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PROPHECIES REGARDING THIS GATE.
this gate, on a strip of level ground that intervenes between it and the steep declivity of the valley of Jehoshaphat; and in it are generally to be seen some Mooslim women mourning over the graves of their relatives. The large stones I before described, are seen well in the vicinity of this gate; while the doorway is built up of small ones similar to those used in constructing the modern Turkish wall. Bonomi states, that “proceeding to the interior of the Golden Gate," he discovered that “a central row of noble Corinthian columns, and a groined roof had once formed a stately portico of Roman workmanship;” this may, however, be a part of the decorations added by Herod Agrippa. (See Hogg's visit.)
Sandys relates a curious old legend respecting this gate. He says “that the emperor Heraclius returning from his Persian victory, attempted to have entered thereat in all his glory, but was miraculously prohibited until he had put off all his princely ornaments, in a simple habit, bearing a part of the cross on his shoulders.” Not only was this the gate of Benjamin in the ancient city, but it corresponds precisely to the gate of that name mentioned in the City-like Temple seen by Ezekiel, and also to that spoken of in the Revelations.
We see that this gate faces the Mount of Olives, looking towards the east, and is in that portion of the wall that was left standing. Here I would again refer my readers to the remarkable vision of Ezekiel, (xl. 6,) in which an eastern gate of Jerusalem is spoken of, and described with an accuracy and precision that is not used with respect to any other part. In this vision the prophet seems to have had a prospective glance of many centuries to come. He is first conducted into the city by a gate “which looketh towards the east,” and which was the gate of the outer court or sanctuary of the temple. All its parts are here described with the greatest minuteness, as it was intended to be the type or model for all the rest. The two following chapters contain a description of the measurements and ornaments of the temple, and the prophet says in chap. xliii. v. 15, “Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house, he brought me forth towards the gate, whose prospect is towards the east, and measured it round about.” “ Afterwards he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east : and behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the
CLOSURE OF THE EASTERN GATE.
east, and his voice was like a noise of many waters, and the earth shined with his glory.”—(chap. xliii. v. 1, 2.) This, the prophet says, was in accordance with the vision that he saw by the river of Chebar when he came to destroy the city, and the same is repeated in the fourth verse. May not this have been fulfilled when the Lord came from Bethpage, which is eastward of the city, and made that triumphal entry when the people cast their garments in the way, and acknowledged him as a prince, crying, “ Hosanna to the son of David ?”
In the commencement of the succeeding chapter the prophet states, that he was again brought back by “the way of the gate of the outer sanctuary, which looketh towards the east, and it was shut. Then said the Lord unto me, this gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.” This evidently refers to its present state, for in the third verse he says, “It is for the prince—the prince he shall sit in it to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.” Thus alluding to the Messiah's second advent, when “his feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.”—(Zech. xiv. 4.) In the remaining portion of Ezekiel's prophecy this gate is so often referred to as to render it a prominent object, and one well worthy the attention of the enlightened biblical scholar. Tradition states it to be the golden gate of the temple, and from this gate it is that the inspired writer says, that the waters are to issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea, where having arrived they shall be healed. (Ezek. xlvii. 8.) The sea referred to is evidently the Dead Sea, to which the valley of Jehoshaphat leads from beneath this gate.
Regarding the restoration of the Jews, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and the wonderful events that are yet to take place in a spot round which the movements of the different kingdoms of the earth seem to revolve as around a common centre, some faint glimmering of light appears to have long existed among the Mohammadans, as we learn from their many traditions; and particularly from that interesting manuscript lately published by the Oriental Translation Society, entitled “ The History of the Temple of Jerusalem, by the Iman Jalal-Addin Al Siuti, written in
the Christian year, 1444.” This author says, “In the last times there shall be a general flight unto the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, * (the temple of Jerusalem,) and the ark, and the gracious presence (Shechinah) of God, shall be lifted up on high in this temple ;" and then he goes on to say, “ here shall be the general gathering of all men, the general resurrection : unto the holy abode shall God come in the darkness of thick clouds amidst his angels ; and all creatures shall burst through their graves without difficulty, and all the inhabitants of Paradise shall come down again with pomp on the day of judgment unto this temple," and here “shall the seraphim blow the trumpet on the wall of the temple, and proclaim those great and terrific words—'O flesh torn from the bones ! O bones gnawed and cut! come forth unto your reckoning, and let your breath breathe forth again, and receive the recompense of your deeds.'”
“Unto this temple, affirmed the prophet, there shall be flight after flight of all good people.” Again, “also, said the prophet of God unto Abu-Ubaidah Al-Jirah, hope of all hope shall rest upon this temple, when the time of temptation and tumult shall appear.” And though mixed up with the usual absurdities and traditions of Mohammadanism, the millennial days are dimly shadowed forth in this work, for at page 296 we read—“Now, for Al Mahadí (the True Guide) who shall live in later times, the prophet said, “in the latter times great misfortunes and trials shall fall upon my people from their Sultáns, such as never was heard of before, until the wide earth shall be too narrow for them. The earth shall be also full of injustice and oppression. Then will God send down a man to fill the earth with justice and equity, as it was before filled with injustice and wrong. Then shall the dweller in the heavens, and the dweller upon earth be well content: neither shall the earth be deprived of one drop of the copious showers which I will pour down upon it, nor the heaven of those streams I cause to flow. This man shall live with them seven, or eight, or nine years. His life or death shall be fixed and determined by the good which God wills to be effected for the people of the earth.”” Again, “Mahadí shall be
* Jerusalem is called El Kuds (the Holy) by the Arabs; and by most of the Arabian writers Beit or Baitu El Mukaddas.
born in Medina, of the family of Muhammad, and of the same name.”
“Now, for the expedition to the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, Muhammad-Ibn-Hanífa-Abbás said, Truly the black standards of the Prophet shall march forward ; and from Khorasan another black and white array shall advance ; in which array there shall be seen a man called Shaih-Ibn-Saleh, prince of the sons of Akama. He shall put to flight all the commands of Sufián, until he attack the Holy City, in order to smooth the way for the assumption of the sovereignty thereof by Mahadí. Mahadí shall come thither from Syria. Also between the commencement of the march and the final accomplishment of the proposed object, shall elapse seventythree months. Others say that Shuaib shall suddenly and secretly march upon the Holy City, in order to prepare an abiding place for Mahadí, when he shall hear of the march to Syria. The number of the army shall be twelve thousand. Again, by the hands of Mahadì shall the ark of Shechinah (Divine Presence) be brought forward and exposed to view, from the desert of Tiberias, and shall be carried and placed before him in the Holy City; which when the Jews behold, they shall all become Moselims, except a few. Then Mahadi shall die. Again, truth and justice shall be perverted ; men shall be avaricious, the world shall act perversely ; not an instant shall pass unmarked by some evil deed or word on the part of created beings; and none shall show and follow the right way, but Jesus, son of Maria. It is also a common and well-founded tradition, that never shall the Holy City want: never shall there cease to be found therein a man to do the good deeds of the House of David, and never shall there be wanting a chief of the company of David's comrades to enter the Holy City.”
And again, when relating the future glory of Syria, and the first building of Damascus, as well as the tradition of the reappearance of the Messiah, he says—“This is the tower (but God knows) upon which Jesus son of Maria will alight; for Muhammad is reported to have said, I saw Jesus son of Maria come forth from near the white minaret, east of the mosque, placing his hands upon the wings of two angels firmly bound to him. Upon him was the divine glory, (the Shechinah). He was marked by the red tinge of baptism. This is the mark of original sin. Jesus (it is also said) shall come forth from the
White Tower by the eastern gate, and shall enter the mosque. Then shall the word come forth for Jesus to fight with Antichrist at the corner of the city, as long as it shall please God.”*
Having now completed the circuit of the ancient walls, and shown that they in all likelihood excluded Calvary, or Goath, let us consider what are the objections urged against the line of circumvallation, laid down in the accompanying map. Dr. Clarke states, “it is probable that the whole of Mount Sion has been excluded; and that the mountain covered by ruined edifices, whose base is perforated by ancient sepulchres, and separated from Mount Moriah by the deep trench or Tyropæon, extending as far as the fountain Siloa, towards the eastern valley, is in fact, that eminence which was once surrounded by the 'bulwarks, towers, and regal buildings of the house of David.” This is the Mount. of Evil Council, which I have marked as the Mount of Offence, its name at the time Sandys and Pococke visited Jerusalem. The reasons assigned for this position by the learned antiquary are, first, that without it the circumference of the ancient city, a circuit of twenty-seven stadia, or three miles and three furlongs, as stated by Eusebius, would be too small; secondly, that he · found certain sepulchres in the northern side of this hill, which he believed to be the sepulchres of the sons of David, mentioned in Nehemiah ; and thirdly, that on several of these sepulchres, he discovered certain Greek inscriptions, some of which with a cross before them ran thus, “ + THCARIAC CIWN
• See the History of the Temple of Jerusalem, translated from the Arabic MS. of the Imam Jalal-Addin Al Siuti, by the Rev. James Reynolds, B.A. published under the auspices of the Oriental translation fund of Great Britain and Ireland ; one of the most extraordinary works that has appeared for many years, and well worthy the attentive perusal of the learned. Since the first edition of this “ Narrative” was published, my attention has been called to this work, by the learned Hammer Purgstall, who showed in his review of it in the “ Oesterreichische Jarhbücher der Litterature,” that it is in many respects an erroneous translation; and with great justness observes, that its editor ought to have been aware of the existence of a translation of a great part of it," ex codice manuscripto Niebuhriano Bibliothecæ Regiæ Hauniensis,” by Paulus Lemming. A Latin translation with Arabic extracts, published by Schultz, Hauniae in 1817.