Israel 2000 Visit » Jerusalem » 6 Kidron  (5 Slides)     [Page 1 of 1] :: Jump To  
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We are now off the wall and in the Kidron valley to the east of the city down from Stephen's Gate also known as the lion's gate. This is the Church of all Nations and to the left of it is an ancient olive grove that could be the Garden of Gethsemane. If this isn't the exact location of Gethsemane it is bound to be near by. Behind the church rises the Mount of Olives. The seven golden domed church in the upper center is the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Mary Magdalene built in 1885.
There are some interesting tombs along the bottom of the Kidron valley. Their names would seem to indicate that they are from the era of the prophets but in fact they are from the Hasmonean period. They were here at the time of Jesus, however, so they are still very ancient. This is the so called Absalom's Pillar. Down the valley just beyond the view of this picture are the Tomb of Jehoshaphat and the Tomb of Zechariah. You can get a sense for the size of these tombs if you notice the two people walking just to the right of Absalom's Pillar. Also behind Absalom's Pillar you can see part of the Mount of Olives graveyards. Popular wisdom states that this is where the resurrection will take place first.
This is the south east corner of the Temple Mount. Some have identified this with the Pinnacle of the Temple referred to in Matthew 4:5 and Luke 4:9.
This shot was taken right next to the Pinnacle of the Temple but facing south toward where the Kidron and Hinnom Valley's meet. What struck me here was how steep the Kidron Valley really is. I had always been told this but I didn't think it was quite this steep. Just beyond the white wall on the right hidden by the green trees lies David's city or the Lower City. Near the bottom of this hill just beyond the brown grass is the Gihon Spring and the entrance to Hezekiah's Tunnel.
  1 Church of all Nations  
  2 Pillar of Absalom  
  3 Pinnacle of the Temple  
  4 Steep Kidron Valley  
Unfortunately this is not a very good shot. I had to manipulate it considerably just to get this much detail. In any case this is the Gihon Spring. Hezekiah's Tunnel starts here and winds underground for about a half hour walk before emptying into a pool in the lower end of the Lower City. If you are not familiar with Hezekiah's Tunnel it would be worth your while to do an internet search and read up on it. In short it is the fascinating story of a tunnel that was dug by Hezekiah when he was threatened by Sennacherib (see 2 Kings 20 and 2 Chronicles 32). The tunnel was then lost although it continued to feed the pool with water and it was not rediscovered until the 1800s. A plaque, the now famous Siloam inscription, was also found just inside the pool end of the tunnel which described in paleo Hebrew script how the tunnel diggers started from both ends until they finally met.
  5 Hezekiah Tunnel  
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© Charles Grebe
This slide show is dedicated to my mother who made possible our summer 2000 visit to Israel.