2019 Israel Trip – Day 5


View of the Temple Mount (with the Dome of the Rock) from the top of the Mount of Olives.

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The Dome of the RockP1040156

The Al-Aqsa mosque (on the south end of the Temple Mount)P1040162

The Golden Gate (east wall of the temple mount).  It’s been sealed and a Muslim cemetery placed in front of it.P1040165

Dominus Flevit Church

Bone boxes (Ossuaries).  In Jewish burial, the body is wrapped in a shroud until it completely decays.  Eventually, when on the bones remain, they are gathered and placed into an ossuary for final burial.P1040167

This photo is taken from the traditional location where Jesus stopped and wept over the city.  In the foreground is the largest Jewish cemetery in the world (located on the Mount of Olives)

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Garden of Gethsemane

Inside the private side of the Garden of GethsemaneP1040178

Worship and devotions inside the Garden of GethsemaneP1040181 P1040183

Olive trees in the Garden.  Of course, this is the Mount of Olives!P1040184 P1040185

The Old City of Jerusalem

Here we’re entering the city through the “Lion Gate” (also known as Stephen’s Gate)P1040190

This is the church of Saint Anne.  It is immediately adjacent to the biblical site of the Pool of Bethesda.  It is known for it’s amazing accoustics.P1040192 P1040196

Our small group sang a hymn and it sounded like a 100-person choir!P1040197

The Pool of Bethesda

This is the sight of one of Jesus many miracles, where he healed a lame man.  The ruins are of a church that was constructed over the poolP1040198 P1040199 P1040200 P1040202 P1040203 P1040204

Another exterior shot of the church of Saint AnneP1040206

Via Delorosa (The Way of the Cross)

We’re moving to the first station on the Via Delorosa.  The (now destroyed) Antonia Fortress would have been located immediately to our left.P1040207

Our guide shows us a model of 1st century Jerusalem.  The building we are standing in is built on top of the court outside the Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was tried before Pontius PilateP1040209 P1040210

Beneath the church is the original first-century court of the Antonia FortressP1040211

This lighted paving stone is inscribed with a game that Roman soldiers played with prisoners – essentially heads you die, tails you die.P1040212

It is believed this is the location where Jesus was forced to pick up his cross and begin His journey to the place of execution.  Those are first century paving stones.P1040213

That moment is depicted in a tile mosaic adjacent to the site.P1040214

Continuing along the Via DelorosaP1040215

At this site it’s thought that Simon the Cyrene was forced to carry Jesus’ cross for HimP1040217

This is the entrance to the square in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  It is traditionally the site where Jesus was crucified and buried.  Most evangelicals reject this and believe he was crucified outside the city and buried in the garden tomb (also outside the city).P1040218

The church of the Holy Sepulcher


Any example of “graffiti” (etchings in stones) from the Byzantine era inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  People have been writing on walls for centuries!P1040221

The Temple Mount Institute

The Temple Mount Institute has been preparing for the rebuilding of a third Jewish temple on the Temple mount by preparing all of the temple vessels, instruments, garments, etc for use in that temple.  I”ve been following their progress for years.  Their visitor center has all of the items on display.P1040222 P1040223 P1040224

Unfortunately, no photography inside the exhibit is permitted.  However, I snapped this photo of a model of the 2nd Temple before that announcement came over the speakers.P1040225

The Southwestern section of the Temple Mount

There is a large museum with exhibits and display here, including this timeline of history.P1040227

Here’s a wide shot of the southwest corner of the Temple Mount.P1040229

These steps are the southern approach to the Temple Mount (now blocked).  The gate in this wall is the “Hulda” gate.  It is the gate most often used by the poor.  The lowest steps here are first century and were certainly used by Jesus and His disciples when they visited the temple.P1040231 P1040232 P1040233 P1040235

Closeup view of 1st century steps to the Temple MountP1040237

This Mikvah (ritual bath) is located just before the gates.  Anyone entering the Temple courts would have to purify themselves before proceeding.P1040241

Here you can see (jutting out from the wall) the remains of Robinson’s Arch.  It originally stretched to a building on the left and provided access to the temple mount.  When the arch collapsed, it broke the paving stones below and created a hole that you can see today.P1040243 P1040244 P1040246

This is the location of the “other” side of Robinson’s archP1040247

Palace of David

This site, which provides access to Hezekiah’s tunnel was only excavated 8-9 years ago.  Many scholars believe that it is the ruins of the King David’s palace that was built by for him by the King of Tyre.P1040252 P1040254

In the foreground is a “toilet”.  Part of the evidence for this being David’s palace is that carbon 14 dating of the “contents” in this toilet date to the 10th century BCE (the era of King David)P1040255

This model shows what the houses constructed adjacent to the palace would have looked like.P1040256

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

There are actually two tunnels that were excavated to bring water into the city during a time of siege.  The earlier tunnel is Caananite.  It is much shorter, (250 feet), not as difficult to navigate, and dry.  It’s dry because it is too high to provide water to the city when the water level is so low.  In other words, it’s useless

The second tunnel was constructed during the reign of King Hezekiah.  Workers started from both ends (at the pool of Siloam outside the city and inside the city walls).  The total distance covered was 1,750 feet.  Even with not modern equipment, the two teams met in the middle.  The tunnel is very narrow and (right now) is filled with water above your knees.

Below were are entering “Warren’s Shaft”.  At the base you can either either the “dry” tunnel or the “wet” tunnel and proceed to the Pool of Siloam.P1040261 P1040263 P1040264 P1040265P1040267 P1040268 P1040269

Here we are moving down the “dry” tunnelP1040270 P1040271

You can see that it gets a bit narrow in spots.P1040272

And here’s evidence that I didn’t wimp out!P1040273

Pool of Siloam

Only a small portion of the Pool of Siloam has been excavated.  Much of the property is owned by the Greek Orthodox church which refuses to permit any additional excavations.P1040276

At the Pool of Siloam you can see the beginning of a 1st century (Herodian) street that runs all the way from this point to the southern steps of the temple mount.  That’s quite a distance.  It’s not currently open.P1040279

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One Response to 2019 Israel Trip – Day 5

  1. Bob Evertsen says:

    Jim, I am totally enjoying these pics you are sharing. It might be the closest I get to see this but you never know. So glad you have this opportunity and you are taking the time to share with us.