What’s the Story Behind These Ruins?

A group of forty from our church are touring Israel. I asked my friends to post lots of pictures on Facebook. Seeing the photos of friends being baptized in the Jordan River was priceless.

One picture confused me. It was the ruins of one of Solomon’s six-chambered gates.

1 Kings 9:8, “And this Temple, splendid as it now is, will  become an object of contempt; visitors will shake their heads, saying, ‘Whatever happened here? What’s the story behind these ruins?’ ” The Message

Back in Iowa, Christian Books and Gifts was having a closing sale. We went last weekend and I bought another Bible – the Chronological Study Bible. It is divided into 9 Epochs.

  • Epoch 1 Creation and the Beginnings of Human Civilization
  • Epoch 2 Israel’s Ancestors, Egypt in the Middle Bronze Age
  • Epoch 3 The Rise of a Unified People, the Exodus, Conquest of Canaan
  • Epoch 4 From Tribes to a Nation, the United Monarchy in Israel
  • Epoch 5 Divided Monarchy in Israel, Neo-Assyrian & Neo-Babylon Empire
  • Epoch 6 Exile and Return, Wisdom in Ancient Near East, Persian Empire
  • Epoch 7 Between the Two Testaments, Greek Empire, Roman Empire
  • Epoch 8 Coming of the Messiah, Life of Jesus Christ
  • Epoch 9 Church Age, Spread of the Gospel, the End Times

I read the same passage in Epoch 4. There was an article about the six-chambered gates.

“…Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer all had nearly identical six-chambered gates. The chambers were part of a gate complex and part of a larger tower structure. They were constructed by building four parallel piers on each side of the entranceway. These piers were connected and made into rooms by an outside wall on each set of piers. There were, then, three rooms on each side, with an aisle down the middle.

Wooden gates were place between the piers, which meant that the entire gate complex had four separate gates. The multiple gates, and chambers behind each gate, assured a difficult access for those trying to take the city by force.

At both Hazor and Gezer, a casemate wall was connected to the unique gateways. Casemate walls were two closely parallel walls which were subdivided into rooms. While these walls were rather narrow and not very thick, dirt from within the city could be quickly placed between the walls, transforming the two walls into one thick wall.”

“Solomon and His Architecture,” Chronological Study Bible, Epoch 4, 1 Kings 9:15

That gate sounded impregnable but it wasn’t; the tower and walls are gone. Only the foundations remain. The only impregnable place is found in God.

“The Name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe,” Proverbs 18:10. New International Version

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