Biblical Archaeology Review 15:6, November/December 1989
Temple Mount

A Pilgrim’s Journey

By Kathleen Ritmeyer

Jerusalem is bathed in the clear light of early morning. A pilgrim has come for one of the great festivals, and his journey is almost over. He begins the ascent from the Siloam Pool at the bottom part of the Lower City. The sun is not yet casting its harsh glare on the stepped street paved with large limestone slabs, which is the path he must take to the Temple Mount. The pilgrim’s eyes rest for a moment on the glittering spikes of the Temple in the distance; then he moves on. The houses of the Lower City are spread out before him like the crescent of the moon; higher up, on his left, he can see the magnificent palaces of the nobility in the Upper City. As he proceeds up the valley past the oldest part of the city, established by David and Solomon, he can still see, on his right, some of the splendid old palaces.

All along the street the merchants of the Lower Market are busy setting up their stalls for the day’s business. The pilgrim is jostled by the farmers and traders who have come to buy and sell and by their beasts of burden. Baskets of luscious fruit, piles of cheeses, jars of wine and mounds of bread are set out hurriedly on the rough wooden tables. The unloading of bales of richly colored silks from a wagon causes an outbreak of excitement and arguing.

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