Hadrian. The Temple of Jupiter was completed on the temple mount in 135 AD and was the most important (Jupiter Capitolinus) "Temple to Jupiter" in the world. While the Jews of Hadrian's time may have been looking for the story of 2 Maccabees conclude with a similar victory for the Jews, Hadrian was likely reminded of the same 2 Macc. text to make sure the ending was different.
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    Hadrian killing a Jew in 135 AD
  3. The Temple of Jupiter had two buildings: The rectangular shaped "Temple" and the hexagon shaped "forecourt" at the other end of a large open area lined with large marble pillars. Hadrian built more than one Temple of Jupiter. Here is the floor plan of the Temple of Jupiter that you can visit today in Baalbek, Lebanon. Hadrian would have followed this same basic pattern when he built the Temple of Jupiter on the Jerusalem temple mount.
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  4. Dan 9:27; 11:31; Matt 24:15; Luke 21:20 are specific prophecies that the "abomination of desolation that will make sacrifice cease" in the Jewish temple which was fully fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. But there were two other shadow or anti-typical fulfillments of these same prophecies. One was in 167 BC with Antiochus IV Epiphanes and the other was in 117 AD with the rise of Hadrian to power. Whereas Antiochus merely offered sacrifices to Jupiter in the Jewish Temple, Hadrian built the largest temples of Jupiter in the world in place of the Jewish temple. We know that Hadrian wanted to make himself the object of worship in his Temple to Jupiter in Jerusalem and he set up a statue of himself riding a horse on the Temple mount at the El-Kas fountain. Tuvia Sagiv believes that Hadrian, in the ultimate act of arrogance and insult to the Jews, placed this horse statue in the precise location of where the Holy of Holies stood from the Jewish temple. Jesus words in Matthew 24:15 echo, "Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)."
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  5. The Temple of Jupiter stood from 135 AD, until the time of Hadrian's later successor Constantine in 325 AD. Constantine "did right in the sight of God" and was as anti-pagan as any of the most righteous Jewish Kings of the Old Testament. He utterly destroyed Hadrian's Temple of Jupiter on the temple mount. The temple of Jupiter on the temple mount, lay in ruins for almost 350 years until the Muslims arrived, except for a unsuccessful attempt by the Jews to rebuilt the temple around 400 AD.
  6. Eusebius 325 AD: When Constantine came upon the temple mount in Jerusalem, he destroyed the temple of Jupiter that had been built in 135 AD by Hadrian. In building the "Church of the Holy Sepulchre" in 325 AD, Eusebius records how Constantine even removed the soil on the site and dumped it far away. Hadrian had built a temple to Venus on the site and Constantine destroyed and removed every trace of this pagan idolatry. It seems unlikely that Constantine would remove even the soil from the site of the "Church of the Holy Sepulchre" where Hadrian had built a temple to Venus, but leave Hadrian's statues on the temple mount. Yet in 400 AD, Jerome says that the statue of Hadrian riding a horse was still standing on the very place of the Jewish Temple. Eusebius wrote in 325 AD: "How Constantine Commanded the Materials of the Idol Temple, and the Soil Itself, to Be Removed at a Distance: Nor did the emperor's zeal stop here; but he gave further orders that the materials of what was thus destroyed, both stone and timber, should be removed and thrown as far from the spot as possible; and this command also was speedily executed. The emperor, however, was not satisfied with having proceeded thus far: once more, fired with holy ardor, he directed that the ground itself should be dug up to a considerable depth, and the soil which had been polluted by the foul impurities of demon worship transported to a far distant place." (Eusebius , The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine, book 3, ch 27)
  7. In 325, Constantine built at least three octagonal churches. The church of Nativity in Bethlehem. The location of "Mary's rock" near Bethlehem and the other on the temple mount where the octagonal Dome of the Rock presently is. There are other octagonal churches Constantine build. Eusebius indicated that the original floor plan of the church of the Holy Sepulchre had an octagon. The similarities between the Dome of the Rock and the "Church of Mary's Rock" are astounding. They are the same basic size. Both are octagonal (8 sided) and both were built over rocks!
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  8. In 333 AD, the "Bordeaux Pilgrim" mentions he saw two statues of Hadrian near the temple mount and that there was a building over the place of the Jewish Temple. But he also mentions the church which Constantine built over the cave where Jesus was buried. It seems strange that Constantine would have already competed the "Church of the Holy Sepulcher", but had not yet torn down the temple of Jupiter over the "rock" or removed Hadrian's statues. Even if we suggest that Constantine immediately destroyed Hadrian's temple of Jupiter and erected another building over the "rock" it seems unlikely that he would leave Hadrian's statues in place. Perhaps Constantine destroyed the Temple of Jupiter, built a small structure over what he thought was the location of the temple over the "rock" and allowed the statues of Hadrian to remain out of respect of a fellow, "past Caesar". Perhaps Constantine wanted to keep the statues of Hadrian on the site as a reminder to the Jews that God was unhappy with them for crucifying His Son Jesus. Here is the text of the Bordeaux Pilgrim from 333 AD, "Here is also the corner of an exceeding high tower, where our Lord ascended and the tempter said to Him, 'If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence.' . And the Lord answered, 'Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God, but him only shalt thou serve.' (Matt 4:1-11). There is a great corner-stone, of which it was said, 'The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner.' (Matt 21:42; Ps 118:22). Under the pinnacle of the tower are many rooms, and here was Solomon's palace. There also is the chamber in which he sat and wrote the (Book of) Wisdom; this chamber is covered with a single stone. There are also large subterranean reservoirs for water and pools constructed with great labour. And in the building itself, where stood the temple which Solomon built, they say that the blood of Zacharias (Matt 23:35) which was shed upon the stone pavement before the altar remains to this day. There are also to be seen the marks of the nails in the shoes of the soldiers who slew him, throughout the whole enclosure, so plain that you would think they were impressed upon wax. There are two statues of Hadrian, and not far from the statues there is a perforated stone, to which the Jews come every year and anoint it, bewail themselves with groans, rend their garments, and so depart. ... About a stone's throw from thence is a vault wherein His body was laid, and rose again on the third day. There, at present, by the command of the Emperor Constantine, has been built a basilica, that is to say, a church of wondrous beauty, having at the side reservoirs from which water is raised, and a bath behind in which infants are washed." (The Bordeaux Pilgrim, 333 AD)
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  9. In 361 AD, Julian the Apostate tried to reverse Constantine's anti-pagan, pro-Christian influence and he gave permission to the Jews to come and rebuild the Jewish temple on the temple mount. The Jews dug up the foundations of and excavated the temple mount. In May 363 AD an earthquake that caused an explosion of underground gases on the temple mount, ended the Jewish efforts to rebuild the temple.
  10. In 400 AD, Jerome's commentary on Matthew mentions an equestrian statue of the Emperor Hadrian was still standing directly over the site of the Holy of the Holies. Perhaps Constantine wanted to keep the statues of Hadrian on the site as a reminder to the Jews that God was unhappy with them for crucifying His Son Jesus. On the other hand, the Jews would surely remove the statue in 361 AD, when they tried to rebuild the temple. Yet if all this knowledge was available to Jerome in 400 AD, after such a statue had been removed, it would have been known to Constantine, who destroyed the Temple of Jupiter 75 years earlier. It appears that Constantine was under the impression that the Jewish temple was located over the "rock". Perhaps someone brought back the statue from where the Jews removed it after 363 AD, as a message to the Jews their temple would never be rebuilt and that they should believe in Jesus. In spite of these conflicting problems in the history that we have, if we use the Temple of Jupiter in Baalbek as a model, this would place the Holy of the Holies at the El Kas foundation, for that is where Hadrian would likely place his statue of himself riding a horse. Jerome wrote in 400 AD, "So when you see the standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation... or to the statue of the mounted Hadrian, which stands to this very day on the site of the Holy of Holies." (Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 24.15, 400 AD)
  11. In 400 AD, Jerome's letter to Paulinus stated that Hadrian had marked all the "holy sites" with idols. These included Venus at the birth cave in Bethlehem, Venus at Golgotha, and Jupiter at the site of the tomb. It would seem very consistent that Hadrian would indeed put a statue of himself over the very spot of the Holy of Holies. Jerome wrote in 400 AD: "From the time of Hadrian to the reign of Constantine—a period of about one hundred and eighty years [Hadrian died in 138 A.D.; Constantine became Emperor in 306 A.D.] -the spot which had witnessed the resurrection was occupied by a figure of Jupiter; while on the rock where the cross had stood, a marble statue of Venus was set up by the heathen and became an object of worship. The original persecutors, indeed, supposed that by polluting our holy places they would deprive us of our faith in the passion and in the resurrection. Even my own Bethlehem, as it now is, that most venerable spot in the whole world of which the psalmist sings: "the truth hath sprung out of the earth," was overshadowed by a grove of Tammuz, that is of Adonis; and in the very cave where the infant Christ had uttered His earliest cry lamentation was made for the paramour of Venus." (Jerome, Letter 58. To Paulinus, 3, 400 AD)
  12. In 1884 AD, Charles Warren, claimed to have not only seen one of Hadrian's statues of Jupiter but even read the inscription at the base of the statue. Here are Charles Warren actual field notes from 1884 AD: "Hadrian erected a statue of Jupiter (still in position when seen by the Bordeaux Pilgrim) on the site of the Temple (Jerome, Comm. on Isaiah ii. 8 and on Matt. xxiv. 15), and the inscription which was cut on its base is still recognizable on a large stone built upside down into the south wall of the Haram near the Double Gate. According to Eusebius (Vita Const. iii. 26) and Jerome (Epit. xlix.), Hadrian also built a Temple of Venus on the site of the present Church of the Holy Sepulchre; but of this no remains have been recognised. A coin of Antoninus Pius represents such a temple as existing in Jerusalem. Among the other public buildings of this period were two markets, a theatre, a mint, a tricameron, a tetranymphon, and a dodekapylon ('Paschal Chronicle'), but none of these have been recognised. It is, however, supposed on architectural grounds that the so-called Ecce Homo arch was a triumphal entry (similar to that at Jerash, beyond jordan) erected by Hadrian, or by one of his immediate successors, in the second century A.D. The attempt of the Emperor Julian to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple in the fourth century failed entirely; in 333 A.D. the enclosure was found still in ruins by the Bordeaux Pilgrim. According to Eusebius, it would appear that a church already existed on Olivet when Helena visited the city in 326 A.D. According to Epiphanius, seven synagogues were found by Hadrian on Sion, one of which still existed in the fourth century, according to the Bordeaux Pilgrim. Epiphanius also speaks of the Sion Church (the later Coenaculum) as existing in the time of Hadrian. A cemetery of tombs in the lady Rababeh belonging to this church will be found described in a later page under the name of that valley." (The Survey of Western Palestine, Charles Warren and Claude Reigner Conder, 1884)
  13. Below is the El-Kas fountain where Hadrians horse statue was most likely located:
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  14. In 622 AD, the Muslims murdered their way into possession of the Temple mount as well as wiping out all churches from Alexandria to Antioch. The Muslim's looked at the remainders of foundations of the two buildings of the Temple of Jupiter on the temple mount and wrongly assumed the hexagon shaped "forecourt" was the Jewish Temple. In fact the more holy building in the Temple of Jupiter was the rectangular shaped "temple" building. The hexagon shaped "forecourt" was of less importance. They really had no idea where the Temple once stood, but built the Dome first, on what appeared to be the Temple. The Dome of the Rock is unique in all the Islamic world and they have built nothing else like it architecturally. However, we see almost an exact replica in Baalbak, Lebanon. Obviously, the Muslims dug up the foundation stones of Hadrian's Temple of Jupiter and used it as their blueprint for the Dome of the Rock thinking it was the Jewish temple. This of course doesn't say much for the religion of Islam, that teaches that the Dome of the Rock was built on the exact location of the Jewish Temple. Remember that Muhammad initially instructed his followers to pray towards the Jerusalem temple until he realized that the Jews would not convert to Islam, then he changed and directed all prayers to Mecca. So the Jewish Temple was important at the earliest stages of Islam.
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  15. But the Dome of the Rock is more likely patterned after Constantine's octagonal church that he built on the temple site. Perhaps Constantine built this church on what he knew was the place where Jesus was condemned at the fortress of Antonia. The bedrock is very close to the surface here. When the Muslims came along in 685 AD, it may be the octagon of Constantine's church rather than the hexagon of Hadrian's temple of Jupiter, that the Muslims mistook for the original Jewish temple.
  16. In 685 AD, they began construction of the Dome of the Rock and wrongly assumed the foundation of Hadrian's "forecourt" in the temple of Jupiter was in fact the Jewish Temple. Then in 705 AD, the Muslims built the Al-Asqa mosque on the foundation of the actual "Temple" building in the Temple of Jupiter.
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  17. This is the Hadian inscription from a statue that he placed in the Temple of Jupiter. Constantine destroyed the temple and dumped the rubble, along with these statues away from the temple mount area. Later, the Muslims found these dumped stones from the temple of Jupiter and reused them to build the dome of the Rock, the Al-Aqsa mosque. The Hadrian inscription stone was a replacement of a broken stone. It was set upside down just above and to the right of the Huldah gate (double gate) arch.
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    Hadrian's inscription reads:
    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]
  18. (letters in brackets fill out abbreviations)
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  19. For a number of additional reasons to be discussed, we believe Tuvia Sagiv's placement of the Herodian temple, as seen below, is the most likely location on the temple mount. You can see the three structures in the picture below: Blue is Hadrian's temple of Jupiter. Black is the Muslim dome and Al Aqsa mosque which they patterned after the Temple of Jupiter. Red is the Herodian Temple that Jesus and the Apostles preached and taught in.
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  20. Here is where Tuvia Sagiv places the Herodian Temple on the temple mount as we see it today:
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Solomon's Quarry: The entrance to the cave is just north of the Damascus Gate along the city wall. From the entrance under the city wall to the deepest point is 230 meters. Its widest point is 100 meters and the highest point from floor to roof is 15 meters. Although the cave cuts an almost direct line to the NW corner of the temple mount which is 335 meters from the entrance of the cave, no part of the cave is directly under the temple mount area, but falls 105 meters short. In other words, the closest point of the cave is still 105 meters away from the NW corner of the temple mount. The underground spring is due east of the "Freemasons Hall" and is near the lowest point of the cave. Josephus Flavius, refers to it as the "Royal Caverns." In the 10th century, the Damascus Gate was called "the Gate of the Grotto." In the 15th century, the cave was a textile storage are and "the Cotton Grotto." In the 16 century, the turks sealed the cave until it was discovered by Dr. Barclay while walking with his son and dog. The dog started digging at the entrance of the cave while tracking a fox. There is nothing in the Bible that connect Zedekiah with any kind of cave. The story in Jeremiah 39:4; 2 Kings 25:4 is often suggested, but clearly not related.
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B. Additional factors for placing Herod's temple in this location:

  1. Threshing floor
  2. There is a small (red on map below) rectangular carved depression in the Rock under the Dome that is off center, but directly in line with where an idol might be placed in the Temple of Jupiter. If the Dome was the former site of the Temple of Jupiter, you would expect Hadrian to place an idol in the hexagonal Jupiter building centered as you walk in, but near the rear of the room giving worshippers more space. You can draw a line through the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque and it exactly intersect this small rectangular carved shape in the Rock under the Dome.
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C. Documentation from sources:

  1. 2 Maccabees: "Not long after this the king [Antiochus IV Epiphanes] sent an old man of Athens to compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their fathers, and not to live after the laws of God: And to pollute also the temple in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius; and that in Garizim, of Jupiter the Defender of strangers, as they did desire that dwelt in the place. The coming in of this mischief was sore and grievous to the people: For the temple was filled with riot and revelling by the Gentiles, who dallied with harlots, and had to do with women within the circuit of the holy places, and besides that brought in things that were not lawful. The altar also was filled with profane things, which the law forbiddeth. Neither was it lawful for a man to keep sabbath days or ancient fasts, or to profess himself at all to be a Jew. And in the day of the king's birth every month they were brought by bitter constraint to eat of the sacrifices; and when the fast of Bacchus was kept, the Jews were compelled to go in procession to Bacchus, carrying ivy. Moreover there went out a decree to the neighbour cities of the heathen, by the suggestion of Ptolemee, against the Jews, that they should observe the same fashions, and be partakers of their sacrifices: And whoso would not conform themselves to the manners of the Gentiles should be put to death. Then might a man have seen the present misery. For there were two women brought, who had circumcised their children; whom when they had openly led round about the city, the babes handing at their breasts, they cast them down headlong from the wall. And others, that had run together into caves near by, to keep the sabbath day secretly, being discovered by Philip, were all burnt together, because they made a conscience to help themselves for the honour of the most sacred day. Now I beseech those that read this book, that they be not discouraged for these calamities, but that they judge those punishments not to be for destruction, but for a chastening of our nation." (2 Maccabees 6:1-12, 167 BC)
  2. Cassius Dio, a Roman Historian in 229 AD stated that Hadrian built the Temple of Jupiter on the temple mount: "At Jerusalem he [Hadrian] founded a city in place of the one which had been razed to the ground, naming it Aelia Capitolina, and on the site of the temple of the god he raised a new temple to Jupiter. This brought on a war of no slight importance nor of brief duration, 2 for the Jews deemed it intolerable that foreign races should be settled in their city and foreign religious rites planted there. ... After Hadrian's death there was erected to him a huge equestrian statue representing him with a four-horse chariot. (Roman History, Cassius Dio, Book 69:12, 229 AD, Translation by Earnest Cary p 425-467)
  3. Hadrian while in the East in 117 did visit the two great centers of Jewish disaffection, Palestine and Egypt. During his stay in Jerusalem he discussed with his associates the rebuilding of the city as a Roman colony, and caused the work to be taken in hand.' It is possible that he held conferences also with deputations from the Jewish leaders, and that the Jews were deceived regarding the real character of his intentions in beginning this work. Their delusion as to Hadrian's friendly disposition toward themselves, was furthered by his treatment of their old enemy, Trajan's famous general, the Moorish chieftain Lusius Quietus. The latter, it will be remembered, had repressed the Jewish rebellion in Mesopotamia with great severity and had been a stern governor of Judaea over which Trajan had appointed him Legatus in 117. He was a personal enemy of Hadrian, who soon after his accession removed him from his post, and later put him to death on the charge of conspiracy. But as time went on the Jews gradually became aware that Hadrian, so far from reviving the glories of the ancient capital, was in reality building in place of it a Roman camp-city, pagan in character, specifically dedicated to the worship of the emperor as the earthly manifestation of Jupiter Capitolinus. Their wrath eventually took the form of sporadic revolts to one of which the Rylands papyrus bears witness. It is possible that Hadrian during his absence in Rome and his journeys in the West allowed the work on the colony to languish, but renewed it with vigor during his journeys in the East, 128-32. Exasperated by Jewish revolts and by the persistent recalcitrancy of this stiff-necked people, he adopted further measures of repression against them. He excluded them altogether from the colony' and finally forbade them to practice the rite of circumcision. This was the last straw. The smoldering embers of rebellion burst into the great conflagration, the extinction of which taxed the resources of the empire, in other words, the war under Barc osiba. The Jewish war under Hadrian began then ca. 132 only in the sense that it became at that time so intense and formidable that it required the summoning to the seat of war of legionary troops other than those already stationed in Palestine and Syria, and demanded, as Hadrian concluded, the presence of the emperor himself. Whatever may be thought of this reconstruction, it will be admitted, I think, that the new evidence favors the view that the Jewish and Christian traditions deserve more respect than they have received of late, that the building of Aelia Capitolina began early in Hadrian's reign, and that consequently there was a long prelude to the final struggle that began in 131 or 132. That struggle was not, as it is currently presented, a sudden outbreak following an interval of peace. As early as 128 at least, a cloud had appeared to foretell the coming of the storm. (The Founding of Aelia Capitolina and the Chronology of the Jewish War under Hadrian, William D. Gray, The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 39, No. 4., Jul., 1923, p 248-256.)
  4. The "Chronicon Paschale" written in 627 AD, calls one of the public buildings of Hadrian in Jerusalem "the square" (Chronicon Paschale .Ed .Du Cange in J.P. Migne, PG, vol. 92).

D. Some problems with Tuvia Sagiv's view:

  1. What additional actual evidence is there that Hardian built a temple of Jupiter on the Temple Site and that Constantine destroyed it, that Hadrian's statue of a horse was on the temple mount? Sagiv himself admits "that there are researchers who doubt if a temple to Jupiter was built at all on the Temple Mount." (Tuvia Sagiv, June 2006)
  2. The Dome of the Rock is an 8 sided octagon whereas the Temple of Jupiter is a six sided hexagon. It would give more support for Sagiv's theory if the Dome of the Rock was a Hexagon like the Temple of Jupiter. However, Sagiv still may be correct. When the Muslims murdered their way into possession of the site in the 7th century, it was in utter ruins. The Temple of Jupiter, being a pagan temple, had been destroyed by Constantine the Christian some three hundred years earlier. By digging up what was left of the foundations of the Temple of Jupiter, if anything, the Muslims may have indeed known it was a hexagon shape, but to "do one better" made the Dome of the Rock into an octagon shape. On the other hand, they may have wanted to imitate the original shape of what they mistakenly thought was the Jewish temple, but the foundation footprint of the Temple of Jupiter may have been so damaged that they knew the general shape, but could not tell if it was 6 or 8 sided.
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    Octagon vs. a Hexagon .
  3. It makes sense to suggest that in 135 AD, Hadrian build the outer wall of the temple mount we see today, since Josephus and the Mishna both say the size was half the what see today. The idea that Hadrian built the wailing and south walls, for example, is not without problems. First, the Hebrew inscription, "To the place of trumpeting" found by B. Mazar in the 1960's at the base of the corner of the S.E. wall is proof that Herod built the wall. This section was the top edge of the parapet (low protective wall) on the trumpeters tower over the pinnacle of the temple. It was found by Mazar, exactly where we would expect to find it if the existing walls we see today were built by Herod. If these walls today were built by Hadrian in 135 AD, who doubled the size of the Temple mount area, the remains of the trumpeters parapet would be found further east, or well inside the current temple mount undiscovered. Josephus explains: "the last [tower] was erected above the top of the Pastophoria (special rooms for priests), where one of the priests stood of course, and gave a signal beforehand, with a trumpet, at the beginning of every seventh day, in the evening twilight, as also at the evening when the day was finished, as giving notice to the people when they were to leave off work, and when they were to go to work again. (Josephus, Wars 4.582)
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  4. Another problem with the idea that Hadrian built the wailing and south walls, is the "Cave of the Patriarchs" in Hebron. It is almost universally accepted that Herod built the Cave of the Patriarchs and there is a close match in the size, style and quality of workmanship with the lowest section of the walls at the temple mount. Tuvia Sagiv rejects the idea that Herod build either the cave of Patriarchs or the temple mount walls. While he may be right that there are no historic references, like Josephus, who actually built the cave of Patriarchs, he needs to do put forward his proposed builder and date of building. We know it predates Hadrian, so if not Hadrian or Herod, then who built the Cave of the Patriarchs. This is important, what is his guess?
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  5. The concept that the priests must use "living water" to cleanse the temple area is as foreign to the Bible as it is absurd. Lets assume this was really true. So God commands Solomon to build the temple in a place that has no natural springs of water, then tells Solomon that he must use spring water to wash the blood from the sacrifices of the temple. While this may be one of the many "laws of the Pharisees" that they invented, there is no scriptural evidence where God required "living water". Also, the water conduits feeding the temple were not built till hundreds of years after Solomon. How did the temple priests wash and cleanse the temple area with "living water"? The Gihon spring inside the city of David cannot lift water that high, so the nearest "living water" would be 30 miles south in Hebron. A considerable construction task. For those who think the solution is locating the temple right over the Gihon spring itself, we remind them that just as you would not locate your toilet in the middle of your kitchen table, so also no one in ancient times would locate a threshing floor directly beside the only source of fresh drinking water for a 5 mile radius.
  6. Another problem with the idea that the temple floor had to be lowered by 50 feet in order to have water flow freely from the conduit is overcome if you assume they used a closed siphon to raise it up higher to the current floor level. There are several long sections of siphons from the headwaters of Hebron. If they already employed siphons in the water system to get to water to Jerusalem from 30 miles away, why not use a siphon at the Temple mount?


  1. A threshing floor would never have been built at the highest point of a hill where the Dome of the Rock presently sits.
  2. Titus tore down the temple in 70 AD. Jesus said not one stone would be left upon another.
  3. In 135 AD Hadrian enlarged the temple mount area and filled in dirt about 50 feet of dirt above the temple location and built a temple to Jupiter. The temple of Jupiter featured a 6 sided (hexagon) building.
  4. In 325 AD Constantine tore down Hadrian's temple of Jupiter and built a church on the site with a 8 sided (octagon) dome, just like we see he did today at the "Church of Mary's Rock" and the "Church of the Nativity" that still stand today.
  5. In 685 AD, when the Muslims started to build the Dome of the Rock, it may have been patterned after the octagon of Constantine's church rather than the hexagon of Hadrian's temple of Jupiter. Either way, the Muslims mistook the structure that was there for the original Jewish temple and built the Dome of the Rock.
  6. But the Dome of the Rock is more likely patterned after Constantine's octagonal church that he built on the temple site. Perhaps Constantine built this church on what he knew was the place where Jesus was condemned at the fortress of Antonia.
  7. The only place for a threshing floor is in the hollow of the hill, 50 below where the Al Kas fountain presently sits. Today, the temple mount level is 10-20 meters higher than is was in Jesus' day.

By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.


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