That God’s plan for the specially created Planet that he made for a special people should also have a special place should not come as a surprise.
It is where the story of mankind began, where it culminated in the one called Yeshua and where it will be finalised.
This special site became known in the Patriarchal narratives as HaMakom THE PLACE.
The unecessary repetition of the term HaMakom in these narratives is clearly there to emphasise its uniqueness and 'special-ness.'
Here is an excerpt from Professor Yoel Elitzur...
'Ha-makom in Genesis
Once we understand the significance of “the place,” we can see that this keyword – ha-makom – is a keyword that is emphasized in the stories of the patriarchs in the book of Genesis as well. It appears in the story of the binding of Isaac and in Jacob’s Bethel narrative. The proof that the prominent role of the word ha-makom in these passages is no coincidence lies in the fact that often, the word is stressed in the Biblical text much more than what would be linguistically reasonable. That is to say, there are several instances in Genesis where the word ha-makom makes it difficult to understand the simple meaning of the verse. The Torah says:
Jacob left Beer-sheba, and set out for Haran. He came upon that place (ba-makom) and stopped there for the night, for the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of that place (ha-makom), he put it under his head and lay down in that place (ba-makom). (Genesis 28:10-11)
The word appears again shortly thereafter: “Surely the Lord is present in this place (ba-makom)… How awesome is this place (ha-makom)! This is none other than the abode of God, and that is the gateway to heaven” (28:16-17).'
In my view this HaMakom is, THE PLACE--the Special Place is none other than Gihon Spring and the settlemet that grew around it.
Read 'THE PLACE HaMakom; where Jerusalem'e temples stood' to get the full story of the vital importance of this site to the history of the people of God.
The picture at Left is an artist’s impression of the Mount Moriah complex and the Gihon Spring as it would have appeared before any settlement there.
On the Right is an impression of development of a settlement around the spring with early walls built to guard the settlement and the vital water supply.
The earliest record of settlement at Gihon is that of Salem where Melchizedek dwelt. Salem later became Jebus, whose occupants, the Jebus-ites (meaning ‘Downtreaders’) held it until David captured it and renamed it the City of David.
The ancient site with its amazing spring called ‘Gushing Forth’ (Gihon) had also become known as HaMakom, The Place, because it was chosen by God as central to His plans for the people He would call His own.
The Place features prominently in the Patriarchal stories of Abraham and Melchizedek, Isaac and Jacob. It was Jacob, who after his extraordinary dream/vision of angelic beings on a stairway between earth and heaven, called HaMakom ‘Beit-El’ or Bethel—House of God!
This therefore is the true Bethel. Yes, this is where he was, as the repeated use (in fact deliberate over-use) of the term HaMakom in Genesis 28:10-22 appears to be for a specific purpose. The same applies to Abraham and Isaac’s visit there in Genesis 22.
It becomes clear in the Hebrew record that it was chosen by God.
David knew this fact when he took it—and that is exactly why he pitched a tent there, right at Gihon for the Ark of the covenant and the sacred objects.
David’s son Solomon also knew this when he built the House of God (The Bethel) there, in Zion, above the Spring which provided the water for both the City of David and for the temple which was built there in Zion just above and to the west of Gihon.
For an historic narrative and perspective on this strategic site read 'THE PLACE HAMAKOM; Where Jerusalem's temples stood' (or look elsewhere on this site)
In these images left to right we see an early 20th Century photo of the steps down to the water of Spring Gihon; a modern image of the diminished water flow today and, an aerial from 1900 of the area once occupied by the Biblical City of David. The X marks where the ridge drops into the Kidron valley (not visible due to camera angle), and the approximate location on the ridge edge above the Gihon Spring. This image serves to illustrate the ample relatively flat area (today fully built on with dwellings and other buildings) where Solomon's temple would have been constructed to make use of the flow of water upward into the temple and the city through pipes under the spring's pressure. Gihon means 'Gushing Forth.'
In Psalm 68 David describes the futility and helplessness of the enemies of God and of Israel who melt away at His presence. Even the great mountains of heathen territories belong to Him—and are jealous of Zion where the God of Israel dwells!
But David then sings of how the heathen have watched the procession of God to His dwelling place. This can be nothing but the witnessing by the nations of David bringing the ark into the City of David and to the special place he had prepared for it. Here is 2 Chronicles 1:4...
But David had brought up the ark of God from Kirjath Jearim to the place David had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.
We know that the tent was erected at Gihon, the sacred spot, visited by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We know because when David instructed Nathan and Zadok the priest to anoint Solomon as king, it was at Gihon where they took the sacred oil from the tent, and anointed Solomon there.
During this period that was where the ark and therefore the presence of God resided. Now hear what David says in verses 24 to 27–
They have seen Your procession, O God,
The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary.
The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after;
Among them were the maidens playing timbrels.
Bless God in the congregations,
The Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
There is little Benjamin, their leader,
The princes of Judah and their company,
The princes of Zebulun and the princes of Naphtali.
This is the formal procession, installing the ark in the tent, accompanied by the Levites and the singers and instrumentalists in great praise to God—and David encourages them to ‘bless’ or praise God in the congregation and from that location, that site. It is the site of what he calls the fountain of Israel—none other than Gihon whose waters could be heard surging and gushing upward (remember, Gihon means gushing forth), providing the 'type' of the living water found in the presence of God!
This was the sacred and special site, known through the ages as Ha Makom, The Place—and above which of course, Solomon later sited the Temple.
It was at ‘the fountain of Israel.’
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'THE PLACE HaMakom: where Jerusalem's temples stood'
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The below very early 20th Century aerial photograph (left) of Jerusalem shows the alleged Temple Mount and the area once occupied by the City of David to its south (in lower right foreground) clearly provides ample area for the ancient threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite and later, the temple of Solomon.
In fact , in the photo, the region is apparently planted out in garden or crop plots and has long since been built on with dwellings and other buildings. The area circled on the ridge-top of that part of the Moriah complex would in fact have been ideal for a threshing floor as the prevailing breeze most predominantly from north-west meaning that chaff would blow south-eastward along the ridge, down the Kidron Valley and away from the city area (also see at right the prevailing wind rose for Jerusalem).
Solomon’s temple was built somewhare near the area circled in orange, above the Gihon Spring whose gushing water was piped up into the temple area, supplying copious water for both temple and city. As the Psalm says, ‘there is a river whose streams make glad the City of God.’
See this author’s book ‘THE PLACE, HaMakom: Where Jerusalem’s Temples stood’
Available worldwide from Amazon or other bookstores.
Images above of Gihon's (much diminished) flowing stream today, which can still be heard bubbling and murmuring.
What was in the mind’s eye of the Sons of Korah in this Psalm?
The clue is in the next line, ‘at the noise of your waterspouts’ (waterspout is the preferred translation once we know the context).
The Hebrew word TSINNOR and this is the word used of the access gutter or spout through which David’s commander, Joab, accessed the ancient fortress of Jebus. The word is used only twice; here in Psalm 42 and in 2 Samuel 5:8 where David says, “Whoever climbs up by way of the water shaft (TSINNOR) and defeats the Jebusites.....he shall be chief and captain.”
The Gihon (meaning Gushing Up) Spring still makes a dull roar on occasions, but was, in David’s day a mighty geyser-like gusher and the water was channeled upward under its own pressure, into the fortress above.
It could be heard roaring away, day and night.
When we consider that it was at or above Gihon that David later erected a temporary tent (tabernacle) for the Ark of the Covenant and the holy items—and instituted worship there—it is not surprising that as the Korahites sang, the deep roar of Gihon could be heard below and—the gushing of it up through the TSINNOR nearby—accompanying them.
They knew, as did David, that this was the site, known from antiquity as HaMakom, The Place—the site named by Jacob as Beit-El (Bethel), House of God and that is why David erected the tent right there. The water of Gihon represented the living water of God.
And so, the Korahites wrote that, ‘deep (the powerful voice of that Living Water beneath them) calls to deep’—to the depths of the soul. And they heard it not only below, but also bubbling and surging up the TSINNOR, quite near them, to above them—‘all your waves and billows have gone over me.’
As David knew the sacredness of the site, he passed that on to his son, Solomon with the plans for the temple and it was built nearby, above the Gihon Spring, in the City of David!
There is no ‘living water’ on the alleged Temple Mount!
'....in the little boy’s heart, happy as he was, there remained a vague ache. How can you miss something, someone, you never knew? But he had the dog-tag. That would do. That brought him close. He took to wearing it in early teens—and tried to engrave his own name on its reverse side using the sharp point of a drawing compass, perhaps somehow to join himself with the missing owner. I can see those marks as I hold it in my hand today.'
An excerpt from Ian's new book 'LOOKING FOR NX14771'; a remarkable and serendipitous story about 'finding' the father never known: a father who died in World War II having been decorated for bravery.
Buy now: In Australia available at Amazon, Koorong, Fishpond, Booktopia and in USA on Amazon USA
Many of the arguments over the original location of Solomon's temple revolve around various Biblical references. These do make it quite clear that it could be nowhere else but in the City of David--that crescent-shaped ridge forming part of the Mount Moriah prominence. The City of David was also known as Zion and again and again the scriptures make clear that God resided in Zion and spoke from Zion. In that place (THE PLACE, HaMakom as it was known to the patriarchs), at the Gihon Spring, David had erected a temporary tent where he housed the ark of the covenant and the sacred objects and, importantly, where he had Solomon anointed for kingship. That tent, of course stood at HaMakom and marked the spot that had become so recognised through the ages, at Gihon Spring.
But--the most telling reason that the Temple was located here (in my view)--is the spiritual reason. For the Temple had to have 'living water' at its location in order to represent the life of God flowing in and from the Presence of God--as the video below explains. (Alternatively ou can view it on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCOp7M62NUI )
You can also read my book 'THE PLACE HaMakom; where Jerusalem's temples stood' and discover more. Buy it now on Amazon USA here or in Australia here
'“Let us go into the house of the Lord”
Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.'
This is from Psalm 122 and is designated as ‘of David.’ If David actually penned it then when he speaks of the ‘house of the Lord’ he is speaking of the temporary tent he had erected at Gihon to house the ark of the Covenant—at the sacred spot known as HaMakom (The Place)—where he intended his son, Solomon to erect the Temple.
It’s also possible that David was envisaging the Temple because, as we are told in 1 Chronicles 28:2 he had it in his heart to build a house of rest for the ark of God. So much so that he had even drawn the plans—see verse 11 etc.
Whatever the case, the Temple is here described as being WITHIN the confines of the ‘compact’ city (verse 3) with the Temple within its gates!
What the City of David looked like can be seen in the two artist’s impressions; the impression at left is how the City of David would have looked under occupation by the Jebusites; the one on the right showing it superimposed on a relatively modern photo of the southern Moriah ridge on which it stood.
The Psalm describes the city as the place where ‘thrones (plural) are set’ (v.5).
Why thrones plural? Because both the spiritual and the civil thrones were there; God was enthroned as KING there above the ark and between the wings of the cherubim, but the earthly king, David also had his throne within the compact city!
Similarly, the psalmist speaks of ‘palaces’ plural, within this compact city (v.7) because there was both his and God’s.
In David’s time, the city that bore his name and which he had won from the Jebusites, occupied the neck or ridge of land which formed part of Moriah’s bulk and was bounded on the east by Kidron Valley and on the South and West by the valleys Hinnom and Tyropeon (Cheesemakers).
In this contemplative Psalm the Korahites sang of their longing for God and his dwelling.
They long for the presence of God in the Temple. Perhaps written during captiviy or by David when he was banished by Saul’s tyranny or Absolom’s rebellion. Certainly it is from Trans-Jordan (Verse 6).
Notice that the longing is as that of the deer for the ‘water brooks’ and it is significant that a few verses later he refers the noise or roar of ‘your’ TSINNOR.
This word is used only twice in the Old Testament. The other occcasion is in 2 Samuel 5:8 where David challenges his men about forcing entry to the Jebusite stronghold. He says “Whoever climbs up by way of the TSINNOR (translated as ‘water shaft’ or similar) and defeats the Jebusites (the lame and the blind, who are hated by David’s soul), he shall be chief and captain.”
I believe this is the self-same TSINNOR referred to in the Psalm.
As one who has visited the site it is true today that, as many tourists attest, you can still hear the water from Gihon rushing along through the tunnel of Hezekiah.
Noted Serbian photographer Zoran Strajin who specialises in panoramic photographs has photographed Hezekiah’s Tunnel and described Gihon (in its much diminished state today), this way…
‘The only spring in Jerusalem, the Gihon is a siphonic, karstic spring, and its name means “gushing”; it surges and the sound can be easily heard. It is estimated that the Gihon could have supported a population of about 2,500. The cave is a natural one, but it has been widened. Solomon was anointed at the Gihon Spring while his brother, Adonijah, was attempting to take the throne through a surreptitious coronation at En Rogel.’
From deep underground the Gihon water came gushing and bubbling up and its roar could be heard from some distance. To the Psalmist that sound is associated with worship at the shrine that David had put at Gihon to house the Ark and the sacred objects. That sound calls to his own deep place, his heart which longs to be there again!
Read about the origin of this site in 'THE PLACE HaMakom: where Jerusalem's temples stood'
Details of availability HERE
From Ian Heard