The Temple Institute, based in the Jewish area of Old Jerusalem, just announced it has ordered production of architectural plans necessary to build a Jewish temple. If constructed, this would be Israel’s third temple, with the previous two destroyed in 70 AD and 167 BC.
It follows a year-long campaign to raise finances for the plans. The video above shows the preliminary design of the new Temple.
Started in 1987, The Temple Institute (TI) is a non-profit religious organization established to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Initially it set out to “rekindle the flame of the Holy Temple” in the hearts of the Israeli people with the goal of ultimately rebuilding the temple. It has already constructed much of the necessary furniture.
TI made the announcement of the plans on Sunday July 26, 2015 — the Tisha B’Av holiday — a day on which the Jews traditionally fast and mourn the destruction of the last two temples. It is considered by many as the “saddest day” on Israel’s calendar.
Israeli police broke up a plot by dozens of Palestinians wanting to attack Jews commemorating the holiday this year. Jews traditionally go to the wailing wall and up to the temple mount to mark the day. The Palestinians had stored Molotov cocktails, rocks and fireworks in the nearby Al Aqsa mosque from which they would mount their attack. When Israeli police uncovered the plans, the Palestinians turned on the police.
Speaking on behalf of TI, International Director Rabbi Chaim Richman said:
“One third of all Torah commandments pertain to the building of and service in the Holy Temple. Today, we not only mourn the destruction of the two Holy Temples, but also our inability to fulfill one third of the Torah. But the time has come to cease mourning and begin building in earnest.”
Plans are also in place to create a farm to raise red Heifers, a necessary element of the Jewish sacrificial system.
Of course, a major problem is that the Muslim Dome of the Rock (constructed in 691 AD) is found on the site traditionally considered the location of the two earlier temples. However, evidence is surfacing that this is not where they actually sat. Some believe the Dome is actually sitting on the remains of Fort Antonia, the base of the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. The Wailing Wall, where Jews have prayed for centuries, is not the wall of the Temple but rather of the Fort.
They believe the original temple was located a couple hundred yards away, where there is room to build a temple.
There are references in the New Testament that suggest a third temple is necessary to fulfill end-time prophecy. Revelation 11:1-2, speaks of a third temple, though some believe it is referring to a spiritual building not a physical one.
As well, Jesus (Matthew 24:15-16) and the Apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) spoke of a desolation taking place at the temple. However, some think this has already occurred when the Romans destroyed the temple in 70 AD. Others argue that since this destruction and abomination did not spark the associated end-times events, that a third temple is necessary
Do they actually plan on returning to a system of daily animal sacrifice? I know Christians say the sacrificial system was rendered unnecessary through Jesus, but most Jews I have talked to have just blown off the question with something to the effect of, “It doesn’t matter because without the Temple, we can’t do sacrifices even if we wanted to.”
Thank you for your comment Jon. Yes, I believe they plan to reinstate the full sacrificial system if they are able to build the temple. However, even without the temple there are a few sacrifices that they are able to perform such as the lamb sacrificed at passover which was implemented during their captivity in Egypt and before the temple was built. The sacrifice was done by the head of the home. But there are a number of sacrifices that require a Temple and working priesthood. As you pointed out Christians believe Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and his death fulfilled and ended the sacrificial system.
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Very creepy. I guess I always assumed the temple dilemma was just their excuse to distance themselves from a barbaric bronze-aged custom. I find it rather disturbing that anyone would want to revert to that.
Hi Jon. I am not sure what you exactly mean by barbaric, but it was not much different than what we do today. I think most people have the wrong perception of the sacrifices. Take the passover lamb, it was sacrificed but only the blood was put on the lentils of the doors and the remainder of the lamb was consumed by the family in the passover meal (Exodus 12).
Since they did not have refrigeration the slaughter of animals was a regular part of life for food consumption, in this instance a sacrificial element was an important part of it.
In the Temple, it was much the same as only the fat and some internal organs were used for sacrifice and the remainder of the animal was consumed by either the family giving the animal or the priest performing the sacrifice or sometimes both. Again they were including a sacrificial element in what as normal part of life — the slaughter of animals for food.
Leviticus 3:17 reads: “It is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall not eat any fat or any blood'” as these elements were to be sacrificed.
So it was not much different than what we do today as we regularly slaughter animals for consumption and of course today much of the fat is usually removed mostly for health reasons.
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Very valid points, Dean. However, for me, I think it is the general concept that bothers me as much as the actual techniques. Killing animals for food is one thing. Killing animals ritualistically to appease a deity is another thing entirely. I know that Christianity agrees that blood is a necessary element for atonement (though as previously mentioned this is now covered through the blood of Jesus). However, I suppose I have never related to the idea of any deity that would be appeased through burning animal flesh. To me, this seems like a vestige of human history that is better left in the past.
“since this destruction and abomination did not spark the associated end-times events, that a third temple is necessary”
That is because the Messiah has already come.