“Fleming found himself “knee-deep in bones” and became suddenly aware he had fallen into a mass burial site. To him, the most amazing aspect of this incident was his clear view of five large wedge shaped stones set into a massive arch.”
There is one last gate to enter. There is no news in the world. Is this the calm before the storm? We have entered Passover that celebrates God’s children being freed from slavery.
“Your sorrow will soon turn to Joy.”
In Luke 4.18-19 we read of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in a Synagogue in Nazareth. He stands up to be recognized, the attendant hands him the Torah roll, specifically the roll of Isaiah, to read, and he seeks a particular, Messianic passage, Isaiah 61.1-2, Luke 4.18-19).
‘The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because God has anointed me to preach good news to the meek, he has sent me to bind up the broken of heart, to proclaim liberty to captives and to those who are prisoners, freedom, to proclaim the Jubilee year of the Lord and the day of God’s vengeance’.
The terms that Jesus was using in his discourse were those associated with Sabbatical Years, and with the Jubilee Year that was observed every fiftieth year. In this year all the debts of the poor were absolved, and slaves set free. Jubilee Years were not being celebrated by the Jews in the 1st century, yet the ordinary seven-year sabbatical cycle was very much in evidence among the Jews and Samaritans. The last time the Jubilee was celebrated was in 121 BCE.
I suspect Jesus was calling for the reinstatement of the Jubilee Year and thus the severe questioning from the Jews as to his authority to call for the freeing of slaves, the forgiveness of all debts by the poor who became slaves to fellow Jews in order to pay a debt, and, the non-payment of taxes during the Jubilee Year, which would get him in trouble with the Romans and the wealthy Sanhedrin who approved of Roman rule because it created a upper class, the very thing the Jubilee Year was designed to prevent from being permently established. The wealthy Jews who saw loss of revenue, and the return of lands to the poor tenants, tried to murder Jesus, who I suspect has produced Revelations, proclaiming himself the Alpha and Omega, the first and last days when God will have his vengeance and Judgement. The Jubilee Year began on the Day of Atonement.
Here is the proof that Jesus was preaching Orthodoxy
The Golden Gate was built around 640-705 AD by the last Byzantine ruler, or possibly the first of the Muslim rulers. This gate was sealed in the 700s to prevent Jewish zealots from creating and promoting a messiah like political figure to rally around. The Crusaders kept the gate blocked, but twice each year they would unblock and open it for Palm Sunday in the spring and for a fall festival called “Exaltation of the Cross.” This gate has not been unblocked since the Crusaders lost control of Jerusalem.
Behind the black metal fence setting in front of the Golden Gate and underneath recently poured concrete is the now-inaccessible Herodian gate. Photos of this 2000-year-old gate (and its Herodian ashlars in the arch) were taken in 1969 by James Flemming, a student from the American Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem (now called Jerusalem University College). Lambert Dolphin records James Fleming’s
experience and discovery in these words:
In the year 1969 Jerusalem archaeologist James Fleming was investigating the Eastern wall of the Temple where a Muslim cemetery has long been located. It had rained heavily the night before and the ground remained soggy the next day. As he investigated the area immediately in front of the
Golden Gate, the ground beneath his feet gave way and he dropped into a hole about eight feet deep.
Fleming found himself “knee-deep in bones” and became suddenly aware he had fallen into a mass burial site. To him, the most amazing aspect of this incident was his clear view of five large wedge shaped stones set into a massive arch. It appeared he had discovered an ancient gate under the present Golden Gate: “Then I noticed with astonishment that on the eastern face of the turret wall, directly beneath the Golden Gate itself, were five wedgeshaped stones neatly set in a massive arch spanning the turret wall. Here were the remains of an earlier gate to Jerusalem, below the Golden Gate, one that apparently had never been fully documented. (BAR, Jan./Feb. 1983, p30)
Very soon after this discovery the Muslims covered the chamber, cemented over the top, and surrounded the mass grave with a protective iron fence. Sadly, this means it is unlikely that Israeli archaeologists will be able to excavate the gate under the Golden Gate in the near future. In contrast visitors to the Damascus Gate are now able to visit an ancient, restored old Roman gate beneath the present Damascus Gate (the present upper Damascus Gate was reconstructed in 1537-38). Josephus states (Wars V, 184-189) that the Eastern temple enclosure wall was the only one not rebuilt by Herod the Great. The ancient gate beneath the Golden Gate may therefore date from Solomon times or at least from the time of Nehemiah. Such a view of consistent with Asher Kaufman’s view that the First and Second Temples were located 110 meters North of the Dome of the Rock in the immediate vicinity of the small Dome of the Tablets shrine on the main temple platform. (by Lambert Dolphin at http://www.templemount.org/visittemp.html)
Two different photos of the ancient gate below the present Golden Gate taken by James Fleming after he had fallen in the grave in front of the Golden Gate in 1969 may be seen online at these two locations: