The Tomb of King David in Jerusalem: the holy site left outside the walls of old Jerusalem
THE TOMB OF KING DAVID IN JERUSALEM
The Tomb of King David in Jerusalem frequents thousands of travelers every day. The complex itself is sacred to the three major religions: Christianity. Islam, and Judaism, and is probably one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Jerusalem.
The Tomb of King David on Mount Zion is located outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, opposite the Zion Gate which you can visit with a private tour guide in Jerusalem.
On the first level, you will find the entrance floor and the Tomb itself. On the second floor, you will find the Last Supper Room, consecrated to Christians. On the third floor, it is the roof of the compels-you will find a mosque minaret, a study room of the second president Isaac Ben Zvi, and a traditional observation point towards the Temple Mount.
TOMB OF KING DAVID AFTER THE 1947-1949 WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
During the 1947-1949 War of Independence, Jews were expelled from all the holy places that we mentioned, except for the tomb of David on Mount Zion.
According to the 1949 agreements between Israel and Jordan, Mount Zion was defined as "unpopulated no man's land", in any case, there were Arab Muslim owners of the grave of David - the Dajani family, neighbors: Franciscan monks and German monks of Dormition Abbey, and it was unsafe. Recall that the entire old city, including the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall, was occupied by Jordan.
In the 1950s, the mayor's office of the Jewish part of Jerusalem and enthusiasts from the Ministry of Religious Affairs transformed David's tomb into the most important Jewish holy site of the young state.
Here they organized collective prayers and celebrated Jewish holidays, built an observation deck for thrill-seekers, overlooking the old city and the Wailing Wall, the Temple, and the Olives. Visitors risked coming up here to get hit by Jordanian snipers.
The People's Museum of Judaica the first museum in Israel dedicated to the memory of the victims of the catastrophe in the recent war appears next to the Tomb of David.
Over the tomb of King David, on the roof, in the early 1950s, even an impromptu reception room of the President of the State of Israel was arranged, the inscription about this remains to this day, even though in the past two decades the entire complex, including the tomb of David and the room of the Last Supper, restored outside and inside, in preparation for the visits of popes from the Vatican.
Visiting the grave of King David before 1967 was unsafe and not entirely legal from the point of view of international law. Definitely - for the majority of Jews it was at this time that the cult of the tomb of King David was created as a saint, as the holiest at that time, a Jewish place in Jerusalem.
"Have you tried during these years to verify the authenticity of David's grave"? - Yes. But there were no attempts to carry out real excavations - maybe they were afraid that they would not find anything, maybe they were afraid that they would find the wrong thing, maybe they simply followed the religious ban on opening Jewish graves and did not want to disturb the peace of the Jewish king, prophet, and psalmist!
WHERE IS MOUNT ZION?
Ancient Zion was destroyed and forgotten in ancient times, but for the Jews, it has always remained a symbol and synonym for Jerusalem.
Modern Mount Zion is part of the Upper City during the time of King Herod and Jesus. In more ancient times, this area was called the Western Hill and was located outside the city of King David between the valleys of the Hagai and Gekhin brooks, opposite the Temple Mount.
After the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple by the Romans in 70 AD, after the Bar Kokhba revolt, by the middle of the 2nd century AD, Jewish Jerusalem and Zion ceased to exist. The Romans built a new city over the ruins of Jerusalem - Elia Capitolina. Approximately 200 years later, the first Christian buildings appeared in the city, and the holy evangelical places associated with the stay of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem were identified.
At this time, the tradition of the new Zion appears. The area of the city in which Christians lived - the slope of the mountain around the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and further south to the valley of the Gekhin stream - was called the Mount of Zion.
Today, Mount Zion, we call only the site not included by the Turks in the 16th century within the city walls.
And the most famous and visited place on Mount Zion is the tomb of King David with the chamber of the Last Supper above it.
JEWISH PILGRIMAGE TO HOLY PLACES AND THE TOMB OF KING DAVID
Is David buried there? - most probably not. When did the tradition start? - after the end of the Crusades, under the Mamluk Muslim rulers of Jerusalem in the 14th century.
Many legendary heroes of the Hebrew Bible and the Gospel are venerated by the Muslims, among them: Abraham (Ibrahim), Moses (Musa), David (Daud), Solomon (Suleiman), Jesus (Isa), and Mary (Miriam).
The grave of David, marked by a large stone sarcophagus (in Hebrew, such structures are called mitzvah) was built on the lower floor of a mosque erected here in the 14th and 15th centuries.
It was in the spirit of the times. Similar structures of those times have come down to us - Nebi Mussa - the tomb of Moses in the Judean desert east of Jerusalem, Nebi Samuel - the tomb of the prophet Samuel in the Judean mountains west of Jerusalem. After the expulsion of the Crusaders, these were iconic Mameluk buildings in the Holy Land.
At the same historical time, next to Mount Zion and the tomb of David, through the efforts of the famous Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (Ramban), a Jewish quarter appeared in Jerusalem, which is located in this place to this day.
Did the Jews who lived under the rule of Muslims, and since 1921 under the rule of the British, visit David's grave? - yes, but the main places where Jews prayed for centuries were the Wailing Wall, the graves of the Forefathers in Hebron, the grave of Rachel in Bethlehem, and the grave of Joseph in Shechem. Jewish pilgrims from all over the world flocked to these places. These graves have a tradition of pilgrimage for thousands of years.
THE TOMB OF KING DAVID HIGHLIGHTS
The courtyard complex of the Tomb of King David: first recommends entering the main complex and the courtyard. The courtyard of the building is the center of Khan of the Mamluk period. From the courtyard of the complex, they entered the Hall of the Tomb of King David.
King David's Tomb Hall: here you will find a Hall divided into the side of men and the side of women. In the cubicle, a large tombstone is covered with a furrow. The arched and well-groomed tombstone niche. On the wall hangs a long blackened Torah scroll. In the past, there were other caskets of Torah scrolls that were stolen.
The niche facing the Temple Mount indicates that the original building is a synagogue. And this fact strengthens the holiness of the site. An ancient mosaic floor, dating from the Roman era, was discovered at a depth of 70 cm below the present-day floor.
You can read Psalms in the prayer room in front of King David's tomb, in the backyard of King David's tomb, you will find comfortable tables toilets, and water.
The Roof of King David's Tomb structure: after visiting the inside of the building, it is recommended to climb to the roof of King David's Tomb. On the third floor, the attic floor is located. Here is the small room of the second president Isaac Ben Zvi. In a small library cubicle, donations in honor of the president, memorial candles for Missing Persons IDF spaces, and more.
President Ben Zvi would have accepted pilgrims to Jerusalem, three times a year in three habits, and blessed them with the " blessing of the president." So he did until his death. The room is closed most of the time and was opened every Monday by Rabbi Yaakov Nassa, from 10:30 to 14:30.
Until the Six-Day War, the roof of King David's Tomb served as the closest place that Jews could reach, and watch the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Today, naturally, the roof is a historical trace of this observation point, what, too, that the trees grew, and houses rose in the Old City, and it is difficult to see the Western Wall, but it is possible to make a good view towards the East and the Temple Mount. A memorial plaque was also placed on the roof of the Jewish quarter from the time of the liberation war in 1948.
The Last Supper Room: Get Out of the David Tomb Complex to the North. Turn right according to the signs, climb one floor, and find yourself in the porch and corridor leading to the room attributed by Christian tradition, as The"Last Supper Room" of Jesus and the apostles. In this place according to the Christian faith, the events of the Ochristya were held, the ritual of washing the feet led by Jesus, the incarnation of Christ after his resurrection before the eyes of the apostles, and the delegation of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles on the fiftieth day after the crucifixion (Pentecost).
WHERE IS KING DAVID BURIED?
I always like to start my explanations with facts. The first in the facts is the consecration of the site of the Tomb of King David on Mount Zion. The site is sacred to the three religions as early as 1000, according to information from ancient literature, the message of Benjamin Matudela's travels began in about 1165.
The second fact is that the Bible is listed in the book of Kings 1 (B, 1): "David will lie with his ancestors and be buried in the city of David." And for every knowledge bar, the city of David is not on Mount Zion, but on the slopes of the Old City of Jerusalem, south of it, on the western slope of the Kidron stream. The inevitable conclusion is that the original Tomb of King David is not on the site of Mount Zion.
The proponents of the idea of King David's tomb on Mount Zion, First of all, rely first on the new medieval tradition, mentioned above. And secondly, they rely on the scripture in the book of Second Kings, on the relocation of the location of the Royal Cemetery field, to the UZA garden. In the new field in the UZA garden, the Kings of Manasseh, Amon, and probably Josiah, are the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth on the list of kings of Judah. Menashe says: "he was buried in the garden of his house in the garden of Uzza." and about the trust of his son: "he was buried with him in his burial in the garden of Uzza." In Josiah, he said, "in his covenant."
It is worth being precise here that the burial area passed in the late days of the first house to the UZA garden, but it was not noted that the graves that had already been buried in the city of David were also transferred.
In addition to Baba Batra, halacha Z. It was written: "All the necropolis are cleared except the Tomb of the king and the Tomb of the prophet, Rabbi Akiva says none of the Tomb of the king and the Tomb of the Prophet Maphnin, said to him and the Tomb of the House of David and the Tomb of the prophetess rat were in Jerusalem and did not touch anyone ever? Told them from their evidence of forgiveness they had and would have taken out impurity to the Kidron stream."This addition indicates that the tombs of Kings buried in the fields of the city of David were not evacuated, even after the city wall surrounded their territory.
My conclusion as a private tour guide in Israel to Jerusalem who participated in many excavations is that the original Tomb of King David was in the city of David, and remained in the city of David.
Today, after the extensive excavations in the city of David, a site is located in the south of the city of David, suitable for identification as the graves of the House of David. The site is now seen as a carved cave area whose case has collapsed. Many of the researchers show here the place of the graves of the Boiler House of the city of David. The caves were looted many years before the arrival of archaeologists for excavations in the city of David. Therefore, there are no indicative and identifying signs left in these burial caves. Despite the difficulties in identifying these burial caves as the tombs of the House of David in absolute form, I propose, to identify here the Tomb of King David, and even to give the site of the tombs of Kings in the city of David his obvious holiness.
My opinion as an expert private tour guide in Israel is The identification of the present site on Mount Zion as the Tomb of King David is described in the writings and literature of Benjamin Matudela's travel that went from Spain on a tour across Europe, the Levant and North Africa, around 1165. Benjamin Matudela wrote in his travel book a mysterious and interesting legend about the Tomb of King David in Mount Zion. Benjamin Matudela said that the people of the patriarch of Jerusalem entered the Tomb of King David. There they found a deep underground cave. They descended in the same cave down-down, through long convoluted Burrows, reaching the halls of the tombs of the Kings of Israel. For no one to descend into the halls, the cave was closed and hidden, opening with the order of the patriarch (....).
This miraculous fairy tale is described in the book of Benjamin Matudela's travels, which begin to consecrate the site in later literature. In later centuries, according to the local tradition created in Mount Zion, the Tomb of King David in Mount Zion was already written by the Ramban disciple, Rabbi Moshe Hagiz named Hari, and the Rabbi and Maharam also wrote about this.
In our time, in the absence of a tomb and a Zion known as King David's grave, the tradition and holiness of David's tomb on Mount Zion are strengthened. Conveniently, the Tomb of King David complex is also close to the Mount Zion parking lot and near Zion Gate. So comfortable and suitable for the beginning of an amazing private guided tour of ancient Jerusalem. And if not quite the great location of the complex on the private tours in Israel routes, the complex also has seating tables, a site for lighting soul candles, clean toilets, and running water. What is more, needed for travelers?
And with all the scripture above, it is worth noting, that the Tomb of King David on Mount Zion was consecrated. And as a place that was sanctified as a synagogue, it is sacred and worthy of prayer. Also, in the absence of a more accurate landmark place for King David's tomb, the site on Mount Zion can be designated as"King David's score". Thus, we will consider the holiness of King David's tomb on Mount Zion.
The second stage of the Crusader period, for the period is attributed to the burial place in the prayer hall on the ground floor. The tombstone looks like a coffin. Covered with blue iconostasis today.
The third stage of the Mamluk period. Central Khan courtyard for example.
The last stage was from the late Ottoman period.
Try visiting King David's Tomb in Jerusalem, a unique site combining 3 in 1 on my private guided tours in Israel concentrated in Jerusalem, it is actually in the old city of Jerusalem considered outside the walls.
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