I personally have difficulty with the concept of the continuity of Jewish tradition. Tradition tells us that down through the centuries, even millennia, the location of sites, and even cities, in Israel are correct because of tradition. They knew where things were.
An example of my difficulty is the City of David. Until the 19th Century, the location of the City of David was unknown. In 1838 Edward Robinson discovered Hezekiah’s Tunnel beneath the area later confirmed to be the City of David. It was not known with certainty that this was Hezekiah’s Tunnel until the discovery of the inscription in the tunnel in 1884 noting that it was dug through the bedrock at the command of King Hezekiah. The tunnel was dug to give access to the water of the Gihon Spring while they were under siege, and confirms the location of the City of David.
The point is – the City of David had been lost!
In Bible times, graves were always outside the city. In the Kidron Valley, opposite the City of David, is a necropolis, a city of graves. An exception was made for King David and his royal house, who were buried in the City of David. (I Kings 2:10, I Kings 11:43, I Kings 14:31)
In 1913, a French-Jewish scholar named Raymond Weill was commissioned to excavate in the City of David, and specifically to search for the site of the royal tombs. He found what could be described as a large tomb. The tomb was empty and had probably been pillaged by the Romans in 70 A.D. It had been destroyed when the City of David was used as a stone quarry by the Romans after the destruction of Jerusalem. This was not an ordinary tomb because the walls had been plastered to give it a finished appearance. It is very possible that this was the location of the Tomb of King David in the City of David as described in the Bible. (Nehemiah 3:16)
The Tomb of David had been lost – and it still is. Today, there is a purported Tomb of David in a building dating back to about 1000 A.D. on the Western Hill of Jerusalem outside of the City of David. Recall, King David lived about 3000 years ago.
Actually, the people of Israel have lost an entire mountain. The Western Hill is called Mount Zion. This is not Mount Zion. Mount Zion has been lost.
The Bible tells us the location of Mount Zion and the location of the Temple, both of which are in the City of David. First, the Lord said that He would chose a place for His name to be worshipped. (Deuteronomy 12:5, 12:11, 16:2, 16:6) Next, the Lord told us where He would place His name, which was Mount Zion. (Psalm 9:11, 48:2, 74:2, 76:2, 132:13, Isaiah 18:7) Finally, the Bible tells us where Mount Zion is located, and that is the City of David. (II Samuel 5:7, I Kings 8:1, I Chronicles 11:5, II Chronicles 5:2) Mount Zion is not the Western Hill.
So memory, and tradition, have failed. Based on Holy Scripture, the Temple of God was located in the City of David, on Mount Zion!
That means that the walled fort on the traditional Temple Mount was never the location of the Temple – for the Bible tells me so.
Praise the Lord for His Holy Word! He deserves all honor and praise!