Rabbi Harry Moskoff has been digging into the exact location of past Temples. His research and findings are calling into the question the status quo and consensus opinion regarding the exact Temple location.
“At first, I thought it was in the northern end of the Temple Mount,” Rabbi Moskoff.
2 Chronicles 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
“The verse states that it was on the mountain. It does not specify that it was at the top of the mountain. The Temple was located on a threshing floor bought by King David. These (threshing floors) are not located on mountain tops. In the days of Solomon, the peak of the mountain was located where the Dome of the Rock is.” -Rabbi Moskoff
Oral traditions not found in the Bible state the Temple was not built on what is considered today’s Temple Mount. Oral traditions are consistent with Biblical texts, ancient rabbis, and historians.
2 Samuel 5:7 Nevertheless, David captured the stronghold of Zion, that is the city of David.
The city of David is a specific location within greater Jerusalem. The city of David is located south of what is known as the Temple Mount in modern day Jerusalem. The city of David is down the hill, below, and south of the modern day Temple Mount. The distance between the two locations is approximately 600-1000 feet.
Rabbi Moskoff pointed to the historical account of 12th century Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, aka Maimonides or Ramban. The Rabbi went to the Temple Mount and entered the golden Dome of the Rock. Again, the Dome of the Rock is a top the Temple Mount.
“The Rambam would not have entered the building if he thought it was the location of the Holy of holies,” Moskoff.
Rabbi Moskoff now thinks the Holy of Holies of the Temple is located southwest of the Dome of the Rock.
First century AD Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus noted the Temple was located below a fortress. The Temple was not located on the top of the mountain. The Temple was located below the Temple Mount and below a recently unearthed fortress.
“…he built a citadel in the lower part of the city, for the place was high, and overlooked the Temple; on which account he fortified it with high walls and towers, and put into it a garrison of Macedonians.” -Flavius Josephus
Historians and books written in the first century say the Temple site was south in the city of David. This is below the modern day Temple Mount area.
Then, there is the issue of water. The only local source of water is the Gihon Spring. It is located south or below the modern day Temple Mount. Remember, these folks did not have access to modern day plumbing. They would have pumped water uphill 1,000 feet to the modern day Temple Mount.
This location south of the modern day Temple Mount would allow for construction of the Temple without interfering with Muslim religious shrines.