Where Were the Old Testament Kings of Ancient Jerusalem Buried?

Archaeologist Jeff Zorn reinvestigates an old theory

Jeffrey Zorn presents some of Raymond Weill’s early-20th-century plans from his Jerusalem excavations in “Is T1 David’s Tomb?” in the November/December 2012 BAR. Take a closer look at Weill’s detailed drawings in the Bible History Daily exclusive “King David’s Tomb–A Closer Look.” Zoom in on pictures from the magazine, and get a fresh look at additional web-exclusive photographs, plans and drawings. 


 
Nearly a century ago, French archaeologist Raymond Weill excavated what he identified to be tombs in Jerusalem’s City of David—perhaps the royal necropolis of the earliest Old Testament kings. Some scholars have since disputed this claim, but a new examination of the evidence by archaeologist Jeff Zorn suggests that Weill might well have been right.

Although King David’s tomb has been erroneously identified with a location on Jerusalem’s Mt. Zion since the days of the Jewish historian Josephus (first century C.E.), earlier Biblical references make it clear that David and many other Old Testament kings were buried near the southern end of the City of David in ancient Jerusalem. But where exactly? Jeff Zorn believes we may already know.

Archaeologist Jeff Zorn believes these two quarried-out tunnels in the City of David may have once held the remains of the earliest Old Testament kings of ancient Jerusalem.

Nineteenth-century diplomat and explorer Charles Clermont-Ganneau believed the circuitous path of Hezekiah’s Tunnel offered a major clue. Clermont-Ganneau suggested the looping semicircular path followed by Hezekiah’s Tunnel towards its southern end was dug to avoid disturbing the burial grounds of the ancient Jerusalem kings that lay above. Within a couple of decades, Baron Edmond de Rothschild had purchased land in this area of the City of David to test the hypothesis through excavation.

Weill directed excavations on Baron Rothschild’s City of David property in 1913–1914 and again in 1923–1924. Though the area was greatly disturbed by later quarrying, Weill discovered ancient walls, ritual pools, cisterns, a circular tower (now believed to be a columbarium) and, most remarkably, nine rock-cut features that he identified as “tombs.” Weill interpreted the three most prominent tombs (labeled T1–T3) to be part of the royal necropolis of the Old Testament kings of ancient Jerusalem.
 


 
The two-part documentary The Archaeology of Jerusalem takes viewers on an aerial tour and on-site to tell the story of the most important discoveries in ancient Jerusalem. Learn about the DVD here.
 

 
The parallel rock-cut tunnels Weill labeled T1 and T2 are still the most imposing of the “tombs.” T1 is about 54 feet long, 8 feet wide and 6 feet high. T2 is about 28 feet long, although evidence suggests it may originally have been much longer. While both tunnels are relatively simple and unadorned, T1 was divided into two levels, with the upper including a 6-foot-long rectangular depression at its far end that could have held the body or sarcophagus of the deceased.

So are these tunnels the remains of the royal Davidic necropolis of ancient Jerusalem?

Most scholar have remained unconvinced, pointing out that several features of the tunnels indicate they were more likely used as domestic cisterns or basements during the Second Temple period. But, as Jeff Zorn argues, even if these features were modified and reused during the Second Temple period (by which time any memory of where David and his descendants were buried had long since faded), this does not preclude the possibility of their original function as ancient Jerusalem royal tombs.

Those who reject Weill’s interpretation also point out that prominent Jerusalem families were able to commission much more elaborate First Temple period tombs, many of which have been found. Why then would Judah’s Old Testament kings have been buried in such simple, unadorned sepulchers?

Jeff Zorn argues that the plain tombs discovered by Weill are much more characteristic of the relatively simple royal tombs known from Late Bronze and early Iron Age sites throughout the Near East. As such, Weill’s tombs very well could be the tombs of Jerusalem’s earliest Old Testament kings, whose final resting places would have been made to look like the royal tombs of their contemporaries.
 


 
To continue learning about the ancient Jerusalem tombs discovered by Weill, read Jeffrey Zorn’s “Is T1 David’s Tomb?,” Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2012.

To view web-exclusive details of the site, visit “King David’s Tomb–A Closer Look.”
 

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  1. Jim says

    thanks for what really is an interesting essay.

  2. Rose says

    This article leaves the impression that Biblical Archeology is a pseudo-science. Why do we assume modern Jerusalem (at the time of Jesus), was the same city as ancient Jerusalem (before Nebuchadnezzar)? Ezra (3:6) says the foundation for the Temple hadn’t been laid there at the time of Cyrus the Great (550 BCE or so). Modern Jerusalem was an ancient walled city but Solomon’s temple was never there according to the Old Testament.

    Ask the critical questions. Who defeated the Philistines or Sea People historically? It was Ramsses III according to the historical record and David according to the Bible. What was the symbol for stability, God, and resurrection that still bears the name Ramsses? The Djed. There never was an individual David, the name represents the 20th Dynasty of Egypt and all that happened in that time period.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/97/Louvre_122007_29.jpg

    Who followed Djed (or David)? The Pharaoh Siamun in the 21st Dynasty. He built Tanis and procured cedars from Lebanon to rebuild temples. He also built a porch for his wife Pharaoh’s daughter. Whomever married Pharaoh’s daughter was then a Pharaoh.

    Solomon’s temple is still there in the middle of a big unexcavated city, just paste this into Google Earth.

    30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E

    The ‘City of David’, is there also. Or at least that’s where all the gold and dead people were until they were moved to the Valley of the Kings

    30°58’40.98″ N 31°52’53.35″ E

    How much gold did Pharaoh have? How much gold did Solomon have? How much mined gold was in the world in 1000 BCE? A total of 60 tons according to Robert Feather in, “The Mystery of the Copper Scroll of Qumran” (pg. 22). 666 talents of gold (Solomon’s supply) was 1/3 of the world’s production of gold in 1000 BCE. That’s incredible considering all the gold in Egypt and India.

    Solomon could only be the 21st Dynasty of Egypt, and not a single individual.

    In 312 BCE there was a giant alter of white stones at the site in modern Jerusalem according to Hecateus. These huge white stones are almost identical in size to the huge white stones at the foundation of the Temple Mount.

    Hecateus wrote (about 312 BCE) “There are many strong places and villages (says he) in the country of Judea; but one strong city there is, about fifty furlongs in circumference, which is inhabited by a hundred and twenty thousand men, or thereabouts; they call it Jerusalem. There is about the middle of the city a wall of stone, whose length is five hundred feet, and the breadth a hundred cubits, with double cloisters; wherein there is a square altar, not made of hewn stone, but composed of white stones gathered together, having each side twenty cubits long, and its altitude ten cubits.”
    Josephus Apion I, 22

  3. Mark says

    IT says their remains were desecrated. Jer 8:1-2.

  4. Mark says

    The temple foundation was probably taken away. Them were rocks of the finest quality, Rose.

  5. Greg says

    3rd last paragraph ” (by which time any memory of where David and his descendants were buried had long since faded), “…. BUT I recall Jesus’ disciples refering to Davids tomb…so they knew where David’s tomb was during Jesus’ day…?

  6. Enopoletus says

    Why do we assume modern Jerusalem (at the time of Jesus), was the same city as ancient Jerusalem (before Nebuchadnezzar)?

    We see Bible. We see Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian mentions of Judah. We see numerous Judahite inscriptions in Judah. We state the obvious.

    Ask the critical questions. Who defeated the Philistines or Sea People historically? It was Ramsses III according to the historical record and David according to the Bible

    Ask the critical questions. Who defeated the Republicans or GOPers historically? It was Bill Clinton according to the historical record and Barack Obama according to my memory.

    There never was an individual David, the name represents the 20th Dynasty of Egypt and all that happened in that time period.

    -There was never an individual Barack Obama, the name represents the Great Recession period of the United States and all that happened in that time period.

    What was the symbol for stability, God, and resurrection that still bears the name Ramsses? The Djed.

    What is the symbol for power, strikes from the air in foreign lands, and the chief god? The lightning bolt, whose name is reflected in “Barak” (in Hebrew).

    In any case, Jerusalem ain’t Tanis (that would be בְצֹ֖עַן). Citing Bobby Feather the crank isn’t going to do you much good here. Osorkon I gave 96 tons of gold per year to the gods of Egypt (Kitchen, OROT, p. 623).
    Note to BAR: get some moderators, or at least respond to these pieces of fecal matter that are dropped weekly on your website.

  7. Enopoletus says

    @ Greg -That is the chief hole I see in Zorn’s hypothesis.

  8. Rose says

    I see Enopoletus has no real answers to critical questions, just mindless political angst. This is a Biblical Archeology site not a personal political forum.

    There is no mention of a temple in modern Jerusalem prior to Alexander the Great.
    Paul-Alain Beaulieu, author of, “The Reign of Nabonidus, King of Babylon 556-539 B.C” has many cuneiform’s that list temple restorations during that period. Historians such as Josephus say it wasn’t there, and Ezra himself says he laid the foundation. The Cyrus Cylinder mentions the temple in a different place.

    Tanis is where the Pharaoh Siamun sent ships to bring back cedars from Lebanon according to hieroglyphics. The Temple there is an exact match to the dimensions and orientation of the so-called Solomon’s Temple. It’s unexcavated and in the middle of a buried city. All the gold and tombs of the kings are less than 1 mile to the north.

    30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E

    It’s a fair question to ask for actual evidence (not tradition) in support of Solomon’s Temple being in Modern Jerusalem. I’ve given empirical data including a map coordinate with a temple that is an exact fit. Some take umbrage when presented with new facts, ignorance is painful. Until the temple at Tanis is excavated, it’s by far the best fit for Solomon’s temple both biblically and historically. Just because some are unaware doesn’t make it disappear, it’s there.

    Everything that happened at Tanis historically fits the framework of the Biblical Solomon. Solomon was never an individual, but he represents the 21st Dynasty of Egypt. Biblically the 12 tribes split after the death of Solomon just like Egypt split after the 21st Dynasty.

    >> Osorkon I gave 96 tons of gold per year to the gods of Egypt (Kitchen, OROT, p. 623).

    Rose> Robert Feather (a Metallurgist) was citing data from a 1993 NATO Conference on “Prehistoric Gold”. It says 60 tonnes (about 60.6 tons) was the worlds entire production in 1000 BCE and 150 tonnes (about 165 tons) by the year 1 CE.

    Kitchen says, “Only fragments of this long and detailed hieroglyphic text of Osorkon have been found. But these seem to record gifts totaling. .. . .” (BAR Where Did Solomon’s Gold Go?, May/Jun 1989)

    Obviously Kitchen translated it wrong, filled in the missing texts, or the 1993 NATO Conference on “Prehistoric Gold” was wrong by 1,000% or so.

    Shalom

    Judges 5
    1 Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,
    2 Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.
    3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

  9. Mark says

    You’re right Greg the tomb of David must have escaped or been repaired during Nehemiah’s work. Rose what are you smoking LOL.

  10. Enopoletus says

    What ‘political angst’? Are you referring to my analogies, made to demonstrate your claims in your first comment are ridiculous? We don’t have cuneiform accounts of the Sack of Jerusalem. Why would texts which no longer exist say the obvious (that there was a temple at the Judahite capital city) anyway?

    “Everything that happened at Tanis historically fits the framework of the Biblical Solomon.”-Except the construction of the temple of YHWH and the high places for the gods of Moab, Ammon, and Phoenicia. “Solomon was never an individual, but he represents the 21st Dynasty of Egypt. Biblically the 12 tribes split after the death of Solomon just like Egypt split after the 21st Dynasty.”
    -Sure, and James Polk was never an individual, but represents the antebellum period of America. Biblically the 12 tribes split after the death of Solomon just like America split during the Civil War.

    Ignorance is, indeed, painful (e.g, my ignorance of what in the world the rectangular structure you are pointing me to is). I take pains with misinterpretations, not facts. Merely saying something (such as that “historians such as Josephus say it wasn’t there” or “The Temple there is an exact match to the dimensions and orientation of the so-called Solomon’s Temple.”) doesn’t make it so. Testis unus testis nullus-I see all you state as a lie unless you give me a source. Besides, the Bible clearly presents the Temple of Solomon as being in a clearly-attested Iron Age Jerusalem in a clearly-attested Iron Age Judah.

    Also, there is no contradiction between Kitchen and the NATO conference statement-not all gold that is given to the gods each year is mined.

    What would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was in Jerusalem? What would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was not in Tanis?

  11. Rose says

    E> Merely saying something (such as that “historians such as Josephus say it wasn’t there” or “The Temple there is an exact match to the dimensions and orientation of the so-called Solomon’s Temple.”) doesn’t make it so.

    R> I agree. The unexcavated temple located in the middle of the buried city just south of the dig site at Tanis ( 30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E ) fits the dimensions of Solomon’s Temple given by several sources. One source that gives the dimensions of Solomon’s Temple is the fold out in the December 2008 issue of National Geographic. This gives a length of 52.5m from the front of the porch structure in the east, to the back wall. The Temple at Tanis can be measured using Google Earth and it’s within a few cm. of 52.5m from the front of its porch structure to the first back wall. Not only does this have the same porch structure it also faces because, “the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.”

    That’s in addition to the sepulchers and gold found just north of this unexcavated burred city and temple. It’s too big and the city too vast to be the temple Onias built mentioned by Josephus. Then there are the historical correlations like the cedars from Lebanon and marring Pharaoh’s daughter. There aren’t many differences other than our traditions Herodotus says there were 12 kingdoms in Egypt and the people of the Delta thought swine an abomination, he never mentioned Hebrews. He says the people of the Delta sacrificed a swine (not a lamb) to the full moon once a year and ate the whole thing. (Herodotus book 2.47).

    E> “historians such as Josephus say it wasn’t there” or “The Temple there is an exact match to the dimensions and orientation of the so-called Solomon’s Temple.”) doesn’t make it so.

    R> Josephus in Apion I, 22, says there was only an altar of huge stones there prior to Herod building the Temple. Ezra says the foundation for the temple was not there (Ezra 3:6). The cuneiform’s tell us that Nabonidus was the restorer of temples and he is the one who did all the events attributed to Nebuchadnezzar נבוכדנצר in the book of Daniel (except 1:1 where the name Nebuchadnezzar is spelled differently in the Hebrew Bible נבוכדנאצר). It was Nabonidus who went on the multi year hiatus and left Belshazzar in charge, it was Nabonidus who summoned all the astrologers to interpret his dreams. (see Paul-Alain Beaulieu, “ The Reign of Nabonidus, King of Babylon 556-539 B.C”).

    “according to 1 Kings 6,1 and year 11 of Hiram given by Josephus as the year in which Solomon started the construction of the sanctuary. However the information provided by the Tyrian annals and referred to by Josephus as the Temple of Jerusalem in reality concerned the building activities at Tyre.
    (Lepinski, On the Skirts of Canaan in the Iron Age)

    E> What would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was in Jerusalem? What would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was not in Tanis?

    R> For a team to excavate the temple and buried city to rule it out. Until then it’s by far the best candidate for the actual Temple of Solomon.

    Peace

  12. Rose says

    M> Rose what are you smoking LOL.
    R> No strange incense!

    Exodus 30
    8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.
    9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon.

  13. Observertherealone says

    What is all this nonsense?

    ‘…The Temple of Solomon was in Egypt….’
    ‘…The Temple of Solomon was never built because Solomon never existed….’

    For crying out loud!

    Look.

    When an invading army in Antiquity conquered a city and destroyed its temple… they DESTROYED things. They tear it up. They REMOVED anything of value. That’s what the Babylonians did when they conquered Jerusalem.

    The Temple was re-built (pretty well right from the gound up) commencing at the time of Ezra & Nehemiah and thereafter.

    Now is someone going to tell me that the Returning Jewish Exiles from Babylon just decided “Hey guys, let’s build a temple for our weird desert cult god, Yahweh, on THIS hill. I mean, screw it, we’ve NEVER had a temple or anything for the guy, really. … so let’s build him a temple here. Why not? I mean, it could be anywhere… but this hill looks nice.”

    Horse manure!!

    The Returning Jewish Exiles built the 2nd Temple on the SAME site as the first one that the a REALLY-WAS-A-HUMAN-BEING-OF-FLESH-AND-BLOOD King Solomon did. Solomon’s temple resemblence to any other temple of the period is purely circumstantial. How many art galleries and museums around the world resemble the British Museum? Heaps!

    So.

    The Bible account DOES say there was a Solomon temple in Jerusalem. Yep… right where the Dome of the Rock is now.

    The Solomon temple was totally destroyed.

    The Second Temple was a virtually NEW construction entirely, built on the same SITE (not the same foudations) as the Solomon temple.

    Herod the Great re-furbished and beautified the 2nd Temple.

    The Romans totally destroyed the 2nd/Herod Temple.

    The Bible is correct. The Jews are right.

    Denying all this amounts to saying “The Palestinians are right – the Jews are liars”.

  14. Rose says

    O> Denying all this amounts to saying “The Palestinians are right – the Jews are liars”.

    R> First of all the Bible says the foundation was not there (Ezra 3:6). So you can’t cite any Biblical authority, you can only cite tradition. You’re saying the location of the original Solomon’s Temple is determined by political agenda, not empirical facts. Nobody has ever found any accepted evidence of David or Solomon anywhere. A possible name on a broken shard without any context could have originated anywhere. Nobody has ever found any evidence of a temple in modern Jerusalem prior to Herod the Great. Josephus says there were huge alter stones there, yet we know from true archeologists like Kathleen Kenyon that there was an ancient walled city there since the bronze age at least. The preponderance of evidence shifted away from modern Jerusalem as being the location of Solomon’s Temple a long time ago.

    Earlier “E” asked for references to back up the data, I complied.
    30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E

    The temple in Tanis at this location fits the dimensions perfectly; it faces east to allow the glory of the Lord to fill the temple every year at sunrise of the Spring Equinox. Its unexcavated foundation is huge and it’s in the middle of an unexcavated city. This city is about 200 miles southwest of modern Jerusalem in the land that was divided into 12 kingdoms, where circumcision originated, and the people thought swine an abomination.

    You tell me, where exactly was the border between Egypt and Israel in 1000 BCE, and what proof do you have?

    Who made breastplates of gold, with 12 rows of stones to represent the 12 kingdoms, and lattice and purple (chains and scarlet)? There are 3 types of stones in a pattern of 4 rows that repeat 3 times. Not that this is the breastplate of Aaron, but remember it was Moses who designed it ;-) .

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Tuthankhamun_Egyptian_Museum.jpg

    This below is a joke compared to the breastplates a few miles away.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/PLATE4DX.jpg

    Shalom

  15. Dan says

    O> Denying all this amounts to saying “The Palestinians are right – the Jews are liars”.

    >> First of all the Bible says the foundation was not there (Ezra 3:6). So you can’t cite any Biblical authority, you can only cite tradition. You’re saying the location of the original Solomon’s Temple is determined by political agenda, not empirical facts. Nobody has ever found any accepted evidence of David or Solomon anywhere. A possible name on a broken shard without any context could have originated anywhere. Nobody has ever found any evidence of a temple in modern Jerusalem prior to Herod the Great. Josephus says there were huge alter stones there, yet we know from true archeologists like Kathleen Kenyon that there was an ancient walled city there since the bronze age at least. The preponderance of evidence shifted away from modern Jerusalem as being the location of Solomon’s Temple a long time ago.

    Earlier “E” asked for references to back up the data, I complied.
    30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E

    The temple in Tanis at this location fits the dimensions perfectly; it faces east to allow the glory of the Lord to fill the temple every year at sunrise of the Spring Equinox. Its unexcavated foundation is huge and it’s in the middle of an unexcavated city. This city is about 200 miles southwest of modern Jerusalem in the land that was divided into 12 kingdoms, where circumcision originated, and the people thought swine an abomination.

    You tell me, where exactly was the border between Egypt and Israel in 1000 BCE, and what proof do you have?

    Who made breastplates of gold, with 12 rows of stones to represent the 12 kingdoms, and lattice and purple (chains and scarlet)? There are 3 types of stones in a pattern of 4 rows that repeat 3 times. Not that this is the breastplate of Aaron, but remember it was Moses who designed it ;-) .

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Tuthankhamun_Egyptian_Museum.jpg

    This below is a joke compared to the breastplates a few miles away.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/PLATE4DX.jpg

    Shalom

  16. David says

    Just to add a completely different perspective on the “arguing” above we must also consider the hypothesis offerred by David Rohl. He believes that scholars have stretched Egyptian chronology and misplaced the reigns of many Pharoahs including Rameses the Great — who is the SS (Shesonq I) who looted Jerusalem after Solomon and that the “Philistines” of Rameses III (a mistranslation of Peleset ie the Persians in his view) to subjegate Egypt. If one adopts Rohl’s corrected chronology Weill’s work is accurate.

  17. Enopoletus says

    @David -WTF are you talking about? Firstly, Rohl does not view Shoshenq I as the same as Ramesses II. Secondly, he does not view the Philistines of Ramesses III as Persians-that’s a Velikovskyan view. Thirdly, Velikovsky’s chronology is manifestly contradicted by the stratigraphy of Palestine, and Rohl’s is manifestly contradicted by radiocarbon dating-see http://isfn.skytech.co.il/articles/Full%20model%20Antiquity.pdf

  18. Enopoletus says

    @ Rose
    -I think Observertherealon debunked your view on the location of the Solomonic temple admirably. The eastern section of the Tanis rectangular structure you reference is some 50-51 meters in length, the total length of the rectangular structure is some 66-68 meters. You still have not referenced a source stating that the Tanis rectangular structure you reference is a temple. Besides, even if it was a temple (and there were many East-facing temples in the ANE), it still could not be Solomon’s temple, as that was in Jerusalem in Judah, not at Zoan in Egypt. It does not particularly matter that Josephus was wrong about a small matter. You did not answer my question on what would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was in Jerusalem.

  19. Rose says

    E>You did not answer my question on what would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was in Jerusalem.

    R> (From Post 11) For a team to excavate the temple and buried city to rule it out. Until then it’s by far the best candidate for the actual Temple of Solomon.

    You didn’t answer my question; What proof do you have for the boarder between Egypt and Isreal in 1000 BCE?

    D> consider the hypothesis offerred by David Rohl

    R> There is some room to shift the dates of the kings and pharaoh’s however David Rohl’s own organization, “The Institute for the Study of Interdisciplinary Sciences” or (ISIS) debunked his dating in their final issue VOLUME 10 – Pages 57 – 62 – Year 2006; DOES TABLET KTU 1.78 PROVIDE INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC CONFIRMATION OF THE NEW CHRONOLOGY’? by Bimson, John J. (read the Conclusion)

    http://www.newchronology.org/cgi-bin/somsid.cgi?session=%3C%3CSESSIONID%3E%3E&page=html/volumes/10

    E> I think Observertherealon debunked your view on the location of the Solomonic temple admirably.

    R> You want all kinds of sources form me, and you provide what….??? You can’t find another Temple that faces east with the same porch structure and dimensions as the Temple at 30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E. It can be identified as a temple by its foundation by both its size and easterly pointing direction. Let alone within 200 miles of modern Jerusalem. Herodotus associates the customs and laws in Leviticus with the folks in the Nile Delta. Josephus says the temple wasn’t built there until Herod. The gold and kings are in Tanis. Cedars from Lebanon were procured by the Pharaoh in Tanis to rebuild the temple (story of Wenamun).

    Besides Ezra explicitly stating the foundation for the temple had not been laid, the gospel of Luke points to ancient Jerusalem in Egypt. Matthew’s gospel has Joseph, Mary and Jesus flee directly into Egypt from Bethlehem to flee Herod who was in Jerusalem, then when Herod dies (about 4 BCE) they return to Galilee. Luke has Joseph, Mary and Jesus go from Bethlehem after the 40 days of purification directly into to Jerusalem, then back to Galilee. Either these are just made up stories (Bart Erhman Forged; Fabrications Within the Cannon; p. 265), or Luke was referring to ancient Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Egypt). Luke said the same thing as Matthew, they went from Bethlehem to the city called Jerusalem in Egypt where Simon and Anna declared Jesus the Messiah, then back to Galilee after Herod was gone.

    Then there’s the total and complete lack of evidence for modern Jerusalem as being the location of Solomons Temple. People have dug there since the crusades and found nothing.

    peace

  20. Enopoletus says

    What do you mean by your question (which I did not notice, as you commented under a different name)? There are no Egyptian administrative centers in 11th-9th C BC Palestine I know of besides a possible one at Tel Masos.
    Exclusion of Tanis as a candidate is not inclusion of actual Jerusalem as one- you did not answer my question. Besides, administrative structures, palaces, bazaars, large houses, or even storehouses can face East and have a large size.
    The foundation of the Second Temple had not been laid during the First Return-the foundation of the First Temple had long been laid and rendered useless. Josephus is quoting Hecateus (possibly, pseudo-Hecateus) of Abdera, who, as far as I know, did not visit Jerusalem. Josephus describes his belief in a Solomonic temple at Jerusalem in Wars Book 5, Chapter 4. Everyone, from Egyptians to Babylonians, got their cedars from Lebanon. Luke and Matthew’s nativity stories are contradictory-one clearly places Jesus’s birth before 4 BC, the other just as clearly places it during 6 AD. There exists a certain Islamic structure, which I’m certain you are not aware of, built after a certain destruction of Jerusalem, of which I am also certain you are not aware, which prevents all but fleeting glimpses of what the temples of Herod, the Persian-era Jews, and Solomon looked like.

  21. Rose says

    E> What would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was in Jerusalem? What would convince you that the Temple of Solomon was not in Tanis?

    R> I answered the second question, to prove the Temple of Solomon was in modern Jerusalem you would first need to find tombs, artifacts or a foundation. Again where do you draw the border between Israel and Egypt in 1000 BCE and what proof do you have? Also you can’t find another structure that fits the descriptions of Solomon’s Temple better than the one in Tanis. You say there are lots of ruins that face directly east and have the same shape and size of temple at Tanis, but haven’t shown any.

    Josephus in Wars 5, 4 repeats tradition about Solomon’s Temple as he says it’s now called the “Market Place”. He clearly repeats Hecateus as the predominate belief at the time that there were huge alter stones there. Josephus was born about 36 CE, he says Herod took away the old foundations and laid new ones. ….. “took away the old foundations”

    Antiq. XV, 11, 3
    So Herod took away the old foundations, and laid others, and erected the temple upon them, being in length a hundred cubits, and in height twenty additional cubits, which [twenty], upon the sinking of their foundations fell down; and this part it was that we resolved to raise again in the days of Nero. Now the temple was built of stones that were white and strong, and each of their length was twenty-five cubits, their height was eight, and their breadth about twelve;

    The story of Wenamun and Siamun existed in Egyptian hieroglyphs long before the book of Kings was written. It doesn’t even matter if the story is true, the fact is that it existed long before the book of Kings. The book of Kings is the Hebrews translating and paraphrasing the Egyptian hieroglyphics and reconstructing their own history sometime after 560 BCE (after all they were form Egypt).

    The dates of 4 BCE for Herod’s death and 6 CE for the taxing are derived 100% from Josephus. However Luke’s gospel says “apographo” which means register or record, not ‘tax’.;

    2:1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. (NRSV)

    http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/luk2.pdf

    Augustus himself only decreed the lundstrum (census) in 28 BCE, 8 BCE and 14 CE according to his own words, he even lists the numbers. (Deeds of the Divine Augustus, 8)

    http://classics.mit.edu/Augustus/deeds.html

    Quirinius was appointed council in 12 BCE which was his highest appointment. While Luke’s Gospel may allude to the event in Antiq. XVIII, 1, 1 and Wars II, 8, 1, it’s a better fit for the Census of 8 BCE. This is the only registering of people while Quirinius was council (essentially controlling Syria).

    shalom,
    Rose

  22. Steve says

    It is obvious that rose-ellen is taking some verses out of context, because in EZRA 3:12 says :
    {“12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.”},, this verse implies that the Temple was there in Jerusalem,(because that is where Ezra & Nehemiah went to rebuild it) and there were people present who had seen the first Temple.
    The bible also states in several places in Nehemiah that the city was burned after it was looted and the people were taken captive.
    Anyone who has done any study at all (biblical,secular, or otherwise) knows that when limestone is burned, it turns extremely soft, brittle, and powdery (hence lime).
    So technically, after the destruction, looting, and burning, there would be no foundation (or it would be to soft to build upon) and a new foundation would have to be laid !
    (just remember, “most” people speak with at
    least some common sense, not this new age slang or ebonics, so most likely they saw no need to explain why they were laying a new foundation, because the reason was stated several place elsewhere).
    I am sure the people who were mentioned in the above verse, and many others like it throughout the bible were intelligent enough to know that they had seen the first Temple (in Jerusalem), and now the second Temple being rebuilt (in Jerusalem), and i am sure they would also know whether they were looking at a temple in Jerusalem or Egypt !
    but of course with people like rose-ellen who are palestinian/islamic sympathizers who go around to all the blogs and websites lying and trying do demonize anything and everything that has to do with GOD, ISRAEL OR THE BIBLE ,(yes, i have read your equally off-the- wall comments on other sites) i would expect nothing less from them, just throw out any insane theory, no matter how absurd, and then rant and rave when they are proven wrong.
    As far as your “egyptian temple”, it might be a temple, just not Solomon’s temple, and i have seen aerial photos of plowed fields, that if in black & white, would look just like your “temple”.
    So ellen, before you go spouting off and trying to make yourself look oh so informed, do a little studying of your own, dont rely on what someone in your group is feeding you,,, maybe read the BIBLE, ask yourself critical questions, like ”why would it say there was no foundation?” then find out “how” it was destroyed, and then “what would the remains of this destruction look like, that they would have to lay a new foundation?”.
    If you had asked yourself these simple questions you would not look so uninformed.
    And as far as your last theory on Matthew, and the travels of Joseph, Mary, & JESUS, i hope you are aware that there were several “Herods” and that one of the Temples that Herod built, was built over the remains of the former Temple (in Jerusalem), and that the Jerusalem of JESUS day was in the same place as the Jerusalem of Ezra & Nehemiah’s day?! (yes !!, there was a Temple, in Jerusalem in JESUS day !! He taught there ! and JESUS even mentioned David and Solomon !!! imagine that !!! there is so much you can learn from just reading the Scripture !)
    But after reading your posts, all i can say is WOW, i did not think it was possible for someone to twist and pervert the Scripture like you have, but i do imagine you had some help with that. The BIBLE reads easily enough, but you have taken your blasphemy of it to a whole new level of idiocy ! I do hope you have better success on your next assignment!

  23. Rose says

    S> there were several “Herods” and that one of the Temples that Herod built, was built over the remains of the former Temple (in Jerusalem), and that the Jerusalem of JESUS day was in the same place as the Jerusalem of Ezra & Nehemiah’s day?

    R> I guess you didn’t read the Josephus quote in post 21. The reference to the location of King David’s sepulcher, is Solomon’s temple and nobody here is questioning the existence of Solomon’s Temple, only the location of the first temple built by Solomon. Here again, I’m presenting map coordinates, as well as Biblical and Historical references. Not to mention its where the kings sepulchers were found.

    The Herod referenced in Matthew 2 is Herod the Great who died in 4 BCE (according to Josephus). Herod isn’t mentioned in Luke 2.

    Matthew 2:22
    But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, …

    A couple of people claim to ‘have seen’ so-called temples but so far nobody else has shown any map coordinate or temple structure that fits the orientation and measurement of the first temple let alone the porch feature. Why didn’t that foundation at ( 30°58’14.21″ N 31°53’10.43″ E ) dry up blow away if limestone is so fragile?

    The story told in the Cyrus Cylinder and in the book of Ezra/ Nehemiah is that in the first year of Cyrus King of Persia (2 Chronicles 36:22, Ezra 1:1) Ezra laid the foundation the second Temple, however it was stopped throughout the reign of Cyrus the Great, Darius I, Xerxes and Artaxerxes I (Ezra 4: 4-7 ) The Cyrus Cyulinder says the same thing about the first year of Cyrus (lines 1-10).
    http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/articles/c/cyrus_cylinder_-_translation.aspx

    The second temple which was completed in the 6th year of Darius II (about 418 BCE Ezra 4:4-7, Ezra 6:15) probably wasn’t in modern Jerusalem either. There’s just not a shred of evidence other tradition for a temple in modern Jerusalem prior to Herod the Great. Yet the unexcavated temple and city as well as the excavated sepulchers are about 200 miles south west. As for Nehemiah, he didn’t hit the scene until about 385 BCE or the 20th year of Artaxerxes II

    Nehemiah 2:1
    And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king,

    Nothing here is out of context, everything is sourced.

    peace

  24. Rose says

    S> but of course with people like rose-ellen who are palestinian/islamic sympathizers who go around to all the blogs and websites lying and trying do demonize anything and everything that has to do with GOD, ISRAEL OR THE BIBLE ,(yes, i have read your equally off-the- wall comments on other sites) i would expect nothing less from them, just throw out any insane theory, no matter how absurd, and then rant and rave when they are proven wrong.

    So ellen, before you go spouting off and trying to make yourself look oh so informed, do a little studying of your own, dont rely on what someone in your group is feeding you…..

    . . The BIBLE reads easily enough, but you have taken your blasphemy of it to a whole new level of idiocy ! I do hope you have better success on your next assignment!

    R> I wonder if I could post comments like this and not be moderated?

    Do I really need to confess my faith? I have no faith, the Greek word ‘pistis’ always meant ‘obedience’ (i.e. faithful) when used by the ancients like Herodotus. The Greeks had a different word for belief. I believe in God, condemn the East and West, and offer my secrets and treasures to the government.

    Shalom,
    Rose Stauros ;-)

    Although we cannot be by any suspected of the least heresy, or of any wicked beginning, or purpose against the worldly government, we do condemn the East and the West (meaning the Pope and Mahomet) blasphemers against our Lord Jesus Christ, and offer and present with a good will to the chief head of the Roman Empire our prayers, secrets, and great treasures of gold.

  25. Rose says

    M> IT says their remains were desecrated. Jer 8:1-2.

    R> Doesn’t this fall into the, ‘Ancient Jerusalem was Tanis’ category?

    1 At that time, saith the Lord, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves:
    2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.

    Who moved the City to Tanis?

    “For a time the site was misidentified as that of Tanis, due to the amount of statuary and other material from Pi-Ramesses found there, but it is now recognised that the Ramasside remains at Tanis were brought there from elsewhere, and the real Pi-Ramesses lies about 30 km south, near modern Qantir.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramesses_II

    Where is the gold, where are the sepulchers?

    “In the late 1930s and early 1940s, an entire complex of royal tombs was found intact at Tanis, yielding four gold masks, solid silver coffins, and spectacular jewelry, some even once worn by a pharaoh mentioned in the Bible. The treasures are one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. “
    http://www.archaeology.org/0505/abstracts/tanis.html

    King David was the one who defeated the Philistines and historically it was his contemporary named Ramesses who defeated the Philistines (Sea People). Ramesses was symbolized by the Djed.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/97/Louvre_122007_29.jpg

  26. Enopoletus says

    There’s just not a shred of evidence other tradition (sic) for a temple in modern Jerusalem prior to Herod the Great.

    -Then what, pray tell, was the pre-Persian name of Iron Age Jerusalem? Cedarville, Missouri? Dibon, Moab? What is the Urusalim of the Amarna letters? Tel Aphek?

  27. Rose says

    Nobody is denying that Jerusalem was an ancient city, Kathleen Kenyon proved this.

    The question is where the City of David and the first temple were originally located. I’m just pointing out that all the artifacts and even an unexcavated temple and city that fit the descriptions are in Tanis. Nothing in modern Jerusalem fits the descriptions other than a name.
    City of Peace or City of Solomon, how many cities are named Lincoln City are in the USA?

    Again nobody denies that modern Jerusalem dates to beyond the bronze are.

    peace

  28. Peter says

    I would welcome some help as to whether the ancient monarchs of Israel used the royal we, and if so how far back does this go.

  29. Jimbob says

    Did someone mention David Rohl? Another revisitonist who thinks that the Bible is fairy tales written for grown children with just enough truth to allow Rohl to turn myth into whatever he wants to extract from the Biblical account and and make a buck at the same time.

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