There is much debate generating hard feelings because of the lack of precise records as to the exact location of the first temple. The same might be said for the second temple. That location is highly critical to the construction of the third temple.
There is no record stating that the builders were able to locate the exact spot on which the first temple stood when the second temple was built, though there might conceivably have been some elderly persons still alive that could identify the spot. Then there is the temple that Herod built, or re-built as the case may be. Did he build it on the correct spot? The requirements concerning the Jubilee calendar found at Qumran might be of major assistance in answering these questions.
There were specific requirements associated with the calendar in which the temple played a major role. The first was that the sun rising in the east on the day of Passover, which is the Spring equinox, cast its shadow through the Golden gate, the inner gate, and the doors of the temple which were only opened on the solstices and equinoxes but not on the four named days, which could vary by as much as 2 days either side of the exact day.
This pattern is found in temples from India to South America, where a giant golden circular calendar was hung on the back wall of their main temple, so that the sun struck the exact middle only on the day of the equinoxes. The descendants of the pyramid builders of South America through the Hopi were instructed never to settle permanently in any one location, duplicated this temple pattern by rock carvings that marked the shadow of overhanging ledges, striking the symbol designated for that purpose only on the days of the equinoxes, so that the temple in Jerusalem shared this pattern with the entire world in antiquity.
The name of the eastern gate is listed as “the golden gate,” often mistranslated “the beautiful gate” because of the golden mirrors attached to it. Those mirrors were not to correct the beam of the sun on the days of the equinoxes, they were to deflect it on the days of the solstices, one on one gate and its twin-pair on the opposite gate, so that the beam struck the back wall where the wings of the pair-twin angel’s wings met. This area was extremely thin, perhaps only one gold molecule, which is a characteristic peculiar to gold. The area where the thinness was greatest was capable of vibrating at the frequency of the human ear, giving it the name Debir, or “Speaker.” (Hebrew speakers are invited to correct me on the Hebrew: my intent is simply to team-pair the Hebrew names with the English, and may show my profound ignorance of the Hebrew language.) This was where God spoke to Moses. This communication was powered by the chest acting as a capacitor, generating the electricity necessary to receive communications through the two angels attached at the hip to the Ark of the Covenant, whose feet were on the ground, outer wings folded at rest, and inner wings touching. They are separate and apart from the pair of golden angels that Solomon placed in the Holy of Holies.
The difficulties the prophets – scientists of their day – had in aligning the Solstice mirrors correctly are clearly written in the Hebrew literature.
Now for the interesting part. In order for the sun to strike the back wall of the Holy of Holies, there had to be a clear path between the horizon and the back wall in the Holy of Holies, not only on the equinoxes, but also on the solstices.
Here is an opportunity for someone with skill in ArcGIS or a similar program to identify the portion of the mountain covered by shadow at sunrise on these four days. The temple could not possibly have been physically located in any of those areas of shadow and function effectively.
There is one caveat: it must be done on the days recognized by the Qumran calendar as the equinoxes and solstices, as the Gregorian calendar has been tampered with by averaging out the distorted orbit of the earth and the unevenly distributed number of days in the year, which can vary by 16 full days from the longest to the shortest years, not counting the intercalations. The Jubilee calendar retains these variations through the intercalations of the Land Sabbath weeks and 50th year jubilee, days that are “outside the counting” in the Jubilee calendar, inserted with their own free-standing identities into the fixed matrix of the base year.
Photographs of the Golden Gate as it stands today cause it to appear lower than the plateau within it. Whether his is an artifact due to the angle of the photo or whether it is fact needs to be calculated to determine whether its height is correct, since it was built over the foundation of a more ancient gate, the height of which we do not know. It is entirely possible that the original wall and gate was much higher, considering the dimensions of the earlier wall built around the first Babylon.
It may also be possible that what is considered the temple mount today is the site of the Roman fort Antonia, from whose steps Paul was permitted to speak to the people, and that the temple of Jupiter was built over the present location of the Dome of the Rock, which was Solomon’s private residence during the first temple period and a place from which to announce lost-and-found items during the second temple phase. It is also possible that the identification of the second rock as the “dome of the tablets” upon which the ark originally stood may be correct. Both these locations are occupied by a rock, thought to be meteorites by some persons. There is a passage-way between them, which could easily be the tunnel that Solomon used to access the temple, but which is not drawn on any of the maps extant today. Aerial ground-penetrating radar should answer that question quickly.
As for the size of the original temple grounds being seven acres, whereas the current plateau covers 37 acres, it is well within the capabilities of the Roman engineers using 6,000 men to have expanded the plateau to form the standard Roman base for Fortress Antonia, as suggested by parts of the outer wall being dated to the time of the Roman occupation as well as many of the steps and gates being submerged under current ground level. This Roman building could have been done at any time during that period, allowing for continued construction and modifications after the time of Paul’s appeal to the people, even possibly because of it, in order to quell the Jews violence associated with the temple.
Concerning the theory that the temple was located a short distance from the Gehon Spring, if the distance was that short, it would be too short for Solomon to have ridden on David’s donkey down to it, and too short for his older brother’s supporters at their feast to have commented on the volume and length of the trumpet sounds. That witness indicates that the procession was longer than a few blocks.
Further, the claim that David’s tomb was within, or adjoining, the temple precincts flies in the face of all the prohibitions about dead bodies being permitted on the temple mount. Other writings have specifically stated that David’s burial place was some distance from both his home and the temple. Another witness is the number of graves outside the walls of the compound, put there by the Mohammedans to pollute the temple entrances so that no Jews could pass into the temple area and remain “clean.” Even though the ashes of the red heifer are high in carvacrol, the same antiseptic used to sanitize surgeon’s hands today, the common people had no ritual bath to bathe in once inside the temple precincts and they had to wait until after sunset when the priests closed the gates, which was prohibited.
There are so many pro and cons such as these to every proposed site that any pinpointing that can act as an anchor to clarify the location of the first temple would be valuable. The angle of the sun directly into the temple on the four days associated with the sun-based Jubilee calendar may well provide that anchor.