M. Eyni

A view of rock-mass number 1. To understand the relationship with the second photograph, note that the green center rock standing by itself in the foreground of this photograph is on the far right edge, just beyond the tree, in the second photograph. Located near the north wall of the northwestern staircase to the Dome of the Rock platform, this large rock-mass shows clear evidence of intentional working.

In the First Temple, this rock was part of the northwestern corner of the Court of the Priests. In the second photograph we have circled in red the zigzag edge, where the rock was cut to dovetail with the masonry of the Court of the Priests. At the time of the First Temple, the west face (seen in yellow) was cut at an angle of 6° to an east west line, corresponding to the orientation of other First Temple features and to the axis of the first Temple.

When the Second Temple was built, the builders incorporated the same rock-mass in the northwestern corner of the Inner Court (Azarah). The upper level of the rock is the actual surface level of the Inner Court. However, it was necessary to adjust the angle of the west face of the rock because the orientation angle of the Second Temple was at 9° to an east west line (rather than 6°). The wedge is the indication that the rock angle was changed by 3°. Reamed holes 1 and 2 and the well-cut niche helped to establish the length of the medium cubit used as a standard unit in the Second Temple. The distance between the centers of holes 1 and 2 is 43.7 cm, the length of the medium cubit. The length of the niche is exactly 3 cubits.