Glimpses of Israel - A Roman Memorial, The Wall

by Joseph Hunting

When the Roman army under the command of General Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. the magnificent Temple was destroyed and today there is no visible evidence that it ever existed apart from a portion of the retaining wall on the western side of the Temple area.

When the Jewish revolt was finally crushed and Jerusalem lay in ashes Titus decreed that the massive retaining wall be left standing as a memorial of the Roman victory to future generations.

Since that time Jerusalem was rebuilt by the Romans and named Aelia Capitolina and all trace of Jewish occupancy in the Holy City was obliterated. A temple to Zeus was erected where the Temple of God once stood and Jerusalem's desolation was total, but for the western retaining wall.

Centuries rolled by and invaders came and in their turn were vanquished, but the wall remained. And now, nineteen centuries later, this retaining wall is the only evidence that a glorious Temple once graced Mount Moriah.

That which is visible today of Rome's triumph is only partial. A shaft which has been sunk reveals massive stones at least thirty feet below the wall's present ground level. And a recent tunnel (see NEW IN OLD JERUSALEM The Vineyard, February 1990) reveals that the retaining wall extends almost to the present northern wall of the Old City, an estimated further four hundred yards.

Perhaps we shall never see the full extent of this memorial that Titus left for future generations. But what is there is evidence that a Temple did exist and that its destruction was total, even as foretold by Yeshua, "there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down" (Luke 21:6).