The Temple in the City of David? :: by Matt Leasher

For the last ten centuries or so the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has been widely considered among archeologists, theologians, Bible scholars and most people of both walks of the Christian and Judaism faith to be the traditional location of both Solomon and Herod’s Temple spoken of in our Bibles. But earlier this year a book titled Temple, was published by an international explorer by the name of Robert Cornuke.

His investigative research has strongly suggested that the traditional Temple Mount site in Jerusalem may actually be the ruins of a Roman fortress rather than the site of the Temples of Solomon and Herod and that those actual Temples were really located just about 600 yards south in the City of David.

Now this may seem absurd upon first consideration, but Mr. Cornuke’s investigative work is strongly based upon Scripture and early first century eyewitness accounts. Mr. Cornuke is a former police investigator who has embarked on several biblical expeditions, authored nine books and is a born-again Christian. He is currently the President of the Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration Institute (BASE). His biography and credentials can be found at the end of this article. [1]

Mr. Cornuke’s research of the location of the Temple being in the City of David is quite compelling when reviewed with a Bible in hand and an open mind. One has to put aside all preconceived information from the “traditional” knowledge that has been imposed regarding the location of the Temples and the Temple Mount area.

In other words, a simple examination of the evidence that is presented is sufficient enough to change one’s mind about what we thought was tangible truth for so long. A detailed chronicle of Cornuke’s Temple Mount investigation can be read at his Base Institute website linked below. [2]

Much of the evidence that he presents is undeniable and as I mentioned earlier, strongly supported by Scripture. For instance, one example he presents is that Jesus said that not one stone would be left unturned when the Temple would be destroyed, so how can the Wailing Wall be a part of the Temple foundation wall? He also points out that the Bible clearly references “Zion” as the City of David, (2 Samuel 5:7) and that it would be consistent with all the other references of Zion in Scripture to be the same place, (not just a general reference to Jerusalem or the Holy City).

This includes all the future prophetic Millennial references that Christ will reign out of Zion, such as Psalm 2:6, Isaiah 2:3, Isaiah 24:23, Joel 3:17, and Joel 3:21 just to name a few. Even Joel 2:1 mentions the location of the future Tribulation Temple being in Zion!

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand” (Joel 2:1).

Another strongpoint in Cornuke’s proposal of the Temple being in the City of David is the location of the Gihon spring. This Gihon spring is the only fresh water source in all of Jerusalem and is located in the City of David roughly about 1,000 feet from the Temple Mount area.

This fresh water source would have been critical for purification and cleansing in the Temple rituals. Furthermore, 1 Kings 1:38-39 says that when Solomon was anointed as King, he was anointed at the Gihon spring and with oil taken from the Tabernacle by Zadok the priest.

Now if the Tabernacle and the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant were located near the Gihon spring, it would seem consistent that Solomon’s Temple would be in the same place. Even Ezekiel 47:1-2 speaks of water running from underneath the Millennial Temple that the Lord will reign from. And Joel 3:18 confirms this as well when it says, “a fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord.”

If the Tabernacle of David and Solomon’s Temple were located in the same area in the City of David then it would make this prophetic verse from Amos 9:11 make even more sense:

“On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old.”

Many have taken that verse to be a prophecy of the future restoration of God’s covenant relationship with Israel and the rebuilding of their Temple. As we’ve noticed from the above, 1 Kings 1:38-39 verse, the “Tabernacle” of David was in the City of David where Solomon was anointed.

If Solomon’s and Herod’s Temples were in the same place, then the Amos 9:11 verse would seem to be an accurate indication that the Messiah will reign from the very same spot. Raising up the “tabernacle of David” would also require the restoration of the Davidic Kingship line and Jesus Christ is the only person “alive” that has those qualifications! Wouldn’t it seem so very fitting for the Davidic Kingdom to be restored where it began?

To some, all of the logistics of the actual location of the original Temples may seem irrelevant but the prophetic and political implications of this are enormous. If Mr. Cornuke’s investigative results are true—that the Temple of Solomon and Herod really was located in the City of David, and the site of the suggested Temple Mount is really the ruins of the Roman garrison of Fort Antonia, then all of the fighting over the Temple Mount area between the Jews and Palestinians suddenly becomes meaningles!

Not only that, but there would be no Muslim interference for the Jews to construct their much desired third Temple, for the Jews own and control all of the City of David. Furthermore, for the last several years there have been extensive archeological excavating going on in the City of David. I was personally in Israel in the autumn of 2012 and spent some time in the City of David and saw firsthand the extensive excavating going on there.

Perhaps it is only a matter of time before something is found or dug up that will confirm Cornuke’s investigations to be absolute truth and convince the Jews in Israel that their beloved Temple belongs in the City of David rather than at the assumed Temple Mount spot that they have been fighting over for decades.

The dilemma of having to remove the Dome of the Rock off of the Temple Mount to purify the grounds would no longer exist and neither would the subsequent war that would most assuredly follow causing further delays in the building of the Temple.

If the Temple location in the City of David were to be accepted then this could speed up the prophetic clock even more than it is already is. Many of the end-time events mentioned in Scripture that are still prophesied for the future can’t take place until a new Temple is constructed with the Jewish sacrificial practices in place.

According to Daniel 9:27 the Antichrist will confirm a “covenant” for one week (7 years), which will herald in the Tribulation period. and then half way through the “week” he will bring an end to the sacrifices and offerings. This requires a Temple in Jerusalem with the Old Covenant animal sacrificial rituals back in place.

There is also a Temple mentioned in Revelation chapter 11 and appears to be where the two witnesses will give their testimony during the first half of the Tribulation. Then in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 we are told by the apostle Paul that the Antichrist will desecrate the Temple and sit in the Temple and declare himself as God during the second half of the Tribulation period. From these Scriptures alone we can see that the Tribulation period itself cannot even begin until a Temple is in place.

However, the Rapture of the church can happen anytime. I am also convinced that there will likely be a gap of an undetermined time period between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation period so that these things can be set-up.

I believe that this gap between the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation (Daniel 9:27), is where the Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel 38 and 39 fits in, and that the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6 is the same person that confirms the covenant with Israel, all in the guise of peace.

The prophet Daniel says that in the latter days many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase (Daniel 12:4). We live in a time where archeologists are able to come from various parts of the globe, (running to and fro), to excavate areas in Israel that almost always confirm the “knowledge” and information found in the pages of our Bibles. We certainly live in an age where knowledge is increasing and made available on global scales.

The Temple Institute in Jerusalem is dedicated to making preparations for every aspect of rebuilding the Temple and they have all of the vessels, utensils and priestly garments ready for when the Temple is built. The digging that has been going on in the City of David has turned up many notable artifacts in recent years but perhaps we are only one spade strike away from finding something that could change the course of history forever and propel end time events into fast forward!

If the investigative work of Robert Cornuke is confirmed true by archeology and accepted by the Temple Institute, then all of the digging in the City of David could change from the current plans of the Kedem Center (a museum and visitor’s center to the national park in the City of David), to the long anticipated and prophesied Jewish Holy Temple.

Only time will tell where and when the third Temple will be built, but one thing we do know, it will surely happen and every day as knowledge continues to increase, we get closer and closer to the end of this age and the return of the Messiah—Jesus Christ—the Root and the Offspring of David (Revelation 22:16).