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REBUILDING UNDER NEHEMIAH.
city-nearly in the same place in the modern wall, there is a port that still goes by this name, but which was filled up at the time of our visit.
“But the gate of the Fountain repaired Shallum, the son of Colhozeb; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah, by the King's gardens, and unto the stairs that down from the City of David.” This line is very plainly laid down indeed, and serves materially to fix two or three remarkable objects. This Fountain-gate was but a very short distance from the Valley-gate ; and here, as we do not read of any intervening wall between them being repaired, that portion of the wall must have been very small. The walls of the pool and the fountain of Siloah were also repaired. The wall was then continued by the King's gardens, which were situated in the gentle slope leading down to the brook Kedron. Strange to say, such is the use made of this ground at present; we found it laid out in plots and vegetable gardens belonging to the opposite village of Siloa. It then turned into the concavity, where the pool or lower fountain of Siloam is placed ; and where a steep declivity and scarped rock offers a probable site for the Stairs of the City of David.
Nehemiah repaired the part "over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty.” Directly opposite this part of the line are placed those extraordinary rock-carved sepulchres in the side of the ravine that rises up from the other side of the valley of Hinnom, which are said to have been discovered by a celebrated modern traveller. This lower pool of Siloam, or “the pool that was made," is sometimes called “the King's pool” (Neh. ii. 14.); and by Josephus it is styled Solomon's pool; it is placed in the indentation opposite the south-east angle of the wall. The Levites and others repaired it “up to the Armoury,”* at the turning of
* This armoury appears to be that referred to in the Song of Solomon, (ch. iv. v. 4,)—“ Thy neck is like the towers of David, builded for an armoury, whereon there ha
a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.” This practice of hanging the shields upon the tower I have dwelt upon before at page 353 of this volume, and Sandys says that, in his day, " the tower of David, (whose ruins are yet extant,) of wonderful strength
REBUILDING UNDER NEHEMIAH.
the wall. This I conceive to have been placed at the southwestern angle, and here the wall has several turnings in it to encompass the southern brow of Sion, till it meets the castle of David, where we finished on the northern circuit. All this part, from the turning of the wall, was repaired by Baruch, Meremoth, Benjamin, and others, unto the corner—that is, the corner opposite David's Castle. Near this latter, Palal repaired another piece, over against “the tower which lieth out from the king's high house that was by the court of the prison, and after him Pedaiah, the son of Paroth ;” each repaired opposite to his own house.
Here, then, we have the city encircled upon three of its sides, and then the prophet turns to the east again : “Moreover, the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, and repaired unto the place over against the Water-gate, towards the east, and the tower that lieth out.” We here reach the modern wall again, which corresponds to that of the ancient ; and I have little doubt that in it is part of the foundation of that wall repaired by Nehemiah. This tower “that lieth out" must, however, be carefully distinguished from that on the western side, near the castle of David. This district is the Ophlas of Josephus. But to proceed, the wall here turns sharply to the east for a short distance, and at a right angle with that running north at Ophel. This side of it faced the north of the great tower "that lieth out,” which was four square, and was the part repaired by the Tekoites.
The next place spoken of is the Horse-gate—this was placed at the south-east angle of the outer enclosure of the court of the temple, corresponding to the modern wall, outside the Mosque of Omar. When Athalia cried out treason at the anointing of Joash in the court of the temple, Jehoiada the priest ordered the captains to have her brought forth of the ranges, or the court of the sanctuary, and not to slay her in the house of the Lord; so
and admirable beauty (was) adorned with shields and the arms of the mighty." I may also remark upon the above portion of Scripture, that, whether it be an allegory or not, or however it may be spiritualized in the present day, it appears to have had a literal meaning and a personal application at the time it was written; and to this hour the Song of Solomon is sung as a love-song, both by the Hebrews and by the Arabs of the desert, from Babylon to Tadmor.
THE HOUSE OF DAVID.
they took her forth, “and when she was come to the entering of the Horse-gate, they slew her there.” (2 Chr. xxiii. 12, 15.) Thus it appears to have been one of the gates leading immediately from the outer sanctuary—moreover, it was nigh to the place where Solomon is supposed to have erected his celebrated stables, the remains of which are stated by some of the early writers on Jerusalem to have existed even up to the time of the Crusades. It may have received its name from the horses having been led out to water at the adjacent water-course ; and in later times Herod constructed his hippodrome a short distance to the southwest of it, near the Valley-gate. Some rabbins have supposed that in order to go to the temple, a person might proceed on horseback to this gate, and then alight.
From this point we read that the priests, who, we know, resided within the enclosure of the temple, repaired “every one over against his own house." By following this line we continue on by the straight wall of the present city, to the east of Omar's mosque; but we are told that before the workmen arrived at the place where we originally set out, there were corners and turnings ; nay, that Malchiah repaired unto the place of the Nethinims, on which we have already turned our back. This is all reconciled, however, by following the course of the inner or western enclosure wall of the temple, as well as the straight outer wall, when we arrive at the Sheep-gate, where we originally commenced. The gate Miphkad, repaired by Malchiah, was, I believe, in this inner western enclosure wall, and somewhere near its N.W. corner.
As the royal palace formed a conspicuous object in the circuit of the walls, the ascertaining of its precise locality is an object of importance in a topographical point of view. It was situated somewhere within the walls near to the king's gardens, and between the Fountain and the Valley gates; it is called in the 3rd of Nehemiah, and 16th verse, “the house of the mighty,” and in the 12th chapter and 37th verse, “ the house of David.”
There are likewise other gates spoken of in Scripture, to which it is necessary to give, if possible, a locality ; these are the Highgate and the East-gate; which I understand to be synonymous with the gate of Benjamin. This was in the eastern wall, midway between the Sheep-gate and the Horse-gate. When Joash commenced his reign, he took the people down from the house of
REMAINS OF THE ANCIENT CITY.
the Lord, and they came through the High-gate, (2 Chr. xxiii. 20. and xxvii. 3.) King Jotham repaired this gate; and Jeremiah the prophet, when leaving Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin, was arrested in the gate of Benjamin. (Jer. xxxvii. 31, 12.) Now, as the land or lot of the tribe of Benjamin was eastward of Jerusalem, it is but natural to suppose that he went out on the east side, and that this was the same gate we read of in the twentieth chapter and second verse, where the prophet is put in the stocks—“in the High-gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the Lord.” I shall have occasion to mention this gate again in the topography of another city, under the name of the Golden-gate.
Biblical scholars, and those who feel an interest in any thing relating to this remarkable city, can now take up the twelfth chapter of Nehemiah, and trace upon the map how the different parties proceeded at the time of the dedication.
Before we commence the description of the present modern wall, a very interesting inquiry presents itself. Are there besides those I have already enumerated, any existing remains of this ancient Jerusalem that I have just described ?
Many persons understand the denunciation of our blessed Lord, that one stone should not be left standing upon another, as apply. ing to the entire city ; but this appears to others to have been uttered against the temple in particular, whose demolition is so complete, that I do not suppose one particle of the dust into which its ruins crumbled could now be found. For, independent of the plunder and destruction it underwent when fired by the Roman soldiers under Titus, we learn that Terentius Rufus tore up the very foundations of the temple with a ploughshare. Jerusalem became heaps, as was prophesied by Micah the Morashite in the days of Hezekiah: “ Zion shall be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the HOUSE, as the high places of the forest." (Micah, iii. 12.)
But there are parts of the present wall of the city so truly remarkable, that they demand the strictest inquiry. These parts are found on the east side, opposite the Mount of Olives, above the steepest part of the valley of Jehoshaphat, and rising above the present Turkish burial-ground. They form part of the outer enclosure of the mosque of Omar, commencing to the right of St. Stephen's gate, and reaching to the south-eastern corner, where
the wall turns over part of Mount Moriah, and onward to Mount Sion. We found the lower part of the city wall formed of stones of enormous size, such as are not to be seen elsewhere in Jerusalem, or even in any part of Judea, except those noticed by Captains Irby and Mangles at Hebron, in the sepulchre of Abraham, upwards of twenty-five feet long. They are oblong blocks of hewn marble, very hard, and of a yellowish-white colour. Many that I measured in this wall, were twenty-four feet long, three feet thick, and five feet six inches broad, for some being corner-stones at the base of an ancient tower, allowed me to determine this point. On the inner side of the wall are some upwards of thirty feet long; in general they run to twenty in length by six feet square. They are put together according to that order of Cyclopean architecture, where square masses of stone were laid horizontally in courses, with intervals between each, the spaces being filled up with smaller stones, connected by strong cement. On the top of this is raised the present modern wall, as around the rest of the city. In some places this ancient work reaches up so far as to form one half of the whole height, in others not above fifteen feet; much, however, of the foundation being concealed by the increased elevation of the surrounding ground. This, it will be remembered, formed not only the outer enclosure of the temple, but of the city itself, which had here but one wall; the deep natural fosse of the valley beneath affording it a sufficient protection. Some architectural similarity to this enormous work is found in the Pelasgian walls of Italy, as at Valterra, Lodi, and Cortona, and other cities of Etruria ; but in no part of Greece have I met stones of such dimensions, not even in the Cyclopean walls of Tyrus, or the Pnyx. All these latter are said to be the product of Phænician workmanship, as well as those of Jerusalem, which we know were reared by the Tyrians. These two different forms of architecture at the top and bottom are not without their parallel elsewhere; for in Pompeii and on the acropolis at Athens the upper parts of the wall point out a period much more modern than that at which the lower part was erected.
This ancient work is continued round the southern corner, at the place where I have marked the site of the Horse-gate, and around Ophel to the modern Dung-gate, where it is the highest point of the city wall-nearly ninety feet high ; and this part, it will be remembered, was raised up by Jotham and Manasseh,