ISRAEL - Measuring Stone Found from Second Temple

Arno Froese

A rare tabletop used for measuring liquids is among the finds uncovered by archaeologists at a site they believe may have been the location of a major town square en route to the Second Temple 2,000 years ago.

Excavations in the City of David National Park by the Israel Antiquities Authority have brought to light dozens of stone measurement weights of various sizes, in addition to the tabletop, indicating that the site was once a bustling marketplace in what was known as Jerusalem’s lower city.

The key find is a section of a “standard volume” table featuring two deep cavities, each with a drain hole at the bottom. The hole could easily be plugged, the cavity filled to the brim giving a standard volume, and the plug then removed to allow the liquid to drain into a container, said Prof. Ronny Reich, who is researching the find.

“This is a rare find,” he said. “Other stone artifacts were very popular in Jerusalem during the Second Temple [era]. However, so far, excavations in Jerusalem have only uncovered two similar tables that were used for measuring volume—one during the 1970s in the Jewish Quarter excavations, and another in the Shuafat excavations in northern Jerusalem.”

According to Prof. Ronny Reich, more than 90% of stone weights of this type date back to the Second Temple period, making them a unique Jerusalem phenomenon.

Meanwhile, Nahshon Szanton, Moran Hagbi and Meidad Shor of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who directed the excavations along the Pilgrimage Road, have uncovered a large open paved area on the street that led up to the Second Temple. The area appears to have served as the main square of the lower city, which would likely have attracted tradespeople and customers alike., 6 January 2020

Arno's commentary

The mighty temple, which stood on Mount Moriah during the times of Jesus, virtually disappeared. When one travels the Mediterranean countries or Europe, there are volumes of evidence clearly demonstrating the Roman Empire’s power, might, and culture. But when it comes to Jerusalem, only tiny bits and fragments are being discovered; thus, precisely fulfilling the words of the Lord Jesus Christ: “…See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

Read more from this author

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety