THE TEMPLE AND JESUS' COMING AGAIN #4
From a book by Grant Jeffrey (published in 2007)
EXPLORING THE ANCIENT CITY UNDER JERUSALEM
J says few visitors are aware of the secret city that lies
beneath the Temple Mount and Jerusalem's Old City. The
underground city as it is now, was constructed over many
centuries. Jerusalem has been invaded 27 times, more than any
other city on earth. Despite all the invasions, the secret
tunnels, treasures, food storage chambers, cisterns, and
underground shelters have remained unknown (page 65).
In 1990 a cavern and tunnel was discovered that is supposed
to go back to Jeremiah's day, as told in Jeremiah 39:4.
Archaeologists have uncovered many remains of tunnels,
rooms, treasuries, and cisterns in many areas of the Old City. J
tells us that the entire city sits above a honey-comb of
underground passageways (page 66).
The writings of the Jewish sages, the Talmud and Maimonides'
"Mishneh Torah" refer to the construction and use of this
underground complex at various times during Jerusalem's history.
J has already explained the huge amount of water needed for
the Temple sacrificing system. He tells us that most rabbis today
believe that no Jews should enter any part of the Temple Mount
lest they inadvertently defile the Holy of Holies (page 68).
J quotes from Parah, chapter 3, Mishneh 3, "The entire earth
below was hollowed out ... to prevent the possibility of impurity
from the grave under the Temple courtyard."
Below the present city of Jerusalem there is an elaborate
subterranean structure containing numerous rooms, guardrooms,
water cisterns, storage rooms, and storage compartments that
Jewish historians estimate would have held enough grain reserve
to feed the population of Jerusalem during a siege lasting more
than a dozen years (page 69).
It appears that this subterranean passages connect in a vast
system of tunnels extending from the Pool of Siloam area in the
south of the ancient city of David all the way to Golgotha -
Calvery - to the north of the city walls and the Gate of
The city of Jerusalem is built on limestone. When first
uncovering it, it is very soft to work with, but after being
exposed to air it will finally dry to as hard as any rock. Hence
the easy construction of rooms and tunnels under the city in past
ages (page 70).
There are J states, several tunnels underneath the Temple
Mount that lead directly to "mikvehs" (ritual baths), which the
priests used to cleanse themselves before entering the Temple.
Additionally, there were tunnels that allowed the high priest and
others to privately enter and exist the Temple to wash at their
personal "mikvehs" without the risk of defilement by contact with
spiritually unclean people or objects (page 71).
J tells us, "There is reason to believe the treasures from
the Temple and other sacred items have been hidden underneath
Jerusalem for millenniums" (page 72).
J relates to us the story of some Jewish sages that believed
Josiah was given special insight and so God led the king to bury
the treasures of the Temple, including the oil of anointing, the
rod of aaron, and the pot of manna, so they would not be
destroyed in the destruction and burning of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
The Talmud according to J is said to say the ark of the covenant
(or its replica) was hidden in the same underground chamber.
Maimonides of the 11th century AD is said to uphold this belief
J and his wife were 100 feet down under in the excavation
walls exactly opposite the original Temple location, a picture of
the menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum) was hanging on a
spike. he asked his archaeological friend why it was hanging
there. The answer was that "Grant, we believe that the sacred ark
of the covenant os located in a secret chamber directly to the
east behind this Western Wall" (pages 73-74). J n does not agree,
but believes the ark was removed to Ethiopia near the conclusion
of the reign of Prince Menelik, King Solomon's son with the queen
of Sheba. J says that Ethiopian history claims that the replica
of the ark was substituted for the real ark in the Holy of Holies
J goes on to tell us that large underground rooms was needed
to hold the enormous quantity of animals used in the daily
sacrifices. Now that does make sense, especially at times of the
yearly Festivals (page 75).
Apparently old king Herod had his engineers build a secret
escape tunnel that led diagonally from his palace north of the
Temple sanctuary, underneath the Temple to a special defense
tower near the Eastern Gate (page 76).
According to J a friend told him that Herod had a narrow, 11
mile-long escape tunnel built, that provided him a way of escape
that led from the Temple Mount across the Kidron Valley, past the
Mount of Olives, and east towards King Herod's castle in the city
of Jericho (page 76).
In 1990 J was witness to and told by a rabbi that the
Western Wall, the Wailing Wall, is never left, day or night,
without worshippers, be it cold nights or winter. The rabbi was
to lead J and his wife into more deeper areas under the Temple
Mount. It was the middle of the night, there were no
archaeological guys around or guards to interfere with their
research. The tunnels were so narrow at times they had to pass
through them sideways. Tunnel after tunnel opened to special
guard rooms and ancient synagogues and storage chambers.
Well they went through gates and follow for two hours the
most amazing tunnel system for more than a mile and a half, with
walls rising as high as sixty feet (page 78,79).
There was this one tunnel J says was 60 feet high and he
relates it to Jeremiah 52:7. It led thousands of feet from the
Temple Mount northward to emerge outside the walls of the city
The Temple Mount is administratively under the control of
the Muslim council of "Waqf" - explorers of the past had to use
personal risk or large gifts to get permission to "go under" this
area. J got permission to explore this area in 1991, which had
not been visited he claims by a Westerner since the 1850s, except
for Moshe Dayan, Israel's minister of defence, following the Six-
Day War in 1967. J says he was able to photograph the rows of
ancient columns that supported the roof of Solomon's Stables. The
substructure extends 319 feet in an east-west direction towards
the Western Wall and as much as 247 feet north from the southern
wall of the Temple Mount (page 81).
According to J the Waqf authorities in the last 10 years (he
wrote his book in 2007) have destroyed the archaeological
remnants of Solomon's Stables. The Waqf brought in bulldozers and
massive stones saws to gut the ancient stable and build an
underground Mosque. He claims all this was done in violation of
Israeli law, but the Jews did nothing. He claims he was able to
go back before the stable was destroyed with a TV crew and take
footage of this ancient treasure (page 82).
ANCIENT CHURCH FOUND
J relates how he and his wife were also inside an
underground room that was about 100 feet long and 50 feet wide
with a roof arched some 60 feet above their heads. It was
supposed to be built in the 2nd century and then rebuilt in the
time of the Crusades. The 60 foot ceiling was many feet below the
basement of the centuries-old Arab buildings just to the west of
the Temple Mount.
He says the original structure was clearly formed in the
shape of a cross. It was apparently a one time Christian church
located at the foot of the Western Wall. And as he says, many
early Roman Christian churches used this cross-shaped plan.
The Israeli authorities were shock to discover this
structure within 100 feet of the Western Wall. Some
archaeologists he says refused to admit openly that this was a
Christian church at one time (page 83).
Well this is all "interesting" as such, but what it has to
do with the coming of Christ, I'm still trying to figure out, but
it does add some dark underground thrill to the ancient city of
To be continued