Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Southern Steps- Jerusalem

The Southern Wall is at the southern end
 of the Temple Mount 
and the former southern side
 of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. 
It was built during King Herod's expansion 
of the Temple Mount platform.

The Southern Wall is 922 feet in length. 
The enormous retaining wall is built
 of enormous blocks of Jerusalem stone, 
the face of each ashlar(block) is edged with a margin. 
The unmortared blocks are so
 finely fitted together that a knife blade
 cannot be inserted between the blocks.

Pilgrims in the time of Jesus
 entered through these gates into the Temple precincts.
In the post-1967 dig,
 it was discovered that the Hulda gates
 led into a grand staircase
 and served as the principle entrance
 to the temple in the Roman period.

An enormous flight of steps leads to the 
Southern Wall from the South.
They were evacuated after 1967,
 by archeologist Benjamin Mazar
 and are the northernmost extension
 of the Jerusalem pilgrim road
 leading from the Pool of Siloam
 to the Temple Mount 
via the Double Gate and the Triple Gate,
 collectively called the Huldah Gates.
These are the steps that Jesus of Nazareth
 and other Jews
 of his era walked up to approach the Temple,
 especially on the great pilgrimage festivals.
 The stairs that lead to the double gate
 are intact and "well-preserved."
Perhaps Jesus sang the songs of Ascent
 as he walked up to the Temple on these very stairs.

Our Tour Group- LCMS District Presidents at the top of the Southern Steps
 with Tour Leader Tom Krause on the right.

Our Tour Group-The LCMS District President's wives
 at the top of the Southern steps
 with Tour Leader Miriam Krause on the right.

Rev. Tom and Miriam Krause- Tour Leaders

The view of Jerusalem from the Southern steps

These large stones in front of the gate openings
 are where Jesus would have passed through-
 perhaps this very spot.

Breathe in the closeness of our Savior-
living, walking, singing, stopping, resting,
looking out over Jerusalem, 
looking up at Temple Mount,
praying right here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for adding your thoughts and comments- they are greatly appreciated.