Holy Land Photos
The harbor was built by Herod the Great (37-4 B.C.) and was one of the largest on the Mediterranean Sea. The southern breakwater that eventually turns to the north, was about 1650 feet [500 m.] long while the northern one extended westward about 590 feet [180 m.] long. The entrance to the harbor was from the north. For Josephus' description of the harbor see Wars. 1.408-413 [21.5-7] or Ant. 15.331-341 [9.6].
Extensive underwater archaeological excavations have taken place and have revealed the size of the harbor to be about 25 acres [10 ha.] - the outline of which is also visible from the air - and how it was constructed. Herod built the breakwaters by building wooden box frames, filling them with rubble followed by hydraulic concrete (using a special mix of volcanic ash from Italy).
The apostle Paul landed at this harbor at the conclusion of his second missionary journey (Acts 18:22) and possibly at the end of his third as well (21:8). It is probable that his ship departed from this harbor as he set sail for Rome to be tried by Caesar (27:1).____________________________________________________________________
Olives Trees in the Garden of Gethsemane
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An additional view of some of the old olive trees in the garden next to the Church of All Nations.
Note the trunk of the tree just slightly left of center. Olive trees do not grow "rings" like many other trees and the older ones, like these, do not have solid trunks — thus their age is very difficult to determine.
After the "Last Supper" Jesus retired to this garden to pray with his disciples (Matt 26:30-56; Mark 14:26-52; Luke 22:39-53; John 18:1-12). It was here that the disciples slept while Jesus prayed and where ultimately he was captured and led away to be tried.
Mount of Olives (folder)
The Mount of Olives is located on the east side of Jerusalem and overlooks the Judean Wilderness and Dead Sea to the east and the Old Ancient Core and Temple Mount of Jerusalem to the West.
It actually is a north–south ridge that rises to about 2,641 ft. (804 m.). It is mentioned 30 times in the Bible, all but two instances in the New Testament in conjunction with the ministry of Jesus.
In the lower left (north) portion of this small image is the Church of All Nations that marks the traditional site of the Garden of Gethsemane.
In the center, the golden domes of the Church of Mary Magdalene are visible.
Above it, to the right (south), barely visible, is the "tear–drop shaped roof" of Dominus Flevit.
This tomb was discovered in 1867, at which time it was proposed that this was the burial place of Jesus, mainly because of its nearness to "Gordon's Calvary". Since that time, Protestant piety has encouraged this identification, although the wardens of the property (The Garden Tomb Association) stress that it is the resurrection of Jesus, not the issue of finding the exact spot of his burial, that is important.
Inside of the tomb are the partial remains of a burial bench. The date of the tomb is not certain, but it may, in fact, date to the late Old Testament era, and thus would not have been a "new tomb" (Matt 27:60; John 19:41) at the time of the crucifixion. For a view of a very typical tomb of the New Testament era, click here.
Personal comment: in spite of my appreciation of the sincerity of those associated with the Garden Tomb, it is my opinion that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher preserves a more accurate tradition with respect to the sites of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus.
Pool of Siloam
In the summer of 2004 Eli Shukrun, Ronny Reich, and John Seligman, who were checking the area southeast of the traditional “Pool of Siloam” for a public works project, discovered a pool that they date to the first centuries B.C. and A.D. In all probability it is the “Pool of Siloam” mentioned in John 9:7—to which Jesus sent a blind man to wash a mud mixture from his eyes.
This pool is also mentioned in Rabbinic sources in connection with the water rituals associated with the Feast of Tabernacles— in the fall of the year.
For an interesting descriptive article about this find see Hershel Shanks, “The Siloam Pool Where Jesus Cured the Blind Man.” Biblical Archaeology Review 31, no. 5 (September/October 2005): 16–23.
Western Wall Prayer Area, Temple Mount
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View looking east at the north portion of the wall. In the lower left quadrant, just above the green screen, is the entrance to a covered prayer area which includes "Wilson's Arch" and the interesting "Western Wall Tunnels."
View from the southwest looking northeast towards the "Western Wall" - formerly called the "Wailing Wall." This wall is part of the western retaining wall of the temple platform on top of which Herod refurbished the actual Temple building. The plaza in front of the wall was cleared in 1967 and then paved. Above it is the Moslem shrine called the "Dome of the Rock." It is believed that the biblical temples once stood where the Dome of the Rock is located today.
Southern Wall Excavations
A brief introduction to the Excavations South of the
Temple Mount (Haram esh-Sharif) follows:
Soon after the Six Day War (1967) Benjamin Mazar began excavations at the southwestern corner and south of the Temple Mount (Haram esh–Sharif). These continued through 1978, and since then significant work has been carried on by others, including Eilat Mazar and Ronny Reich.
South of the Temple Mount many exciting discoveries have been made — especially those from the New Testament (Second Temple) Period. Included among them are a monumental staircase that led into the temple precinct, a large number of ritual baths (miqvaoth), cisterns, and investigations of the double and triple gates.