One of the earliest American biblical scholar who explored the Holyland was Edward Robinson.  Preceding the adventures of Charles Warren and Charles Wilson (in the 1860s), Robinson is best known today in Jerusalem archaeology as investigating an ancient archway located on the SW corner of Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem.  Today, the arch is named after him.

1838 was the year when the exploration took place.  What’s quite amazing is the primitive photo that preserves how high the level of debris was nearly 175 years ago.  What a comparison today as archaeologists since the 1970’s have renewed excavations in this area.  A Roman street now is exposed nearly 70 feet below Robinson’s Arch, no doubt serving as a walkway that Jesus and His disciples once used.  This street extended southward, all the way to the Siloam Pool (John 9).  Under this street, a drainage channel was recently discovered.  On the 3-4 past tours I have led, we’ve had the opportunity to walk through this Herodian structure.

As suggested models display, this archway bridged one of a few entry ways into the Temple itself, specifically into the Royal Stoa (John 10:23, Acts 3:11).  Some suggest that this arched entrance was used by Temple priests, while the common Jew entered the Temple courts through the southern Huldah Gates.  Miqvot (ritual baths) have been discovered as well in this area outside the Temple for the purpose of cleansing/purifying.  This ancient overpass structure was destroyed during the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

The adventurous spirit of Edward Robinson is to be appreciated!  Three cheers for his pioneering efforts and for his commitment to opening the world of the Bible to so many!

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