By Carol Rushton
Muslims insist that not only have Jews never lived in Israel but that there has never been a Jewish temple in Jerusalem where the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosques now stand.
This is so simple to refute.
I will list some the archaeological finds and texts – sources outside the biblical record – that prove directly or indirectly the existence of the First and Second Jewish Temples.
A Babylonian cuneiform tablet discovered by German archaeologist Robert Koldewey (1855-1925) in Babylon names the Jewish King Jehoiachin and gives a list of his food rations while in captivity, as well as five of the king’s seven sons. King Jehoiachin was captured by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in one of his invasions of Jerusalem between 606 B.C. and 586 B.C. While not directly confirming the existence of Solomon’s First Temple, it does confirm that there actually was a Jewish King Jehoiachin ruling during this time period in Jerusalem and who was captured and brought to Babylon, verifying the account of this king as stated in II Kings 24 and 25. The entire collection of these tablets is known as ANET 308. Koldewey conducted extensive excavations at Babylon, Iraq from 1899 to 1907 and also discovered other archaeological finds proofing the existence of Babylon’s famed hanging gardens, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Marduk, and the Ishtar Gate.(Sources: LIvius.org and the Encyclopaedia Britannica, britannica.com)
After conquering Jerusalem and razing the Second Temple in 70 A.D., a memorial of the conquest was created in Rome, known as the Arch of Titus and still exists to this day where it was erected at the foot of Palatine Hill in the Forum. The artwork depicts Jewish captives and treasures from the Second Temple, including silver trumpets and a menorah. (Source: Ancient History Encyclopedia, ancient.eu).
- The Times of Israel website (www.timesofisrael.com) reported on October 27, 2016 that artifacts offering proof of Solomon’s Temple, Israel’s First Temple. I will quote excerpts from the article, “Archaeologists Spotlight First Solomon’s Temple-Era Artifacts Ever Found on Temple Mount.”
“Israeli archaeologists on Thursday presented new details of what they said were the first tiny artifacts, unearthed in situ on the Temple Mount, ever conclusively dated to the time of the First Temple over 2,600 years ago . . . The artifacts excavated from the mount, detailed in a paper and presentations at a conference at Hebrew University, are said to include olive pits, animal bones and pottery fragments dating to the time of the First Temple, between the 8th and 6th Centuries BCE. Archaeologists have previously found a limited number of artifacts from First-Temple-period Jerusalem, but none of those finds were uncovered atop the mount itself . . .”
Hezekiah’s Tunnel is one ancient site that every tourist can explore. When Jerusalem was under siege by King Sennacherib of Assyria, he had workmen create an underground tunnel so that the city would still have a water supply to help the residents survive. You can read the account in II Kings 18-20.
On June 15 2017, Ha’aretz, an Israeli Hebrew newspaper, reported that an artifact containing the words “House of Yahweh” was found at an archaeological dig at Tel Arad in Israel and is around 2,600 years old (Ha’aretz, June 15, 2017, “Inscription Found on First Temple-era Pottery in Jeursalem”). Even Wikipedia acknowledges that this was probably referring to the Temple in Jerusalem.
- Even Wikipedia – hardly a pro-Israel source of information – recognizes “the City of David in Jerusalem” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siloam_tunnel).
- It will be surprising to many that even in 1929, Arabs admitted the existence of the Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount. “Until recently, Palestinians generally acknowledged that the Beit Hamikdash (Hebrew for The Holy Temple) existed. A 1929 publication, A Brief Guide to the Haram al-Sharif, written by Waqf historian Aref al Aref, declares that the Mount’s “identity with the site of Solomon’s temple is beyond dispute. This too is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt and peace offerings” (Smithsonian.com, April 2011, “What Is Beneath the Temple Mount?”).
- Ha’aretz lists more archaeological finds that confirm biblical history and the existence of the Jewish Temples at https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/MAGAZINE-the-best-israel-archaeology-stories-of-5776-1.5444228.
- The Final Straw: Although the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in 70 A.D., one outer retaining wall was left intact. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the Romans viewed the outer wall as “insignificant . . . since it was not part of the Temple itself . . .” This is the wall that Jews pray at today, known as the Western or Wailing Wall. This is clear, irrefutable evidence that the First and Second Jewish Temples are not fairy tales told by Jews to disinherit Muslims but actually existed.
This is but a small sampling of the evidence that the First and Second Jewish Temples existed and they were located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. To believe anything else is a denial of reality. Isn’t a denial of reality a symptom of insanity?