New Jerusalem Finds Point to the Temple Mount

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THE CITY OF DAVID, Jerusalem - Ancient steps and a storm sewer dating back to King Herod are two of the recent finds in Jerusalem.

The discoveries help tell the story of the Jewish pilgrimage to the Temple in the time of Jesus.

"I was glad when they said to me let us go to the house of the Lord," King David wrote in the Psalms.

Some 2,000 years ago, Jewish pilgrims might have recited this psalm of ascents as they climbed stairs on their way to worship at the Temple.

Three times a year, the Bible commanded the Jewish people to go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feasts of the Lord.

"They probably camped outside the city in the valleys in the Kidron Valley... came in the city through the southern gate into the pool to take a ritual bath and then went up to the Temple Mount to pay their respects to the God of Israel," said Haifa University archaeologist Roni Reich.

The excavation is located just outside the City of David. Many believe the area was Jerusalem at the time of King David.

Recently archaeologists uncovered the other side of the broad stairway leading to the Temple Mount. Paved with large limestone blocks, it is thought to be about 140 feet wide and climbs less than a half mile uphill to the Temple Mount.

Reich said Jesus, too, most likely walked the steps.

Just outside is the pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed the blind man as mentioned in the Gospel of John.

CBN News recently took a private look at the walkway and another discovery along side it -- a giant storm sewer.

Some 800 feet long, the sewer paralleled the street from King Herod's day above it. Every connection there indicates a street intersection on top. Ancient covered manholes lead into the sewer.

Hundreds of coins found there tell of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Broken places in the steps are believed to have been made by Roman soldiers trying to pull the fleeing Jews from beneath.

Reich said discoveries like this help fill in the historical picture.

"When we close a small white patch in our knowledge on things that we haven't known before at all, then the contribution is much greater," he said. "Then I'm happier and my colleagues are happier."

 

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