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How Cord Could Have Been Used To Lay Out The Cave Of Machpelah

Robert Kerson 5/13/2015
The most sacred site in Judaism is the site of the holy temple in Jerusalem, and the second most sacred
site is the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron. One of my papers: How Jerusalem temple was laid out using
measuring cords details how the Jerusalem temple was laid out using a 5:8:8 equilateral triangle. In this
paper, I will show how use of a similar 5:8:8 could have been used to lay out the Herodian rectangular
structure surrounding the Cave of Machpelah. Both sites have walls built in the similar design, at the
same time, ordered by the same king and most likely designed and constructed by the same people.
A 5:8:8 triangle used in the same manner as the Jerusalem temple (see How Jewish Tempe Was Laid
Out Using Cords) and the Cave of Machpelah, could have been used previously to lay out the Israelite
temple at Tel Arad (see How Arad Israelite temple Laid Out Using Rope.)
I can show line by line, how the Cave of Machpelah was sized and laid out. I can show how the cave
was the center point around which the rectangular walls enclosed the sacred area defined by these
walls, with details such as the location of the gate into the structure, and the placement of the cave in
the south east portion of the structure.
The demonstration of the Cave of Machpelah being laid out by the same method as the Israelite
temple at Arad, and of the Jerusalem temple at Jerusalem is major proof that the system was used as
described in these papers, and that these three locations all confirm the accuracy of my theory of the
Jerusalem temple location being the correct location.
Also a number other pagan Phoenician sacred sites also using variations of the 5:8:8 triangle discussed
in my other papers reinforce all my suppositions,
The Cave Of Machpelah is believed to be the burial cave of most of the patriarchs and matriarchs.
Abraham is believed to be the patriarch from whom all the Israelite tribes and the Arab peoples are
descended. This cave with its memorial was rebuilt by the king of the Jews Herod the great as an open
to the sky rectangular structure, called the haram by Muslims, near the city of Hebron. The following is
my presumed theory of how this structure as laid out in similar fashion as at the Jerusalem temple and
at the Israelite temple at Tel Arad.
(See Fig. 1 above) I have drawn two caves outer cave (1) and an inner cave (2)1.
(See. Fig. 2 below) The center of the larger outer cave labeled (3) was the focal point from which the
rectangular walls were laid out. A measuring cord 95 Cubits long drawn as a red line (where 1 Cubit=
52.5 cm. This was the same measure used in the Jerusalem temple and the other sacred sites discussed
in my papers.) divided into exactly 7 parts (from my basic discussion paper, and from my Jerusalem
temple paper these 7 parts are called algebraically 7x where x is a veritable length), laid over point (3) at
the required orientation to allow a 5:8:8 triangle to orient the walls of the haram. An additional single
part (1x) was extended at one end of the red line shown as a dashed red line from point (4) to point (5)
so that the total length of this line was now 8x. (The length of this line determines the lengths of the
walls of the rectangle, and also Algebraically 7x +1x = 8x.)


Figs. 1 , 2.

Fig. 3
(see Fig. 3 for the following) The cord was now set so that the point of the total length was below
point (3) and of the length was above this point. Algebraically, point (3) was located 6x distance below
this point and 2x distance was located above this point.
A great triangle of sides 5 parts, 8 parts, 8 parts, could then be laid out, (same as 5x:8x:8x) where one
end of the cord shown in Fig. 2 would make a corner of the triangle shown as point (8) in Fig. 3. Here the
inner side line of the western wall and outer side line of the southern wall would have been laid.
The triangle could be swung open to make a right angle whose wall length was 8x. A full square of
length 8x could then be constructed.
The Cornerstone (rosh pinah) of this structure would be the lowest set stone locating the right angle
of both western and southern walls at this corner of the walled structure, here labeled (8). The Capstone
(even ha rosh) would be the topmost stone on the wall over Cornerstone.
Two differences existed from this site and the temple site in Jerusalem: here the Cornerstone was at
the southwest corner of the rectangular building, but at the temple, the Cornerstone of the 500 Cubit
square (harhabiyet) was at the northeast corner of the square; and also here the 6x distance from the
Machpelah Cornerstone was centered at the cave, while the 6x distance from the temples har ha
biyet Cornerstone marked the major axis line of the inner structures.
A reason the cornerstones were diagonally positioned can be because at the temple the focal point
such as the temple building was located on the northwestern side of the square (square shown in Figs.

5, 6,) while here at the cave, the focal point was on the cave to be within the southwestern side of the
square. To accomplish this, the cornerstone had to be situated where they are.
Point (9), the location of the 5x position on the triangle, was set to be within the northern wall very
close to the center of the wall. The bisector of the triangle defined what was to become the center line
of the structure. Along this wall measured southward, the same distance of 1x, was the center of a
stairway into a Herodian stone lined tunnel going into the cave. This stairway is labeled (15).
From point (5), a distance of one part (1x) was extended along the axis line. This located the inner edge
of the eastern wall at its center (10 ). Here a mirab was built since this is the eastern wall facing the
Kabba in Mecca.
Point (11) is the distance of 1x along a line of the triangle marking the inner edge of the southern wall.
Piont (12) is the distance 3x along this line of the triangle. A line parallel to the western wall would meet
the southern wall exactly on a doorpost of the gate into the structure, and this point would reach the
southern wall when the triangle was opened up to reach a point very close to the door post marked as
point (13).
Point (14) marks the line of a resent inside wall within the rectangle which divides the rectangle into
two parts: a larger 5/3 area to the west, and a smaller5/2 area to the east. (I will discuss this wall and
these areas later.
A relatively resent feature is the cenotaph of Isaac drawn as dotted lines. Note the alignment of point
(5) to a part of this cenotaph.
I have shown point (3) in Figs. 2, 3. The area of the cave containing points (3), (6), (7), is enlarged and
shown detailed in Fig. 4 (detail). Point (6) is the location of a center opening in the floor to a lamp room
constructed over the two caves. There are four pillars surrounding this holethe northern two are
labeled (7) which are on the 6x line as shown in Figs. 3, 4. The diagonal red line is part of that part of the
triangle shown in Fig. 3 duplicated in Fig. 4 (detail).
Point (15) is the stairway leading into the tunnel (21), which terminates at (19) which is the entrance
into caves (1) and (2) in Fig. 1. Point (18) is the recent dividing wall discussed previously shown over
laying the smaller of the two caves labeled (2) in Fig. 1. Point (17) is the small rectangular lamp room
over the caves.

Fig. 4. (Detail) see text for discussion.

Fig.3. turned around so that point (8) in Fig. 3, being at the lower left corner, is now at the upper right
corner becoming Fig. 5. The major triangle is now shown in the reversed direction which matches the
direction of the main triangle at the temple, and where the cornerstone of the temple 500 Cubit square
matches point labeled (A) in my temple paper (Fig. 6 of my temple paper and duplicated as Fig. 7 of this
This triangle is opened up as discussed in my temple paper and in my basic paper, The length of each
side of this square is the same length as the 8x in the triangle 5x:8x:8x shown in red running the long
length of the building terminating at point (8).
Three of the total of the eight triangles this design is capable of creating, is shown in red. (the
intersections of the bisectors shown as black crosses along black dashed lines is also drawn.) The
eastern part of the rectangle (on the left) is outside the square. The bottom part of the square is outside
the rectangle.
Point (30) is at one end of square marked by one of the triangles. A bit of a ruin projects from the wall.
Point (31) marks the end of another triangle. This point is the seventh crenellation, a sacred number
when counting from point (30). Point (32) marks an extremely important fact that apex of this triangle
measures the inner edge of this wall. The extreme thickness of all four walls, are fixed by the distance
between points (8) and (32). Point (33) is where the line of a triangle cuts across a door post of one of
the gates into the rectangle. This may not be an original gate, but this point is true.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 6. shows the same orientation as Fig. 5, but the square is divided into three equal parts. The
dividing lines, all drawn in red, are labeled from the crenulation face (37) at the top of the square to the
center line of the building at (38), then to the inside surface below the crenulation at (39) to the lower
edge of the square at point (40).
The top 2/3 parts of the square encompass the building, while the bottom 1/3 of the square is outside
the building.
The center of the square at the intersection of the two diagonal dashed lines, is the point marked (V).
A late octagonal structure, the cenotaph of Sarah is drawn in dots. Note that the point (V) is on the
octagonal walls of this cenotaph and also the angle of a wall making the octagon is exactly on one of the
dashed lines, which is highlighted in green. Though the cenotaph may not be an ancient feature, it still is

a remarkable coincidence that the cenotaph is exactly on this line and at this point. This is but another of
the remarkable coincidences with astronomical odds of not being significant which all my research
generates. An argument can be made that this cenotaph has an opening at (43) which is in line with a
gate at (44) half way in the gates wall. This explanation needs no triangle, but the fact remains that the
cenotaph could have been oriented by the square whose sides are not apparent and would have been
drawn by the triangle.
If the distance from (8) to (30) is 8x, then the divided distance from (8) to (35) is 3x, and from (35) to
(30) is 5x. The original gate was very close to the actual location (35) on this wall. The ratio of 5x to 3x is
5x/3x = 1.666667. The inside wall divides the rectangle into two parts: a larger western part at 5/3, and
a smaller eastern part at 5/2. The ratio of the larger part is the same ratio.
The number 5 is part of the 5:8:8 triangle.
Note the extension of the building adjacent but outside area of the square created by the triangle. This
area small strip takes up the extreme eastern side of the building to the side of point (3). This is not
unique to this structure, since we have similar adjacent extensions on the temple mount, including very
large extensions on three sides of the great 500 Cubit square made by the same King Herod who built
this structure.

Fig. 6
Look at Fig. 7, taken from a figure reprinted from my Jewish temple in Jerusalem paper. I have
oriented the main triangle of the Cave of Machpelah in Fig. 6 to match the orientation of the main
triangle of the Jerusalem temple in Fig. 7. Two differences are that the Cornerstone at (8) in Fig. 6 is at
the south western corner of this square, and the Cornerstone at (A) in Fig. 7 is at the opposite north
eastern corner of this square, and also in Fig.3, the 6x intersection is on the cave, but in Fig. 7, the 6x
intersection locates the center axis line.
Figs. 6,7 both show the respective squares divided into similar three parts (drawn in red lines). In Fig.
6 the upper 2/3 of the square has occupies the entire building, but the lower 1/3 occupies nothing.
Likewise, in Fig. 7 the entire temple occupies the upper 2/3 of the square, but the lower 1/3 occupies

Another similarity is that in Fig. 6, the top edge of the square with its nearby original gate, can be
divided into a 3x part measured from its cornerstone at (8), and into a 5x part farther away. In Fig. 7, the
top edge shown (actually the northern edge) also is divided into two parts: a 3x part labeled in black and
measured from its cornerstone at (A), and a 5x part labeled in red farther away. (3x+5x =8x) This division
into two parts exists today as the north east corner of present Muslim Platform (which I show to have
been a temple feature in my temple paper).
The size of 1 part (1x) in Figs. 6,7 are different since the triangles and hence of the respective squares
are not the same, but the mathematics and geometries are identical. Also, the actual size of 3x in the
temple shown in Fig. 7 was 187.5 Cubits (3 X 62.5 Cubits = 187.5 Cubits). The east- west length of the
inner courtyard of the temple (Azarah) was 187.0 Cubits so that 3x was a very important length in the

Fig. 7
Fig. 8, shows the ancient remains of Hebron (also called Kiriath arba, whose name could mean
foursquare (like what is here at the cave) city and also Mamre), now the Tel Rumeida archeological site
labeled (2). The building may be on a hill facing the tel across a valley so that one expects the long side
to be facing the city, but three facts also are occurring here:
1. The rectangle is situated and orientated so that the main triangle, shown in red, where the
cornerstone (8) at the south west corner of the square faces the tel.

2. The adjacent extension of the square (30) faces on the side away from the tel (2).
3. The length of the building and its 2/3 square area faced the city with the back 1/3 of the square at
(40) would be facing away and in back of the building and not in front facing the city.

Fig. 8
This paper has three purposes: to show the use of a 5:8:8 triangle in the designing of the Herodian
Cave of Machpelah structure, to show similarities in the use of this triangle with the cave, the Jerusalem
temple, the Israelite temple at Arad, and to show that no other theory of the Jerusalem Temples
location can explain a unifying system working at all three of these locations.


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