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The Tomb of David – drawing by Harry Fenn published in Picturesque Palestine, 1870, Wood engraved print with recent hand colour.


The Tomb of David and the Nazarene Synagogue (Cenacle)


Study into the Archeology and History of the “The Tomb of David” 

Residing under the Site called “The Hebrew Nazarene Synagogue”

Commentary by Robert D. Mock M.D.

October, 2004

Part Two




The Descent to the Gihon Springs

The Oracle to Ahaz by the Conduit of the Upper Pool and the Highway of the Fuller’s Field

The Gate Between the Two Walls


The Descent to the Gihon Springs


Bill Lavers continues in his three part series, Locating Jerusalem’s Fountain Gate, looking at The Steps to the GihonHere we are to meet the last king of Judah, King Zedekiah as he fled through the “gate between the two walls” from the City of Jerusalem.   The city of Jerusalem was in flames and the Temple was destroyed. 


In our prior study we built a visual diorama of the City of Jerusalem at the time of King David.  Here we imagine the king, standing on one of his terraces looking across the Kidron Valley towards the Mount of Olives.  High above the slopes, the visa was serene as David looked down upon the lush gardens to the valley below.  Here nestled around little creeks and ponds were the beautiful “Gardens of David”.  Here he planted the exotic plants from the lands of India, Africa and the mysterious land of Ophir. The peacocks would wander around the garden with their beautiful plumage. Here began the National Zoo of Israel with the baboons and monkeys and other exotics animals which were brought back from the lands rich in gold.


Looking to the north David could see the Gihon Spring at the base of Mount Moriah.  Many years later a beautiful sanctuary would be built over this spring by his son, Solomon.  There hundreds of feet below, the priests would descend into tunnels to mikvah baths where they and the high priest would purify their bodies before entering the sanctuary of the Lord.


Nearby the pulsating karst flow system of the Gihon would erupt from this natural spring and cascade downhill to the south meandering through creeks and ponds in the garden of David until it reached the larger “lower lake” below the southern walls of the city.  Here near the southern lake near the base of the city walls most modern archeologists believe the Tomb of David and the archives of the Hebrews were constructed. 


Let us know move some five hundred years later in the history of the Kingdom of Judah.  All the kings of the House of David, Solomon and Rehoboam were now dead.  It was now seventy years after the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.  Here we now meet Nehemiah who was inspecting the remains of the city of David.  The city had been significantly reconstructed by King Hezekiah.  The Gihon Spring was no longer an open spring that a person could watch pulsating like a miniature geyser in the valley below.  It was now surrounded by towers and fortifications with ancillary pools.  In the depths of the mountain a long tunnel now took the waters of the Gihon and carried it into the city of Jerusalem.  No longer was the city water supply to be threatened by invading armies of the East.    

The Eastern Gate to the city of Jerusalem was still a long crisscrossing esplanade that ascended from the Kidron Valley below, through the gate in the Fountain Tower, and then winding upwards to the upper city walls above.  Here the residents and visitors would enter the main gate, called the Water Gate, into the city of Jerusalem.


The Inspection of Jerusalem by Nehemiah


As we now see halfway up this long and winding pathway, the gate through the Fountain Tower served as a protective wall to the entrance of the city of Jerusalem and as a protective barrier to the life blood of the city, the Gihon Spring.


In the following text we shall see that the Fountain Gate was being repaired under the direction of Nehemiah.  This included the wall surrounding the Pool of Shelah (Shiloah) which was near the King’s Garden.  It was through this gate that visitors and citizens used to enter the city of David ascended from the valley below as they walked upward towards the Water Gate high above them.   


Shallun, the district leader of Mizpah, and his construction crew according to the text repaired the gate and wall that went from the gate to the elevated walkway.  Here we see the Pool of Shelah (Shiloah) was actually an upper pool that stood below the upper walls and the Water Gate yet above the gardens and descending waterways through the Kidron Valley below. The text does say that the repairs went as far as the “stairs that go down from the City of David”. 


Nehemiah 3:16 – “Shallun the son of Col-Hozeh, leader of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate; he built it, covered it, hung its doors with its bolts and bars, and repaired the wall of the Pool of Shelah (Shiloah) by the King’s Garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the City of David


After him Nehemiah the son of Azabuk, leader of the half the district of Beth Zur, made repairs as far as the place in front of the Tombs of David, to the man-made pool, and as far as the House of the Mighty.


These repairs in the walls and fortifications were made on the gate by a different Nehemiah than the Persian appointed governor, who wrote the Book of Nehemiah.  The construction crew continued making repairs “as far as the place in front of the Tombs of David” and then down the Kidron Valley to the “man made pool” and the “House of the Mighty.” 


What was this “Place in front of the Tombs of David? Was there a monument, a guard house, a pilgrim’s chapel, a retaining wall, or a mausoleum that honored the site of the Tombs of the Kings of David?  Over four hundred years, until the days of King Josiah the citizens of the city of Jerusalem carried their kings to the Tombs of David or to the “field of burial that belonged to the kings”.  This tomb complex was known, used and revered as the last resting place of their fallen rulers. Well, not all the rulers, for the wicked and those the people knew were not worthy were buried in the “field of the Kings” or in other mortuary sites in the city. After Josiah though, the last four kings of Judah spent the remaining years of their life in exile either in Egypt or the land of Babylon.


The Oracle to Ahaz by the Conduit of the Upper Pool and the Highway of the Fuller’s Field


It was the prophet Isaiah that the Lord of hosts commanded to give an oracle to King Ahaz that gives us additional topographical information on the eastern vistas surrounding the city of David and the Gihon Spring. 


Isaiah 7:3 – “ Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field.”


The Highway of the Fuller’s Field was the main trade route travelling north to south along the Kidron Valley.  It was to the east of Jerusalem between the City of David and the Mount of Olives.  It was in this district that a parcel of land was given to the fullers or the ‘cleaners’ of the temple, who washed the linen garments of the priests.    


According to Black’s Bible Dictionary,


Black’s Bible Dictionary – “Ample space was allotted to the fullers, outside the east wall in a fuller’s field at the conduit of the upper pool of the Gihon spring where they spread out garments to dry after washing them in copper tubs where feet trod out the grime which had been loosened by lye or soap.”  (Adam and Charles Black, Black’s Bible Dictionary, Second British Edition. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1960, “Fuller, pg 208)


With the Gihon Spring nearby, a special conduit was constructed to that the flow of water would cascade over to an adjacent pool in a steady and continuous stream.  This was necessary as the water in the Gihon Spring would erupt and pulsate as it spewed water out of its subterranean cisterns. 


The Gihon Spring was actually a subterranean siphon pump that gradually filled a cavern below and then gushed out intermittently.  As such it was called a karst system in which the spring would move with pulsating water.  In the days of Jesus, the pulsating of the waters was seen by the peasants to be the work of the angels.  The Pool of Siloam and the waters therein was felt to have healing properties by miraculous healing forces. 


And so Yahshua comes to the Pool of Siloam as sees a man who was blind since birth. There he waited besides the pool with the hope of someday being able to get into the pool at the moment of eruption so that his sight would be healed.  There the hand of the Master picked up a clump of clay.  He mixed His sputum into the clay placed it over the blind man’s eyes.  For the first time in his life, he could see. 


The Spring Tower apparently was constructed so that the subterranean cavernous spring would fill up with water.  It would emerge with pulsating eruptions from the depths beneath the mount called Zion.  If there was not an outlet for the water, the Tower would fill up quickly with water. Below the conduit was constructed to channel a large part of the water through these specially constructed secured waterways to the Pool of Siloam.  Apparently there was also an overflow channel that allowed the water to flow down through the garden to the lower pool below south of the city of David. 


It was John Wilkinson who wrote an article for the Palestine Exploration Quarterly in 1974 that was called, Ancient Jerusalem: Its Water Supply and Population. In this article he estimated the minimal annual amount of water that flowed from the Gihon Spring was 73,000 cubic meters of water per year.  This was about 200 cubic meters of water per day.


According to Ronny Reich, who was the director of excavations for the Israel Antiquities Authority Jerusalem 3000 Project, this conduit started fifteen feet down in the Spring Tower and flowed in a sealed waterway that was between 1.5 to 3 feet in width and six to 12 feet deep.  (Ronny Reich, The Tunnel System and Excavation Adjacent to the Gihon Spring, New Studies on Jerusalem, Proceedings of the Fourth Conference, ed. E. Baruch. Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan Hebrew University, 1998b, pg 5-134 cited by Bill Lavers, The Steps to the Gihon )


What is known by the excavations is that huge covering boulders, each weighing up to two tons, were chiselled out.  When they were rolled over they sealed off the V-shaped channel leaving a maximum waterway or conduit of 3 feet by 12 feet beneath.  The waterway was now sealed and secure.


Here we see the construction genius as huge covering stones were uniquely fitted to cover and seal this water conduit.  They were too large to be raised up securing the underground waterway.  What is even more interesting is that the huge covering stones were put in place before the southern wall of the Spring Tower fortification was built.  Archaeologists have now determined the tower was built over the cover stones. What does this suggest?  Historically it suggests that the conduit and the Siloam Pool was construction as part of the construction of the temple proper by Solomon so that the temple laundry could be properly cleaned.  It also suggests that the Spring Tower fortification was built afterwards possibly as part of the military fortifications of David and Solomon. 



What is even more interesting is that these fortifications are dated as part of the defensive perimeter walls of the city in the Middle Bronze II age.  This was dated by Reich as the 18th to 17th centuries BCE.  The implication of this dating is astounding.  These fortifications according to Reich match also with the archaeological fortifications at Gezar, Shechem (Tel Balata) and Hebron (Tell Rumeida).  Here we see what is called the cyclopean or megalithic remains of an ancient civilization.  But whose remains do they belong to?  (R. Reich and E. Shukron, Light at the End of the Tunnel, Biblical Archaeology Review, 1999, 25.1:22-33, 72.)


I have already hinted that the conduit to the Gihon Springs was built in Solomonic era while the Temple of Solomon was built by the construction team from King Hiram of Tyre.  It is my personal opinion that the conventional dating time for the united monarchy of David and Solomon to the Iron Age is wrong.  It dating is construed to match a flawed Egyptian and suggesting that the Egyptian chronology is superior to the historical chronology of the Hebrews. 


Whereas the Middle Bronze II era is no doubt true, the dating to the 18th to 17th century is possibly in error.  Historically, looking at the Israelite economy and their military armaments at the time of the beginning of the United Monarchy of David and Solomon, we would say that they Israelite nation in league with their closest ally the Egyptians were still in the Bronze Age for their iron weaponry technology was still inferior to their neighbours. 


In as simple words as can be stated, the Bronze and Iron ages are dated typically by the military armaments that were used at that time.  In our world today, not every country of the world has military weapons as sophisticated as the United States or the major industrial nations. 


This would suggest that some of the nations of the Middle East were entering the Iron Age before other nations and were still using military armaments of bronze.  We know this to be true that from the time of the judges to the years of King Saul, the Philistines still held a monopoly of iron technology that gave them hegemony of power over the Israelites. 


David and his band of loyalists in his younger years were in exile from the court of Saul and fugitives.  They went to the Philistines as became mercenaries for the leaders of Gaza and Akron against the forces of King Saul. Would this suggest that the Lord of hosts was introducing David to the iron technology that was truly superior in strength and endurance on the field of battle? 


Technological transfer was still very slow.  David and Solomon with their vast trading expertise soon had the capacity to adopt this new and superior weaponry into the Israelite armies.  Also, the trade agreements and alliances with King Hiram of Tyre in his friendship with David and later Solomon were partly responsible for the vast transfer of iron weapon smelting and construction technology to the Israelites.


The fact that David and Solomon quickly adapted to iron technology was probably the reason why they gained superiority to the neighbouring countries.  We must also recognize that Solomon’s advance diplomatic corps sealed alliances and peace agreements with the nations surrounding them. The nation of Egypt though remained isolated from the rest of the world by deserts.  As such, they remained in the Bronze Age later than many of the other Middle Eastern countries in the 1st millennium BCE.


When we look at the beautiful ceremonial bronze and gold weaponry of the time of King David and Solomon, this would also suggest that the height of the Davidian Empire was in the Middle Bronze II era and that the end of the Solomonic Empire into the days of Rehoboam they moved through the rather short Late Bronze Period into the Iron Age.  


As we continue our search for the Tomb of David, we must understand the implications are more that the skeletons and remains of the kings of the United Monarchy of Israel and the Nation of Judah.  The huge storehouses of the wealth of this nation with all the gold and silver that King David had accumulated in his international voyages literally around the world would remain hidden for future generations. 


It is estimated that of all the gold and silver accumulated by King David only about 15% was used in the construction of the Temple of Solomon.  If so then this wealth would have been phenomenal.  What is also known in the revelations of the Emeq HaMelekh, most of the wealth of the Temple of Solomon was hidden before the armies of Babylon reached the gates of Jerusalem.  Therefore very little of the wealth of David was ever exported to other countries.


Returning now to the Pool of Siloam, we see a massive water project that was constructed by Kings David and Solomon in associated the fortifications of the City of David and the construction of the Temple of Solomon.  The erupting waters of the Gihon that for centuries had flowed gently down the slopes of the Kidron Valley went right past the tombs of the kings of Judah as it cascading down to the Lower Lake or Pool below.  


Many centuries later, the prophet Isaiah was speaking to King Ahaz.  They were standing upon these same cover stones built by David and Solomon. Let us listen to the words of the Lord sent through Isaiah to King Ahaz. 


Isaiah 8:6-7 - "Inasmuch as these people have rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah and rejoice in Rezin and the son of Remaliah; "Now therefore, behold, the Lord is about to bring on them the strong and abundant waters of the Euphrates, {Even} the king of Assyria and all his glory; and it will rise up over all its channels and go over all its banks.”


This text can be translated also as ‘the waters of Shiloah that go softly’, cascading through beautiful gardens and waterways as it emptied into multiple pools flowing by the city of God.  The prophets appealed that this soft and gentle flowing water represented their God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Even today we cannot ‘see’ much less ‘understand’ the silent and hidden workings of God in our lives. The nation of Judah refused to hear the words of their Lord as we today are refusing to listen to the words of the Lord of hosts today.  As the Lord was using the nations of the world to bring judgment upon His people so also we can watch the finger of the Lord working and guiding the nations of the world to once again bring judgment upon the Nation of Israel.  While the Lord of hosts will bring judgment upon the nations of the world on the plains of Megiddo, He will also be refining His chosen people in fire.   


Standing on the cover stones over the waterway conduit to the Pool of Siloam, the oracle of the Lord of host was given to Isaiah.  God was revealing to King Ahaz that He would bring upon them the mighty avalanche of the Assyrian hordes.  The Jewish people had refused to hear the words of their Lord, so also we remain blinded today.  Instead of taking unequivocal sides with the Creator of the universe the Nation of Israel like their kings of old sought alliances with the nations of the earth.  The result would only be the destruction of the Jewish people and their civilization.  So also the Nation of Israel is adamant that they slavishly follow their alliance with the United States even though the forces of globalization have now taken hold of the government of the United States. Twenty eight years this prophecy of Isaiah would be fulfilled.   


There standing on those same huge cover stones over the conduit to the upper pool, the emissary of Sennacherib, Rabshakeh, was delivering a message to the people of Jerusalem. Rebshakeh then asked the Israelites to give up and deliver themselves to the new lord of the earth, the king of Assyria.


Isaiah 36:2 – “And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto King Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field.


Here was the diplomatic outpost or calling area of the national secretary of state of Assyria to the people of Israel by the esplanade that ascended to the city of David and the international travel route that traversed alongside this international city.


The Gate Between the Two Walls


Let us now move forward to the final days of Zedekiah, the king of Judah.  The forces of Babylon had been lying in siege around the city of Jerusalem for weeks.  The eastern walls near the Gihon Spring and the Tomb of the Kings was impregnable and invincible.  Finally a fatal breech was made in the city walls by the forces of Nebuchadnezzar on the 9th of Av (forth month or June 29) in the Jewish year 3338.  This breech was no doubt on the weaker northern and western walls of the city.


To reach the temple and the palace of the king, the Babylonian forces had to fight through the hostile remnants of Judaites within the city even though the siege and famine had weakened the population.  This gave the king and his body guards’ time to make a hasty retreat to the opposite side of the city to the east.


Jeremiah 52:7 – “Then the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled, and went forth out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king's garden; (now the Chaldeans were by the city round about:) and they went by the way of the plain.


Let us analyze this text a moment.  In the darkness of the cover of night, King Zedekiah and his select bodyguards fled the city through the ‘gate between the two walls’ that was by the king’s garden.  The city of David at this time was surrounded by a series of walls even on the eastern approach of the city from the Kidron Valley.  Yet this text is strange.  A gate is usually built in the midst of a wall not between two walls.  Yet this text talks about a “gate between two walls”.


The foundations of the city walls had to be sunk into the bedrock surrounding the city to give it proper stability.  Yet the bedrock below the city and the valley below was pocketed with caverns and cisterns.  What the text does assume was that Zedekiah and his guards were within the limits of the city as they exited out of the city by going through this mysterious gate. 


It would be foolhardy to suggest that the Babylonian forces had not secured all routes out of the city by interception forces.  But the city of Jerusalem was different. Tunnels and grottos abound beneath the old city of David that tradition has stated go for miles out of the city.  For the king and an entourage of guards to escape out of the main Water Gate, down the esplanade staircase to the Fountain Gate and then out the outer walls of the city and not be noticed would be unconceivable.  We would have to vastly underestimate siege strategy of Nebuchadnezzar’s generals, the best military machine in the Middle East. 


Yet if the foundation of the walls on the outer perimeters of the city near the Fountain Gate and the walls around the Gihon Spring had actually been built into part of the natural subterranean cavern system beneath the present temple mount, we can imagine a subterranean gate built between two separate walls of the subterranean tunnel. 


This area interestingly enough called the Sepulchre Caverns is known today as Zedekiah’s Grotto.  Through this cavern, King Zedekiah and his troops could have escaped, down a secured and hidden rampart, through a subterranean grotto and then passageway that led outward towards the plain of Jericho. 


The text states that they went forth from the city of David through a gate close by the king’s garden.  The direction is vital to our study as the traditional garden area watered by the Gihon Springs outside the city walls was in the Kidron Valley.  This suggests both the King’s Garden and the Pool of Siloam were recognized to be near or within the jurisdiction of the city limits of Jerusalem that was demarcated by the defensive walls that were later to be repaired by Nehemiah.


Sealed entrance to Zedekiah’s Cave


It was Rabbi Joseph Swartz in his Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine that we learn about the rabbinic literature about the walls and gates of Jerusalem. 


Rabbi Swartz quotes from the Midrash Tanchumah to Numbers 3, where a traveller from Leghorn in the year 5282 (1522 CE) is quoted as saying.


Midrash Tanchumah - "Not far from the Bab al Amud is the cave of Zedekiah, which extends under ground to the mountains near Jericho. Several persons told me, that they themselves had walked a mile in the same. It is so spacious that a man on horseback with a lance in his hand can ride through it quite comfortably."


Near the entry to Zedekiah’s Grotto is the 16th century Damascus Gate, built in 1542 by Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent.  The Damascus Gate in Arabic is called, Bab al Amud, and is the largest and most splendid of all the gates of old Jerusalem. 


The Grotto or Cave of Zedekiah according to modern explorers of this vast cave system feel that it truly does traverse eastward under the present Temple Mount, across the Kidron Valley and under the Mount of Olives before it makes a descent towards the Dead Sea.   There it finally exits at Emeq Achor (Valley of Achor), point of exit which is today concealed. 


Rabbi Joseph Swartz gives his own testimony:


Rabbi Joseph Swartz – “I now believe that this cave of Zedekiah, wherein it is probable that at a later period graves and caverns had been cut out of the rock, may denote the sepulchral caverns of the kings of Josephus.


The present sepulchral monument, or rather the cave in which it is, is that of the rich Kalba Seboa, who is mentioned in Gittin, 56 a, and which is five-eighths of a mile north from the Bab al Amud, is held to be the cave of Zedekiah, and consequently identical with the sepulchers of the kings. About half a mile to the northwest of the cave of the Kalba Seboa, there is a sepulchral cave, consisting of two chambers, one above the other, and cut out of the solid rock; in both the chambers, there are about seventy niches hewn out in the rocky walls thereof, and the whole presents a very beautiful and remarkable work of antiquity. It is commonly called the Cave of the seventy Sanhedrin שבעים סנהדרין, and is supposed by some to be the sepulchral caverns of the kings of Josephus; but this hypothesis is without any satisfactory proof, and even the name it bears of "the cave of the seventy Sanhedrin" is also quite arbitrary.


This name probably was given to it, because it has about seventy niches, although they are quite empty, which may have led people to suppose that seventy elders were buried here. But who, and of what time were they? As there were always seventy such elders in Israel. I could find no trace for this appellation in our ancient writings, and only found it in quite recent works.


Rabbi Swartz continues his account that,


Rabbi Swartz – “In the year 5607 (1847), the Arabs, on digging near this grave (cave of Zedekiah), found a deep vault full of gigantic human bones, which excited the astonishment of every one at the great stature of the persons, the remains of whom they were. The Pasha forbade farther digging, and the cave was again closed up.


Many rabbis in the Land today firmly believe that the Ark of the Covenant is lying beneath the Temple Mount in one of the side grottos or chambers that are honeycombed within the caverns.  Ron Wyatt, the American Adventist respiratory therapist, turned amateur archeologist, claimed he found the Ark of the Covenant in a sarcophagus type box within this grotto and beneath a site where he claims that Jesus was crucified.  This was on the northern side of the cave of Zedekiah.


Yet, according to Vendyl Jones, the Jewish literally sources carefully state the following words, “….hidden in a secret passage under Har-HaByet (Temple Mount).” To Jones, this can mean anywhere along the secret passage until it exits near Jericho.


Vendyl Jones and his thirteen year old son Gershom were doing some exploration in the summer of 1967 only a few weeks after the Six-Day War.  According to his account, recorded in The Gate Between the Two Walls, he describes,


Vendyl Jones - “This cavern, which begins only a few meters north of the Damascus Gate and descends steeply eastward under the Temple Mount, continues for almost 30 kilometers or 19 miles then exits in the Valley of ‘Achor.  Entrance from the Jerusalem end is restricted and the exit in the Valley of ‘Achor is obscurely concealed….The simplest explanation can be found in the historical biblical information available.  The Babylonian army had surrounded Jerusalem and was breaking down the walls.  The only escape route was through this cavern.  Therefore, a gate should be found between the two walls of the cavern…


   Gate Between Two Walls as discovered by Vendyl Jones and son, Gershom - Photo by Max Richardson


Though the cave was mammoth in breadth, its ceiling was only a few feet overhead.  Flakes of stone were piled high and deep from the northern to the southern walls. These rock chips almost completely filled the mouth of the cave….


Gershom and I proceeded forward, descending and exploring one chamber and passage at a time.  When visiting hours were over, we had merely begun our exploration.  I do not remember how many days we returned, arriving very early and staying until closing time.  We were not just sightseeing; we were searching for that gate between the two walls.  Sometimes we were digging with our hands and pitching rock chips, hoping to find an undiscovered chamber…


We decided to separate – Gershom would explore the North side of the cave and I would investigate the South chambers.  Finally the solitude and silence were broken.  I could faintly hear him calling, “Dad, Dad, come on back here!  I have found the gate!”  Climbing over rubble, I rushed to the North side and met him in his youthful jubilance, he was bouncing with twitter and thrill as he paced back into a remote, seemingly, dead-end chamber. 


In a niche to the right (north), Gershom slithered straight down into the gaping shaft and dropped to the lower chamber floor.  Stooping, then crawling, we squeezed our way past several tributary chambers of various sizes and shapes.  To the right of where we were situated, there was a larger chamber with a high ceiling. 


Later, we explored this large room and found names and dates, which were over a century old.  The soot of carbide lamps had lettered them.  This, and other graffiti, could be seen throughout the entire cave. 


On the ceiling, near the end of the upper chamber, was a large professionally printed name of renowned Plymouth brethren, dispensation minister and an editor of the Schofield Reference Bible, “William E. BLACKSTONE 1897.”


Gershom led the way through an ever more narrowing crevice – much like a squeezed tube – which only an hour before had seemed to be a ‘dead-end” niche.  Through a crack, he had spotted a non-bonded wall inside the large chamber mentioned above…


Still laboriously, I lifted my head to catch another deep breath.  Immediately, I was struck with an electrifying awe!  There it was!  Through blurred and burning eyes and sweat-streaked lens – I got my first glimpse of the gate between two walls.  Tears of joy washed away the blinding sweat.  I hugged Gershom and told him “Son, no one les could have ever found this except you. I have always told you that you are the world’s best finder!”  The most acquiescent proof that this undiscovered chamber was unknown is the absence of any graffiti on these walls as there was on other passages. 


On the ninth day of the fourth month in the year 3338 (June 29th), Zedekiah and his men of war fled through this gate.  The year in which Gershom and I discovered the gate was 5728 (1967 CE).  This means that we may have been the first to pass through this gate in 2390 years. To my knowledge, this gate is the only standing remains left from the First Temple Period.”

Jerusalem Water System (modified from Gill 1996:7 and Reich and Shukron 1996:26).


So what do we make of these accounts.  According to this drawing of the Jerusalem Water System, above the Israelite city walls there is a tunnel entrance that goes to a stepped tunnel.  This then leads to a tunnel that goes to the pool.  Was this the gate between the walls?  Some authors would suggest that.  What it does suggest that subterranean tunnels abound through the dolomite foundation of Mount Zion. 


This diagram does leave us a lot of useful information.  Below the ancient Israelite city walls are the ancient walls of the Jebusites that controlled this hilltop fortress possibly since the days of king Melchezadik.


In the Kidron Valley is the old spring bed which today is filled in by silt and debris which shows us the original outlet of the Gihon Springs in the bedrock below.  Further up the slope was a cistern that when full the water would ascend to the Upper Pool at the Pool of Siloam.  Here we see the Spring Tower that was constructed over the artificial cistern or pool and sealed beneath the huge cover stones the water that flowed from the natural spring traversed through the conduit tunnel that was up to 12 feet in height.  Further up the slope was a cistern that when full would ascend to the Upper Pool at the Pool Tower. 


And then, even further below in the bedrock, we see the magnificent tunnel built by King Hezekiah to bring the water of the Gihon Spring into the heart of the city of David.


Also within the drawing was a tunnel system whose entry point was behind the old Canaanite and Israelite city walls that traversed down to the Pool Tower.  Are these tunnels and pools contiguous with each other?  Is this tunnel system passable?  Is this tunnel system the same gateway the Vendyl Jones and his son Gershwin found?



Go to Part Three - The Tomb of David and the Nazarene Synagogue (Cenacle) – Part 3

Study into the Archeology and History of the “The Tomb of David” 

Residing under the Site called

“The Hebrew Nazarene Synagogue”



The Tomb of David and the National Archives

The Wandering Tomb of King David

The Itinerary of Rabbi Benjamin of Tudelo

Tomb of David and the Hebrew Nazarene Synagogue


Return to Part Two - The Tomb of David and the Nazarene Synagogue (Cenacle) – Part 2


Return to Part One - The Tomb of David and the Nazarene Synagogue (Cenacle) – Part 1


Return to Part Three - The Synagogue of the Nazarenes – Part 1


Return to Part Two - The Synagogue of the Nazarenes – Part 2


Return to Part One – The Star of David and the Seal of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia


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