Jerusalem Origin - The Thesis | Jacob | Abraham

ABSTRACT

Jerusalem's origin is deeply analyzed
comparing the latest archaeology
and the Biblical narrative to discover
whether the water of the Gihon
spring was first fortified to protect
its sanctity.

Author: Kevin Bermeister
1. Introduction: Jerusalem's Origin

Recent discoveries in the City of David adjacent to the Gihon spring may have
uncovered secrets of Jerusalem's past. I suggest an earth-shattering theory,
which at first may seem somewhat unbelievable, but a closer look at some
ancient sources may reveal that the archaeology is not always as it seems.

Excavation’s on the high
ridge above the Gihon
Spring revealed odd
shaped rock formations
and specific
installations. They
initially puzzled
archaeologists and the
public was asked to
suggest what they were,
the truth may shock you.
One hundred years ago
Montague Parker
excavated the area and
produced this map. The
exposed rectangular
area suggests Parkers
representations are
accurate. The circled
area is the subject of
this paper.

I propose that the high ridge above the Gihon Spring in Jerusalem is the location
of the earliest Biblical Beit El, previously Luz 1. In recently found excavations, four

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Bereishit 28:19

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primary chambers were carved into bedrock (the walls are from bedrock,
hollowed spaces). The complex had a cultic purpose and served worshipers.
Scientific proof that this is Beit El would challenge everything scholars anticipate
about the location of the previous temples. Whilst there are many unique features
of this recently discovered complex, arguably the most striking is the discovery of
a unique perfectly retained matzevah (±3cm slab thickness), a monument, or
headstone (but not a grave marker), constructed on the bedrock, apparently
supported in a square frame of rocks.

On the high ridge plateau of this complex discoveries include, the perfectly
retained erect semi-circular monument or headstone (±50l x 30h x 3w cm held in
a frame (±50l x 6h x 40w) of ±12 rocks). The stone is set between two large
chiseled bedrock walls – the south wall (left) and north wall (right) exposes a
cavernous space in which the monument sits. The north wall is shared with its
neighboring chamber to the north. The walls of the neighboring chamber fall from
a height of ±2m, from the west, at ±45°, to ±30cm to the east onto the same
bedrock level on which the headstone is located.

Between this chambers’ chiseled walls, at the northwest corner of this room
exists a small bedrock platform (10cmh 100cmw x 50cml). Its southern edge is
adjacent to a narrow ±7cm channel running ±5m to the east of the room cavity
emptying into a carved hollow pit. The cavity walls resemble stepped edges. In

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the adjacent chamber, south of the headstone (down mountain) three carved V
shaped grooves and a straight groove exist on the bedrock floor. The V markings
in the bedrock may have held the support structure of a water laver or other
fixture used to conduct sacrificial functions for worship.

The high ridge is immediately west and above the Gihon Spring. In the same
area, immediately southwest of the V markings is a tapered hollow, deep cavity
carved in the floor (seen in the image below) and a second similar cavity ±10m
north, in line and east of it. These cavities are grain and olive presses
respectively.

Somehow the monument that is part of this complex survived thousands of
years. Most of the City of David, where it is located, was burned, destroyed down
to the bedrock leaving only small clay artifacts. Why this artifact survived may be
crucial to the theory of this complex. Adjacent to the monument or matzevah, is
the room with the stepped sides rising from east to west. This may have been a
ramp to a bedrock table in addition to the altar or mizbeach (see the Raised
Platform chamber north of matzevah for possible identification) that occupied the
platform in the north-east corner.

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2. Constructed from the Biblical sources - a chronological framework.

Isaac's son Jacob slept at Beit-El on his way to Haran 2. He took 12 stones from
the altar of Isaac and placed them around his head as a protection and fell
asleep. The stones converged to become one 1 - the matzevah, which I suggest
has now been rediscovered, located in the chamber illustrated above and shown
in the photo below.

Traditionally, the altar was located where the Holy of Holies was built in the first
and second temples somewhere in the confines of the temple mount. Since the
Shrine to Calif Omar was built in ~687 CE, tradition has become more acutely
focused on that site. However, Jewish law states the permanent place of the altar
is the akeida (binding) of Isaac. Kabbalah and Gemara describe the south-east
corner of the altar on land belonging to the tribe Yehuda penetrating the land of
the tribe Binyamin 2.

Although mention is made that the altar Noah built after the great flood was
located at this site, Noah's (oldest) son Shem (Malchi-tzedek) who worshiped at
this site and named it Shalem could have been the first to construct and chisel

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Genesis 28:16

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bedrock, perhaps laying the seeds of what ultimately became the City of David
±1500 years later.

Families of Egypt's royalty migrated into Shem’s land. Their direct lineage was to
Ham (Shem’s brother), which included Ham’s grandson Kanaan (Canaan).
Kanaan’s northerly conquest and occupation may have been familial imperialism
to Shem, because by the time modern Israel became known as Kanaan, Ham
had appointed his son Mitzrayim in charge of land further south (Egypt).

There were three deals made by Abraham, Isaac and later David that delayed
the re-possession of (Tzion) Zion, so named by David. Similarly, the word Tziun
means a marker or beacon. However, David’s conquest of the Tziun shattered
long held inter-nation tribal deals that once upheld the honor of Abraham and
Isaac in the eyes of non-Israelite-tribes.

Avimelech – (Father King) of the Philistines (Plishtim) was a descendant of
Noah's son Ham. He requested and obtained a first treaty from Abraham, which
was extended by a second treaty with Isaac, that provided Avimelech and his 7
nation tribal descendants the rights to ongoing occupancy in exchange for
peaceful co-existence. When Abraham wanted to buy the cave of Machpela from
the Hittites, to bury his wife Sarah, the Jebusite (Yevusi) relatives of the Hittites
objected. As part of the land purchase, the Hittites demanded clarification that
Abraham’s descendants would permit the Jebusites to live in Shalem
(Jerusalem).

Jacob may have been next to excavate briefly at the site of the matzevah when
he returned to dedicate Beit El – the house of God, but tragedy had struck his
family and they settled near Shechem before immigrating to Egypt. In Egypt
Jacob's family grew to millions, the nation of Israel in exile. With Israel rising, the
descendants of Ham and Avimelech, who had settled both sides of the Jordan
River were threatened. Their respective nations were motivated to cooperate with
the Jebusites to construct the massive fortress over the Gihon known today as
the Spring Tower. If this was the motivation, then the fortress over the Gihon

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Spring was intentionally constructed to block Israel’s access to the holy site and
matzevah Jacob once erected. Further, the first walls surrounding the city were
erected. Each project a significant undertaking well beyond the capacity of the
Jebusite occupants of the relatively small city area. A nationally inspired,
defensive project of such magnitude for that time anticipated Israel’s return.

Following Israel's return, Joshua (Yehoshua) commenced a conquest of the land
including Jerusalem, then referred to as Beit El. However, Joshua was reminded
by occupants of the walled city of the treaty once made by his descendants. He
honored that treaty allowing the inhabitants to continue their occupation.
Similarly, after Joshua’s death, the army of tribe Yehuda attacked, but were
lenient. The Yevusi response on each occasion was to further fortify the city
against future attacks.

Seven years after David was anointed King he marched to Jebus (Yevus),
Jerusalem, to bring the fortified city back under Israeli control. The inhabitants,
living under Ornan (Aravna) the King of Yevus, taunted David’s men reminding
them of Avraham and Isaac’s pact. David’s men penetrated and occupied the
water tower arguing with the inhabitants that the ancient pact was obsolete, but
they allowed the King of Yevus to live among the new Jewish occupants
including King David.

During King David’s reign the site was modified to function, for 37 years as the
transition temple between Mishkan the Jews had used under Moses and the
temple of Solomon.

After Solomon, during the conquests of Jerusalem that spanned several hundred
years leading up to the destruction of the first temple, much of this site above the
Gihon had been buried and forgotten. Then during the reign of King Hezekiah, he
blocked the waters of the Gihon spring redirecting them in a new-cut channel to
the southwest of the water tower. At that time he constructed the foundations of a
new city wall that penetrated the soft earth at the site and may have uncovered

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the site after it had been buried for hundreds of years. In any event the site is
now being uncovered for the first time in at least 3400 years.

3. The Geography of the City of David and ancient Jerusalem in Jewish
tradition

In Jewish mystical teachings, the neck is associated as the only place in the body
absent of capacity to contain a soulful attribute or characteristic. It is the passage
between the head (the intellect) and the body (the emotions). It is associated with
concealment and limitation. Egypt (Mitzrayim) is analogous to the confined neck
in which the Jewish people were trapped by their enslavement, their release, a
complete act of redemption. The Hebrew letters for Mitzrayim also spell Meitzer
Yam considered to be the concealment of understanding. The Hebrew letters
used for Pharaoh are also used for Oreph - the back of the neck. The Jewish
people are referred to as ‘stiff necked’ and Jerusalem’s Temple, the antidote is
identified with the neck.

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Topographically, Mt. Moriah resembles a head connected to the neck. The
largest vertebra at the base of the neck, the 7th is also known as the Luz bone,
which is associated in Judaism to end of day resurrection prophecies. Along this
topographic neck exists the high ridge and Gihon Spring at approximately the
comparative location one could expect to find a Luz bone. Immediately south of
the Gihon spring the eastern facing slope of the mountain climbs rapidly from the
Kidron valley floor to a platform on an elevated ridge – a plateau. The source of
the Gihon Springs water is a subterranean stream just beneath the Kidron valley
floor.

South of the Gihon Spring, bedrock has been chiseled to form a large rectangular
cistern adjacent to (west) and converging with the cliff face of the high-ridge at
the approximate location of the monument. The area below the high-ridge and its
lower sections operated as a cistern to store water. After the cistern was
constructed, water flowed from the Gihon Spring through and into subterranean
sections in the bedrock and ultimately back to the Kidron Valley floor. In this
cistern, known as the Upper Gihon Pool exclusively kosher animal bones have
been discovered. The original entrance to the high-ridge site as it was originally
built is not fully understood although recent excavations are telling.

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In context of the entire excavation also known as the Parker excavation, the
above image highlights the stone monument (matzevah blue square) where
rooms have been excavated on the high ridge.

Anecdotally, the entire topography on which the excavation is located is a single
bedrock mountain referred to in the Jewish exegesis as ‘e’ven ha’shtiyah” or the
foundation stone. It is often confused with the rock subsection known as the
Dome of the Rock. This mountain known as Mount Moriah is also referred in the
Bible as being in the land of the Amori, on which Abraham was told by God to
sacrifice his son Isaac.

The Amori reference may be to the Amorite people who descended from Canaan
the son of Ham, son of Noah who may have been living in this region at the time
of Abraham and Isaac. Although the head of the topography is associated with

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the Temple Mount on which the Jewish temples were previously built, the
bedrock at the head is not distinguished with rich archaeologically relevant
features as is the topography on the bedrock of the neck.

4. Rediscovering the ancient city: Follow the Water!

From the high hills of Hebron water flows downhill through underground natural
aquifers, which during various kings reigns were elevated 3 above the ground, to
feed Jerusalem and its Gihon Spring. The following is supported by hydrological 4
study that water from the southern Hebron region flows underground to supply
the Gihon spring. No specific hydrological study of the Gihon’s local water source
exists. Other water flows from the north to the Temple Mount through the
aquifers under the Temple Mount, but the waters that flowed along the ritual
route known as ha shalshelet, which were used in the temple services, flowed
south – north from the direction of Hebron.

Anecdotal5 evidence in the Biblical record suggests this ritual water source and
its location to have been spiritually important to the occupants of the region
before the construction of walls around the base of Mount Moriah. Archaeologists
suggest motivation to fortify the Gihon site may have been to control the water
and exclusively benefit local populations especially during times of war. The
archaeological record at the sites surrounding the spring increasingly suggests a
long span of history and periodic construction before any fortification.

Principle to the archaeological evidence are the following features;

1. The spring’s original geographical path and water exit from the bedrock.
2. The man-made underwater wall (by Hezekiah) diverting the Gihon’s water
passage to the south west Pool of Shiloh.
3. The steps presently used to access the spring and bedrock pools.
4. The Hezekiah channel.

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5. The Canaanite channel.
6. Warren Shaft system.
7. The north wall section (Figure 2) from the mezzanine to the high-ridge.
8. The south wall section (Figure 2) from the valley floor to the high-ridge.
9. The high-ridge bounded by the north and south wall sections.
10. The monument (matzevah) area south of the south wall section.

Figure 1 Cut through mountain section – red star marks area of interest

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Figure 2 enterance to high ridge from mezanine level of Gihon Water Tower

Based on the above features I deduce a chronological theory of settlement and
development as follows;

1. Early Bronze I – 3300-3050 B.C.E. – sparse, periodic settlement
2. Early Bronze II-III – 3050-2030 B.C.E. sparse, permanent settlement
3. Early Bronze IV/Middle Bronze I -2300-2000 B.C.E. - expanded settlement
and bedrock chiseling on high ridge
4. Middle Bronze IIA 2000-1750 B.C.E. – established settlement, expansion of
Gihon site
5. Middle Bronze IIB-C 1750-1550 B.C.E. – excavation of valley floor pools and
enclosure rising to the high ridge
6. Late Bronze I – 1550-1400 B.C.E. – commencement of city walls
7. Late Bronze IIA-B 1400-1200 B.C.E. – accelerated construction of city walls
and water tower
8. Iron Age I 1200-1000 B.C.E. – completion of water tower and city fortification
9. Iron Age II – 1000 – 586 B.C.E. rearrangement, internal city construction,
expansion North and eastern outer wall

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The development of archaeological evidence is now ordered earliest to latest, to
support the proposed theory;

1. Pre-Chalcolithic - The spring exit and natural well from the bedrock
9. Early Bronze IV – Practices on the high-ridge rock platform
10. Middle Bronze IIB – Chiseling chambers on the high-ridge south of the south
wall section
3. Middle Bronze IIC – Chiseling the valley floor stair-well (presently used to
access the spring and bedrock pools)
8. Middle Bronze IIC – Chiseling the cistern and walls extending from the valley
floor to the high-ridge rock platform
5. Late Bronze IIA - *The Canaanite channel
6. Late Bronze IIA/Iron Age I - *Warren Shaft system
7. Late Bronze II/Iron Age I - * Wall sections extending from the mezzanine to
the high-ridge rock platform
4. Iron Age II - Hezekiah channel
2. Iron Age II - Wall diverting the Gihon water passage to Shiloh -
*variation of order can be tolerated

A dissertation on the ordering follows;

Population growth in the region of the Gihon spring during the Early Bronze Age
may have caused water demand to exceed supply, thus triggering excavation of
cisterns. However, archaeological evidence highlights the use of wells in the
immediate region as well as the extended region from Hebron to Be’er Sheva,
indicating, generally that water was not in short supply6.

It is evident in the archaeological evidence, especially in the water flow from the
Gihon that little attempt was made to contain and control the water until much
later when in the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age, natural water flow from the
spring was channeled. Evidence therefore suggests the water was sufficient to

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support settlement and little effort was made to control the water. Instead, in
early periods it was left to flow from the source of the spring into a natural
artesian well where it rose to the surface and along the bedrock to the low point
on the Kidron Valley floor.

At some point reason arose to fortify the area over the Gihon spring and up to the
high ridge. However, no evidence exists to determine the exact order in which
this fortification took place or the reasons for it. This theory proposes that the
area of the high ridge platform immediately was the first area to be settled in the
late Early Bronze period.

Evidence presently suggests the southern wall section (from the Valley floor and
mezzanine level to the high ridge) was constructed earlier than its northern wall
counterpart. The condition of each wall differs significantly, and the construction
of the northern section appears to be developed to a later construction standard.
This would support the view that the southern wall was constructed for some
purpose other than to control water from the Gihon.

In its primitive condition the welling of water from the Gihon would have first filled
the cave in which it is located before rising to the level of the bedrock on the
valley floor where the first pools were constructed, as evidenced in the
archaeology at the foot of the southern wall section. The first attempt to dam this
water is thus connected with the construction of the southern wall section, which
was required to secure the high-ridge platform. Further, that the purpose of this
construction was the containment of water 7 (Fig 3) required for the sacrifices
offered on the upper rock platform, the area of the matzevah (area south of the
south wall).

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Figure3 – Upper Gihon Pool immediately below (east) and adjacent to the high ridge

Ordering of this development chronology is therefore structured to emphasize
and support the sanctity of the high-ridge rock platform as the motivating reason
for initial fortification. Its spiritual attractiveness, demonstrated by excavations on
the high-ridge platform including the matzevah, sacrificial platform and other
features are the pivotal reason demand developed to occupy the area as a city.
Controlling water from the Gihon Spring was the secondary demand driver.
Frequent ritual activity on the high-ridge platform led to its further development
and formalization as an area of worship. Its importance is evidenced by the
substantial structure eventually built into the bedrock and the matzevah.

The southern wall section adjuncts the cavernous cistern in the bedrock at the
valley floor, east of the high-ridge rock platform (Fig 3). Other water pools
indicate a containment (damming) of water at the south-east base, the lowest
point of the southern wall structure. The higher point of the water’s release from
the Gihon Spring is to the north of the south-east base, which is north of the
Upper Gihon Pool. This Pool, would have contained and provided water to
facilitate ritual bathing and cleaning the high-ridge platform from blood and fats of

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sacrifice. The initial importance and use of the high-ridge platform was sporadic,
apparently increasing in regularity, leading to the construction of the southern
wall section and tunnel from the Gihon Spring and Upper Gihon Pool (water
cistern).

Sporadic use during Early Bronze II led to more permanent development in Early
Bronze IV. This progression is supported by more detailed archaeological
evidence, particularly the development of the northern wall and section and water
tower concealing the Gihon spring.

The more sophisticated developments at the site were apparently motivated by
the increasing necessity to protect and control access to the water source. This
could indicate the increased competition for resources, perhaps the result of an
expanding population. Further fortification through Late Bronze ultimately
supported the extended development of expanded, fortified city walls. This
sustained a growing population as indicated by the expanded walls along the
eastern slope to the north and south, encasing and cutting off the surrounding
bedrock, mezzanine and high-ridge platform.

The Canaanite channel that led from the Gihon Spring to the Upper Gihon Pool
provided water alongside/outside of the city wall including terraced agriculture to
support the growing number of city residents. The channel constructed in
bedrock would have drawn water from the Gihon Spring filling multiple pools and
small reservoirs along its route whilst providing sufficient water to the cavernous
cisterns formed in the bedrock. This construction eventually provided sustenance
and protected access to water for residents of the city, including via Warrens
shaft. The effect of the Canaanite channel was the substantial damming of water.

The later addition of the Hezekiah channel rendered the Canaanite channel
redundant causing water to pass directly into open pools deeper inside the city
walls. When the water of the Gihon was finally redirected along Hezekiah’s

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channel, it was no longer available to populations in areas outside of the city
walls. Cutting off this valuable and precious water supply to the outside caused
an increase in competition for access to the inner-city precinct and with it
demand for control over it increased.

Figure 4 Adjacent the monument on the high ridge perhaps a place for preparing slaughtered animals

A conclusion that the area of the high-ridge rock platform was the original holy
site used for sacrificial purposes spanning many generations, is supported by
evidence that the Gihon water was not the primary motivating factor for early
populations to occupy the site. Therefore, a theory that survival was the primary
motivator associated with the Gihon’s water is not consistent with the
development of early discoveries at the site. Therefore, it was not the motivating
reason for the earliest fortification on the south side of the Gihon Spring.

Fortification of the Gihon probably commenced in the ~200 years of Israel’s exile
in Egypt. Some of this is identifiable in the type of period construction. With
Israel’s rising toward the end of Exile the occupants around the Gihon readied
themselves for a return. This is the alternative motivation for nations, who would
have conspired to construct the impressive fortress and city walls.

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5. The Biblical Narrative

Abraham, Hebron and Gihon

These new discoveries may correspond to many references from the Bible and
commentaries. In one ancient story, we learn that three men came to Hebron to
break the news that Abraham and his wife Sarah were to have a son. As Abraham
prepared to slaughter one of the calves for these men it escaped. He chased it into
the cave at the end of the field of Machpelah (Hebron) where he smelled the
Garden of Eden.

Was he alerted to the presence of the underground water source by the calf high
in the hills of Hebron? In the 37 years after Isaac’s birth, Abraham traced water,
digging wells along the aquifer’s path as it makes its way from Hebron toward
Jerusalem. Many of these wells are still accessible today. Abraham was told by
God to offer his son as a sacrifice at the instructed place. At the end of the journey
he stopped to ask his assistant Eliezer and two son’s Ishmael and Isaac who could
see The Place (HaMakom), Isaac recognized the feature.

Did Abraham know this (Mount Moriah) to be the location at which the underground
waters turn from their northerly or southerly flow toward the east? In the final test
of his commitment, whilst carrying a flame to light the fire for burning the sacrifice,
waters surged forth, blocking their path, threatening Abraham and Isaac’s lives and
to douse the flames. After the sacrifice was offered, Isaac, remained in the field
that surrounds the Place (HaMakom), this is considered the same field he first saw
his future wife Rebecca and where he discovered Be’er sheva, seven additional
wells.

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Isaac becomes known as ‘the well digger’ and Jacob returns.

The little we know of Isaac from the Bible amplifies its declaration that he also digs
wells. He searches for water, repairs the wells that his father dug, and generally
discovered water from the ground, which provided him certain independence and
much wealth. Isaac’s son Jacob, after running away from his brother Esau,
journeyed to Haran 8 (northwest of Israel), but slept one night at a place he named
Beit El, its name was originally Luz. At this place, he erected and anointed a semi-
circular 9 stone as a monument (matzevah) to God.

We understand Luz to mean a specific bone of the spine, the vertebrae connecting
the spine and neck to the head. It is heralded to be the hardest bone in the body
and associated with the ‘end of days’ prophecy related to the resurrection of the
dead; the bone that survives all and which is not subject to permanent state of
death. In the mystical tradition, the Luz bone exclusively gets its nourishment from
the melaveh malka meal on Saturday night after Shabbat. We also understand
semantically it relates to a high plateau or ridge. Finally, it can also be used as the
name for Almond.

The Midrash tells that Luz was enclosed (walled) and its entrance hidden such that
the only way in and out was through a hole in an Almond tree that concealed an
opening to a cave which led to the entrance of the city. The analogy here is to the
Almond Shell. The story tells of a man who advised troops of the tribes of Joseph
when they first attacked the city after Joshua entered to the land of Israel, where
to find the secret passage. The man and his family were freed then settled in the
eastern part of the world where they named a town Luz, which today is Madras in
India.

On Jacob’s 10 return to Israel 20 years later after raising his young family, he was
confronted by the guardian angel of his brother Esau on the banks of the Yabok
River. He crossed back over the River to collect some jars, possibly sacred oil that

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he needed to anoint the monument he’d erected 20 years prior, there he fought
the angel of death, but he prevailed demanding the angel bless him, which it did
by bestowing on him the name Israel. The next day Esau received Jacob in peace
and Jacob left with his family and made his way south to Beit El/Luz where Jacob
built an altar, and he named the place “Beit El” 11. Deborah, Jacobs mother
Rebecca’s wet nurse, who had come to inform them of Rebecca’s death died, she
was buried under an Oak tree in the valley below Beit El, (which was located on a
hilltop) on a plateau.

According to a tradition, the olives from the branch that Noah received from the
dove he sent to test the waters, were made into pure olive oil for holy dedication.
The oil was passed to Noah's firstborn, Shem, Malchitzedek, the high priest of
Shalem (Jerusalem) who gave it to Abraham as a gift. Abraham in turn handed it
to Isaac who passed it to Jacob.

The Midrash supports that the matzevah and the altar are also the site where Isaac
(Jacob’s father) was offered as a sacrifice. Further, that 12 stones were taken by
Jacob from this altar which fused to become the semi-circular stone monument
(matzevah) on which he rested his head on during the night. On insertion into the
bedrock, the monument headstone and the 12 stones, converged to become one,
in, with and as the Foundation Stone of creation of the world. The stone marks the
place the temple will be built. The stone and altar reside in Luz, it is known as an
area in which the angel of death cannot exist.

The mountain is also mentioned in writings of a future time when the matzevah
stone will become the House of God. The monument may also be referred to as
the “corner stone that the builders despised” in the holiday liturgy known as Hallel
which states “the stone has in the future become the chief cornerstone”. The
Midrashim refers to unsuccessful attempts by the builders of the first and second
temples to move this stone into the wall of those temples, which may explain why
it was “despised”. The future altar, which will be located on this mountain -

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HaMakom (The Place), Mount Moriah, The Temple Mount amongst many other
names, is located at the site of these 12 stones because they were extracted from
the altar on which Abraham offered his son Isaac and that will, according to Jewish
Law, be the place of the altar of The Temple.

Among many references, in the praises known as Hallel, the Levite priests of the
temple once sang and Jews continue to sing many times each year that ‘the stone
the builders rejected’ has become, in the future, ‘its chief cornerstone’12 - which
stone? Was it meant as a metaphor and what about the strange syntax that
confidently expresses a future event? Torah is interpreted on 4 levels, from literal
to mystical, which must be used to reconcile with past interpretations. So why did
the priests who, at the time of the first temple lived adjacent to the Gihon’s high
ridge, between the city wall and its eastern boundary, write this line and choose to
climax the hundred plus lines of Hallel by repeating this verse amongst all the
verses of the entire prayer?

13‘In fleeing this land, Jacob, was forced to lie down by the sudden sunset. He
experienced a primal fear, causing his comment "How awesome is this place”! And
he dreamed of the ‘stairway to heaven’’ and he received his vision of this
foundation, the temple - Beit El, which inspired him to set up the monument of
twelve-stones which that night fused-into-one.’ And according to this midrash what
did God do?

‘He stretched out His right foot and sank the stone deep into the earth. Accordingly,
the stone is called, e’ven hashtya, the Foundation Stone - the navel of the world
and from there the whole Earth was stretched out and upon that stone the temple
of God stands.’14

I consider that the ‘cornerstone’ of Hallel is the monument, the matzevah of Jacob.
The Artifact Jews sing of was emphasized because Hiram and King Solomon’s
foreign builders of the first temple relegated it as a design construction problem: It
being on the neck of the mountain and the temple construction project being on
the head. But the priests who discovered its existence in the years they were living

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between the city wall and the outer eastern wall of the city, did not rest, they wrote
and sang about it in protest.

The area below from the Upper Gihon Pool to the high ridge is Shalem, Luz, which
is Beit-El – the origin of Jerusalem.

Figure 7 High ridge west of Upper Gihon Pool Reconstruction as it may have looked, prior to the construction of the city
wall. Palace of King David (north).

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Figure 8 apex of Mount of Olives in context, pointing at City of David and Gihon Spring location

The location of Luz (as show above) is identified at the end of the thick red line
pointing across the valley floor away from the apex of the Mount of Olives
cemetery.

Joshua’s Return

Under the command of Joshua, we are told of two cities that were attacked by
Israel immediately after re-entering the land following their exile. It’s the city of Ai
or Ay that interests us, because of the great confusion its location causes to the
students of Torah. Here I propose the alternative that resolves much of the
confusion.

23
Figure 9 Joshua’s battle for control of Ai and Beit El - http://israelfact.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/a-hypothesis-for-
mizbeach-of-akeida.html

As described in the image above, (1) under the cover of darkness Joshua led an
army of 30,000 men up the Judean mountains to (2) a camp below, or south of the
then Canaanite city home to Beit El. Before daybreak, Joshua moved 25,000
through the valley between Beit El and Ay (today known as the Kidron Valley),
where (5) a rear guard ambush party of 5000 troops remained, whilst the balance
(3) climbed to the top of the hill (to the north - today known as Mount of Olives)
across the valley that separated them from the city of Ay. At daybreak Joshua
crossed the valley to taunt the guards and residents of the city, who on a previous
occasion had successfully chased Joshua’s, much smaller, first invading party.
The gates of the city were open and a similar pursuit soon began, only this time
Joshua planned it to be a trap. By the time the army of Ay and Beit El had chased
(6) Israel some distance, the ambush party (5) came up the rear attacking the city
and setting it alight. Once the pursuers of Ay saw and realized their city was

24
burning, they retreated and in their retreat, Joshua turned his retreating troops on
them. In a pincer movement they were trapped between Israel’s main army and
Israel’s rear guard ambush troop. The people of Ay were defeated and the city
destroyed.

Looking South East toward Ay circled in the background

The suggestion here is a significant departure from the confusion brought by King
Yerovam, which has plagued the Jewish people for thousands of years. An
adoption of this theory would require a reconsideration of many previous
interpretations. Centering the source of Israel’s holy connection to the location at
the corrected Beit El, at the Canaanite city that became the City of David has been
a long time coming

Sword over Jerusalem!

Sources from Tanach (The Bible) relate the difficulty King David had in selecting
the place at which to build the altar, thus to mark the location at which Israel’s

25
temple could eventually be built. Without this no temple could ever be built and
King David would be unable to fulfill, what he considered to be his life mission. The
King had to locate the altar on the spot which Isaac was offered and he had to do
it with prophetic support. However, his search for Isaac’s altar was complicated so,
he turned to the advice of his teacher Doeg and the Prophet Gad. Doeg was a
convert and a very serious Torah scholar, he was known to have ruthlessly
consumed the intellects of his fellow students and teachers with his sharp
commentary. His rivalry with the knowledge of Torah law that King David
possessed revealed his jealous disposition. Doeg tried to disqualify David from
being King because David was born through the lineage of Ruth, a Moabite convert
allegedly forbidden by Torah law. However, the prevailing legal opinion was in
David’s favor 15.

Doeg also challenged David who was struggling to determine the site of the future
temple. Doeg argued it should be in the high mountains south-west of ancient
Jerusalem. David preferred it to be close, among the people of the city. But it wasn’t
until King David, against his General Yoav’s advice, ordered the army to take a
census that the location was determined. The census was ordered by the King’s
desire not by a prophecy of God, as was the Law. When David contemplated his
actions, he became remorseful and repented. Retribution followed swiftly and
Prophet Gad told him he had three choices by which to repent; three years of
famine, three months of fleeing his enemies or endure three days of plague in the
land. King David chose the plague. Immediately 70,000 men from the outlying tribal
lands received their fate.

As the nation was suffering, The King saw the angel of death standing on the
threshing floor of Aravna - King of the Jebusites, stretching out its sword over
Jerusalem 16 (The ancient City of David) and David was immediately fearful.

Before the three days were up, God stopped His angel as it was about to reign
pestilence on the people of Jerusalem. The angel of death challenged and in

26
response Avishai, the brother of Yoav and the King’s most loyal follower lost his
life. In the moment of national pandemonium Gad advised the King to make an
altar at the site the King had seen the angel standing poised to destroy Jerusalem.
The site was the threshing floor that belonged to the Jebusite King Ornan (Aravna),
who lived in the City of David, on the top of Mount Moriah which was outside of the
walled city.

In the national pandemonium King David purchased, using donations from the
tribal leader the threshing floor from Aravna the Jebsuite (King). There he was
instructed by Gad to build an altar and make holy sacrifices in repentance of his
sin. By national consensus this became the place by which the future site of the
first and second temples in Jerusalem was determined. Here we have a
declaration in Tanach that the site was the threshing floor identified with the angel
of death and the advice or prophecy to build it there was Gad’s.

Are we to rely on chance or hidden meaning that the prerequisite for the site of the
altar being the site at which Isaac was offered by Abraham has been met? No
scholarly source exists directly stating King David’s selection of this location to be
the location of Isaac’s altar, as such for the past 2840 years from the time King
Solomon built the first temple and its altar, people have simply believed the site to
be true. It is a tradition relied upon from generation to generation.

The simplistic illustration below describes the scene David is likely to have
witnessed.

27
Figure 10 Angel of death as it may have been envisaged by King David

Why is the most holy site for Jews identified with the feet of the angel of death and
why is the sword pointed over Jerusalem? The 70,000 men were killed by the
plague in the tribal regions of Israel, not in Jerusalem! David struggled to find the
site of the temple, for years he contended with Doeg over its location.
Did he not have a sign, an archaeological fingerprint, something to go on that was
better than the angel of death and a prophecy of Gad to annul the plague? If David
did not know that the altar of Isaac was a prerequisite for the building of the
Temple, the tribal elders and scholars certainly would have reminded him.

David’s son Solomon built Jerusalem’s first temple based on the plans of his father.
In Tanach we have a declaration 17 that details how it was built by Solomon.
The missing ingredient in all this is the location of the altar of Isaac which is the
essential item according to Halacha (Torah Law) for building a temple in
Jerusalem. So, where is it?

I argue that the newly excavated site on the high-ridge above the Gihon, on Mount
Moriah’s neck, where sacrificial worship and ceremony is now known to have taken

28
place, is in fact the site of Isaac’s altar. Notwithstanding popular opinion, this site
is likely the original site of Shalem, Luz, Beit-El and Jerusalem as such it ought to
be more seriously considered as the site King David did not disclose for the Temple
his son built. To understand the reasons why the King did not disclose the site, we
must be sensitive to a chronological series of events that presented him a great
difficulty.

When King David’s general and a small band of men conquered the Jebusite city,
now known as the City of David, its walls had been heavily fortified and constructed
to prevent and protect its residents from attack whilst they would draw water from
the perennial Gihon Spring. Within and adjacent to the inner sections of the city
walls, many homes had been built. The walls and the homes were built over the
site of Isaac’s altar, using its carved bedrock as foundation for the city above. After
the Jebusites first began occupying the area, they extended the existing cavernous
cistern that once walled the important site of Isaac’s Altar. I suggest the first small
protective wall was built by Jacob and his sons when they returned from Haran to
Hevron via the place of the altar. This is also the place Jacob anointed a monument
to God and where he experienced his famous dream in which the angels walked
up and down the ladder between heaven and earth and where he accepted the
name Israel upon himself.

Whether King David knew of this site on the high-ridge is unknown, regardless its
emergence for the first time in more than 3000 years and its identity today is
remarkable. The question remains whether we will be open minded enough to
seriously ascertain the site we presently identify for the third temple is in fact its
true location?

29
6. Deeper analysis

Solving the Riddle of Beit-El and Beit-el.

Rav Soloveitchik (ZL) advised the Haftorah of the Torah portion is a commentary
in and of itself, so I used this to delve into the meaning behind the portion read on
Pesach outside of Israel as Yom Tov on the second day.

On the Yom Tov we read the Torah portion to do with the sacrifice immediately
preceding the exodus from Egypt. On the second day (only outside of Israel) we
read the instructions for sacrifices required in the Mishkan one year later, for the
festival of Pesach, in remembrance of the exodus and for the other major holidays.

In the first day’s Haftorah we read of Israel’s re-commitment to the covenant
through circumcision before entering Israel 40 years later at the end of their exodus
from Egypt. However, on the second day we read about King Josiah (Yoshiyahu)
who restored, with full pomp and ceremony, the dwindling festival of Pesach in
Yerushalem as it was called at that time. I can understand how the first day
connects Pesach, to the exit from Egypt and the entry to Israel, but for the second
day, why is this Haftorah selected? Surely there are other stories in Tanach in the
815 years between Yoshiyahu and entering the land of Canaan (Israel) that would
perhaps be appropriate? To understand, I considered the second day message is
targeted to Jews outside of Israel. It’s these Jews that the portions of the 2nd day
must be speaking to. Perhaps the Jews in exile would be sufficiently inspired to
discover the reasons for this selection. I was motivated to try, but before reading
further it’s important to know the background.

Yoshiyahu was among the last kings in the lineage of King David - along the ±800
year kings list that preceded him. His great-grandfather was Hezekiah, his
grandfather Menashe was banished to exile and his father Amon ruled over the
southern kingdom of Yehuda, but was killed by his servants. At 8 years old, on the
death of his father he was anointed king of Yehuda. Later, Yoshiyahu passionately
followed the ways of King David, eventually he restored monotheistic traditions and
renovated the Temple. During the renovation, the high priest Hilkiyahu discovered

30
a Torah scroll, written by Moses, which was open on the section including Devarim
28:36 - the curse predicting exile of the Jewish people. Yoshiahu surpassed
prophet Jeremiah, instead he asked Hulda the prophetess of its meaning, she
foretold the imminent destruction of the first Temple and the exile of the Jewish
people. Perhaps it was an effort to change the nature of the prophecy that
Yoshiyahu led the elders of Yehuda and the people of Yerushalem to the Temple
where he read from the scroll and made a covenant to observe God’s
commandments and the people accepted the same upon themselves.

They immediately targeted all idolatry that had been brought into the Temple
including vessels, pillars, trees and statues and burned them in the plains of Kidron
(outside Yerushalem toward the Dead Sea) and carried the ashes to Beit-El. He
banished idol practices, relinquished the Temple rights of priests who had followed
any idolatry and defiled their altars. After all was accomplished they reconstituted
traditions and made a Pesach celebration like no other before. No king turned to
God with all his heart and soul like Yoshiyahu. Such was his genuine commitment
to Torah and worship that the prophet Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) ben (son of) Hilkiyahu
managed to secure the return of some of the ten tribes who, for the first time in a
hundred years agreed to live under the Kings unifying reign.

On the surface the story sounds like a reasonable basis for selection on 2nd day
haftorah, but further investigation into the missing sections of the story that do not
make it into the haftorah reveal deeper mysteries of our exiled state and Jewish
connection to the Temple. Firstly, the haftorah is an amalgamation of two sections
from Kings II 23:1-9 and 21-25, so what does the missing section 10-20 contain
that it was left out?

Perhaps the gory details of idol worship including the sacrifice of children to the
idol Molech in the valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem’ center. However, verse 17
and 18 stand out amongst all the destruction of idolatry, altars and graves noted in
these passages, because they describe how one specific monument is saved. An
even closer analysis of the section reveals ambiguity, which must be subjected to

31
Hebrew analysis, which I highly recommend each reader studies carefully. There
are at least 4 major commentators who read this in differing ways.

23:15. Furthermore (‫) ְו ַ֨גם‬, the altar that was at Beit-El and the high place which
Yerov’am ben Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, also (‫ )גַּ ֣ם‬that altar and the
high place he broke down. Then he demolished its stones, ground them to dust,
and burned the Asherah. 23:16. Now when Yoshiyahu turned, he saw the graves
that were there on the mountain, and he sent and took the bones from the graves
and burned them on the altar and defiled (‫ ַ)וֽ י ְַט ְמּ ֵ ֑אהוּ‬it according to the word of the
LORD which the man of God proclaimed. 23:17. Then he said; “What is this
monument (‫ )הַ צִּ יּ֣ וּן‬that I see?” And the men of the city told him, “It is the grave
(‫ )הַ ֶ ֤קּבֶ ר‬of the man of God who came from Yehuda and who proclaimed such
words/deeds upon (‫)ﬠל‬
֖ ַ the altar of Beit-El.” 23:18. He said, “Let him alone; let no
one disturb his bones.” So, they left his bones undisturbed (‫ )אֶ ת‬the bones of the
prophet who came from Shomron. 23:19. Yoshiyahu also removed all the houses
of the high places which were in the cities of Shomron, which the kings of Israel
had made provoking the LORD; and he did to them just as he had done in Beit-El.
23:20. All the priests of the high places who were there he slaughtered on the
altars and burned human bones on them; then he returned to Yerushalem.

23:17 ‫�הים֙ אֲ ֶשׁר־‬
ִ ֱ‫ישׁ־הא‬
ָֽ ‫ֹאמ ֨רוּ אֵ ֜ ָליו אַ נְ ֵ ֣שׁי הָ ֗ ִﬠיר הַ ֶ ֤קּבֶ ר ִא‬
ְ ‫ו ַ֕יּ ֹאמֶ ר מָ֚ ה הַ צִּ יּ֣ וּן הַ ֔ ָלּז אֲ ֶ ֖שׁר אֲ ִנ֣י ר ֶ ֹ֑אה וַיּ‬
‫ית־אל׃‬
ֵֽ ‫ית ַ ֖ﬠל הַ ִמּזְ ַ ֥בּח ֵ ֽבּ‬
ָ ‫יהוּדה וַיִּ ְק ָ ֗רא אֶ ת־הַ ְדּבָ ִ ֤רים הָ ֵ֙אלֶּ ה֙ אֲ ֶ ֣שׁר ﬠָ ֔ ִשׂ‬
ָ֔ ‫ָ ֣בּא ִ ֽמ‬
23:18 ‫ר־בּא ִמשּׁ ְֹמ ֽ ֹרון׃‬
֖ ָ ‫מות הַ נּ ִָ֔ביא אֲ ֶשׁ‬
ֹ ֣ ְ‫מ ֔ ָתיו אֵ֚ ת ﬠַ צ‬
ֹ ְ‫ֹתיו ַוֽ יְמַ ְלּטוּ֙ ﬠַ צ‬
֑ ָ ‫ו ַ֙יּ ֹאמֶ ר֙ הַ ִנּ֣יחוּ ֔�ו ִ ֖אישׁ אַ ל־יָנַ ֣ע ﬠַ צְ מ‬

A very careful reading of this passage, juxtaposes its prophetic counterpart some
330 years before Yoshiyahu during the reign of King Yerovam 18, suggesting the
man who came from Yehuda is also the prophet who came from Shomron.
Yoshiyahu is refrained after defiling the altar with human bones by his discovery
of the monument (‫אמר מָ֚ ה הַ צִּ יּ֣ וּן הַ ֔ ָלּז אֲ ֶ ֖שׁר אֲ ִנ֣י ר ֶ ֹ֑אה‬
ֶ ֹ ‫)ו ַ֕יּ‬. The word ha’tziun - used as
‘monument’ (matzevah) in this context, is the only occurrence of the word in
Tanach. Further he is told by the men of the city it is the grave (‫ )הַ ֶ ֤קּבֶ ר‬-ha’kever of

32
the man of God who came from Yehuda, another exclusive word. The simple
reading underscores this action occurring in Beit-el Shomron. However, if the text
exclusively refers to Beit-el Shomron, why would a grave of a man of God from
Yehuda be at an altar in Shomron - the kingdoms were at war? Who fits the
description - the man of God who came from Yehuda that is also the prophet who
came from Shomron? To discover the answer, we must try to understand the
location of Beit-El to which this man came.

Today, there is enormous confusion over place names in modern Israel with their
origin in Tanach. The confusion occurs because of mystical or literal
interpretations, or through local or foreign competition or intervention over the
millennia including in-fighting between the Kingdoms of Yehuda and Yisrael
(Shomron). In any event, at 23:20 we learn Yoshiyahu defiled the altar, presumably
the high places in Shomron, “then” he returned to Yerushalem. Further, we
understand King Yerovam lived in Shechem 19 and that Beit-el in Shomron, the
traditional land of Efrayim (Yosef) was the location at which Yerovam dedicated
the idolatrous altar - the high place of one of the golden calves used by him to
compete 20 with Temple worship in Yerushalem in the southern kingdom of Yehuda.
Finally, from an alternative reading of 23:15 the altar Yoshiyahu defiled near the
monument at Beit-El could be the counterpart to the idolatrous altar at Beit-el in
Shomron. Analogous to competing Beit-El/el’s of Yerovam (Yehuda) and
Yoshiyahu (Yosef) - the message crystallizes.

The man of God from Yehuda usurps King Yerovam with a prophetic proof when
he splits his altar at Beit-el, then succumbs to the advice of his false prophet
nemesis from Shomron, goes against his own prophecy and is mauled to death by
a Lion that is also at peace with the Donkey21. The false prophet buried the man
of God in his grave and requested his sons bury him together in the same grave.
The metaphor supports truth and justice directed at a false prophet and one who
does not follow his own prophecy. Surely this is pointing the reader to recognize
the pathological condition that locks Israel in its exilic state and perhaps Beit-El is
our key.

33
In the simple reading one is left to believe these events occur in Beit-el Shomron.
In the alternative reading of 23:15 Yoshiyahu first defiles the altar at Beit-El before
defiling its counterpart at Beit-el. Then the encrypted description of the man who
came to Beit-El, as a man of God from Yehuda (Hevron, Be’er Sheva), who
returned to Beit-El, as a prophet from Shomron (Shchem), may be exclusive to
Yaakov and the monument he dedicated to God at Beit-El? And where is this
monument? It is located beside the altar of Beit-El in the City of David,
Yerushalayim, not in the northern, modern city of Beit-el!

We can just begin to sense the fledgling and broken state of Jewish nationhood,
interrupted through generations of wayward kings each of whom flavored Torah
life, temple tradition and belief to benefit their plans. The Torah portion for 2nd day
Pesach that instructs the sacrifices of the Mishkan is linked to Yoshiyahu because
he fervently restored Jewish life and culture prescribed in Torah. Yoshiyahu’s
heightened sensitivity to Torah led him to destroy idolatry, restore The Temple,
celebrate Pesach and hide the Ark of the Covenant in its, yet undiscovered secret
location. At 39 Yoshiayhu’s body was pierced by 300 arrows of the lame Pharaoh
Neco because he refused Egypt clear passage through Israel to attack the looming
enemy, the king of Assyria who dominated Babylon. Approximately 22 years later
the First Temple was destroyed by the Assyrians and Babylonians.

Pesach, the one holiday Jews are commanded to remember their redemption from
exile had almost been forgotten in Yerushalem. The monument, erected 1100
years earlier by Yaakov in the location he named Beit-El adjacent to which The
City of David was built had also been forgotten. The men of the City of David
confused by King Yoshiyahu’s question of the monument recall the prophecy at
Yerovam’s altar at Beit-el by the man of God from Yehuda, the Prophet from
Shomron who proclaimed words on it. Their confusion reflecting Yerovam’s
prerogative, the segmentation of the nation - the exiled state!

Today we have identified the location of the City of David, ancient Jerusalem, the
Gihon Spring, the fortified high-ridge at the Gihon which I maintain is Beit El - once
called Luz, including the monument of Jacob (Yaakov) and the adjacent altar on

34
which Isaac (Yitzchak) was offered and which Yoshiyahu defiled. Perhaps this
location holds within it ‘the stone the builders despised that will become the chief
cornerstone’ and which if we care to remember it, will reorient our understanding
of ancient Jerusalem and through it the importance of Beit-El to the future
development of the city.

Israel and the Nations - the detailed sources

Drawing on the sources identified in this paper I conclude; Israel’s relationships
with the nations has relevance to Islam since it is the only mainstream religion that
conforms to Torah’s seven universal laws as evidenced by the fact Halacha
(Jewish law) permits a Jew to enter and pray in a mosque.

Parshat Yitro (Jethro) deals with the mystical and psychological relationship
between the source of the minds Insight and Wisdom and its reflection on the
attribute of Understanding 22 as it relates to the re-incarnation of Cain in Yitro and
Abel in Moshe (Moses). The Zohar quotes; Yitro and her (Moshes wife’s) two sons
came to Moshe and Moshe went out to meet them. To explain Rabbi Shimon
quotes Isaiah 2:3 “Many people will go and say, ‘Come let us go up to the
mountain 23 of HaShem, to the house of the God of Jacob, He will teach us His
ways and we will walk in His paths.’ For Zion will come from Torah and the word
of HaShem from Jerusalem”.

The Zohar goes on to explain “To the house 24” – Jacob, who called this place
“house”. “Mountain and house” – although all is a single rung 25 one transcends
the other 26. “Mountain” – for other nations, when they come to enter under Her
wings, “House” – for Israel, to be with them as a wife with her husband in one
dwelling, in joy, crouching over them like a mother over her children. “…Moses
father-in-law, and his sons and his wife came to Moses to the wilderness…” 27.
Since it is written “to Moses to the wilderness” the Zohar explains it to be the
“Mountain of Elokim” – a place for converts to convert and whoever comes and
attains it and is called “ger tzedeq” 28.

35
Rashi derives from the phrase “he encountered” that Yaakov prayed at the site of
the Beit Hamikdash, and instituted the maariv prayer. There is a Midrash that cites
the verse “Give praise to the Lord our strength; blow a teruah to the G-d of
Yaakov” 29. This Midrash asks why Yaakov is singled out here, and answers with a
parable. Once a king had three friends to whom he showed a site where he
intended to build a palace. The first looked and said, “You mean on that hill,” and
the king left him. The second said, “You mean in that field,” and the king also left
him. The third friend looked and said, “There’s going to be a palace over there.”
The Midrash says that Avraham called the Beis Hamikdash a mountain, Yitzchak
called it a field and Yaakov, on the other hand, called it a house, as when he awoke
he declared, “this is none other than the House of Hashem.” The Midrash then
relates that Hashem said that because Yaakov called it a house even before it was
built, it would be called by his name. 30 31

The Midrash Rabba quotes Rebbi Elazar in the name of Rebbi Yossi Ben Zimri
who suggests that the ladder of Yaakov’s dream was rooted in Be’er Sheva,
stretched to Beit el and had its center at Jerusalem. 32. The “house” Jacob speaks
of is associated with Luz and Beit El, the location of Jacob’s dream, the monument
he anointed to God (matzevah), the place Isaac was offered as a sacrifice, the
mountain of God identified by Abraham and the field in which Isaac prayed.

Avraham always believed that his son with Hagar, Yishma'el would be included
among the Chosen People. We find signs of this in many places. When Sarah
suggested exiling Yishmael and Hagar, "It was very bad in Avraham's eyes,
because of his son" 33. It required a direct mandate from God to force Avraham to
send Yishmael away. A more poignant proof is the Midrash cited by Rashi 34
regarding God's command to Avraham to sacrifice Yitzchak. 35

When did Abraham have a son from Sarah? When he prayed on behalf of
Avimelech 36" 37

36
Hagar, also “ha ger” translated “the convert” and Sarah’s concubine with whom
Avraham had Ishmael, praises the “Seeing God” for recognizing her and showing
her how to be humble 38. The term used is ‫[ – ָ ֽא ְמ ָ ֗רה‬a]M[e]Ra[h] the meaning of
which is drawn from its 15 occurrences in the Torah. It comes from a primitive word
root that can mean answer, appoint, avouch, boast about self, call, declare,
challenge, certify or command and it could reflect truth or untruth. In context the
occurrence reflects Sarai’s encounter with Hagar, Avraham’s encounter with
Avimelech over Sarah 39, Rivkah’s advice preempting Yaakov to take the first
40F

blessing of Yitzchak 40, Leah’s birth of Reuven 41, Tziporah’s action to save Moshe’s
41F 42F

life 42, Hannah, Elkana and the birth of Shmuel 43 and Elisha’s miracle breaking the
43F 4F

drought in Shomron 44. In addition in Proverbs45 - Wisdom, understating and evil 46,
45F 46F 47F

Kohellos 47 - Shlomo seeking one man’s wisdom, Lamentations48 - faith and plea
48F 49F

for help, Yechezkel 49 - the pleasure businessmen of Tyre obtained on hearing the
50F

temple was destroyed, Hoshea 50 - on illicit relationships and childbirth and
51F

punishment for harlotry and ultimately its relationship to Peace 51.
52F

The present dynamic of Israel to the nations of the world is like The Temple Mount
compared to the neck of the Mount Moriah on which the Temple Mount it is located
– in the daily recitation of blessings before Sh’ma – “…break the yolk of nations
from our neck and speedily lead us upright to our land” refers to the trappings of
Israel’s exiled state and the last request made before entering the elevated mental
state designated for heightened Sh’ma and Shmoneh Esrei (Amidah) prayers. The
future dynamic of Israel to the nations of the world is the Temple compared to its
location on the neck of Mount Moriah.

The mystery of Parshat Yitro alludes to the higher order of Wisdom’s reflection
from the point of Understanding which requires the negation of ego to correctly
interpret and benefit from the Wisdom. Its inner meaning is alluded to in the twin
girls born with Abel and the twin girl born with Cain, where Abel gazed on the
(reflected) image of the Divine presence and for this he received death. If Israel

37
interprets the reflection of its Wisdom in the manner of Yaakov’s middle line of
Balance (Tifferet), it will learn that the neck is the designated place through which
the correct vision of the head can pass and when this occurs the yolk of nations
will be removed once and for all.

7. Summary: Searching for the Mizbeach of Akeida Yitzchak

In summary: I hypothesize that the area on the high ridge above the Gihon is Luz
that Yaakov named Beit El. To support this I provide sources for this research, but
it starts with an attack on the conventional view of Ay, the ancient city or location
associated with Avraham. I propose the Beit El and Ay of Avraham 52 conforms to
the map of the Jerusalem's holy basin presented in the section – Joshua (above);

This theory suggests the Beit-El, established at the time of Yerovam was a
‘deception’, a duplicate of the familiar geographical names surrounding the first
temple holy basin. Yerovam established these to heist the northern nation of Israel
into believing his priests, temple and idols were a suitable substitute to Jerusalem

Once the remnant of Yerovam’s confusion is removed we can get back to the
essential issues. These include the geophysical flow of water from the high valley
of Hevron to the low point of the Dead Sea (Yam Ha Melach) via the ridge that
terminates at Mount Moriah - the E’ven Ha Shtiya (Foundation Stone) under which
the aquifer water flowing north south u-turns to the east.

The site above the Gihon and the area of Shalem has characteristics, which are
highly unusual. The most notable of these features is the matzevah, which in itself
is a miraculous discovery that is yet to be publicly detailed. I challenge you or
anyone else to find an archaeologically similar discovery in any site in Israel – such
a perfectly preserved item built onto bedrock and still standing does not exist.

My theory, explains this is the site of the matzevah Yaakov anointed (Bereishit
35:14-15). There are many midrashic references to this site including the source
of the stones Yaakov used for the matzevah – the altar (mizbeach) of akeida
Yitzchak

38
We progress to the time King David decided where to put the altar that became
the site for the first and second temples on the top of the hill. Apparently he
struggled for a long time before making that very difficult decision.

Whilst I don’t state my view in this paper, I believe King David prophesied about
the final temple at the end of days and as a result made a conscious, albeit very
difficult decision, to obfuscate the site of Akeida Yitzchak from nations of the future
to protect the true site, which he knew about.

Review sources relating the ‘neck’ to the site of the temple, they point directly to
the site above the Gihon and the area of Shalem. I have presented the very
detailed sources from which I draw the conclusion it is possible to have the third
temple at this site without disrupting existing sites on the top of the mountain.

Finally, no other platform of a once used mizbeach (altar) exists on Mt. Moriah.
The only place such an artefact exists is adjacent to the matzevah on the high
ridge above the Gihon Spring.

Other Information relied upon for this paper includes;
1.http://www.gsi.gov.il/Eng/_Uploads/163Geotechnical-Hydrogeological-Concern.pdf
2.http://israelpalestineguide.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/lower-aqueduct-wpics.pdf
3.http://www.nelc.ucla.edu/Faculty/Mullins_flies/ANE230_State_Formation_files/Cahill_J
erusalem_Time_United_Monarchy.pdf
4. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/150492#.TuGSBGOlOHg
5. http://www.antiquities.org.il/IRD_movie_eng.asp

1
Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer (chapter 35)
2
Zvachim 53b/54a
3
http://israelpalestineguide.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/lower-aqueduct-wpics.pdf
4
http://www.gsi.gov.il/Eng/_Uploads/163Geotechnical-Hydrogeological-Concern.pdf
5
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G80ODb393WsfNLeV7cPgnudJhd9auEmcjgI4F8qR1Wg/edit?hl=en_US
6
Israel Antiquities Authority, Survey of Jerusalem – The Southern Sector – Amos Kloner
7
Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron, Hadashot Arkheologiyot-Excavations and Surveys in Israel 115:51*-53*
8
Genesis 28:19
9
http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/779949/jewish/Interpolated-Translation.htm#footnote14a779949
10
Genesis 35:7:8
11
http://israelfact.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/three-festivals.html

39
12
Psalm 118:22
13
Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer (chapter 35)
14
http://www.torah-study-for-women.org/articles19.htm
15
Yevamot 76b, 77a; Midrash Shmuel xxii
16
1 Chronicles 21:16 / 2 Samuel 24
17
1 Kings Chapter 6
18
(Kings 13:11-32)
19
(K1-12:25)
20
(K1-12:28)
21
(Kings 13:11-32)
22
Yitro - Apples from the Orchard Rabbi Wisnefsky on The ARI and Rabbi Vital
23
Zohar [Matt] Yitro pg:388 mountain of H” - Avraham
24
Zohar [Matt] Yitro pg:388 house Jacob – on the identification of the site of Jacob’s dream as the Temple.
25
Zohar [70a]
26
Zohar [Matt] Yitro pg:388 Mountain and house…”both allude to Shekinah mountain alludes to
accessibility whilst house alludes to intimacy and She welcomes converts under Her wings…
27
Exodus 18:5
28
Zohar [Matt] Yitro pg:389 that place – accessible - such a person is linked with Shekinah
29
Tehillim 81:2
30
http://www.northhendon.co.uk/sedra/pages/5764/vayeitzei5764.pdf
31
http://www.parsha.net/pdf/Bereishis/Vayeitze59.pdf
32
(Midrash Rabba Bereishit 69:7)
33
Bereishit 21:11
34
Bereishit 22:2, based on Bereishit Rabba 55:7
35
http://www.vbm-torah.org/archive/sichot/bereishit/07-60vayetz.htm
36
Bereishit 20:18
37
Pesikta Rabbati 39
38
Genesis 16:13
39
Genesis 20:5 and 21:16
40
Genesis 27:6
41
Genesis 29:32
42
Exodus 4:26
43
1 Samuel 1:22
44
2 Kings 6:28
45
Proverbs 9:4
46
Proverbs 30:16
47
Ecclesiastes 7:27
48
Lamentations 3:24
49
Ezekiel 26:2
50
Hosea 2:5
51
Hosea 2:12
52
(Bereishit 12:6–8)

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