The Prophet Jeremiah and the Five Guardians of Solomon’s Temple Treasures
by Robert Mock MD
In part one of this series we became acquainted with the fascinating document, Emeq HaMelekh and the role that five worthy men, Shimur Ha Levi, Haggai (Chaggai the Prophet), Zechariah son of Iddo, Zedekiah (Zidkiyah), Hezekiah (Hizkiyah), Hilkiyah, Ezra the Cohen, and Baruch son of Neriah the Scribe for the Prophet Jeremiah.
Under the command of King Josiah during his reformation and cleansing of the Jewish Temple (Beit HaMikdash), the Torah was found. The temple was restored and the Feast of Passover was reinstituted. After this time King Josiah instructed Jeremiah to institute a rescue operation for the treasures of Moses, David and Solomon that were in safekeeping in the temple.
During this time the Wilderness Tabernacle was hid in a cave near the grave of Moses (Moshe) in site of Mount Nebo. There the Sanctuary of the Dwelling called the Mishkhan with the Ark of the Covenant included:
- The Stone Tablets of Moses (Moshe);
- The Crown of the High Priest Aaron;
- The Ephod, Breastplate, the Urim and Thummin of the High Priest’s garments;
- The Altar of Incense;
- The Golden Menorah;
- The Qalal which held the ashes of the red heifer;
- The Sapphire Rod;
- The Silver Chest which held the garments of the High Priest;
- Plus, other temple treasures that had been stored in the Genizah of Solomon’s (Shlomo)Temple and were stored in a concealed cave in the Valley of Achor.
In this document we will explore the archeological explorations of Vendyl Jones as he searched for the Qualal, the ashes of the Red Heifer and the ark of the Covenant at the Valley of Achor.
This latter site was the focal point of the search of Ron Wyatt below the Temple Mount (Haram As-Sharif). Here was the Genizah site below the Holy of Holies in Zedekiah’s (Zidkiyah’s) Grotto or the Cavern deep beneath the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It was known as the Royal Quarries or Solomon’s Stables with their underground tunnels that went from the Gate between the two Walls to the Valley of Passengers.
This tunnel was last used as an escape route by King Zedekiah on the 9th of Av as the forces of Nebuchadnezzar were destroying the Temple of Solomon. Here in the Valley of Passengers was the site where Elijah was taken on an inter-dimensional journey on a Merkabah, a fiery chariot just moments after he threw his mantle to Elisha the Prophet; the heir to the prophetic mantle. Here also was the site where John the Baptizer also with a special mantle, introduced his followers to the mahout (baptism) of water and fire.
The second temple of Zerubbabel in the days of Nehemiah was known to be deficient in several areas in relations to Solomon’s Temple, especially since there was no anointing oil to anoint prophets or kings.
The temple was eventually desecrated by the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes IV in the Abomination of Desolation which lead to the Maccabean Revolt, the restoration of the temple and the Festival of Chanukah (Hanukah) called the Festival of Lights.
- “These are the vessels dedicated and concealed when the Temple was destroyed:
- The Tabernacle and the Curtain,
- The Holy Menorah,
- The Ark of Testimony,
- The golden Nameplate on Aharon the Cohen’s forehead;
- The golden crown of Aharon the Cohen;
- The Breastplate of Judgment;
- The Silver Trumpets;
- The Cherubim over the Ark of the Covenant; plus;
- The Altar of burnt offerings,
- The Curtain of the Communion Tent;
- The Forks and the Bread Molds;
- The Table [of the Showbread];
- The Curtain of the Gate;
- The Copper Altar, The Sacred Garments of Aharon which were worn by the Cohen Haggadic (High Priest) on the Day of Atonement;
- The Pa'amonim (bells) and Ramona (pomegranates) on the hem of the robe [of the Cohen Gadol];
- The holy vessels that Moshe made on Mount Sinai by the command of the Holy One;
- The Staff of Moshe, and;
- The Jar of the Manna.
After the House of the L-rd was dedicated, according to the traditions of the Jews, the Sanctuary of the Congregation was kept in a guarded and sealed area below the Temple premises, in a virtual museum as the guarded treasure of the heritage of the Israelite people.
When the House of the Lord was finished by Solomon (Shlomo), the Glory of HaShem (the Shekinah) filled the House. The Glory of the L-rd filled the gold enclosed Inner Shrine called the Holy of Holiest. This Glory was with a manifestation that was greater than the Glory that filled the Holy Place in the Wilderness Tabernacle of the Congregation (the Mishkhan) with Moshe (Moses) at the base of Mount Sinai. (1 Ki. 8:6-10)
There beneath the two giant golden cherubim, the arching wings shielded the Golden Ark for twenty cubits from one wall to the other, where the Golden Ark of the Covenant was placed.
The walls of the shrine were radiant as the Glory of HaShem flashed with a golden aura, dancing off the silhouettes of the carved relief images of cherubim, palms and calyxes on the walls and ceiling of the golden lined Inner Shrine. (1 Ki. 6:27-36)
The inventory of this Mishnah is an inventory not of the Temple of Solomon but of the Wilderness Tabernacle of the Congregation that was the residence of the Lord of hosts. Using the revised chronology of the Astrophysicist, Barry Setterfield, the construction of the Tabernacle at Mount Sinai was about 1584 BCE. The building of the Temple of Solomon was about 1012 BCE, or 572 years later.
Within the Ark was contained only the Tables of Stone that the L-rd of host had given to Moshe (Moses). The L-rd of hosts had now placed or anchored His Sefirot, or His Image, of the World of the Divine and as the ancients described, where it dwelled within the Temple of Solomon.
Here the Lo-d of hosts literally brought the ‘Kingdom’ of the L-rd, called the Malkhut in the mystical traditions of Judaism, in the Shrine of the Holy of Holiest.
In Hebrew, the root word for Shekhinah is Shakhan, which literally means “He dwelt.” The Mishkhan or Tabernacle actually meant “The Dwelling Place of the Divine Presence.” Here the Shekinah came home and the Lord dwelt within the Temple built for Him.
It was there that Shlomo (Solomon) asked the Lord for ‘wisdom’ to rule G-d’s people. (1 Ki. 3:2-15). There the Levites disassembled the Tabernacle and brought it also to Jerusalem and placed it in the quarry beneath the Temple complex.
The Mishkhan, the former Wilderness Tabernacle at Sinai, was now placed in retirement beneath the Holy of Holiest, under the Ark of the Covenant and Solomon’s Quarry, a former limestone quarry where stones for the temple were made became the Genizah or the Sepulcher for the Tabernacle. It is supposed that the place where the Lord of hosts spoke to Abraham as he stood over Isaac on Mount Moriah became the site of the future Holy of Holiest in Solomon’s Temple. The site of the museum depository for the Tabernacle became the footstool for the Lord of hosts.
According to the Mishnah III and Rambam II, in the section Parah, it was written that the Tabernacle of the Congregation and Qalal [Ashes of the Red Cow] were positioned "Deep, deep below the outer court of the House."
This would place the location of the entombed Tabernacle, in Solomon’s Genizah, in the Grotto carved out of the mountain between the Temple. There the Tabernacle was positioned directly under the site of the Inner Shrine where the Ark of the Covenant was located in the Holy of Holiest directly above.
Here was a living symbol, an earthly type/anti-type of a greater type/anti-type in another spiritual dimension called the Heavenly Tabernacle. As the earthly Temple on top of Mount Moriah rested the Wilderness Tabernacle deep within the bowels of the mountain, so also the Israelite could envision the heavenly Sanctuary in that spiritual dimension resting over the Temple of Solomon.
When did the Shekhinah Glory of G-d leave the Holy of Holiest? We do not know. Was at the division of the kingdom into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms? Was it at the invasion of Jerusalem by Sheshank, the Pharaoh of Egypt when the Ark of the Covenant was secreted down to an undisclosed location?
What we do know is that the Ark of the Covenant was not in the Most Holy Place at the end of the reign of the wicked but later repentant King Manasseh and that King Josiah, his son, had it brought out of the secret dwelling place within the bowels of the Mount beneath the Temple.
What we also do know it that neither the Shekhinah Glory nor the Ark of the Covenant was within Jerusalem when the forces of Nebuchadnezzar encircled the city at the first invasion in 605 BCE.
What we now know, we have an inventory near the time of the fall and destruction of Jerusalem of what remained in the National Museum of the United Monarchy of Israel"of their most prized and treasured possessions, the relics of the Wilderness Tabernacle built by Bezaleel under the direct supervision of Moses, using the blueprints given direct by the hand of the Lord of hosts.
Here is the Tabernacle inventory:
- The Wilderness Tabernacle and the Curtain that separated the holy and sanctified premises of the tabernacle complex.
- The Holy Menorah or golden seven candled candelabra.
- The Ark of the Testimony (Covenant) which housed the Tablet engraved by the laser finger of the Lord of hosts.
- The golden crown of the High Priest, Aharon, the priest and brother of Moses.
- The twelve-jeweled encrusted Breastplate of Judgment that was worn on the chest of the High Priest with the Urim and the Thummin.
- The silver trumpet, a metal so rare in the golden kingdom of Egypt that its worth was far greater than the gold of Egypt.
- The Cherubim that sat over the chest of the Ark of the Testimony
- The golden Altar of burnt offerings.
- The Curtain of the Communion Tent.
- The forks and the bread molds.
- The golden Table of the Showbread.
- The Curtain of the Gate or the prized curtain in Egyptian gold that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.
- The Copper Altar
- The sacred garments of the Aharon that were worn by the High Priest on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
- The Pa’amonim or bells and the Remain or the golden pomegranates sewn on the hem of the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) so that the Levites would know that he was still alive when he was ministering in the presence of the Lord in the Holy of Holiest at Yom Kippur.
- The holy vessels that Moses made on Mount Sinai by the direct command of the Lord of hosts.
- The staff, possibly the Sapphire Staff that was given to Moses by the Angel of the Lord at the Burning Bush.
- The jar of Manna.
"The Scribe Shaphan Reading the Book of the Law to King Josiah" by Leonaert Bramer (1622)
King Josiah and the Ark of the Lord
Let us now return to 11 Maccabees 2 and refresh our memory of this historical notation recorded about 165 BCE.
11 Maccabees 2: 4-5 - “It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet (Jeremy), being warned of G-d, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of G-d.
“And when Jeremy came thither, he found a hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.”
That is not all, for there are other writings. As 11 Maccabees 2 continues, on the eve of the celebration of the first festival of Chanukah in 165 BCE, called the Festival of Lights, the Maccabean authors penned these words:
11 Maccabees 2:13-14: “These same facts are set out in the official records and in the memoirs of Nehemiah. Just as Nehemiah collected the chronicles of the kings, the writing of prophets, the works of David, and royal letters about sacred offerings, to found his library, so Judas (Maccabees) also has collected all the books that had been scattered as a result of our recent conflict. These are in our possession, and if you need any of them send messengers for them.”
Are the official records and the memoirs of Nehemiah, the same as the Book of Chronicles and the Book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament or the Hebrew TaNaKh?
Where is the Library of Nehemiah? Where is the Library of Judas Maccabees? These libraries have yet to be discovered though archeologists have been searching for them in the vicinity of Qumran.
It is still the disputed yet consensus that Qumran was the site of the main commune of the Essenes, the third party of the Jewish people. As ultra-orthodox, they were firm in their belief that the purity of the priesthood in the Herodian Temple had been defiled by the Herodian and Sadducean family hierarchy.
They were using the temple as the greatest money laundering and scam operation in Jewish history, all in the name of their L-rd. As such, the Essenes, who were contemporary and probably the party of John the Baptiser and Yehoshua, the Haredi Orthodox itinerant rabbi cousin called “The Nazarene”, believed and wrote in all their writings that the purity of the priesthood and the restoration of the Temple would be still the future to their day.
In the beginning passages of the Copper Scroll, the site of where the treasures are hidden is mentioned as the Valley of Achor.
The Valley of Achor
“In the desolations of the Valley of Achor, under the hill that must be climbed, hidden under the east side, forty stones deep, is a silver chest, and with it, the vestments of the High Priest, all the gold and silver with the Great Tabernacle (the “Mishkhan”) and all its Treasuries.”
It was in the Jewish year 3323 that the Prophet Jeremiah gave instructions to Good King Josiah that it was imperative to remove the Ark of the Covenant from the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon.
The underground chambers below the Temple complex were lined with grottos and tunnels; the largest called Solomon’s Stable, which is the size of several soccer fields. These man-made grottos were adjacent and contiguous with the natural cavern system hidden deep in the recesses of Mount Moriah.
These limestone caverns, similar to the Mammoth cave system in the state of Kentucky, traverse for many miles, most of which have not been explored fully to this day. Being in an active seismic zone, in which many earthquakes have been recorded throughout the millenniums, many of these caverns have now collapsed, while many of them were sites where the limestone was quarried to be used for the construction of the Temple.
Here deep within the recesses of the mountain, the Ark of the Covenant was placed for safekeeping. Also in this location was also the Mishkhan, the Wilderness Tabernacle, which was placed there in safekeeping by King Solomon as a national treasure and museum.
Mishnah, Sotah 9a - “…With regard to Moses the Master said: “After the First Temple was erected, the Tent of Meeting was stored away, its boards, hooks, bars, pillars, and sockets.” Where? Rabbi Hisda said in the name of Abimi; “Beneath the crypts of the Temple…”
Since that day, no record within the Bible records anything else about the Ark of the Covenant.
Zedekiah’s Cave was first rediscovered in 1854 by an American physician, Mr. Barkley and his son as they followed their dog that disappeared into grotto’s entrance near the northern wall of the Temple Mount. One hole after another and this physician became the first modern explorer of this grotto and cavern system.
Though most scholars believe that the present-day grotto extends only from the northern wall to under the center of the Temple Mount, more recent explorers including Ron Wyatt and Vendyl Jones testify that that this cavern system is pocketed with other tunnels, now partially blocked traversing to regions unknown.
That this cavern system was known to the ancients is testified by Maimonides, the famous Spanish rabbi who wrote:
Maimonides. Mishnah Torah, Book of Techora, Hilchot Para Aduma 2, 10 - “...the whole Temple Mount with its courts was empty inside in fear of the graves of the abyss…” Mount of Anointment (Mount of Olives) also - sh.b.b.
According to Maimonides, the sanctity of the Temple area remained even though the physical temple had been destroyed. Here the Grottos were called the Inner Court of the Temple and they could be defiled by entering-into the inner sanctum below the Holy of Holiest.
As left in the legacy of the numerous visits by biblical authors and explorers of ancient Land of Israel, we learn the following:
- There is a large cave in the city of Jerusalem that was used for by Solomon as a quarry. It is likely that Solomon used the stone from this cave to build the temple in Jerusalem. However, there are other quarries in the Jerusalem area that may have also contributed to the Temple. Prince Yehoshua Ha Dovid, stated that not even one stone of the temple would be left upon another when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. If we had a piece of stone from Solomon's temple, we could determine exactly where it was quarried from. But we do not, and likely never will.
- Josephus Flavius, refers to it as the "Royal Caverns."
- In the 10th century, the Damascus Gate was called "the Gate of the Grotto."
- In the 15th century, the cave was a textile storage area called "the Cotton Grotto."
- In the 16 century, the Ottoman Turks sealed the cave until it was discovered by Dr. Barclay while walking with his son and dog. The dog started digging at the entrance of the cave while tracking a fox.
- Although this is often called "Zedekiah's Cave", there is nothing in the Bible that connect Zedekiah with any kind of cave. The story in Jeremiah 39:4; 2 Kings 25:4 is often suggested, but clearly not related.
Moses Maimonides, Book of Avodah, Hilchot Beit Habechirah, 7, 7. -
Jews entering the Inner Court of the Temple while impure risking the punishment of Kareit (cutting off of the soul).
“Even though the Temple is destroyed…a Jew is obligated to revere the Temple as if it were built. Only enter the permitted places and do not sit in the Azarah…as it says, ‘guard My Sabbath and revere My Temple’, just as the Sabbath is forever, so too is the reverence for the Temple eternal, even though it has been destroyed.
Within the cave itself is evidence of three types of limestone, the pure white massif limestone, called “Melekh” for King or Royal Limestone that was used in royal, religious and diplomatic buildings as it was soft enough for carving but would not flake.
Near the entrance is a denser and softer limestone, called “Missi-helou” or ‘sweet’ limestone used for smaller ornamental work. Then there was a ‘red’ limestone impregnated with iron ore that was called “Mizzi-Yehudi” or ‘Jewish’ limestone that is commonly used in building construction even today, giving Jerusalem that pink hue as it reflects the sunrays on a clear evening at dusk.
The Royal Quarries as they were called in the Palestine Exploration Fund of 1866, was reported by Major Condor:
"Jerusalem, as is well known, is honeycombed with excavated caves, natural caverns, cisterns cut in the rock, subterranean passages and aqueducts In its underground chambers and catacombs it is richer than any known city.
In Jerusalem the excavated chambers and caves were for three purposes. Some of them, especially the Bahr el Khebar were for the supply of water. Those outside the city were for burial places, while those under the city, the vast caverns known as the ‘Royal Quarries’ were actually used as quarries for the stone used in building.
The entrance to them is by an opening so low that it is necessary to stoop, but the height rapidly increases…The evidence of the place having been used as a quarry are very plain and numerous, the cuttings about four or five inches wide still remaining, and on the left hand side of each cutting may be observed a little hollow formed at the corner into which a wick and oil lamp may have been placed.
The entrance to these caverns, known also by the name of "Solomon’s Quarries" because it is supposed that the stones for the Temple were prepared there is a little to the East of the Damascus Gate and opposite to Jeremiah’s Grotto."
Only two years earlier, Rev J.D. Newman, 1864 was a visitor in the city of Jerusalem and left his account.
Rev J.D. Newman, 1864: - “But of all the objects of interest which met my eye during my tour of the walls, none was more thrilling than the "Great Cave" beneath Jerusalem, the entrance to which is just east of the Damascus Gate.
In constructing the north wall of the city, the Hill Bezetha has been cut through the solid rock to the depth of forty feet, the excavation having been extended 600 feet east and west, and 450 north and south….
Accompanied by the American consul and a single servant, we entered the cave without difficulty, and, lighting our wax tapers, proceeded along carefully for a hundred feet, when we began rapidly to descend. To our surprise, on our right sat an Arab maiden who had become the sibyl of the cavern, surrounded by several natives, to whom she was delivering her sibylline oracles.
Rapidly descending toward the southeast, we soon found ourselves in cave three thousand feet in circumference, more than a thousand feet in length, and more than half that distance in breadth.
The air was damp; the darkness that of a ray less night; the ground on which we walked was strewn with the chippings of the quarrier; the walls around us were marred with marks of the chisel, and the ceiling above us adorned with stalactites of a rose-color hue, from which trickled the percolating waters of the city.while, disturbed by our approach, bats screamed their grief and flapped their long black wings against their solid nests.
Moving southward, we came to the verge of a precipice a hundred feet across and fifteen feet deep, on the bottom of which the skeleton of some lost explorer had been found. Threading a long gallery on the left, we saw a fountain as deep as it was wide, partially filled with water strongly impregnated with lime.
Turning eastward, we entered a second gallery of greater depth, in the sides of which are immense blocks of limestone, in part detached from their native bed, just as they were left by the unknown quarrier thousands of years ago. Here, as elsewhere, were the unmistakable marks of a broad chisel-shaped instrument, evidently used to detach the blocks on either side and at top and bottom, and then by the pressure of a lever the mass was broken off from the rock behind.
Occasionally we passed huge pillars supporting the ceiling above, and in several instances, I saw blocks hewn and squared ready to be hoisted to their destination.
On the right and left winding passage-ways led us to noble halls, white as snow, and supported by native piers, on which are engraved the cross of some Christian pilgrim or knight of the Crusades; and on the sides of the chambers are Hebrew and Arabic inscriptions, the memorial of some wandering Jew and some conquering son of the Prophet….
Being unquestionably a quarry, many facts lead to the conclusion that here were hewn the stones for the construction of Solomon's magnificent temple. The material, both as to grain and color, is the same as that found in the antique walls and buildings of the city; the extent of the quarry, together with the vast amount of stone removed, and in such large blocks, suggest the erection of some grand temple; the ancient tradition coming down from the days of Jeremiah and pointing to this quarry.
The remarkable absence of another adjacent to the city; and the important fact that the mouth of the quarry is many feet higher than the surface of the Temple area, which must have facilitated the transportation of those immense blocks of limestone, which were no doubt conveyed on rollers down the inclined plane of the quarry to the site of the Temple, where, hewn and finished, they were silently elevated to their destined place - the magnificent fame of Solomon, with all its courts and porticoes, rising noiselessly into being, as of old the world rose from naught, at once explaining and fulfilling the words of sacred history: "The house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought hither, so that there was neither hammer nor axe, nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was building."
Compare the 1864 account of Reverend Newman now with the recent account by explorer Ron Wyatt who has gained much fame his claims of seeing the Ark of the Covenant and all the Temple furniture within these cavern systems below the mount, yet even though his untimely death in 1999, his estate has not released any evidence of these claims. Even so the historical account of Zedekiah’s Cave is much different after 140 years.
Ron Wyatt - “This vast cavern is located underneath the Muslim section of the city, extending 750 feet into "Mt. Moriah", and beginning at the trench or dry moat separating the northern and southern portion. It is 325 feet wide at the maximum point and the average height is almost 50 feet. It was clearly a stone quarry, but at what point it was in use, we really do not know.
There are those who believe its stone was used in the first temple, and that may be true. But its existence was not a well-known fact and most likely it was always kept completely sealed for fear of any enemies trying to tunnel into the city. So, little is known for sure about the giant quarry, but one point everyone agreed on was the fact that there was no entrance into the city from the quarry.
Viewing the diagram (below) of its layout, the dark areas are pillars of solid rock left in place to support the ceiling, like the pillars left in a coal mine. As the miners work their way back out of the mine after depleting it of all it's coal, they remove these pillars of coal and the mine usually caves in. These were obviously left in place to prevent the cavern from collapsing since part of the northern city is above it.
Ron wondered if there were any tunnels leading from the quarry. If so, perhaps the Ark and other items had been lowered through the hole from the area north of the temple mount into the cavern, and then through a tunnel to its present location. So, he began to look for tunnels. And sure enough, he found one.
Almost completely hidden from view by boulders and overhanging rock, there was an opening into the cave wall that was sealed with several large cut rocks and it was heading in the right direction. But it was a long way from the site Ron had worked in all those years. If this was indeed the tunnel which led to the chamber, Ron would have quite a project ahead of him in clearing such a long tunnel.”
Over the years, and after many devastating earthquakes, it is assumed that many of these passages are now closed and collapsed. Many ancient writing called this the sepulchral cavern of the Kings.
In the Rabbinic writings, in Erubin, 61, 61b, it mentions ‘the great cavern of Zedekiah.” Yet exploration over the last one and a half centuries testify that even below this grotto there is an enormous reservoir of water flowing in vaulted chamber below. Vilnai, Dr. Zeev, Jerusalem, the Old City, Jerusalem, 1970)
Cherub Drawing found in Zedekiah’s Cave
In 1874, a French archeologist, Charles Clermont-Ganneau explored the cavern system making sketches and drawing of the site. He discovered a carving on the wall near the mouth of the cave depicting a cherub, the winged, lion-like creature described in the Bible as part of the Ark of the Covenant and whose motif is found in the royal palaces of Assyria, Babylon and Persia.
The Ivory Palace of Ahab in Samaria had similar carving left in ivory as reflected in comparison and reflects the iconoclastic images used in the First Temple period. This etching was removed and taken to the Palestine Exploration Fund Offices in London. There is also some suggestion of early burial caves here.
During the days of the Hasmonean rulers and King Herod, the use of the quarry was again apparently put into use. The stone on the Temple Mount, thought to be Herodian match the size and grain of the limestone and the indentation marking of the stones in the quarry.
In 1989, Israel J. Herman, MEComp spoke to the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the State of Israel on King Solomon’s Quarries. Reprinted in The Israeli Freemason, it records;
“The Freemasons, believing that the cave does indeed go back to Solomon's reign, called the cave King Solomon's Quarry and, since Solomon is considered the first Freemason, they have used the wide, high-ceilinged central chamber for ceremonies since the late 19th century.
The cave opening is beneath the north wall of the Old City of Jerusalem; close to the Damascus Gate. From the entrance, the main path leads south for nearly 225 meters (~740 ft) till it reaches the main large cave called "The Freemasons Hall."
From this hall, it bears east, leading to the dripping spring and the lowest place of the cave. The known area of the cave is about 900 m² (~10,000 square feet)
One of the methods for hewing the stones was to carve broad slits along the rock face, and to drive dry wooden wedges into them. Water was then poured over the dry wedges, so causing them to swell. The resulting pressure then cracked the stone along the slits. This primitive method of quarrying was quite effective, and traces of it can still be found in the cave.
The cave-quarry is quite close to the Temple Mount, and even, large stones could have been transported to the Temple construction site. Furthermore, it is known from the first book of Kings that it was forbidden to use any iron tools in the actual 'on site' construction of the Temple, nor was the sound of such permitted to be heard. This cave would be the ideal place for quarrying and dressing the stones for the Temple, while meeting with those requirements.”
This cave, since the days of the British Mandate, was used in the yearly august ceremony for the consecration of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the State of Israel, with the exception of the years from 1948, when the British were driven out by the Israelis, to 1968, after the war of 1967, when the Israeli once again had possession of the entire city of Jerusalem. Also, yearly the Mark Master Mason ceremony is conducted.
As inscribed in the Copper Scroll, they were hidden in the last chamber on the western wall of the cavern system beneath the Cave of the Column. According to the translators, an artificial bonding wall was created to seal the exit to Zedekiah cave and produce a camouflage so that only a small exit escape shaft, well hidden, to allow the remainder of the treasury guardians to escape.
The Gate between the Two Walls
In the Jewish year, 3331, nine years later, the Lord of hosts instructed the Prophet Jeremiah that he and over 250 of the fittest Levites in the Land of Israel were to begin an ultra-secret mission to hide the national treasures of the Israelite people which were built by Moses on the plains around Sinai and King David in preparation of building the Temple of Yahweh.
The first mission was conducted by the Prophet Jeremiah himself. A small and select contingency of Levites probably under the command of the most carefully selected Tzaddiks in the country; Shimur HaLevi, Zedekivahu, Yizkiyahy, Chaggai the Prophet and Zachariyah the son of Iddo the Prophet were selected to carry the following:
- Mishkhan, the Wilderness Tabernacle,
- The Golden Menorah that was engraved by the Master Craftsman, Bezaleel,
- The golden nameplate that went on the forehead of the High Priest,
- The golden crown of Moses’ brother, Aaron, the High Priest,
- The Breastplate with the Urim and Thummin, the sacred oracle stones which G-d communicated with the High Priest including the all the articles used in the service of the Wilderness Tabernacle,
- The garments of the High Priest,
- The vessels of gold made by Bezaleel under the instructions of Moses,
- The Staff of Aaron and the Golden Jar of Manna and to deposit them in a specially designed cavern with false walls and fronts to seal it off from the enemies of the Lord.
A terse description of this event was recorded in 11 Maccabees 2:2-6 of removing these priceless articles that were almost a thousand years old at that time, carrying them through almost 19 miles of natural caverns to be placed in a large grotto near the exit of the cavern system in the Valley of Achor.
Vendyl Jones - “This cavern, which begins only a few meters north of the Damascus Gate and descends steeply eastward under the Temple Mount, continues for almost 30 kilometers or 19 miles then exits in the Valley of ‘Achor. Entrance from the Jerusalem end is restricted and the exit in the Valley of ‘Achor is obscurely concealed. The simplest explanation can be found in the historical biblical information available. The Babylonian army had surrounded Jerusalem and was breaking down the walls. The only escape route was through this cavern. Therefore, a gate should be found between the two walls of the cavern…
Though the cave was mammoth in breadth, its ceiling was only a few feet overhead. Flakes of stone were piled high and deep from the northern to the southern walls. These rock chips almost completely filled the mouth of the cave….
Gershom and I proceeded forward, descending and exploring one chamber and passage at a time. When visiting hours were over, we had merely begun our exploration. I do not remember how many days we returned, arriving very early and staying until closing time. We were not just sightseeing; we were searching for that gate between the two walls. Sometimes we were digging with our hands and pitching rock chips, hoping to find an undiscovered chamber…
We decided to separate – Gershom would explore the North side of the cave and I would investigate the South chambers. Finally, the solitude and silence were broken. I could faintly hear him calling, “Dad, Dad, come on.”
We know about this passage way as it was used as a secret escape route by King Zedekiah (Zidkiyah) when he tried to flee from the royal forces of Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE. Here is the record of this escape.
11 Kings 25:4-5 - “(The wall of) the city was breached, and all the men of war (fled) by night by way of the gate between the two walls, which is by the king’s garden. Now, the Chaldeans were against the city round about, and (Zidkiyah, the king) went the way toward the plain (Aravah). And the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plain (Aravah) of Jericho…”
On the ninth day of the fourth month (9th of AV) in the Jewish year 3338, King Zedekiah, with the remnant of his royal body guards fled through this grotto and tunnel system, passed through the “gate between the two walls”.
The history of the Jewish people is consistent in their legends that King Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, tried to escape the Babylonian siege, following a secret tunnel from here all the way to Jericho. Redak and Rashi, Talmudic scholars, wrote that it was the intention of the Lord of hosts that Zidkiyah was to be caught by the Babylonian. As states:
"There was a cave from the palace of Zedekiah to the plain of Jericho and he fled through the cave, and G-d caused a buck to walk on the roof of the cave and the Chaldeans followed the buck. When they reached the cave opening in the plain of Jericho, Zedekiah was emerging. They saw him and captured him."
The Book of Kings continues on with the story that the king was forced to watch the murder of his sons and then his eyes were blinded. The legends account that the percolating water dripping into a basin carved in the quarry wall is known now as Zedekiah's Tears, depicting his grief over the city and his children lost because he did not follow the advice of the Prophet Jeremiah to submit to the authority of the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar.
A fascinating account of exploring this tunnel system by Vendyl Jones and his son was recorded in an article called The Gate between Two Walls, our first discovery. In this article records the first discovery of the Gate between Two Walls.
For 2390 years there was no historical record of the whereabouts of this gate until 1967, the Jewish year 5728, just after the Jewish people took full possession of the city of Jerusalem.
The exit to this cavern system that ascended up the mountain terrain back towards Jerusalem is unknown, but many scholars suggest that this is the exit from the Cave of Zidkiyah, where the king of Judah fled that fateful day.
Some sources state that the exit opening is over 7 meters high (23 feet) and 20 meters (66 feet) wide. In the days of Moses, this would have been a gaping hole or grotto in the sides of the mountain, quite visible from Mount Nebo five miles on the other side of the Jordan River.
Yet according to the Midrashim, the tunnels and caverns that led to the plain near Jericho did exist. In the Midrash Tanchumah to Numbers 3, this cavern goes for about 12 mill or 8 English miles, and in Midrash Rabbah, states that the same cavern traverse for almost 18 mill or 12 English miles from Jerusalem.
The traveler from Leghorn of the year 5282 (1522 CE), is quoted as saying:
"Not far from the Bab al Amud, is the cave of Zedekiah, which extends under - ground to the mountains near Jericho. Several persons told me, that they themselves had walked a mile in the same. It is so spacious that a man on horseback with a lance in his hand can ride through it quite comfortably."
Less than a mile north of Bab al Amud, is a sepulchral monument in a cave called the Kalba Seboa, recorded in Gittin, 56a, is suggest by many to be the cave of Zedekiah. It is recorded that in 5607 (1847 CE), a group of Arabs were digging near this cave when they stumbled upon a vault buried deep in the ground that filled with gigantic human bones, of a race of humans with great stature. The Pacha halted and forbad any further digging and the cave was closed up. This area is recognized as an area with sepulchers of kings.
One-half mile north of Kalba Seboa, is another sepulchral cave with dual chambers on top of another, in which carved in the bedrock are seventy niches, called the cave of the Seventy Sanhedrin. This manner of burial, with sepulchral vaults in niches above and alongside each other, is described in the Mishnah of Baba Bathra 6,§8. Yet who were the Seventy Elders, what era, and whether this was used for some other social group or family.
Many rabbis in the Land today firmly believe that the Ark of the Covenant is lying beneath the Temple Mount in one of the side grottos or chambers that are honeycombed within the caverns.
Ron Wyatt, the American Adventist respiratory therapist, turned amateur archeologist, claimed he found the Ark of the Covenant in a sarcophagus type box within this grotto and beneath a site where he claims that Jesus was crucified. Yet, according to Vendyl Jones, the sources carefully state the following words, “hidden in a secret passage under Har-HaByet.”
How can this be explained? As we have noted prior, the Ark of the Covenant was a small portable ark and we do not know whether another ark was built for the Holy of Holiest in which the Ark of the Covenant may have resided within.
Many ancient traditions state that duplicate Arks were built, the most famous, as some have suggested, was a duplicate Ark was built for the son of Solomon and Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, whose capital city was Axum, Ethiopia. It was their son, Menelik, called Bayna-Lehkem, who became the eventual ruler of Ethiopia, yet accomplished the biggest heist in religious history, which according to The Kebra Nagast, a thirteenth century documents, the abduction of the Ark of the Covenant, which in this manuscript does not record any duplicate, instead, they replaced the Ark with a pile of lumber, hid under the covering of the Ark.
Yet, the record of the Emeq Ha Melekh appears to have the most authenticity and reliability of any ancient record concerning the final resting place of the Sanctuary of the Congregation and the Mosaic Ark of the Covenant. Here the final resting place of the Ark is in the Valley of Achor
The Valley of Passengers near the Valley of Achor
The Valley of Passengers is a vale which Jewish tradition records as the inter-dimensional power house of cosmic events in ancient Jewish history. Lying just south of Mount Nebo, the last recorded place where Moses stood as he was given a visionary view of the future God’s chosen people, is where Jewish writing place the secret grave of Moses. It was here that the Letter of Jude records that the archangel Michael came to this spot and debated with the devil over the possession of Moses’ body. (Jude 9)
Yet it was also in the Valley of Passengers where Elijah mounted the fiery cherubim and gave his mantle to Elisha. Is it not unusual that also near this site, also in the Vale of Achor where Josephus records that John the Baptist performed a mikhvoat, a bath of purification or baptism in the Jordan River. (Dell Griffin, Kingdom, Power and Glory, unpublished, p 123)
“He commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness toward one another, and piety towards G-d, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away of some sins but for the purification of the body supposing that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness.” (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Bk 18, Ch 5:2)
Is it not of coincidence that John the Baptist, with his mantle of camel’s hair, carried the torch and power of Elijah, who also carried with him an identical camel’s hair mantle? According to the Talmud, the mantle of Elijah along with the tunic of the High Priest was kept in storage in the Ark of the Incense in the Wilderness Sanctuary.
Is this the same as the Altar of Incense that Jeremiah placed in hiding near the Mount Nebo and the grave of Moses? (11 Maccabees), (Ibid 121) Is this Altar of Incense the same as the Altar of Burnt Offering as recorded in the Emeq Ha Melekh?
Did the Essenes have access this Altar of Incense/Burnt Offering and was the mantle of camel’s hair by John the Baptist the same mantle of Elijah, the greatest prophet of Israel?
The Valley of Achor was also called the Valley of Passengers also known as Gey – Hamon - Gog
This same vale, the Valley of Passengers is also known as Gey-Hamon-Gog, situated near the Jordan River on the border between the nations of Israel and Jordan. This site is depicted as the burial ground reserved for Gog (Ezekiel 39:11) in the Gog-Magog War that prophetic scholars are anticipating in the near future.
This site is called Ammon-Gey-Don, where the Israelites will take seven months to bury the dead armies of Gog so that the land can be cleansed. (Ibid 123)
Did the Temple Guardians know there was to be another Temple?
The Prophet Haggai, now a revered Tzaddik (righteous man) in the Land of Israel, began to speak oracles of encouragement to the Jewish remnant who were struggling to re-establish a foothold back in the land of their forefathers and to erect a new Temple to the worship of the G-d of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Haggai 2:5-9 -
2:5 - “According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. 2:6 - For thus saith the Lord of hosts (HaShem Tzavaot - also called The Lord, Master of Legions); yet once, it is a little while and I will shake (future to their day) the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
2:7 - And I will shake all nations, and the desires of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.
2:8 - The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.
2:9 - The glory of this latter house (Later date to the Temple of Zerubbabel, which was called the Ezekiel Temple) shall be greater than of the former (former to the Temple of Zerubbabel, the Temple of Solomon) saith the Lord of hosts; and in this place, will I give peace, saith the Lord of host.
Here the ancient Tzaddik with the wisdom of the knowledge of the prior era of Jewish history, which he also knew as a participant in the Temple life of Solomon’s temple, talks of a time in the future when this temple will be built. Haggai was keenly aware of the present house, the Temple of Zerubbabel, a former house, the Temple of Solomon and that there would be a physical latter house.
Only two times did the Glory of the Lord fill the temple or sanctuary of the Lord. The first was at Mount Sinai with Moses (Moshe) and the second was upon the completion of the Temple of Solomon (Shlomo). The Jewish sages have concluded that Haggai was speaking of the apocalyptic end of times and Temple of the Lord that would be built in those days, whose beauty and magnificence would rival all the wonders of the world that have been built in the historical ages.
The prophet Amos revealed one thing about the intent of the Lord of hosts.
Amos 3:7 - “Surely HaShem will do nothing unless He reveals it first to His servants, the Prophets.”
Yet a little noticed wording in the Book of Haggai, suggests part of his message was about a later and more glorious House of the Lord.
Haggai 2:18 - “Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid, consider it from this day I will bless you.”
Yet according to the historical record, when was the foundation of the Temple of Zerubbabel laid? In the Book of Ezra 3:6, 8, 10-11 it confirms that the temple foundation of the Second Temple was laid on the 2nd month of the 2nd year of Darius. It also records in Ezra 6:15, that the temple was competed on the 3rd day of the 12th month of Adar, during the rule of Darius.
What was this discrepancy? The Book of Ezra states that the foundation of the Temple of Zerubbabel was laid on the 2nd month of the 2nd year of Darius and yet, Haggai stated that it was laid on the 24th day of the 9th month. What temple was he talking about?
Haggai then poses two questions to the Levites and priests, asking them to define what would defile a man from the outside and defile him from the inside. Either one would render them unclean, said the Levite. So, Haggai responded,
Haggai 2:2:14 - “So this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands”. This included the construction of the Temple in which an unclean people, from unclean nations built an unclean Temple.
He also writes in Haggai 2:7, 9 -
2:7 - “And I will shake all the Nations. And the desire of all Nations will come. And I will fill this House with Glory, says the Lord. ….
2:9 - The Glory of this Latter House shall be greater than the Glory of the Former.”
The historical documentation is clear that the glory of the Second Temple did not match up to the glory of the Temple of Solomon. Yet this was not what they were talking about. The Glory of the House is actually stating the Glory that comes from the presence of the Lord of hosts residing within these walls. As we have noticed above, the only time the Glory of the Lord came to visit and to dwell was in the Wilderness Sanctuary of Moses and the Temple of Solomon.
Yet, since the building of the Second Temple, the word of the ancient Hebrew prophets was silenced. The Rabbabim in the Land of Israel are adamant to a voice that a prophet has not arisen with the people of Israel since the days of Ezra, Zechariah and Haggai.
What we now know, there was no anointing oil and so no prophets were ordained to their prophetic role. There was no anointing oil and so no kings were anointed to the throne of Judah. The Temple of Zerubbabel served more of a political national identity for the rulers of Judah and for the Jewish people as a nation.
It must be noted that the mystical sages never did refer to the Second Temple as the “House of the Lord”. One of the hallmarks of the diminished status of this temple was that there were five ‘Holy Objects” that were not found in the Second Temple. These include:
Five Sacred Articles not found in the Second Temple
- The Golden Ark of the Covenant with the covering Cherubim. Within this Ark were the Torah tablets, the golden pot of manna and Aaron’s rod.
- The Silver Chest which included: the garments of the High Priest Aharon, the Breastplate of twelve polished gemstones, the Ephod of the High Priest, and the Urim and Thummin where the High Priest had access to direct communication from HaShem.
- The Ashes of Moses’ red heifer.
- The Anointing Oil of the kings and the prophets.
- The Glory of the L-rd in the focal presence of the Shekinah flame on the Ark’s mercy seat.
The inter-testament era, known as the era between the canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures by Ezra the scribe and the birth of the Prince of David Yehoshua was known to all the sages of Judaism as the era when the gift of prophecy left the Jewish people.
Without the anointing oil, they could no longer anoint the prophets, the priests and the kings (the anointed ones). After the remnant of the Jewish exiles returned from Babylon, no king of the House of David ever did sit and rule from the throne in Jerusalem. So also with the death of Haggai and Zechariah, no anointed prophets would be present to speak the “Word of the L-rd.”
During this time, the Maccabean family called the Hashmonean did restore the Land of Israel to an autonomous era to the people of Israel, after decisively driving out the Syrian leader who was persecuting the Jewish population, Antiochus Epiphanes IV. It was this Syrian ruler who also desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem, by sacrificing a pig on the altar in Jerusalem, in 175 BCE and converted the Temple into a sanctuary for the g-d Jupiter. This act of desecration, call the Abomination of Desolation, required that the temple complex undergo ritual purification and cleansing.
Only after the temple and the Levites were cleansed in 165 BCE did the Jews participate in the joyous celebration of Chanukah. The Festival of the Lights, celebrating the day when the Great Menorah was relit for the first time when they had only enough purified oil for the lamps for one day. Miracles upon miracles, the Menorah remained lit for an entire eight days.
It was the Essenes that recognized that the Temple was to be controlled by a corrupt and illegitimate priestly family, who bought and sold their position as the High Priest of the Temple first from the Greeks and later from their Roman appointed rulers. These families included: House of Ananias (Hananiah), the House of Jason, the House of Katros (Caiphas) and the House of Ishmael Ben Phiabi.
According to the Talmud, “Because of these wicked priests, Heaven decreed the destruction of the Second Temple.” And so, the Lord of hosts prevented the Guardians of the Temple treasures from restoring these treasures to the Jewish people.
They took the secret of where they hid the temple treasures to their graves, except for leaving behind a record of where these treasures were hidden: on a Copper Sheet, two marble tablets and the parchments that were preserved in later years in the Masakhet Keilim, and Tosefta (addition) to the Talmud about the 8th century CE.
Destination Yisrael – “Slowly the Almighty One of Israel is opening the gates of the Supernal Realm surrounding the Throne of G-d. He is revealing to us a mini-vision of our future as we become one with Him in the future Millennium of the Great Shabbat.
The struggles we will have within this era, will be to give up of ourselves, allow humility to become a part of our lives, for within each us is the sublime message that if we are willing to submit ourselves to His will, the power of the Divine will help us to jump the hurtles into our future.
Then we realize that the Eternal One now reveals to us that the future of our Eternity was given to Metatron, He was the first of creation, the most Exalted Being of the heavenly realms. He was the Vizier to the Holy One of Israel as Vizier like Joseph was to the Pharaoh of old.
Here is a majestic being who is in charge of running the Universes of the Divine. And he was the same being that led the Children of Israel out of Egypt to the mount called Sinai this time as a Pillar of Fire at night and a Cloud to shade the daytime.
Metatron was the “Guide” to Moshe in the Wilderness. It was here where he helped to lead and guide the Great Redeemer of the Children of Israel. Metatron became the Neshama Soul of Moshe in heaven that was connected with the “Indwelling Soul” or the Neshama Soul of Moshe on Planet Earth.
As such Moshe, as we also may, kept in constant touch with the Divine One for man, created in the Image of G-d, has always had direct line access with the G-d of Israel.
If you have wondered how biblical prophecy fits into your life, and how it will affect the Return of the House of Israel, then the G-d of Israel is beginning his “call” to bring you home, too. You might desire to reconnect with your cousins the Jews and the Biblical portrayals on what is and may be happening in your near future.
This Biblical portrayal includes Prophecies that the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel are about to return to the Land of their Biblical Inheritance. This is Divine Destiny in living reality as the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel return to their Homelands first in Shomron (Samaria), Israel.
For inquiries about the Kol Ha Tor Vision for the Lost Tribes of Israel,
Visit their Web Site
“Kol Ha Tor”,
They also offer – “a Spiritual Retreat and Guest House in Samaria that hosts Shomron (Samaria) Tours to reacquaint the Returning Lost Tribers of the House of Israel to their chosen destiny. For details refer to Shomron Lives!”
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