Quarries

(1.) The "Royal Quarries" (not found in Scripture) is the name
given to the vast caverns stretching far underneath the northern
hill, Bezetha, on which Jerusalem is built. Out of these mammoth
caverns stones, a hard lime-stone, have been quarried in ancient
times for the buildings in the city, and for the temples of
Solomon, Zerubbabel, and Herod. Huge blocks of stone are still
found in these caves bearing the marks of pick and chisel. The
general appearance of the whole suggests to the explorer the
idea that the Phoenician quarrymen have just suspended their
work. The supposition that the polished blocks of stone for
Solomon's temple were sent by Hiram from Lebanon or Tyre is not
supported by any evidence (compare 1 Kings 5:8). Hiram sent masons
and stone-squarers to Jerusalem to assist Solomon's workmen in
their great undertaking, but did not send stones to Jerusalem,
where, indeed, they were not needed, as these royal quarries
abundantly testify.

(2.) The "quarries" (Heb. pesilim) by Gilgal (Judg. 3:19),
from which Ehud turned back for the purpose of carrying out his
design to put Eglon king of Moab to death, were probably the
"graven images" (as the word is rendered by the LXX. and the
Vulgate and in the marg. A.V. and R.V.), or the idol temples the
Moabites had erected at Gilgal, where the children of Israel
first encamped after crossing the Jordan. The Hebrew word is
rendered "graven images" in Deut. 7:25, and is not elsewhere
translated "quarries."