Image Description from historic lecture booklet: "Many of the boulders and pebbles of the till are found to be glaciated, or marked with parallel scratches. Often they look as if engraved with a sharp need. Sometimes the scratches are deep and rough. A marked polish is seen on some stones. If we dig through the subsoil to the bed-rock, we shall often find the latter scratched in the same way, or even deeply grooved and carved into fluting's and the folding. The glacier, shod with stones at its base, drags these over the bed-rock, and thus both the moving fragments and the floor over which they move are polished and graven. The direction of the scratches corresponds to that in which the erratic boulders have been moved, and so, putting these other facts together, we have full proof that glaciers have done the work."
This octagonal building with a blue dome stands directly over the rock where the altar arose in front of the ancient temple. It is commonly called "The Mosque of Omar", but it is not a mosque nor was it built by the Caliph Omar. Yet it is regarded by Mohammedan as one of the most holy places upon the earth, and next in sacredness to the great mosque of Mecca in Arabia. You notice that the building is in two colors, the upper part dark, the lower light. The upper part is faced with porcelain tiles, the lower part with marble. The smaller domed building on the right, it is said, was built as a model for the larger edifice, and is called "the judgement seat of David." We will walk across the rocky plateau, take off our shoes, or cover them with slippers, and step inside the Dome of the Rock.
Although there may be doubt as to the location of Mount Zion, there is none as to Mount Moriah. It stands north of Ophel, and somewhat higher. The open square marks the site of Solomon's Temple with the courts that surrounded it. We are looking at Mount Moriah from the Mount of Olives, across the Valley of the brook Kedron. Directly before us is the southeastern corner of the modern wall, which here follows the course of the ancient wall. Where stood the altar of the temple now rises the Dome of the Rock, generally but wrongly called "The Mosque of Omar". To the left of this Dome and over the southern wall we see another dome, which is the Mosque el Aksa, and beyond is the Mohammedan quarter of the city. Upon yonder open space, in the days of old, walked David and Solomon, Isaiah and Jeremiah, Christ and the twelve apostles.
When the temple was built, the summit of Mount Moriah was found not large enough for the building and its courts. The architects adopted the plan of building out the platform and resting it upon great walls reared up from the side of the mountain. We can descend by a series of steps into these vast substructions which are underneath the open court south of the Dome of the Rock. There are thirteen of these great vaults, including an area of 273 feet from east to west, and nearly 300 feet from north to south. They are called "Solomon's Stables" from a tradition of their use in ancient times. On the lower courses of the pillars a smooth band or drafting may be noticed. This is characteristic of very ancient work, and may indicate the foundations of these structures were laid by the Tyrian builders of Solomon's Temple. As we look upward to these arched roofs, let us remember that above them is the platform of the Temple area.
We climb up the staircase from the underground recesses, and standing upon the Temple platform, one looks across the Valley of the Kedron to the Mount of Olives. This is a range of hills, having four summits on the east of the city. Our views include the middle of the range, the part most interesting. That prominent building on the hillside with its onion-shaped dome, is a Russian Church; and the tower on the summit of the hill is also a Russian building. You can perceive three roads up the hill, that on the left is the highway to Jerusalem and Jericho, in Christ's time haunted by robbers - as you remember in the parable of "The Good Samaritan"; and even now it is not safe for travelers who are alone. That lower path on the right may be the one over which Christ rode on his traditional Garden of Gethsemane where our Saviour bowed in prayer on the night before his cross. These old olives may be the descendants of the tree whose leaves rustled over him in his agony.
On the northern side the New Calvary hill is an easy ascent either on foot or on horseback, and from its summit we take a view of Jerusalem. Close at hand we see the northern wall of the city, pierced by the Damascus Gate, the very gate through which Saul of Tarsus went forth on his persecuting errand, expecting to scatter the church in Damascus, as he had scattered the church in Jerusalem. That modern building on the right is the Latin Convent and hospice for the entertainment of Catholic pilgrims. You note a large dome standing prominently with a smaller dome beside it; that is the Church of the Holy Sepupchre where a mistaken tradition locates all the events connected with the death and resurrection of our Lord. This part of the city is largely Christian in its population and is more modern and thrifty in appearance than some of the other sections.
In the interior of the building we walk around an octagonal corridor, and entering a door we stand before a mass of slanting native rock, 57 feet long from north to south and 43 feet wide. Here was the threshing floor of Araunah, bought by King David for the site of his altar; but Jewish tradition claims that a thousand years before David, Abraham built his altar on this rock for the sacrifice of Isaac. Without a doubt here stood the altar of Solomon' Tmeple, and in the two temples that succeeded Solomon's. Think of the great men of the Bible who stood here and worshipped; prophets, priests, kings, and apostles, saints! We may well look upon this rock as one of the hallowed places of the earth.
When they came nigh to Bethlehem, the beloved wife for whom he had served fourteen years, died in the pangs of motherhood, and was buried upon a green slope of the roadside. This is the way one of our great artists has pictured the deathbed. There is something remarkable, something inexplicable, that a man of Jacob's wealth should have buried his beloved in such an exposed and public place, and entirely among strangers, when Machpelah the Sepulchre, of his ancestors, was at Hebron, only a few miles away. Long after this, when he was about to die in Egypt, Jacob told his son Joseph the touching story of his mother's death and burial, and that makes it the more extraordinary that Joseph being the Lord of Egypt, a prince of vast power and wealth, did not transfer the remains of his mother on the highway to the family sepulchre, where Sarah, the wife of Abraham; Rebecca the wife of Isaac; and Leah, the unloved wife of Jacob lay. And we have no explanation of these singular circumstances. The tomb of Rachael, however, in this public place, was known and commemorated when Moses led the host of Israel out of the wilderness; nor has it been lost or overlooked, nor has its identity been questioned to the present hour.
At every turn in Palestine there is something to remind us that the Bible was written there. Entering this market square we halt in the presence of a transaction going on which reminds us of an illustration used in one of Jesus' talks. Grains of various kinds are lying in piles on the bare ground, which has been previously swept clean. The purchaser, not the seller does the measuring. It takes several minutes to fill the measure. Putting in a few handfuls the purchaser presses it down. After it is full to the brim he begins to build a cone, adding a handful at a time and patting it gently. Then as it approaches an apex he makes a hole in the top and fills that. Last of all he holds up a handful and allows the grains to drop very gently and as long as the grains remain upon it he is at liberty to add to the measure. Doubtless Jesus often witnessed the same process as he passed through the markets. It was such an incident as this which suggested his words, "Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure pressed down, and shaken together and running over shall men give unto your bosom. For with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you again."